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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
Time to change the battery and considering going Lithium as prices are much lower in last few years.
I've used large Lithium in my RV with good success.
Has anyone had a good or bad experience on a motorcycle?

Seems like a person could go to the 20 (full tray fit) and have extra battery size without weight concern, but not sure that necessarily needed. I did see a battery with a built in reserve jump box that seemed like an interesting concept.

Thanks in advance for comments or links to good posts.
 

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I tried Battery Tender brand in my Vulcan. I didn't have good luck with them as they don't have much reserve power. So if I didn't plug in a trickle charger they died in a few days. I had a XM radio and it used enough power when it was off to kill the battery. And I couldn't hook the radio to switched power because it would lose the activation code.
I had another battery on the shelf, fully charged, to see how it would hold up in freezing temps. It died too and expanded.
This was over four years ago. Since then, Battery Tender has put in a low voltage cut off circuit so the battery won't drain completely. It has a manual reset switch to reactivate the battery.
Personally, I wouldn't go lithium iron again, as the freezing temps here cause problems with charging and starting. You're supposed to turn on the lights and let the battery warm up before cranking when it's below freezing.
Ryan on FortNine YouTube channel has a good explainer for the different types if batteries. I'm sticking with AGM myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I installed a LI battery about three years ago. Smaller, lighter and more CCA. I forget the brand but it came with its own dedicated trickle charger. After the initial 24 hr charge I’ve never had to use it again even over the winter in a unheated garage. 🤞So far so good.
Thats one of the big plus with lithium is the very slow decrease in voltage/charge. No need to use a maintenance charge for several months at a time. If you forget to do maintenance charge within a couple weeks the wet cell technology is starting to degrade.
can't speak for the lithium batteries, but the 20's fit nicely! $40 vs. $125 or more made it an easy decision for me.
Do you happen to know what name brand and model number you installed?
What type of life are you getting out of one of the lower cost batteries?
 

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This is what I bought. Still in the bike never on a charger in my unheated garage other than the initial 24 hr charge before install. View attachment 48137
sorry for the slow response, I bought it off Ebay, powersport battery is the brand, from batterytechllc. It was $40 with free shipping. Bought on for the Vulcan too (selling it, so long life isn't so important) I tend to be frugal, and if I get 2 seasons, I'll be happy.
 

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Bought these in 2016 for a 2002 Kawasaki Concours, had it in that bike for nearly 2 years until I got the CTX. I installed it in the CTX, it's been in there for about 4 years now.

I don't regularly hook up the trickle charger, it's been about 4 months since I did and it fired right up a few days ago. I haven't had any issues with the battery and have ridden in all seasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think my current battery is the original install of a bikemaster agm with date code N0506. Couldn't ever get a response from bikemaster but found a forum post referring to the Code. If I'm right this thing is still going at 8+ years which is amazing. Even though never failed to start I just don't want to find out when it would die, with resting voltage after a few days being 12.4+ I think its showing its age a bit.

I was really leaning towards a lithium but going with another agm Bob had mentioned from Amazon this time. Its on its way and will give my opinion on cranking amps and comparable weights when installed.

Thanks for all the responses
 

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I think my current battery is the original install of a bikemaster agm with date code N0506. Couldn't ever get a response from bikemaster but found a forum post referring to the Code. If I'm right this thing is still going at 8+ years which is amazing. Even though never failed to start I just don't want to find out when it would die, with resting voltage after a few days being 12.4+ I think its showing its age a bit.

I was really leaning towards a lithium but going with another agm Bob had mentioned from Amazon this time. Its on its way and will give my opinion on cranking amps and comparable weights when installed.

Thanks for all the responses
12.4 sounds good, but what is the voltage while cranking the starter?
 

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View attachment 48192

Bought these in 2016 for a 2002 Kawasaki Concours, had it in that bike for nearly 2 years until I got the CTX. I installed it in the CTX, it's been in there for about 4 years now.

