2018 Is Under Way!

Wow! It’s January 5th already and I haven’t even done the final 2017 blog!

I do hope everyone had a safe holiday period. It was tragic to see so many die on our roads last year and 12 over the holiday period was too many. We must realise that for everyone who dies on the road, many more are injured, often severely, maybe making them a cripple for the rest of their lives.

I was one of those back in 2010 when I crashed my van on the way to work, 12th May that year. It was a low-speed accident, only 45km/h! I slipped on a patch of oil and to avoid oncoming traffic, I spun the van around, crashing into the high curb and rolling onto its side. I shattered my L1 vertebrae and my spine collapsed 32 Degrees, almost severing the spinal cord. The result is one of the longest fusions they have done, from L3 – T11, a bone graft and a permanent disability making standing and walking difficult and painful.

But I was lucky, I was wearing my seatbelt and my Toyota Estima was one of the strongest vans on the road, noted for its ability to absorb accident forces. Sadly, the fire service had to cut the roof off it to get me out.

My point here? People underestimate the forces in an accident, and how quickly accidents can happen. PLEASE drive to the conditions and don’t be in such a rush to get to your destination. A second’s inattention, a glance away at the wrong time, and you are across the white line or in the gravel on the verge. Getting angry (road rage) will only raise your blood pressure and lead to rash decisions. Relax, take your passing opportunities safely as they arise, and realise you are not the only one who has a right to be on the road.

There was a gravestone that read, “Here lies the body of William Grey, who died maintaining his right of way. He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but now he’s just as dead as if he’d been dead wrong.” Accidents ruin your day, and can ruin your life and the lives of your loved ones. Make avoiding them your number one priority when you are on the road.

Racing This Time!

With these famous words, a commentator announces the start of a horse race. Now, too, the racing season is underway for motorised vehicles in NZ.

We have just had the opening round of the Suzuki Series in Taupo at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park and what an exciting weekend it was! Across all classes, the racing was close, offering great battles and unfortunately many spills. The pick-up trailer and the medical van were kept very busy, but fortunately no-one was seriously hurt despite some spectacular accidents.

As the national distributor for Shorai batteries, I was keen to attend and catch up with everyone. Many racers across the classes are using Shorai motorcycle batteries now and especially the top riders and teams. Shorai batteries have proved themselves to be light, powerful and safe. This was ably demonstrated in one accident where a rider lost his brakes at around 160km/h. The bike was totalled, the rider a bit bruised, and hanging from its cables, was a Shorai battery, completely undamaged. Had it been a lead acid battery, even a sealed one, it would have been broken causing acid and gas leakage. Not want you want in an accident!

Modern superbikes like the Suzuki GSXR1000R and the Honda CBR1000RR along with the 600’s are increasingly using sophisticated electronic controls, including more “fly-by-wire” electronics for throttle control. As with cars, these days the greater demand for electric power places huge strain on the batteries. Many manufacturers of motor vehicles are moving to 24V or 48V electrical systems, while relying on 12V batteries. Hence, batteries are becoming denser, with more plates, and heavier, in an attempt to cope with the loadings.

Lithium technology is gaining support, but is still expensive for most manufacturers to use as original equipment, leaving the parts departments of dealers and the aftermarket to fit where appropriate for the customer.

So how does a Shorai LiFePO4 battery compare with, say, a good quality lead acid such as the popular Yuasa? Yuasa have pretty much got the OE market and has a good reputation for consistent quality and reliable performance, and many have been reluctant to change, especially in the road market where weight has not been an issue for most riders.

Let’s quickly review the difference in technology. LiFePO4 is a version of Lithium technology, used in motor vehicles for its safety and consistency. Tesla, for example use this type of battery. Some others are okay, too, such as my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid which uses Lithium Ion Manganese, and Mitsubishi have never had a failure. At 81,000km my own vehicle still runs like new. Virtually inert, LiFePO4 doesn’t catch fire easily, and if the battery is broken open, there is no gas or acid to leak out, making these very safe in an accident. Sealed lead acid, and more so standard lead acid, is far less safe in an accident and many fires and burns have occurred due to their volatility.

The other major difference is in consistency of performance. Even the best lead acid batteries, by their nature, drain flat over time used, reducing their power and output. If you don’t get your vehicle started first time, each successive attempt further drains the battery and weakens its output. Shorai batteries maintain their output at max power, right to the end. In fact, the hotter they get, the more power they produce! Handy if you’re stuck in the bush on a trail bike, or on a race track after a spill. Or when the temperature is freezing and your lead acid just won’t kick. In freezing conditions, all batteries may be a bit reluctant, even Shorai’s, but the trick is to switch your ignition and lights on for a few minutes while you are getting ready. This drain warms the battery up and gives it starting power. This is the opposite to lead acid!

Caring For Your Shorai Battery

Just a reminder or two for our customers to keep you fully satisfied with your Shorai battery.

My last update with the damaged 36L3 battery did highlight the durability of Shorai batteries under severe use conditions, however it also highlighted that some customers are very rough on them.

The main problems we see leading to a shortening of life is in the use and care. Shorai batteries rarely fail in use and are lasting well beyond our initial expectations.

