lithium battery suggestions - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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lithium battery suggestions

So, my father and I are looking to buy some lithium batteries for the bikes.

I ride a 2006 919

He rides a 2006 VTX1800


Any suggestions for brands? I wouldnt mind upsizing the battery. Google, didnt you do that? how many cells will fit in the 919?


We would like it to be compatible with my battery tender charger so that if we drain the battery by accident, we can charge it back up. I know over the winter, the tender is not needed with lithium.

our charge is below

2-Bank International Charger - 12V @ 1.25A Each Bank - USA & Western Hemisphere - Motorcycle - Products - Batterytender.com


Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 01:34 PM
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I have a Shorai battery, same technology as the ballistic 8/12 cell just different make. I believe the red ballistic 8 cells are slightly better on paper and are $10 cheaper. With LiFe batteries, they don't recommend you use a battery tender and only use a charger/tender when absolutely necessary.

If you're going to winterize, the battery should hold charge over 2-3 months but once you fire her up after hibernation be sure to let it charge for at least an hour or two of riding. Shorai warranty claims if you fully drain your battery (below 20%) it voids the warranty. With that said, I've drained mine to the point where it won't turn over last February. Made the mistake of firing it up to check if it'll crank and waited 'til the next day to take it for a ride. No go. Put it on a charger and until today it cranks strong on the first try.

Shorai batteries come with spacers to put into the battery holder, should you not use the tool kit to hold it in place.

*edit: I would go with the 12 cell for the VTX1800, 8 cell is fine for the 9er.

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post #3 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 01:35 PM
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The Li batteries can be charged with any standard car charger - they are smart enough.

And yes, I fit a 12 cell in mine, but honestly, the 919 can take an 8 cell. But put a 12 in the X.

Ballistic Battery Install - Honda 919 Motorcycle - YouTube

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post #4 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 02:29 PM
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Shorai says Yes you can use a tender, HOWEVER, you may NOT use a charger/tender if it has an automatic "desulfation mode", which cannot be turned off. They confirmed with the maker of Battery Tender brand that it does not have this mode.

Shorai FAQ

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post #5 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post
The Li batteries can be charged with any standard car charger - they are smart enough.

And yes, I fit a 12 cell in mine, but honestly, the 919 can take an 8 cell. But put a 12 in the X.

Ballistic Battery Install - Honda 919 Motorcycle - YouTube
google, do you have the ballistic evo2 battery? It looks like the evo2 12cell is 3/4" taller than the stock battery. Was it a bitch to install?

I know I dont need the 12, but for about $20 more, I dont mind.

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post #6 of 45 Old 10-29-2012, 08:10 PM
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My 919 came with a 8 cell MOTYDesign battery. Be aware that Lithium batteries need time to warm up in the cold before they deliver enough amps to crank. Perhaps the one I have is older, but I still need to turn on the ignition and wait for about 3-4 minutes with the headlight on before it has the power to crank. Seems to happen when the weather drops to 50 deg and below.

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post #7 of 45 Old 10-30-2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogunoogun View Post
google, do you have the ballistic evo2 battery? It looks like the evo2 12cell is 3/4" taller than the stock battery. Was it a bitch to install?

I know I dont need the 12, but for about $20 more, I dont mind.
I didn't look at which model it was, just slapped it in, lol, but no, this one is not taller, it's actually shorter (in height) and depth, but the width is exactly the same as stock, very slightly thicker, actually, as I had to shove it pretty good in the battery housing to get it in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sckill View Post
My 919 came with a 8 cell MOTYDesign battery. Be aware that Lithium batteries need time to warm up in the cold before they deliver enough amps to crank. Perhaps the one I have is older, but I still need to turn on the ignition and wait for about 3-4 minutes with the headlight on before it has the power to crank. Seems to happen when the weather drops to 50 deg and below.
FWIW, I've never had this issue with the 12 cell. It cranked my T this morning and it was 32 degrees outside. Probably near 55 in the garage though, so maybe that's not a true test.

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post #8 of 45 Old 10-30-2012, 05:15 PM
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I'm sold on the lithium batteries - I don't keep the 9er outside overnight, but after sitting for a month or two in 50 degree garage it only takes about 2 seconds of cranking to start it.

