Sponsored / Shorai LFX Batteries: More Power, Less Weight
In the 12 years since Shorai, their LFX lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries have offered the equivalent of a free motorsport lunch. With their proprietary battery chemistry and cell technology, LFX batteries are smaller, lighter and more powerful than their lead-acid counterparts.
The weight savings are significant. When our sister site, Motorcycle.com, first reviewed the Shorai’s LFX in 2011, their first impression upon picking it up was that it must be empty. Shorai claims a weight difference of up to 80 percent, shaving off 2-3 pounds on a dirt bike, 6-8 on a street bike, and 10-20 on a cruiser.
To apply this to the world of adventure bikes, the Shorai LFX replacement battery for the Kawasaki KLR650 weighs only 2.35 pounds. That’s 5.37 pounds lighter than the lead-acid equivalent. Think about how much that kind of weight loss would normally cost you on a bike.
The LFX battery replaces lead, one of the heaviest metals in the periodic table, with lithium, a metal light enough to float on water. Lithium allows for much higher energy density, which means more capacity per pound in your battery. And with about a third of the internal resistance of a lead-acid battery, that energy is accessible.
Shorai LFX Drums are also more efficient at retaining this power, operating at full voltage until the battery is fully discharged. They do not degrade or sulphate when your bike is parked. Shorai claims the LFX can hold a charge for a year without maintenance and expects two to four times the life of a lead-acid battery. They’re confident enough to back the LFX with a five-year pro-rated warranty.
Although a LiFEPO4 battery can use a lead acid charger, it can be damaged by overcharging or by certain repair or reconditioning methods, and Shorai recommends disconnecting it after the LFX is charged. To avoid all this, Shorai also wears dedicated LFX battery chargers which monitor individual cells during charging. A dedicated Shorai charger rings in at just under $90.
As the automotive industry moves away from internal combustion to electric power, it is discovering that batteries can present their own environmental challenges, particularly in the mining process and then later in their elimination. Shorai’s LeFePO4 configuration also has advantages here. In addition to avoiding toxic lead, LFX batteries do not contain nickel or cobalt, which are relatively rare, and can be intensive and destructive to the environment. The LFX battery then stays in your bike for years longer than a lead acid battery, reducing its overall footprint and saving you money. And in the end, there is no lead in the battery to cause contamination. Just unload and throw away.
Shorai builds LFX batteries using rectangular prismatic cells, making them easy to pack in about two dozen configurations. Each battery comes with high-density adhesive-backed foam shims to ensure a snug fit even if you choose to leave yourself a wallet-sized pocket in the battery case. So there is an LFX battery with the right shape, capacity and right/left polarity to fit your bike. But which one?
Fortunately, Shorai calculated it by model and year, and made it searchable on shoraipower.com. And not just the current or current models. Need a battery for your BMW F650 1993? No problem. ATVs and personal watercraft are also listed, dating well back to the 1980s models. If it works, or has done so before, Shorai seems to have figured out which battery to put in it.
ADVrider thanks Shorai for his support through this sponsored post.