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Has anyone replaced their battery with one of the newer Ni Cad motorcycle battery packs? I would think shaving off 15lb mounted high up in the frame would be a good thing. Do these work with a regular trickle charger or do they need their own charger? What brand and size do you recommend?
 

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Not Ni Cad...Lithium Ion is what you're thinking about...Shorai, EarthX, Antigravity, yeah?

There's a huge thread about this on ADVRIDER. My takeaway is that it's still early in the development cycle, they are somewhat risky in regards to how long they'll last or response to running them dead, need for special charging, etc, and for a bike like the Versys, an AGM battery (eg motobatt.com ) is more than sufficient.

The huge thread is here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=757934

If you decide to be a pioneer, watch out for the arrows. ;-)
 

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I love swapping out to smaller lighter batteries.

Ran a Shorai 12A in my Ninja 650R race bike. Awesome handling upgrade loosing all that weight under the seat. Spun the bike up easy and fast. Can't tell you much about the life span. Sold the race bike.

Currently running a YTZ7 in my Versys and Hawk GT. Spins up the engine just fine. I don't put a lot of cold weather cranking demand on the V or Hawk. I run a Bikemaster YTX9-BS gel equivalent in my KLR650, and it spins up that big single in sub-freezing. Stock for the KLR was a 14A battery.
 

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wal-mart

Allied science batteries work fine. I don't have to have a special charger for it. I just ride.
 

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http://www.shoraipower.com/t-faq.aspx

Q. Can I use Lead-Acid battery chargers or charger/tenders?

A.Yes. HOWEVER, you may NOT use a charger/tender if it has an automatic "desulfation mode", which cannot be turned off. We have confirmed with Deltran, makers of the "Battery Tender" brand, that their products do NOT have a desulfation mode, and are therefore OK for use with Shorai LFX, for example. But the best possible charger/tender for Shorai LFX is the SHO-BMS01, which will be released on about March 15th 2011, we expect. It uses the 5-pin BMS port in the LFX batteries, in order to monitor, diagnose, and balance the individual cells during charge. And it also has an optimized storage mode that will give the longest possible service life to your LFX.

If you are storing your vehicle and want to check the remaining capacity, or you're a racer with a constant-loss system, you'll want to know how resting voltage (i.e. with no load or load under 200mA) maps to remaining capacity. LFX batteries should be maintained such that 20% capacity remains at minimum, as best practice. Use a good-quality voltmeter to check remaining capacity, and consider recharge whenever the battery capacity falls to about 50% remaining. Of course, if you get the Shorai dedicated BMS01 charger, you can just hit the "Store Mode" button and leave it to do the work for you.



Lithium-ion battery advantages and disadvantages:

Note that both advantages and disadvantages depend on the materials and design that make up the battery. This summary reflects older designs that use carbon anode, metal oxide cathodes, and lithium salt in an organic solvent for the electrolyte.

Advantages:

-Wide variety of shapes and sizes efficiently fitting the devices they power.
-Much lighter than other energy-equivalent secondary batteries.
-High open circuit voltage in comparison to aqueous batteries (such as lead acid, nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium).This is beneficial because it increases the amount of power that can be transferred at a lower current.
-No memory effect.
-Self-discharge rate of approximately 5-10% per month, compared to over 30% per month in common nickel metal hydride batteries, approximately 1.25% per month for Low Self-Discharge NiMH batteries and 10% per month in nickel-cadmium batteries. According to one manufacturer, lithium-ion cells (and, accordingly, "dumb" lithium-ion batteries) do not have any self-discharge in the usual meaning of this word. What looks like a self-discharge in these batteries is a permanent loss of capacity (see Disadvantages). On the other hand, "smart" lithium-ion batteries do self-discharge, due to the drain of the built-in voltage monitoring circuit.
-Components are environmentally safe as there is no free lithium metal.

Disadvantages:

-Cell life
-Charging forms deposits inside the electrolyte that inhibit ion transport. Over time, the cell's capacity diminishes. The increase in internal resistance reduces the cell's ability to deliver current. This problem is more pronounced in high-current applications. The decrease means that older batteries do not charge as much as new ones (charging time required decreases proportionally).
-High charge levels and elevated temperatures (whether from charging or ambient air) hasten capacity loss. Charging heat is caused by the carbon anode (typically replaced with lithium titanate which drastically reduces damage from charging, including expansion and other factors).
-Internal resistance increases with both cycling and age. Rising internal resistance causes the voltage at the terminals to drop under load, which reduces the maximum current draw. Eventually increasing resistance means that the battery can no longer operate for an adequate period.
-To power larger devices, such as electric cars, connecting many small batteries in a parallel circuit is more effective and efficient than connecting a single large battery.

Safety requirements:

If overheated or overcharged, Li-ion batteries may suffer thermal runaway and cell rupture. In extreme cases this can lead to combustion. Deep discharge may short-circuit the cell, in which case recharging would be unsafe. To reduce these risks, Lithium-ion battery packs contain fail-safe circuitry that shuts down the battery when its voltage is outside the safe range of 3–4.2 V per cell. When stored for long periods the small current draw of the protection circuitry itself may drain the battery below its shut down voltage; normal chargers are then ineffective. Many types of lithium-ion cell cannot be charged safely below 0°C.

Other safety features are required in each cell:
-Shut-down separator (for overtemperature)
-Tear-away tab (for internal pressure)
-Vent (pressure relief)
-Thermal interrupt (overcurrent/overcharging)

These devices occupy useful space inside the cells, add additional points of failure and irreversibly disable the cell when activated. They are required because the anode produces heat during use, while the cathode may produce oxygen. These devices and improved electrode designs reduce/eliminate the risk of fire or explosion.

These safety features increase costs compared to nickel metal hydride batteries, which require only a hydrogen/oxygen recombination device (preventing damage due to mild overcharging) and a back-up pressure valve.
 

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Have been using Shorai batteries in a two ZRX's for a couple of years with no problems. In really cold weather they turn a little slower but once heated up do great, hit the starter for a couple of seconds then wait about 30 seconds and it spins faster. Using stick coils in both bikes and they take more juice to fire than traditional coils and still no problems. They are expensive but if you're looking to cut weight are a bargain for the amount of weight removed.
 

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I put a Shorai in my Versys back in May.

Advantage: super light weight

Disadvantage:
Pricey
requires special charger
doesn't like the cold. I live in Colorado, winter is here. Unless it's snowing or icy, mine sits at the curb in front of my pickup. As the overnight temps started to drop into the low 30's, I find the bike barely starts in the morning, hit the starter once, then wait a few seconds and hit it again and it'll start.
This is also a problem at work, this past Monday, daytime never got above 50 and there was an intermittent light drizzle all day. Battery was not happy starting in the afternoon.
Also, with the cold temps, it takes longer for my charge LED light to go from red to green once the bike starts.
Also, I have to wait about 5 minutes before I can turn on my heated grips when it's cold, battery drains down.
Doesn't like a lot of draw at idle, my PIAA driving lights draw a lot of power, while cruising they are fine, but idling at a light, my charge status light will quickly go red.
 

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Lesson1/Lead acid batteries have not yet been replaced by any ni-cad,lith-ion or any other derivative when it comes to long term reliability & long term stop-start usage.

End of lesson.
 

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I've been using a Gel Battery in the Versys for over 3 years now without an issue. Thought about the Shorai battery when i got the Gel but didn't want to have to buy another charger. I just had to replace the Lithium battery in my Drift Ghost because of swelling.
 
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