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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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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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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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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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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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Thanks for the good/bad new Fullspectrum. I had replaced piping hot, partially burnt Stock VR about 7 years ago with an aftermarket unit and had no problems so far with lead acid battery. BUTTTT I purchased a new almost $200 ballistic and started hearing this and have not installed it..... doubt it will fit the 999..
 

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Thanks for the good/bad new Fullspectrum. I had replaced piping hot, partially burnt Stock VR about 7 years ago with an aftermarket unit and had no problems so far with lead acid battery. BUTTTT I purchased a new almost $200 ballistic and started hearing this and have not installed it..... doubt it will fit the 999..
On the 999, the smart move is to relocate the R/R to the right side of the bike. The battery box on the 999 as well as the 848/1098/1198 are really crowded, and dont give much in the way of airflow. Thats a big part of the problem, in my opinion.

Lots of open space on the right side- you can use the Triumph extension harness with a MOSFET R/R, and youll only need to make a bracket like the one in this pic.
 

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I have a full spectrum on my 999 track bike and the thing is amazing. I can disconnect in late fall and bike starts right up in June. Just cycle the fuel pump a couple of times. During the day when at the track it has never wavered. If I dont ride for 2 months, no problem, ever. Ive had it for at least 5 years. Im certain it adds at least 10 hp! Kidding! Just my 2 cents
 

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There has been a lot of talk about low voltage on a lithium but let me add my experience with high voltage on a lithium.

I put one in my '91 851 and about 250 miles in, the engine died and then started running again. I was still thinking "that was weird..." when it died again, this time for good. I pulled off to the side of the road, pulled the seat to check the fuses, and then noticed a slight whisp of smoke.

Things got exciting after that. MAJOR smoke. And the stench... it was horrible. Turns out the battery had gone all China Syndrome on me and was literally melting down before my eyes. As in the case was melted/split and the battery was dripping nasty shit while spewing toxic fumes. There were never any flames, so nothing lit on fire, but for a few minutes I was pretty convinced the 851 was history.

From what I learned afterward, here's what had happened. The regulator on the bike died. The battery started getting 50+ volts fed into it and basically started to electroplate it's own internals. Eventually this led to an internal short, which led to a massive thermal event as it discharged itself. Once this process starts, there isn't a damn thing you can do to stop it. They don't internally short a little bit. A fuse won't stop it, disconnecting wires won't stop it. Fire extinguishers won't stop it. It will stop when all the smoke is out and not a moment sooner. And they hold a LOT of smoke.

So what did I learn:
A) A modern, fully functioning charging system is essential.
B) A voltage monitor is HIGHLY recomended. I think the manufacturers should stress this.
C) Lithium batteries STINK when they melt down. I mean they reek, and everything the smoke touches reeks too.

I can't imagine what it would be like to have one of these melt down under a seat or gas tank. Or gas line. Some guys use these in airplanes. I'm hoping it's required to have the battery outside of the passenger compartment because the smoke would be overwhelming in a closed area.

It was an expensive lesson to learn but my 851 is still running a lithium. I replaced the regulator with a Shindigen (sp?) and installed a monitor so I know if it's getting overcharged. BTW - there were a couple other issues possibly related to this. The ECU, fuel pump relay, and headlight all needed to be replaced soon after this too.

So if you want to run a lithium battery, install a voltage monitor too. Just do it. No, really. Trust nothing.

And don't jump start a dead one.
 

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This is more common that you might think. Regulators do fail, especially pre-MOSFET versions (shunt). When they do fail, either you get zero voltage from the stator, and you are basically running a total loss system...until the battery gets drained...or you get 50-60v from the stator, and it fries the battery and whatever other electrical parts it can find, including the wiring harness.
Some lithium batteries have built in protection circuits; many do not. Choose wisely.

This is also a problem with lead acid batteries. Ive seen many of them expand, boil, and leak acid all over the place. This was much more common in the 1980's and 1990's, and Ive seen a lot of swingarms and other painted parts get replaced under warranty during that period.

Its good that you used an actual Shindengen regulator as a replacement. Ive been recommending them since 2010, and have never seen one fail. The same cant be said for the other MOSFET regulators that you might find on Ebay, etc. Like batteries, choose your regulator wisely.
Right now, Id suggest using the 847 from Shindengen. It is certainly more expensive than the other options, but it is also the best. Frankly, our prized Ducati's deserve nothing but.

