ATVs don’t require much electrical power, so your primary concern here should be that you use a modern battery type that’s able to resist vibration and heat output from the engine. In addition to that, you’ll want to know what size and type of battery you can fit in your ATV. One that doesn’t fit simply won’t work—obviously.
Let’s take a look at 4 of the best ATV batteries on the market, then we’ll give you the information you need to make an informed purchase to keep you from having to push the quad home when you’re on your outdoor adventures.
Odyssey PC545 Powersports Battery
Odyssey makes batteries for specialized applications that stand head and shoulders above the competition, and their PC 545 Powersports Battery is exceptional for any kind of application using an ATV. The AGM design (see full specs) means that you don’t have to worry about acid spilling out and it provides plenty of power for your favorite vehicle. The cost may be a little bit high, but if it fits, you’re not going to find anything better.
YUASA YTX14-BS Maintenance Free Battery
This battery from Yuasa is ideal for ATV applications. It’s an AGM design so you won’t need to worry about purchasing distilled water to top it off. Keep in mind that there’s still some specialized maintenance required for any ATV battery despite the maintenance-free naming, but this battery will serve your needs for a long time to come and keep you running for a bargain price.
Power-Sonic (PTX4LBS-FS) Sealed Maintenance Free Powersport Battery
Sometimes you just need something that’s going to get you going and you can’t be bothered with a high price tag. While it’s not an Odyssey, this Power-Sonic battery comes in at a quarter of the price and you’ll be able to get going on the cheap. It’s mostly recommended as a cheaper back-up battery, but with some maintenance you should be able to stay on the road for quite awhile. This is among the best ATV batteries for the money.
Yuasa YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS Battery
Another great option from Yuasa, this one is primarily for colder climes. It comes in with a huge cold-cranking amp volume and you’ll find that it’s still the high quality you’d expect from the brand. If you’ve got a high powered ATV and you’re looking at spending a lot of time in a cold climate, check if it can fit well and you’ll be able to get started no matter where you are.
The Basics of ATV Batteries
ATVs are fairly simple vehicles, and for the most part as long as you’ve got enough power to start the thing and run the lights you’ll be in good hands. This doesn’t preclude maintenance, which we’ll get to in a moment, but you do need to be aware of the general battery types in order to make sure you have the right battery for you.
Lead-Acid Batteries aren’t used very often anymore, especially for powersports applications. They require a lot of maintenance, including periodic topping off with distilled water in order to make sure there’s enough fluids for the electrolytes to function.
They’re pretty sensitive to vibration and heat as well, and are a bad option for any kind of off-road vehicle. With the advent of cheap batteries of other types, there’s really no need to bother with them unless you’re convinced you want to keep an old battery around.
Absorbable gas mat batteries are the most common type available for ATVs. Gel-cell batteries can be treated much the same way. While the terms aren’t interchangeable, the end function is nearly identical for the owner of the vehicle.
They’re especially ideal if your ATV doesn’t see everyday use, and you won’t have to mess around with distilled water in order to make sure that they’re still filled. It’s recommended that you stick with an AGM or Gel-cell battery to make sure that you can get the most for your money.
The other thing you’ll need to take into account is how much battery power you use. While a weekend dune rider might not be using much power, someone who uses their ATV to work around a ranch or farm is more likely to be running lights and other applications. If you’re in the latter category, you’re going to want to go with a higher-end battery.
The savings will add up quite quickly, as a dead battery can mean an expensive replacement. Pick the best ATV battery the first time and you’ll be in good hands.
ATV Battery Maintenance
As we alluded to above, ATV batteries do require some maintenance even if they’re “maintenance free.”
It’s important to make sure that you don’t park your ATV for extended periods without a full charge in the battery. For the most part you can take care of this with some simple tools like a battery tender (see a bunch here).
It’s also important, especially with AGM and Gel batteries, to make sure that they’re primed correctly. You can actually damage the battery’s capacity in a permanent way if you just rip one off the shelf, quick-charge it, and throw it in there.
In order to get the most out of your battery, trickle-charge it with an ATV battery charger for eight to ten hours before you install it. Use between one and three amps depending on how big of a battery is and you’ll be fine. This will help to prolong the life of the battery and ensure that you get the full capacity out of it.
At the end of your run, if you don’t use the vehicle every day, remember to attach your tender. This should be done even if you only plan on letting the vehicle sit for a couple of days.
The last thing to remember to do is to disconnect the battery if your ATV is going to be sitting for more than two weeks. Self-discharge leads to sulfation which, again, damages the maximum amount of energy that your battery can hold.
Keep the above in mind, buy the best ATV battery you can afford, and you can eliminate your concerns about this vital component of your vehicle for a long time to come.