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Just posting this here again, in case it was missed in the Intro / Welcome forum ...

It looks as if i need a(nother) new battery. Before I buy the usual lead-acid Yuasa YB16AL(?) solution, is there a more modern / high-tech solution that would be recommended?

I noticed at the IMOT motorcycle show that there were several companies selling alternative battery solutions e.g. a firm called CS-Batteries (CS-Batteries.com; LiFePO;Starterbatterien;Motorrad;Batterien;) have a LiFePo unit that is claimed to be easy to install and better in every way ...

Any thoughts?

It was also suggested to stick with a gel (?) battery and update the ignition system instead ... open to your thoughs there too!

Robb.
 

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Hi,

2 things to consider for your bike's electrical needs.

- Motolectric Starter Cables
- Shorai Lithium Iron battery

Worth a look, I have the starter cables upgrade on my 08 Monster S4RS...night & days difference, the bike starts instantly
I'm putting a Shorai in it this year, so I have no experience with them but I've read to many positives reviews not to try one

Not cheap but well worth it ;)

Pete
 
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Hi,

2 things to consider for your bike's electrical needs.

- Motolectric Starter Cables
- Shorai Lithium Iron battery

Worth a look, I have the starter cables upgrade on my 08 Monster S4RS...night & days difference, the bike starts instantly
I'm putting a Shorai in it this year, so I have no experience with them but I've read to many positives reviews not to try one

Not cheap but well worth it ;)

Pete

I have 3 bikes with Shorai and love them- Crazy light and never had an issue yet- Get the charger.. it's a lot of dough but I like knowing I won't get the dreaded batt acid on the frame like i have with Yuasa and older style lead acid.
 

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I still have the same Yuasa in mine that was in it when I bought mine years ago, with cable upgrade and single point ground. No issues.
 

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My .00002$

Old lead acids = ancient technology that everyone can replicate and make work, lots of capacity (16Ah) and good starting power. Down sides as noted is that 1. they are heavy and 2. They can leak acid on your bike if you are not careful ( use drain hose and safety wire it in place). Upsides is they should be the longest lasting, cheapest and in many cases most reserve capacity.

AGM (Absorbed gas mat) ,sealed,gel= 80's-90's technology just like in most automobiles but much smaller. The Ducati size battery is a 12Ah and as such has less in reserve from the 16Ah it replaced. This is not a problem on a 98 and later with a bigger charging system as the energy gets replaced quicker but on older motors with smaller charging systems this can be an issue. look at a vintage 80's bevel ducati ,guzzi or bmw and it looks like a tractor battery because they needed the capacity. Pluses are small size which = lighter weight , and a much lower chance of acid issues. AGM's promised no more leaking acid and they MOSTLY are correct but I have had enough leak that I know it is not 100% true. Down sides have been added cost ,shorter lifespans and less capacity in some cases.

lithium (newest super batteries) = cutting edge here with lots of promise, once the bugs are worked out. It seems each passing season they do get a bit better and I think they will be the future for sure... for a while. But there are some things that are different and require you to look at the whole package to decide if it is the right battery for your application. Brands are all over the place as everyone is jumping on the bandwagon , know that there are good and bad quality batteries and a slick advertising campaign make a better battery.

Pluses= weight, size and the ability to let the battery set for long periods without losing a charge, all winners in my book and why we do want them to succeed.
Downsides = cost at two times plus over the other types they are often the most expensive batteries you will buy. Cold temperature starts, this is owner education but they do NOT like to give up power in the cold until they have warmed up. Often as simple as leaving the key on for a few or throwing a charger on for a couple minutes to warm things up when under 60 degrees F some brands are much better than others and I do see this as an education thing we will just learn to work with until all of them are better at this. I do see some newer bikes where a cold lithium not sending enough power has caused sensors to read low and throw engine codes so be aware of that.

longevity has been the biggest issue I have seen with them to date, as many so far have not proven to last as well as AGMs in some cases and certainly not as well as the old conventional s. Most I see struggle to last past the 3 year mark but some of that is brand sensitive, a poor brand can sell many at a low cost and have lots of failures. Shori have been about the best I have seen for longevity to date but there are plenty new comers who I simply have not been able to witness how long they last.

