Let's Talk Batteries - Ducati Monster Forums: Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Let's Talk Batteries

So I'm not finding very clear answers on a few battery questions I had so I thought I would start one thread to answer a few questions. I ride a 2012 Monster 1100 evo and it needs a new battery, so my questions are sort of focused around that, but I would like to have general answer on this thread for anyone else.

Lead Batteries
First the OEM lead battery, the Yuasa YT12B-BS. Is this is specific model? I've seen 215 CCA (our OEM) and a lower CCA - was the lower one mislabeled? The dimensions I'm seeing are: 6" long, 2 3/4" wide, 5 1/8" high. It has a 1 year warranty, and ones I'm seeing online ship with the acid you must fill it with.

What other Ducati models share this battery? Online vehicle part matchers do not seem to be very accurate, with Amazon saying there is only 1 battery on the entire site that would fit.

What other lead (aka cheap) batteries have people had luck with? What is complete junk and is to be avoided? What kind of life is everyone getting out of their lead batteries (and is it on a tender every night, or what).

I'm using the Battery Tender Jr 12V and having luck with it. My battery is pretty much shot (12.4V at best on the tender, 12.3-12.1 off), but I can get it started with it plugged in.

Lithium Batteries
I see lots of folks going with the Shorai. There are also lithium batteries by Ballistic and Battery Tender. Apart from the obvious weight savings, the life is supposed to be longer. What kind of life are we getting out of lithium batteries?

There are specific lithium battery tenders on the market. Could someone explain the difference between the two tenders? Can a lithium tender be used on a lead battery daily? Should a lithium battery be on a tender nightly, even if it is lithium specific?

Sorry, lot's of questions, I'm new to Ducatis. Hopefully this will get some traction for anyone else who has been wondering these things.

2012 Monster 1100 Evo
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 07:11 AM
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Hi Zissou, I am not an expert BUT I have already made the swap from the stock Yuasa to the Shorai Lithium-Iron-Phospate in my 2013 Monster 1100 EVO ABS

The stock battery is the specific Yuasa model YT12B-BS. The one I pulled out is branded Yuasa, not Ducati, and has that model number written on it. On the battery itself, specs are 10.5 Ah, and 210 CCA. As far as I can tell, dimensions are as per their website at http://www.yuasabatteries.com/batter...=B168&vID=6505 although they quote 215 CCA... slight change in manufacturing maybe?

I ditched the battery to try to improve cold starting, I was getting high 12, low 13 volt on rest but it needed to be plugged into the battery tender (I had a battery fighter junior) EVERY NIGHT. Bear in mind that the immobiliser, computer clock etc will draw power when the bike is off. The battery was 2 years old.

By the way, based on previous purchases of new lead acid batteries, they ship with the acid separate and you have to fill them and do a long initial charge. Often the dealer will do this for you.

If you wanna replace, you need to match the size (equal or smaller all around) and polarity. Some posters have gone for much higher spec batteries which might be taller, but I wanted to ensure that all cabling would fit like stock.

I put the Shorai LFX18A1-BS12 in as a replacement. Specs are here: http://shoraipower.com.au/store/products/lfx18a1-bs12/

This battery is slightly smaller all around than the Yuasa, but the Shorai arrives with a bunch of padding you can cut up to make it fit. FYI I did find the battery ended up a little wobbly as it sits up higher in the battery tray on top of the padding. I have had no troubles with it rattling or anything like that. The padding lifts the battery up so that the terminals end up in the stock position.

Anyway, there is much info on the Shorai web site... short version is that it's hard to compare given the very different chemistry BUT the battery is rated as equivalent to 18 Ah, 270 CCA. Shorai suggests it will crank like a lead acid battery MUCH higher rated (like 400 CCA plus). The battery weighs like 2 pounds as against 7 for the Yuasa !

I believe the lithium specific tenders don't have float charge on them like normal ones and they ABSOLUTELY don't have high voltage desulphation modes. You can actually use a normal charger to charge the Lithium BUT
* the Shorai arrives mostly charged, you can just go for a ride after installation to top it up
* you need to pull the charger off after the charge - ie, DONT use the float charging
* my tender wouldnt charge the Shorai - the Shorai was already too well charged

In fact, the local Shorai agent advises just ride the bike at least once every couple MONTHS (!) to keep it charged. I ride weekly summer or winter so I have NEVER charged the battery since I installed it! Anyone wanna buy a cheap battery tender?

I dunno if lithium tenders work on lead batteries - FYI the Shorai has a special charger (if you need it; I don't own one) with a special 4-pin plug, so it would not plug in to anything else anyway.

ALSO: you can also upgrade the starter circuit cables with the kit from Motoelectric, I have done this also. Details here: http://www.motolectric.com/products/hicap.detail.html For me, this was quite an involved installation but rewarding. I could provide some tips maybe later.

and finally: with all of the above the bike will start, from cold, 0.5 seconds every time. Even in Winter (though it only gets down to about 5 deg C here).
with NO external battery charging EVER

PS> I do have one more trick that's helping to get reliable cold starts on my bike. After I switch on, and the fuel pump runs its priming cycle, I give it another prime - I hit the start button with the kill switch set to OFF for 2/3 seconds. Then set the kill switch to RUN, then it will light up first time every time.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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enliven - this is great stuff, thanks!

