Powersport Financing

ATV Battery Guide

an ATV battery on a grid

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are designed for rough off-road riding, with the power and durability to handle tough terrain. With an ATV, you can explore remote trails, haul gear, and have adventures off the beaten path. However, none of that is possible without the right battery powering your ATV.

Choosing the perfect ATV battery may seem complicated, but this complete guide will walk you through everything you need to know. We’ll cover how to select the right battery type, size, and features for your specific ATV model and needs.

You’ll also learn how to use our custom ATV battery finder tool to match your vehicle and find the perfect fit. With the help of this in-depth buying guide, you’ll be able to choose the ideal battery to keep your ATV running strong.

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Types of ATV Batteries

When it comes to ATV batteries, you have two main options – lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. Both offer advantages and disadvantages for powering your ATV.

 

Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are the traditional battery type used for ATVs. They use lead electrodes and sulfuric acid as the electrolyte. Lead-acid batteries have some key pros and cons:

 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to lithium-ion
  • Readily available from many retailers
  • Mature technology that is reliable and well-tested

 

Cons:

  • Prone to sulfation and loss of capacity over time
  • Heavier than lithium-ion alternatives
  • Not as resistant to vibration damage
  • Lower cycle life than lithium-ion

 

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries use lithium ions that move between the anode and cathode. They are a newer battery technology that offers these pros and cons for ATV use:

 

Pros:

  • Extremely long cycle life
  • Lighter weight than lead-acid
  • Holds charge well and low self-discharge
  • Faster recharging than lead-acid
  • Good vibration resistance

 

Cons:

  • More expensive upfront cost
  • Requires more sophisticated charging/maintenance
  • Can be damaged by excessive heat
  • Less tolerant to over-charging

 

For most ATV riders, a lithium-ion battery represents the best performance and longevity but comes at a higher upfront cost. Lead-acid batteries offer a more affordable option for those prioritizing value.

 

Cranking Amps

Cranking amps, abbreviated as CCA, refers to the number of amps a battery can deliver at 0°F for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts. This measure gives you an idea of how much power the battery can supply to start your engine in cold weather conditions.

For ATV use, experts recommend choosing a battery with a minimum of 200 CCA. This ensures you’ll have sufficient starting power even in frigid temperatures. However, if you frequently ride in extremely cold climates, opting for a battery with 250 CCA or higher is advisable.

Higher CCA numbers indicate the battery can deliver more current to start your engine when the temperature dips. This comes in handy if you take your ATV out on winter rides or live in a colder region. With more cranking amps, you’ll get quick, reliable starts time after time.

Just keep in mind that the higher the CCA rating, the more the battery will typically cost. Focus on finding the right balance of performance and value for your specific needs.

 

Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity refers to the amount of time a battery can deliver the minimum amount of power needed to run a vehicle’s electrical system when the engine is off. For ATV batteries, it’s recommended to have at least 15 minutes of reserve capacity.

Reserve capacity indicates how long the battery can continue providing power to electronics and accessories when the engine is turned off. This is important for ATVs which often have electrical components like GPS, radios, and lights that need to stay on during stopped periods.

A 15 minute or higher reserve capacity allows you to run these electronics for a reasonable length of time while parked or stopped during a ride. It prevents the battery from quickly draining when the engine isn’t recharging it.

Insufficient reserve capacity will cause the electronics to lose power more rapidly once the engine is off. Anything less than 15 minutes may leave you stranded when stopped because the battery will die too quickly.

Checking the reserve capacity rating ensures your ATV battery can handle extended stationary use. Look for at least 15 minutes, though 20 minutes or higher is ideal if you frequently rely on electronics with the engine off.

 

Physical Size

One of the most important considerations when selecting an ATV battery is making sure it will physically fit your particular make and model. Batteries come in a range of different sizes, so you’ll want to carefully measure the battery compartment on your ATV before purchasing a replacement.

Trying to cram a battery that is too large into the space can result in damage or cause connectivity issues. On the other hand, a battery that is too small may rattle around, causing damage from vibration and impacts.

Take precise measurements of the length, width, and height of the open battery space and compare it against the dimensions listed for any battery you are considering. Pay attention to the terminal locations as well, since you need to ensure they line up properly.

Additionally, note whether your ATV requires a standard or odd-sized battery. You may need to purchase a specific replacement battery made just for your particular model if it calls for non-standard dimensions.

Taking the time to find a battery that fits correctly will prevent headaches down the road. Don’t assume a replacement will slot in perfectly, even if it has the right technical specs. Double check those physical measurements first for a hassle-free installation.

