What kind of battery for adventuring, is Lithium up to the challenge?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by JoelWisman, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

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    Thank you for your reply my brother!!!
    Nice to know that someone has gotten some decent run time out of these new lightweight batts.
    MyShorai LFX 18 is now going into it's 3rd or 4th season. Hmm here I thought I had only gotten 2 yrs hmm I'm happier looking at my own stats now. I did have to replace 2 of them and a 3rd and 4th including two friends bikes. Yet perhaps we're seeing the latest improvements.

    I may try an AntiGravity 16 cell in the 990 just to further the test bed for us all. It looks to have some decent amphrs.

    Thanx again,
    Jettn Jim
  2. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    While the Shorai's are over stated on spec I am aware of a few which are in their 5th & 6th year of operation and have not always been treated well
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  3. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    EarthX 36 in my 990 since 2013. Cranked harder than the OEM Yuasa from the get-go and hasn't changed in 4 years. Started easily down to 20 degrees with no pre-heat necessary. I wouldn't be tempted to go smaller unless I lived further from the arctic. Also wouldn't get a LiPo without all the under and over voltage and current protections and cell balancing circuitry that the EarthX units provide. I am always on a tight budget but I figure out how to stretch it for this kind of peace of mind.
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  4. ADVwxyz

    ADVwxyz yep

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    I have this one, no issues, 1 year old... vold starts fine- just run the lights for awhile to warm the battery before the cold start.
  5. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    one cannot use cranking ability to determine if LiFePO4 is large enough .. all li-ion including LiFePO4 discharges at high rates so an undersized LiFePO4 can and do fool many folks into thinking that tiny battery will be dependable on their beast.

    lots of 990 Adv folks have a tendency to disappear in some pretty remote locations with nasty weather thrown in ..
    let's say your fuel pump takes a dump and/or just gets cranky .. this is when reserve amp hours comes into play.

    if KTM engineers spec'd say 12AH .. they didn't come up with that number by accident .. it's best to install the same size AH or greater than OEM rating.
    this goes for both AGM/LiFePO4 .. IMHO actual AH specs from mfg for LiFePO4 should be more straightforward.

    simply ask the LiFePO4 mfg for the actual AH for the battery you are about to purchase .. then make sure it's the same or larger than OEM AH rating for AGM.
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  6. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    it's not just Shoria that inflates numbers .. most of the LiFePO4 mfg also do it for what I'm assuming are competitive reasons.
    unless I'm mistaken .. I do believe Shoria was the one that started this mislabeling of LiFePO4 mess ..

    sized correctly Shorai can be a very reliable LiFePO4 battery! there's some very nice folks at Shorai with some of the best customer service around.
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  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    yup if you ride a beast and want a dependable battery .. stick with AGM or go with the largest LiFePO4 you can stick into space available.
    the best fit for 990Adv folks seems to be EarthX ETX36 ..
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  8. 9limits

    9limits n00b

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    Attached Files:

  9. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    Wow, I've never had that happen but then I use regular batteries that get me anywhere from 9 to 16 years from them. Simple works!
  10. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    Just to present a balanced picture, lead acid batteries can melt down and/or explode too.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exploding-lead-acid-batteries-did-supervisor-cover-one-terry-penney

    And Global, however you are buying and treating your batteries keep doing it. The best I can do in a vehicle is about 5 or 6 years. (Up to almost 5 years with my EarthX battery btw).

    The hundreds of substation batteries I deal with every day, manufactured, maintained and charged to the highest standard, are said to last up to 20 years, but we don’t have many around older than about 10. Note that these spend 99% of their lives on a float charge, usually only heavily discharged during 5 year scheduled load tests.

    Granted, our test procedures are pretty rigorous, and we don’t tolerate leaks for too long either. Often a battery string is made up of sixty 2-volt jars, so a failure in one jar doesn’t mean throwing out 5 good cells with one bad one, like you have to do with 12-volt jars.

    I’m sure there are comparisons out there between Lithium’s and Lead acid, and failure rates may be lower in the latter, but they are not bullet-proof. Much of the bad press for the new technology came from the early days when the tech was being developed.
    I haven’t seen Lithium’s in use for high voltage transmission systems (weight-saving is not really a design parameter) but NiCds are becoming more popular now, especially in mobile equipment.
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    thanks for posting!

    luckily OP from Romania posted excellent before and after pics. it's clear that he was able to install new LiFePO4 in OEM configuration which means failure probably didn't come from a dead short from battery posts and/or cable. especially if motorcycle was working completely normal with OEM battery before install?

    it's clear that failure came from a dead short and NOT from a thermal runaway (explosion) .. 8 cells in picture with only one clearly ruptured cell, other cells appears to be intact. if failure was due to thermal runaway, heat would be intense enough to set off neighboring cells.

    IMHO dead short failure probably was internal vs external related to instalation and/or other dead short from say the starter, etc. etc.
    this is why high quality LiFePO4 mfg like EarthX are so important. internal protection circuits clamps down dead short failure when parameters exceed set limits.


    upload_2018-2-2_8-57-42.jpeg
  12. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    I know, but even working in a battery lab in the Defense Dept, I have yet to see one explode.

    31 pages of batteries. Sounds like an oil thread. Likely started by someone with an interest in batteries as in "selling them".

    I highly doubt I will get double the life I get with these batteries and that would be a break even point at double the cost.
  13. 9limits

    9limits n00b

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    Welp, I feel like a dick. It was my fault for the meltdown.

    I measured the charging voltage last night after 45m of riding: 15.2V.
    They say with big red letters to not get over 14.6.

