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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
don't want to begin another hard starting thread, but my ( 04 st4s ) symptom is this - I get one kick of the starter per push of the button, the dash goes blank, and comes back up waiting for another turn of the key. I put a Shorai lithium / iron battery in last spring, and though I read they had cold weather issues, I didn't experience any until now. Though I've had to warm it up a few times by waiting with the high beam on, it's always had plenty of power. The weather's been pretty nice lately so I'm thinking it's not a cold weather issue. Kindly critique my plan of -
a) taking some voltage readings
b) cleaning all the battery cable connectors
c) exploring charging issues of the Shorai ( they make their own chargers, evidently their idle voltage is a little higher than a lead/acid battery
d) installing a conventional battery
can't say I really understand the '04 starting circuit that stays on with one push of the button ( not in this case ) and I'd like to make sure there's no issue there...
Cheers, Donn
 

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Mr Leakered
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I've wanted a Shorai or other A123/LiFePo battery for a while and was waiting for long term feedback such as this. It sounds like it is performing well at the cold temps.

If I had to guess, and if your voltages show good, I would say it is something other than the battery.

As a reference from my fast cycling onboard voltmeter (Lascar EMV1200), I will see the volts drop to the 9v to 10v range during a compression stroke. It will idle in about the mid-12v range with drops to the low-12s and spikes to the low-13s. Running is typically mid-13v range with similar drops and spikes. I use a 12A-h AGM battery with Powerlet cables.

My numbers seem a bit lower than other folks, but my batt seems to be doing well.

Have a good one.
 

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I have 5 bikes with Shorai batteries for 2 years or more.

In cold weather I leave the headlights on for about 30 seconds, turn bike off and then wait 20 seconds before starting. It starts everytime.

I'm in California though - so the lowest overnight temps I have tested for is about 35 degrees.

-M
 

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What is the purpose of the 20 second wait time?

I have 5 bikes with Shorai batteries for 2 years or more.

In cold weather I leave the headlights on for about 30 seconds, turn bike off and then wait 20 seconds before starting. It starts everytime.

I'm in California though - so the lowest overnight temps I have tested for is about 35 degrees.

-M
 

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unM0derator
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It lets the battery warm up to increase the output voltage and reduce damage to the structures inside the cells.

Geoff
 

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getting an LiFePO4-specific charger could help. the one "downside" is that these batteries require a bit of care in very cold temps, like the warmup technique of loading the battery by switching on the ignition with both beams on to get the molecules "unfrozen" in the battery, for want of a better description.

I use Ballistic batteries, but they're all the same. A top-off charge around Christmas with the dedicated charger seems to have reconditioned the batteries. It's a bit overpriced at $80; a regular charger can work too if it has a 14.4V shutoff built in.

But I am a big believer in these batteries. I haven't been let down yet, they have surprising cranking power, and the weight savings for the cost is as good as you'll ever get for a bike upgrade.
 

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I have 5 bikes with Shorai batteries for 2 years or more.

In cold weather I leave the headlights on for about 30 seconds, turn bike off and then wait 20 seconds before starting. It starts everytime.

I'm in California though - so the lowest overnight temps I have tested for is about 35 degrees.

-M
I bought mine in early 2012 from you Motowheels. This is no reflection on Motowheels who are really great. Just a review
Last week, in San Francisco, one morning temps were in the mid 40's (45'ish).
Turn ignition on, wait 30 sec, check voltage (12.7v). Hit the starter, hear the starter trying and struggles and no fire.
Turn off ignition.
Turn back on, wait for low beams to go out (999), voltage goes to 12.8v, wait total of about 1 min. Hit starter, bike fails to start.
I spend nearly 20 minutes trying to start the bike. TOTAL FAIL.
Contacted Shorai and will send the battery in.
Hoping to get a new one and this battery is an isolated case. So far, I can't recommend this to anyone if they live where temps drop below 50 degrees.
 

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The Shorai battery has a protection circuit to prevent this. The circuit sacrifices the battery before it overheats and vents when overcharged or abused.

This is the main reason why we sell and use only the Shorai batteries now.

-M
The post was in response to the use of the other brand, which was described as "the same." :)
 

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I always get blasted about "weight concerns" from the Ricky racer crowd for my conversion to the almighty bulletproof Odyssey PC680 battery, but it's never let me down. Fired the bike up in 36 degree weather new years morning first crank and had a nice ride.
 

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a pretty nasty meltdown with that Ballistic! good thing that's never happened to me. but I do balance the cells and warm up the battery before starting. a little care apparently goes a long way.

