Ballistic Batteries

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by DrWez, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. DrWez

    DrWez Mad Scientist

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    Has anyone installed a Ballistic EV02 12 cell battery in a R1200 GSA? I just installed one in my 2010 and I am having problems. The battery doesn't doesn't seem to have enough CCAs to turn the engine over. Even after charging and riding the bike some, it still doesn't want to turn over the engine for a quick start. I had read lots of good things about these batteries. Any other bad experiences?
    Wes
    #1
  2. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Your lithium Ballistic battery is likely not going to start your boxer engine in winter in Manitowoc, WI.

    You're best off with a quality AGM battery like the Odyssey.
    #2
  3. DDT Rider

    DDT Rider Been here awhile

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    I actually had two that did not maintain the ability to start my bike. The supplier suggested that my bike had some rare ZFE power drain that he had heard of.

    Scratching my head, I had the dealer see if they could find any drain, which they could not...I ended up buying a BMW batt and dropped the whole thing.

    This was not cold weather...
    #3
  4. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    I have one on my 1150, starts it up just fine...over a year on the battery now. I do have it on a master disconnect switch with the only key off draw being the clock. It even sat for a few months and fired right up when asked.
    #4
  5. DrWez

    DrWez Mad Scientist

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    Mine was problematic right from the start. Would not crank over the bike until a fast charge and balance. Even then the start was not strong and after shutting off bike and letting it sit, the battery had a hard time cranking the engine.
    #5
  6. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Was the last battery doing the same thing? Check your grounds if so.
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  7. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Unless you get a very high Ahr rated LiFePo battery, these batteries are not really good engine start batteries. The cost benefit isn't there.

    In other words, the Li battery isn't ready for prime time just yet.
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  8. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    The Ballistic is designed as a starting battery and works great. Cost benefit isn't there at all, but it costs money to get rid of weight and it was pretty cheap to dump 12 pounds of fat off the big pig.

    Have you read about how to use this battery? It doesn't do things like normal batteries, read the FAQ at Ballistic and try it again.
    #8
  9. DDT Rider

    DDT Rider Been here awhile

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    Been there done that...it would not maintain a start able charge in my bike...after an in-house balance and charge, will start, but not after road use...Again, not cold weather...

    Regular batt has been working fine for months now...
    #9
  10. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    follow link in my signature if you need details why ...

    have posted this several times, but here goes again:

    for most folks, my advice is go with AGM. unless weight is totally critical. AGM has one of the main advantages of LiFePO4 which is very low self discharge. unless one has a large parasitic current drain. trickle charger will not be needed for LiFePO4 or AGM over the winter.

    some bikes normally have a small self discharge. for those bikes a trickle charger will be needed regardless of what type battery is used. Your lead/acid battery charger may or may not properly charge LiFePO4 batteries.

    if you've got a modern adventure bike and decide that it's worth $$$ to save 10 lb or so over AGM or Gel. forget the marketing hype mfg use to calculate which battery to use.

    use actual amp hour rating less 25%. note this is for modern Adventure bikes, which has one of the highest battery demands of any bike. example, if factory ratings is 12 amp hour x .75 = 9 amp hour actual LiFePO4 amp hour rating.

    some bikes that only are used in fair weather can get by with much lower LiFePO4 amp hour ratings. one advantage of LiFePO4 batteries is ability to deliver larger amps for size, while maintaining a very flat discharge cycle.

    learning how to start your bike with LiFePO4 in cold weather is mandatory. yes procedures are different.

    take mfg amp hour ratings with a bucket of salt... use real amp hour ratings to size your LiFePO4 needs. LiFePO4 batteries when sized properly are robust, super lightweight batteries.
    #10
  11. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    The BMW boxer engine requires quite a bit of starter motor torque to spin the engine past compression stroke, especially at cold start. As each piston approaches TDC during starting, the starter motor current demand increases rapidly placing increased demand on the battery and other starter circuit components.

    Li FePo batteries do not respond to this rising rate demand as well as a lead-acid battery. Hence, these batteries don't perform well in engine start applications. As such, if a Li battery is used in this application, considerably more battery capacity should be chosen over lead-acid to insure reliable starting.

    Also, my diesel motorhome powerplant has a compression ratio of about 15.5:1. When cold, the starter needs lots of CCAs to spin the engine successfully without overloading the starter circuit. If the batteries are not fully charged, the current diminishes as pistons come to TDC placing further demand on the starter circuit, starter solenoid and wiring.