Each battery comes with Warranty Terms enclosed which include use and care instructions. It is essential that customers read this page and comply with the instructions, which are basic and simple to follow. Two key points are to monitor your usage to ensure a resting voltage no lower than 12.8v, and to charge the batteries after each use. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries discharge quicker than lead-acid and because they maintain their power output, people don’t realise they are going flat until they stop working. Secondly, put a smear of grease over the terminals and charging port cover to prevent condensation and water ingress – in the case of Jetski racing where the battery is likely to be submerged, you must water proof it. Shorai NZ Ltd. can instruct how to do this simply and quickly.

Shorai NZ Ltd. is the only national agency in the world that we know of which warrants the batteries for uses outside their design intent. This includes vehicles other than they were designed for and in racing. As such, Shorai NZ Ltd. has written its own Terms of Warranty, unique to New Zealand.

The success of the brand in NZ is testament to the approach Shorai NZ Ltd. has taken and customers in so many fields are praising the performance of Shorai batteries in many different applications.

Some applications where they are being used, include;

1. All forms of motorcycle, sidecar, ATV and Jetski racing. These are the vehicles the batteries were designed for, but even the manufacturer won’t warranty them in racing applications. Again, only Shorai NZ Ltd. offer their 6 month limited warranty for racing.

2. Motor vehicle racing covering all types from Formula Ford, Honda Cup, Muscle cars, Speedway, rallying, off-road 4×4 and more.

3. Jet-sprinting, power boats, recreational boating, sailing.

4. Paragliding, Ultra-lights, small aircraft not requiring commercial registration. Starter-packs for helicopters.

5. Diesel engines wired in series for 24V as jump-packs, 4×4’s, buses and trucks.

So please, if you are in doubt or have any questions on the use and care of Shorai brand batteries, don’t hesitate to contact us via our email, helpdesk@shorai.co.nz or by phone/text on 021-173 0379.

An Amazing Little Shorai Battery

Sometimes we get surprised by feedback we receive from our customers. This one was gobsmacking!

We always knew Shorai batteries were durable and are becoming, “the battery to have.” Sales are increasing every week as the reputation of the brand spreads.

But this has to be the ultimate endorsement, for sure! The photos are of a 36L3 Shorai battery after four seasons in a V8 race car, driven by none other than Dene Perkins. How on Earth has this battery kept going after suffering this level of abuse? What is more, it is still working!

The car that it was powering has a high compression NASCAR engine, pumping out something over 600hp. Due to the high compression, it is even harder to turn these engines over, which means more work for the battery. And this little trooper was still doing it effortlessly, even in this condition.

Get a Shorai battery for your vehicle today by checking out our Shorai battery range on our website.


Congratulations To Our Winner Of Stoked

Congratulations to Sam, from Mangere, Auckland!

He won the signed copy of Al Brown’s beautiful book, “Stoked” in our Aug./Sept. promotion. Sam was “stoked” to receive the phone call this morning and said he had been eyeing up Al’s book himself, but hadn’t got around to buying it! Needless to say, he is delighted, and very surprised.

The promotion was such a success for us that we will be doing it again, probably in November. I just have to find an attractive prize and work out how to do the promo.

We would like to thank all who took part, and are only sorry we didn’t have several copies to give away.

Why Shorai Batteries Are The Best In The Business

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.

Batteries, Batteries And More Batteries!

If there is one thing we specialise in here at Shorai, it’s batteries! We have batteries to cover any need you have, from motorcycles to off road vehicles and everything inbetween. And our batteries are built to withstand the toughest conditions and make sure you have the power you need to get you home at the end of your day.

motorcycle_batteriesMotorcycle Batteries
Our range of motorcycle batteries will cover any need you may have when it comes to powering your motorbike. Whether a small 2 stroke scooter or a superbike, we will have a battery that will meet your requirements. There was a great market for an easy to use, simple drop-in replacement battery for motorbikes and Shorai stepped up to the plate.

This resulted in a motorcycle battery that is much smaller, much lighter, more powerful, and significantly more reliable and longer lasting than traditional lead acid cells commonly used. Along with this, they are also simple to  maintain and care for and they can be charged by all motorcycle charging systems and virtually any auxiliary charger! This makes them even easier to care for than traditional batteries.

atv_batteriesAll Terrain Vehicle Batteries
All Terrain Vehicles are a vast field with many different vehicles falling under this classification. This means that batteries designed for these types have to be able to fit a very diverse selection. However, this is no match for Shorai!

There is vast range of ATV’s or Quads around the world, from the small kid’s mini quad bikes to the super powerful quads and side-by-sides, which these days are beginning to rival small 4x4s for versatility, with an ever increasing capability for carrying, towing and operating implements. All of these require a reliable battery.

Like the motorcycle batteries, these batteries are super light, powerful and extremely reliable solutions for all ATVs and quad bikes.

jetski_personal_watercraft_batteriesPersonal Watercraft Batteries
Personal watercraft such as jetskis are becoming increasingly popular as each year goes by and more and more people find the need to expand their hobbies and make use of the vast oceans that surround New Zealand. There is vast range of jetskis around the world, from the smaller pole-skis to the super powerful and large jetskis capable of carrying three or more passengers. And Shorai provides a battery for every one. Our range of watercraft batteries will ensure that no matter what kind of jetski you have, you will find something in our range that will provide you with a reliable and long lasting power source.

