Lithium batteries again.... | GTAMotorcycle.com

Lithium batteries again....

jc100

Well-known member
I think my OEM Yuasa glass mat battery is on its way out. Had to boost the bike this morning (surprisingly it was fine all day after that though). It’s been on the bike for 4 years and on a tender every winter.

Anyhoo....looking at replacement batteries and doing some reading and I’m a little confused. I could just replace the battery with the OEM but that battery has always struggled to turn over the 1300 cc twin on my bike. Same on user forums, the battery is just big enough to do the job. So, I wouldn’t mind a bit more cranking power. Hence looking at Li batteries that have higher CCA for the same size battery (or even smaller. There’s also the weight saving but that’s just a side bonus, that’s not my main aim here.

Anyway, looking at blurb and reading articles from various people it seems that only a few of the lithium batteries come with all the protections in place for modern bike charging systems. Things like overload protection, cell balancing, overcharge protection etc. One of these is the EarthX brand and this one may be the only one that has a similar capacity (not CCA, that’s different) to the OEM battery. However, this thing is an eye popping $450 CDN for the battery for my bike. I think that’s out of whack since the OEM is $150 and a Shorai lithium is $250.

So, the question is, do I need all the (advertised) bells and whistles of the EarthX battery, or is a Shorai lithium, or antigravity lithium battery just as safe? Will my bike magically burst into flames if the bike system tries to overcharge it etc. Bike is a 2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure. I know plenty of people have used many different Li batteries without issue but I wanted to check specifically with regards to modern bikes and modern charging management systems.
 

TK4

Well-known member
Lithium batteries can get very, very hot in certain applications - worth taking the chance ?
Not for me, but other opinions may differ.
 
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jc100

Well-known member
Thanks. Yes, I’d been reading about that too and my bike can run hot under the seat and maybe make that worse. I’ve also just read a bunch of reviews on Revzilla stating not to buy if you’re in a cold climate. Shorai's advice is to switch a bunch of things on, wait 5 mins and then crank the bike. That isn’t something I really want to be doing when it’s cold.

Double checked the Yuasa OEM and that’s actually $225 from FortNine for the advanced, maintenance free version. The cheaper copies are about $100. Might just get the OEM to be on the safe side.
 
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Trials

Well-known member
If they they last about 12 years the expensive one would make economic sense, do they last 12 years?
 

Brian P

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Moderator
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I have lithium batteries in all but one bike in my fleet. Most Shorai, one Antigravity. All have been fine. I've been using some of them for 5 or 6 years. I don't even own the fancy cell-balancing special charger.

If you get the lithium battery that is the biggest that will fit in the stock battery compartment, it will have a lot more cranking power than the stock battery. The bit about cold-weather operation is less of an issue if you buy the biggest battery that will fit as opposed to the smallest and lightest one that they recommend for your bike. Worst comes to worst ... if it's below 5 or 10 C, you try cranking it once and it cranks slow (doesn't start), wait 10 or 15 seconds, it will probably start right up the next time. It's not a big deal.
 

jc100

Well-known member
I have lithium batteries in all but one bike in my fleet. Most Shorai, one Antigravity. All have been fine. I've been using some of them for 5 or 6 years. I don't even own the fancy cell-balancing special charger.

If you get the lithium battery that is the biggest that will fit in the stock battery compartment, it will have a lot more cranking power than the stock battery. The bit about cold-weather operation is less of an issue if you buy the biggest battery that will fit as opposed to the smallest and lightest one that they recommend for your bike. Worst comes to worst ... if it's below 5 or 10 C, you try cranking it once and it cranks slow (doesn't start), wait 10 or 15 seconds, it will probably start right up the next time. It's not a big deal.
Do you just use a regular trickle charger or not charge them at all?

What I read was that CCA is one thing but then there’s capacity and many of the lithium batteries have half the capacity of the lead acid OEM batteries. It’s not an issue with most bikes that don’t have many accessories or add ones but it can be with a bike that has grip warmers, seat warmers etc etc.

The revzilla reviews don’t fill me with confidence although I know there’s probably more satisfied customers than unsatisfied.

I may just stick with OEM for now as I know it will work fine. When your bike is 500lbs plus loaded the weight savings aren’t noticed anyway.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
I don't ever charge them other than what the bike does itself. All start up after winter storage without issue. No heated seats here, and the GPS is in my head.
 

