A lot of people don’t put much thought into the battery they use for their vehicle. The mentality of a battery is a battery is quite abundant, and people don’t realise the significant differences between all the different kinds of batteries out there.
Spring is upon us now and many people will be getting ready to get their bikes our of the garage or storage and start going for rides again. But this is also the time when many of those people will start to see the difference a good battery makes. A lot of the bikes won’t just start up first pop, their batteries will have a hard time getting the bike to fire. This is one of the many differences between a good battery and a cheap one, and the most obvious to many bike riders and owners of any vehicle.
Nobody wants to be stranded with a dead battery, yet many people continue to cheap out when shopping for a new battery. But a cheap battery is only cheap when you buy it. When it does fail prematurely, it will cost a lot more than the purchase price in stress. inconvenience and monetary cost to rescue you and the cost of another battery to replace the dead one. We have even had reports from customers of brand new batteries they have bought which failed to provide enough power to run his bike.
Now, we are not telling you here that you need the most expensive battery that you can find. Yes, price is generally related to quality, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get quality batteries at competitive prices. What you also need to consider is what you need your battery for, such as how often you ride and under which conditions. There are many different types of batteries available, and the very best, most expensive one may not necessarily be the best choice for you.
In the market there are a wide range of battery types too. Wet-cell acid, sealed lead acid (SLA), activated glass mat (AGM), lithium ion. These are just some of the types you will come across when shopping for a new battery. For many years, the AGM and SLA batteries have been the leaders of the market, but now the lithium ion batteries are started to take over, with the new technology which gives higher power and longer life.
With these newer lithium ion batteries, the usual questions asked include questions about their safety and tendency to catch fire, and if you need a special charger for them. As for the safety aspect, there are six different types of lithium based technologies that many people are not aware of. The ones that require special charging are the Cobalt and Polymer types which are used in cell phones and laptops, and these are the ones that can overheat and burn. However, the lithium batteries for vehicles are lithium ion Phosphate (LiFePO4) technology which is actually very safe and is solid state. These types are used by pretty much all lithium battery manufacturers, including Tesla for their cars. In New Zealand racing, people who use lithium batteries can don’t have to run it in a sealed box, so they can mount it anywhere and even upside down or sideways. There are no fumes and or acid to spill, should an accident happen.
As far chargers, most LiFePO4 battery manufacturers do insist on special chargers just for their battery, and it can add considerable cost. However, with Shorai this is not the case. Because Shorai use a specially developed technology from USA and are Japanese, not Chinese, the batteries are totally unique. They are designed to specifically minimise cell variation through passive technology and do not require an inbuilt battery management system and no need for a special charger. After being on the market for 9 years, they have proven to be very reliable, safe and usually cheaper than other equivalent batteries. To illustrate this, we at Shorai NZ are the only importer able to get our stock air freighted direct from USA.
Shorai batteries also come with a lot of other advantages. They are considerably smaller than other batteries, much lighter (about 1/5th of the weight), much more powerful, maintain their output, don’t die away during starting, are safer in accidents and last several times longer in use than other batteries. When compared to lead acid batteries, which typically have around 500 life-cycles, the LiFePO4 batteries have around 2500-3000 life cycles. So if you want to look at price, factor in two or three lead batteries minimum in exchange for one Shorai battery, and the economy changes dramatically. And when it comes to storing your vehicle, lead acid batteries will die in 3-4 months if not left on a tender. LiFePO4 batteries, in contrast, will last a year on the shelf and still have 80% charge. The only time you will need a tender is if you have a power draw such as an alarm. And when it comes to a charger, the Shorai chargers are not expensive, but any 2-4 amp automatic car charger will do just fine too.
Shorai’s wide range of batteries cater for all kinds of vehicles including motorcycles batteries, jetski batteries, ATV batteries, off roader batteries, even batteries light aircraft, microlights and paragliders. Check out our website to find a battery for your vehicle or give us a call if you need further assistance.