Shorai Replacement Battery Evaluation

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by WillyTheWimp, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    I needed a new battery for my bike and my friend Klaus at EPM Performance Imports, www.epmperf.com had mentioned that he had just picked up a line of batteries that have lithium technology and weigh almost nothing compared to standard batteries. I was a little skeptical about the performance claims for this new battery and I like to test things. One of the problems I have with most things is that they are based on opinion and not on much repeatable science.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    At first glance the build quality of the case and terminals looked really good but I understand they are making improvements over what I have.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    It comes with a nice sticker, some instructions and two sets of connection bolts. The box is also filled with foam spacers so you can shim the battery for a tight fit in your bikes battery mount.

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    The first comparison was the size of the cases so I took a few photos,
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    <o:p>Wow this battery is tiny. It’s the same case size as the one in the KTM 530 EXC yet is supposed to have the power of the stock battery of the KTM 950 and 990’s. More on that later.<o:p></o:p>
    Next was to see how much it weighted so out came the kitchen scale and again I took photos.
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    The stock 950-990 battery weighs in at 8#5oz, the stock 530 battery at 3#3oz and the Shorai at 1#8oz. That is an incredible difference for just the battery to make in the weight of the bike considering it doesn’t cost all that much more to buy than a AGM or other lead acid type battery. Of course it’s still cheaper to go on a diet and reduce the weight of the rider.<o:p></o:p>
    Now we get to the real meat of the test. Does this new battery preform as well electrically as the stock batteries. I don’t have a brand new stock battery so I had to come up with a way to handicap the Shorai which I did by subjecting it to more cycles and to more current draw than the stock 950-990 battery. I also put the Shorai in the freezer at -10&#730;F overnight so it would be really cold for the first run.<o:p></o:p>
    I have a 500 amp carbon pile load tester from our good friends at Harbor Freight, http://www.harborfreight.com/500-amp-carbon-pile-load-tester-91129.htmland a stop watch. Just what’s needed for testing batteries. The basic idea is to apply a load for 15 seconds, give things a chance to cool down for a minute, then apply the load again for 3 repetitions on the stock battery and 4 repetitions on the Shorai. This simulates a really hard starting situation and allows us to measure the battery voltage while under load at the end of the 3<SUP>rd</SUP> run to determine the battery condition. This is loaded voltage is lower than the no-load battery voltage and is a really good indication of battery condition.<o:p></o:p>
    To begin I charged both batteries with a Battery Tender Automatic Battery Charger model 021-0123. The Shorai was on the charger for about 5 minutes before it gave a green light and then it went in the freezer. The stock battery was left on the charger for about 24 hours until just before the tests started.
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    Hooked up and ready for the first set of 4 repetitions.
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    <o:p>Shorai Set 1, Rep 1: I hit the very cold Shorai with 200 CCA setting on the draw scale for 15 seconds. The voltage is low but the battery is so cold I didn’t expect much out of it.
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    Shorai Set 1, Rep 2: I’m not that used to testing batteries other than to find out if they are ok to continue using and after that last shot I figure I’ll try the amp-hour scale at 15. I get a very respectable showing on the voltage scale after 15 seconds.<o:p></o:p>
    Shorai Set 1, Rep 3: This was about the same as Rep 2 so no photo.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Shorai Set 1, Rep 4: Well after that great showing I decide to put a huge load on it again and we get a really good showing this time. Of course the inside of the battery must have warmed up by now because of the current we have sucked though it. These additional really high draws on the battery have also handicapped it for the future sets I’m going to do on this battery.<o:p></o:p>
    I give the tester 5 minutes to cool down and hook up the stock battery.
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    All hooked up and ready to blast with the first rep. I only did one set on the stock battery and the last photo will be telling.<o:p></o:p>
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    Stock Set 1, Rep 1: I hit the stock battery that just came off the charger and is at about 65&#730;F with 200CCA and it doesn’t do much better than the Shorai at -10&#730;F.
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    Stock Set 1, Rep 2: After the poor showing above I decide to use the amp-hour scale at 15ah on the stock battery. It just passes Rep 2.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p>Stock Set 1, Rep 3: Well the stock battery fails at 15 amp-hour setting. I decide to forgo additional testing of the stock battery at this point because I don’t think there is going to anything to learn. Of course this battery is a couple of years old but it was still starting the bike fine. If I can get my hands on a new stock battery in the near future I’ll repeat this test on it.<o:p></o:p>
    But the Shorai still has power so I’ll continue to abuse it in 2 more sets of 4 reps each with a 5 minute cool down between the sets. I’ll use 20 on the amp-hour scale so that I’m loading the battery fairly well in these tests.<o:p></o:p>
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    Shorai Set 2, Rep 4: The Shorai is still holding in there.
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    <o:p>Shorai Set 3, Rep 4: I’ve loaded this battery for 12 cycles now and it still is showing a pass but just. So at this point I’m going to stop testing.<o:p></o:p>
    Some conclusions. I think if you loaded the Shorai as I did using your starter motor you’d probably have burned out your starter motor. I was very amazed at the amount of power that the Shorai put out in this test. Batteries do really well with a lot of amp-hour with a small load in comparison to the size of the battery. But I’ve really hit it with some large loads and it kept putting out the amps. Its small size and low weight are amazing compared to the lead acid technology. So this is a relatively inexpensive way to shed about 6 pounds on the bike, not that that is a very significant amount but it’s another gallon of fuel, a large telephoto lens or some other creature comfort you haven’t been carrying.<o:p></o:p>
    They are redesigning the terminals and while they look to be plenty strong as they are I could see how a ham-fisted mechanic could mangle them since they aren’t as beefy as the ones on the stock battery. Most of the time it seems things are made tighter then they need to be.<o:p></o:p>
    I hope someone else will repeat these tests. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about what I did. Have a great day and be safe.</o:p>
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    #1
  2. Railbender

