6V and 12V Lead Acid Battery Chargers

Nitro Battery Cutaway

Cutaway Nitro GEL battery

Motorcycle and Scooter Battery Chargers

A lead acid battery will naturally self-discharge at a rate of 0.2-1.0% per day - and that's before the constant drain of an alarm, immobiliser or other accessory.

For the longest effective working life, a battery should be kept at full or near full charge capacity. This can be obtained with the use of an intelligent charger.

Automatic (Intelligent or 'Trickle') Chargers

A trickle charger (or smart charger) is so called because once the battery is detected as fully charged, it will reduce the power (to a 'trickle' ) to recover a battery's self-discharge without allowing it to overcharge.

Wemoto are stockists of BC Battery Controller - An automatic smart charger for the charge, maintenance and recovery of all lead-acid batteries. These intelligent chargers are driven by a microprocessor to determine the state of the battery before charge, and perform recovery, charge and desulphation cycles as required, without risk of overcharging or overheating, and even protect against short circuits and inverse polarity.

Which Battery Charger is Best?

All BC chargers are ideal for keeping a battery in top condition, prolonging its effective working life. Which charger is the best value will depend on the application:

Battery Charger Specifications

Easy 6 K900 Bravo
BC Easy 6 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger BC K900 6V 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger BC K900 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger and Alternator tester
No fuss Versatile Charger and Tester in One
Features: No buttons or settings to fiddle with, just connect and forget.
The "Easy 6" utilises 6 charging cycles to recover, charge and maintain any 12V lead acid battery.
6V, 12V and CAN-BUS ready out of the box.
Recovers batteries from as low as 1.5V, and automatically performs equalisation every 30 days on long-term maintenance.
Charges, recovers and maintains all 12V lead acid batteries.
Also features battery and alternator testing modes
Battery 12V 12V, 6V 12V
All lead-acid batteries both conventional and maintenance free (VRLA/AGM/'Gel')
Charging Algorithm 6 cycles 8 cycles 8 cycles
Battery DiagnosisDiagnosis Diagnosis: Charger checks no cells are shorted, to verify that the battery is in a condition to be recharged/recovered Battery DiagnosisDiagnosis Diagnosis: Charger checks no cells are shorted, to verify that the battery is in a condition to be recharged/recovered Battery DiagnosisDiagnosis Diagnosis: Charger checks no cells are shorted, to verify that the battery is in a condition to be recharged/recovered
Battery Recovery from 1.5VRecovery (from 1.5V) Recovery: If battery is deeply discharged (from 1.5V), charger tries to recover it to a higher voltage. Battery Recovery from 1.5VRecovery (from 1.5V) Recovery: If battery is deeply discharged (from 1.5V), charger tries to recover it to a higher voltage.
Battery Soft ChargeSoft Charge Soft Charge: A light pulsing charge gently recovers a battery if significantly undercharged. Battery Soft ChargeSoft Charge Soft Charge: A light pulsing charge gently recovers a battery if significantly undercharged. Battery Soft ChargeSoft Charge Soft Charge: A light pulsing charge gently recovers a battery if significantly undercharged.
Battery Bulk ChargeBulk Charge Bulk Charge: Full current provided to the battery, recovering ~85-90% charge capacity. Battery Bulk ChargeBulk Charge Bulk Charge: Full current provided to the battery, recovering ~85-90% charge capacity. Battery Bulk ChargeBulk Charge Bulk Charge: Full current provided to the battery, recovering ~85-90% charge capacity.
Battery DesulphationDesulphation Desulphation:A "Controlled Overcharge" dissolves light to medium sulphation, recovering the remaining 10-15%. Battery DesulphationDesulphation Desulphation:A "Controlled Overcharge" dissolves light to medium sulphation, recovering the remaining 10-15%. Battery DesulphationDesulphation Desulphation:A "Controlled Overcharge" dissolves light to medium sulphation, recovering the remaining 10-15%.
Battery End Cycle TestEnd Cycle Test End Cycle Test:Stops providing current for a short time to test if the battery can retain charge. This test is repeated during maintenance. Battery End Cycle TestEnd Cycle Test End Cycle Test:Stops providing current for a short time to test if the battery can retain charge. This test is repeated during maintenance. Battery End Cycle TestEnd Cycle Test End Cycle Test:Stops providing current for a short time to test if the battery can retain charge. This test is repeated during maintenance.
Battery MaintenanceMaintenance Maintenance:Keeps battery in the best charge conditions for long periods (even months) without any risk to the battery (no overcharge, overheat or water/electrolyte loss) Battery MaintenanceMaintenance Maintenance:Keeps battery in the best charge conditions for long periods (even months) without any risk to the battery (no overcharge, overheat or water/electrolyte loss) Battery MaintenanceMaintenance Maintenance:Keeps battery in the best charge conditions for long periods (even months) without any risk to the battery (no overcharge, overheat or water/electrolyte loss)
Battery EqualisationEqualisation Equalisation:Every 30 days during maintenance, an equalisation charge ensures the individual cells are balanced, and avoiding electrolyte stratification (separation) Battery EqualisationEqualisation Equalisation:Every 30 days during maintenance, an equalisation charge ensures the individual cells are balanced, and avoiding electrolyte stratification (separation)
Protected No risk of inverse polarity, short-circuit, overcharge or overheating.
Interface No buttons, fully automatic connect and forget.
LED indicators display current cycle, or error.
One button mode select for 6V/12V
Recalls last charging mode
LED indicators show current charging cycle, charging mode, or error.
Fully automatic. Connect to mains then battery to charge, or battery only to test. LCD screen gives instructions and displays state of charge.

