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Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

  1. #1
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2


    These lithium-ion 8-cell batteries have a hefty price tag at around $170, but weigh 6-7 lbs less than a standard battery. Anyone run these? I've heard tales of fires and dead batteries due to overcharging, but sounds like most of this has been sorted with the modern units.

    Any recommendations on a lightweight battery or experience with the Ballistic Performance units?

    Kind of silly money but I've spent $100 on much dumber things..

    Also wondering if the 8-cell is enough for a street bike: headlights/blinkers/other stuff

    EVO2 8 Cell, Ballistic Performance Components

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    Last edited by Tekime; 04-25-17 at 10:08 PM.
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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    I have an 8 cell EVO2 in my FZR, 5 or 6 years old at this point, still kicking. At some point this one will be retired to my R6 which has a charging system so I can put a fresh one in the Fizzer.

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    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    My question is, are you at the point in your riding experience where saving 6lbs and spending $80 more will bring you to the next level?

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    My question is, are you at the point in your riding experience where saving 6lbs and spending $80 more will bring you to the next level?
    It's some of the cheapest per lb weight reduction you can do on a bike. If we're really going to play the 'are you good enough to notice' card, we'd all still be rocking striders...

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    What kurlon said. Plus the maintenance free nature of these alone is worth the price of entry. I have an EVO 2 in one bike, never plug it in even during the 7 month off season and it still starts right up in the spring. Their static discharge rate only ~10% per year. They do last 3-5 years.

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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 04-26-17 at 10:24 AM.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    It's some of the cheapest per lb weight reduction you can do on a bike. If we're really going to play the 'are you good enough to notice' card, we'd all still be rocking striders...
    Not playing any card and my question is straightforward. Is 6lbs worth $80?

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    Development Rider scottieducati's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    And yet I need at least two hands to count how many LiPo batteries I've seen die, including my Shorai that was kept on the Shorai battery maintainer and was dead w/in a year.

    LiOn does not like overcharging or fluctuating voltages going into it, like you know, how an alternator works on a motorcycle. They much prefer constant and restrictive charge rates, whereas normal batteries for powersports are more resilient to these things.

    Does it mean you're going to experience a failure? Not necessarily. Doe sit increase the likelihood of a failure particularly if your charging system is not 100% up to snuff or you have an older bike? Absolutely.

    Take a shit before you race, you'll save the same weight. If you want robust, go AGM.

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Cool, so the verdict is out but at least a few positive experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    My question is, are you at the point in your riding experience where saving 6lbs and spending $80 more will bring you to the next level?
    Not trying to shave microseconds off my nonexistent lap times, just having fun with a new build. I can tell when I've got 15lbs of groceries on the back though

    Quote Originally Posted by scottieducati View Post
    And yet I need at least two hands to count how many LiPo batteries I've seen die, including my Shorai that was kept on the Shorai battery maintainer and was dead w/in a year.
    Have read these same concerns too. :/ Also read that LiFePO4 dealt with some of the "old" issues. 3-year warranty on Ballistics is a little bit of insurance.

    LiOn does not like overcharging or fluctuating voltages going into it, like you know, how an alternator works on a motorcycle. They much prefer constant and restrictive charge rates, whereas normal batteries for powersports are more resilient to these things.
    Bike in question is an '05 SV650 and I'm open to regulator upgrades to smooth out charging, but so far I've not heard any specific issues on the SV gen2.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottieducati;
    Take a shit before you race, you'll save the same weight. If you want robust, go AGM.
    Fun fact: 6lbs is 4.6% of my body weight.

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    Lifer
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    Not playing any card and my question is straightforward. Is 6lbs worth $80?
    I think it can be if you're already needing to replace your battery. Then it's not as much extra cash. I don't think I'd be in a hurry to replace a functional battery though.

    I put a BatteryTender branded Lithium-whatever in my WR last year. Started this spring with plenty of juice, and it wasn't disconnected or tendered. Didn't try it in the cold though. It wasn't an enormous difference but it helped a little. It was subtle enough that I'm skeptical it'd matter on a 450lb+ street bike. Can you feel a difference if you're down 1 gallon of gas?

    Cold seems to be the one catch that might apply to a street bike. In the cold they allegedly need a little stress to heat up and they counter-intuitively gain some energy. No crank, run the lights for a bit, then try, or so I've read. Seems like there's a lot of BS floating around the internet about them though, and some early growing pains with new technology.