If you are going to jump into the modern word with a lithium do your homework and do not buy the cheapest but the one that has the best track record of surviving past 3 years of use. Forums are a great place to do this research but try and look for data on older lithium's as they almost all work great for a year or two. I also recommend that even though their comparison chart might suggest a very small battery is the equivalent to what you use now I would buy the largest you can fit in your battery box. No you do not need the extra power as the smaller battery will do fine but it goes back to the capacity issue and given the fact they are soooo light there is still a weight savings even if it is bigger.
 

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Just posting this here again, in case it was missed in the Intro / Welcome forum ...

It looks as if i need a(nother) new battery. Before I buy the usual lead-acid Yuasa YB16AL(?) solution, is there a more modern / high-tech solution that would be recommended?

I noticed at the IMOT motorcycle show that there were several companies selling alternative battery solutions e.g. a firm called CS-Batteries (CS-Batteries.com; LiFePO;Starterbatterien;Motorrad;Batterien;) have a LiFePo unit that is claimed to be easy to install and better in every way ...

Any thoughts?

It was also suggested to stick with a gel (?) battery and update the ignition system instead ... open to your thoughs there too!

Robb.
Your first upgrade- in my opinion- should be a MOSFET regulator rectifier. That will make sure that you have a working charging system.
 

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I have a bike that until recently has NOT been started in close to 2 years, not on a battery tender. I couldn't believe it, Shorai lithium battery, started right up.
 

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Your first upgrade- in my opinion- should be a MOSFET regulator rectifier. That will make sure that you have a working charging system.

IMHO this is a requirement before you upgrade to a lithium battery on an older bike. I put an EarthX into my 1991 851 and it worked great, right up until the bike stopped running and then started smoking. Fun fact; the factory tool kit in an 851 does not contain all the tools needed to remove the fairing, on the side of the road, as the battery melts down.

Long story short, the regulator had let go and the charging system overpowered the EarthX BMS that was meant to protect against over voltage. Too much voltage => the battery plates it's internals => internal short => battery does a China Syndrome act and there isn't a damn thing you can do once it's started. Much smoke, stench, and hilarity entails. Luckily the latest blends typically don't cause actual flames when they melt down.

I ended up replacing the regulator, adding a volt meter, and replacing the battery with another EarthX, which, I've been told, upped their over voltage protection in the meantime. So far so good on the replacement parts.

To be clear, I don't blame EarthX for any of this. I tested the charging system post-meltdown. It was overcharging which led to more issues with the electrics - I ended up replacing the ECU among other things too.


From EarthX's FAQ page:

Can I use a lithium battery in an older vehicle (before 1986)?

NO. Unless you have replaced the charging system with a new modern permanent magnet generator and rectifier regulator. It is very important to only use a lithium battery in a vehicle that has a modern charging system that will regulate the voltage between 13.8-14.6V. Older bikes/vehicles that have not been updated are not advised to use a lithium battery as the voltage will swing too high and too low at times and damage the battery.
And since without pics it never happened:


This is near the end of the meltdown, it was much more exciting before the phone came out.
http://teamyikes.com/851/EarthX.mov
 

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I guess my question would be why?

outside of the weight and lack of drain while sitting I do not see a reason to put a lithium in a older bike. My 1992 851 has never had a "modern " battery in it that means no AGM or lithium and once the old Ducati electronica rectifier was swapped out for a oem Hitachi updated version I have never had a battery issue. Yes it is heavy but it does not matter when you are not racing, a battery tender takes care of the battery during long term storage so no worries there. The battery drain is safety wired onto the battery so I know where the drain will dump.

I get the urge to modernize but as a reality check better can be subjective certainly when you need to re-invent the wheel to make something that is not-proven in your application. My 851 came new with a very comprehensive tool kit with it, this may have been some of the upgrade in 92, scary stuff I am glad the bike survived.
 

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IMHO this is a requirement before you upgrade to a lithium battery on an older bike. I put an EarthX into my 1991 851 and it worked great, right up until the bike stopped running and then started smoking. Fun fact; the factory tool kit in an 851 does not contain all the tools needed to remove the fairing, on the side of the road, as the battery melts down.

Long story short, the regulator had let go and the charging system overpowered the EarthX BMS that was meant to protect against over voltage. Too much voltage => the battery plates it's internals => internal short => battery does a China Syndrome act and there isn't a damn thing you can do once it's started. Much smoke, stench, and hilarity entails. Luckily the latest blends typically don't cause actual flames when they melt down.

I ended up replacing the regulator, adding a volt meter, and replacing the battery with another EarthX, which, I've been told, upped their over voltage protection in the meantime. So far so good on the replacement parts.