 

Special Features

When shopping for an ATV battery, look for models with special features that enhance durability and performance:

 

Waterproof and Shock-Resistant Housing

ATVs operate in tough conditions like mud, snow and bumpy terrain. A waterproof and shock-resistant housing protects the battery from damage. Make sure the casing is sealed to prevent water intrusion.

 

Built-In Battery Maintainer/Chargers

Some ATV batteries have built-in maintainers that keep the battery charged when the ATV is not in use. This prevents the battery from discharging over time. Opt for this feature if you don’t ride frequently.

 

Optimized for Frequent Deep Cycling

Deep cycling refers to deeply draining and recharging the battery. ATV riding requires this more than standard vehicles. Seek batteries made to handle repeated deep cycling without losing maximum capacity.

These special features protect your investment and ensure reliable starts every time you ride your ATV.

 

Using Our ATV Battery Finder Tool

Finding the perfect ATV battery for your specific make and model has never been easier thanks battery finder tools. Simply input the details of your ATV including make, model, year and engine size and our tool will provide you with a tailored list of battery options.

Battery finder’s allows you to enter all the key details about your ATV so it can match you with the optimal power source. Start by selecting your vehicle’s make – whether it’s Polaris, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki etc. Next, choose the precise model name and year. Also input the engine size in cc’s so the tool can factor in the power requirements.

With all the key inputs provided, our finder compares your ATV details against an extensive database of battery fits and specifications. It customizes the results to show you only the batteries guaranteed to properly fit and deliver ample power for your particular ATV.

The tool instantly filters out any incorrect or incompatible batteries, saving you the headache of sifting through thousands of options. The streamlined results match your ATV’s unique power needs, physical size constraints, and electrical system. Our ATV battery finder takes the guesswork out of searching for the right battery.

 

Interpreting the Results

Once you’ve entered your ATV’s specifics into a battery finder tool, it will provide you with a list of recommended batteries tailored for your ride. Here’s how to interpret the key details:

 

Fitment Details

The results will confirm the precise fit, showing the battery dimensions and terminal layout. This ensures you get a battery that seamlessly installs into the stock location on your ATV without any modifications needed.

 

Performance Specifications

You’ll see critical performance metrics like:

 

Cranking amps – Higher is better for starting

Reserve capacity – More time for electronics when engine is off

Cold cranking amps – For reliable starting in frigid temperatures

 

This data will help you choose a battery with ample power output for your usage.

 

Price Comparisons

Battery prices can vary widely, so our tool lists the current pricing from multiple retailers. You can sort and filter the results to hone in on batteries that offer the best value and stay within your budget.

With all this tailored information, you can select the optimal ATV battery with full confidence it will meet your needs and fit your ATV perfectly.

 

Troubleshooting ATV Battery Issues

Even with proper maintenance, ATV batteries can run into problems. Here are some of the most common issues and potential solutions:

 

Battery Not Holding a Charge

If your battery quickly loses its charge, the likely culprit is a bad cell. Check for any cracked or bulging portions on the battery case. A damaged case indicates a bad internal cell. Inspect the battery terminals and cables for corrosion, looseness or damage. Clean terminals and tighten connections if needed. If the battery case and connections check out, the battery plates are probably sulfated, indicating a dead battery that needs replacement.

 

Dimming Lights

Dimming or fluctuating headlights, especially at higher RPMs, point to a battery unable to deliver enough amps to power your ATV’s electrical components. Confirm the battery cables are tightly fastened to clean terminals. Check the charging system and regulator rectifier. If those components test good, low battery power is the likely cause, and a new battery is needed.

 

Slow Cranking

Slow cranking when trying to start your ATV indicates weak battery power. First, check the battery posts and cable connections to confirm they are clean, tight and corrosion-free. If the connections are good, use a multimeter to test the battery. If it tests low, recharge the battery and retest. If charging doesn’t improve cranking speed, it’s time for a replacement.

 

No Cranking at All

If your starter doesn’t engage at all when you hit the ignition, the battery may be completely dead. First check the battery voltage with a multimeter. 0 volts confirms a dead battery. Also check the battery cables and terminals for looseness or corrosion that could cause a bad connection and prevent power from reaching the starter. Replace damaged cables and clean terminals if needed. If the battery tests good, the issue could be with your starter motor or solenoid.

