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Shorai Battery Review

Small but mighty, Shorai lithium chemistry batteries are the new-tech answer for putting some spark in your scoot.

Photo Credit: Arden Kysely

Arden Kysely
March 7, 2012
Filed under Gear, Motorcycle Gear Reviews, Motorcycle Parts + Accessories + Luggage: Reviews

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Six months and 6,500 miles ago, I carved nearly six pounds off of my F800GS simply by replacing the lead-acid battery with a 2.3-pound Shorai unit. This new-tech battery is so light I could easily throw it across the room. Is there anything inside the carbon composite case? No liquid and no lead, for sure. Referring to the battery’s lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry, Shorai’s Kevin Riley told me the case holds just four foil pouches filled with lithium compound.

They may as well call it magic dust, because it creates a battery like I’ve never seen: light, small and able to stay on the shelf for a year without any attention. The Shorai LFX18A1-BS12 in my GS is 52 percent the size (volume) of the stock Absorbed Glass Mat unit. It arrived fully charged in a small box packed with sheets and chunks of foam padding. Don’t throw this stuff away! You’ll need it to pad out the battery compartment when you replace a larger lead-acid cell. After getting a snug fit, I had to fiddle with the wiring a bit to make everything reach the smaller battery, but it didn’t take long to create good, solid install.

I dropped the Shorai into my 800 a couple weeks before setting off for a good shake ‘n’ bake test through the southwest. The GS and I rattled and danced across the notorious Death Valley washboard, slammed into Capitol Reef cut banks, and hammered over Arizona rock gardens for nine days. The Shorai never missed a beat, and still hasn’t. My bike fires immediately every time, even if I crank up my electric vest and gloves before thumbing the starter button. Sorry I can’t report on cold weather operations, but the record low for starting the bike in my Southern California driveway is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.


Like many modern motorcycles, my 800 has a clock and other electron-sucking gizmos that will eventually drain a battery if the bike sits too long. Riley told me that a Battery Tender®, or equivalent, without an automatic desulfation mode is safe for charging or maintaining a Shorai battery. A manual desulfation mode that you can shut off is fine. Shorai also offers a charger that’s designed to charge and optimize its batteries for $79.95.

The closest Shorai replacement for my stock 12 amp-hour battery is a 14 amp-hour equivalent, the LFX14A1-BS12, which retails for $159.95. I opted for a little more reserve with the 18 amp-hour cell, which goes for $189.95 That’s a premium price for sure, but it nets you a two-year warranty while simplifying maintenance and shaving pounds off your bike.

Find out more at www.shoraipower.com.

Comments

13 Responses to “Shorai Battery Review”

  1. Nick Zarras on March 7th, 2012 8:20 pm

    I have the same battery in my bike. I found it highly desirable to put a trickle charge on it prior to starting up the bike, even if it says it comes from the factory charged. Also once the battery drops below a certain voltage you can not recharge it. I put it on a trickle charger when i park it a night and have had no problems. It seems to be the wave of the future.

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  2. JR on March 14th, 2012 8:17 pm

    I am all for new technology and this lithium iron phosphate battery for motorcycles sounds like a smart idea, but not for twice the cost of a standard sealed lead acid battery. What happened to selling a good product at a reasonable cost so the masses can afford it?

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  3. Jim Fontana on April 7th, 2012 4:56 pm

    Not to mention these batteries do not work well when it is cold out. So cost and all around performance suffer. Most of use could look in a mirror and find a place to loose a few more pounds than the by buying a Shorai.

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  4. Carl Kuduk on April 14th, 2012 7:04 am

    Reading the comments on the Shorai battery makes me think it may not be for me yet. Live in MN and it gets cold here and the bike sits for 4 to 5 months. I don’t under stand the one about if it gets discharged to a certain level it can not be recharged? This would be a uncomfortable situation I think. Need to find out more on this new kind of battery first.