    Yes, LiFePo batteries are light weight. They are fine for applications where there is a kick starter and the battery is used for ignition such as on moto cross bikes.

    As I stated, they aren't ready for prime time just yet IMO.
    #11
  12. mrdirtbikerider

    mrdirtbikerider Russ Martin

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    I have been using a Ballistic Evo2 12cell in my Ktm 950 v twin, with no problems. Knock on wood
    #12
  13. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    Ballistic 12 cell in my HP2E. No problem here either.

    Probably the cheapest way to remove weight from your bike -- short of dieting.
    #13
  14. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    I know you're an expert and all, but have you tried a Ballistic battery on your boxer? :ear
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  15. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Larry, I am not an expert regarding batteries, or much else, for that matter.

    I would recommend you read this thread.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=757934

    There are some folks who are experts and I bow to their knowledge.

    My experience with Li batteries is limited to power tools and cell phones where they work very well.

    I am still a fan of the Odyssey AGM battery for the boxer.

    I'm a steam and coal guy when it comes to generating electric power...does that tell you anything about my level of knowledge?
    #15
  16. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    I'm more of a two tires on the ground kind of guy and form my opinions based on experience...if I judged a product by reading about it I wouldn't own a BMW. :lol3

    I bow to no man. :deal

    I shut the bike off for picture taking, I bet I restarted my 1150 sixty times with my Ballistic battery on my last trip. Ecperience says it's fine, experience also says that BMW grounds to the block need to be cleaned and tightened.

    YourVoltageMayVary
    #16
  17. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    You obviously have had a good experience with your Li battery. Me? I'll wait until they are lower cost. Safe travels.

    def
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  18. DrWez

    DrWez Mad Scientist

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    Update... spoke with Ballistic Batteries. They thought that the battery might be defective. So they are replacing it. I will pick it up at the dealer today and let you know.
    #18
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    huh ... one of the advantages of Lithium batteries is it's ability to deliver HUGE amps.

    but drawback is extra costs as compared in equal amp hour energy delivered. more amp hour capacity = more $$$

    this is why LiFePO4 batteries found it's first non-electric vehicle acceptance in the marketplace in Motorcycles and not in applications like starting diesels or cars. to create a battery with enough amp hours to support those applications. costs would exceed benefit.

    what's it worth to you to save say 10lbs.... for the weight wienie paying $$$ for carbon parts for his race bike and/or wanna be race bike. those are some of the cheapest lbs one can unload.

    but for most folks ... best replacement battery still remains AGM. unless of course it's worth all the $$$ to save those 5-10 lbs.

    yes ... one can successfully use LiFePO4 batteries in the most demanding applications. but the amp hour capacity has to be there. my recommendation is actual lead acid amp hour ... less 25%.

    if you follow most lithium battery mfg suggestions. you'll end up with a battery that supports your bike in the summer. NOT for the winter.

    R1200GS has some pretty demanding requirements. including needing reserve amp hour capacity to crank bike over repeatedly if your bike should go down from contaminated fuels, etc. there will be times pounding on fuel pump while cranking and cranking will get your bike back up again.

    for cold weather, one needs to understand warm up cycles consumes amp hours. starting procedures has to be learned to start your motorcycle in cold conditions.

    your heated gear doesn't understand all those fancy PB/EQ ratings battery mfg use. heated gear draws real amps... if your lithium battery say has only 4.6 amp hours. then your heated suit uses a chunk of that reserve just before you put bike away.... guess what happens next morning?

    above is why for most folks ... my recommendation is to stick with AGM. but some of us are willing to pay the toll to save 10lbs. not likely someone trying to sell you a lithium battery will inform you... probably because they don't know better.

    here's a chart listing voltages with corresponding battery charge state
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Off topic however, here goes.....So CY, would you recommend I shop for LiFePo engine start batteries for my diesel motor-home?

    1- Once I get to where I will overnight, I shut off the engine and use the leveling system (high current demand).

    2- When cold starting the diesel, I usually allow the intake air heater to run for 30 seconds prior to spinning the starter regardless of outside temperature. This hastens starting requiring less turns of the starter.

    3- When garaged, I use the battery disconnect and apply a smart charger to the batteries (two 12VDC batteries in parallel).

    The coach is equipped with a 150 amp alternator.

    Your thoughts please.

    BTW, the chassis batteries are OE (12 years old).
    #20