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Old 09-02-2013, 05:13 PM   #691
_cy_ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
I emailed EarthX since there are no dealers in the area. Still seems like people are trying to figure out equivalents as they switch to LFP.

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Q. I have a 2008 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS and sometimes ride in temps below freezing, with heated grips and jacket. The stock battery is a Yuasa YTZ14S which has 230 CCA and you recommend the ETX18C. Would could temp riding change this recommendation?

A. Excellent question and based on the additional requirements needed for the battery, the heated grips etc., we do recommend you upgrade to either a ETX24C (270 CCA and 24 ah of reserve or the ETX36C, which has 405 CCA and and 36ah of reserve to run all the extra's and assure no cold start issues). Which one you choose depends on how much extra accessories you will be running and for how long. The more you have and the longer you ride, the larger ah we recommend.
an excellent response by EarthX, which is exactly what sizes I would recommend.

Yes EarthX ETX18 would start a modern 1,000cc class bike fine in warm weather. but when electrical accessories are added into the mix. there's a high probability your bike will not always be at full charge when parked.

ETX18's actual amp hour capacity will not give much room for error. So if you park your bike with a 100% full charge. assuming your bike is in perfect tune, no problems starting next morning. even when temperature drop.

but say you went on a short cold (35f) ride at night with heated gear and lights on. then next morning 25f your bike will not start... naturally the battery gets blamed.

when in fact problems was sizing LiFePO4 battery too small. Had EarthX ETX18 been fully charged before parking, it probably would have started your bike at 25f. but the short cold ride with heated gear meant your battery was only half charged or less when parked.

no wonder your too small LiFePO4 battery failed to start your 1,000cc class bike next morning at 25f.

now let's multiple that problem with a long cold winter ride to say Alaska on the Alcan highway. yes there are Advriders stupid/brave enough to make such a trip

for that lonng cold ride .. provide charging system put out enough wattage, I have no doubt EarthX ETX36 will handle that job just fine on any 1,000cc class bike.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #692
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Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post
I purchased a new EarthX battery for my 91 883 Sportster on 8/20/2013. On 9/1/2013 I rode it to work, and it started and ran fine. When I got ready to ride home, it had discharged almost completely, showing only a faint glow in the headlight and instrument lights, and would not even click the starter.

Although earlier Sportsters and other motorcycles had/have kickstarters, my 91 doesn't, so I pushed the motorcycle to start the engine and rode it home, a distance of about 8 miles. During the ride, the lights were working and turn signals operated properly, however when I pulled into the driveway and shut the engine off, the battery would not restart the warm engine, would not even turn it over. The battery was very warm to the touch and the plastic case as soft and melted on the bottom and ends.

I think I came very close to having a fire or possibly an explosion under my seat. I did like the much lighter weight, but I'm not terribly impressed with the battery or its cell management system.
which model EarthX battery did you install in your 883?

internal BMS are not designed to to prevent large currents from flowing out of battery or it would defeat purpose of battery. which is to start your bike under huge current loads. depending on size of bike and temperature. a motorcycle can draw from 75amp to 250amp+ continuous under a long crank.

LiFePO4 batteries with cell balancing operate by shunting off a tiny bit of current for each cell, allowing weaker cells to catch up keeping cells balanced.

LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries has to be wildly abused to catch on fire. like say subjecting battery to 39v for extended time periods at 30amps ... I'm not aware of any 12v LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries exploding. LiFePO4 are inherently stable and the safest of all li-ion batteries.

12v LiFePO4 battery with internal cell balancing will reach full charge at 14.6v .. then slowly settle down to 13.85v range.

new EarthX LiFePO4 with overcharge and under discharge protections using MOSFETs are set to disconnect main buss by voltage, not current ... or there's no way LiFePO4 battery could deliver the 20-30C amp loads necessary to start your motorcycle.

any battery not just LiFePO4, if allowed to discharge too low to dead. depending on how long battery stays totally discharged. it could permanently kill battery.

obviously something strange is going on for your new EarthX battery to have melted. please send that battery back to EarthX. I'd be real surprise if they don't immediately warranty battery.

one of the most common problems seen with motorcycle LiFePO4 failure is when folks try to start their cars. result will be melted main buss. Full sized cars can draw currents way excess of what amp loads motorcycle batteries are designed to handle.