To be clear, I don't blame EarthX for any of this. I tested the charging system post-meltdown. It was overcharging which led to more issues with the electrics - I ended up replacing the ECU among other things too.


From EarthX's FAQ page:



And since without pics it never happened:


This is near the end of the meltdown, it was much more exciting before the phone came out.
http://teamyikes.com/851/EarthX.mov

Yeah- replacing the regulator rectifier is crucial. Even if you dont want to run a lithium battery, its still a good idea. The MOSFET ones work with 2 and 3 wire stators, and provide very stable and reliable output. In light of the fact that Ducati's have traditionally had issues with charging systems, this seems like an obvious upgrade.
A MOSFET regulator is even more crucial with a lithium battery that does not have a BMS; the EarthX is supposed to have a BMS that *in theory* should stop excessive voltage from damaging the battery. As you point out, the chemistry (LiFe) helps ensure that there isnt a more significant "event". Many of the lower quality/less expensive lithium batteries now on the market would have done more damage here. Im glad you were able to avoid that- your bike is beautiful.


I guess my question would be why?

outside of the weight and lack of drain while sitting I do not see a reason to put a lithium in a older bike. My 1992 851 has never had a "modern " battery in it that means no AGM or lithium and once the old Ducati electronica rectifier was swapped out for a oem Hitachi updated version I have never had a battery issue. Yes it is heavy but it does not matter when you are not racing, a battery tender takes care of the battery during long term storage so no worries there. The battery drain is safety wired onto the battery so I know where the drain will dump.

I get the urge to modernize but as a reality check better can be subjective certainly when you need to re-invent the wheel to make something that is not-proven in your application. My 851 came new with a very comprehensive tool kit with it, this may have been some of the upgrade in 92, scary stuff I am glad the bike survived.
Well, an upgrade to a MOSFET regulator is literally a plug and play operation (using the Triumph harness), and will ensure stable voltage output. These are proven, in that almost all modern Ducati's come with them stock.
Now, take one more step and add a modern battery. Having a battery with 360 cranking amps in a big twin can be really helpful, especially as these bikes age- while also getting engine work done at the same time.
I would agree with you that weight is more important for track riding than on the street, but having more cranking amps is always going to be helpful.
 

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Well, an upgrade to a MOSFET regulator is literally a plug and play operation (using the Triumph harness), and will ensure stable voltage output. These are proven, in that almost all modern...
Roadstercycle's website says to check the connectors on your Ducati to see if the Triumph harness works for your solution. I take it you used this on your 851. Do you know if it would work on a '92 900SS with two wire stator? I know I should just take it apart and check, but figured I'd ask.
 

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Roadstercycle's website says to check the connectors on your Ducati to see if the Triumph harness works for your solution. I take it you used this on your 851. Do you know if it would work on a '92 900SS with two wire stator? I know I should just take it apart and check, but figured I'd ask.
I used the Triumph harness on my 748, 996, 999, and 1098. The nice thing about the Shindengen stuff from Roadstercycle, is that he will include wires and connectors, which you can cut to length and make perfect. It's a very simple install. Really.
Also- the Shindengen MOSFET stuff works with 2 and 3 wire stators.

For the last few bikes, Ive used the 847 version which apparently is a better unit.

So- yes, this will work on your 900 for sure.
 

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I guess my question would be why?
The main reason is I detest lead acid batteries. I have for years, back to the days when they were the only game in town. Dumping acid into a plastic case with a bunch of lead plates in it, and by design the whole mess has to be vented to atmosphere? Gaston Planté called, he wants to thank you for still using his 150 year old technology when lighter, stronger, smaller alternatives are available. :wink2:

Sure lead acid batteries can still work ok. I don't care. I hate them. I've got a '31 Ford hot rod project going, I won't even put a lead acid in that thing when the time comes. (Unless it's a hollow case I use to hide a modern battery). The only advantage lead acid batteries have is they are cheap. If cheap was critical to me I'd be playing around with 25 year old Honda CBRs, not Ducatis.

I started buying AGMs when they became readily available, but thought I'd try out a lithium this time. Like I said it was an expensive education but now I know and will likely put them in other bikes too. I don't see upgrading the charging system to a Shindegen as "reinventing the wheel" nor do I think that having a volt meter is a bad idea even with other battery tech.
 

