LC4 Shorai Battery installation

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by bikemoto, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    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. :dunno The OEM Yuasa YTZ10S although having performed well, is silly money here: $407 ex-freight from the cheapest place I could find. :puke1 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. :cry 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.:clap 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.
    [​IMG]

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

    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.
    [​IMG]

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

    Once installed, I turned on the key... nuthin'. :huh 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.
    [​IMG]

    Crimp on a new ring:
    [​IMG]

    and we are away!
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    #1
  2. jon6.0

    jon6.0 Been here awhile

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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.
    #2
  3. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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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. :clap
    #3
  4. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    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...
    #4
  5. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    I paid US $137 for the Shorai, so +1 Gunner....
    #5
  6. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    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...
    #6
  7. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    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.:D
    #7
  8. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    That's what you get for living in <del>the arse end of the world</del> paradise. :evil 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 :eek1 but supposedly there is price parity now... not quite though it's closer.

    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.
    #8
  9. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Quick update, having just rediscovered this thread. :D

    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. :freaky
    #9
  10. Queen of Spades

    Queen of Spades tall drink of water

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    RIght, so the OP installed a Shorai LFX14A4-BS1. The Shorai I had in my LC4 two years ago was a LFX18A4-BS1 and eventually went flat. Someone mentioned my previous Shorai battery wasn't strong enough and I should get the correct Shorai battery for my bike.

    So what is the difference between the 14A and 18A in the part numbers? If we are talking amp hours, which is "better", 14 or 18?
    #10
  11. Queen of Spades

    Queen of Spades tall drink of water

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  12. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Shorai now have a new recommended product for the 640: LFX19A4-BS12. Weight, AmpHours, and CCA are all up by about 10% over the 18 and well up on the 14 that used to be their "standard recommendation". The 18 doesn't appear on their web site, so possibly the 19 is an upgraded 18 to suit a wider range of applications. And the 14 is no longer recommended for the 640 at all. :puke1

    http://shoraipower.com/products?action=vehicle&type=175&make=223147&model=223163&year=223163

    QoS, I would have thought your 18 would be more than up to the job versus the 14, and evidently so do Shorai if they are recommending the 19 now. Which is better? Don't know for sure. "More is better" is a Harley mentality which is a fallacy. I prefer things to be the right size.

    For the VFR, Shorai lists the 14 as the standard recommendation, and the 18 as a "duration" option. I went with the 14 for that bike too, as the 14 is still well up on the OEM lead acid spec.
    #12
  13. Queen of Spades

    Queen of Spades tall drink of water

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    Thanks - I strongly recommend anyone thinking of purchasing a battery (be it Shorai, or any other) read this thread to be edumacated on this topic.

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

    I learned there are a lot of deceptive marking practices especially surrounding Lithium* batteries. For example, the Shorai batteries are advertised as 18Ah, but are actually only around 5Ah from __cy__'s testing. Stock Ah for the 640 is 8Ah, so yeah - the Shorai I got was too small.

    Read the thread linked above to learn more prior to making a purchase. :deal

    PS plan on plenty of time, the thread above is over 100 pages long. :evil
    #13
  14. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Yebbut it's not 18Ah, but rather 18 in lead-acid equivalent performance. I'm happy with my 14.
    #14
  15. Dale950

    Dale950 Long timer

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    I just had a problem with a lithium iron in my 625 , claimed 190 CCA , had it tested by a electrician actual 90 cca . No more for me until they get better .
    #15
  16. Queen of Spades

    Queen of Spades tall drink of water

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    Yep, I bought a Lithium* battery from Batteries Plus last weekend on a whim (they just started carrying "Sky Rich" brand). Got it home and decided to learn more what I bought before installing. Batteries Plus went through the effort of replacing all Sky Rich's published part numbers with an obscure, Batteries Plus only internal part number. There was no way for me to find out exactly what I had or even confirm what the salesworm told me. The fact that they went out of their way to hide the actual manufacturer's part number told volumes about what I could expect from the battery, and I promptly returned it.

    Ordered a Yuasa for the time being (though I second guessed that yesterday when I read about the MotoBatt AGM)

    This thread is a treasure trove of real world data in a battery market clouded and obscured with marketing jargon and distortions. While not LC4 specific it really ought to be sticked on the first post of the LC4 master thread.

    Motorcycle Batteries .. AGM, GEL, Wet, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=27010041#post27010041
    #16
  17. DrKayak

    DrKayak Retro Rider

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    I have successfully run the Shorai in my 450exc for 3 years. After killing the first one I learned to put it on the dedicated Shorai charger after each ride. If the bike does not put out close to 14.5v for most of the ride the battery will degrade and cells will die.. My 450 lugging on single track with the fan on does not put out enough to keep the battery happy.

    There was a long post on it.. calling out certain bikes that would kill a Shorai due to low charging voltages...

    I don't trust them enough to put one in my 690 (no kick start).. The 690 is a pig and not worth the hassle for the weight savings... on a trail bike I would never run lead acid..
    #17
  18. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    I've been running a Li-ion battery (KTM #76011953000) for the last 2 years without any issues on my 690E. Not cheap, but feather light.

    I've drained it at least 3 times due to various reasons (screwed auto decomp, left ignition/lights on etc.), and it has always worked after a charge up.

    I'm a fan.
    #18
  19. StuInFH

    StuInFH Been here awhile

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    Was batt time for '13 690 (agreed-not much incentive for wt savings on heavy bike), so installing an EarthX 18 this weekend. EX went in 500 day one for wt savings and BMS, which I already tested. :-) TurnTech from '09 is still going strong seven years later, although just a back up at this point.

    I wouldn't buy one w/o an onboard BMS, and I carry shortened lt wt jumpers on no kickstart bike.

    I'll post back in three years with an update. Or seven.
    #19
  20. Queen of Spades

    Queen of Spades tall drink of water

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    How's the EarthX holding up so far?
    #20