Lithium batteries have a very low internal resistance. this means all li-ion batteries will discharge at extremely high discharge rates. internal battery straps that goes into main buss will melt under excess discharge currents.

after you put your old lead acid battery back in .. please measure voltage at battery when engine is rev'd to mid rpm. this will tell if your charging system is putting out normal voltage range.

another very important thing to check for is .. dead short from grounding positive terminal. LiFePO4 batteries are typically tiny .. much smaller than PB .. this means new battery has to be mounted solidly without using OEM battery tie downs.

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Old 09-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #693
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Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Unlike lead/acid batteries which can discharge hydrogen gas and explode, LiFePO4 batteries can not explode as there is nothing explosive in them. LiFePO4 cylindrical cells can burst, but it isn't anything like an actual explosion and won't damage near by things.

In any case, all but the smallest EarthX batteries use pouch cells that can't even build up pressure.

LiFePO4 batteries CAN start fires though its rare and not nearly as exciting as LIPo batteries such as are in laptops and cell phones.

The difference between the plastic case melting and ignition is about 600 degrees F, so baring signs of the case being crispy and charred, you may have been very far from the battery catching fire.

One thing I do like about Antigravity batteries is the cells are potted into the case with high temperature silicone to prevent melting through the case under even the worse case scenario, which is not the case with EarthX. On the other hand EarthX batteries are lighter then Antigravity batteries and the lack of RTV potting is one reason why.

One of two things likely happened:

1: your bike has a big constant draw or the key or an accessory was left on. This would drain the battery to a damaging low level. Both Lead/acid and LiFePO4 batteries are always damaged by being drained excessively low, but in the case of LiFePO4 the damage is usually more severe and requires a special super low charge rate to recover, if they even can be recovered.

When you push started your bike, your charging system started charging the battery at maximum speed. This will nearly always cause a LiFePO4 battery to rapidly fail, and if not potted or protected in some other way, melt the battery case.

2: the battery had an internal defect in a cell OR the protection circuit, drained itself, and as above, melted down from rapidly charging.

If a LiFePO4 battery is excessively discharged it really should be recharged on a special LiFePO4 charger with a special recovery program. Optimate makes the only consumer charger with this feature that I am aware of.

If your in BFE or really must ride, the best odds of push charging and NOT melting the battery down can be achieved by push starting the bike and then turning every accessory on AND leaving the bike just idling for at least 20 minutes. Kinda hard to do if the bike is air cooled but at least idle it some and switch every accessory on / keep the revs as low as possible. What all the above does is keeps the recharge rate as low as possible but is still a poor replacement for a dedicated charger with a recovery cycle.

I have torture tested a lot of brands of LiFePO4 batteries and would LOVE to autopsy that battery. You can see some of my testing if I can figure out how to link to my YouTube page. I am positive I can tell you what happened to that battery as well as how close it was or wasn't to combusting. If you happen to live near St Louis or wouldn't mind mailing that battery, I'd love to analyze it and regardless of personal brand preferences will tell it like it is.

Also note, EarthX has excelent customer service and I would expect they will replace that battery immediately. I would also expect them to replace it even if you send it to me first, but if they won't, I have one of their batteries that they sent me for testing that still works 100% and would send you that should they choose to not replace it, though I really doubt this would happen.

I don't own stock in any battery companies or work for any, I'm just a service manager / electrician with fire investigation experience who is fascinated with batteries. PM me if your willing to let me look at yours or have any questions.

Joel Wisman
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Hi _cy_. Read his description carefully. He installed the battery, it started his bike, then he rode to work normally at which point the battery went dead while he was working. Anything is possible but it seems likely to me from his description that the BMS discharged the battery, his bike has a massive parasitic draw from something broken or a cell had a defect.

