LiFePO4 Battery for LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 6:56 pm Thread Starter
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LiFePO4 Battery for LT

Anyone used the new LiFePO4 Battery for the LT?

I have used AGM, but unhappy that they don't warn you when they get ready to quit like older lead acid batteries.

Are there any issues with correct charging? (2003)

David Major
Charleston, SC
-2003 LT
-2007 GS Adventure. White
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post #2 of 6 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 8:26 pm
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Re: LiFePO4 Battery for LT

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Originally Posted by drmajor View Post
Anyone used the new LiFePO4 Battery for the LT?

I have used AGM, but unhappy that they don't warn you when they get ready to quit like older lead acid batteries.

Are there any issues with correct charging? (2003)
On my second and last Shorai. First one died after the first winter due to an apparently faulty Shorai charger that doesn't restart after an AC power failure. The charger stopped charger and the battery deep discharged before I noticed that the charger had stopped charging.

Shorai replaced the battery with a "larger and improved one", but I had to pay $50 to cover the "improvements." They also told me they would contact me when a firmware fix was available for the BMS charger. After about 3 months they quit responding to my emails asking when I could send the charger back for the fix. I am using my old BatteryMINDer to maintain the Shorai now as I figured losing the cell balancing was better than losing the entire battery.

The replacement battery is heading towards 3 years and holding up OK do far, but it cranks really slow below 40 degrees.

Given the hassle with the foam pads to cover the case that doesn't fit the battery box, a charger that can't be connected while the battery is in the bike and can't handle an AC outage, and poor customer support, Shorai gets no more business from me. Better to buy a cheap lead acid battery every 3 years and use standard battery maintainers. :-)

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post #3 of 6 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 10:27 pm
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Re: LiFePO4 Battery for LT

I also have a Shorai. Although they can be discharged farther than lead acid if you go too deep they are toast.

I have a newer charger and they still don't reset to what you left them at after a power outage. I disconnect the battery for winter storage, and leave the charger cord in the battery when it's in the bike so I can hook the charger up.

You can use battery tenders or any other charger as long as it doesn't have a desulfating mode and doesn't go over the recommended voltage. The battery has a molenex connection for the Shorai charger. They do say your alternator cannot exceed a certain voltage.

They do crank slow when cold, but crank faster on each attempt if it doesn't start the first time.

If you get the recommended battery you have to use quite a bit of the foam padding. I think if you were to fabricate a different battery box you could free up some space for other accessories, or you could order their largest battery and squeeze it in.

I very much like the weight savings (ten pounds!) and the higher CCA rating, however I'm suffering a bit of remorse for the money I spent on this.

I think LiFePO is the future of automotive batteries, but at this time the technology is young and still full of bugs.

If you like the idea of being a guinea pig for a while and paying handsomely for that privilege, go for it. Just keep in mind you can buy two high end AGM or gel batteries for the price of one LiFePO.
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post #4 of 6 Old Nov 24th, 2014, 11:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LiFePO4 Battery for LT

Will the LT handle charging these?

At the moment it seems the lead battery is solid. I also like that they give you some warning of up coming failure.

I was left stranded on my GS with AGM. Cranked great. Stopped at rest stop 30 min later and Nothing.

David Major
Charleston, SC
-2003 LT
-2007 GS Adventure. White
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post #5 of 6 Old Nov 25th, 2014, 12:41 pm
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Re: LiFePO4 Battery for LT

Yes, LT's Charging system seems fine for the LiFePO batteries. If you leave the battery disconnected when the bike isn't going to be ridden for long periods it will keep its charge amazingly well. If you are going to keep it connected and not ride daily you should also invest in the charger and check it regularly.

An AGM is lead acid. The acid is in the Absorbed Glass Mat. Where the old style batteries use an acid bath. This technology became popular because of its ability to handle being tipped without spilling. GEL batteries are also lead acid.

The issues with lead acid batteries are overcome in the lithium batteries but so far every lithium technology has had issues of their own. The lithium iron is very promising, but I think it will still be a few years before they're ready for mainstream use.

A well maintained lead acid battery will last a long time and the cost is considerably less.

I do not know yet what the longevity of the LiFePO is.

What I do know is the one I have weighs ten pounds less and is two thirds the size of the lead acid battery it replaced yet has 145 more CCA. However there also seems to be some controversy over the advertised amp hours.
The LiFePO manufacturer is using a different formula to figure AH and seem to come up with about three times more than the standard.

As far as your AGM going dead and stranding you. I would think there had to be some sort of drain on the battery and they all have a point at which they just give up. I've had it happen a couple of times running the radio in my car too long. Radio was still going strong interior lights still working, but as soon as I hit the starter it was completely dead, no more radio, lights or anything else.
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post #6 of 6 Old Nov 26th, 2014, 9:14 am Thread Starter
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Re: LiFePO4 Battery for LT

Actually, the battery was on my GSA. All GPS, radar and etc is on ignition activated relay/power. I'd just cranked and riding down interstate 30 min. Stopped 10 min at rest stop, and would not turn over.

Kinda feel that Lit batteries are not ready for prime time.

David Major
Charleston, SC
-2003 LT
-2007 GS Adventure. White
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