Re: Yuasa YB16AL-A2 Battery (Detroit Pete)
The stock battery specification considers how much current is needed for a start, the range of operating temperatures, the reserve needed for repeated starts, and the charging system capacity. A larger capacity battery will be a lot kinder to your charging system.
The principal advantage of using a larger capacity battery is to be able to restart repeatedly. When you don't ride long enough to recharge fully between restarts, a larger capacity battery is an advantage. A lower capacity battery will need to be trickle-charged more often and the chance of a deep discharge (that reduces battery life) is greater with small capacity ones. Further, a battery's capacity drops when it gets cold so when you ride in cool weather, a smaller capacity battery will have an even smaller reserve for starting at low temperatures.
Consider also, that the early pre-1998 bikes have an alternator with a lower charging current output, so they'll take longer to fully recharge the battery. A prolonged 30 amp charging current is one contributing factor to why Ducati voltage regulator/rectifiers and stator wires fail prematurely.
In 2001, the bikes were fited with a revised starter motor gear ratio that drew less current and made it possible to start the bike using a smaller battery. The starter gearing on the early bikes are not well suited to the smaller batteries.
Standard battery 1994 - 2001 model years:
Yuasa YB16AL-A2 (16 AH, 200 CCA, 11.5 lbs.)
Standard battery 2001 - model years:
Yuasa YT12B-BS (10 AH, 125 CCA, 7.6 lbs.)
On the track, weight reduction is more important than these other considerations so the weight-saving battery-of-choice is the sealed and non-spillable AGM maintenance-free Yuasa YTZ7S. It's the same size as the later-year stock battery. The weight saving it offers is probably equivalent to $1000 in carbon fiber replacement parts, and about $3000 in titanium exhaust pipes and fasteners.
Yuasa YTZ7S (6 AH, 130 CCA, 4.6 lbs.)
On the street, reliable operation is of a higher concern to most of us, so consider the following maintenance-free batteries:
Fiamm-GS F19-12B (19 AH, 200 CCA)
GS Battery GT12B-4 (12 AH, 200 CCA, 10 lbs.)
Yuasa YTZ12S (11 AH, 210 CCA, 10 lbs.)
Power Source WP22-12B-4 (10 AH, 220 CCA, 15.5 lbs.)
Odyssey PC680MJ (19 AH, 280 CCA, 14.7 lbs.) (dry cell technology, my personal choice)
I installed a Odyssey PC680MJ in my 916 in May 2001. Stlll going strong.
Here’s a couple of sources: