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What makes Shorai LFX superior to lead acid batteries?

What makes Shorai LFX superior to other Lithium batteries?

Why are Shorai batteries more expensive than lead acid batteries?

How does the Shorai LFX “PBeq AHr” capacity rating compare to lead acid AHr ratings?

How does the Shorai LFX “CCA” cold cranking rating compare to lead acid CCA ratings?

How do I know which battery is suitable for my bike?

Can I use a higher or lower rated battery than what is recommended for my bike?

Recommended for my bike is an 'A' polarity battery, can I use an 'L' polarity battery (or vice versa)?

How long will my Shorai battery last?

Is there a way to find out what % of charge is remaining on the battery at any point in time?

Can I use regular lead acid battery chargers with Shorai batteries?

Should I purchase the Shorai SHO-BMS1 Battery Charger?

Are there any drawbacks to using Shorai LFX batteries?

Are Shorai batteries suitable for other applications?

I see a Shorai battery on the global website which I want, but you don’t have it for sale on your website?

 

What makes Shorai LFX superior to lead acid batteries?

Shorai LFX batteries are, quite simply, superior to lead acid types in every conceivable way. Our customers buy our batteries for many reasons, depending on the type of bikes they ride, how frequently they ride, and why they ride, but we can be pretty sure the reason you’ll want one will be because of at least a few of these reasons, if not all of them.

Shorai batteries are extremely small and lightweight – you can expect to save between 3-5kg or even more depending on your OEM battery spec. This is the kind of weight you save on a multi-thousand dollar aftermarket exhaust system.

Shorai batteries have an extremely low self discharge rate and are true deep cycle batteries –  these features combined means most riders will never need to use a battery charger again.

Shorai batteries, have low internal resistances which means a quicker time to charge up and more cranking power available compared to lead acid batteries of the same specification.

Shorai batteries, assuming identical usage patterns, will last at least twice as long as a standard lead acid equivalent, if not longer.

All Shorai LFX batteries are fully built in-house with no outsourced components or assembly, and housed in mil-spec carbon component cases for maximum quality and reliability, a claim no other Lithium battery maker can make.

Not to mention that Shorai is the most widely acclaimed high performance battery and used by more bikes globally than any other high performance Lithium battery brand.

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What makes Shorai LFX superior to other Lithium batteries?

Many other lithium type battery makers exist. Most produce generic lithium ion type batteries, which although small and light, are solely lacking in stored charge and cranking ability, and consequently do not last very long.

While there are other companies now offering Lithium-Iron based powersports batteries, all except Shorai use cylindrical cells originally made for power tool applications. Such cells are inferior to Shorai Prismatic LFX, for several reasons.

First, the cylindrical cells come only in one size, so that the possible shapes and sizes of the starter batteries they make are very limited. As such, battery fit into many vehicles may be poor, or impossible as they are too wide, or too tall. LFX prismatic cells, on the other hand, are rectangular packages which we can freely design and size according to the size requirements of the battery case. As such, Shorai LFX offer perfect drop-in fit in many vehicles and - if the LFX is slightly smaller in one dimension - high-density, adhesive-backed foam shims are included in the package. These can be applied to the battery box in a few minutes, to insure a perfect “as original” fit. No saws, cutting torches, or duct tape required!

Second is the pedigree. While power-tool cells may crank a vehicle successfully, they were not originally intended for the high current discharges in starter systems. As a result, cranking performance suffers compared to Shorai LFX, and the batteries will wear out more per every start. By contrast, Shorai LFX are the result of years of our own research and development, and are designed and produced in our own tightly controlled factory. Shorai LFX have been used in some of the most extreme high-current projects in the world, including autonomous aircraft, boats, and submarines, electromagnetic rail gun research, and more. In short, LFX have been designed from the “ground up’ to be a powersports starter battery with long lifespan and high performance, under a wide range of temperatures.

Then there is quality control. Every Shorai LFX is built in our own ISO 9000:2008 certified factory. The primary cell ingredients are sourced from Taiwan, which allows us to produce the most consistent and reliable cells. Then we do individual cell quality control and matching over a six-week period, for every cell we make. This test period is two to four times longer than typical and is expensive for us. But it is worth it, in terms of product quality in the long run.

Finally, Shorai LFX batteries are the only ones produced exclusively in our own dedicated factory , in large volume, by an experienced production team. The resulting high yields reduces our costs, and the factory-direct connection allows us to offer pricing which is competitive with traditional OEM lead-acid batteries, and lower than any other lithium-based alternative.

All these combine to make Shorai batteries the most respected and most used high performance battery brand in the world. Check out our Reviews section to see what we mean.

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Why are Shorai batteries more expensive than lead acid batteries?