LiFePO4 usually won't catch fire, but un potted / protected LiFePO4 batteries WILL melt through case when rapidly charged (20+ amps on that bike) from super dead. I've done it with both Shorai and Balistic in my living room and had to move the batteries outside when large volumes of white smoke and melting bubbling cases insued :)
Joel, thanks for weighting in ... as always your comments are dead on. yup I read too fast and missed where he left his bike and battery had all day to discharge.

LiFePO4 due to extremely low internal resistance will discharge at 20c-30c + with no problems. but this means that same LiFePO4 battery will also accept same high rate during bulk phase of charge.

assuming 883 has a 450+ watt output .. that would be about 30 amps delivered to battery. which any Li-ion battery would try to absorb fast as it's delivered. yes this would result in battery heating up.

what I've always done for dead li-ion batteries discharged too low is charge at .1C until voltage recovers to normal range. then switch to normal charging volt/current rates.

essentially this is what Optimate Lithium LiFePO4 charger is doing. in the middle of running tests on new gen EarthX ETX18. which measured right at 4.78AH actual @ 1amp rate. at low milliamp rate battery mfg used to achieve max 5.5 AH, test would take all day or way past my patience levels.

sure is nice having your valuable feedback again ...
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #694
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Thanks _cy_.

I'm hoping he sends me that battery because I absolutely would be able to tell what happened and how close it did or didn't get to igniting.

When I was an industrial electrician failure analysis was my very favorite task. Call me cynical but I wouldn't trust EarthX, Antigravity or any other vested party to tell it like it is.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #695
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Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Thanks _cy_.

I'm hoping he sends me that battery because I absolutely would be able to tell what happened and how close it did or didn't get to igniting.

When I was an industrial electrician failure analysis was my very favorite task. Call me cynical but I wouldn't trust EarthX, Antigravity or any other vested party to tell it like it is.
SOOooo that's why you LOVE torturing all those batteries to destruction!!!

Yup that's why folks reading Adv value feedback from tech's with deep knowledge on the topic. And have no vested interests in the LiFePO4 batteries we've been testing.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:03 PM   #696
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I emailed Deltran/Battery Tender the same questions at the same time. Still haven't heard from them.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #697
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How long will it take for a 1200 GSA to charge an EarthX 24? Assuming rpm stays above 3k will a half hour ride charge the battery back to full?
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:50 PM   #698
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How long will it take for a 1200 GSA to charge an EarthX 24? Assuming rpm stays above 3k will a half hour ride charge the battery back to full?
The GSA has an insanely large alternator (720 watt @ 3,000 RPM).
In the summer, no heated gear or auxiliary lights switched on, the GSA required 170 watts to run.

720-170= 550

Amps= watts / volts, so. 550/14.6= 37 amps which is WAY to high for that battery to live long, nor will that battery crank the GSA worth a damn once it gets cold. This further is a problem because the GSA is one of the few bikes that uses a bendix, pinion and flywheel style starting system which despite having a low voltage safety system, will often strip teeth off the flywheel when the pinion doesn't fully engage due to low voltage from undersized / damaged battery.

The flywheel isn't that expensive but the labor charge to remove the transmission is about 8 hours, so this repair is about a grand and not covered by warranty.

In any case, the EarthX 24 is about a 7 amp hour battery that will accept everything the alternator has from 10% charge to 90%. To put back 50% it will take 5 minutes and 40 seconds. That battery may not catch on fire at that charge rate for 50% depth of discharge, but I can't imagine a pouch battery coming through that without venting and loosing a tun of its service life. If your talking about charging that battery from 0% charged to 50%, wear a helmet cam so you can record the smoke.

Manufacture application charts be damned, all the LiPO4 manufactures are winging it as they learn. A 24 is WAY to small for that bike. It may work if its never run down below 90% charged and only used in moderate weather, but deeply discharged or used in hot or cold weather, at the least I suspect that battery will have a short life.

The minimum batteries I would recommend is an EarthX 36 (11ah) or a 20 cell Antigravity (11.5ah). Better would be a 24 cell Antigravity (13.8ah), I'm unsure if EarthX has an equivalent size to the Antigravity 24 cell. Or if your not that big of a spender you could put a $60 DEKA ETX14 (14ah c/20) and have a battery 3x more reliable then the Exide made Yuasa YTZ 12 BMW sticks in them.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #699
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P.S., if your talking back to full from a startup, depends on how cold it is, how long it takes to start and how long it has set without being connected to a charger, but likely the time is trivial as in, down the driveway and half way down the first block.

