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

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by _cy_, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Antigravity

    Antigravity Been here awhile

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    Back from SEMA and ready to add some helpful tips and advice to those looking...
    As mentioned there are much physically smaller options out there...be warned though, it's very possible the smaller options may not have protections, so if the battery is over discharged the risk is there to damage a cell and essentially ruin the battery. Even if the charging out put is enough to cover accessories, Heated grips and other items can also cause parasitic draw so management of the battery also becomes much more vital. In addition be aware that amp hour capacity for lithium batteries is also often listed as PbEq (lead acid equivalent) this is used for comparative purposes and does not equal actual amp hours so you might not have as much capacity to work with as you initially thought.

    As far as leaving a charger on it continuously, no, not really needed or recommended unless you have a high enough draw and something that needs to be continuously energized (like an alarm system) otherwise it's kind of like uselessly cycling the battery and shortening the life span. A lithium battery doesn't have to be constantly kept at max charge on a maintainer like a lead/acid does.

    as always feel free to reach out to us directly!
    -chad
    chad@antigravitybatteries.com
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  2. counter shaft

    counter shaft Adventurer

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    I replaced the LeadAcid battery in my old CRF250X back in 2015 with a Motobatt MBTZ7S AGM battery. Prior to this I was going through a lead acid battery every year. Unibatt / Yuasa etc. They never lasted.

    When I changed the CRF to a Husky TE300 in 2016 I swapped the Motobatt from the Honda over to the Husky. About 2 weeks ago (Nov2019) the husky wouldn't start so after 4 1/2 years of abuse I'd finally killed the battery. I felt that the AGM battery was good value considering the years of service I got out of it, so ordered another .. .

    .. . but wait, there's more. . even with a brand new MBTZ7S, the husky still turned over really slow?? Wouldn't start only with a kick. New Bendix & starter brushes fitted and all is good. Also, the 2015 Motobatt is still going strong.

    Have the same motobatt TZ7S in all my offroad bikes ever since. Really really like them.
  3. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Been here awhile

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    Yuasa AGM in the GL1800 now 11yrs 1 month old and still working fine. I don't subscribe to the tender bullony keeping plugged in all the time. I think that is the main reason the battery is still working.
  4. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Where outside the snow belt do you live?
  5. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

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    Does that mean you don't have a tender on the battery or you do have a tender on the battery?
  6. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Every curve has tails...

    :hide
  7. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Been here awhile

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    I never use a tender unless battery voltage drops below 12.4v, then I'll hook up a tender overnight then take it off. I believe even the float voltage on a tender is too high and causes batteries to fail sooner if left on all the time.
    Most dissagree, but for me at least, using the tender only when necessary has proved to keep battery life exceptionally good most the time.
  8. Ste7ios

    Ste7ios Been here awhile

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    Generalizing may lead to wrong assumptions... Some battery maintainers are good implementations, some are bad. Some may undercharge the battery, some may overcharge it (what Ron describes).This is not difficult to tell by measuring the whole charging process. Usually maintainers by Optimate, CTEK are ok.

    The charger quality is not the only factor that affects battery’s lifetime. Temperature, usage, riding conditions also affects it...

    The cool to cold climate of Colorado for example is beneficial... A hotter climate may kill a battery in the half time...

    Everything is well documented in the first (50? ) pages of this thread.

    batteryuniversity.com is also a nice source for info, Yuasa’s Technical manual is a nice one too...
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  9. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Is it a factory secret, or can you tells at what temps your stated (non cold) cranking amps is reached?
    Do you have charts that shows how temperatures directly effect the (non cold) Cranking amps? It could help us to see if we need to buy a larger battery to cover our needs.

    Thank you.
  10. Antigravity

    Antigravity Been here awhile

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    Hi Jens, what I'll cover with most is that between 30-40 degrees F you may start to notice some resistance, we don't have anything directly available but check out this link and it may provide a little more insight.
    https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/discharging_at_high_and_low_temperatures
    Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!
    -Chad
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  11. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    I know it was a long shot, but I had to try. This thread is there to get things out in the open.
  12. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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  13. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Thanks appreciate it, however I was looking for something closer to the CCA test, I dont know many places that averages 25c. :)
    The graph above would be great in conjunction with one at 10c and one at 0. kinda like the first chart in the picture, which the manufactors seem to keep for themselves.
    Or said differently, im not looking for how the lithium battery performs under the best conditions, we all know they perform great there. :)
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  14. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Right, you have to surf around on their website. Try this:

    https://earthxbatteries.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ETX_Manual_111017_X.pdf

    Specifically, pages 17-19. May be what you're looking for, maybe not. And, FWIW, not everyone cares (much) how they perform in the cold; I care if they last in the heat... :lol3 My bikes are rarely below 40 degrees F, but regularly over 100...and have had more AGM batteries (car and bike) die suddenly than I could ever imagine before moving to the oven known as the great Southwest. I'm now at 2 years on my EarthX Li "experiment" in my Bonneville and have to say I'm extremely impressed with how fast it starts the bike and how little attention (i.e., none, no tender, no charging, nothing) it requires other than riding the bike about 2x/month. I will likely go that route as the other bikes' batteries come up for replacement.

    Of course, YMMV...

    Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.28.10 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.28.40 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.29.04 PM.png
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  15. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    And there's this, pretty honest, IMO...

    Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.49.28 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 3.49.43 PM.png
  16. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    The last one is exactly what I was looking for, and close to my assumptions. GREAT information.
    I didnt expect the lithium curve to break even so fast at around 20 degrees C

    Have you reserched if lithiums should be better for higher heat, cause thats not my experience either. Lead batteries will suffer here aswell for sure.
  17. Don Coyote

    Don Coyote Long timer

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    I don't get it, they mention data relating to 0*F, then reference a graph in *C that shows no correlation to a transition point at 0* anything, is that the right graph for the text?
  18. keepshoveling

    keepshoveling DNF

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    Seems like they meant 32F/freezing and the graph is mislabeled in C, no?

    e: they flipped the F/C in the text and the graph.

    e2: looking at the graph again maybe they didn’t and they just mean F in the graph. Purely anecdotally, I ran a race all day at 4 degrees Fahrenheit last year and KTM’s stock LiFePO battery on a 450 was a little rough starting at first but once it was running it started up just fine for the rest of the day. Including a couple services where it had time to cool down.
  19. Don Coyote

    Don Coyote Long timer

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    100% cranking amps shows to happen around 21*C which matches other mention of peak performance around 68*F (apparently Lithium 'goes to 11' after that?). At everything colder than that, lead acid outperforms lithium, the divergence at freezing doesn't look marked. The text mentions CCA and the chart CA, so I'm guessing it is the wrong chart.
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  20. Antigravity

    Antigravity Been here awhile

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    Excellent data indeed!...one thing that doesn't appear to be touched on though is being able to self warm the battery for better performance in cooler climates..in other words, yes lithium will definitely perform more sluggish in colder weather due to the resistance right out of the gate but you can help self warm the battery by drawing off of it, turning on a light or other accessory for a couple minutes or a quick pull off the starter will do this and allow the battery to achieve much better output for the full start.