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Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by cyborg, Jan 8, 2011.
Any comments/opinions on the reliability/failure-point of the BMS?
EarthX has the best BMS for motorcycle LiFePO4 that I'm aware of. extremely rugged to handle 300+ amps .. uses MOSFETs to actually disconnect mains for over/under voltage protection.
almost one year into a long term test for EarthX ETX36 with zero problems including starting down below 20f with R80G/S. which has much higher starting requirements than any modern fuel injected bike like LC8.
AntiGravity chooses not to use any BMS .. advantage no additional failure point. disadvantage .. no on the fly cell balancing.
Shorai doesn't publish spec's on BMS if any ... Shorai do provide external balance ports. almost two years into long term tests on LFX36 with zero problems. too bad LFX36 is too big for LC8.
IMHO currently the best LiFePO4 for LC8 is EarthX ETX36 .. which fits right into 990adv battery tray.
I'll post some positive news wrt Shorai-- 3rd winter (New Jersey) and after a week of temps that were in single digits we had a couple days where it reached near 50. The Shorai worked fine after 6 weeks in the garage and not being on a tender. So still no complaints.
I was tempted to go out & attempt starting it during the cold spell- but it was too cold for indulging in such behavior
FWIW, I have had a Shorai 18LFX in my 950 for about a year and a half, and I bought the battery used at the time. It has never been on a tender , and has always started my bike, even after sitting for a month or more at times unused. I do turn on the aux lights for 30 seconds or so as I push it out of the garage prior to starting, just to warm it up. Not sure if necessary or not, I just do it based upon what I have read.
It has ALWAYS stared the bike with authority, with no sign of weakness whatsoever. Just my experience, your results may vary.
Cheers, enjoy the ride
990 base old Yausa back in for winter riding, Shorai for the summer
Smaller Aprilia twins are having the same issues with LiPos in winter....but as racing goes, there you do need a light ones in summer, 990-not really the key feature to this bike
more information please ... what is the average and coldest temps you started 950 at?
which Shorai LFX18? there are different models that use that label. starting to think Shorai purposely made it confusing as possible so consumer cannot tell actual AH.
please note it's very_important to know your battery's voltage when putting away for the night. when using a tiny 5AH actual battery with a 1,000cc class bike. it's critical battery be close to full charge when putting away.
measure your voltage at battery when putting away and before starting next morning. ideal voltage is 13.3v (90%) range.
I will check the box tonight. I don't remember off-hand.
OK so an update - I have 3 possibly junk Shorais (LFX36 on an old Guzzi, LFX7 on mini bikes, and LFX12 on a Husaberg) - also have their charger. All bought within the last year. All have seen minimal use. Based on people saying they have good service, I gave them a call. Helpful guy on the other end. Measured voltages on all - 11.5, 12.5 and 9.9. He said to attempt charging one more time. He explained what the various number of beeps and LEDs mean on the charger (this isn't explained on the charger very well at all). The one with 12.5V, the LFX12, won't crank any bike I put it on. He said that's bad, probably junk. Anyways, he said if they don't charge up and work fine, send them in, and they will replace free or even upsize for nominal (like $15) fee (they suggest the 14 for the Berg and the 14 case is actually smaller than the 12 I have). Didn't ask for receipt or anything like that yet (which I'd have to go back to the dealer and get copies of, so hopefully we don't have to play that game). So hey, that's great if they come through. We will see. Perhaps they are having enough issues that they decided to handle it the right way and salvage their name.
Will update later.
all the voltages you've posted indicate over discharge which is considered operator error. it's common for bikes to have a small parasitic drain. any battery can be killed by parasitic drain.
Shorai LFX36 is a 14AH actual battery with plenty of reserve capacity for your Guzzi. what's the charging voltage of Guzzi at 3k rpm and same for other two bikes?
your LFX07 is a tiny actual AH battery. LFX12 weight 1.5lb or about 4AH which would marginal for any bike with starter.
My garage is insulated, so it rarely gets below 45 degrees F. I have started the bike in well below freezing temps, but it came out of the 45 degree garage. When I ride the bike, it is generally for at least an hour, most often 4 plus hours, so it is getting a good charge every time. I also have a Datel voltmeter installed on the bike, so I keep an eye on voltage. I have replaced the regulator a couple years back, and I know my bike's charging system is good.
I have it torn down a bit in the basement currently for a valve check, but I'll start paying more attention to voltage when I park the bike after riding, and before I start it once I get it back together and the riding season allows more frequent rides.
First battery purchased was LFX18A1-BS12 in September 2011. It was replaced in February 2012. I was told at the time it had a bad cell.