There has been a lot of talk about low voltage on a lithium but let me add my experience with high voltage on a lithium.

I put one in my '91 851 and about 250 miles in, the engine died and then started running again. I was still thinking "that was weird..." when it died again, this time for good. I pulled off to the side of the road, pulled the seat to check the fuses, and then noticed a slight whisp of smoke.

Things got exciting after that. MAJOR smoke. And the stench... it was horrible. Turns out the battery had gone all China Syndrome on me and was literally melting down before my eyes. As in the case was melted/split and the battery was dripping nasty shit while spewing toxic fumes. There were never any flames, so nothing lit on fire, but for a few minutes I was pretty convinced the 851 was history.

From what I learned afterward, here's what had happened. The regulator on the bike died. The battery started getting 50+ volts fed into it and basically started to electroplate it's own internals. Eventually this led to an internal short, which led to a massive thermal event as it discharged itself. Once this process starts, there isn't a damn thing you can do to stop it. They don't internally short a little bit. A fuse won't stop it, disconnecting wires won't stop it. Fire extinguishers won't stop it. It will stop when all the smoke is out and not a moment sooner. And they hold a LOT of smoke.

So what did I learn:
A) A modern, fully functioning charging system is essential.
B) A voltage monitor is HIGHLY recomended. I think the manufacturers should stress this.
C) Lithium batteries STINK when they melt down. I mean they reek, and everything the smoke touches reeks too.

I can't imagine what it would be like to have one of these melt down under a seat or gas tank. Or gas line. Some guys use these in airplanes. I'm hoping it's required to have the battery outside of the passenger compartment because the smoke would be overwhelming in a closed area.

It was an expensive lesson to learn but my 851 is still running a lithium. I replaced the regulator with a Shindigen (sp?) and installed a monitor so I know if it's getting overcharged. BTW - there were a couple other issues possibly related to this. The ECU, fuel pump relay, and headlight all needed to be replaced soon after this too.

So if you want to run a lithium battery, install a voltage monitor too. Just do it. No, really. Trust nothing.

And don't jump start a dead one.
 

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Some lithium batteries have built in protection circuits; many do not. Choose wisely.
FWIW the battery I was using HAD protection circuits for high and low voltage. The voltage being put out was still too much for it.

I was using an EarthX battery. I was in contact with them after the fact and sent mine back after the meltdown per their request. I was later told that they upped the protection on their batteries after I had bought mine. I'm not saying I'm the reason, only that they improved them later.
 

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As I've said on previous posts. I won't use a lithium battery until I see better charge control for them. What would happen if I sold or fitted a customer supplied battery and it went into meltdown?If I were to be sued I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. A solicitor would argue that knowing there were problems with them, why did I sell/fit a battery with these known issues.
I don't see why people make such a fuss about these things. Weight? Big deal. I defy ANYONE to pick a difference in performance. CCA again another big deal. With a bike running correctly AND with good starter leads I've not had a problem starting any duke. They seem to be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Like people using ceramic bearings or filling their tyres with nitrogen.
But on say the above, to each their own.
 

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FWIW the battery I was using HAD protection circuits for high and low voltage. The voltage being put out was still too much for it.

I was using an EarthX battery. I was in contact with them after the fact and sent mine back after the meltdown per their request. I was later told that they upped the protection on their batteries after I had bought mine. I'm not saying I'm the reason, only that they improved them later.
Wow, thats crazy. Glad that the damage was mostly contained.
 

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https://youtu.be/Wy6lURCfWfM

https://youtu.be/uoVStGu3NNE

https://youtu.be/bxvPngYSjpQ


Here are a few videos that give straight facts on LIFEPo4 batteries. Enjoy.
Good job, Chip.

Lithium isnt for everyone, and it isnt the right choice for every application.
But then, neither are slicks, or radical cam profiles and hi-comp pistons, or iron rotors, etc.

On the other hand, I cant think of a single professional race team in any series, that doesnt run a lithium battery. MGP, WSBK, CIV, CEV, BSB, MotoA, MXGP, SX, AFT, and on and on. They all use lithium because the advantages are substantial.
With a properly functioning modern charging system, and a battery with decent protection built in, using lithium in a sportbike makes a lot of sense, in my opinion.
 
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