It's kind of an extreme example, but my friend and I took our dirt bikes out to the desert late December last year (his with a standard battery, mine with a Shorai). Temps barely got up to 40 during the day and fell to mid 20s overnight. In the morning, after sitting for about 18 hours in freezing temps both bikes would barely crank. The more my friend cranked his bike the weaker it got until it drained the bettery. I cranked mine for 5-10 seconds and waited about 30 seconds before trying it again. It cranked stronger each time and the bike fired on the 3rd attempt.

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post #9 of 45 Old 10-30-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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I've read bad things about the lithiums in dirt bikes. They just dont take that kind of abuse all too well. But for street bikes, they seem pretty awesome.


I plan on buying the ballistic 12cell. I like how it fits without pads and has plenty of power available. I'll buy this at the end of the season. My lead acid one will last until then.

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post #10 of 45 Old 10-30-2012, 07:18 PM
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I have the Shorai installed in mine without any pads. Seemed to fit snug enough.

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post #11 of 45 Old 10-30-2012, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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for the price the ballistics also put out more. Don't we all want that from out hookers?......oh shit, yeah, and batteries too

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post #12 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogunoogun View Post
I've read bad things about the lithiums in dirt bikes. They just dont take that kind of abuse all too well.
Are you saying Ballistic batteries or all lithium batteries won't take the abuse of dirt bikes?? My Shorai actually cranks my dirt bike stronger than the OEM battery did, and has performed flawlessly for a year and a half now. TurnTech, Shorai, & Trail Tech have all received rave reviews in the dirt bike magazines and on the dirt bike forums. To be honest though, I've never heard Ballistic mentioned when talking about dirt bikes.

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post #13 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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I just read maybe a dozen reviews on both brands. it seemed in these reviews like they didnt take the abuse. But I dont ride dirt bikes, nor do I read dirt bike magazines so I'll take your word for it

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post #14 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtoney View Post
Are you saying Ballistic batteries or all lithium batteries won't take the abuse of dirt bikes?? My Shorai actually cranks my dirt bike stronger than the OEM battery did, and has performed flawlessly for a year and a half now. TurnTech, Shorai, & Trail Tech have all received rave reviews in the dirt bike magazines and on the dirt bike forums. To be honest though, I've never heard Ballistic mentioned when talking about dirt bikes.

I've seen lots of products get rave reviews in magazines... All depends on who is writing that check as many times the final edited version was in direct contrast with my notes on the product

All in all these lithium batteries are still a new technology with lots of problems and their warranties aren't worth the time it took to type them up for their press releases. Sure some of them work great, I have a ballistic in one of my track bikes that is doing just fine, but I have also warrantied a bunch of them for some very unhappy customers. Ultimately I would rather not sell or even endorse a product that is suspect to failure and have a pissed off customer on my hands.

The biggest problem is that almost all of these new lightweight batteries are made in Chaiwan from rejects that did not pass mil-spec standard testing so they were basically bad or at the very least flawed to begin with and now they are passing those troubles on to the consumer.

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post #15 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 01:15 PM
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There's a thing on Shorais FAQ saying the ballistic batteries with cylinder shapped cells are actually for power tools.

As for made in Taiwan vs China, Taiwan definitely has better standards. Anything from mainland China is a crapshoot with unknown companies. At least in electronics

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post #16 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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I think they are exaggerating with some of those claims. Sure round cells could have "originally" been made for power tools, but why cant another company "build from the ground up" just like they did. Look at optima batteries. Those are round cell and those batteries rock. Just me 2 cents. I'm sure shorai makes a good battery too

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post #17 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 01:58 PM
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Lithium cells are built in bulk. Most battery companies buy the cells, then create their own charging board and electronics to run upkeep on the batter, package it, and cell it.

I'm not worried one bit about my ballistic, I'm glad they are passing the savings on to the consumer.

I've already read up on how to swap lithium cells in your old power tool batteries. Really considered it now that I have some for my drills, they are really nice.

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post #18 of 45 Old 10-31-2012, 02:10 PM
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I'm personally all about the reliability. I will not run a Li battery in my streetbike as I do not want to end up stranded somewhere out & about.

