Best Harley Battery: Crank Over with Confidence

Buy quality and give your Harley the power it deserves.

byAndra DelMonico| UPDATED May 31, 2022 1:07 PM
Best Harley Battery: Crank Over with Confidence
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What makes me qualified as a Kawasaki owner to tell you what the best Harley battery is? Well, the first motorcycle I ever rode was a Harley. It was a 2003 100th Anniversary Screamin' Eagle Deuce. I remember struggling to move it around the garage with an awkwardly large and kicked-out front tire. It would live on a battery tender in the garage because it wasn't the go-to bike to ride. And I come from the stereotypical “Harley family” and I've used just about every battery brand out there. With that, I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, stop buying those cheap and unreliable batteries on Amazon and buy the quality battery that will deliver reliable power to keep your Harley roaring.

Best Overall

BikeMaster Lithium Ion 2.0 Battery

Summary
This reliable battery will deliver plenty of power while also being lighter weight and faster charging.
Pros
  • 70 percent lighter
  • Easy to read voltage meter
Cons
  • Does not perform well when cold
  • Small terminal holes
Best Value

BikeMaster High Performance Maintenance-Free Battery

Summary
This affordable battery can give you the power you need for bigger bikes.
Pros
  • Up to 30 percent more cranking amps
  • Additional internal plates
Cons
  • Tight terminal space
  • Short warranty
Honorable Mention

PowerStar Motorcycle Battery for Harley-Davidson

Summary
The high-quality construction and reliable performance of this battery is backed by an impressive two-year warranty.
Pros
  • Recombination of over 90 percent of gas generated
  • Sealed construction to prevent leakage
Cons
  • Terminals could be better quality 
  • Potential cracks in construction seals
Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Summary List 

Our Methodology

Have you bought a cheap no-name battery from Amazon? I have, and it was a huge letdown. Don't be like me and learn the hard way. Your bike deserves better, and The Drive wants to help you have the best experience possible with your bike. When choosing the best Harley batteries for this list, I only considered reputable brands with a history of reliable performance. This ensures that each battery on the list would perform well and be safe in your bike. I then looked for batteries that came in a wide range of strengths and dimensions to ensure a battery is available for every type of Harley. Cold crank strength was also important to ensure each batter was strong enough to start your bike. Finally, I looked for extra features that separated the best from the rest. These features included corrosion-resistant terminals, extra strong construction, lighter weight, and performance-enhancing qualities. 

Best Harley Battery Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • CCA: 144
  • Dimension: 5.8 in L x 3.3 in W x 3.3 in H
  • Type: Lithium-ion

Pros

  • Charge to 90 percent capacity in six minutes
  • 70 percent lighter than a traditional lead-acid battery
  • Easy-to-read voltage meter
  • Full function internal BMS

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform well when cold
  • Small terminal holes

Never worry about your bike not starting with this powerful lithium-ion battery. It's 70 percent lighter than a traditional lead-acid battery, yet it doesn't sacrifice performance. There's an easy-to-read illuminated LCD screen that will tell you the battery's voltage. This is nice because you can easily see the status of your battery with just a quick glance. The standout feature is that the battery can charge to 90 percent capacity in just six minutes. Thanks to the full function internal battery management system (BMS) that manages individual cell functions. This battery is also eco-friendly, with no heavy metals or acids.

One drawback of this battery is that it doesn't perform well when it's cold. You'll need to warm it up before you try to start your bike. The terminal holes are also relatively small, making establishing connections difficult on some bikes.

Specs

  • CCA: 160
  • Dimension: 5.3 in L x 3.5 in W x 6.5 in H
  • Type: Lead acid

Pros

  • Up to 30 percent more cranking amps
  • Additional internal plates
  • Simple design
  • One-year manufacturer's warranty

Cons

  • Tight terminal space
  • Short warranty

This affordable battery doesn't sacrifice quality or performance. It's an upgrade from your traditional lead-acid battery, thanks to improvements to the internal construction. Additional plates increase the battery's power to deliver up to 30 percent more cranking power. This is perfect for those large Harleys that demand a hefty pull of power on the battery to start up. The simple design of this battery is what gives it beauty. The simpler the design, the less there is to go wrong.