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  5. Thomas J Meisch on May 31st, 2012 8:03 pm

    I live Michigan, have owned the 14 amp version of the battery reviewed for over a year. Shorai recommends the 18 amp one but most of the forums said to get the 12 amp so I did. I own a 1000cc V-twin Honda RC51, these bikes are know for there hard starting. This battery has not failed to turn my big twin over even on 32deg. days. Sat December to February of this year without being touched, first week of March, 37 deg, bike started without a hitch.
    2 thing, draining the battery down to 0 will not kill it, a standard car charger will not bring it back though, you would need to purchase a special lithium charger like the one Shorai sells.
    These battery’s perform as well if not better then others in cold weather. Please do some research before you review.

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  6. Tim Reyburn on July 20th, 2012 9:18 am

    Lithium Ion or lithium Iron or Lithium Polymer are very temperature insensitive.
    Your good OLD lead acid is way more temperature sensitive.
    Lithium batteries 1/4 the weight, 8 x the life and not sensitive to
    low temperatures like alkaline or lead acid batteries are.

    Lithium based battery products are proliferating
    and even if they are 2x more in cost, cost of ownership is way less and
    last a lot longer.Simple reality of it all peeps.

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    WTF Reply:

    Almost everything you just said is completely wrong. Lithium is extremely temperature sensitive. I’m speaking from experience not some hearsay. Lead acid is extremely insensitive to cold temps. Get your facts straight.

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  7. Peter Wallace on September 9th, 2012 10:14 am

    I purchased a the top of the line Shoria Battery ($180) from Batterystuff.com (who I highly recommend they are great) in January for my Yamaha MT-01, big twin and it needs a good battery. It worked great, strong cranking and yes they are much lighter. The problems started in august when I left the key on over night. I boosted the dead battery, and it worked fine, but would not hold a charge. To make a long storey short, you also need a a Shoria charger. anther $120. Battery tenders do not work if dead. My battery is toasted, contacted Shoria directly and they offered a recondition used battery or 50% toward a new one. The warrenty is prorated web site indicates warrentied 75% between 7 -12 months. And you are waiting for weeks while the RMA process goes through. My advice is save yourself the headache and and a lot of money (to go with new I would be into this battery for $390) stick with lead acid battery until the new technology is perfected, and then I would suggest that it is not worth the additional expence unless you are racing and that 4 lbs weight saving would be worth the expense. Just my opinion

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  8. Peter Wallace on September 12th, 2012 7:53 am

    I left my key on over night. Battery will not recharge Shorai has advised that they can’t be expected to warranty as the battery was “misused”. I gave gone back to an agm lead acid. Much mire deoendable

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  9. Lithiummoto on November 26th, 2012 8:43 am

    Alas, people always jump on the bandwagon of the perceived most popular battery being heavily promoted. I am building a comparison table of all batteries and that will be an eye opener.

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  10. Paul on December 14th, 2012 1:51 am

    DONT BUY THESE BATTERIES, THEY ARE LAZY. WONT HOLD A CHARGE…. AND SHORAI WONT BELIVE YOU THEY WILL DOUBT YOU

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  11. WTF on March 26th, 2013 7:13 pm

    How are you people leaving the bikes on and forgetting it? Don’t blame the battery for your stupidity. It’s lighter, smaller and more powerful. There’s like one down side, don’t drain it to zero. Do you want it to hold your hand during the process? Grow up and take the small responsibility for newer technology.

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  12. Trevor on August 3rd, 2013 7:13 am

    I have a very well maintained, 99 cbr900rr its many many times mistaking for a newr bike till I show them the Vin decal, then they are ” WOW” , I put in a shorai battery 1 and half years ago, I have a very expensive trickle charger and every other day or so I would connect just to keep it tip top, the bike ran fine the whole time I installed the shorai, I went to my normal day got up rode for 20 miles rode back stop off at a store was in side for 20 mins, came out bike would not start, check all connections , called a buddy came out with a jump box for bikes, and it jumped fine, road it, no problems high beams worked fine , no lugging from ignitions, stater checked fine at dealer as did rectiirer they told me battery was shot, I had receipt and paper work, they said shorai needs ME to ship them, dealer cant do it, and they are in a stink with the company about their batt, so not only did I have to shell out 70 bucks for a nother batt, now I have to pay to ship a batt that is supposed to be the best thing since the tire, is gone bad, and the dealer said this is the 4th shori batt with the buy date mine has in 3 days, HMMMMM I have since found a WST battery that is just as light but also the company said if that happens they will replace their batt, on the spot PERIOD

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