    It was due to a badly put feedback wire from the regulator. I ran the alp like this for the last 4 years but the acid batteries did not mind.
    So, to sum it up, it ran fine for 9 months on the xtz750. The I put it on the transalp with the faulty regulator in november, where it worked for another 1k km or so until it broke.

    So, as they said numerous times, don't install one if your not sure about the voltage you get of the regulator. Even then a voltage indicator on screen should be mandatory.

    Cheers, ride safe and don't light your bike on fire
    Codrut
  14. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    If your interest is only in reliability, longevity and cost I would agree with you 100%. Lead acid is very proven technology and manufacturers have been around for generations. The better quality Lithiums have a few smaller advantages over lead acid, like much lower self-discharge rates and internal under and over voltage protection, but by far the biggie is weight saving. You have to want it.
    As for the lead acid battery meltdowns, i have only seen photos at battery training classes myself. Hydrogen explosions during hamfisted jump starting procedures are more common, which is why I always make and break the circuit at a point on the frame or engine, remote from the battery.

  15. frogy

    frogy Long timer

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    Yes, last contact for jump should be far away from Batt. Being a Mech for GM many years ago I seen many incorrect ways...
  16. frogy

    frogy Long timer

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    But back to Lith... When I picked up a 2013 BMW RT I noticed she cranked a little slower than my totaled 02 RT. I assumed since my 02 had the Ody PC680 (7 years old) and the 13 had orig AGM it was time for new batt. Instead of pulling the 680 out of the 02 I thought maybe its time to try Lith. I had been following this thread from get go and loved the idea of saving upwards of 20 lbs, weight that was high up on the bike (vs a $1000 muffler that is low on bike). After months I decided on Earth X with its built in safety features.
    My riding habits are where tailored to accept a medium sized batt, not requiring the 36. My shortest ride is to the gym each morning 2 miles away, but from there I go to work which takes 40 min. I travel to Rallys several hours away but aways near a town or city (no deep woods for me, or beyond Gods country), I do not do Starbuck runs, if I start my bike its going to be on the road for at least a leasure hour.
    I purchased a ETX24D for $259 on 4/16 with a 2 year unlimited warr., not cheap by any means but as Cy has stated many times "its the cheapest way to take lbs of your bike except going on a diet".
    Am I happy...yep. Now lets see if this EarthX will last as long as my other option, the PC680, in my opinion the most reliable, and longest lasting batt out there.
    P.S. Hey Cy, I still feel you have to repeat the same thing soooo many times in this thread...Dude, send their questions to a specific page and state "read this page...heres your answer".
    As always thanks for starting this...
    Ste7ios likes this.
  17. worthydog

    worthydog Shosholoza Supporter

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    I am looking to drop weight on my bike and these batteries look like an easy way to pick up some savings. The bike in question is my "around town" bike that never leaves Santa Barbara, so cold temps are not a concern. Neither is price if dependability is for sale. It looks like Earth X is the brand getting the best reviews here, is that right?
  18. bross

    bross Where we riding to? Supporter

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    Or Antigravity. After much research I put an Antigravity into my Griso and it's been working fine for the past 2 years.
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  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    EarthX, Antigravity and Shorai have met the test of time .. provided you install a large enough actual AH LiFePO4 .. all three will do the job. EarthX seems to have the best internal protection circuits and is 100% upfront about actual AH.

    issues if any, typically having enough cranking power will not be a problem. my recommedation for sometime has been to install the same actual AH rating for AGM and LiFePO4.

    most LiFePO4 mfg wised up to 4C charge limitations after a number of fires from installing way too small LiFePO4 in bikes with monster size alternator output. past that it's mostly about installing enough actual reserve AH to combat parasitic drain from your fancy electronic gadget loaded bike. in other words with a tiny reserve AH LiFePO4 .. look for your bike to kill the battery quickly from sitting.

    to measure actual parasysitic drain in milliamps, take your handy dandy Fluke 87V or other VOM set to measure amp, hook in series with ground with everything off. then check against what mfg states is normal.

    no meter .. do it the el cheapo method .. at night unhook your ground and touch lightly, if you see a tiny spark .. you got current flowing ..
  20. Yardstick

    Yardstick Hydrophobic

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    I've had two Antigravity batteries and two EarthX batteries in bikes for about two years now. One of each brand are in a pair of KTM500XC-Ws that see a lot of technical singletrack almost on a weekly basis. They frequently go through a lot of starts without running very much in between to recharge. Both batteries are working fine and I can't remember the last time I had to use the kick start on either bike. The other two were in my big bikes that don't get ridden as much. Those batteries are punished in a different way. They get infrequent starts and runs and sit for too long in between. I know the 990 Adventure has a tiny parasitic drain with its security key system. The Super Enduro must have some parasitic drain but I'm not sure what it is. The Antigravity in the 990 is actually older and has been drained to the point that it wouldn't start the bike a couple of times. Once it's charged it seems to work fine. The EarthX that was in the SE didn't fare so well. I updated the charging system on that bike with a good RR and I have a volt meter on the handlebars. It seems to operate within the correct limits. The battery wasn't as old and hadn't been drained as far down but recently it failed to start the bike even after several attempts to charge the battery. The resting voltage could look fine but it would trip the low voltage cutoff circuit when I hit the start button. EarthX does have great customer service. I went through some troubleshooting and testing and let them know what I tried. They suggested a couple more tests to run and were very responsive by email. Ultimately it seems that the capacity was reduced due to age. The battery was out of warranty by a couple months so they offered a nice discount on a new one. When I wasn't sure of the cause of the failure and before they made the discount offer on a new one I found another Antigravity, so that's in the bike now.