V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
repeat offender
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My battery died a few weeks ago and was having a hard time finding one locally so I started looking online and found these Lithium Ferrous Phosphate batteries (LiFePo4) mentioned in a few places so I decided to give it a try and order one. I ended up finding the best price on Amazon.com but it was actually shipped from a place called Mueller Motorsports that contracts with Amazon. The battery was $235 with no sales tax :D and the shipping was $6 or so.

I should also note that I called our local HD dealer who is in the process of closing their doors forever. They had 1 battery left for an '82 Dyna or something and that was it, but "call the Walnut Creek store" the guy said. So I called Walnut Creek and they had 4 in stock, $185 plus tax!!! Holy smoke. No thanks.

The box arrived about 5 days later, dropped off by the USPS lady. I was kind of shocked when I picked it up, the battery only weighs 3 lbs!!! It really doesn't feel like a battery and I had my doubts this thing would do the job. Here it is sitting next to the old Lead Acid bastard that quit on me:



The size is really amazing... this thing is only 4" wide:




OK, so now after feeling the light weight and seeing how small it is, the first thing that comes to mind is how bad this thing is going to be bouncing around in my huge bagger battery tray. I started tearing apart the shop trying to find something I could use to protect the bottom... like rubber or a pad or something... hmm.

I found an old PC mousepad that says MEMOREX on it, yeah it's been sitting in one of my roll-away tool box drawers for years. So here is how I cut it out, it measures roughly 5.5" X 6.5":



And here is the pad installed into the battery tray:



So now I start thinking about the sides and I remember the big foam packing block this thing is shipped in. If I cut 1.5" off two sides I can use this to hold it in place:



Here are the final photos showing the battery installed. It is amazing how much room I have left now:

Rear View:


Left Side View:
 

·
repeat offender
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
OK, so now time for a review. First of all, if you look on their website, they have a video of some guy starting a Harley in very cold weather and it takes two or three tries to get it going. I guess the battery needs to "wake up" kind of like my wife where she won't open her eyes in the morning until I have a cup of coffee on the nightstand for her. So I installed this thing and sure enough my big 117" fire breathing dragon coughed and farted and that was it. $HIT. I just wasted $235 bucks plus I have to wait to get a replacement. I'm ready to throw things but I come back and try again and it finally starts. I don't know if I should be happy or not, oh well.

So I rode it 300+ miles last Friday, all the way to Mi-Wuk Village up above Sonora for anyone who cares. I started it at least 10 times, every time it fired IMMEDIATELY. Damn nice.

So now it's Tuesday and my buddy comes by and asks me if I want to go to Taco Tuesday and asks about my new battery, etc, so I go out in the garage and pull the seat and show him. I say "I bet this thing won't start" and I hit the button and it fires right up!! So I've only had it a week but so far so good, and it seems like I made the right choice. I will report back if it goes ****-up.

BTW - This is the Ballistic EVO 2 12V 16 Cell. The 16 Cell is the biggest they make. Their website is: http://www.ballisticparts.com/index.php
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Maybe it was a little low on charge when you first tried to start the bike???? Please do report back from time to time...I have thought about trying one too when I need to replace mine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
394 Posts
This is what it says on their website.
•No trickle charger required, loses only 10% of charge over a year of static use
Do you keep a battery tender on yours?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
This is what it says on their website.
•No trickle charger required, loses only 10% of charge over a year of static use
Do you keep a battery tender on yours?
A battery tender is only required if you dont ride it often. They hold their charge a lot longer then normal lead acid batteries.

Maybe it was a little low on charge when you first tried to start the bike???? Please do report back from time to time...I have thought about trying one too when I need to replace mine.

Lithium batteries release the full amount of cranking power even when they are below 50% charge. They need to be warmed up with a few starts in colder weather.

Check out this one, 540CCA, 5lbs!

http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/shorai-lithium-lfx36l3-bs12.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
One of my hobbies is radio control planes and the use of lithium batteries is taking over that pastime in a big way. The predominant type of lithium battery in RC is the Lithium Polymer (LiPo). They are mostly little soft plastic encased cells that weigh a third less or more than either comparable Metal Hydride or NiCad batteries. Great cranking power and endurance if the right capacity cells are used. They have almost no "memory" like NiCads. LiPos are what are used in almost all laptops and cell phones now.