Boating Batteries
boating_batteriesBoating is an extremely popular pass-time and sport in New Zealand, with so much water around it’s no surprise. A fishing, skiing, diving and cruising Utopia where it seems there’s a boat for every person. And these range from dinghy’s and sports boats to large cruisers. All of these need a battery, and luckily for you, Shorai cover all of them too! Our vast boat battery range are specifically designed for marine conditions and will ensure your boat always starts up and gets you home. Being stranded out at sea is a thing of the past!

Off Road Vehicle Batteries
Off Road vehicles are an extremely diverse field where anything from dune buggy to monster truck could be coming to your for a battery. off_road_vehicle_batteriesThe market for these is a bit limited, but we recommend contacting us to advise you whether a Shorai battery would be available for your application. Much depends upon engine specification and usage in the vehicle or machine. More often than not, we will have a battery for you too.

Browse through our online store now or give us a call if you need a assistance and get your new battery sorted today.

A Chance To WIN A Copy Of Stoked With Every Purchase From Shorai

We are currently doing a promotion over the months of August and September. Every purchase made through our website goes into the draw to win Al Brown’s cookbook Stoked. This 300 page hard cover book is beautifully illustrated and a must have for anyone who is a fan of Al’s rustic style!

A quick preview of the book:Al_Brown_Stoked_Book_website_promotion

“Fishermen and good home cooks alike devoured Go Fish and its winning combination of excellent recipes, great yarns, gorgeous photography, devotion to the stunning NZ coastline and way of life, all with a touch of nostalgia. Now Al Brown applies this same formula to that icon of Kiwi life: the barbecue. But not just any old barbecue: Al explores a wide range of outdoor cooking styles – grills of all sorts, smoking, spits, outdoor ovens (tandoor, pizza) etc, including how-to’s and over 100 recipes. Featuring wonderful photography again, from Kieran Scott, shot in NZ’s most amazing scenery. This is the complete package, yet again.”

Buy any product from our website during the months of August and September and you’ll go into the draw to win this excellent cookbook!





Upgrading Your Motorcycle Battery

Having you been having issues starting your motorbike recently? Do you find that every time you park it, the next time you want to go for a ride the battery is flat? Now is the perfect time to upgrade!

upgrade_your_motorcycle_batteryNothing is more annoying than a flat battery which is why it’s important to make sure you have a reliable battery powering your motorbike. It is also potentially dangerous. Luckily, most motorcycles don’t have many electrical components meaning you can run a relatively small battery. However, motorcycles can run 6v or 12v, so this is something to keep in mind when selecting a battery.

The next thing to keep in mind is the cranking capacity of the battery which you’ll need to be able to start your bike. Check the rating of your current battery and find one that is at least the same rating. Higher is never a bad thing, but can be unnecessary so there is no need to go over the top and spend more money than needed.

Obviously, size is a big part of the selection process, so make sure the dimensions work with the space on your bike where the battery sits. If you get one that’s too big, you may be able to make it fit but it could be unsafe, the terminals could be too close to the frame or the seat and cause a short.

Are you ready to upgrade your motorcycle battery to a Shorai? Check out our battery range on our homepage and get your new battery today!

What Types Of Batteries Are Used In Personal Watercrafts And ATVs?

Are you sick of your jetski, personal watercraft or ATV constantly having a dead battery and needing to be on charge all the time? No doubt you know the disappointment when you have planned a weekend of riding, only to go to start the machine and it won’t turn over. However, this is something that can be avoided!

jetski_personal_watercraft_batteriesJetskis and Personal Watercrafts

What makes a battery different for a personal water craft or jetski than any other vehicle? Firstly, modern jetskis have much higher electronic demand than older generation models, which require a stronger quality battery to last. Many battery manufacturers including Shorai have recognised this and have released powerful batteries to keep up with demand. Secondly, as you ride the water and hit the waves, the vibration causes active plate material in the batteries to loosen and fall into the bottom of the battery case, which can break the intercell welds and grids. This decreases battery life and can cause shorts, so it’s crucial you have a battery for your jetski or watercraft which can withstand these conditions.

atv_quad_bike_batteriesAll Terrain Vehicles, Quad Bikes and 4 Wheelers

Unlike jetskis and watercrafts, ATVs don’t require much electrical power, so the main thing to focus on is that the battery is a modern type that can withstand the extreme vibrations and the heat emitted from the engine under use. Many batteries, after an extended period of time in these conditions, will begin to fail internally, causing you issues and unreliability. And the last thing you want is be pushing your ATV home. This is why a good battery for your ATV or quad bike is vital.

Shorai sell a wide range of batteries for all jetskis, personal watercrafts, quad bikes, ATVs and more. Our website has a wide range of batteries you can choose from to best suit your application. Should you need assistance is selecting a battery, please do not hesitate to contact us.