Shorai batteries may appear more expensive than lead acid when viewed purely based on upfront costs. But once you consider the extended service life (see the ‘How long will my Shorai battery last?’ question for more details) and, depending on how often you ride, the immensely reduced hassle of probably not needing to put your battery on a charger to maintain it, on a cost-per-day basis, Shorai LFX batteries are actually highly competitive to lead acid equivalents.

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How does the Shorai LFX “PBeq AHr” capacity rating compare to lead acid AHr ratings?

First, we need to understand that the primary job of a starter battery is to flow a large current (amperage) for a short time, in order to start a vehicle. In order to do that efficiently, the battery must have low internal resistance. Holding all other considerations equal, the larger the battery is in capacity the lower the resistance, and the better able it is to crank a vehicle under high loads.

Lead-acid makers have therefore used AHr (stored charge capacity) ratings as shorthand to indicate cranking ability, rather than a real usable capacity. The lead-acid capacity rating itself is based on a complete discharge at a low discharge rate. Under actual cranking conditions they will deliver considerably less than spec capacity. And because lead-acid batteries begin sulfating when only a small percentage of the capacity has been used, and their internal resistance rises as they are discharged, the actual capacity which can be used may be as little as 20% of the manufacturer rating. Discharge in excess will not only damage the lead-acid battery, it may not allow proper starting as voltage sags.

Shorai LFX batteries are based on a completely different chemistry. Not only do they have less than 1/3 the internal resistance per capacity than do lead-acid, they are also the ultimate "deep-cycle" battery. The internal "completely discharged" capacity of a Shorai LFX is 1/3 the rated "PBeq" capacity. For example, the LFX18 12V series have 6Ah cells internally. But the cells are capable of 80% discharge without damage and while retaining more cranking ability. As such, the usable capacity (or "reserve capacity") of an LFX18 12V battery is on or very near par with 18AHr-rated lead acid batteries, while providing superior cranking performance and a vast reduction in weight. The Shorai PBeq AHr (lead-acid equivalent) rating system therefore allows users to compare a very different technology from lead-acid, but on a close apples-to-apples basis when making a choice.

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How does the Shorai LFX “CCA” cold cranking rating compare to lead acid CCA ratings?

CCA ratings another way that lead acid  battery makers have tried to convey starting power. Unfortunately, their typical spec is based on a "half-nominal-voltage" delivery. That is, at their CCA spec, you can expect 7.2V delivered, at best; and 7.2V isn't useful, as you won't start a vehicle with it.

In any case, CCA ratings aren't about actually drawing that much current from a battery. The typical vehicle which uses a 200A CCA-rated battery, for example, will only draw 45A~80A from the battery. What the CCA rating really intends to convey is how much voltage will be delivered. Higher CCA rated batteries will deliver more voltage at the same actual cranking current. Our LFX are CCA rated to deliver 9V for a 5-second crank at the CCA rated current. (in fact, our average voltage delivered will be even higher during a 30-second crank. But our CCA ratings are intended to indicate not only a measure of voltage at true cranking currents, but also proper usage, which lead-acid do not) At actual cranking currents - which are always well below CCA, LFX deliver up to two volts more than an equivalent-CCA-rated lead acid battery. Current alone won't start anything. It is the current multiplied by voltage that does the work (watts). In reality, this means that you can multiply the LFX CCA rating by 1.5x to compare to a Lead Acid battery CCA. For example, our 270A CCA LFX18 series provides about the same cranking voltage as a 405A-CCA-rated lead acid battery (from a quality lead-acid maker; some CCA specs we've tested on the cheapest lead acid seemed to be plucked from thin air).

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How do I know which battery is suitable for my bike?

There are a few ways to find out.

The first way is to first find out what lead acid battery model is currently in your bike. With that information, you can find out the Ah and CCA rating for that battery. Then visit our site and compare the Ah and CCA ratings of our batteries and choose one that exceeds those ratings.

Then check the dimensions of the battery you have selected and take measurements of your battery box to ensure the battery will fit in your bike.

Consider also your usage pattern (how often you ride and whether you have accessories fitted which draw power when the bike is switched off) before you make your final product decision.

The second way is to use the recommendation widget on the Shorai Global Home Page. Simply select your bike's Make, Model, and Year to get a battery recommendation which should be enough for most users, and have no issues fitting your bike.

Or, if you prefer, the third way is for you to contact us for a product recommendation. Don’t forget to tell us how often you ride and whether you any have constant-draw electronics fitted to your bike so we can give you an accurate recommendation.

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Can I use a higher or lower rated battery than what is recommended for my bike?

We do not recommend using a lower rated battery unless you absolutely need to save every gram of weight, such as in racing applications. Where the user elects to use a battery spec lower than OEM, warranty will not be provided. 