Note: Modern BMW bikes have the highest parasitic draw on the market, I.e. they continue to drain batteries heavily when the key is off.

The 1200GSA has a 2.8 ma draw with the key off, or written differently 0.0028 amps. 0.0028 x 24 = .067 amp hour drained from the battery per day that the bike sits. In addition to this drain, all batteries with active BMS circuits have their own internal drain plus LiFePO4 batteries do have a small chemical self discharge. Likely the EarthX 24 will drain 100% in about 2 months if you don't ride in the winter and depending on the drain from the BMS EarthX engineered maybe a great deal quicker. If you get the very latest EarthX battery it has a low voltage disconnect, but it will still end up with a disconnected battery that won't start your bike. Even if the BMS disconnects itself there is still chemical self discharge and the battery will still be damaged after sitting for too long.

That battery is way too small for anything beyond Starbucks duty and hooked to a charger when laid up IMO.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #700
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Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
The GSA has an insanely large alternator (720 watt @ 3,000 RPM).
In the summer, no heated gear or auxiliary lights switched on, the GSA required 170 watts to run.

720-170= 550

Amps= watts / volts, so. 550/14.6= 37 amps which is WAY to high for that battery to live long, nor will that battery crank the GSA worth a damn once it gets cold. This further is a problem because the GSA is one of the few bikes that uses a bendix, pinion and flywheel style starting system which despite having a low voltage safety system, will often strip teeth off the flywheel when the pinion doesn't fully engage due to low voltage from undersized / damaged battery.

The flywheel isn't that expensive but the labor charge to remove the transmission is about 8 hours, so this repair is about a grand and not covered by warranty.

In any case, the EarthX 24 is about a 7 amp hour battery that will accept everything the alternator has from 10% charge to 90%. To put back 50% it will take 5 minutes and 40 seconds. That battery may not catch on fire at that charge rate for 50% depth of discharge, but I can't imagine a pouch battery coming through that without venting and loosing a tun of its service life. If your talking about charging that battery from 0% charged to 50%, wear a helmet cam so you can record the smoke.

Manufacture application charts be damned, all the LiPO4 manufactures are winging it as they learn. A 24 is WAY to small for that bike. It may work if its never run down below 90% charged and only used in moderate weather, but deeply discharged or used in hot or cold weather, at the least I suspect that battery will have a short life.
Joel, it's soooo nice to have your input ... totally agree with your opinion LiFePO4 mfg are winging as they go. which is OK .. as LiFePO4 motorcycle battery usage are still in it's infancy. IMHO motorcycle LiFePO4 is getting ready to explode ..

due the huge amount of deep techical information within this thread .. it's no secret several battery mfg are aware of this and sucking up every bit of real world information this this thread has to offer.

thanks again for pointing out actual amp hour size of LiFePO4 matters ... and what happens when a fully discharged LiFePO4 battery gets exposed to 30+ amps continuous during bulk charge stage.

you essentially are making the same size recommendations I've been stuck on for quite sometime. but for a completely different reason related to how well LiFePO4 battery survives high charge rates.

you are fully aware of this but others may not... charge rates for batteries are expressed in C = actual amp hour. so EarthX ETX36 measured 12AH actual @ 8amp discharge rate. if I used a milliamp discharge rate estimated measured AH would be closer to 14AH actual.

note numbers below are from A123 spec sheet for cylindrical 26650 cells. EarthX uses flat LiFePO4 pouch cells on larger size batteries to gain advantage of using only 4 cells to achieve large amp hour capacities ... exact numbers could be slightly different.

for the newer 2.5/2.5 AH 26650 cells A123 recommends:

normal charge rate = 1C to 3.6V CCCV, 45 min
fast charge rate = 4C to 3.6V CCCV, 12 min
(CC = constant current, CV = constant voltage)

EarthX ETX36 = 14AH actual x 4C = 56 amps max fast charge rate @ 14.4V

EarthX ETX36 = 14AH actual x 1C = 14 amp normal charge rate @ 14.4V

------------

now let's take EarthX ETX24 which measured 6.3AH actual at high amp discharge rate (exact within thread) actual AH if measured @ milliamp rate by mfg about 7.5AH.

