Shorai Battery review on my 2008 R1200GS

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by troyslegacy, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. troyslegacy

    troyslegacy PigGS Feet

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    Recently I picked up a new LFX14A1-BS12 from Shorai Battery Company. I have one of their batteries on my 2006 CRF450X. It has been awesome and weighs about a pound compared to the six or so for the original. Significant weight savings on such a small bike. The battery started strong every time, always spinning the starter and firing right up. I have run the bike from the mountains of Arizona to North Carolina and have had no issues.
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    I was in the market for a new battery for my 08 GS and decided that with the great results I had on the CRF that I would pick one up for my GS, and save some weight while I was at it. I went to the shorai website, punched in my bike type and was given two options. A standard and a duration model. Shorai claims that their batteries CCA are rated more accurately then that of AGM or standard lead-acid batteries. I have a regular GS, minimal electrical farkles (GPS, heated gear in the winter) and decided that the standard was good enough. Big effin mistake.
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    After installing the battery I attempted to start the bike (click&#8230;click&#8230;ok, wait a second). The next time I hit the starter it turned the starter over, but struggled and acted like the battery was weak. It has done this constantly since then, first it will click, and then it will sluggishly turn over. Obviously this battery is far too under-powered for this bike. I will be contacting Shorai, unfortunately I cannot ship it back right now as the bike is in storage and I am in Afghanistan. I just wanted to let everyone know to stay away from this specific battery for this bike. The more powerful one is probably fine, but the standard recommendation is under-powered. <o:p></o:p>
    Other than that the weight savings, reliability, and discharge rates were the selling points for me.<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Try one of these, http://www.racetech.com/HTML_FILES/LightningBattery.html, it will start a full size Mercedes. It's also honestly rated at 4.6 amp hours, not some sort of made up equivalence. It also has built in battery management hardware to balance the cells. It's lithium nano phosphate, A123 cells.

    Let me add a disclosure, I know the manufacturer. The reason I evangelicize his product is because I've seen what they can do.

    Here it is starting my Mercedes 420SEL.
    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/N9aBK-1H_DM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #2
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Did you charge it first?

    These are in a growing number of bikes without this issue. Maybe yours is defective?

    Jim :brow
    #3
  4. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    I just put the Shorai battery in my '04 1150 GS. I had purchased the Shorai battery charger and charged the battery. I then disconnected the charger and the voltage settled at 13.35. The bike sat for about a week and the voltage dropped about 0.01 volts/day. This seems to match with their comment that riding the bike for a couple of hours once a month will keep the battery adequately charged (i.e., >13.00 volts). With the resting voltage sitting at 13.29 I started the bike without difficulty and rode it for about 5 miles. When I stopped the voltage again settled at 13.35.
    I'll post which battery I purchased after I go look at the box.
    OK! So I purchased the LFX18L1-BS12
    #4
  5. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    I ordered the smaller of the two Shorai batteries and was disappointed with its performance on my '11 GS. I put that battery in my Ducati Streetfighter (works perfectly, also the recommended size) and ordered the stronger one for the GS and it too works perfectly.

    Very happy with both, but the GS definitely requires the higher cca version between the two.
    #5
  6. BoatDoc

    BoatDoc Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing this with us, very useful! I'm on my fourth battery for my '08 gs and can relate. The OEM lasted nearly 3 years, then I went through two Yuasa "high capacity" batteries in 7 months. Both gave the same "click-click" after about two months. No amount of consulting from Yuasa or the battery seller would address it and they eventually gave me a partial refund. The second finally refused to start right outside a BMW dealer (coincidence?), so I put another OEM in ($ ouch) and it works just fine. I've been using the Shorai 6v in other projects for about six months and find them great, but wouldn't be surprised if what the gs/gsa needs is more than the minimum specified.
    #6
  7. troyslegacy

    troyslegacy PigGS Feet

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    Jim,

    It was charged before I installed it. I am going to contact Shorai and recommend to them that the bigger battery be the "standard" recommendation. Hopefully I can get a partial refund on mine when I get back from Afghanistan in October. The battery on my CRF450X discharges extremely slowly, then again the stock AGM battery has lasted without charge on my GS for months in storage as well. It's just frustrating to spend that much and have it end up being under-powered.
    #7
  8. J Lewis

    J Lewis Numb Nuts

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    I had the same issue on my 12 GSA and found this on the Shorai web page and have found the second crank works after the warming takes place.

    Q. I hear that lithium crank poorly when it gets cold, is that right?A.Lithium do increase in resistance more as temperature drops, compared to lead-acid. However, they also react to cranking under cold conditions in a much better way. Lead-acid will increase resistance on each subsequent cranking attempt, until it won’t turn over. If your LFX fails to start the engine on first crank, that first crank has warmed the battery, and the second attempt will be much stronger, and so on until you get a good start.