Replacement battery was the same but I was told "has newer chemistry". That failed during the heat in august 2012 while I was on a trip heading to Lake Champlain NY. I had to get the bike towed almost 100 miles to a shop that luckily had an AGM battery that I threw in the bike and was on my way again. I know there are plenty of people who have had good luck with these Lithium batteries, but i am not one of them. I have had issues form the cold and in the heat. I have not had a single issue with the Yuasa and other AGM batteries I have used.
Someone here asked for experiences, I am just giving mine. Seems like quite a few others have not had any issues with these batteries, and to them I say congratulations.
Well for my 2 cents. the Shorai I bought for my SE950 died within 8 or so months in a warm climate. The one I bought for my 650 Husaberg is going strong. I went back to a GSM for the 950. At least if it dies I can jump start it and it will run for the day and hold enough for a start and get me home.
above goes a long ways in explaining reduced starting requirements for your 990 .. 45f is considered moderate temps. taking your bike outside from 45f to freezing means your bike started out fairly warm.
having a voltage meter on your bike goes a long ways in keeping track of charging voltages. especially since LC8 along with BMW F8 has a history R/R problems with recommended upgrade to MOSFET R/R.
assuming you've checked to verify charging system is working .. which is a good thing with LC8's history of R/R issues.
generally if LiFePO4 failed during warm weather with charging system, starter/relay, cables, parasitic drain, etc verified good. sorry you got a dud one ...
An update on my 3 problematic batteries:
LFX27 (I thought it was the 36 but apparently its a 27 - realized when I removed from the bike): it started my bike once (1978 Guzzi), then I let it sit a couple weeks, then it didn't even turn on the neutral light when turning on the key. This bike had been fine previously with a conventional battery. I checked for drain while the key is off - zero amps going through. Attempted to charge the battery - no dice, never did start the bike again (this was a couple months ago - temps still fine).
LFX12: I got this for a Berg and it never did start that bike. OK, it has a lot of compression (though it is stock), so I tried it on several other bikes. Its never started anything else, including a Vespa scooter.
LFX07: I got this for a ZB50 Mini bike. Did ok in there a while, not even electric start mind you. then I used it on an LT80 quad for the kids. Worked ok a little while, then died. Never has taken a charge since.
With all of these, I tried a Battery Tender first. No dice. So I bought the Shorai charger - no dice. The LFX27 only gets to 10.1V after repeated attempts. LFX12 gets to 14.1V but again, won't even come close to starting even a scooter. LFX07 only gets to 13.4V.
Spoke again with the Shorai rep. I must say, I'm impressed with the customer service so far. Not only does the right person actually answer the phone number on their website, but after some checking and attempted charging, they have agreed to upgrade me the following:
LFX27 to LFX36 for $55, which is the difference in price (same battery dimensions so why not)
LFX12 to LFX14 - free, and dimensions are smaller on the 14(?)
LFX07 to LFX09 - $15
So I filled out the RMA and the batteries are going in the mail today. Ill update when something new happens.
there's some really nice folks at Shorai!
LFX27 weight is 4lb, which should be about 10AH actual battery. that should have been stout enough for your guzzi in all but coldest conditions.
please measure at battery your alternator's output at 3k rpm and post back. if you are not getting about 14.2v something is wrong ... typically airheads and guzzi have persistent low voltage charging problems combined with low wattage output. guzzi has a separate diode board .. B+ wire and ground strap wires on diode board gives problems.
here's the wiring kit for airheads for $15 some of it may fit guzzi .. solder ends on B+ wire if possible
Thanks for that info - I'll measure the Goose juice next time I start it. That wasn't the issue with this battery though - I installed the battery, started the bike, let it run maybe a minute, then shut it off. Then it sat in the garage a week or two - when I went to start it the next time to go for a ride - nothing. Voltage at 10.X. That bike didn't run long enough for a weak or even zero charging voltage to be the issue on the battery charge. And like I said, zero drain with key off according to my trusty Fluke.
Ok .. good to know you've got a Fluke to measure voltage with. if you've measured parasitic drain .. how many milliamps? if there was little to no parasitic drain and you started with charged LFX27 of 13.3v (90%) .. if that battery went dead on it's own in two weeks .. it's a dud
a good LiFePO4 battery will easily hold it's charge for a year .. LiFePO4 has extremely low self discharge. to find out if your Shorai has a BMS .. charge to full or 14.6v .. then allow to rest overnight .. resting voltage will be 14.25 range without BMS .. 13.85v range with BMS .. cell balancing works by shunting off excess voltage after cell full, allowing weaker cells to recover. that's the short version of how BMS works .. detailed version in LiFePO4 testing thread.
zero milliamps flowing between neg cable and neg terminal on the battery with key off. Expect to hear something from Shorai late next week - will update.