There is no harm, however, in using a higher-than-recommended battery specification, as long as it will fit your bike.

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Recommended for my bike is an 'A' polarity battery, can I use an 'L' polarity battery (or vice versa)?

In most cases, you probably can. The only differences between them is the position of the positive and negative terminals. As such, all it will probably take to use them is to install them facing in the opposite direction. In some cases, you may need to lengthen the cable run so they can reach the battery terminals. If in doubt, contact us for a recommendation.

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How long will my Shorai battery last?

That depends on many factors. Under the worst conditions, a lead acid battery may last only a few weeks and under the best about seven years (top-quality brands with regular use). In between you will find a wide variety of user experiences. Our research indicates an average of about 2 1/2 to 3 years lifespan for lead-acid. Under the same average usage conditions, we expect Shorai LFX to last roughly double, or 5 to 6 years. Under ideal usage and storage conditions, we expect 8 to 10 years to be achievable. Due to their lack of sulfation and slow-self discharge, Shorai LFX increase battery life most for users who sometimes store their vehicles for weeks or months at a time, and don't want to or can't use a battery tender.

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Is there a way to find out what % of charge is remaining on the battery at any point in time?

If you are storing your vehicle and want to check the remaining capacity, or you're a racer with a constant-loss system, you'll want to know how resting voltage (i.e. with no load or load under 200mA) maps to remaining capacity. LFX batteries should be maintained such that 20% capacity remains at minimum, as best practice. Use a good-quality voltmeter to check remaining capacity, and consider recharge whenever the battery capacity falls to about 50% remaining. Of course, if you get the Shorai dedicated BMS01 charger, you can just hit the "Store Mode" button and leave it to do the work for you.

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Can I use regular lead acid battery chargers with Shorai batteries?

Yes. HOWEVER, you may NOT use a charger/tender if it has an automatic "desulfation mode", which cannot be turned off. We have confirmed with Deltran, makers of the "Battery Tender" brand, that their products do NOT have a desulfation mode, and are therefore OK for use with Shorai LFX, for example. But the best possible charger/tender for Shorai LFX is the SHO-BMS01, which uses the 5-pin BMS port in the LFX batteries, in order to monitor, diagnose, and balance the individual cells during charge. And it also has an optimized storage mode that will give the longest possible service life to your LFX. 

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Should I purchase the Shorai SHO-BMS1 Battery Charger?

The short answer is "only if you really need it". Most powersports enthusiasts have gotten used to hooking up a charger to their lead-acid batteries, all the time. Shorai LFX have much slower self-discharge than the best lead acid do (1/6 to 1/7, on average), they do not sulfate as capacity drops, and they are the ultimate "deep cycle" battery, which means that they can still crank your vehicle even if the remaining capacity is quite low. Therefore most riders will not need to use a tender at all.

A fully charged LFX can sit for a year or more and still retain adequate starting capacity, without damaging the battery. As such, any vehicle which has no current flowing when the key is OFF should never need a tender. At most it should be charged every 6 to 12 months, depending on the average storage temperature (cool storage is much better for any battery). Many older vehicles and most dirtbike/atv fall into this category.

Newer vehicles may have a significant draw even when the key is OFF, to maintain clocks and computers, etc. In this case we expect that a few hours of riding per month will be all that is needed to avoid tending. If you know that you will go a number of weeks or months without riding, you can either attach a tender, or disconnect the negative cable from the battery. In any case, during storage you may use the voltage chart above and an accurate voltmeter, and consider recharging when the battery is around the 50% capacity remaining mark, or above.

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Are there any drawbacks to using Shorai LFX batteries?

Shorai batteries may lose some cranking ability in extreme cold conditions. There is a procedure Shorai advises which mitigates this effect. This procedure is only required, however, when temperatures are less than 5 degrees centigrade.

In tropical climates like ours, there are no drawbacks and starting power will not be compromised.

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Are Shorai batteries suitable for other applications?

Shorai batteries are suitable for any application as long as the battery specifications meets your needs. Marine/ATV/Snowmobile applications are all possible. Contact us if you plan on using our products for these applications so we can advise you.

For automotive applications, we have no solid introduction date in mind for automotive versions at this time, nor do we explicitly recommend that our LFX be used in automotive applications, simply because they have not yet been certified internally for that application. Larger capacity Shorai batteries with high current capacity which may be able to meet car electrical demands do exist, however, and we expect car racers to adopt these at their own risk, either as single in small cars or wired in parallel for larger engines.

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I see a Shorai battery on the global website which I want, but you don’t have it for sale on your website?

The Singapore & Malaysian market is relatively small, thus we are unable to offer for sale every battery model. But if you want a battery we don’t stock, we might be able to do a custom order for you. Contact us should you like to make a request.

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