The Best Battery Tender / Trickle Charger for Motorcycles
At any point when you need to store your motorcycle for a long time between rides it is important to use a battery maintainer in order to make sure the battery stays in good condition and won’t need to be replaced before you get back to riding.
The best battery maintainers will keep your motorcycle’s battery at an optimal level of charge and help extend its life span. Not only does this ensure that you can quickly and easily get back to riding when taking the bike out of storage, but it also helps maintain the electrical system and prevent unforeseen repairs.
There are dozens of different models of battery maintainers and trickle chargers available, each one with their own design and features. Without a guide to get started it can be easy to spend hours and hours browsing all of the chargers out there and still not know which one is the best option for you.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research and compared the features and capabilities of the various battery maintainers and trickle chargers on the market in order to bring you this list of some of the best options on the market today.
Table of Contents
Is a Battery Maintainer the Same as a Battery Tender?
Battery Tender is actually a brand specializing in battery maintainers and trickle chargers. When many riders talk about battery maintainers and trickle chargers, they will use the brand name interchangeably due to the widespread use of that particular brand of equipment.
Connecting a battery maintainer to your bike when storing it over long periods of time such as winter will keep the battery charged, monitor its health, and ensure that the battery is in good condition when it is time to bring the motorcycle out of storage and ride it again.
Battery maintainers are different from chargers, however. While a battery maintainer will monitor the health of the battery and keep it charged to an optimal level, a charger will supply a constant charge regardless of whether or not the battery actually needs charging.
What this means is that a battery maintainer is more suited for storing a motorcycle over long periods of time as it prevents overcharging and damaging the battery. By monitoring the battery level and adjusting the provided charge, a battery maintainer is able to ensure maximum longevity for this critical component of the motorcycle’s electrical system.
The Best Trickle Charger for Motorcycles
1. Battery Tender Junior
Battery Tender is one of the most widely used and respected brands in battery maintainers and trickle chargers. The brand’s reputation is so well known that many people will use the brand name any time they are referring to battery maintainers and chargers at all.
The Battery Tender Junior automatic battery charger is a top rated option that is capable of fully charging and maintaining your motorcycle’s battery to ensure that it always has the optimal level of charge.
This battery maintainer is compact to allow it to be used even in tight spaces. It also operates automatically, with no need for any adjustment, it simply needs to be plugged in and then can be left alone. The charger will monitor the battery’s condition and make its own adjustments as needed.
A smart microcontroller keeps track of the battery and takes it through a 4-step charging process to maximize the effectiveness of the charger. A reverse hook up feature also keeps the charger from sending power to the battery if it is not connected properly, and the quick disconnect harness makes connecting and disconnecting the battery a quick and simple process.
2. Can-Am Battery Maintainer
This battery maintainer by Can-Am features several fully automatic features to make it extremely user friendly. Featuring automatic detection for both 6 and 12 volt batteries, multi-stage charging, and attachments that allow you to hook up your battery without removing it from the bike, this sleek option is a great choice for riders looking for a battery maintainer that is as easy to use as possible.
Can-Am has also equipped their battery charger with safety features that defend against reverse-polarity, over charge, and other common safety concerns that can arise while charging or maintaining a motorcycle battery.
This battery maintainer also features an LED display that can keep you updated on the progress of your battery’s charge, ensuring that you will know when the battery is ready for your next ride.
3. Black and Decker BM3B
For riders looking to keep their battery in excellent condition, but also needing to stick to a tight budget, this battery maintainer from Black and Decker is an excellent option.
This versatile option works with 6v and 12v batteries of all types including lead-acid, AGM, and gel. With so much support for so many battery types, this battery maintainer can also be used on other vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, and lawnmowers.
Included battery clips and o-ring terminals make attaching this battery maintainer an easy process, and when connecting to your battery simply select whether you are charging a 6v or 12v battery. The charger automatically detects the charge level of the battery and switches to float mode when charging is complete.
The charger is ETL certified, complying with North American safety standards, and includes built in protections against overcharging, reverse polarity, and short-circuit. In addition, the housing of this unit is designed to withstand heavy use, preventing damage from accidental drops or tough use.