EarthX ETX24 = 7.5AH actual x 4C = 30 amps max fast charge rate @ 14.4V

EarthX ETX24 = 14AH actual x 1C = 7.5 amp normal charge rate @ 14.4V

---------

now let's take EarthX ETX18 which measured 4.78AH actual at 1 amp discharge rate.. actual AH if measured @ milliamp rate by mfg about 5.5AH.

EarthX ETX18 = 5.5AH actual x 4C = 22 amps max fast charge rate @ 14.4V

EarthX ETX18 = 5.5AH actual x 1C = 5.5 amp normal charge rate @ 14.4V

note above are actual measured amp hour figure using state of the art equipment (Cellpro Powerlab 8) using regenerative discharge mode .. not some numbers yank out of thin air.

using Joel's excellent input and numbers above... one can quickly arrive at our conclusion that the correct size to use for R1200GS (720 watt-170W= 550W, 550W/14.6v= 37 amps) is EarthX ETX36 (56 amp max charge rate). for cold weather performance reasons and surviving the huge charge currents when LiFePo4 is recovering from a total discharge state

I'm totally with Joel on this ... if you are not prepare to spend $$$ on proper sized LiFePO4 on R1200GS .... go with $60 DEKA ETX14 (14ah c/20) or Odyssey 14AH AGM.

before I forget to post this ... if memory serves me EarthX ETX24 after sitting 6 months was 13.38v (about 92% full).. after charging to full 2 days ago.. resting voltage is now 13.68V .. resting voltage was 13.85v when new after charged to 14.6v. after initial shunt from full to balance cells, EarthX internal BMS doesn't affect discharge rate much if at all.

EarthX ETX18 getting tested for actual amp hour capacity at 1amp discharge rate

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Old 09-05-2013, 01:13 AM   #701
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Thank you gentlemen for this wealth of info. As far as I have researched all LifePo4 manufacturers are recommending extremely small sizes for replacement on their websites. Probably to hide the price difference from the older tech batteries. EarthX recommends an EarthX18 for my 1200GSA. I have the EarthX24 on duty for about two months. Besides the ABS unit failing on first start up I had no further issues.
Your posts have made me wary of using it anymore.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:07 AM   #702
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
an excellent response by EarthX, which is exactly what sizes I would recommend.

Yes EarthX ETX18 would start a modern 1,000cc class bike fine in warm weather. but when electrical accessories are added into the mix. there's a high probability your bike will not always be at full charge when parked.

ETX18's actual amp hour capacity will not give much room for error. So if you park your bike with a 100% full charge. assuming your bike is in perfect tune, no problems starting next morning. even when temperature drop.

but say you went on a short cold (35f) ride at night with heated gear and lights on. then next morning 25f your bike will not start... naturally the battery gets blamed.

when in fact problems was sizing LiFePO4 battery too small. Had EarthX ETX18 been fully charged before parking, it probably would have started your bike at 25f. but the short cold ride with heated gear meant your battery was only half charged or less when parked.

no wonder your too small LiFePO4 battery failed to start your 1,000cc class bike next morning at 25f.

now let's multiple that problem with a long cold winter ride to say Alaska on the Alcan highway. yes there are Advriders stupid/brave enough to make such a trip

for that lonng cold ride .. provide charging system put out enough wattage, I have no doubt EarthX ETX36 will handle that job just fine on any 1,000cc class bike.
Really?

So you think that having a default recommendation that is inadequate, then when questioned suggesting a battery that costs $100 more is supposed to fill me with confidence?

I believe my jacket draws 77 watts and doesn't run at full output unless it is very cold. Heated grips draw roughly 30-36 watts. This is well within the charging capacity of the Tiger, which has an alternator output of approximately 480 watts and thus has roughly 180 watts available for accessories. Inventing short trip scenarios that might great a low charge situation is OK, except when we have reality intrude: I've started the bike after sitting overnight in 30 degrees, rode to a gas station a mile away with all heat on, shut down, fueled up, cranked up and it started just fine. so the existing system works.

