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Installed a Shorai on my Multi last month... do you ALWAYS have to let the battery warm up before starting? (I thought if the temps were warmer it wouldn't need warm up time) Even Saturday when it was almost 60 out the battery was not turning the bike over strongly enough to start (took 4 or 5 tries and a couple minutes of 'powered on time' before it fired. The normal battery I replaced was 5 years old and not holding a charge as well as it used to but when topped off would start the bike first try every time. I'm thinking about switching back to a new normal battery... so much for more cranking amps, the Shorai is noticeably slower turning the bike over even when it does get it to start.
 

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.............the answer is always 5.................................. ALWAYS
 

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All,
Some Notes on ALL Lithium batteries:

There are good reasons for moving to a lithium battery - if you have the right one, it will produce far more cranking amps, charge faster while riding and weigh far less. But as always, there is a price to be paid. Lithium batteries require understanding and maintenance that cannot be ignored. Here's why;

When you charge & discharge a LiBatt with a normal charger like the ones in our bikes, the cells in the battery get out of balance over time causing the battery to loose performance and seem like it is going bad, when in fact, you are probably not maintaining it properly. To keep the cells in balance, you MUST use the Shorai charger which charges each cell individually and at the end of the charge, balances all the cells back out. This type of charger is called a 'balance charger'.

It's fine to let the bike charge the battery while riding, and it's ok, once in a while, to use a normal charger if you are in a hurry or a pinch, but otherwise, you MUST use the balance charger to keep the battery in peak condition.

Second, and just as important - You should NEVER store the battery fully charged for more than a very short time - like no more than 2 days. All lithium can be damaged by storage at full charge, even the ones in your cell phone, camera, and electric leaf blower. This is the second reason you need the Shorai charger, because it has a storage setting that will discharge the battery to the proper storage voltage (13.44) and keep it there, balancing the cells in the process. Storing the battery fully charged will degrade performance and in time, destroy the battery. And it happens quicker than you think.

I have shorai batteries in 2 bikes and I have 2 of their chargers. They both work perfectly. It costs more, but if you take care of them, they will take care of you. I learned all this crap designing & building custom drones for a video company. Not caring for Li batteries can kill them quickly - I know from costly experience. -Gordo
 

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Installed a Shorai on my Multi last month... do you ALWAYS have to let the battery warm up before starting? (I thought if the temps were warmer it wouldn't need warm up time) Even Saturday when it was almost 60 out the battery was not turning the bike over strongly enough to start (took 4 or 5 tries and a couple minutes of 'powered on time' before it fired. The normal battery I replaced was 5 years old and not holding a charge as well as it used to but when topped off would start the bike first try every time. I'm thinking about switching back to a new normal battery... so much for more cranking amps, the Shorai is noticeably slower turning the bike over even when it does get it to start.
Something isn't right. The Yuasa my MV came with was 210 CCA and the equivalent Shorai is 285 and it shows. The bike cranks over in a half second. Same goes for the Shorai batteries in my Ducati and Guzzi. Tick, tick, boom!

The only time Ive had to let the battery warm up is parking a bike outdoors when its in the low 30s overnight. In my garage, which gets down into the 50s in winter, there has never been a delay. And even when I was firing it up in the 30s just turning the ignition on for a minute was plenty to warm it up to fire up just fine.

Could be battery, could be ignition, could be charging system. Dont know without testing.
 

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Thank you for that informative post Gordon.
Does the charger automatically switch over to the storage setting once the Shorai battery has reached full charge? At which point it would actually discharge the battery a little bit, is that correct? So then before riding do you need to recharge again to full charge?
 

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When you charge & discharge a LiBatt with a normal charger like the ones in our bikes, the cells in the battery get out of balance over time causing the battery to loose performance and seem like it is going bad, when in fact, you are probably not maintaining it properly. To keep the cells in balance, you MUST use the Shorai charger which charges each cell individually and at the end of the charge, balances all the cells back out. This type of charger is called a 'balance charger'.

It's fine to let the bike charge the battery while riding, and it's ok, once in a while, to use a normal charger if you are in a hurry or a pinch, but otherwise, you MUST use the balance charger to keep the battery in peak condition.
I used to use the balance charger from Shorai for the same concerns but it fell off of a high shelf 4 years ago and broke apart and Ive been too lazy to buy another. So far no degradation in performance. I do use a smart tender/charger though, this thing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006G14FK8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_..WSEb6TTBDB1 Which was actually what BMW was selling for years for twice as much with the sticker replaced do it said BMW instead of CTEK (even came with the same case).
 