I just placed an order for an aftermarket battery from batterysharks.com. Claims to be a direct replacement for ours. $26 sale price, plus another $9 to ship it. Crazy cheap compared to the Yuasa, but that Yuasa is super overpriced imho. I'll update later on if this was worth it or not, but if it doesn't damage anything and I get a riding season out of it then I'll say it's worth it.

Here's the link while it's still active http://www.batterysharks.com/Yuasa-Y...2-10-125-k.htm
It's made by SigmasTek. Had a 4.8/5 review on Amazon on about 10 reviews which seems promising.

2012 Monster 1100 Evo
Termi stainless slip-ons
Power Commander V, tune by Redline in Yorktown
14T sprocket
Rizoma mirrors
Rizoma grips
Rizoma levers
Rizoma fluid reservoirs
HID low beam
EBC Contour rotors / HH sintered pads
Evap Canister delete
Stebel Nautilus Horn
Tail tidy

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 09:42 PM
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Quick PS> I have noticed that when you hit the starter button, the headlight turns off (and with the kill on, headlight stays off). So this will help with starting .. it frees up something like half a volt.
Might not be the extra fuel priming after all.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 03:43 PM
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Find a R/C website and ask about lithium batteries. You will learn more than you ever wanted to know. The batteries in my 700 size Heli would probably start my diesel F250 on a cold day.

They have had a bad wrap in the past for catching on fire, but those are LiPo batteries and not the LiFe version used in auto applications.

What they are is intolerant of abuse. You can use a standard charger in a pinch (that's what the alternator is doing the whole time you're riding after all.) but a standard charger will not balance the 4 cells. That circuitry is what makes a lithium charger different from a standard. If a lithium battery discharges much lower than 3.2v/cell....it's toast. I don't know for sure but I suspect there is a failsafe on the batteries out there to prevent this. It's also not good to store them fully charged, (4.2volts/cell) as this can lead to reduced life. The better R/C chargers have a storage mode on them that brings the battery to 3.7volts/cell and balances them.

As for a tender, I don't see why you would ever need one. Maybe in northern Minnesota where you can only ride 3mos out of the year. As for lifespan in our application pretty much forever. What kills lithium batteries is the charge/discharge cycle. I can fully charge 2) 22.2V 5000 mil amp batteries @ 20A in about 10min. Put them in the heli and fly for 6min, the batteries will be as discharged as they can safely get and too hot touch. Let them cool for a few min and repeat. Even under that kind of abuse I get 100-150 charge cycles out of a pair. Cranking the bike and being topped off even if you rode everyday is in no way straining their capabilities.

They will hold a charge seemingly forever, and discharge at about the rate of a capacitor (but not quite). That's why the bikes start so much better.

The only downside after you learn what you have and how to care for it is the additional cost. @ $189.00, the Shorai is more expensive than a brand name LA battery, but not my much. And tell me how else you can loose 7#'s of weight high on the bike for $50-$75!

I will be buying one as soon as the battery in mine is done, and probably sooner.

Last edited by bshinn; 07-19-2015 at 03:55 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 12:10 AM
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Hi enliven, I am now experiencing the headlight off when starting my Monster. I first noticed it when going home after my shift. THe bike did not start on the first 2 attempts. . Turned off the ignition key and turned it back on after a few seconds and I noticed the headlight was off with the high beam indicator on in the instrument cluster. THE bike started and I rode home without headlights. PLugged in the tender and the next day the bike started normally with the lights on. THIS pattern repeats itself. . The battery is 3 years old. Is this a battery issue?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 03:32 AM
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Ive never heard of this behaviour from a flat battery. Might be worth checking that the bulb (both low and hi beam elements) isnt blown.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 07:53 AM
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Or some kind of connection that leads to the headlight. Or a relay.

Last edited by 1UglyBastard; 10-11-2017 at 07:55 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerryduc65 View Post
Hi enliven, I am now experiencing the headlight off when starting my Monster. I first noticed it when going home after my shift. THe bike did not start on the first 2 attempts. . Turned off the ignition key and turned it back on after a few seconds and I noticed the headlight was off with the high beam indicator on in the instrument cluster. THE bike started and I rode home without headlights. PLugged in the tender and the next day the bike started normally with the lights on. THIS pattern repeats itself. . The battery is 3 years old. Is this a battery issue?
Gerry, I had the same issue and it was due to the headlight connector being fried. Not related to the battery.
I replaced that connector with one that is weather proof and the problem was gone.

So check that connector first, it's right behind the headlight.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 02:00 PM
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I have a Shorai battery installed on my M1200 since the OEM battery died of "excesive use". So I changed to a lithium battery since it holds the charge better during inactive periods. Yes, it's lighter and smaller but very easy to install and it cranks up fast everytime like enliven said.

I read somewhere that the average lead battery looses around 1% of its charge everyday and a lithium battery looses around 10% over a year, even if it's exagerated a lithium battery is a good option if you have to keep your bike in the garage for long periods. Regardless, I try to take the bike out once a week to keep it charged, just to be sure.
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