Lithium Ion Batteries - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Lithium Ion Batteries

These things keep getting cheaper. Has anyone tried one on their Versys? The appeal of 66% less weight, especially weight up high is appealing. Advantages/disadvantages? My main area of concern is do I need to buy a new battery charger or will my old lead/acid trickle charger work OK?

Lithium Ion Batteries
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
These things keep getting cheaper. Has anyone tried one on their Versys? The appeal of 66% less weight, especially weight up high is appealing. Advantages/disadvantages? My main area of concern is do I need to buy a new battery charger or will my old lead/acid trickle charger work OK?

Lithium Ion Batteries


I came close to getting one for my 09 when they came out. It was a Shorai but it said you needed one of their chargers at that time. So i went with a GEL Battery instead..... Info....Frequently Asked Questions - Shorai Lithium Batteries

2009 Blue Versys.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 09:08 AM
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And as an added feature, they don't explode too very frequently. Come to think of it, that might be a clever bit of advertising. Rather like Tesla's early advertising, "$100,000 and they don't catch fire too often."

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
These things keep getting cheaper. Has anyone tried one on their Versys? The appeal of 66% less weight, especially weight up high is appealing. Advantages/disadvantages? My main area of concern is do I need to buy a new battery charger or will my old lead/acid trickle charger work OK?

Lithium Ion Batteries
I've had one in my '08 V for the past one an a half years. I bought an inexpensive Li charger at the same time, on Amazon Prime. They both work great. Much smaller and lighter than a stock battery. [I'm on a "add lightness" kick]. My V is normally kept in the garage. Unless I'm on a trip, of course. I've heard that some of the earlier version Li batteries could have difficulty starting when it's below 45 F. Mine works fine at 45 F, though. It's a second or third gen design.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 02:25 PM
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I put one in my old Beemer...my only complaint would be that because it was soo much smaller than the original battery it was kind of hard to fit...I needed a bunch of foam pieces...otherwise it's been great...you don't have to hook it up to a charger..as it will hold a charge for a year...I have a charger that I use (anyway)..and I've left it off a couple of times for weeks with no change in the battery charge...when the battery gets old in the Versys (damn thing is 3 years old now and going strong) it will get a Lithium battery too...
I've heard about the hard to start if the battery is cold...namely it may not start on the first push of the button if it's been really cold...mine worked fine after a night of 30 degree temperatures...they say you "may need" to "warm" the battery up first..by turning on your lights or something similar...it's only supposed to be a momentary thing if it happens at all...
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 03:22 PM
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I've had one in my '08 V for the past one an a half years. I bought an inexpensive Li charger at the same time, on Amazon Prime. They both work great. Much smaller and lighter than a stock battery. [I'm on a "add lightness" kick]. My V is normally kept in the garage. Unless I'm on a trip, of course. I've heard that some of the earlier version Li batteries could have difficulty starting when it's below 45 F. Mine works fine at 45 F, though. It's a second or third gen design.
That seems to be an issue for other small battery tech too. I had an '00 Duc ST4. It never had a problem starting. Got an '03 ST4s with a new lightweight gel battery and that thing wouldn't start for crap in cooler temps. Had to replace my FJR battery. Tech suggested going with a lighter, cheaper gel. Once it got cold, same story.
As cold weather is part of living in Ohio, I'll be sticking with big, heavy, lead acid cells...
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 03:22 PM
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...my only complaint would be that because it was soo much smaller than the original battery it was kind of hard to fit...I needed a bunch of foam pieces...otherwise it's been great...
Mine came with lots of extra foam pieces, that were easily trimable. It didn't take long to fit the pieces in. I also used double stick tape to attach part of a softer foam piece to the top of the battery. When I put the seat on the bike, that piece of foam is trapped between the bottom of the seat pan and the top of the battery, and keeps the battery from jiggling when riding on bumpy roads.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 03:28 PM
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That seems to be an issue for other small battery tech too. I had an '00 Duc ST4. It never had a problem starting. Got an '03 ST4s with a new lightweight gel battery and that thing wouldn't start for crap in cooler temps. Had to replace my FJR battery. Tech suggested going with a lighter, cheaper gel. Once it got cold, same story.
As cold weather is part of living in Ohio, I'll be sticking with big, heavy, lead acid cells...
A gel battery is a much older and different technology than lithium. No comparison.