4. Schumacher SC1319 Fully Automatic Charger
This versatile battery maintainer from Schumacher offers support for both 6v and 12v batteries, and includes quick-connect hardware for quick and easy attachment and disconnection.
An onboard microprocessor detects if the connected battery is 6v or 12v, and then automatically begins a multi-phase charging program that brings the battery to the appropriate level. Once the charger detects that the battery is fully charged, it switches over to maintenance mode to ensure that battery stays at an optimal charge level.
Schumacher backs up their charger with a 2-year limited warranty, meaning that you can get the charger repaired or replaced if there are any defects in the materials or construction of the unit.
5. Foval Automatic Battery Charger
This mini trickle charger from Foval offers good functionality at a low cost. Including several different connection types, this charger can accommodate a wide variety of 12v batteries.
Safety features for this charger include reverse-polarity detection, spark-proof lead connection, and automatic charge adjustment to prevent overcharging. With 4 different charging levels, this charger can adapt to the specific needs of your battery automatically, ensuring an optimal charge every time.
The compact housing can also accommodate situations where space is limited, and the various connection types included also allow the charger to be connected to any other 12v battery that may need charging.
6. Motopower MP00205A
This inexpensive automatic battery maintainer from Motopower is a good option for easily charging and maintaining any 12v battery. Included connection hardware can accommodate any connection type needed, not only for your motorcycle but any other vehicles with a 12v battery that may also need charging.
An onboard processor monitors the level of the battery and switches to float mode when charging is complete, preventing overcharge while ensuring that the battery stays fully charged over long periods of time. Fully automatic operation and monitoring means that there is no adjustment needed, simply plug the charger in and the processor will handle the rest.
The charger also offers multi-level protection against all types of hazards, including overheating, short-circuit, and overcharging. Motopower also offers a 2-year warranty for extra peace of mind and support should there be a problem with your charger.
7. Ultrapower 4A LifePO4 Battery Charger
This option from Ultrapower features included connections for easy hook up, support for 12v batteries, and an LED indicator to let you know the charge level of your battery.
Using a 4-stage charging process, this battery charger is designed to enhance the life of your batteries by maintaining maximum charge level and preventing overcharge. The charger monitors the charge level of the battery and switches modes as needed, whether topping off the battery or simply maintaining maximum charge in float mode.
Ultrapower also offers 24/7 support and a 1-year quality guarantee to ensure total satisfaction with the charger. Built in protections against overcharge, overheating, and reverse-polarity make this charger safe to use. However, this charger is designed especially for lithium batteries, and is not designed for use with lead-acid models.
8. GooLoo 4-Amp Battery Charger
This durable, heavy duty battery charger from GooLoo features tough construction and temperature adaptive technology to ensure top quality operation in a variety of different environments.
The unit offers smart charging for 6v and 12v batteries of any type. Onboard monitoring senses battery level and can also detect issues and perform pulse-charging automatically to regain lost power. Battery maintenance is automatic, allowing hassle free battery charging without any input or adjustment.
An LCD display shows charge level and provides information during charging, letting you know the precise level of the battery’s charge, check the stage of charging, and be aware of any errors that occur during the process. GooLoo also provides an 18-month warranty on their equipment for total peace of mind.
9. Noone 3004A Battery Trickle Charger
This trickle charger from Noone provides convenient charging for 12v batteries directly through attached alligator clips. An incorporated hook allows the unit to be hung out of the way while the battery is charging through the 7-step process to charge, desulfate, and maintain the battery and improve its longevity.
Safety features include protection against overcharge, reverse-polarity, sparks, short-circuits, and overheating. The housing is tough ABS plastic which allows the charger to be used even in hotter temperatures as well.
LED indicators on the charger display the charge level of the battery, letting you know when the charge reaches 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent. When the charge is complete the charger switches over to float mode to keep the battery charge at an optimum level. After-purchase support includes a 24/7 support line and a 3-year factory warranty.
10. Extreme Max Battery Buddy 1229.4023
Featuring 4 connections, this battery charger from Extreme Max supports simultaneous charging for up to 4 12v motorcycle batteries, saving time in situations where more than one motorcycle is being stored at once.
