Best battery for infrequent riding - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Best battery for infrequent riding

What is the best battery for the infrequent rider? Most of the time (especially in winter) my bike battery sits on the work bench next to my boat battery. Every so many days I swap the trickle charger between them.

-Robert
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 10:40 PM
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I would use a maintenance free AGM battery (I use Westco). Get a Deltran Battery Tender Jr., and KEEP it connected to the battery at all times. It will keep the battery fully charged, and drastically extend it's life. But remember, even sitting there fully charged, a battery still eventually wears out, so if you don't use it often, you are not going to get the use out of it you otherwise would. It may last just as long, or possibly even longer than a battery in daily use, but all the time it just sits there, you are not getting anything out of it. A battery cannot be stored forever like some things, and still be in like new condition.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 10:48 PM
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The Shorai battery is your best move here.

You can store them in your refridgerator for years, pull it out , let it warm up and off you go:
http://www.shoraipower.com/t-faq.aspx

You need to use one of their chargers, or a simple trickle charger as "smart chargers" aren't reccomended.

Cost a bit more than an AGM, but can sit for longer periods without needing that charger, provide higher volts and CCA.

I plan on getting one when my now 5 year old AGM bites the dust ...

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 11:13 PM
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The Shorai battery is a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. This is pretty much the latest technology in consumer batteries, and they are commonly used in electric bicycles. A LiFePO4 battery pack for an electric bicycle typically costs over $500, but has a much higher capacity than a motorcycle starter battery. The technology may have improved, but I have read several horror stories (I belong to a motorized bicycle forum, though I lean more toward good old internal combustion engines) about LiFePO4 batteries being seriously damaged by improper charging, or running them too long before charging. All LiFePO4 battery packs for bicycles come with a charger designed specifically for them. I have no experience with them, just what I read on that forum, motoredbikes.com. I might buy one for a motorcycle, as it is only $150 instead of $500+ This is new technology to many, so there are going to be conflicting opinions on it. They seem to have a very low discharge rate, but I wonder what their overall lifespan is? I have 6 of those Battery Tender Jr.s, all with pigtails connected to the battery in the bike. I keep them plugged in whenever the bike is not being ridden. KM said his AGM battery is already 5 years old, and still working.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike

Last edited by VN750Rider/Jerry; 12-21-2011 at 11:53 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 02:29 AM
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If you decide to go the AGM route here is a list of batteries that fit .

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 09:29 AM
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I have a Yuasa AGM ($70) and no trickle charger. The bike has sat for months without use and the battery is still going strong after 3.5 years. I would add that the bike is stored in an underground garage where the temps never approach freezing (maybe high '30s at worst). Batteries don't like the cold.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 11:25 AM
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Lifepan of the Lithium Iron battery (LI now for short) is supposed to be twice as long as an AGM. Problem there no one I know has had a LI in their bike Fkr more than 4 months...so the claim remains untested.

The only issue reported with the LI is they don't like temps below freezing. If you ride in 20 degree weather this might be cause you some concern, but because of their low discharge rate and how they work, folks have found that by simply turning the ignition on to where their lights come on and waiting 20-30 seconds, then hitting the starter the bike starts fine. Seems putting a load on the LI when it's cold "wakes it up". Also getting one with a higher amp rating than stock seems to help too.

That said , yes a good AGM should be able to go 4-8 weeks without a charger on it and still start the bike. As of today they are cheaper than an LI battery.

One of the biggest advantages I like of the LI is that they are smaller....and weigh ALOT less.maybe not a big concern to cruiser owners, but a plus to sportbike riders and others with heavy bikes.

Given th OPs question here looking for a battery for "infrequent" use, the LI still would be the best choice.... simply because it can go for longer periods than an AGM without needing attention.

My 5 year old AGM by the way does still work fine, although I now see a larger drop in voltage over weeks of non use. Am not sure it can go 4 whole weeks without a charge like it used to, so come spring I plan to replace it. Not that it's really "bad" but just for piece of mind. I know many with 6 year old batteries that are still going strong...but that seems to be limit with AGMs.

Come back in 11 years and ask about the LI batteries lifespan ...I'm sure you'll get a better answer...

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 05:15 PM
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This Deka AGM battery was recommended by our late great professor, lance 328:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Deka-ETX15L-..._Parts&vxp=mtr

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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I went down to the Batterys Plus store and got an X2 AGM battery. It was a bit more than the other AGM but it carries a 2 year warranty.

http://www.batteriesplus.com/product...6-to-2006.aspx

Its spec'd at 220 CCA but it bench tests to 300. My old tested out at 140CCA.


-Robert
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
I went down to the Batterys Plus store and got an X2 AGM battery. It was a bit more than the other AGM but it carries a 2 year warranty.

http://www.batteriesplus.com/product...6-to-2006.aspx

Its spec'd at 220 CCA but it bench tests to 300. My old tested out at 140CCA.


-Robert
Just a FYI the BatterysPlus battery is actually a Deka re-branded (EastPenn Manufacturing - great battery). It's nice that you were able to pick it up instead of waiting for a shipment, so any extra bit payed seems worth it to me. I'm an instant-gratification type of guy as well.

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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