I use them in my trackbikes for 3 reasons:

1. It's nice to have the experience to relate to my customers

2. They are lightweight

3. At the track I almost always have at least 3 bikes with me if not more and can always swap parts or bikes as needed if I do have a failure. Riding on the street that is not an option and a failure can leave you stranded or at the very least very late to where ever you are going.


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post #19 of 45 Old 01-03-2014, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Just found these on battery tender's website.


http://batterytender.com/products/ba...f--919--142663

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post #20 of 45 Old 01-03-2014, 05:35 PM
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I recently looked into it and although the weight loss is extremely tempting, I'm looking for rock solid reliability, which is a reason I got a 919 in the first place so it just didn't make sense

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post #21 of 45 Old 01-03-2014, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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I agree. Which is why I ended up buying a standard battery. But it is good to see more major brands getting into the lithium.

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post #22 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 12:20 AM
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If your bored on day, read through this for a giggle and more information on lithium batterys than you will ever need.

Shorai LFX lithium batteries

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post #23 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 09:02 AM
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I'm sure in a few years they'll have them figured out and will be a must for anyone that even cares even a little bit how much their bike weighs.

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post #24 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 04:47 PM
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I've had a Shorai in my 919 for about a year now, with ZERO problems. So far, so good. They sure do hold a charge.

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post #25 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 05:11 PM
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Funny you guys want reliability and go old school. My ballistic has outlasted two batteries in the 919 and two in the 599. The cold here kills the lead acid.

...on my Droid.

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post #26 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 05:15 PM
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^ See now that is not helping my wallet!

So talk me into it, how do they differ and how does running heated gear change things?

As far as old school and reliability, they kinda go hand in hand in most cases (919 is pretty old school) so I don't really see your point.

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post #27 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 06:26 PM
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post #28 of 45 Old 01-04-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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I got an amg yuasa works great. Predictable. Easy to tell before hand when an amg \ lead acid is on its way out.

Ive read too many stories of issues with the lithium. Bad connections or whatnot.

It is good to see more big brands going that way. Which will lead to improvements.

Till then amg works great and it doesnt get too cold in the garage with a tender.

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post #29 of 45 Old 06-04-2014, 09:53 AM
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Grave dig!!!

My AGM failed again this morning. This time, it was covered, indoors (but warm) and bike started up once. I didn't thumb the starter long enough so it died and then wouldn't fire after that since the battery was too weak. Poured over Shorai's website and saw that they don't recommend storage above 90 degrees. So I shot them an email asking if the Shorai would hold up to the Phoenix heat.

I'll keep you guys posted.

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post #30 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 12:14 AM
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[QUOTE=g00gl3it;692370]Funny you guys want reliability and go old school.

Yes I thought that was funny too. If lithiums failed at the rate of "old school" we would be screaming! Its just that we are used to them failing.

I have had a shorai in the SV for three years, no problems. A ballistic in the vfr for a year and have just put a australian ssb lithium in the 919 as the 'old school' lasted 18 months.

Check out the SSB powersport batteries from OZ.

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post #31 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 02:14 AM
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I have three Shorais. I have Shorais because I don't want to get stranded on the street, or worse yet, out in the middle of no where on my WR 250R. I've told the story here several times about dunking a KLX 250 in a stream in the middle of no where on Florida. The only thing that kept that in convince from becoming a disaster is a small vice grips (to get the carb drain screw loose, to drain the water out of the carb) and a Shorai battery that had to do way more cranking than any lead acid battery could have ever done.

My Super Duke had been a stubborn starter. I've run a bunch of fuel injector cleaner thru the bike and it starts pretty easily now. But before I got that little problem squared away, that poor Shorai had to do a bunch of cranking. I would have hated to have had a lead acid battery then.

Shorai's customer service is #1. Email them with a question or two, and they'll give you a coupon code for a discount on a new battery. Heck, they even gave me a t shirt!

You can have your lead acid batteries, wooden wheels, and kerosine lanterns.

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post #32 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 09:27 AM
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This was the response I got:

Pv,

Our battery has been tested in temperatures that have melted the battery casing before it affected the actual performance. But to throw you a number of what we officially can recommend not to exceed…140F.

Sincerely,

Marianne

Cool, I'm sold! Its just... the prices.. OUCH!

