Lithium Batteries - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 6:55 pm Thread Starter
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Lithium Batteries

Since people are using them more often I would like to share my experience w/ a 4 year old Shorai. Other experiences w/ lithium batteries are welcome since that is the purpose of this thread.

1) They do not like the cold. By cold I mean sub 50f. If you aren't riding, remove the battery and put it on a shelf inside or some place where it is warmer. Trickle charger on the shelf is up to you. If it is sub 50f and you are on a trickle, good for you, but you can still expect slow cranking or a no start.

2) Standard trickle chargers work just fine. However, if you are aiming to recharge the battery, the green light (not flashing) does not mean that the battery is fully charged. It can take more than a day to fully charge the battery after the light has gone solid green.

3) No need for maintenance or trickle charger if you ride regularly.

4) The battery is not ruined if you hit 0 volts. It's not good by an means and requires several days of effort to bring it back to functional. Mine has flatlined 5 times, and 3 of those times for a two weeks or more, and 2 time for more than 2 months.

5) For a recently low charged battery, below 12 volts, the battery may have to be woken up. That means, if it cranks like a slug at first, stop cranking, give it a minute and try again. it's best to leave it on the charger during this operation. Next crank, it will likely give normal cranking. If not, try starting and waiting one or two more times. This all depends on how low the voltage was.

6) Dead or alive, connected or not, lithium batteries are worth 6-10hp.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 7:34 pm
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Matches my experience, except for:

anytime the engine is cold, turn the key on for 30-40 seconds to "warm" the battery up. Don't need to do that if you have started the engine in normal temps in the last 5 hours or so. I don't know why this works, probably something to do with the computery bits in it.

and that is 6-10lbs in weight savings (high up on the bike), not horsepower!

Someone else will observe that if you have electrical items that draw power when off, like an alarm, there are other annoying drawbacks to Lithium batteries but I have no direct experience with that.

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 7:43 pm
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I think its great to offer experience based opinion of any product. Obviously I believe strongly in lithium batteries, but I have a different view on a few of your points.

1. Lithium batteries used in the powersports industry are all LFP chemistry. They tend to act "sleepy" below 45f. That is easily remedied by turning on the headlights for a few minutes, or cycling the fuel pump. By loading the battery, you are waking it up slowly and safely. After a few minutes of headlights on, it will be ready to crank.
The only time you would need to remove your battery from the bike to prevent it from getting cold...it would probably be too cold to ride. OTOH, we have a lot of customers on adventure bikes and snow machines, and they have no issue using these things in cold temps, provided they allow them to warm up as described.
1b. With the battery removed from the bike- or even simply disconnected- there is no need for a charger. Really. If nothing is pulling power from the battery, it will remain charged for years. I have a test pack in a freezer here that has lost about 25% capacity since...2010.

2. Standard trickle chargers dont work fine. In fact, a lead acid based charger will not have the right algorithm to know when a lithium battery is charged, so, while it may be capable of charging a lithium battery, as a trickle charger it will reduce its lifespan at best, and kill it at worst.
On the other hand, a lithium specific trickle charger will be a good thing- but it wont work on a lead acid battery for the same reasons.
2b. Many people dont understand the above, and wonder why the charging system works fine with lithium, while a lead acid charger does not. The answer is simple- a charging system's job is to power the motorcycle's accessories, and provide a small amount of current to the battery. It does not "sense" state of charge; it does not have a special charge pattern based on a complicated algorithm; it does not "read" any of the batteries parameters. Lastly, it isnt in use for days, weeks, or months on end. On the other hand, product specific chargers are computer controlled, with firmware written to accomplish specific things with the battery; they work only when needed; they read all of the batteries parameters.

3. Your need for a trickle charger depends on how much parasitic drain you have on your bike. Got an alarm? Youll likely need a charger for anything longer than a few days. Got a Demsosedici? Itll drain your battery in a few days as well. Some bikes are better than others in this regard, and Ive found over the last decade that its best to measure the parasitic draw, rather than make assumptions which might leave you with a dead battery.

4. While you may be able to salvage a lithium battery that has gone to 0v, that isnt the norm. Anything under 13v is considered completely drained, and anything under 12v voids Shorai's warranty. This is by far the number one killer of lithium batteries, so do whatever you can to avoid this from happening. Further, while it is possible to bring them back to working order, they will have dramatically reduced capacity. Again, Ive seen this hundreds of times over the years, and have measured this loss of capacity. This is true of all lithium (LFP) batteries, not just Shorai, Ballistic, FSP, etc.

5. Im not sure I understand this, so I dont have a comment on it.
6. Agreed. Big HP gains here.

7. If you are not going to ride your bike for an extended period of time, you should disconnect the battery from the bike. As I pointed out in 1b, you could leave it disconnected for the entire winter and it will maybe lose 5-10% of its capacity- not enough to notice when you are ready to ride in spring.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 8:21 pm
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6 horsepower! Nope.
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 8:31 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xracer View Post
6 horsepower! Nope.
6!!! No doubt. You obviously don't know that 15/40 gearing is worth 10hp. I am beginning to wonder if you have ever owned a Ducati.

And thanks for the better input, Full_Spectrum.
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Last edited by Namor; Sep 19th, 2017 at 8:36 pm.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 8:38 pm
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Factor in +80kg (180lb) rider and you will be lucky to get 1.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2017, 9:52 pm
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Pretty sure he was joking.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2017, 2:26 am
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Pretty sure he was joking.
Of corse he was
Jonathan, any time, you are more then welcome. And as long as you have a cover note you can ride anything your heart desires.........except me.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2017, 7:53 am
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I've heard warnings not to use them with an aftermarket Vregulator, unless Mosfett. Thus the lower cost VR's that do not burn up like the stock ones from mid 2000 are a no-no?


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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2017, 8:37 am
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I've heard warnings not to use them with an aftermarket Vregulator, unless Mosfett. Thus the lower cost VR's that do not burn up like the stock ones from mid 2000 are a no-no?
This is a crucial point: to use a lithium battery, the charging system must operate between 13.4v and 14.6v.
I cant stress this enough. That voltage range is really important.

If the VR charges at less than 13.2v it wont recharge the battery at all. LFP batteries are a nominal 13.2v. So, the supply voltage must exceed that to recharge the battery at all.

At the other end, anything above 14.6v-14.8v and you start to overheat the battery. Overheat the battery for long enough, and bad things can happen.
With a lead acid battery, it will boil and leak acid all over the bike. With lithium- depending on the manufacturer of the battery- it could be worse.

I suggest buying a legit Shindengen MOSFET based R/R for every bike. There are a few options for these (FH020, 775, 847, etc) but they are the gold standard, and I believe that every bike should have one, regardless of battery type. Ive sent hundreds of customers to roadstercycle.com, or to the polaris dealer to buy these.

The general issue with aftermarket regulators seems to be a matter of quality control. There seems to be a lot of problems with the ebay R/R's and other off brand products that people use. To me, its simply not worth the risk. Spend the extra $40 and get the Shindengen. It will last the life of the bike, and you can remove at least one variable from your troubleshooting matrix when something goes wrong.
Seriously, this matters.
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