I had been considering this for a while on the V-Strom when it does finally come time to replace the battery. The new Lithium Ion batteries that are out weigh anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of what a conventional motorcycle battery weighs. This should be a weight savings of over 3 lbs. In addition, they supposedly will last anywhere from six to ten times longer which makes them an excellent value in the long run. There are only 2 knocks on these batteries from what I've read online. They are more expensive (prices are coming down though) and they seem to have a more difficult time starting in cold weather. Sometimes, they might also be smaller in size and you may have to shim so that will stay in place properly Here is a description for one on ebay that is for a CBR 250. The advertised weight as you will read below is 1.23 lbs. I'll bet you can get this on Amazon or elsewhere. There are other brands as well. Since most batteries cost 50-100$$$ anyway, a little over a $100.00 for a Lithium Ion is a good deal and a decent upgrade in terms of saving some weight, and having a battery that will last significantly longer.
SHORAI LFX09L2-BS12 LITHIUM IRON BATTERY
SHORAI LFX Lithium-Iron Powersports battery, 9Ah 12V eq, "L" polarity, Case Type 2
Part Number: LFX09L2-BS12 LFX09L2 BS12
1.23 pounds !!
I had been considering this for a while on the V-Strom when it does finally come time to replace the battery. The new Lithium Ion batteries that are out weigh anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of what a conventional motorcycle battery weighs.
It's lithium IRON . . . and I'm thinking of one to replace the battery in my Goldwing when it croaks; expensive, but lighter and smaller . . . probably worth the extra cost . . . .
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Eeeeeh, I wouldn't use anything but a lead acid battery on a bike you use for transportation.
Lead acid batteries are still used in cars and bikes because they're extremely durable and can handle a huge range of environmental conditions. They are also very simple to charge and maintain.
Lithium batteries are not any of those things. LiFePO4 cells are much more durable than other types, but I doubt you'll see the lifetime and performance you're expecting if it doesn't have a lithium-specific charger. Sticking one on a lead acid charger may work, but it's not going to maintain the battery properly and you can expect it to fail excessively fast.
Last edited by sniper1rfa; 12-11-2012 at 08:17 PM.
Lots of different perspectives on Lithium Ion or Lithium Iron, no doubt. Thanks to Pooder7, I began digging to check on the name for these batteries to see if they were in fact "Iron" or "Ion". The 2nd article below pointed out that the Lithium Iron is a sub-classification of Lithium Ion. I also found the second article to have a lot of good factual info while the first is both a review and some factual info as well. Lots of good info for anyone wanting to know more about these batteries.
With the prices coming down as much as they have, I don't think you're going to lose on this purchase. You may even end up saving a good bit of $ quite possibly. Even if it only lasted 2x as long you would break even. Since this technology is still relatively new, the 2nd article pointed out that there will likely be far more refinements and improvements down the road making these more viable.
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The lithium-ion battery is the best bank for the buck in regards to performance out there. Every 10 lbs taken off the bike is the equivalent of adding 1 hp. I believe the weight savings with this battery are about 3-4 lbs. with the right charger and maintenance they should last 10 years.
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I've contemplated lit, but decided against it until the lead-acid battery the bike came with dies. Arguably my reasoning is not for weight-saving, but the fact the equivalent battery IS smaller. To me, this means you should be able to fit '1 size up' in the bike, giving it a much larger Ah reserve -- meaning with my alarm armed, I hopefully could get more than a week and a half before it's too dead to start.
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Bike: 2011 Honda CBR250R ABS (Red/Silver)
Mods: ASV Levers, T-Rex Frame Sliders, Sato Spools, Tankslapper Film, TechSpec SS Tankpads, Fastpack Tailbag
Installed a 1.25 lb. lithium in my cbr at about 50 miles - used all summer - no problems. Have a 3.5lb. lithium in my 2.0 Mazda 3 - again no problems. Use lithiums in all my rc airplanes. Plan to put one in my Mazda 2 as well.
Measuring the no-load voltage of a lead acid battery is a good indicator of state-of-charge, as the voltage drops fairly linearly through most of the charge range.
Lithium Ion batteries of all types (typical chemistries are li-ion, lifepo4, and li-poly) have a much flatter discharge curve, and voltage is not typically used to determine state-of-charge. Most devices using lithium based batteries use an energy-in/energy-out calculation - if you put an amp hour in and take a half of one out you've got a half left. This relies on lithium's excellent charge/discharge efficiency.
From the article:
Just for kicks, I checked the voltage on each. The Shorai registered 13.32 Volts; the Ballistic was 13.21 and the Multistrada battery (in the bike) was 13.18 Volts. The Bikemaster OE lead-acid battery, which has been sitting on a shelf since the Shorai was installed, registered a wimpy 12.37 Volts, which probably wouldn't be enough to turn the DR650's engine over.
This is not a valid test. A high no-load voltage on the lithium battery does not indicate a full charge or even a charge capable of starting the bike.
That said, if the bike has no extra drains on it (alarm and so on) then the lithium based cells should hold their state of charge much better than a lead acid battery.
Anyway, I'd still be concerned about charging. One thing I would say is that anybody buying one should be cautious about using a battery tender. Look into how long your bike will hold a good charge before sticking it on a trickle charger, as a constant trickle charge may do more damage than it's worth.