The main downsides to LiPo batteries are three fold. One is their vulnerability to catching on fire if they are not either charged correctly or are shorted out accidently. One of the guys in our RC club crashed a LiPo powered plane and the resulting fire burned five acres at our field. Another guy nearly burned his van up while using a generator to power his special LiPo charger. Not sure what he did wrong in that case but it was close! It is highly recommended that you put your LiPo batteries in a fireproof metal container when you charge them (in case you do get a fire).

Charging LiPos with more than three cells requires a special balancer charger since the cells that are hooked in series can vary in voltage if you don't balance them during charging. The normal voltage of a LiPo is around 1.2V per cell and they will drop in voltage if they are in series and not balanced as they are charged.

Now, as for LiFe batteries (known in some circles as "123" batteries) like those Flyin' Brian is using, their chemistry is a little different but their main advantage is that their cases are metal and not soft plastic like the Lipo batteries. As you can imagine that makes them much less vulnerable to physical damage. They weigh a little more than LiPo batteries but are still much lighter than any lead acid or other conventional batteries. In the world of cordless power tools you will find that LiPo batteries are the most common these days by far but there is one manufacturer (I think it's Hitachi but don't quote me on that) that uses the LiFe batteries.

If you go to the website for these batteries you will see that they highly recommend buying their "Ballistic EVO2 Balance Charger" to extend the life of the battery. Now I'm just guessing a bit here (since I don't know for a fact that LiFe batteries have the same balancing problem that LiPos have) but it seems the occasional use of the balancing charger will keep all the cells in the pack up to their designed voltage. Obviously no Harley has a balancing charger but the makers of this LiFe battery seem to be claiming that using their balancing charger periodically will keep the cells up to snuff. Something to consider.

Just curious Brian, are the vendors recommending periodical use of their charger to keep the batteries balanced?

Anyway, I think that the LiFe batteries have some great qualities, especially their hard cases, but whether or not they will continue to be used in the future I can't say. As far as longevity and everyday use I'd love to hear from time to time how this system is working out for you Brian.

Good Luck Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
A battery tender is only required if you dont ride it often. They hold their charge a lot longer then normal lead acid batteries.




Lithium batteries release the full amount of cranking power even when they are below 50% charge. They need to be warmed up with a few starts in colder weather.

Check out this one, 540CCA, 5lbs!

http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/shorai-lithium-lfx36l3-bs12.html
A little correction here, Merch. LiPo batteries will not give full cranking power even when less than 50% charged. I know this from experience myself. I've run a few LiPo batteries down too far and ruined the batteries. They swell up and may even catch fire if you run them down too far. Once they have swollen up they have much reduced voltage and capacity. This from several first hand experiences with the RC stuff. Actually with the LiPos your speed controller has a limit switch that you can set to prevent from running the batteries too low.

As for LiFe batteries I can't say one way or another whether that is true about the running down. It may very well be true. I don't know. But running down a LiPo is a huge no-no. Just clearing that up. Not all lithium batteries are created equal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
460 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Appreciate the review. I now run an Odyssey 925 LMJ and it weighs 26 lbs. Too think I can reduce the weight by 23 lbs is great. Forget about dieting - lol.

Not sure about the whole lithium battery thing in my bike yet,,,time will tell, right now I also run the Odyssey battery and compared to most of what I've seen on the market today,,its a fantastic battery..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Ballistic or antigravity

So why would i need the 16 cell if the 12 cell has 60-110 cca more than say a big boar battery depending on the brand? One would think that you could go with the 12 cell and save more weight and money. Ballistic has more cca in the 12 cell but is thicker if you have space constraints like i do with my *******. I did notice that antigravity has a better warranty program between the two. I think this would be fine if your not worried about cranking it a couple of times to warm it up if the temp is below 50 deg. So far looking between the companies antigravity would be the company i would choose for the slimmer size.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top