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Thread: Lithium Battery?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lithium Battery? StratTuner's Avatar
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    Lithium Battery?

    Dennis Kirk sent me a mailing today for Lithium batteries. They're certainly lighter. They seem to last longer and require less maint.
    Anyone have any experience with Lithium batteries?
    Thoughts?
    HERE is the link for the Lithium battery for the NC700X (if I can trust Dennis Kirk's web site).

    need I add... they are also more expensive.... but not twice as much!
    Last edited by StratTuner; 28th October 2014 at 18:15.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Lithium Battery? 670cc's Avatar
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    I know they sure are light weight. When you pick one up it just feels like an empty plastic case!

    The OEM Yuasa is over a hundred bucks so the lithium price isn't terribly out of line if they last longer. Still, I get maybe 8 years out of lead acid batteries so that would be hard to beat.
    Last edited by 670cc; 28th October 2014 at 19:29. Reason: typo
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Lithium Battery? StratTuner's Avatar
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    yes... IF they last longer... I wonder... the weight is NICE, but I don't think I'd get better mileage for a change in weight that small.... especially on a ride that already gets great MPG.
    The charging speed increase is interesting...
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    Do not see any cost vs benefit gain when used on a NC700............................

  5. #5
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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    LFP batteries is great technology with advantages and disadvantages.

    * The usable capacity is about 80% (Pb [lead-acid] is only 50%)
    * They're lightweight and smaller
    * They're charging really fast at 4C and simpler (Pb at 0.5C [quick charging]). C=Battery Capacity (See Coulomb). This translates that you only need 10'-20' (minutes) to fully charge a LFP and about an hour for a Pb. The "simpler" goes to the less charge stages of the LFP: there is no absorption and float stages.
    * Discharging is huge. They can release all of their charge in just a moment, so they're very strong!
    * They've bigger life cycle: 1,000 to 5,000. Pb has 400-500 cycles
    * They don't have the limitations of Peukert's law, i.e. almost no internal resistance (thus the big charge/discharge rates).
    * They don't have sulfation problems
    * Great self-life. You may leave them on the self for a year without charging!

    Disadvantages?

    * The big initial cost
    * There is no standarization (like BCI, DIN, etc)
    * Their capacity drops to 50% and more when cold (bellow 0C / 32F) (but you can heat them)
    * They're destroyed when undercharged (Voltage drop bellow 9V) or overcharged (the same applies to Pb too).
    * The no sense PbAh & PbCCA equivalent rating of manufacturers.
    * Not so much of a disadvantage but you can't get their State of Charge (SoC) using a simple voltmeter with only two digits. A voltmeter with high precision is needed - three digits, because the voltage of an LFP is almost flat (about 13.2V - one reason they're so much powerful!).

    So in general they're ok over time because they can last too long and they're so powerful!

    The problem is that all of the LFP manufacturers suggest an undersized battery using this arbitrary PbAh. An undersized battery will overcharge (remember 4C), will not be able to start the engine in cold, and not be enough to keep alive all the parasitic drain from various electronics (ECU, alarm, etc).

    In cold you can warm up the battery by some discharge e.g. by turning on the lights for some time. But when you've an undersized battery there will be not enough juice to startup the engine.

    About the overcharging... The max. charge rate is 4C. That means for example that an 4Ah battery can accept 4x4Ah = 16 A while the charging system will try to put much more amps!

    To get less technical, how to choose the right LFP for your bike? Ignore completely PbAh & PbCCA ratings and look for the REAL amps. Put the largest LFP that can fit in the battery tray.

    The specs for the NC is a 11Ah (10Hr) battery so you must look for a LFP with REAL Ah close enough to this.

    How to get the real Ah? It's not so easy because they usually don't publish this info. One way to determine real amps is by using the weight (most of the cells used have the same weight to achieve a specific capacity) but this is another conversation...

    I would suggest Antigravity batteries because they're quality batteries with carefully matched cells (to avoid balancing problems) or EarthX (those have a builtin BMS for protection and balancing).

    Personally I chose a LFP (Ballistic EVO2 12 Cell with about 6.9Ah. It wasn't possible a better choice due to availability) because my AGMs don't last more than 2 years because of my daily short rides (10' to 20' in city traffic) and occasional charging with a maintainer didn't help. Sulfation destroyed them... In just 1 year they're at 50% of their initial capacity.

    If you live in a cold climate it would be wise to stay with a good quality AGM.

    Forgive my bad english!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Harald's Avatar
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    There's been some extensive discussion and testing of Lithium batteries on the FJRForum. What kills them as an option for me is their cold weather starting problems. Yes, you might eventually get the bike started but it requires repeated attempts to warm up the battery. I don't think they are quite ready for Prime Time unless you only ride in warm weather and want to pay extra to save a little weight.
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    If weight reduction is a the goal...........empty the frunk and your wallet or next time order a single cheese instead of the double cheese with fries.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lithium Battery? bamamate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showkey View Post
    If weight reduction is a the goal...........empty the frunk and your wallet or next time order a single cheese instead of the double cheese with fries.
    What's the point in having a frunk if it isn't full of junk?

    Previous: Kawasaki MT1A 75 (small fat tires, auto clutch), CB400 (Hawk), and after a 20+ year hiatus a NC700X

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lithium Battery? StratTuner's Avatar
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    ste7ios, that was a very thorough answer. Thank you for that.
    - StratTuner
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    "If you don't understand him, and he don't die young,
    he'll probly just ride away."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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    As an example, Shorai suggests LFX18A4-BS12 with 18Ah and 2.31lbs / 1.05Kg.

    BUT as I said before, it's not real 18Ah. With that weight in reallity it's about 6.9 to 7.5 Ah! (a 12 cell battery).

    What we need is more (better) or less an 11Ah LFP battery, i.e. a 16 cell (9.2Ah) or 20 cell battery (11.5Ah).

    I also forget to mention the most important: the R/R must working ok and within the output range an LFP needs: 13.6V to 14.4V. (little more e.g. 14.6 is acceptable).


    Many LFP failures reported are caused by a faulty or incompatible R/R (NC's Shindengen R/R is ok!) and of course the small capacity (overcharging / undercharging). Some failures also caused by wrong chargers (Pb chargers with desulfation / recovery mode are overcharged them and kill them).


    For me LFP was the way to go because I needed an AGM about every year or two... The battery installed in December 2013 and so far (~11 months) is in perfect state, like new! My old Yuasas lost 50% of their capacity in the same time.

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