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Thank you for that informative post Gordon.
Does the charger automatically switch over to the storage setting once the Shorai battery has reached full charge? At which point it would actually discharge the battery a little bit, is that correct? So then before riding do you need to recharge again to full charge?
The charger has 2 buttons - Storage and Charge. When you are finished riding, plug it in and hit Storage. This takes all the cells down to 13.44 and then keeps them in a storage range. When you are ready to ride, go out and hit the Charge button. By the time you've talked the wife into letting you go and put your gear on, it will be back up to full charge (13.75 aprox). I think some of this is also in the Shorai doc but not sure. -Gordo
PS - If you hit the charge button & walk away, it keeps it at full charge as far as I know. -G
 

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Installed a Shorai on my Multi last month... do you ALWAYS have to let the battery warm up before starting? (I thought if the temps were warmer it wouldn't need warm up time) Even Saturday when it was almost 60 out the battery was not turning the bike over strongly enough to start (took 4 or 5 tries and a couple minutes of 'powered on time' before it fired. The normal battery I replaced was 5 years old and not holding a charge as well as it used to but when topped off would start the bike first try every time. I'm thinking about switching back to a new normal battery... so much for more cranking amps, the Shorai is noticeably slower turning the bike over even when it does get it to start.
Dave, what you are experiencing is typical of a battery that is badly out of balance. Do you have the Shorai charger & use it? -G
 

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The clue is in the name..
Over on the left coast in Vancouver
I guess you're not able to get to work with the border closed?
 

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The clue is in the name..
Over on the left coast in Vancouver
I guess you're not able to get to work with the border closed?
No, I have been working from home. Most of the time I am traveling somewhere - I was in Kelowna at our Corp HQ in February. I wish I could bring the 998 up there. -G
 

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Funny, that's where I was born and raised
If you ever bring your 998 up this way I'll show you some fine roads in that area. Actually much better riding there in the Okanagan than around here on the coast. That's where I do most of my back road scratching
I hope you enjoyed some decent Okanagan hospitality.
 

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Dave, what you are experiencing is typical of a battery that is badly out of balance. Do you have the Shorai charger & use it? -G
I do have the shorai charger but it was a new battery so I dumbly assumed I didn't need it... I'll hook it up and see if that helps.
 

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I do have the shorai charger but it was a new battery so I dumbly assumed I didn't need it... I'll hook it up and see if that helps.
Dave, check and clean all you battery connectors if you are not sure they are really clean. A properly functioning Li battery should give far better performance than a lead-acid in all respects. If the balance charger and clean connectors does not fix things, you may have a bad cell in the battery. -Gordo
 

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I did some testing and switched back to the old battery (which is the oe battery so 5 years old... end of life) and it definitely was cranking faster and started faster on the old tired battery... so I hooked up the shorai charger overnight in charge mode and will check again today. everything was tightened up properly in all cases (and I'd already changed to the heavier wire kit a couple years ago). Hopefully it was just an issue with one of the cells.
 

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After reading this thread from the beginning I can only wonder why anyone would jump through all the hoops necessary to use one of these batteries in a street bike.
Special charger, special starting procedure, cold weather issues, easily damaged . High cost.
Is it really worth it ? What do you think you’re gaining ? I see only disadvantages.
I buy a standard MotoBatt or Yuasa, under $70, a maintenance charger, under $25.
No issues, no “procedures” no “ starting warm up drill” , just a bike that starts , all the time, any temperature.
I just don’t understand the logic.
 

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You dont need all of that. I dont know where people are getting this. Shorai doesnt even say you need their special charger, just that it could help the battery last longer if used biannually. None of this "store then charge" stuff. I just use the tender if the bike has sat a couple of weeks to help with the parasitic drain, just like any other battery. I use the same tender/charger and methodology I use on my factory car batteries with no issues for YEARS.

Ive got a 7 year old battery that hasnt used the special charger in 4 years that still has no issue firing up the MV (Ive never had a lead acid bike battery last that long). The only "cold weather issue" is when the cells are ice cold they dont make full voltage. Either hit the starter once to warm them up or just turn the ignition on while you put on your helmet and gloves and the cells will be warm enough to start the bike. And that is ONLY when the bike is literally ICE COLD. Like parked outside at 30f for hours. I've never had to do anything special at 50f coming out of my garage.

Advantages? Guess the marketed one is weight, or you could lose 5lbs for less. But there are a couple of other big advantages of lithium-iron:

Energy density. You can either have the same size battery casing and a LOT more energy (the 1:1 swap for my MV had 30% more Ah and CCA). Handy for big, high compression engines or for longevity since it would take a couple of years for the battery to degrade even down to ideal specs for a stock lead acid. Or if you dont need the higher CCA you can go to their website, check your specs, and get a casing that is often nearly HALF the size. On most Italian superbikes storage is, at best, an afterthought. On my MV and Guzzi the battery is under the seat and easily accessible, so I bought the smaller casing with the only slighter higher output than stock and gained about 18cu-in on my MV, plenty of room for a little case of basic tools, a couple fuses and a spare o-ring. 54cu-in on the Guzzi, a tool kit and 2 helmet locks.

The other is, unlike lead-acid there is no discharge over time without a parasitic drain. Throw one in a vintage bike and put it away for 5 years and when you pull it out it will still fire up, the lead acid battery would need to be replaced at that point. Im like you, I have too many bikes to ride in the winter, and yet Ive not had to buy 5 tenders to keep everything charged constantly. I just go out to the bike that has been sitting (well, on the bursig) for 3 months(provided I could find ethanol free), fire it up, and ride it.