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The main reason is I detest lead acid batteries.
And just to be on record this is a very sound reason, there ARE downsides to lead acids for sure.

lighter, stronger, smaller alternatives
My only dispute on this one is "stronger" I do not see any version (agm or lithium ) as stronger. Quite the contrary I would say the lithium's are less strong as there are instances of the lithium's breaking internally, I have customers who have cut open shori and Ballistics and found the terminals have separated internally. They have been able to repair these contacts and the battery worked again so I see some as less strong (due probably to assembly or poor connections) , buying a lithium with a sold connector that cannot be twisted when you attach wires is probably in your best interest.
The only advantage lead acid batteries have is they are cheap.
Again the Lithium's are new so I do expect them improve from here and I hope they do, for NOW I see plenty of advantages to lead acid batteries so it can be what is a deal breaker for each of us. Lead acid advantages

1. I do not see pictures of lead acid batteries melted down like the one above , it did not leak acid but I would not want that heat source near a fuel source or anything else flammable.

2. capacity if you have a smaller battery they are often less capacity. This is one that should be reduced as they make bigger batteries that fit our bikes( shori has a 18ah battery that is close)

3. cold starts, lithium needs a warm up to get going. some of this is no issue but time will tell if it gets better Shori claims a 270CCA rating but achieves it in such a way it is not very comparable, this does not mean a rating is bad but it would be better for them to come up with something different. From their own site
leave the lights on for 4~5 minutes before cranking. The result will be a better first crank, and longer battery life.
This is for a 0 degree start and I see no reason it will not work (warmer needs less time) But I would not want to leave a bike powered on for 4-5 (or 2-3) minutes without starting. Older bikes will be saturating the coils the whole time and newer immobilizer bikes will need a re-set as the key on for two long will have the bike not start until you do a re-set. Again I believe they will make this better in the future. If you live in the cold climates you already see this where lithium batteries need to be treated different, if you ride at 70 and above you should see no difference.

4. longevity, I hope to soon start seeing lithium's lasting past 5 years but to date that seems to be a very small group. So far I would say average lifespan is close to 3 years and often between 2-3 years. I do expect this to improve as well and there might be some new brands that will blow the old lead acids out of the water with longevity but right now it seems to be the rush to bring the batteries to market CHEAPLY has caused most of the problems in durability. Even lithium battery manufacturers state that the batteries do not like long cranking times as it will shorten battery life, so make sure your bikes are tuned properly so they start well and do not hold the starter button down for long periods without giving them a chance to rest.

Yes I believe they will probably be the future but I have been here before when AGM's were supposed to be the future and they were also more of a side step than a improvement.
Everything has trade offs so pick your poisons boys!
 

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And just to be on record this is a very sound reason, there ARE downsides to lead acids for sure.



My only dispute on this one is "stronger" I do not see any version (agm or lithium ) as stronger. Quite the contrary I would say the lithium's are less strong as there are instances of the lithium's breaking internally, I have customers who have cut open shori and Ballistics and found the terminals have separated internally. They have been able to repair these contacts and the battery worked again so I see some as less strong (due probably to assembly or poor connections) , buying a lithium with a sold connector that cannot be twisted when you attach wires is probably in your best interest.
I'd suggest that there is a wide range of quality in the lithium battery industry. Those products that melt and have internal parts breaking are not indicative of the high quality stuff. The same issue appears with lead acid- cheap LA batteries fail all the time, while Yuasa are near bulletproof. A simple solution would be to avoid buying cheap parts.

Again the Lithium's are new so I do expect them improve from here and I hope they do, for NOW I see plenty of advantages to lead acid batteries so it can be what is a deal breaker for each of us. Lead acid advantages

1. I do not see pictures of lead acid batteries melted down like the one above , it did not leak acid but I would not want that heat source near a fuel source or anything else flammable.

2. capacity if you have a smaller battery they are often less capacity. This is one that should be reduced as they make bigger batteries that fit our bikes( shori has a 18ah battery that is close)
Over the years, Ive seen a ton of boiled LA batteries that ruined swingarms, tires, and other parts. I've never seen a LA battery catch fire/melt, but they have issues when exposed to 60v from a stator.
Capacity is a interesting issue. Shorai's "18ah" battery is actually a "6ah" battery- but they use a measurement called "pbeq" (lead acid equivalent" which assumes a 3x multiple of actual capacity. There is an article on the Shorai site that was written years ago explaining why they created this term. I personally find it misleading. It might be helpful to read the article: https://shoraipower.com/index.php?path=&page=faq
Interestingly- in a test carried out by Motorcyclist Magazine, they found that the actual usable capacity was about 1/3rd of pbeq. (I dont have a link for that handy)
That said, I dont see why capacity matters, so long as the cranking amps are adequate to start the bike- unless you are running a total loss system.