The existing Yuasa has also started and run the bike in 20 degree temps. So this once again raises the question of whether or not the LFP battery manufacturers are playing marketing games with CCA and what the "real" equivalency is when you add low temp starts to the equation.

I've been trying to find someone locally who sells Deka [AGM] motorsports batteries locally. The HD dealers sell HD branded Dekas, but Deka doesn't list any dealers in New England. Not sure I want to be the experimenter for cold starting with LFP.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #703
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Originally Posted by garandman View Post
Really?

So you think that having a default recommendation that is inadequate, then when questioned suggesting a battery that costs $100 more is supposed to fill me with confidence?

I believe my jacket draws 77 watts and doesn't run at full output unless it is very cold. Heated grips draw roughly 30-36 watts. This is well within the charging capacity of the Tiger, which has an alternator output of approximately 480 watts and thus has roughly 180 watts available for accessories. Inventing short trip scenarios that might great a low charge situation is OK, except when we have reality intrude: I've started the bike after sitting overnight in 30 degrees, rode to a gas station a mile away with all heat on, shut down, fueled up, cranked up and it started just fine. so the existing system works.

The existing Yuasa has also started and run the bike in 20 degree temps. So this once again raises the question of whether or not the LFP battery manufacturers are playing marketing games with CCA and what the "real" equivalency is when you add low temp starts to the equation.

I've been trying to find someone locally who sells Deka [AGM] motorsports batteries locally. The HD dealers sell HD branded Dekas, but Deka doesn't list any dealers in New England. Not sure I want to be the experimenter for cold starting with LFP.
why don't cha take this up with the LiFePO4 mfg?

have been saying right from the beginning ... what the LiFePO4 mfg lists for your particular model will usually be too small. problem is compounded by confusing use of PB/EQ or lead acid equivalent by mfg. PB/EQ ratings is NOT actual amp hour ratings. your heated gear, headlights, etc. draws real amps.

how one uses their motorcycle will have a huge effect on which LiFePO4 is correct. bike used for Adventure duties a hundred miles from any support in the winter with heated gear will have drastically different requirements from a bike used for trips to Starbuck in warm weather.

this is why for most folks my recommendation is go with AGM .. if you are not prepared to spend the $$$ for the proper sized LiFePO4 .. do yourself a favor and stick with AGM.

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Old 09-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #704
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Thanks to Cy and this thread for providing me some enlightenment! I was considering a Shorai battery for my F650 Dakar, but the usage for that particular bike just doesn't seem all that compatible with a Lithium after investigation - it sits for long periods, then goes for a few short rides, then a couple longer ones. It will often sit for several weeks (or months, even) without being used.

I opted to go for an AGM battery - finally found one online. I'm confident that this will be a great replacement for the old lead-acid battery currently residing in the bike.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #705
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
why don't cha take this up with the LiFePO4 mfg?

have been saying right from the beginning ... what the LiFePO4 mfg lists for your particular model will usually be too small. problem is compounded by confusing use of PB/EQ or lead acid equivalent by mfg. PB/EQ ratings is NOT actual amp hour ratings. your heated gear, headlights, etc. draws real amps.

how one uses their motorcycle will have a huge effect on which LiFePO4 is correct. bike used for Adventure duties a hundred miles from any support in the winter with heated gear will have drastically different requirements from a bike used for trips to Starbuck in warm weather.

this is why for most folks my recommendation is go with AGM .. if you are not prepared to spend the $$$ for the proper sized LiFePO4 .. do yourself a favor and stick with AGM.
Fair commentary.

I posted a thread in Beasts to see if many people are using them on touring bikes. Only had one response.

We had two AGM's in our boat and I have one in my WRX as it's 10 lbs lighter than the typical LA. If I could find a DEKA dealer I'd probably just go with that but there doesn't seem one locally. Perhaps I'll try the experiment: hopefully there are more than a couple users out there. I've pinged the Tiger 1050 board as well.
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