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Old 05-01-2012, 07:29 PM
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Question Feedback on LITHIUM BATTERY on your Bike? (eg. Shorai or Ballistic)

Guys looks like I need a new battery on my 1098 (Year 2008). Call up the dealer, they have OEM battery for $132 which requires charging periodically.

Dealer quoted $200 for Lithium Battery (eg. Shorai or Ballistic). Says these type of batteries requires NO charging.

May I ask if any of you have used these Lithium batteries on your bike? Does it really requires no charging (on battery tender)?

Thank you in advance for your feedback! :-)

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Old 05-01-2012, 08:21 PM
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Lipo's have a long shelf life without charging. I have a Speedcell in my RC51 and every winter, I let the battery sit on a piece of wood in my unheated garage. I've had it three years (came with the bike, so who knows how old it really is), and it fires up every spring. I've run it down a few times during maintenance on the bike (they don't last long), and I've just hit it with some 2A juice from my charger and it's back to normal in an hour or so. Ballistic are great batteries, but you need to have a special charger for them, I believe. I've heard stuff about needing RC battery chargers, or the Ballistic charger.

The dealer telling you that their OEM battery requires periodic charging is probably meaning that if you let it sit all winter, it'll need to be plugged into a trickle charger. If you ride your bike even semi- regularly and don't have any electrical issues, a conventional lead acid battery will hold its charge.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:12 AM
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A high quality AGM lead-acid battery will not self-discharge for months. What drains the battery is usually the bike itself will have small drains that slowly reduce the voltage and the CCA. This is what makes a trickle charger a necessity during loing periods of inactivity.

Basically if you leave the bike sitting with the battery attched for long periods of time it will drain either a Li or Pb-acid battery.

The Lithium will be much lighter and cost at least twice as much. They can also be more delicate with respect to recharging. It is up to you to decide if it is worth the weight savings. For bikes that use larger 17 amp-hr or 20 amp-hr batteries this really could be a substantial amount of weight, a few pounds. On a weight saved per dollar basis, it could actually be more cost-effective than swapping out for carbon fiber bits or magnesium parts.

While Lithium is a very common element in the Earth's crust and therefore should be abundant, there are only a few companies that actually refine it. There are also only about three manufacturers making commercial cells that are widely available worldwide. This is why all these Li batteries look and perform about the same. They just buy the cells and assemble the battery in their unique packaging.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:30 AM
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LIPO batteries can be stored all winter and will not discharge like a lead acid battery. Disconnect the battery if not in use for extended periods of time. Buy the battery with quick disconnects. They work great. Store the battery in the cold preferably. After 4 months or more, it will start your bike no problem.
DO NOT charge a LIPO with a trickle charger.
You can find tons of information on these batteries on the net.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:21 PM
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Own a Skyrich. Seems to be a good product, with a strong and constant over 13 volts tension, for several months. Lithium batteries seem not to be affected by self-discharge.


There will soon be a Tecmate Optimate "Lithium", the TM-291. It should be available this month.


Lithium is the way to go, even if it is far more expensiv. Lead/acid is past. I wonder why Yuasa doesn't propose now a Lihium range...
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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Because they are still having some teething problems with Lithium batteries. Just like conventional lead acid batteries they don't always work like they are supposed to, but I am willing to bet the failure rate is higher.

I've only had maybe 2 lead acid batteries go bad on me in my entire life in a time frame that I thought was premature. I have had 2 out of 5 Lithium motorcycle batteries fail now in the last couple years (from different brands) Ultimately I don't think the Lithium technology is as suited to the needs of a street going motorcycle as they claim. In my experience these Li batteries are designed for well maintained race only machines that start easily with the quick push of a button. They are not designed for extended cold natured cranking in between sessions of powering on your headlights, taillights and whatever. Basically they give a rally hard initial voltage hit and then they start to drop off. If you roll into a convenience store & turn off your kill switch, but leave the key on for 45 seconds (or more) draining the battery to run your lights you may not get out out of that gas station on your own power...
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:41 PM
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I only deal with LIfepO4 batteries. I don't know about other kind of lithium powered batteries.


There is "lead acid batteries" and "lead acid batteries".

For one battery from a good brand (GS, Yuasa, President etc..) sold, there is nine crap "dead within a year" sold.

Furthermore, the overall reliability of lead acid batteries has dropped, IMO and in my experience too. I work in the motorcycle part business and i witness this quality drop, especially on big batteries (YT14 and YTX14, even Yuasa's).
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gladiateur View Post
There is "lead acid batteries" and "lead acid batteries".

For one battery from a good brand (GS, Yuasa, President etc..) sold, there is nine crap "dead within a year" sold.

Furthermore, the overall reliability of lead acid batteries has dropped, IMO and in my experience too. I work in the motorcycle part business and i witness this quality drop, especially on big batteries (YT14 and YTX14, even Yuasa's).

I'm not so sure it is an actual quality issue... I have noticed the trend you are referring to, but I am thinking it is more because of the additional current these newer bikes pull on the battery when they bikes are both on & off. We've got BMW riders with PIAA lights all over the place, heated grips etc and of course the current Duc's are notorious for killing batteries in record time from their flashing dash lights & electronics etc while the bike is sitting.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:15 PM
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I have two lithium batteries. One is a 8 cell Speedcell that I bought about two and a half years ago. I have never charged it or removed it from my bike. It is in my track day bike and sits all winter in an unheated garage. In the spring I just hit the button and it fire right up. It has been in my Ducati SS 1000 DS and now in my 916. It has never failed to start the bikes and even done so on 30 degree mornings at the track after sitting outside all night.

