Batteries, Chargers, and More

News Update | China Hat 2011 and Shorai LFX Batteries

With the arrival of Spring to at least most of the USA, we see a major increase in the number of batteries leaving our warehouse to be installed in all brands and types of Powersports applications. While we at appreciate the ‘crazy season’, it always amazes me how many batteries give up the ghost over the long winter. Mostly this is due to poor, or nonexistent maintenance procedures. A device such as the $29 Battery Tender Junior would prevent most of these failures if it is used properly. With the cost of commodities on the rise (check out the price of lead!) purchasing a new smart charger is currently one of the best investments you can make, certainly more than money in the bank!

I know that not all of you use your motorcycle to commute to work, but for those that do, the gas money you save can be quickly piddled away in repairs that could have been prevented. For those that ride for recreation only, the economics are the same. If spending $50.00 now means that you do not have to spend $89.00 later, you end up with more money to buy gas, gear, bling, race fees, or whatever for your ride. Just think about it, and add it to your list of things you need to do.

China Hat 2011

Speaking of gas, gear, and racing fees, here in Oregon the OMRA offroad racing season has begun, and I figure it is time for a bit of an update on a battery we are testing the heck out of. After running the Scorpion Powersports battery in my fuel injected, electric start only 09 FE450 Husaberg for a couple seasons (with great ‘starts-every-time’ results), I had the opportunity to long term test the new Shorai Lithium LFX battery starting in December last year.  More specifically during last weekends famous China Hat ISDE held in eastern Oregon every April. While expecting flawless performance based on the last 5 months, I was a bit apprehensive about this one due to the impound requirement.

If you don’t know what an ISDE is, a quick synopsis will tell you that it is an off road race with a twist. Instead of blasting from point A to point B, the day is broken up into sections, where you have to make it to the next section in X amount of minutes. Mixed into those sections are, err, more sections where you ride as fast as you can, racing the clock. At the end of the day, points are tallied, and he who made all their sections in time, and was fastest thru the special sections, wins. Get it? Anyways, the night before the race, all the bikes are impounded so that you cannot work on them, or even touch them until your minute comes up to begin the race.  Once your leave time comes up, you have approximately 1 minute to get going before you get penalized. For those with bikes that do not start easily, this can be a very worrisome 60 seconds.

Scorpion BatteryWhen I was running the Scorpion battery over the last couple seasons, the bike always fired up flawlessly in the first attempt. What had me worried last weekend was the temperature and weather, combined with the used-to-be standard of lithium batteries not liking the cold. My bike sat in impound in the rain, then in below freezing temperatures all night with nothing but 300 of its closest Austrian and Japanese friends for comfort. With no chance to warm up the bike, and Honda’s and KLX’s dropping like flies on start times ahead of mine, the time to worry was now. And, as it turned out, completely unnecessary. With no more than a momentary flick of my thumb, the bike fired and started as if it was stored in a heated garage overnight.  Whew! Living down a battery failure when you are a battery guy is just not somewhere you want to go.  With the exception of me being caught in a tractor beam generated by a miscreant stump, and an ensuing get off, the event was fantastic. More on that later. Back to the Shorai.

Shorai Lithium Iron BatteryDue to overwhelming demand, combined with a slight setback in sourcing the Japanese cells (tsunami, earthquake, nuclear disaster, etc) we are currently sold out of all the Shorai batteries. We have it on good information that Shorai will have most of their batteries available about the first of May. Because is one of their largest movers, we are on the short list to get these in before any one else. If you need a Shorai LFX soon, let us know and we will reserve your battery now. Oh, and we have a pretty decent selection of chargers and battery maintainers for those that choose to stay with the tried and true (and less expensive) lead based batteries. Ride safe, and remember to keep the rubber side down.

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