I don't regularly hook up the trickle charger, it's been about 4 months since I did and it fired right up a few days ago. I haven't had any issues with the battery and have ridden in all seasons.
I think the problem I had with lithium was the sound system I was using. It continued to draw power even though it was switched off. It was draining my battery down too much between rides and ruined the battery. So I'm a little shy about going back to lithium, unless I used a trickle charger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the problem I had with lithium was the sound system I was using. It continued to draw power even though it was switched off. It was draining my battery down too much between rides and ruined the battery. So I'm a little shy about going back to lithium, unless I used a trickle charger.
The story goes you can drain a lithium to dead like 2000 times before it starts loosing ability to store full power. They do take a special charge feature to bring them back from bms shut down point. I use one in my camper and its pretty impressive for that type of application with my favorite point being how fast they absorb energy compared to wet cell. For the bike I would have thought the very low loss of charge in storage would be perfect for times when you don't ride for a month so no tinder or charge req
12.4 sounds good, but what is the voltage while cranking the starter?
Just with key switched (head light) drops it to in high 11s. Always a quick start so seems like cranking amps still decent. I just can't trust a 2014 battery nor care to deal with a no crank away from the house for the price of a battery.
 

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The story goes you can drain a lithium to dead like 2000 times before it starts loosing ability to store full power. They do take a special charge feature to bring them back from bms shut down point. I use one in my camper and its pretty impressive for that type of application with my favorite point being how fast they absorb energy compared to wet cell. For the bike I would have thought the very low loss of charge in storage would be perfect for times when you don't ride for a month so no tinder or charge req

Just with key switched (head light) drops it to in high 11s. Always a quick start so seems like cranking amps still decent. I just can't trust a 2014 battery nor care to deal with a no crank away from the house for the price of a battery.
I just checked mine. 13.1v. Ignition on 12.9 and dropping 0.1v every 2-3 seconds. Ignition off at 12.5 and it leveled out at 12.9v. But my battery is new.
Like you say, change it before it goes quickly and leaves you stranded.
You've noticed how Harley cranks. My friend says it's time to change the battery the first time it starts out with that slow strained first crank over. It's a sure sign of a weak battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just checked mine. 13.1v. Ignition on 12.9 and dropping 0.1v every 2-3 seconds. Ignition off at 12.5 and it leveled out at 12.9v. But my battery is new.
Like you say, change it before it goes quickly and leaves you stranded.
You've noticed how Harley cranks. My friend says it's time to change the battery the first time it starts out with that slow strained first crank over. It's a sure sign of a weak battery.
That's a high voltage for a wet cell. Did you have it on a tender just before?
 

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The story goes you can drain a lithium to dead like 2000 times before it starts loosing ability to store full power. They do take a special charge feature to bring them back from bms shut down point. I use one in my camper and its pretty impressive for that type of application with my favorite point being how fast they absorb energy compared to wet cell. For the bike I would have thought the very low loss of charge in storage would be perfect for times when you don't ride for a month so no tinder or charge req

Just with key switched (head light) drops it to in high 11s. Always a quick start so seems like cranking amps still decent. I just can't trust a 2014 battery nor care to deal with a no crank away from the house for the price of a battery.
I don't understand why mine failed, since you can drain them down without damage. It may have been freezing temps during the recharge that did it in. The pack did swell out. I opened it and found a couple of the cells had swelled up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No. Been a couple hours since I took a five mile ride.
Fresh off running for a while would top off a new battery like that charging cycle like 14+. I would guess overnight it would be around 12.7-8
Lithium has a resting voltage about 1v higher, that's why after 3 months of sitting it's still higher than wet cell full charged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Anything can go bad, but the lithium with a bms have a good history. The charge profile for lithium is different so while a wet cell charger can add voltage it might not fully charge, but some smart chargers also have cycle that boosts too high to help wet cell technology. They do all have a limit of how big an amp charge they can handle, not sure with the little motorcycle size what they can take.
 

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Anything can go bad, but the lithium with a bms have a good history. The charge profile for lithium is different so while a wet cell charger can add voltage it might not fully charge, but some smart chargers also have cycle that boosts too high to help wet cell technology. They do all have a limit of how big an amp charge they can handle, not sure with the little motorcycle size what they can take.
It bothered me about the max charging current being so low. I'm sure my motorcycle could put out a lot more amps than the battery was supposed to take. Maybe a DC to DC converter to regulate the voltage and the current. And my trickle charger was the same brand as the battery and supposed to be suitable for lithium charging.
 
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