 

Safety

Proper handling and maintenance of ATV batteries is crucial for safe operation. Here are some key safety tips:

 

  • Wear protective gloves, eyewear and clothing when handling batteries to avoid contact with battery acid.
  • Make sure the area is well ventilated when servicing batteries to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes.
  • Never smoke or have open flames near batteries which could ignite explosive hydrogen gas.
  • Avoid dropping batteries or causing impacts which can damage the casing.
  • Carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions when connecting cables and charging batteries.
  • Prevent short circuits by keeping the battery terminals covered when not in use.
  • Rinse any skin or eye contact with battery acid immediately with cold water.
  • Make sure batteries are securely mounted in the ATV to avoid damage from vibration.
  • Recycle old batteries properly rather than throwing them in the trash.
  • Store batteries upright in a cool, dry place and never freeze them.
  • Ensure batteries are fully charged before winter storage to prevent freezing.

 

Following basic precautions and handling instructions will help ensure safe operation and long battery life.

 

Top ATV Battery Brands

When shopping for an ATV battery, you’ll come across both major battery brands as well as more specialized ATV and powersports battery manufacturers. Here’s an overview of some of the top options to consider:

 

Odyssey

Odyssey batteries are known for their extreme durability and ability to handle repeated deep cycling. Their ATV/powersports offerings include absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries that can withstand vibrations and impacts. Odyssey uses pure lead plates and robust internal connections to optimize performance.

 

Yuasa

With over 100 years of battery experience, Yuasa is trusted by many ATV owners. They focus extensively on testing batteries under intense conditions to match real world use. Yuasa powersports batteries feature rugged polypropylene cases and enhanced plates to extend range.

 

Fullriver

Fullriver produces premium AGM batteries ideal for high performance ATV demands. Their innovative grid technology and tightly controlled manufacturing process results in batteries that can handle repeated recharges. Fullriver batteries also have excellent cold cranking ability.

 

Braille

Known for “adventure proof” batteries, Braille Engineering specializes in lithium-ion batteries for ATVs and other powersports vehicles. Their lightweight lithium batteries offer extended life cycles, instant starting power, and maintenance-free operation. Braille uses advanced battery cell connections and management systems.

 

PowerStar

PowerStar battery designs focus on maximizing cranking power and reserve capacity. They offer AGM and conventional lead-acid batteries to meet different performance needs and budgets. PowerStar batteries feature fortified lead-calcium grids and advanced separators for resilience and long service life.

 

Conclusion

Finding the right ATV battery can make all the difference in your riding experience. With the proper battery, your ATV will start right up, even in cold weather, and have plenty of reserve power for accessories. The battery finder tool in this guide simplifies the process of identifying the perfect match for your specific ATV model. Use the recommendations on battery types, sizes, cranking amps and other features to select an optimal battery for your needs. Consider a lithium-ion battery for lightweight, high-performance power or a lead-acid for affordability. Check the fitment details to ensure it fits in your particular ATV make and model. Investing in a high-quality, long-lasting battery from a reputable brand is worth the upfront cost for a dramatically better experience on the trails or worksite. Follow our tips on battery maintenance and care for maximum lifespan. Replace your ATV battery proactively instead of waiting for failure during a ride. With the right battery powering your ATV, you can focus on the freedom and adventure of the open road and trails.

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ATV Battery Q&A

The best ATV battery brands in Canada are VMAX, Odyssey, and Yuasa. VMAX batteries are popular for their high performance and reliability in cold weather. Odyssey batteries offer extreme durability and long life cycles. Yuasa produces premium ATV batteries optimized for powersports vehicles. When choosing an ATV battery in Canada, prioritize CCA (cold cranking amps), reserve capacity, and warranty coverage.

Most experts recommend an ATV battery with at least 200 CCA (cold cranking amps) for adequate starting power in cold Canadian weather. For riding in extreme cold below -18°C, choose an ATV battery with 300+ CCA. Also consider the battery’s reserve capacity, which indicates how long it can run accessories without the engine running. Choose at least 16 Ah reserve capacity for heavy accessory use.

Refer to your owner’s manual for the factory ATV battery size, typically indicated by dimensions like L x W x H. Common ATV battery sizes in Canada are 18 x 6 x 8 inches, 14 x 6 1/2 x 8 inches, and 12 x 6 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches. You can also remove your current battery and measure it or take it to the store for size matching. Ensure any replacement battery fits the same group size and terminal positions.

In ideal conditions, a quality ATV battery in Canada will last 3-5 years on average. Extreme weather, frequent deep discharges, improper charging, lack of maintenance, and manufacturing defects can shorten battery life to 1-3 years. To maximize your Canadian ATV battery lifespan, store it properly over winter, avoid draining below 50% charge, clean terminals regularly, and check electrolyte levels monthly.

