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Old 10-15-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
warewolf OP
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LC4 Shorai Battery installation

As mentioned in the Kick-starting LC4 with dead battery? thread, after 7.5 years the OEM battery in my 2005 640 Adventure has finally carked it!... or so I thought. The OEM Yuasa YTZ10S although having performed well, is silly money here: $407 ex-freight from the cheapest place I could find. Odyssey is not much cheaper at $379 ex-freight, but probably a better buy. However, I have been brave and gone with a Shorai LFX14A4-BS12, delivered for $251. The NZ distributor has priced them competitively with private imports, preferring to take a modest profit rather than being bypassed, and is selling lots of them as a result. Herein is my installation process.

My bike has not had the eletric leg for years, and lives on a Deltran Battery Tender regularly (not 100% of the time), thus the battery has not had a hard life. To recap the symptoms: I was out marshalling for our club 6 hour cross-country race the other Sunday. Turned the key on after a stop, and got nada. No neutral light, no instruments at all. Of course, it was right up the back of the course, so having to rescue a marshal would not be a good look. Eventually I realised I could try kicking it anyway. About halfway through the kick the instruments came on, and throughout the day discovered if it was a good 'un she'd fire up. And the problem with marshalling is that unlike racing, it is stop-start-stop-start-stop-start all day long. My left leg actually got tired from all the kick starts, first time that's happened! I did manage to bump-start it a few times, too.

The spec sheet, for those who like to ride them:
YTZ10S: 150 x 87 x 94 mm, 190 CCA, 8.6 AH, 3082g.
LFX14A4: 147 x 87 x 89 mm, 210 CCA, 14 AH, 901g.

On with the show!

The original battery in situ, and original wire routing for reference when I put it all back together.


Remove two 8mm AH screws and the whole regulator/rectifier and other wiring lifts completely clear of the battery.

doG I love working on KTMs! Everything is designed to be worked on. One screw to remove the seat, two for the reg/rec, and the battery is there for the taking.

The Shorai is slightly shorter and narrower.


The height is taken care of by using one of the supplied foam pads, 5mm thick. The narrower width (3mm) is too slight to worry about: there is not much play, if any, when the battery is installed in the rubber buffer.


There were two drainage holes in the rubber buffer, so I cut these out of the foam pad to match.


Once installed, I turned on the key... nuthin'. Check the power socket on the dash which feeds straight from the battery via a fuse, 0 Volts. Bugger. Check the battery terminals, 13.2V. Hmmm. Check the fuse box input from the battery (terminals are exposed on the underside), 0V. Ok, there's only 100mm of wire left to check!

Yup, the main feed from the battery had broken at the battery terminal crimp shared with the starter feed. Pulling the rubber boot back to get to the terminal screw has finally and fully separated the wire. This, in intermittent failure mode, must have been why the bike had no power to the instruments. It must have been making and breaking with the vibrations or other movement when kick-starting the bike.


Crimp on a new ring:


and we are away!


All back together, after several attempts to route the wires in the least-stress position. By default I like to put it back the way it was, as most of the time the OEM routing is good, but I do check for potential rub points and gentler bends.


I haven't tested the starter cranking ability because I don't have the e-start clutch in the bike. But it is easier to kick start, and just seems to run a bit crisper in the bottom end (new battery vs old, not singing the praises of the Shorai particularly).

The original battery was holding 12.8V at rest, so it was not completely dead, but it was not in great condition either.

Anyway, I hope this guide eases the pain for someone doing a similar job.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
jon6.0
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Thanks for the write up! I may just do a preemptive strike and put a ring terminal on that power lead. Sure would suck to have it rattle loose in the boonies.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
ChrisC
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I installed the very same Shorai in my 2003 640A a few months back. The battery was an easy swap as noted above and functions perfectly. One tip: it thrives once the cells are warmed. If you crank it for a bit on cold start, then wait for 10-20 seconds you'll be amazed at how fast it spins up the LC4... good stuff. I also have the dedicated Shorai charger/tender installed. One note on that; the first charger shuffled off it's mortal coil early in life. It just would not boot. A quick email to Shorai led to a cogent explanation of some units having funky firmware and a delivery note for a brand new charger sent asap. The new unit is working just fine. A good lightweight capable battery and excellent customer service as well.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
gunnerbuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warewolf View Post
The OEM Yuasa YTZ10S although having performed well, is silly money here: $407 ex-freight from the cheapest place I could find. Odyssey is not much cheaper at $379 ex-freight, but probably a better buy. However, I have been brave and gone with a Shorai LFX14A4-BS12, delivered for $251.

I can't believe the prices you guys have to pay for stuff over there, I look on Ebay from time to time and see used stuff from Australia priced higher than new stuff over here...


Great writeup Colin... I should be receiving a new Shorai sometime this week for my original bike.... Before I ordered I read up a bunch and the batteries sounded pretty good, after I ordered I read a bunch more and found quite a few mixed reviews {yikes}... I guess down the road we can compare notes for starting and longevity as our batteries will be roughly the same age...
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #5
ChrisC
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I paid US $137 for the Shorai, so +1 Gunner....
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
gunnerbuck
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I paid US $137 for the Shorai, so +1 Gunner....
I wasn't far off that, I believe my cost was $143 shipped to Canada from Parts Giant... I looked at those red round cell batteries but when I searched around I saw a few reports showing pics of the sides blown out...

We'll have to keep updating this thread from time to time to report if these batteries have been worth their salt...
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
warewolf OP
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Originally Posted by jon6.0 View Post
Thanks for the write up! I may just do a preemptive strike and put a ring terminal on that power lead. Sure would suck to have it rattle loose in the boonies.
It would be worth checking it every service. (and I would add, checking the ignition switch wiring.)

The fault - if not intermittent - would be quick to find, and there's enough length in the wire to field repair by stripping some insulation and affixing to the battery terminal. But of course, you'd rather not go there.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
I can't believe the prices you guys have to pay for stuff over there, I look on Ebay from time to time and see used stuff from Australia priced higher than new stuff over here...
That's what you get for living in the arse end of the world paradise. Stuff in Aussie is often a lot cheaper than here in New Zealand, too. KTM parts prices here have been 2-3 times the price in the USA but supposedly there is price parity now... not quite though it's closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
Before I ordered I read up a bunch and the batteries sounded pretty good, after I ordered I read a bunch more and found quite a few mixed reviews {yikes}
Yep, same here. Just right now I don't care if there are better batteries out there: this one should be better than OEM for a fraction of the price. As long as it lasts several years I'll be happy otherwise it will be false economy.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quick update, having just rediscovered this thread.

The electric leg was replaced in the 640 not long after the battery was installed. Works brilliantly.

Since then, I've bought a '96 VFR750F. That bike came with a new-ish Motobatt. It died. And then a new Motobatt died at 10 months. Turns out both my 15-year-old Deltran Battery Tender was poked, and so was the OEM regulator/rectifier - a known weak point with these bikes. In went a Shorai, replaced the reg/rec with a newer MOSFET type and VFRness, and bought a new battery charger. Because the VFR battery is a common size it is a fraction of the price of the 640 battery, so the Shorai was comparatively expensive - more than twice the price of the Motobatt - but it is a price I'm happy to pay.

Despite being much smaller and lighter, the Shorai is much more powerful. In both bikes, if you let the battery warm up by running the headlights on high beam for a few minutes while you faff around, the starter cranks the engine much faster than the other batteries ever did.
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