Whether gel or lead acid, you’d be lucky to get more than two years use from them, but I’m trying with a new gel.

Like everyone, I try to squeeze as much life out of my purchases as I can, especially here in Argentina, but no matter how much TLC I give my bike batteries, they always give up the ghost after 18 months. I once managed to stretch one out to 2 years, but that must have been a fluke. This, in spite of me checking the fluid levels religiously and not leaving the ignition on etc.

If kept in a charged state when unused, the common lifespan of a 12-volt Gel or AGM battery is up to six years. After five or six years of float voltage at an average ambient temperature of 25 ºC, the battery still retains 80 % of its original capacity.

Not being a cold country, one would expect them to last longer since batteries hate the cold, but that’s not the case. Anyway, by the time you’ve run out of friends to push you or you it simply becomes so much of a pain in the rear, it’s time to bit the bullet and buy a new one.

What’s always surprised is how much cranking power you can get out of something so small.