Today’s ATVs and UTVs are not that much unlike your car or truck in that they require a battery to operate. Most every machine comes stock with a pretty decent battery that will last you for quite some time. However, just like with your car or truck, after some time, that battery will wear out. This process goes a little quicker if you have a bunch of accessories on your machine.
Winches are notorious for helping to drain a battery, especially if they are aftermarket winches that you installed yourself or had installed. This process can be hastened by bad battery locations. We know of one major manufacturer who had the battery box in a location where it could easily wind up in contact with the front drive system. This situation is leading to added wear and a battery that had to be replaced within a season. Not all aftermarket batteries are created equal, but we’re here to help. Here are our picks for the five next aftermarket replacement batteries for your ATV and UTV.
Antigravity Lithium-Ion Re-Start Batteries
When it comes time to replace your worn-out stock battery, there is something to be said for going with a Lithium-Ion battery, and it doesn’t get much better than the sweet Re-Start series from Antigravity. To start with, a L-Ion battery is going to be essentially maintenance free. Also, it’s not be subjective to as much weather issues as a traditional lead-acid battery. There is also a weight savings to be had, as the materials that make these batteries up simply weigh less than a lead-acid battery. So if you’re looking to cut some additional weight anywhere, this is a good place to do it.
The Re-Start also has a really cool feature we truly appreciate. This battery will jump start itself. Yes, you read that correctly. These batteries keep enough juice in reserve that when you go a leave something on and the battery drains down completely. Even to the point where the battery will not start the vehicle, simply push the restart button on the battery and the battery should have enough reserve power to then start the machine. We tested this battery out and found that this really does work. We left the key turned on with the headlights in an attempt to drain the battery. A push of the button and our Polaris Sportsman test machine fired right up.
The only downfall to Lithium-Ion batteries in general is that they generally aren’t recommended for running a lot of accessories. Lighting is one thing, but winches, at least according to Antigravity, are something that should be avoided. Occasional use doesn’t seem to be much of an issue in our testing, but extended use causes issues. Something to keep in mind.
Optima Powersports batteries
Optima batteries, yes the same killer batteries we run in our trucks, RVs and boats, have finally come to the ATV and UTV market. While we can get a red, blue or yellow top battery for our other vehicles, the new color for ATVs and UTVs is orange. While these batteries aren’t out quite yet at the time I’m writing this story but they will be soon. We’ve had a sneak peek at these new batteries. Everything about them is the same quality as the batteries we run in our trucks. The batteries are nearly indestructible. It have more than enough power to run not only the basic machine, but also the accessories including the winch. If these batteries perform like we expect them too, this will be one hard battery to beat in your ATV or UTV.
We recommend you pick up an Optima battery charger, too. We have had one for a while now and this is a great way to keep your batteries charged up, especially while in storage. It also serves as a battery tester, too, and we’ve found it to be extremely accurate. If you have a boat and a truck, it is a great idea to run Optima batteries in everything, and then get thone of their chargers, too. This way everything is simple when it comes to keeping your batteries working great.
We first got to know Odyssey Extreme batteries through their boating batteries. These are the tanks of the battery world in that they are overbuilt and are packing more power than you should need to run your machine. The concept is simple, and carries over from the boating world. In most fishing boats, there is the battery needed to run the motor. Also an additional battery power needed for electronics, and most boats today run a lot of electronics.
The same can be said for modern ATVs and UTVs. Especially when you add in all of the accessories like lighting, GPS systems, stereos and, yes, winches. That’s where the Odyssey comes in. These batteries have been designed to carry enough juice to run all of that in your machine and keep going for a long, long time. If you run a lot of extra in your machine, this is a battery worthy of a serious look. We like them a lot.
The biggest downfall to the Odyssey Extreme is the same for any other battery these days – they aren’t cheap. However, you’d be well advised to go with a more powerful battery up front if you are running accessories, as it will save you some stress should the stock battery fail you in the worst time. And when else would the battery fail but at a moment when you really don’t need it to?
Yuasa Lead Acid Battery – The Stock Option
Let’s say you have a basic machine that isn’t loaded down with a lot of accessories, and you just need to replace a worn-out stock battery. Also, you don’t want to spend the bucks that a more-powerful or Lithium-Ion battery would cost. There are options out there, and you can even run down to your local auto-parts store and get the right kind of battery for your machine. Yuasa batteries are used by more OEMs as the stock battery than any other battery on the market.
These are very dependable and good batteries, and we can recommend them without feeling any fear whatsoever. If the model matches up to your machine, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t cause your machine any undo issues. Because it is likely the exact same as your stock battery. The added bonus here is that being straight from Yuasa, the costs are going to be much less than buying a factory-replacement OEM battery. In most cases, it won’t void any warranty either, but be sure to read the fine print from your machine and owner’s manual on that.
With any lead-acid battery, be sure to keep up on any maintenance required to keep performance and battery life working at peak capabilities. We’ve noticed that lead-acid batteries can be affected by long periods of inactivity, and from extreme cold.
Here’s another Lithium-Ion battery option that a lot of ATV users are flocking to these days and with good reason. These batteries have a lot of power for quick starting and all of the light weight benefits of being L-Ion. But the costs aren’t as high as some other options, which is what helps get these batteries on our list. In fact, these batteries tend to run around $50 less on average than comparable options from other companies. This is a great thing if you’re looking to buy quality, yet save a few bucks. As with any Lithium-Ion battery, be sure to check with the manufacturer if you have accessories on your machine, especially a winch, to be sure that the battery is rated to handle the added load.
Added ATV battery information you need
Always have a good battery charger/tender to use during periods of inactivity with your ATV battery, even when new. This will ensure long life for the battery and save you a lot of headaches. Most tenders will give you some idea of your battery’s health, too, helping you to see if things are working like they should on your machine.
The usefulness of a good battery tester
A good electrical tester is another tool you should have, especially if you’re running any accessories on your machine. This can help you test to see if there is any power draw from your battery when the machine is turned off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a battery basically killed by a slight draw from the accessory. Winches are well known for this. If you find a draw, check and recheck all the connections to make sure that the draw isn’t from a simple loose wire somewhere. Again, this will save your battery life as well as headaches at the worst possible time. And there is never a good time for a dead battery situation.
The importance of selecting the right battery
Be sure you get the right battery. This means not only making sure the battery fits the space available for it. Also you have to know the power ratings for the machine and the accessories. Too much juice can be bad for your machine, and not enough juice can be bad for both the battery and the machine, causing your alternator/electrical system to compensate.
Getting the best battery you can for the set up you run on your machine, as well as taking the proper care for your battery will go a long way towards making your machine the most fun it can be. It seems like a simple thing, but the wrong battery can lead to ruin and break downs, leaving you sitting on the sidelines while your buddies head off down the trails on adventures you’d probably like to go on.