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    Development Rider scottieducati's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    I don't really think they're growing pains, I think it's a poorly matched battery chemistry for power-sports applications... particularly motorcycles whose alternator systems are not exactly top-notch nor do they delivery consistent voltages to the system, it's all based on RPM... particularly on older bikes.

    Fun fact on older (pre-'99?) Ducatis... they won't even charge at idle, only above a certain RPM.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    I like the one I have in my track bike (never charge it). Not sure I'd want one for a street bike...when it's cold sometimes it takes a bit for the battery to warm up

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Interestingly, using the horrible sample size of what I've seen in the garages at NHMS most of the batt failures I've been present for have been boring old lead acid units from people leaving the key on overnight. Can a wonky reg/rect kill a Lipo? Sure, just like it can take out lead acid or AGM. If your charging system isn't up to snuff, sort it before battery shopping. (Also make sure your bike doesn't have wonky parasitic draws of it's own... nothing like expecting power draw to be 0w with the key off only to find out that's not the case.)

    Back to the 'worth' of 6lbs at $80. As noted they do not have parasitic loss rates anywhere NEAR other battery formats, and cold does not harm them, so you've got some maint gains there. Their voltage curve is nice, less dip under load helps with some finicky ECUs. And there is the basic weight loss for cheap compared to monkeying with other areas of the bike. To get similar weight gain on my other bikes would require full exhaust system swaps from OEM, NOT cheap, or a pair of magnesium wheels, etc, again NOT cheap. Tiny benefit that most won't ever utilize, they LIKE higher charging rates compared to lead acid batts, so if you ARE in a pinch you can do a faster charge with no damage to the life of the batt.

    Downsides: They don't have the raw amp-hour capacity of a lead acid, so you'll fail a DieHard battery test sooner if you are prone to leaving your bike on when you walk away. Most bike charging systems don't quite hit the voltage required for a 100% charge so you're leaving a bit on the table capacity wise there as well. (I've been using a Batt Tender on my FZR, same slightly low charge voltage target issue, hasn't impacted my use on a total loss bike. For the racer crowd BDK and others make a nice non-shunt style reg/rect with adjustable output voltage so you can dial it in for a LiPo. Not cheap, not intended for daily drivers.) When cold, they do not flow current as well, but can self recover with some use to internally heat the battery. Cold starting becomes a matter of learning the routine for doing so with a LiPo as opposed to a lead acid, counting that as a draw.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by scottieducati View Post
    I don't really think they're growing pains, I think it's a poorly matched battery chemistry for power-sports applications... particularly motorcycles whose alternator systems are not exactly top-notch nor do they delivery consistent voltages to the system, it's all based on RPM... particularly on older bikes.

    Fun fact on older (pre-'99?) Ducatis... they won't even charge at idle, only above a certain RPM.
    I wondered if this was one of those 'don't fix what isn't broken', but the more I thought about a lead-acid the more I realized I was just used to all their drawbacks. Heat, cold, fluid levels, don't drain to zero, loses power over the winter, usually toast after a few years etc. Figured I'll try learning this new witchcraft with the bike that has a kicker option

    I don't really see how your concerns apply to lithium and not lead-acid. Wouldn't undercharging problems, overvoltage, and no charging at cruising RPM be problems for lead-acid as well?

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    The rumors of Ducs not charging at cruising RPMs are significantly overblown, even for the old crusty two phase setups. They are sensitive to corrosion in the ground strap, at the grounding point, but they absolutely can be dialed in to charge even at idle. There was a shop out of California I think that specialized in Ducati service bits that had an awesome upgraded ground strap made from VERY fine wire that worked wonders on marginal charging systems.

    That said, you are correct, a marginal electrical system will abuse any battery type. LiPo's get short shrift in those scenarios because they have a lower overall amp hour capacity than a comparable volume Lead Acid and thus will go dead sooner when not getting adequate charging. When you kill your fourth $30 WalMart LeadAcid batt instead of fixing your bike, no one batts an eye. Loose a $180 LiPo to that same mess and suddenly it's the LiPo's fault?!