Individual battery status lights track the charging status of each battery on the charger, letting you know which are in the process of charging and which are being maintained independently of one another. Once a battery is charged the charger will automatically switch over to float mode to maintain the charge level of that battery.
This battery charger provides protection against overcharge, overheating, and reverse-polarity for maximum safety. For any rider needing to store multiple bikes or charge multiple batteries all at once, this tender is an outstanding option.
How To Buy The Best Battery Tender for Your Motorcycle Battery?
Choosing the best option when shopping for a battery maintainer comes down to several factors which will vary based on your specific situation. While certain specifications are always good to have, some battery maintainers are meant for specific applications. Here are some of the main things to consider when looking for the best charger for you.
The best battery maintainers will come with multiple different charging modes for the various stages of charging the battery.
Specifically the main modes to look for are qualification or initialization mode, bulk mode, absorption mode, and float maintenance mode. In qualification the monitor circuit evaluates the battery and determines its charge level. Between 0 and 80 percent, bulk mode provides a constant charge to bring the battery’s charge level up. From 80 to 100 percent, the charger will slow, and finally during float mode the charger will maintain the battery’s charge level.
Some battery maintainers will also have repair modes that use pulse-charging to help repair the battery if the charger detects exceptionally low power as well.
Not every charger works with every type of battery. Some battery maintainers are designed to only work with specific voltage, such as 6v or 12v batteries, while some are limited to a certain type of battery they can reliably charge, such as lead-acid or lithium.
When shopping for a charger or maintainer for your battery, always check the information printed on the battery itself to ensure that the battery maintainer you purchase is compatible with your battery.
Ease of use
A battery maintainer or charger that is easy to use is always an advantage. An easier connection allows you to spend less time setting up the charger while functions like automatic mode switching and maintenance minimize the chance for errors that may be damaging to the battery.
One specific thing to check for is if the charger allows a “pigtail” connection to charge the motorcycle battery without removing it from the bike, or if it uses alligator clips which must attach to the battery directly.
Safety is crucial in everything you do, including charging your motorcycle’s battery. Specific protections for sparking, reverse-polarity, overcharge, and overheating are all things to keep an eye open for.
Chargers and maintainers with an ETL Certification have passed specific safety standards for North America, and this certification is a good thing to look for in addition to specific safety features.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What’s the Best Motorcycle Battery Maintainer?
The best battery charger or maintainer will vary based on each situation. As a general rule, though, the best maintainers will have automatic switching between modes, battery monitoring to maintain safety and minimize the chance for damage, and be compatible with the specific battery it needs to charge.
2. Can I Leave a Trickle Charger on My Battery Overnight?
A trickle charger is actually designed specifically to be left on the battery in order to maintain its charge. Unlike a simple charger, a trickle charger or battery maintainer will monitor the battery’s charge level and only provide a charge when it is needed.
3. Can I Use a Motorcycle Battery Charger/Tender on a Car?
In general, battery maintainers will specify what type of vehicle they are meant to be used on and what type of battery they can charge. In most cases a motorcycle specific battery maintainer will be capable of charging a car battery at a much slower rate than normal.
Always check the specifications for your battery maintainer to be sure of what it can or cannot charge.
4. How Do I Use My New Battery Charger/Maintainer?
Hooking up a battery maintainer to your bike is a simple process. Depending on whether you are using a quick connector or not you may need to either remove the battery from the bike in order to connect the charger, or simply plug the charger into the connector.
Once connected, the battery maintainer will typically indicate whether the battery is charging or in float mode. Check with your charger’s information for instructions on how to interpret the indication lights on your specific charger.
For a more detailed walkthrough on how to set up and use a battery maintainer or charger properly check out our helpful guide here.
A motorcycle battery maintainer is a great investment for any motorcyclist, improving the longevity of your battery and helping to ensure that your bike is ready to go whenever you are, even after a long time in storage.
With the information we’ve provided you should now have a good idea of what to look for in order to make sure that you choose the best possible battery maintainer for your specific situation, whether it is one of the models we have reviewed here, or another battery maintainer or charger that works for your unique needs.