They are more but, come on, the Yuasa is $70 and the Shorai is $150.
 

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You dont need all of that. I dont know where people are getting this. Shorai doesnt even say you need their special charger, just that it could help the battery last longer if used biannually. None of this "store then charge" stuff. I just use the tender if the bike has sat a couple of weeks to help with the parasitic drain, just like any other battery. I use the same tender/charger and methodology I use on my factory car batteries with no issues for YEARS.

Ive got a 7 year old battery that hasnt used the special charger in 4 years that still has no issue firing up the MV (Ive never had a lead acid bike battery last that long). The only "cold weather issue" is when the cells are ice cold they dont make full voltage. Either hit the starter once to warm them up or just turn the ignition on while you put on your helmet and gloves and the cells will be warm enough to start the bike. And that is ONLY when the bike is literally ICE COLD. Like parked outside at 30f for hours. I've never had to do anything special at 50f coming out of my garage.

Advantages? Guess the marketed one is weight, or you could lose 5lbs for less. But there are a couple of other big advantages of lithium-iron:

Energy density. You can either have the same size battery casing and a LOT more energy (the 1:1 swap for my MV had 30% more Ah and CCA). Handy for big, high compression engines or for longevity since it would take a couple of years for the battery to degrade even down to ideal specs for a stock lead acid. Or if you dont need the higher CCA you can go to their website, check your specs, and get a casing that is often nearly HALF the size. On most Italian superbikes storage is, at best, an afterthought. On my MV and Guzzi the battery is under the seat and easily accessible, so I bought the smaller casing with the only slighter higher output than stock and gained about 18cu-in on my MV, plenty of room for a little case of basic tools, a couple fuses and a spare o-ring. 54cu-in on the Guzzi, a tool kit and 2 helmet locks.

The other is, unlike lead-acid there is no discharge over time without a parasitic drain. Throw one in a vintage bike and put it away for 5 years and when you pull it out it will still fire up, the lead acid battery would need to be replaced at that point. Im like you, I have too many bikes to ride in the winter, and yet Ive not had to buy 5 tenders to keep everything charged constantly. I just go out to the bike that has been sitting (well, on the bursig) for 3 months(provided I could find ethanol free), fire it up, and ride it.

They are more but, come on, the Yuasa is $70 and the Shorai is $150.
Ryan, If you treat the Lithium batteries like that and they still work ok, you have been lucky. That said, you are right that if you replace the standard batt with the biggest Li that will fit, you can gain big advantages. The Li batt solved several problems on my Harley - It's a S&S superstock and hard to turn over. It charges slowly and has big lights. The Li battery was a perfect match for this bike, solving all those issues without upgrading the charging system. And it has double the amp capacity of the std battery.

I noticed that you didn't say all the batteries you referenced were Shorai, like the one you mention in you MV - It's worth noting that a number of the Lithium battery brands have balance charge circuits built into the battery for reasons that, after reading this thread, should be all too clear. Those batteries can be treated more or less, like a normal battery.

All the information I posted earlier, I learned from reading on lithium battery maintenance on the web and from the battery manufacturers of the drone batteries I use in the aircraft. -Gordo
 

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Ive been lucky 4x I guess, all my bikes have Shorai batteries. And been lucky for years. When the lead-acid was starting to get dodgy they got replaced with a Shorai. I just referenced the MV because its my oldest bike with the longest running battery and the most inconsistent riding history (its in my living room right now).

Also 6 of my riding buddies have also been lucky as well.

As far as balanced charging, yeah some do. Shorai dont, which is why they are considerably cheaper. If you spend a little more for Ballistic those are supposed to have the battery management hardware integrated. But when I asked around only the professionals, who are spending someone elses money and could lose money if the battery didnt work, said it was worth it.

Shorai even states on their own website (and warranty information) that balanced charging is only really required if the battery is over-discharged

Youre making a mistake comparing a drone battery to a motorcycle battery. One is a deep-cycle workflow vs a SLI workflow. Cycling a battery is considerably more demanding and would require difference maintenance and conditioning.

Im sure if you research and really, really think hard about all of it I am sure there is a sliver of truth in needing to do a rain dance every other day and run 4 special pieces of equipment to make 100% certain that the battery wont murder your mother and rape your father. But Im saying that people are overthinking it. Just run a modern charger (that doesn't try to desulfate or whatever) the battery OR ride the bike regularly and you're likely gonna get years of trouble-free use out of it. You know, just like a liquid or AGM battery.

I will concede the main reason I think people actually buy the things is the stupidest one, weight. But there are real practical advantages for, what, $100 more. Are we really bargain shoppers riding Ducatis anyway?

Edit: This is starting to sound like an oil discussion. Sure you can spend your life sending an annual sample to blackstone to optimize your blend and change intervals. Im just the "get the right spec and change it regularly" guy.
 
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