    Some bikes are starting to ship with LiPo batts out of the crate now, I expect that trend to grow.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    The rumors of Ducs not charging at cruising RPMs are significantly overblown, even for the old crusty two phase setups. They are sensitive to corrosion in the ground strap, at the grounding point, but they absolutely can be dialed in to charge even at idle. There was a shop out of California I think that specialized in Ducati service bits that had an awesome upgraded ground strap made from VERY fine wire that worked wonders on marginal charging systems. ...
    My M900 has always been able to charge adequately with just normal use, although it generally has had the advantage of that use being regular, and not sitting much. I did upgrade the starting circuit after moving to NH, going to 4-gauge wires from the battery to the solenoid, and the solenoid to the starter, and adding a 4-gauge ground wire back to the battery instead of grounding through the engine/frame. That wasn't about charging, so much as just getting it to start vigorously enough when it's 20F out. Although I did have to put a new bearing in the alternator at one point, my "old crusty two phase setup" is otherwise still the original parts the bike came with, 24 years and 260K later.

    PhilB

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Take a shit before you race, you'll save the same weight
    if you do this and have a lithium Battery how your looking at some Real weight savings...

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    Last edited by MUZ720; 04-26-17 at 03:36 PM.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by scottieducati View Post
    I don't really think they're growing pains, I think it's a poorly matched battery chemistry for power-sports applications... particularly motorcycles whose alternator systems are not exactly top-notch nor do they delivery consistent voltages to the system, it's all based on RPM... particularly on older bikes.

    Fun fact on older (pre-'99?) Ducatis... they won't even charge at idle, only above a certain RPM.
    Add to those any bikes with residual draw.

    A LiP0 is very happy in the TW200, which has no draw. Starts up after sitting for months. But the Tiger 1050 has a 3mA draw. Battery was OK last season but now won't start the bike after 6-8 hours: voltage drops from 13.2 to 12.0 or less. The Battery Tender brand Battery may be defective, so we'll see when it comes back. But I'm sticking to AGM for road bikes.

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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Shorai has a 5 yr warranty on all batteries. Cranks the r1 faster than the 2 stock batteries I've had in the the bike. Killed a shorai when I had constant draw alarm hooked up.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    Bike in question is an '05 SV650 and I'm open to regulator upgrades to smooth out charging, but so far I've not heard any specific issues on the SV gen2.
    You sure about that? I thought the regulators on those bikes were infamous for being shit. (Like many mid and small displacement motorcycles these days.) Possibly the generator coils too. I have a gen-1 DL650 which is basically the same engine as the gen2 SV and have burned out a generator coil and had to have it rewound. I've also always had problems with the voltage falling below 13VDC unless the battery is brand new and the moon and the sun are perfectly aligned. I finally replaced the crap stock regulator/rectifier with a more efficient unit.


    Quote Originally Posted by scottieducati View Post
    Fun fact on older (pre-'99?) Ducatis... they won't even charge at idle, only above a certain RPM.
    IIRC this is typical of most motorcycles with generators and regulator/rectifier charging systems. The only bikes I've ever seen that seem to charge at all RPMs are those will full fledged automotive style alternators.. ie the GL1800 'wing.

    As said, my DL650 lives below charging voltage level until at least 3k RPM. My understanding is this is normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Interestingly, using the horrible sample size of what I've seen in the garages at NHMS most of the batt failures I've been present for have been boring old lead acid units from people leaving the key on overnight.
    Li batteries will survive leaving the key on overnight?!

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Li batteries will survive leaving the key on overnight?!
    Hell no, but it appears those with Li batts at NHMS pay more attention to that? Again, shit sample size.

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    You sure about that? I thought the regulators on those bikes were infamous for being shit. (Like many mid and small displacement motorcycles these days.) Possibly the generator coils too. I have a gen-1 DL650 which is basically the same engine as the gen2 SV and have burned out a generator coil and had to have it rewound. I've also always had problems with the voltage falling below 13VDC unless the battery is brand new and the moon and the sun are perfectly aligned. I finally replaced the crap stock regulator/rectifier with a more efficient unit.
    Not sure about anything, but haven't seen any specific issues on the gen2's, read several positive reports on svrider. Unlike gen1, where apparently they might overcharge and explode, but of course there's a mod for that reg/rect.

    Still researching though. I also assume most bikes dip under 13 at idle, overcharging is what worries me.

    Current battery is dead so it'll be replaced either way.

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    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Lightweight batteries? Ballistic Performance EVO2

    I've had a Shorai and Battery Tender brand lithium battery. Killed them both to 0.0V with discharge, the first with leaving my wired transponder hooked up, the second with a mysteriously flipped on kill switch after installing a key eliminator. I certainly love the idea of lightweight batteries, but apparently am not responsible enough to own them. AGM is far more resilient when neglected. Putting a Honda MOSFET R/R on my 1st gen SVs has made them charge much better as well.

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