    Railbender Long timer Supporter

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    Great review. :clap Next time I need a battery I will look into one.

    :freaky
    #2
  3. dmn0507

    dmn0507 Been here awhile

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    Finally some numbers! Good thread :thumb
    #3
  4. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    I'm interviewing a representative of SHORAI batteries on my sidestandup.com segment on Tuesday, 3/15, at around 7:15EST. Everything I've learned about these new batteries has been extremely positive and I especially like the weight savings opportunity.
    #4
  5. moymurfs

    moymurfs Truth has become unacceptable.

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    Excellent write-up :clap
    #5
  6. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Nice right up Willy. But will it work in the SUPER TENERE ?
    #6
  7. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    Thank you, :ricky. DockingPilot, of course it will.. and it will even shave a couple of pounds off that behemoth.
    #7
  8. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Why I'm highly insulted ! :huh

    Oh, and this really belongs in "Equipment". Tell the moderator to move it. :1drink
    #8
  9. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. Tissue?
    #9
  10. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    Can we derive from this that the lithium batteries won't be permanently killed with inactivity like a lead acid?
    #10
  11. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Yea Willy ! If say a certain someones 950 were to sit all year, on its side perhaps, and maybe even a clutch slave filled with used 7-11 motor oil, would the new battery still light it up ?
    Assuming the water pump worked and the fuel pump didnt die and the.......
    :drums
    #11
  12. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    I didn't test for that, but I'd assume it's like a laptop battery. The makers say that it will not be permanently killed by inactivity. They also say that the amount of charge it loses over time is almost nothing when compared to a lead acid. Again something I haven't tested. The problem you have with some bikes that have computers is that the computers are always using some power. So over time they will use up the battery.
    #12
  13. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    Now I need a tissue, :cry.

    I highly recomend 7-11 motor oil in the clutch if there isn't any other fluid available other than something that's sure to boil at 212F. The laying on its side was only for a couple of days out of the year, that damn Harbor Freight lift. Fuel pumps, if they stop working just shoot a blast of air though them to clean out the left over dried out fuel, damn ethonol. Water pumps are another story, How often are you supposed to change them? If you use that cheap Wal-Mart brand pre-mixed antifreeze you should have less problems.
    #13
  14. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    You mean like any modern bike, like for instance, oh the...........oh I dont know.........say the SUPER TENERE ?
    #14
  15. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    One of the things I have huge problems with is keeping up on batteries. Since the cost of lithium is not much more than lead acid, these would be a big money saver.
    #15
  16. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

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    Thanks for doing the tests Willy.

    I need to find a better cranking battery for the threefiddy as the stock one's CCA is too low. Might even buy one for the GS at the same time.

    Don't mind that Dockingpilot guy, he seems to change bikes more often than he changes underwear. :wink: Can't believe he sold that beemer and buying a Yamaha:eek1. Gotta find another bike to farkle and make room for some new Touratech stickers.:lol3
    #16
  17. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    :lol3
    Dont think I doubt doubt my desicion at times JP.
    btw, you know who Willy is right ?
    #17
  18. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    Yes something like that but not like a KTM 530.
    #18
  19. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

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    Yep I do!:freaky
    #19
  20. WillyTheWimp

    WillyTheWimp Gangsta Adventurer

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    He's on a one man mission to keep touratch in business. I think they made him sign a contract:deal.

    It's kind of embarrassing when you go to some of the finer establishments in New Brunswick and they ask the guy when the last time he changed was and he asks, "You mean my bike or my underwear?"
    #20