Motorcycle Battery Not Charging While Running

dead motorcycle

As a rider, you can come across situations when you will find your motorcycle battery not charging while running or the charge of your battery draining up even when you are riding. This might be a big problem especially if you do not know what exactly is the problem.

A motorcycle charging system involves multiple components and concepts that make it rung smoothly. The battery terminals, ignition switch, battery voltage, and battery life are inter-connected. A trickle charger is often useful for the motorcycle charging system but a dead battery needs to be replaced. There are many possibilities like poor ground connection and damaged negative battery terminal of the motorcycle battery. A damaged stator connector of the motorcycle can also affect the actual voltages of the bike’s charging system. A stator resistance should be installed for optimal functions. Corroded battery terminals also damage the performance of the motorcycles. Actual voltages measures for a bike battery is reflected as AC voltage. A voltage regulator keeps a check on the meter leads of the battery power. The voltage output or the charging voltage will show a voltage drop for a bad battery.

Today, most modern motorcycles are designed in a way that they would not even start if there is any problem with the functionalities of the battery. Whilst it is the alternator that charges your battery while your bike is running, there are a few other reasons why your bike’s battery might not be charging while riding.

Here are a few reasons why your motorcycle battery might not be charging even when you are riding your bike…

5 Reasons Why a Motorcycle Battery is Not Charging While Running

  1. The Battery is Dying (Old and no longer functions properly)
  2. The Alternator is Not Working
  3. The Regulator-Rectifier is Damaged
  4. A Fuse has got Blown
  5. Broken or Loose Wires in the Circuit

The Battery is Dead

When I say the battery is dying, I don’t mean the battery is dead/flat. Instead, I’m referring to an old battery that is no longer functioning properly. If your battery is not charging or there is a problem with its charge, first you need to consider whether your battery is old and is affecting its ability to keep a charge. If the charge is getting drained pretty quickly and your bike struggles to take a start, most probably you have a dead battery in hand.

In such a case, it becomes important for you to get a good quality battery from a reputed service center at the earliest.

This might happen when your battery gets old and stops performing effectually over time due to continuous usage or sometimes due to excessive heat exposure leading to damage of battery cells. Most motorcycle batteries have an expected life span of 2-3 years under normal circumstances.

Once the battery is dead, you are left with no alternatives other than replacing the dead one with a new one.

The Alternator is Not Working

If your battery is in a good condition and it is getting charged while the bike is stationary, but the charge is draining when you start riding, then there might be a problem with your alternator.

In such a case, you need to get your alternator checked from a service center as soon as possible.

An alternator is responsible for generating electrical power for all the electrical devices in your motorcycle and if it stops working, your battery will not be able to take charge and you will find yourself stranded on the road.

A bad or damaged alternator is incapable of generating the required amount of electrical energy from the motorcycle’s mechanical energy. As a result, no electric charge gets generated to be stored in the battery as energy.

If you find your bike getting jumpstarted without a problem but having a problem in storing up the charge, then you can be certain that there’s nothing wrong with the battery of your bike but what you are dealing with is a damaged alternator.

The Regulator-Rectifier is Damaged

Another reason why your motorcycle battery might not be charging while running can be a problem with the regulator-rectifier.

The regulator-rectifier is responsible for controlling the flow of electricity in your bike. It converts the AC current generated in the alternator to the DC current that is eventually passed on to the battery to be stored as a charge.

If this component gets damaged, then most probably you will face problems with charging your battery.

If you have already checked the battery and it’s all good along with the alternator, then probably the alternator is doing its job of generating the current but your regulator-rectifier is failing in converting the current.

Now, the regulator-rectifier is a complex electrical circuit of the motorcycle, and therefore, when it gets damaged it’s better you take your bike to a certified and reputed dealer to fix the issue.

A Fuse Has Got Blown

Fuses are small components that protect electrical circuits from the possible damages caused by high voltage or electric current. If there is a short circuit somewhere in between an electrical wire, then it might blow off the fuse leading to problems in switching on the motorcycle’s headlight or changing gears at certain speeds.

If any of these functionalities has got stuck, then you can be sure that there’s some problem with the fuse and you need to get it checked immediately.  

However, when dealing with fuses, always remember to replace one which has blown with a new one that has the exact rating – not anything higher or lower because even a negligible difference in the rating can again result in a short circuit situation in your bike.

Broken or Loose Wires in the Circuit

Lastly, another common reason why your motorcycle battery might not be charging is damaged or broken wires in the electrical circuit.

If you find any broken or loose wire in your bike, then it is highly recommended that you get them fixed by a professional as soon as possible. Damaged wires can cause short circuits and can even lead to a fire hazard if not taken care of in time.

If there is damaged or loose wiring in the electrical circuit of your motorcycle, your motorcycle might show signs of erratic behavior like sudden switching off of your headlamps or taillamps and these erratic symptoms result in your battery losing all its charge eventually.

So, better you take notice as early as possible and instead of dealing with the complex wire system all by yourself, you should get your bike to a reputed service center to fix the issue.

Can a Dead Motorcycle Battery Cause the Engine to Die When Accelerating?

A dead motorcycle battery is one of the common motorcycle engine problems when accelerating. If the battery lacks power, it cannot provide the necessary electrical energy to spark the engine, resulting in a sudden halt during acceleration. Regular battery maintenance, such as checking the charging system and ensuring proper connections, can help avoid this frustrating situation.


These were some of the reasons why your motorcycle battery might not be charging while running. If you have checked all the possible things that could be wrong with your bike and none of them seems to be the culprit, then it’s probably time you take your bike to a certified service center for a proper diagnosis.

Remember, electrical problems in a motorcycle should not be taken lightly and should always be fixed by a professional.

About The Author

daniel and sarah on motorcycle

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