Relax

Well-known member
I use lithium for the cranking power; the weight savings is just a bonus. Common problems are over-discharge from getting too small a battery and draining it from cold starts or parasitic draw, or over-charge by using the wrong charger or having a bad regulator (in this case they can melt or go up in flames in extreme cases). Having learned my lesson after killing my Shorai, I now oversize them when I can, and use an Optimate lithium charger to properly charge or maintain when necessary. EarthX seem to have the best onboard management system to prevent issues with over-discharge and over-charge, but are expensive.
 

Trials

Well-known member
Parasitic draw; happens every time the darn Mynock's are chewing on your power cables.
 

busabim

Well-known member
Site Supporter
i have had a shorai and it saved my ass many times. Now I have an earth x the only lifo that has over/under protection.

i will never run a lead acid again, not enough cranking amps, excessive weight and poor performance over the long run.

base voltage is 13.3 as well!

BB
 
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Trials

Well-known member
...
i will never run a lead acid again, not enough cranking amps, excessive weight and poor performance over the long run.
...
And cheap, you missed cheap. 80$ with a trade-in of your old battery is hard to beat.
 

Rossi86

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Baysideperformance.ca has shorai for the best price I found online, fortnine did match it for me as I wanted to buy other stuff at fortnine.

This is my 1st lithium battery, the main concern I have on the race bike is can the bike overcharge this battery cause it to explode/burn while riding? Do I need a rectifier mod to use this safely on my bike?
 

Trials

Well-known member
Maybe a strategically located thermal cut-out switch would be in order. <- so easy to do.
My understanding is they get real hot before they burst into a near uncontrollable toxic fire.
 

DJM

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Just put an Earth-X in my bike. Did my research on them and decided the technology and the brand was a good choice for me. That extra resting voltage makes a noticeable increase in cranking speed, fires right up in a second. So light you'd swear the plastic case was empty, and since the battery is right under the steering head on my bike I could tell the difference in transitioning corners.

Amazon had the best price for my PN.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
You can buy 4-5 Walmart batteries for the cost of one of those. I generally get 5-7 years out of the Walmart ones so long as you take care of them (battery tender in the winter, don't abuse them in the summer) so unless the weight savings of one of those critters matters to you...or they last 2 or 3 decades or something, I'd struggle to make a decision to ever buy one unless you're regularly having issues actually getting the bike started.

"Struggling" to crank and "Not actually cranking and getting it started" are two different things, and most people over estimate how much things are struggling. The bike doesn't need to flip upside down when you're cranking to accomplish the job. Unless the starter is actually stalling out whilst cranking, it (and the battery) is getting the job accomplished.
 

busabim

Well-known member
Site Supporter
if you only ride in the city buy cheap battery. If you are a 1000 miles from home in the middle of nowhere and cheapo fails, f u.

My OEM battery required the bike be plugged in (for warranty) (when not in use ) do to parasitic draw. It failed 3 months out of 1 year warranty.

I threw it in the garbage ( not literally) and bought the Earth X as I travel on my bike and I am sure as hell not taking a chance on getting stranded for a battery!

Earth X battery is now in a different bike that has a 40% larger engine and it starts up way better than the 12 pound stock battery that came with the bike.

BB
 

TK4

Well-known member
if you only ride in the city buy cheap battery. If you are a 1000 miles from home in the middle of nowhere and cheapo fails, f u.

My OEM battery required the bike be plugged in (for warranty) (when not in use ) do to parasitic draw. It failed 3 months out of 1 year warranty.

I threw it in the garbage ( not literally) and bought the Earth X as I travel on my bike and I am sure as hell not taking a chance on getting stranded for a battery!

BB
What was the parasitic draw - something in the bike's design or something due to bolt on accessories ?
Its hard to blame the battery when its being asked to do something it was never designed for.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
if you only ride in the city buy cheap battery. If you are a 1000 miles from home in the middle of nowhere and cheapo fails, f u.
Anyone who follows my posts knows I'm someone in the latter category.

It's extremely rare for a battery to just spontaneously fail in the fashion you describe. They typically give you lots of notice. You could just as have that $500 battery fail at it's end of life the same as a cheapo SLA would. Given how LiPo batteries tend to fail and die actually, it could actually be far more sudden and unexpected actually, with perhaps no warning at all like a SLA would give you.

So not a fair argument.
 

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