Also - the newer lithium batteries are built and spec'd much differently than when they first hit the market a few years ago. More performance, higher energy ratings.

Last edited by trialsguy; 09-23-2016 at 07:57 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 03:35 PM
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A gel battery is a much older and different technology than lithium. No comparison.

Also - the newer lithium batteries are built and spec'd much differently that when they first hit the market a few years ago. More performance, higher energy ratings.
I understand, but still seems like they suffer the same issue.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 06:33 PM
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I just installed a Battery Tender Lithium battery and love the weight loss..

Seems to start up fine...click-vroom..

And my butt dyno tells me a positive feel in handling and acceleration..

Only $ 150 bucks..sweet..love the technology...amazing how small and light they are...cheers.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 09:58 PM
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Suggest checking reviews/ Spec deceiving

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I just installed a Battery Tender Lithium battery and love the weight loss..

Seems to start up fine...click-vroom..

And my butt dyno tells me a positive feel in handling and acceleration..

Only $ 150 bucks..sweet..love the technology...amazing how small and light they are...cheers.

I would suggest reading about the warranty on Amazon and negative reviews https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...l&pageNumber=1

From what I see , on the side it states 51.2 Watt Hours, it claims to be equal to 10 to 14 AH lead acid batteries. Doing the math, 51.2 divided by 12 volt = 4.26 Amp Hour big misinformation, it is physically the size of a 5 amp hour battery, they advertise 3 times the life of a lead acid battery, better hope it doesn't fail, if you read warranty claims by others, in 1 year you pay 50% of MSRP. Reports of failing from over voltage Versys have a over voltage problem, naw that shunt regulator works fine, some time around 14.5 to 15 volts it starts to shunt-- what you say, 15 volts is too high for my light weight battery that burnt up, WTF it was only $150 . If it is a weight issue, best to lose a few pounds and buy a AGM battery, my 07 Versys OEM battery lasted 6 years. I doubt the lithium battery would last 18 years, from the many negative reports on the Amazon review, getting two years out of the battery would be doing good.

I am just stating the facts displayed on the battery.

Quick battery 101 here, nothing to do with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 lithium battery issues as it is of different construction.

This is in reference to power tools and the progression from Ni-Cad to Lithium Ion, lots of advances and present day Lithium are pretty reliable , what was missed was in between , there was and still is a battery called Nickel–metal hydride NI MH https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel...ydride_battery equal to the lithium but not affected by the cold, slightly heavier and slightly larger than the lithium.
In reality, in cold conditions, the lithium battery will short out to produce heat, it also is very unforgiving in thermal runaway, that is it is like a nuclear reactor that lost the cooling, once started down that path, self destruction is imminent . I own several power tools all using lithium batteries, awesome , would I put it in my Versys, no, even though I have a series regulator that maintains a maximum 14.2 VDC, even if someone gave me one for free .


In the end I buy and install what I want when I want it, however I research any major purchases and try and get feedback from forums like this. In the end it is your bike and your money. Enjoy your Versys
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Last edited by onewizard; 09-20-2016 at 10:04 PM.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 10:11 PM
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One of many such catastrophic failures... Is it worth the breakdown and fire risk? It would in fact be advisable to remove it from your pristine white Versys 650 asap.



https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...vert-amazon-20
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 09:34 AM
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 09:50 AM
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I have them in pretty much all my bikes but the V. I replace the started units with them when I kill them (which lately has been about 1 a year cause I forget to put the race bikes on the tender lol)

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 02:06 PM
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I clicked on the Amazon review link shown above. There were 430 positive reviews and 123 critical reviews for this battery. That's a 78% approval rating.

My experience with this battery has been great, for almost 2 years so far.

Perhaps the owners of the failed batteries used the wrong charger on their battery, or they did not mount it correctly in their motorcycle and allowed to bounce around in the battery box.
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 04:49 PM
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I clicked on the Amazon review link shown above. There were 430 positive reviews and 123 critical reviews for this battery. That's a 78% approval rating.

