Four tried and true ways to hide a motorcycle battery

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A popular trend today is to make a motorcycle appear clean and minimalist. Sometimes the bulkiness of a motorcycle can be a bit unwelcomed if you’re not into that look, so it’s no wonder many are trying to clean up their bikes a little bit.

It can be difficult to clean the battery on a motorcycle. It’s a vital component to a motorcycle, but they’re so big and awkward and can often be an eye sore if it’s put in the wrong place.

How can you conceal a battery on a motorcycle? If you are wanting to hide your motorcycle battery, your options include laying the battery flat on it’s side on the rear swing arm, mounting it in a battery box under the rear swing arm, placing it under the seat in a battery box, or replacing the air box with pod filters and placing the battery where the air box was.

Through the motorcycle restorations I have done, I’ve been able to find the best places to hide motorcycle batteries to give it a sleek look. These places are safe for your motorcycle and you, not only do they improve the look.

How to conceal a Motorcycle Battery

If you are going for the minimalist look and are trying to clean out the inside of the frame (which is a feature a lot of bobbers, trackers, and cafe racers have), then hiding the battery is one of the hurdles you’re going to have to jump over. They’re big and bulky and not necessarily something you want to look at.

While I was in college, I began to flip motorcycles into cafe racers. Cafe racers are very minimalistic, so I often had to spend time cleaning up the frames and finding creative ways to store the battery.

There are many places where you can put your battery, without it affecting the functionality of your motorcycle or its performance. The first option you have is laying it flat/on it’s side on top of the rear swing arm.

The rear swingarm is located by the rear tire. This is where the center (or axle) of the rear-wheel is connected to a rectangular piece which goes up and connects it with the frame (see below). I normally used metal plumber’s tape to fasten it to the rear swing arm.

This restoration was my own. I hidden the battery on the top of the rear swingarm.

Please note that you should only lay the battery on it’s side on the swing arm if you have a sealed battery. Unsealed batteries are not allowed to be used in this manner. They will leak. We will cover this more later.

Mounting the battery beneath the rear swing arm is another option. It may sound a bit weird, but I’ve actually done this many times myself on a lot of my motorcycle restorations. I made a custom bent sheet metal battery box and attached it to the rear swing arm.

I then placed the battery in the custom made battery box that was fastened to the frame with metal plumber’s tape. Next, I ran the cables under the motorcycle. After the battery was installed, there was still ample space between the road to the battery. If you opt for this option, ensure you have enough clearance underneath your motorcycle.

A second option is to place your battery underneath the seat. To do this, you’ll probably need to get a smaller battery to get it to fit underneath there. You’ll need to build a custom battery box to do this (again, you can use sheet metal like I’ve done which can be easily done within an hour or two).

A lithium ion battery can be purchased and placed underneath the rear seat cushion hump. You can purchase small lithium ion battery packs so this will be easy. You can run the cables and wiring underneath the seat and tuck them in there nicely so you won’t be able to see any wires at all.

As another option for older motorcycles, it’s possible to take out the air box and place the battery where the air box was. This is where the battery will rest flush with the engine. If you do this, you’ll need to replace your air box with high quality pod filters.

A complete video series has been created about how to repair a motorcycle. This video series will show you how to conceal and mount your motorcycle batteries. It also includes detailed instructions that will help you achieve the clean look you want. We also provide detailed instructions on how you can rebuild carbs, tackle bodywork, or deal with electricity. Click here if you’re interested in building your dream motorcycle!

The Best Unsealed Battery Options

As I had mentioned before, sometimes hiding a motorcycle battery can be difficult if you have an unsealed battery because you cannot lay it on it’s side due to leaking possibilities. It is possible to hide an unsealed bike battery.

You can place your motorcycle battery on the top of the rear swing arm if you need to keep it upright. You’ll generally have several pieces of frame (at least two pieces) that connect right there. There is metal in the way of the side profile view so it will still hide your battery nicely, even if it’s standing upright.

It’s important you understand what kind of battery you have so you can place it in the best spot possible. Putting the wrong battery on it’s side could potentially ruin your battery as well as parts of your motorcycle. To learn more about placing your motorcycle battery on it’s side, see my article here.

How to hide your battery while you conceal the wires

If you are planning on placing your battery in a place other than where it was designated to be on your motorcycle, you’ll likely need to make some other accommodations to your motorcycle to make it work. Most of the times, however, these accommodations can be made easily.

When you move your battery, you’re probably going to have to lengthen several wires. This usually isn’t a problem. You just need to get some donor wire and cut any extra slack needed. Finally, you can splice the wire onto the existing wire.

To splice the wire, you’ll need to take the insulation off both wires, solder the two pieces together, and put heat shrink over the solder so water can’t get to it. Next, cover the connection using electrical tape.

You’ll likely need to get longer battery cables. Instead of trying to make them longer by splicing them, I suggest you just get new longer cables. These cables can be purchased at any auto shop for an affordable price.

Adding extra slack in the wires means you’ll have a lot of extra wires hanging around. If you’re looking for the minimalist look, having wires everywhere probably isn’t the look you’re going for. Luckily there are ways to hide the wiring as well so your accommodations to moving your battery don’t have to look messy.

My best method of hiding the wiring is to wrap them in electrical tape and run them along the frame. There are a lot of ways you can connect the wiring to the frame, but I usually used occasional zip ties in places you can’t easily see (use zip ties the same color as your frame). Then, I hided a large chunk of the wiring beneath the seat. See my article for more information about hiding motorcycle wiring.

Are Batteries necessary?

A common question I’ve heard among motorcycle enthusiasts is if they even need a battery at all. This would eliminate the need to conceal the battery.

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. If you have a small enough engine (anything at 250 CC’s or smaller), there are ways to rewire your motorcycle straight from the stator to other components.

A small engine is not enough. This will only work if there is a kickstarter. You can run all your lights and other equipment from your stator, then use the kickstarter to start your engine. This was something a college friend did. He took out the battery and was able move around fine.

You will face some challenges. If the motorcycle isn’t on, your lights, horn, and blinkers will not work. You could end up being dangerous if your broken-down motorcycle goes dark. Your lights will also dimmer the faster you ride your motorcycle. However, the faster you go, the brighter and more intense your lights will be.

Related Question

How long can a motorcycle be left on its battery before it dies? The average motorcycle battery will die after 2 – 4 months without running. Newer batteries can last longer with an average of 3 – 5 months until dying whereas older batteries will not last as long giving it an average of 1 – 3 months. You can click here to read my article.

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