The best places to buy ATV batteries in Canada are Canadian Tire, PartSource, Walmart, Princess Auto and specialized powersports dealers like Yamaha or Polaris dealers. These retailers offer good selections of batteries for most ATV makes and models, typically at the best prices. They also stock batteries capable of extreme cold weather performance.

The average price for an ATV battery in Canada ranges from $100-$250. More affordable options start around $100 from retailers like Canadian Tire and Walmart. Premium AGM and lithium batteries optimized for powersports can cost over $200 from dealers and specialty shops. Expect to pay more for high CCA ratings for extreme cold weather use.

Most average Canadian ATV riders will be happy with a good lead acid battery for half the cost of lithium. Choose lithium only if you need the extended lifespan, lightweight properties, or improved cold cranking. Lithium costs nearly twice as much but lasts over twice as long. Evaluate your budget and performance needs.

The best ATV battery brands for extreme Canadian cold are ODYSSEY, NorthStar, Motopower, and Fullriver. ODYSSEY ATV batteries feature pure virgin lead plates for impressive cold cranking as low as -40°C. NorthStar, Motopower and Fullriver also engineer batteries capable of 300+ cold cranking amps.

To maximize your Canadian ATV battery lifespan:

 

– Store battery indoors or on trickle charger when not riding over winter

– Clean terminals monthly with wire brush

– Avoid deeply discharging battery below 50%

– Check electrolyte levels and fill with distilled water as needed

– Keep battery secured to minimize vibration damage

– Recharge after every long ride

 

Proper maintenance greatly extends average ATV battery life in Canada’s extreme climate.

All quality ATV batteries sold in Canada can be safely charged with a standard automatic battery charger. However, to maximize lifespan, consider a charger specifically optimized for powersports vehicles, like the Battery Tender Plus 1.25A, OptiMATE 6V-12V, or the CTEK MXS 5.0. These maintain proper voltage levels and account for temperature changes.

Signs your ATV battery needs replacing in Canada’s climate:

 

– Fails to start machine after sitting for a few days

– Loss of cranking speed and engine RPM

– Battery casing is cracked or leaking

– Terminals are heavily corroded

– Needs frequent jump starts

– Dimming lights at low RPM

 

Catching issues early allows swapping the battery before getting stranded out on the trails.

Yes, you should store your ATV battery indoors over Canada’s cold winter months. Allow the battery to reach room temperature before charging once bringing back outdoors. Never charge an extremely cold frozen battery. Optimal storage temperature range is 15° to 25°C. Use a maintenance charger to keep the battery topped off.

Common reasons ATV batteries fail quickly in Canada’s climate:

 

– Lack of maintenance like terminal cleaning

– Infrequent riding or charging

– Extreme temperature fluctuations

– Deep discharging damage

– Heavy accessory usage

– Physical damage from vibration

– Charging issues like overcharging

 

Proper care and charging habits significantly increase average Canadian ATV battery lifespan.

Yes, when riding your ATV in higher mountain elevations expect 10-15% power loss per every 1,000 feet above sea level. Choose an ATV battery rated at least 15-20% higher than the minimum recommended CCA for the machine to maintain adequate starting capabilities. This compensates for thinner air.

The OptiMATE 6V-12V 4.5A is the best ATV battery maintainer for Canada’s extreme climate fluctuations. It provides an automatic float mode to keep batteries fully charged without risk of overcharging. It also has integrated temperature compensation and desulfation. The Deltran Battery Tender Plus and CTEK models also work very well.

Inspect all battery fluid levels monthly during the riding season, especially if riding regularly through dust or dirt. Check levels more frequently in summer’s heat. Only refill low levels with distilled or deionized water to avoid contaminants. Proper fluid levels greatly extend the average lifespan of wet cell lead-acid ATV batteries used in Canada.

The white or blue powdery corrosion that builds up on Canadian ATV battery terminals is usually zinc or calcium sulfation. It’s caused by improper charging, heat damage, additives leaching out of the battery casing or infrequent use. Clean terminals regularly with a wire brush and apply dielectric grease to prevent excessive sulfation buildup.

The most popular off-road ATV trails in Canada wind through British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario’s Muskoka region, northern Quebec’s Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and Newfoundland. Riders enjoy over 25,000 miles of managed trails offering stunning wilderness scenery from mountains to open meadows. Join a local ATV club for guided group trail rides.

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