What the Numbers and Letters on a Battery Mean (motorcycle battery part numbers)

This post contains a breakdown of maintenance free, gel and lead acid motorbike battery part numbers.
The motorcycle battery part numbers are commonly used examples of motorcycle battery part numbers with a brief explanation of what the letters and numbers mean.

Maintenance free batteries

Battery reference (YTX12-BS) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
T Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
X High performance battery
12 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
 
B Type of terminal or supplied with acid bottle
S Sealed battery or supplied with acid bottle
Battery reference (YTX14L-BS) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
T Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
X High performance battery
14 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
L Polarity location (which way round the terminals go)
 
B Type of terminal or supplied with acid bottle
S Sealed battery or supplied with acid bottle

Gel filled batteries

Battery reference (YTZ12-S) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
T Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
Z High performance battery
12 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
 
S Polarity location (which way round the terminals go) and configuration
Battery reference (YT7B-4) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
T Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
7 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
B  
 
4 Polarity location (which way round the terminals go) and configuration
Battery reference (YT7B-BS) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
T Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
7 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
B  
 
B Type of terminal or supplied with acid bottle
S Sealed battery or supplied with acid bottle

12 Volt lead acid batteries

Battery reference (YB16AL-A2) What the reference means
YB Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
16 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
A Indicates a different size of the same capacity battery
L Polarity location
 
A Location of the opening for the venting exhaust
2 Type of terminal
Battery reference (Y50-N18L-A2) What the reference means
Y Manufacturers mark, different manufacturers use different letters
50 Cranking or starting power (higher number means more power)
 
N Vented type battery
18 Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output)
L Polarity location
 
A Location of the opening for the venting exhaust
2 Type of terminal
Battery reference (12N12A-4A-1) What the reference means
12 Battery voltage
N Vented type battery
12 Battery capacity at a 10 hour rate
A Indicates a different size of the same capacity battery
 
4 Polarity location
A Location of the opening for the venting exhaust
 
1 Type of terminal

6 Volt lead acid batteries

Battery reference (6N2-2A-1) What the reference means
6 Battery voltage
N Vented type battery
2 Battery capacity at a 10 hour rate
 
2 Polarity location
A Location of the opening for the venting exhaust
 
8 Type of terminal

Maintenance free battery

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5 thoughts on “What the Numbers and Letters on a Battery Mean (motorcycle battery part numbers)”

  1. On the side of the motorbike battery next to the chemical signs are lettering and 2 numbers..what do they mean.

  2. Do batteries with the same #s come in different sizes? My suzuki s32 calls for a 12 10ah , would this work?
    Weight 7.50
    Amp Hour Capacity 12
    Length 5.9
    Width 3.4
    Height 5.1
    Polarity |+||||||-|
    Manufacturer Apex Battery
    UPC 722589456220
    Apex_sku APX12-BS
    CCA 180
    Condition New
    Volts 12

      1. I’m NOT a Pro. , This is just my opinion.
        The answer to “Do batteries with the same #s come in different sizes?” = Yes you can get batteries of the same CCA and Volts in different sizes.

        Having gone through a lot of this myself I know of 3 things matter a lot – The Size, the (2) Digit in the Middle (example 12, 14, 16) and the CCA.
        The 2 Digit in the middle (12, 14, 16, etc.) = Indication of performance level of battery (lower numbers equal lower power output).

        Those 2 middle digits and the CCA (CCA = to or higher) are what you want to look for keep with the bikes needs.
        One trick I discovered for my situation was finding another bike that does take the battery I’m looking for.

        I had to do a lot of research for my bike do to the battery it calls for not being made any longer.
        Not sure if they went out of business or what but there is no battery of the type in my manual to be found.
        Strangely, Putting in the battery number that was in the manual did not bring up any batteries equal to it.

        Another problem was that 90% of all the Motorcycle site I went to listed the wrong (size) battery for my bike.
        There’s were too big (if you want to check that out go to bike sites and put in 1999 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500E)
        I measured my battery box and it is “6.2 side to side x 3.42 front to back x 5.8 tall before being too close to the seat.
        My shop manual says (L:6 in., (W:3 7⁄16 in., H:5 3⁄4 in.) or (150 L, 87 W, 145 H) = Correct
        Most MC Site’s list it as (Length:6″ x Width:3-7/16″ x Height:6-3/8″)or(151mm L, 87mm W, 161mm H). = Incorrect (Too Tall)

        Very few Sites had the right size (but there were a couple that did).
        Finding the right size with the CCA in the ball park wasn’t easy.

        This link is a good chart on what things mean.
        https://www.whitedogbatteries.com/wdblg/battery-part-no/#more-55

        I had little to no idea of what I was doing the 1st time and got a (12) it worked but lasted 2 years and wasn’t as strong starting as it is now.
        The 2nd time I learned a few things but still screwed up and got a (14).
        Which is still in it and It works good and strong but shortly after using it I found a 16 (of the correct size) which is what it supposed to be.

        Hope this helps some.

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