One of the most common replacements needed for any vehicle is its battery. This is something that tends to lose its charging ability every few years and is just an expected expense of owning and using your ATV (similar to owning and using a car).
Are ATV batteries 6v or 12v? The most common label size of an ATV battery is 12v with sizes also (occasionally) coming in 6v and 24v depending on the ATV needs. The actual voltage of a 12v battery is usually between 12.6v and 12.8 – and can go all the way to 13.1 volts.
This is a great general rule of thumb, but, of course, with any general rules, there are always exceptions and nuances. ATV batteries can be more complex than just a voltage.
It is important to check with the make and model of your ATV to ensure that you are using what is appropriate for your vehicle. Continue reading to learn more about ATV batteries so that you can ensure you are using what is best for your favorite ride.
Most Common Types of ATV Batteries
ATV batteries vary about as much as any type of batteries. Just like cars, you will find that many batteries that look similar offer similar components. The most important concept to understand is that there are two major types of ATV batteries: conventional (flooded) batteries and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.
Conventional (Flooded) Batteries
Conventional (flooded) batteries are the most standard batteries on ATVs. They get the name “flooded” because the plates are covered in distilled water. There are removable caps, so you regularly inspect the water levels and refill as needed in order to keep your battery operating at full capacity. This will ensure longevity and efficiency for your ATV.
Conventional batteries are going to be a lot more affordable than absorbed glass mat batteries, but they are also going to be prone to experiencing more issues.
Due to the nature of ATV riding (jolts, turns, bumps, etc.), conventional batteries are prone to leaks. The caretaking of them is a lot more intense (with included monitoring and refilling), and they are less durable than AGM batteries.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries are also known as “maintenance-free” batteries. These ATV batteries have closed caps, and instead of the water that is traditionally inside of flooded batteries, they have fiberglass pads around the cells of the battery. The pads are responsible for taking care of the acid that forms on the battery.
AGM batteries are going to be the top pick for most ATV enthusiasts. While they are a bit more expensive up-front than conventional batteries, they come with a lot of benefits. Most users find that these benefits pay off not only financially but in the long-term satisfaction in using them on their ATVs.
The first benefit that most users report is that there is no maintenance for this type of ATV battery- they are good to go, and you never have to worry about water levels or spillage regardless of how rough or smooth your ATV ride is.
On top of this, they are made in a more durable, shock-absorbing way that allows them to hold together longer when riding on trails and doing climbs.
For experienced and adventurous ATV riders, using an AGM battery is the way to go. Of course, you will need to ensure that your ATV can use this type of battery, but as long as it can then you are good. You will likely find that the initial purchasing cost yields a higher cost-benefit analysis for ensuring a highly satisfactory purchase.
Here’s a quick video example showing the ATV battery types.
Most Common ATV Batteries
As mentioned above, the most common size of ATV battery is going to be a 12v battery. AGM 12v batteries are commonly going to sit between 12.5v and 13.1 (on the high end). If you ever dip below 12.5v, then you should talk to a specialist about your battery.
With this in mind, I wanted to list some of the most common, and best batteries for your ATV. Hopefully, you can use this list to help ensure the best and most appropriate purchase for your vehicle. Of course, you can always speak with a specialist or someone who works at a local ATV sales shop to provide more information and resources on where to buy the best battery for your ATV.
Yuasa is one of the leading manufacturers for ATV batteries. Their products are high-quality and durable making them a great choice for your new ATV battery. One of the top features about this is its safe fill feature for emptying the acid. This is an absorbed glass mat battery as opposed to a conventional battery option for your ATV.
The Yuasa YUAM620BH found here on Amazon, is the top recommended battery for cost vs performance.
On top of the safety features, there are also many people who have had this type of battery last them 10+ years. That is certainly on the long end of any vehicle, but, particularly for an ATV battery, this is impressive. The up-front cost is pretty reasonable, too, at around $100 depending on the site of sale.
The ThrottleX MX30L (link to Amazon) is going to be the most expensive on the list – but for good reason. These are solid batteries, and while marketed primarily for motorcycles, they fit and work wonderfully in ATVs. When I first used this battery, it was amazing how much more power it felt like I had as compared to the stock battery.
Maybe it was just due to the other battery being old, but I think this batter is a perfect step up for anyone taking ATV riding more seriously. For me, using this absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery was well worth its cost in the power it provided as well as the safety and maintenance-free qualities and contributions.
We consider the Odyssey PC545 (link to Amazon) essentially a step down from the ThrottleX listed above. If you are looking for a solid upgrade that still gets your ATV cranking harder than any big box store battery – this will be your battery.
It has specs to match any of the best, and while a bit on the pricier side, it is worth the investment to have a battery that will last and keep your ATV running at its full potential. This is another absorbed glass mat (AGM) model that has spill-proof technology enabling a safe and easy-to-maintain battery experience.
If you are looking for a more affordable option for your ATV that still outperforms many of the common store brands, look no further than this option. The Weize YTX20L-BS (link to Amazon) is a solid ATV battery that will replace (and probably outperform) your last battery. This is especially the case as it is another absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery option that is maintenance-free and easy to install.
While it is not the most powerful ATV battery included on this list, it is definitely a great option to get a solid battery at an affordable cost. The only downside to this option is that the wiring was a bit more difficult to install, but that could simply be due to the ATV I was attaching it to as opposed to the battery itself, it’s tough to say.
Can I Swap 12v and 6v Battery in my ATV?
I have been reading on forums that some people’s first (original) battery is running out of charge and they are not positive about what to do to resolve this issue. One of the things I saw asked about was switching a 6v battery for a 12v. It was not clear exactly which way they were going to do (replacing a 6v with 12v, or vice versa), but I am going to talk about both.
Can you swap a 12v battery with a 6v battery on your ATV? When it comes to using a 12v battery in a vehicle intended for 6v, it’s not recommended. If you are trying to use a 6v battery for a 12v vehicle, this will not work by itself, you will have to wire two 6v batteries in series to a 12v vehicle.
In essence, you need to make sure that the batteries you are using have enough voltage to power the ATV that you are attempting to drive. Modifying a 12v battery to work for a vehicle intended for a 6v would mean that you are intentionally overpowering the vehicle which can come with some risks. However, using a 6v battery for a 12v vehicle would be like using one AA battery on a toy that requires two- it simply is not enough to power the vehicle for operation.