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Lithium Motorcycle Battery Pros and Cons, and Best Buy
Motorcycles are one of the most fun vehicles to ride. Not only are they comfortable, but more petrol-friendly than cars and are available in so many unique and different shapes. One of the reasons why lithium motorcycle batteries even exist is because normal lead-acid batteries that are used in motorcycles tend to go bad in 4 to 5 years.?
Here is everything you need to know about lithium motorcycle batteries, their pros & cons, and tips on how to buy a good motorcycle battery:
What is a lithium motorcycle battery?
As the name suggests, a lithium motorcycle battery is a smaller version of a lithium car battery. It can be used to power an electric motorcycle or jumpstart a gas motorcycle, depending on what vehicle you have. The size of a lithium battery in an e-bike is considerably bigger than the size of a lithium battery that fits inside a normal gas/petrol bike.
Normal motorcycles do not come with a lithium battery pre-installed and you have to install them yourself. Be sure to always ask for a professional’s help while installing or uninstalling a battery as vehicles are complex machinery that need to be constantly maintained.?
What are the advantages of lithium motorcycle batteries?
Lithium motorcycle batteries have a lot of advantages over your average batteries. Some of these advantages are:
Last More Cycles
Lithium motorcycle batteries last way longer than acid-lead or your average joe batteries. This is because unlike acid-lead batteries, lithium-ion batteries can be discharged to 0% and still be recharged back to 100% without losing much capacity. Acid-lead batteries, on the other hand, have to be kept above 50% or they will lose capacity very fast.?
More Performance Per Buck
Lithium ion batteries are easier to start, and do not usually get heated up – making them an ideal jumpstart catalyst for vehicles. Though relatively more expensive than lead-acid batteries, lithium- ion batteries last longer and provide a much better performance per buck.?
Lithium batteries have an amazingly low self-discharge rate, and only lose about 10% charge per year. On the other hand, lead-acid batteries lose 1% every day. In other words, lithium batteries self-discharge 36 times slower than lead-acid batteries.??
Lithium ion batteries are considerably lighter than other batteries – mainly because they are able to store about 8 times more charge at the same weight than average OEM batteries. Lithium ion batteries that are intended for motorcycles are around 2 pounds while OEM batteries are around 8 pounds.
Because they are more expensive, manufacturers give a better warranty on lithium batteries. As the market stands right now, you will most likely find lithium batteries with up to 3 years of warranty – which is 3 times the warranty of a normal acid-lead battery.?
Acid-lead batteries contain two of the most toxic components to human nature: acid and lead. Lead poisoning can lead to death, and acid can burn and even liquify skin. Lithium batteries, however, are made up of lithium and do not contain harmful substances that might damage human beings with direct touch. Our smartphones are the biggest users of lithium batteries.
What are the disadvantages of lithium motorcycle batteries?
Although they are very useful, lithium motorcycle batteries are not available for everyone. Here is a list of some drawbacks that you might want to consider before investing into one:
Lithium motorcycles can cost anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times more than your average OEM battery. Not only that, but you have to buy your own lithium batteries as they do not come pre-installed onto gas bikes.?
Not Readily Available
There are just not enough variants available for motorcycle lithium batteries to make their prices much more competitive in the market. There are only a handful of brands to choose from, and because of that there is not enough choice for the customer.?
Need to be Warmed Up
The biggest drawback of lithium batteries is that they have to be warmed up before they reach their maximum potential. You will notice that the battery will properly start working after you turn on the headlights for a few minutes or so.?
This issue makes them very unideal for people who live in the cold weather because they are much harder to warm up.
Need a Unique Separate Charger
Like most batteries, lithium ion batteries for motorcycles don’t come packaged with their own charger. You have to buy a separate charger that is intended to charge lithium batteries. Because normal lead-acid chargers are rated at 12 to 12.8V, they will not properly charge a 14V lithium iron battery.?
Might Get Too Hot
Lithium-ion batteries have a problem of getting way too hot when they are used extensively. Not only that, but the heat issue is pretty prevalent for batteries that are charged extensively too. You must have noticed it in your smartphone too. Lithium ion batteries do not have this issue, but they are much harder to find than lithium-ion batteries, and considerably more expensive.?
Lithium batteries are often not protected against outside damage, and even a limited amount of water can damage them. This is not the case for your average lithium-acid batteries as some lithium-acid batteries even need to be regularly hydrated to function properly.
How do you buy a good lithium motorcycle battery?
Here are a few things that you might want to check if you want a good lithium battery:
Go Crazy With Your Budget
Because the market is not exactly competitive for lithium batteries, finding the highest quality battery means that you will have to spend extra money from your wallet.?
Not all batteries are compatible with your motorcycle. Be sure to buy a battery that is compatible with your bike model.
Make sure your lithium battery has some level of physical protection because bikes are more exposed than cars. In cases of accidents, batteries can get punctured/bluntly hit.?
Make sure the battery you are buying has in-built protection to prevent overcharging as it can take a considerable amount of time to charge a lithium battery.?
We hope that this guide was able to properly guide you on how to buy a lithium motorcycle battery.?