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post #33 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 09:39 AM
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True, the price is more than lead acid, but the performance and longevity is much better. I've had Shorai in both my street and dirt bike since they came out, and never had a single issue. Both bikes start stronger than with lead acid. My dirt bike sat outside overnight during a cold weekend ride in the desert (16 degrees F. overnight). All of the bikes with e-start were completely dead in the morning. My bike would barely crank, but the more I cranked it the stronger it got, and after 6-7 pushes on the starter my bike started. Some of the other bikes were e-start only and had to be jumped from another battery.

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post #34 of 45 Old 07-30-2014, 10:42 PM
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Welp, finally couldn't push-start 450 lbs after a week and a half in 110 degree heat anymore. Bit the bullet and bought the duration model for full retail ($200), ouch!

Gonna take 2 days so I'm stuck in the cage. Lets hope its worth it. This battery better last me 4 years through this heat, minimum.

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post #35 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
I'm sure in a few years they'll have them figured out and will be a must for anyone that even cares even a little bit how much their bike weighs.
I can gain or lose more weight in a week than any battery would offer in savings, that's why I've not been sold on them -

Yet

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post #36 of 45 Old 07-31-2014, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I can gain or lose more weight in a week than any battery would offer in savings, that's why I've not been sold on them -

Yet
For me it's not the weight savings. It's the power delivery (amps).

My 599 sounds like it's on steroids when it's cranking.

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post #37 of 45 Old 08-04-2014, 02:12 PM
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UPDATES:

Have had a couple more failures from customers with the Ballistic batteries one of them switched to the Ballistic brand after experiencing a failure with a Shorai so I am kinda questioning if maybe something he was doing was killing the batteries as that just seems too coincidental to me or just the worst battery luck ever.

I broke my own rule and put a Ballistic 8-Cell in the F4i commuter bike which has ran perfect for the last year or so now. Also running a Ballistic 8-Cell in the 06 1000RR which had not been cranked for one full year and it fired right up a few weeks ago.

We've sold quite a few of the more expensive Earth-X batteries and have had stellar performance from them so much in fact that we don't even mind shipping them to overseas customers as we know they won't require warranty work for failures etc.


Sold the 1000RR with the 4-Cell Speedcell battery which had been in use for several years. Amazing that such a small battery would fire that beast up, but it always did even on the coldest of mornings at the track

Have an 8-Cell Speedcell in the new ZX-10R Track bike and not only does it work flawlessly, but I disconnected the Regulator/Rectifier Saturday and ran the bike on battery juice only long enough to open the thermostat back up and when I put it all back together it still cranked like it was brand new.

The Speedcell batteries are the most expensive, but they seem to be the best too. They also come with high end Quick Disconnect fittings

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post #38 of 45 Old 08-04-2014, 04:45 PM
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OOh, I like that quick-disconnect!!! Looks like the same disconnects that UPS's use; very sturdy.

My 5+ year old 12 cell is still turning over the T-Twin easily. The 8-cell in the 599 almost feels like overkill.

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post #39 of 45 Old 11-09-2014, 02:10 PM
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Ok... The 8 Cell Ballistic battery in personal 600F4i started causing problems about a week ago. It cranked fine and showed 12.62V at rest, but something internally went bad because it would run for several miles and then start cutting out like it was running out of fuel or like a bad battery connection and if at idle it would stall and not want to refire. Obviously it wasn't running out of fuel and all the electrical connections were perfectly tight. The problem was really bothering me because it was intermittent and when the bike cooled for a few minutes it would run again for a few miles before the problem manifested again.

Charging system is good and checks out from all the normal tests, but I have the professional opinion that the regulator/rectifier was getting too hot having to contend with whatever was wrong inside the Ballistic battery and was causing the issues. No solid proof, but I have seen similar issues in the past that were attributed to the REG/REC.

At any rate I put the old YUASA YTZ10S which had been out of the bike for over a year on the trickle charger for about 10 minutes. Put it back in the bike and went for a ride. Bike ran fine.

The bottom line: Shorai & Ballistic Batteries are shit and I will no longer sell them to my customers or use them in my personal bikes.

Speed-Cell and Earth-X seem to be a much better choice for lightweight batteries.

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post #40 of 45 Old 11-11-2014, 09:50 AM
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Good to know on the Earth-X. I might try that one out next when this 12-cell goes south. She's getting tired in cold weather.

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