    Shorai LFX are much better in cold-weather conditions than other-brand lithium starter batteries, due to our eXtreme-rate formulation with low resistance. Down to about 20 degrees fahrenheit (-7C) most users find that they can start normally on first crank. If your headlight comes on at key-ON, it is good for the batteries to flow some current before cranking in cold weather. The suggested headlight-on time before cranking depends on the temperature. If starting at 40f (5C), 30 seconds will help wake the battery and increase cranking performance. If at 0f (-17C), leave the lights on for 4~5 minutes before cranking. The result will be a better first crank, and longer battery life. Any other accessories that can be turned on before cranking can also be used for this purpose, such as heated gear, radio, etc...
    #8
  9. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    The list on Shorai batteries I consulted before purchasing one for my 1150 GS indicated that the 18 amp battery (LFX18L1-BS12) is the one. I looked at my deceased OEM Exide Gel battery and the Panasonic AGM which followed the Exide battery; they are rated at 19 and 20 amps, respectively. I'm not sure how a 14 amp Shorai got in the mix. Does someone have a Shorai recommendation for the 14 amp battery for the GS?
    #9
  10. troyslegacy

    troyslegacy PigGS Feet

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    It is the same for me regardless of how warm or cold the bike is. It is just plain underpowered. Shorai isn't responding to my emails regarding this battery. I won't be buying from them again.
    #10
  11. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    Interesting, when I went to the site (http://www.epmperf.com/shorai.html) I used to identify the correct Shorai for my 1150 GS and typed in a 1200 GS it does recommend the 14 amp battery vs the 18 amp for the 1150.
    What is the amp rating on the OEM battery in the 1200 GS?
    #11
  12. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    I have the 18amp in my 09 GSA and no problems. The info. stated to get the 18amp if you have the accessories to run when the bike is off and I generally get the max available anyway. Also had some percieved problems but ended up being my fault but they still covered a battery under warranty. I can't speak to the the 14amp but understand the dissapointment since that's a recommend on the site. During my head scratching electrical problem I called them and was able to speak to someone each time so try that unless the email was ur only option. If you can call I think David was one of the managers I spoke to. TOLL FREE: 888-477-4848

    Just spoke to them on another question, asked about this concern and the rep said they were going to be changing the recommendation to the larger as the primary option but still call them maybe they'll help.


    They seemed nice and were helpful.

    Good luck
    #12
  13. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    The Shorai amp rating is some arbitrary number that isn't a good comparison with lead acid ampere hour. Read this from the Shorai faq, the red portions.
    Cranking ability is rated in cold cranking amps or cranking amps. Amp hours is a measure of the energy capacity over time.

    Look what the other super battery, Odyssey, says.
    Watch the video of the Lightning starting my Mercedes, no warmup needed and that's at 4.6 amp hours.
    #13
  14. Strange Rider

    Strange Rider n00b

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    When the 1200GS came out, apparently BMW was trying to cut so much weight from the 1150 that they skimped on battery size to save weight. The battery was underpowered, which is why the stock 1200GS batteries don't crank well. Shorai probably used the stock specs as a reference of appropriate battery size, without actually testing it's capability on the 12GS. Use the larger 18A Shorai and you will probably be fine, and also save much more weight than bmw ever could at the time.
    #14
  15. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    I know this is a old thread, but I was checking to see if anyone was having trouble with the Shorai Battery?
    My OEM battery on my 08GSA died this weekend, I was at the falling leaf rally in Missouri, and the Gateway BMW shop was selling these.. ($200 ouch!)
    They only had one that would fit a 1150, but I made it work on the 1200.. (the poles were reversed)

    So, now I have one.. Hope they are working well. I did get the 21 or 23 amp one.. Sorry, Sr moment.. So I'm hoping it's got enough power.. Did anyone buy the special charger/tender for it? Not sure how much that will be, but I want to get a long life out of a $200 battery. :lol3
    #15
  16. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    #16
  17. TuefelHunden

    TuefelHunden Been here awhile

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    I started with a 14aHr and was upgraded to an 18aHr on my Tiger. Sold the Tiger but kept the Shorai. Shorai send me a new 21aHr free complete with shipping both ways. Just ran the GS through three cold WV mornings. It doesn't like the cold. It will crank but you better not have any other issues going on. Some folks said it made their bike start stronger than the original AGM. Not mine. I think the original spins the bike up quicker hot or cold. Considering all the tools and crap I carry on the GS, the weight savings is not a valid advantage for the Shorai. Only positive thing I have to say is having two batteries isn't a bad idea when you keep one on trickle in a warm place all the time.
    #17
  18. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    as i've said before, i do think that their recommendation to "warm" the battery helps, but i'm just not sure i'd want to deal with the time that it takes to do so if i lived in a cold climate. i will say that the battery does act as it should if you go thru the proper steps on those colder winter mornings (haven't had any experience below 40 degrees).

    as for the cca, the 21a worked best in my GS but you do give up some of the weight savings in exchange.

    regards,
    #18
  19. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    I'm in Missouri, so I'll get a lot of opportunities to cold start it.. :cry
    I ride as much as I can in the winter months. If it's a decent day, I'll take it out. (I'm not hard core though. If there is ice out there, I'm in the jeep.)
    I guess we'll get to see how it does in a colder climate.
    #19
  20. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    Shorai now recommend a 21A for the 1200 GS Adventure. I tried the 14A middle of last year and it was definitely hopeless for the big bikes. I've just installed a 21A to test for the local dealer and it's a huge improvement over the 14A.

    Shorai do state they don't like starting in the cold and suggest you turn the ignition on for a few minutes to start drawing on the battery. Problem on BMWs is that the lights don't come until the bike starts, so the draw is that much less if you just turn the ignition on.

    Otherwise, my OEM battery was about 2.5 years old and would sometimes be quite sluggish in turning the bike over. I read plenty about the batteries suddenly failing to start the bike without warning and didn't really want to find that out the hard way :huh
    #20