why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

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Vincent.vanGinneke
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why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby Vincent.vanGinneke » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:05 pm

Interesting article from the june 2019 newsletter of the Vincent HRD Owners Club of Victoria .

Do I use a Lithium Ion Battery in my Vincent?

By Bob Kovac

[i]There have been many discussions regarding batteries .
As we know, a 12 volt battery is needed to power most new electronic ignition systems.
So we look at our options to find the perfect battery to suit our needs.
So far the lead acid battery has been the preferred and I agree, especially the SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) type Yuasa YTX 14-BS, as it has been a proven reliable battery.
Recently I read a UK published article stating that one should use a Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery in your motorbike as they would be far better.
This is utter nonsense and I will explain why.
The Li-ion battery is ideal for light weight power tools that have their own external intelligent charger to monitor the battery’s charge rate and temperature to ensure that it is fully charged without damaging it.
It’s ideal when used in Hybrid cars and battery solar systems that have special charging systems in place.
Using a 12 volt Li-ion battery in a conventional vehicle or motor bike is not an option as it requires a higher charge voltage of approximately 14.5 volts rather than the conventional 13.8 charge voltage of lead acid batteries in vehicles today.
There are no mass produced cars excluding Hybrid electric cars that use Li-ion batteries for this reason.
If a normal 12 volt Li-ion battery was to be used in a conventional 12 volt vehicle then it would not be able to fully charge and there would be the risk of damaging the Li-ion battery as it would not have any current or temperature protection and could explode or catch fire.
For example, let us look inside a Li-ion battery that is used in a Motocross bike, bearing in mind that it has no lights and it’s alternator’s output voltage is increased to charge the battery.
Inside the top of the Li-ion battery is an electronic circuit board specifically to monitor the current and temperature of the battery during its use.
It will control the charge and discharge rate and should the voltage fall below 11 volts it will shut down!
This will result in the battery being useless and has to be discarded so it really is not suitable for conventional vehicle use.
In conclusion, it would be best to use a lead acid battery as it’s going to be around for many more years and has proven to be reliable.
[/i]

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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby cmfalco » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:00 pm

Vincent.vanGinneke wrote:Do I use a Lithium Ion Battery in my Vincent?
The fact Li batteries require their own special chargers, and your Vincent has a Miller voltage regulator, is the first clue you should not use a Li battery. Even if you've replaced the Miller with a modern voltage regulator, the charging requirements for Li-ion are significantly different than for the Pb-acid batteries that modern regulators are designed for. Also, the fact airlines ban Li batteries from being in luggage, and a certain Samsung telephone from even being on the plane, and that Apple stores treat iPhones showing the slightest bulge (due to the battery) as potential fire hazards not to be repaired in the store, are additional clues.

So, no, you should not use a Li-ion battery in a motorcycle.

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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby chris.vredenbregt » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:33 pm

I agree on the li-ion batteries do not use them. But when you use SLA batteries be carefull only to use them with a 2 brush dynamo with a regulator.not with a 3 brush dynamo with a cut-out. A cut-out is all or nothing and no regulator and will blow up your SLA battery
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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby john.whiting » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:43 am

Despite all the foregoing,these batteries are quite useful on a bike for a total loss system,as was traditional in this country many years ago..........low draw LED lights have made total loss a quite attractive proposition ,and saves the often considerable expense of restoring trashed generators on vintage bikes.......hence the traditional piston in the strap on a magdyno......although only needed on BSA where the whole lot is clamped down by the strap........they wont run electronic ignition?...Good.

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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby grahamhibbs » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:41 pm

I have been using a lithium iron (yes iron) battery in a modern Honda for some time and I have had no problem with it, charges on the bike at 14-14.2 volts and has a built in charging system to balance the cells I charge off the bike if needed with a standard battery charger but not a trickle charger. It is equipped with Bluetooth and I can monitor the charge temperature and cell balance from my phone.
The weight and size offer a considerable saving.
A few manufacturers are using these batteries as standard now.
Regards
Graham
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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby ralfpenkert » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:40 pm

Use LiFePo4 cells for more than two years without any problems in my bikes, Ariel VH500 and Horex Regina.
Didn't change anything in the original systems, neither regulator nor dynamo.
Use 4 LiFePo4 cells, each 3,2V, 3400mAh.
2 Units are wired serial and two sets of these parallel = total 6,4V, 6,8Ah.
This is a good replacement to old lead acid accus.
Just to check the load condition needs a bit experience.
When i decided to do so i had bought two brand new lead acid accus.
The first one lasts two weeks,
second one quits after one.
Both due to cell short cuts as result of vibrations.
Ralf

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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby keith wainwright » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:23 pm

Hi Guys I have been using Li-ion batterys on both my BMW R1150r 12volts and Square Four 6volts. Been in service for just under 3 years on both bikes. I always keep them well charged using a Bike TEK charger model number BCH 012.The lead acid battery on my BMW lasted 18months. What do they say, ignorence is bliss but would like to hear from other users and comments. Keith.

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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby GuyWalton » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:34 pm

Been using a shorai li battery on my Ducati 999R for 8 years , not the same one , Its the only thing that will reliably start it . It used to eat lead acid as it is highly strung and has big compression wouldn't use anything else .
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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby robjameson » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm

Lithium batteries are a great idea on modern bikes where space is a premium, you get excellent CCA vs size and there is a huge weight advantage over AGM batteries.
You do need to care for them properly and leave them on a trickle charger.

On a classic bike with no electric leg and very little to power, plus questionable charging and regulation, I really do not see the point.
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Re: why Li-ion batteries are no good for motorcycles

Postby volker.halbach » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:03 pm

I am using a Lithium-ion battery in my 37 NH with an electronic regulator. The capacity isn't good, probably because the charging voltage is too low, and so it doesn't get fully charged. I don't mind, because my ignition doesn't rely on it. The battery came with the bike and must be a couple of years old; with lead-acid batteries on other British bikes I had to buy a new one frequently. Nowadays buying a conventional battery comes with the additional hassle that you cannot simply buy the sulphuric acid and fill it yourself. The Li-ion battery doesn't discharge over the winter and I don't have to pay attention to it. On one occasion I left the panel light on overnight and the battery flat the following morning. I charged it externally and it came back to life. So far it seems more convenient than conventional batteries.


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