Odysseys are heavy, but truly bulletproof. I use two PC925 (for Harleys) in my Audi RS6 to split the 52lbs of battery between each side of the trunk (Audi ships the car with one massive battery on the right side of the trunk).
 

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I bought mine in early 2012 from you Motowheels. This is no reflection on Motowheels who are really great. Just a review
Last week, in San Francisco, one morning temps were in the mid 40's (45'ish).
Turn ignition on, wait 30 sec, check voltage (12.7v). Hit the starter, hear the starter trying and struggles and no fire.
Turn off ignition.
Turn back on, wait for low beams to go out (999), voltage goes to 12.8v, wait total of about 1 min. Hit starter, bike fails to start.
I spend nearly 20 minutes trying to start the bike. TOTAL FAIL.
Contacted Shorai and will send the battery in.
Hoping to get a new one and this battery is an isolated case. So far, I can't recommend this to anyone if they live where temps drop below 50 degrees.
They will probably ask you to charge it up fully one time and then check.
I suspect they will send you another battery if it does not hold a charge.
-M
 

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Odysseys are heavy, but truly bulletproof. I use two PC925 (for Harleys) in my Audi RS6 to split the 52lbs of battery between each side of the trunk (Audi ships the car with one massive battery on the right side of the trunk).

I used a single PC925 in my 996TT- worked great for about 4 years.
Saved about 50 lbs of weight.
-M
 

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How many lbs will these lithium ion batteries save? Is keeping a battery hooked up to a charger really that much of a problem? The ST's battery is placed low, and is mass centralised. It can be kept on a charged easily enough. Does it make *that much* difference to the handling that one who lives in colder climates has to deal with starting issues, (and maybe even melt-down issues)? Personally, this is one mod that doesn't interest me. It doesn't seem to me that the advantages are worth it on balance IMO. YMMV. :)
 

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This is my second year of using shoray battery on my 1198. I have bought the Li battery because my old yuasa battery was dead. For now the shoray is stronger than anny battery I had before. It start my bike everytime regardless the temp betwen 35-90 deg. And I do not warm the battery up before starting, never had to. I don't keep it on a tender either, but I plug the tender once a months or so for a couple of hours just for my peace of mind. If it holds on for another 3 years like that then I will buy another one for sure.
 

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Bought a Shorai in 2011 for the cca-s, not for the weight, but I initially had problems in the cold weather. It just wouldn't start my 999s. Finally I learned of the cold weather starting procedures, something Shorai at the time neither informed buyers about nor admitted to when asked.

Since then, I haven't had a problem with the battery - it does exactly what it says it will do when I use the cold weather procedures in cold weather (below 40 degrees). The charger punked out last year, but Shorai replaced it without a question and were very user-friendly at that time. I believe that Shorai has improved its customer relations in the last two years and I would have no problem buying another for my 999s, should I need one. Not sure I'd do it for my ST4s, simply because the Yuasa is doing fine.

Ron
 

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I used a single PC925 in my 996TT- worked great for about 4 years.
Saved about 50 lbs of weight.
-M
I ran a single for a couple months, but had the trunk wired for two in parallel just in case. And lo and behold, after having to move my car a few times (start, move, shutoff, start, move it again, etc) it cried uncle. So I installed the second and haven't had any issues since. I'd love to try out lithiums but am concerned about reserve power - they will crank a motor more times than you'd believe, but something like the alarm or even just listening to the radio with the engine off would drain it pretty quick.

A few RS6 guys I know use single PC925s, but they're pretty religious about keeping it on a tender when it's home.
 

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How many lbs will these lithium ion batteries save? Is keeping a battery hooked up to a charger really that much of a problem? The ST's battery is placed low, and is mass centralised. It can be kept on a charged easily enough. Does it make *that much* difference to the handling that one who lives in colder climates has to deal with starting issues, (and maybe even melt-down issues)? Personally, this is one mod that doesn't interest me. It doesn't seem to me that the advantages are worth it on balance IMO. YMMV. :)
For an ST4, off the top of my head I'd say 8-10lbs - it's significant. You hold the original in one hand, and a lithium in the other, and the lithium is so much smaller and feels like a toy. Half the weight has to be the plastic housing.

But you're right up to a point - unless one is really, really pushing this bike, the difference isn't terribly much. Weight savings help with a bike's acceleration...but if that's a concern, an ST isn't the right bike to begin with. For true sport touring, the weight savings won't affect handling enough to be worth $200. However, if you've got to buy a new battery anyways, shelling out a few extra dollars is worth it IMHO. At the very least, it is pretty resistant to losing charge (assuming there isn't an alarm, etc), and cranking power is very, very impressive.
 
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