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Anyone use a lithium battery in their bike?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Mr Messy, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Hey guys.
    Im due for a new battery soon - doesnt hold its charge more than a few days without a run and ive tested for leakages and zip. Lives on a ctek charger while its sitting...

    Anyway i digress.
    Anyone tried out a lithium battery for a motorcycle? Definitely has some pro's listed there im just curious if there are any cons...
    I DO know that i would need a different charger for it - so i wonder if i would need to change something in the electrical system on the bike too!
  2. Get in touch with Felix - he just bought one for sophie last week

    its amazing how small and compact it is ( about 30% physically smaller ) and at least a 50% weight reduction and they claim that it will hold the charge for at least 12 months without requiring a trickle charger
  3. Thanks for the tip mate, will send him a PM.

    edit: would make a perfect spot for my pro-oiler bottle next to it ;).
  4. Didn't E2W or someone else post recently that they had Lithium batteries for sale now?
  5. I've started selling them this week but apart from the sales info that comes with them I have no other info on how good they are in the real world. The only thing I can say about the ones Im selling is that they bolt straight in and look like the original battery unlike the other brands out there that you have to build up the terminals like a mechano set or modify the battery clamps on the bike then put packing around them so they dont flop about when your riding.
  6. I was looking at Shorai with interest - which is one of the ones you refer to that comes with packing to fit the space. I looked up the price however and my interest dropped rapidly - $250 for an 18Ah battery to suit my bike... Pass for now i think.
    I might just get an AGM battery until the LFP technology matures for a few more years.
  7. Check out what they're doing in remote control circles - an 8Ah lithium ferrous phosphate battery weighs 500g and costs about $90. You'd have to connect terminals but that's not a big deal.

    Pm me for more info if you like.

    Cheers - boingk
  8. I have had a Shorai for a few months now with no issue touch wood. It's great. Wish e2w had theirs so I could support a forum sponsor. The Shorai bloke had it to me two days after I bought it ... no complaints there! I could have bought it from US cheaper but thought I'd support an Aussie, plus might he easier to warranty if it all goes bad!
  9. Very Interesting! What are the positives of them over standard batteries?
  10. Realistically from everything ive read on them, the main advantages are size, weight, and the fact that it delivers a flat power rate.

    Negatives seem to be the flat power rate as well - keeps working fine until poof it cuts out no warning - seems an amp metre rather than a volt metre would be a better way to track them. So far the other main risk that is spoken of but little understood - lithium based batteries in accidents, vibrations, heat etc pose explosive risk. For me that wouldnt be so bad my battery compartment has good airflow and doesnt seem to get hot at all.

    Still havent taken the plunge on one or got another AGM, figured i can nurse the existing battery on a trickle charger whenever the bike is parked up for another few months and see what happens in the lithium iron circle.
  11. Other downside is that they do not work well at very cold temps. Could be a problem somewhere like Canberra in the winter?
  12. Hmm, I'm waiting for one to be delivered atm. It's going to be used in a KTM. Vibrations were mentioned as a problem on the previous page, can anyone give more details about that? I'm actually an hour from Canberra too, so there is the cold during winter as also mentioned. However, I have also read colder temps may prolong life?

    Edit: I bought a Ballistic battery, found this on their site.

  13. yeah..... but look at what were doing when it comes to blowing them up,
    its not uncommen to get got one going bang every few meets..

    i wouldnt put one in my daily yet, or at least not withought fire insurance
  14. Hmm, conflicting views... argh!

  15. Lithium batteries 101:

    Lithium Ion - Stable, nominal voltage 3.6v/cell

    Lithium Ferrous Phosphate - Very stable, high amp draw, nom voltage 3.3v/cell

    Lithium Polymer - Less stable, v. high amp draw, nom voltage 3.7v/cell

    Lithium Cobalt - Stable, lower amp draw, tolerates long period of no use

    Essentially the problems with any lithium chemistry battery come from using in environments not suited. I regularly discharge batteries in the order of 20C, or roughly 20 amp draw from a 1Ah battery! This is perfectly doable, repeatable, and safe in my opinion. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the battery cells are balanced... and thats only really an issue in high draw applications.

    In motor vehicles we need a short amount of moderate current for startup and then not much thereafter. Lithium batteries are well suited to this short period of high draw application. I would recommend Lithium Ferrous Phosphate batteries (LiFePo4) to anyone looking for a good alternative to lead acid. You will want a 4 cell battery as 3 cell will not provide enough voltage.

    This battery (click here) is the type I am talking about. it is rated at 4.2Ah and 30C sustained discharge, meaning you can draw over 120 amps from it for around 2 minutes if you really need to. An average motorcycle would be drawing well under 40 amps at startup, and probably more like 20 amps. From what I can see this is a huge margin for error and also a good chemistry of battery to use, with low weight, small size, high cycle life, long storage life, high dischrage rate and good stability all great points for a vehicle battery.

    Lithium Polymers batteries do indeed go 'bang' when mistreated, but not Ferrous Phosphates as they are much more stable. Polymers are prone to thermal runaway if overdischarged or overcharged - this can cause excess buildup and ignition of gasses, causing combustion.

    I would be comfortable with a LiFePo4 in my bike and will indeed be putting one in next time I need a battery. My aeroplane has a small Polymer battery in it for the flight radio, but thats the size of a packet of matches and unlikely to cause any problems even if it did (unlikely, again) go up in smoke.

    Cheers - boingk
  16. http://www.shoraipower.com.au/LFX18A1-BS12.html

    Thats the one i was looking at.
    Still havent plunged. What the hey, ill take the plunge.
    Damn cage battery started showing signs of imminent death today too so it borrowed the ctek from the bike for the day lol... when it rains it pours!
  17. Friend of mine bought a shorai because he doesn't ride very often, and his battery kept losing charge... Seems to be working perfectly