How Motorcycle Chargers Work

Conventional lead acid batteries are constructed of a number of lead plates submerged in electrolyte. Motorcycle and scooter batteries are capable of a large power-to-weight ratio compared to other types of battery, by utilizing a large number of thin lead plates, maximising the surface area for electrolysis. The downside is that these plates are fragile and easily damaged by deep discharge.

Automotive lead acid batteries are not designed to be deeply discharged, as in most circumstances they will be kept in full or near full charge by the charging system on the bike or scooter.

Deep Cycling

Deep cycling is when the battery is nearly or fully discharged. The repeated charging and discharging causes additional mechanical stress to the thin lead plates, which can substantially reduce the life of a battery.

On vehicles with an alarm or immobiliser, the battery can reach deep discharge within a few days.
It is particularly important to keep a battery on a trickle charger if it is connected to accessories that continuously drain power from the battery.

Sulphation (and De-sulphation)

Sulphation build up can occur when the charge descends below 75% of full capacity. Sulphur molecules from the electrolyte (acid) reacts with the lead plates, forming lead sulphate. This both weakens the acid and prevents current from flowing effectively between the plates.

When recently formed, lead sulphate is soft and can be separated into lead and acid again by the regular charging process. However, if not immediately recharged, the lead sulphate will form crystals that cannot be dissolved by a standard charge.
Depending on the state of this desulphation, a battery may be recovered by an intelligent charger with a desulphation cycle. BC chargers use a 'controlled overcharge' to soften and dissolve the hardened lead sulphate crystals. This can often recover an otherwise scrap battery, though no recovered battery will have as long a life as a well-maintained one.

Equalisation

Equalisation serves two purposes:

Cell Balancing: Lead acid batteries contain a number of cells. Due to the tolerences used in the manufacture of lead-acid batteries, in addition to exterior factors such as uneven temperature, some cells may hold a different amount of charge to another in the same battery. This can result in some cells being overcharged while the rest of the cells are still charging.
By keeping the cells balanced, the failure of individual cells (which requires replacement of the entire battery) can be minimised.

Preventing Electrolyte Stratification: If a battery is undercharged (for example, by a failing alternator) or not used for a long period of time, it is possible for the acid and water in the electrolyte to separate. This can significantly reduce the battery performance.
A carefully controlled equalisation cycle, such as that featured on some of the BC chargers, can rebalance the mix of electrolyte and restore the battery performance.

Battery Charger Accessories and Spares

Insulated Clamps Permanent Waterproof Lead 12/18mm Can-Bus Adaptor 2m Extention Cable
battery charging clamps waterproof permanent lead can-bus adaptor 2m extension lead
All BC adaptors come with insulated crocadile clips in the box. Fuse protected, waterproof eyelet leads can be installed permanently for easy access. In the box for all BC chargers. Can-bus or cigar socket 12/18mm adaptor. Fits the can-bus socket on many Triumphs, Ducatis, KTMs and BMWs 2m extension cable for BC chargers

18mm Charging and GPS Socket 12mm Charging and Accessory Socket Ducati DDA Adaptor MV Agusta Adaptor
18mm accessory socket 12mm accessory socket Ducati DDA adaptor MV Agusta adaptor
This adaptor can be installed to recharge the battery (with the 12/18mm can-bus adaptor), and to charge electronic devices such as phones or GPS from the battery. Install for recharging the battery (with the 12/18mm can-bus adaptor) and supplying power to small electronic devices (max 1 amp). For connecting BC chargers directly to DDA sockets on many modern Ducati models with no need to install any other cable or reach to the battery. Connect a BC charger directly to the standard connector installed on many MV Agusta models with no need to install any other cable or reach to the battery.

See our Battery Care Guide and Battery Installation Guide for more information about the care of different types of lead acid battery.