Should you choose old technology and choose a heavy lead-acid motorcycle battery? Or choose the newer lighter lithium-ion battery technology? There are many benefits of a lithium-ion battery over a traditional lead-acid.
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Good quality lithium-ion batteries are lighter, smaller, charge faster, hold their charge longer, last longer overall, have better warranties, & have more cold cranking amps. They are however more expensive than a lead acid, but the cost may be well worth it. On average a lithium-ion battery costs 30% more than a lead-acid.
Lithium-ion batteries are generally much smaller than lead-acid. For this reason, make certain upon purchase that it will fit your motorcycle. Many sellers of lithium-ion batteries will put the battery in a "stock case" for your brand/model motorcycle. That means that they'll make it the same size as your stock lead-acid battery so it will fit perfectly in the battery compartment of your Harley-Davidson as an example. If you choose to buy the smaller size lithium-ion it may bounce around in your large battery compartment. Many come with shims so you can try to wedge the battery in to keep it from moving around. My recommendation is to get a lithium-ion battery with the correct case size for your application.
When purchasing a lithium-ion, also be aware of the terminal placement such as side or top to make sure it will work with your application. Again, this is why I bought a direct replacement lithium-ion made for my Harley Street Glide that has everything the same as my lead-acid.
Lithium-ion batteries often have more cold cranking amps (CCA) and that means more powerful starts. As an example, the Twin Power Lithium Ion Battery -DLFP30HL-BS-H I bought has 625 CCA, whereas a typical lead-acid for a Harley will have 400-500 CCA.
The first possible drawback to a lithium-ion is that if you let it fall to below 11 volts by accidentally leaving your headlight as an example, you may permanently damage the battery. Whereas, a lead-acid in good shape could be charged and likely recover.
The second drawback, not really in my opinion, to a lithium-ion motorcycle battery, is that if you leave your motorcycle out in temperatures below freezing for an extended period of time, you'll have to "wake" the battery to get it cycling. This is easily done by turning your headlight on for a short period or bumping the starter a few times. Once awake, you lithium-ion goes to work fast and gives you those cold cranking amps.
I tested my lithium-ion battery by placing it in my freezer for a bit over two hours at 12 degrees Fahrenheit. I tested it on my Harley and it fired right up and the battery never went to sleep. That tells me that you'd need to have your bike in the below-freezing temps for some time before it would go to sleep. Again, easily overcome by just bumping your starter or turning your headlight on to wake it.
An upside is that Lithium-ion batteries don't really need to be on a battery tender all winter like a lead-acid as they only lose about 10% of their charge a year while sitting. Whereas, a lead-acid battery loses 1% per day. Just remove the negative battery terminal on your lithium-ion battery when storing your motorcycle & you're good to go. Then, just charge it up and top it off before riding season. In contrast, you should keep your lead-acid on a battery tender while you park and/or store your motorcycle for any length of time to greatly increase its lifespan.
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