3. cold starts, lithium needs a warm up to get going. some of this is no issue but time will tell if it gets better Shori claims a 270CCA rating but achieves it in such a way it is not very comparable, this does not mean a rating is bad but it would be better for them to come up with something different. From their own site This is for a 0 degree start and I see no reason it will not work (warmer needs less time) But I would not want to leave a bike powered on for 4-5 (or 2-3) minutes without starting. Older bikes will be saturating the coils the whole time and newer immobilizer bikes will need a re-set as the key on for two long will have the bike not start until you do a re-set. Again I believe they will make this better in the future. If you live in the cold climates you already see this where lithium batteries need to be treated different, if you ride at 70 and above you should see no difference.

4. longevity, I hope to soon start seeing lithium's lasting past 5 years but to date that seems to be a very small group. So far I would say average lifespan is close to 3 years and often between 2-3 years. I do expect this to improve as well and there might be some new brands that will blow the old lead acids out of the water with longevity but right now it seems to be the rush to bring the batteries to market CHEAPLY has caused most of the problems in durability. Even lithium battery manufacturers state that the batteries do not like long cranking times as it will shorten battery life, so make sure your bikes are tuned properly so they start well and do not hold the starter button down for long periods without giving them a chance to rest.

Yes I believe they will probably be the future but I have been here before when AGM's were supposed to be the future and they were also more of a side step than a improvement.
Everything has trade offs so pick your poisons boys!
The reason that you cant really compare "cold cranking amps" to a lithium battery "cranking amps" is simple: the CCA test was designed and developed by SAE specifically for lead acid. It involved continuous discharge until the battery reached 6v, and then they do the math. That discharge could take 2-3 minutes. With LA, the internal resistance goes up as you crank, voltage drops, and thats it.
Lithium batteries dont have the same issue with resistance increasing during cranking, and should never see 6v. In many lithium batteries, the internal BMS would never allow this.
So, the CCA test just isnt applicable.

Again, longevity of these things is primarily determined by two things: 1. Quality of product, and 2. Following proper care instructions.
The same things could be said of carbureted bikes- you must pay closer attention to them than a FI bike.

There are quality lithium batteries out there if you look for them.
 

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I used the Triumph harness on my 748, 996, 999, and 1098. The nice thing about the Shindengen stuff from Roadstercycle, is that he will include wires and connectors, which you can cut to length and make perfect. It's a very simple install. Really.
Also- the Shindengen MOSFET stuff works with 2 and 3 wire stators.

For the last few bikes, Ive used the 847 version which apparently is a better unit.

So- yes, this will work on your 900 for sure.
I am certain the Shindengen will work, I just wondered if the Triumph harness was plug and play for my bike. I was looking to be lazy.
 

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I dont see why capacity matters
Simply on older bikes that do not have a large charging system and owners who start and then shut the bike down before the charging system replenishes what was taken out on start up. You know the guy who likes to start his bike up for everyone to hear and then never runs it long enough and soon he has no power left. We also see people downsizing batteries for weight which is not necessary with the light lithium's, where I would argue it is a good place to up size and still be lighter.

I also see plenty of times where a bike has a starting or running issue where the bike is not capable of starting right up and running. yes this is not the fault of the battery but the battery will take the abuse and suffer the consequences. I do wish the lithium manufacturers would stop trying to compare with the other types and simply say "we are different" give them a try as a new product and forget CCA and amp hour ratings. maybe start rating by other parameters where they are better but it is also a education the buying public needs to see.

I would like a sticky poll on these batteries so you could plainly see what brands are doing it right and which are not,a length of service and other things would also be helpful. I hear lots from people who have just put one in but few from those past 5 years. I as a re-seller am always getting sold a bill of goods on how great "new" products are and I do not like to experiment on customers. It is only due to bad experiences with the batteries that I find it hard to recommend them, clearly there are plenty of brands who may do it right but how does one know which ones they are when they all claim to be the best. I also realize that some brands may stumble here and there like everyone does and it is the price of cutting edge, If I see they are improving I will give them some slack but I will not do so forever.
 
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