Unfortunately, this battery has a comparatively short warranty period of one year. However, this is still plenty long enough to know whether or not you have a good battery. In addition, the space around the terminals is quite tight, which can be frustrating. You'll also need to hook this battery up to a tender if you plan to not ride for prolonged periods of time.

Specs

  • CCA: 235
  • Dimension: 6.88 in L x 3.44 in W x 6.06 in H
  • Type: Gel

Pros

  • Recombination of over 90 percent of gas generated
  • Sealed construction to prevent leakage
  • Stable quality and high reliability
  • Two-year free replacement warranty

Cons

  • Terminals could be better quality
  • Potential cracks in construction seals

This classic aftermarket battery is known as one of the most popular for Harley owners and with good reason. Its sealed construction is solid and gives the battery extra stability. The greater stability helps the battery to perform better. The internal gel construction makes this battery a smart choice for use in high altitudes, vibration, and heat. Each battery goes through rugged testing to ensure it can hold up to whatever type of abuse you put it through. To back this up, a two-year warranty protects your purchase.

One potential issue with this battery is that the terminal could be of better quality. They lack corrosion-resistant qualities that other batteries on this list have. You'll also want to inspect your battery upon delivery. Sometimes the seal around the top can separate, creating a crack that could be a potential leak point in the future.

Specs

  • CCA: 180
  • Dimension: 6 in L x 3.43 in W x 4.37 in H
  • Type: Lithium-ion

Pros

  • Polymer technology
  • 50 to 70 percent lighter than standard batteries
  • Built-in LED test gauge
  • Six to 12 times more life cycles

Cons

  • Poor terminal design

If you are looking to reduce the weight of your heavy Harley, then every pound counts. This battery is an excellent option because it's 50 to 70 percent lighter than the standard battery. However, this doesn't mean you're sacrificing performance. This battery can charge up to 90 percent capacity in six minutes and boasts six to 12 more life cycles than the standard battery. If your bike sits, the long one-year shelf life of the battery is ideal. A built-in LED light test gauge makes it easy to check your battery. This battery doesn't contain any heavy metals or harmful acids, making it more environmentally friendly.

One thing to note, the terminal design on this battery could be better. While it has a cover to protect the positive terminal, there isn't one for the negative. It also doesn't come with any bolts or nuts.

Specs

  • CCA: 400
  • Dimension: 6 7/8 in L x 3 7/16 in W x 6 1/8 in H
  • Terminal Style: Screw

Pros

  • Valve-regulated design
  • Rugged OEM style case and terminals
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Vibration resistance

Cons

  • Fairly new battery line

If you are looking for a direct aftermarket replacement for the OEM battery in your Harley, this battery is a perfect option. It has vibration resistance built into the battery's body, helping it perform better in bikes like Harleys that are known for their vibration. The battery design uses stainless steel hardware and terminals to prevent corrosion. The valve-regulated internal design improves the performance and longevity of this battery. While the leakproof pressurized venting system ensures this battery is engineered for maximum safety.

With this battery line being so new, it's hard to know how this battery will perform in the long run. So, it's going to take some time and use for this new battery line to prove its longevity, durability, and reliability as a Harley battery.

Specs

  • CCA: 450
  • Dimension: 6.7 in L x 5.2 in W x 6.9 in H
  • Terminal Style: Brass screw

Pros

  • Robotically welded terminals
  • Through-partition construction
  • Heavy duty flush mounted brass terminals
  • Longer shelf life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Short six-month warranty

If you have a beast of a Harley with a large engine, you need a high CCA capability battery. This powerful battery won't let you down with its OEM quality construction and advanced AGM separators that are arranged into a grid design. This partition setup helps the battery deliver maximum power while also extending its useful life. In addition, this battery is loaded with nice features, like robotically welded brass terminals, color-coded epoxy coatings, a polypropylene case, and a sealed spillproof cover. You'll also enjoy a longer shelf life with this battery.