The other battery is an 8 cell Alien Motion battery that looks just like the Ballistic batteries. I have had it six months. I put it into my Paul Smart LE and it would not start the bike. I put it on my Cteck charger and after about a half hour it started the bike. I have since had this same problem three times and each time after charging it fired right up. Now it seems to be OK. It is almost like I had to break in the battery. I have done all day rides on it and it has never failed to start the bike out on the ride even when dealing with the initial problems.

The Speedcell cost me around $250 the Alien Motion $97.

On the Alien Motion web site they have their own charger and the instructions say you need to charge it at 14.4 volts and they list charging times at 5 and 10 amps. A lot higher than a standard lead acid battery would tolerate.

Jim
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:13 AM
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Been using an MOTY Design 8 cell on my RC for about a year now. Works fantastically well. Only 1.4lbs
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDMA View Post
Been using an MOTY Design 8 cell on my RC for about a year now. Works fantastically well.
Whoopy! Call me in seven years.

I totally agree with LDH. Teething problems. I'm not racing, so when they're a bit more reliable and cost under a hundred bucks I'm in.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:50 PM
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I won't even have the bike in 7 years. But really, your speculation is adorable.

Oh, and for those interested. Found 8 cells for 90$ http://www.alienmotion.com/html/prod...batteries.html


Lastly, I saw a youtube vide (be happy to find it) of a guy testing an 8 Cell LI battery by cranking it for several seconds 10+ times in a row. No problems. I ride my bike frequently and have done a lot of starting and stopping in that time. But hey, be my guest if you wanna keep those several extra pounds.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:39 PM
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I put a Ballistix battery on my 06 K1200s about 6 months ago and ride it almost daily. Never a single issue, the big motor turns over instantly.

My justification was how else can you spend 200$ and shed 10 pounds off of your bike! Oh and I got a good battery out of it also. I did have to be creative about hooking it up as the battery is much smaller and my cables on the bike are ridiculously short.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:12 AM
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He was having trouble starting the bike without a new battery.
Help! 2008 1098 won't start (Engine Oil Pressure Lights ON)
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:15 AM
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I was asking 3Ducks. Curious if an 8 would turn the big beemer over.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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Shorai's work great... in fact they're the opposite of a normal battery. On a normal battery when it's cold, the more you crank it the weaker it gets. With a LiPO4 the more you crank it the stronger it gets. Bike's don't have a lot of power hungry systems in most cases the battery is literally only there to start it, and once its started the alternator makes enough juice to power everything else. A lot of track bikes run batteryless, full loss systems for weight.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:59 PM
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I am very happy with the shorai on my 916. It don't seem to like starting when its colder then 68deg though. It has trouble getting the 12.5:1 pistons over top dead center on the first revolution. But after 1 or 2 tries it fires right up. When cold, once or twice I did hook it to the shorai charger for a couple min's and that seemed to give it the extra oomph it needed. 99% of the time it works grate so far. I have been using the 2.2lb one since the end of last season. 3500-4000mi
-never charged it yet - only on the charger a couple times for 5 min when cold.

I love it, truthfully if it needed to be replaced every season, I would do it without hesitation just for the 10lb weight loss.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:15 PM
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We've used lightweight batteries on allof our project bikes for years. Starting with the YTZ7S, Odyssey 310 to the Speedcell ( and many other A123 batteries) and now the Shorai.

Since I've made the switch, I have never been stranded with a dead battery.

We've sold and used thousands of lightweight batteries over the years and have found the Shorai prismatic Lithium Ferrous (LiFe) battery to be the most durable, safe and dependable so far. Shorai also has a fantastic warranty.

Lightweight bikes are a lot of fun to ride on the street or track--and you have to start somewhere. Most of our own project bikes are 70-80 lbs lighter than stock - and they are completely different to ride than a stock bike.
But if the only thing you are doing is installing a lightweight battery, it might not be the most important choice as it will hardly be noticeable on its own. However if you have bigger plans for your bike, the small premium you pay for a light battery is worthwhile as you can not get that type of weight savings by buying carbon, titanium or magnesium.

The Shorai like other LiFe batteries will give you more starting power but less reserve capacity for those times that you forget to turn off the key and leave the bikes lights on. If you have voltage regulator issues, you will know right away.

We found the Shorai to be more reliable and safer than the cylindrical based A123 batteries that we have used in the past. The Shorai is light years better than the small drycell YTZ7S or the Odyessy 310 that we used before on our projects. The Lithium Iron batteries are all less maintenace than conventional batteries and don't require a tender unless you have a draw on the battery when parked.

But that said, you have to treat all LiFe batteries different.
You need to be aware of the smaller reserve capacity. You also can't crank on the LiFe batteries until they die completely because they will overheat and sometimes vent hot fluid. The A123 based batteries had problems with this. The Shorai has a fused link that will sacrifice the battery rather than your bike. For this reason, it is very important to choose the correct battery for your application when using LiFe batteries.
We always recomend the biggest battery that will fit.

For bikes that have ANY draw on it at all, I would get a Shorai Dedicated Battery Management System . Little 1.5 amp Battery Tenders do little or nothing at all and may actually damage the batteries. If the batteries are run down complately, use a Shorai charger or any 6amp or greater charger to bring it back.

The lightweight batteries are not for everyone. I have 8 bikes outfitted with LiFe batteries and have had no problems - but I know how to take care of them. If you are the type that wants to install the battery and forget about it, if you're concerned about the cost or don't care about light weight or better starting performance- get a conventional battery.

The Life batteries are not the final answer for everyone. Just like a your decision to buy a Ducati, you need to know going into it that the LiFe batteries are different than a traditional lead acid.

-M
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:25 PM
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Lots of good info their MOTO. Getting ready to get a Shorai for my track RC.
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