My experience with this battery has been great, for almost 2 years so far.

Perhaps the owners of the failed batteries used the wrong charger on their battery, or they did not mount it correctly in their motorcycle and allowed to bounce around in the battery box.
The warranty is really a sham .

No comparison between a AGM and Lithium , you are right, however the rating data on the side speaks volumes , comparing 10 to 14 AH then change the spec to read Watt Hours what afraid to print 4.26AH I said they are prone to thermal run away, no joke, this is for real. The Versys regulator is known to start shunting anywhere between 14.5 to 15 VDC, so talking percentages 15VDC is 25% over voltage on a 12 VDC battery.


Just copied from a safety warning in the Shorai link from Weljo post;

A. Starter batteries of any type contain a large amount of energy. During a short circuit, ALL that energy is released in a matter of seconds, creating an extremely hot arc welder, possibly causing fire or explosion. You MUST be very careful at all times to avoid short circuit of the positive and negative terminals. Do NOT wear jewelry on wrist or neck while handling batteries. INSURE that when installed the positive and negative terminals are properly covered and insulated from the vehicle. Do NOT use carbon fiber battery hold down units, as carbon is an electrical conductor. When replacing a battery, its important to verify that your charging system is working properly and the output voltage is within the recommended range of 13.6-14.4v. At no time should the charging system output be above 15.2v or it can damage the battery. Not a whole lot of difference between 15 and 15.2VDC, then again if you have gone to the trouble of buying a battery at twice the cost of a AGM battery I would guess you went to the trouble of installing a Polaris regulator that has a max. output of 14.2 VDC now you are back in the ballpark.

Like I said before, your bike your money.
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Last edited by onewizard; 09-22-2016 at 07:37 PM.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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The warranty is really a sham .

No comparison between a AGM and Lithium , you are right, however the rating data on the side speaks volumes , comparing 10 to 14 AH then change the spec to read Watt Hours what afraid to print 4.26AH I said they are prone to thermal run away, no joke, this is for real. The Versys regulator is known to start shunting anywhere between 14.5 to 15 VDC, so talking percentages 15VDC is 25% over voltage on a 12 VDC battery.
In a typical 12v system, the charging system needs to produce more voltage than what the battery currently has. It is also unusual to see a charging system exceed 14.5v. I can't recall ever seeing anything above 14.4v on my Versys's volt meter. It typically drops to ~12.6v at idle.

As I understand most reputable lithium ion batteries sold currently have on board electronics to prevent damage from over charging or two high a voltage. I would not buy one that did not have this feature. That is they are designed to work in a real world environment where the voltage fluctuates.

Watt/hour and Amp/hour are the exact same figure given in different units. Since voltage is constant at around 13v in a static 12v system all we need to do is divide 13 to obtain the amps, since amps is voltage * current.

Amp/hour = [Watt/hour]/13


Rechargeable NI/MH AA batteries are a dime a dozen on eBay. I'm kinda tempted to try making my own.

If you were to built eight 1.5v modules and then wired these in series you would have 12 volts, 9 modules would be 13.5v. Where each module is say 3, 1.5v, AA cells wired in parallel.

Note: wiring any number of cells POS to POS and NEG to NEG is called connecting in parallel - it does not increase the voltage but can increase the available current. Wiring batteries tip to tail increases voltage by the amount of each battery and is called wiring in series.
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Last edited by twowheels; 09-22-2016 at 08:25 PM.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 08:16 PM
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Charging voltage is much more stable with my Compufire series type R/R (same for Polaris series type R/R)... It varied by over 4 times as much and was also higher than ideal with stock shunt R/R at 14.65V~14.90V (14.9V at idle). It's now always between 14.38V and 14.44V (14.44V at idle).
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One of many such catastrophic failures... Is it worth the breakdown and fire risk? It would in fact be advisable to remove it from your pristine white Versys 650 asap.



https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...vert-amazon-20
one of the red caps for the positive terminals seem to be misplaced...oh oh..I see a shorting problem right there...

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