The primary drawback of this battery is its price. However, it can easily be argued that the extra cost is well worth the additional features. Unfortunately, the warranty for this battery is also very short, at just six months.

Our Verdict

My top pick for the best Harley battery is the BikeMaster Lithium-Ion 2.0 Battery with its lighter weight and easy-to-read voltage meter that uses an LCD screen to tell you the status of your battery. 

For a more affordable option, the BikeMaster High Performance Maintenance-Free Battery won't let you down with its 30 percent more cranking amps and additional internal plates for improved performance. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Harley Battery

Cold Cranking Amps 

The cold-cranking amps are the amount of power the battery can produce on command when you go to start the motor. A battery that doesn't have a high enough CCA rating will struggle to supply enough power to start your bike. If you have an older or vintage Harley, you'll want a battery with a higher CCA rating because the starter and alternator are older and probably deteriorated. Additionally, if you've installed aftermarket accessories like lighting kits, radios, or anything else that uses electrical power, then you'll also want a battery with a higher CCA rating to power all of these extra accessories. 

Dimensions 

The battery you buy needs to fit in the compartment on your bike. If it's too big, then it won't fit. If it’s too small, the battery will rattle around in the cage. While foam can fill the void, this isn’t always the best solution. Reputable battery manufacturers make finding a compatible battery easy by listing accurate dimensions and compatibility charts. However, if you buy a budget battery from a less than reputable battery manufacturer, you could easily find yourself with a battery that won't fit your bike. 

Types 

There are three types of batteries that you'll consider, sealed lead acid, AGM, and gel. Lead-acid batteries are the traditional battery type but have their limitations. They are the least efficient and perform best when kept upright. AGM batteries are sealed batteries that require no maintenance. They can perform at any orientation and excel in Harleys because of their fast discharge rate, which benefits the cranking over of large displacement engines. The last type is a gel, which is the most expensive and best delivers a flow and long discharge of power. 

Harley Battery Pricing 

Harley batteries range in price from about $75 to $250, depending on the brand and particular model. The type of battery influences the cost, with lead-acid batteries being the most affordable and gel batteries being the most expensive. Another factor is the size and power of the battery. Larger and more powerful batteries are more costly than smaller and less powerful batteries. While you can find cheaper batteries in the $50 range, they aren't worth it. Their initial cost savings end up costing you more in the long run because these batteries don't last as long as better quality and more expensive batteries. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What brand of battery does Harley-Davidson use?

A: Harley-Davidson uses Deka-East Penn Manufacturing batteries in its motorcycles. This is the current official battery manufacturer.

Q: Where do I recycle my Harley battery?

A: Don’t throw your lead-acid battery in the regular trash. You can return the battery to recycling locations. Typically, these are located at dealerships, home improvement stores, service shops, and auto parts retailers.

Q: How often should I replace my Harley battery?

A: The exact lifespan of your motorcycle battery will depend on several factors. However, a well-maintained Harley battery should last up to five years before requiring replacement. On the other hand, lack of proper charging, bad terminal connection, corrosion, and too many electrical add-ons can prematurely drain your Harley battery. 

Q: How do I know if my Harley battery is bad?

A: A visual inspection will let you know if there is corrosion or physical damage to the battery. It could have cracks, leaks, or bulging in the casing. Additionally, if you try to start the bike and it doesn't do anything, this could be a sign that the battery is dead. 

Q: How do I keep my motorcycle battery from dying?

A: When you aren't riding your motorcycle, keep it connected to a battery tender. This provides a trickle charge that keeps the motorcycle battery fully charged. Also, look for one with an auto shutoff when the battery is charged to prevent overcharging.