Power Not Pounds

June 13, 2012

Shorai Battery Install

Words by // Photography by Nita Breibish

I’m always surprised by how heavy motorcycle batteries are. I almost always attempt the one-handed pick-up, expecting it to be an easy feat, followed by a grunt and a R-rated curse. Unnecessary weight is most often noticed before any long ride, when all of the focus is on packing as lightly as possible. When every little bit of weight counts for the overall performance of the bike and of ourselves as riders, especially on more challenging terrain. The BMW battery that is standard on our bikes weighs a whopping 10.8 pounds. That’s right, that’s nearly four 13-inch Macbook Air laptops.

We heard about Shorai batteries through an adventure moto-forum we typically frequent. Not only do they shock you immediately with the promise of 1.68 pounds, but they also offer more cranking power.

At first glance only one problem came to mind, its smaller stature leaves you wondering just how it would fit into the original battery casing. On the F650GS the issue is much more apparent. Although considerably lighter, it was also much smaller. Which would leave the battery moving and shifting around inside the bike during travel, risking a mid-movement disconnection, unsafe for both battery and rider.

They call it “multi-fitment” which translates to thick gray foam with an adhesive layer on one side, in a handful of sizes, included in box to help with this very issue. After the initial thoughts of mistake purchases and overcautious manufacturer packaging faded from our psyches, we realized, although somewhat primitive, it would do the trick. A welcome lesson in simple solutions.

For Issa, on the R1200GS, only one layer was required on the bottom of the battery for a snug fit. On the F650GS, I had to build it up from the bottom and all sides to ensure it was high enough to connect properly, but after about 15 min, Shorai was a sure fit, now for a RTW power test. ;)

ALL ABOVE IMAGES  / Image © We Love Motogeo, Ltd.

Via Touratech USA:

The Shorai LFX motorcycle battery is one of the lightest and most powerful batteries on the market, making it the perfect fit for adventure, dual-sport, and touring motorcycles. The Shorai LFX Lithium-Iron batteries are 70 to 80% lighter than standard lead acid batteries, turn your motorcycle engine over quickly, charge fast, and require very little maintenance.

Shorai LFX eXtreme-Rate batteries were the result of exhaustive engineering and the finest possible materials. We believe that Shorai LFX truly represent a leap forward in battery performance and reliability.

In short, Shorai batteries are like no other, delivering more energy faster, with less weight and with less damage to the battery per start cycle than any other brand or technology.

Shorai backs its LFX batteries with an industry-leading two-year limited warranty.

Battery specs and more info can be found here.

1 comment

  1. Comment by Andy

    Andy June 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    A friend of mine just went through a similar experience with his Honda twin—installing a Ballistic battery (http://www.solomotoparts.com/Batteries/?b=Ballistic&page=1) in the process of an oh-so of the moment cafe conversion.

    The dear thing weighs under a pound, and—to my eye at least—almost looked too small, but means it’ll be easy to hide in the seat pan. Remember, I suppose, that reduced weight also effects ride characteristics; lets get that centre of gravity down low!

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