Best Motorcycle Battery: Lithium Motorcycle Batteries
Have you ever wondered why the cell phone in your pocket or the laptop or tablet you own use small, light, modern lithium power cells, while your bike still carries around a big, heavy, antiquated lead-acid battery? It’s odd that, with all the thought motorcycle engineers put into designing high-performance bikes, utilizing cutting-edge technology and lightweight materials, they still all use a clunky block of acid and lead to fire them up.
Lead-acid batteries were invented in 1859, and the technology hasn’t changed much in the last 150 years. They are still big and heavy, and in the world of motorcycle performance, big and heavy are two things we strive to avoid. This choice is cost-effective to vehicle manufacturers. But for the true motorcycle enthusiast, it really creates a huge gap in the performance of not only your ignition system, but of your bike’s performance all around.
Luckily, it’s a shortcoming that is easily fixed, by replacing your OEM unit with an ultra-light and powerful lithium (technically, lithium iron phosphate) battery. This simple, drop-in upgrade will radically improve not only the way your bike fires up and retains a charge, but how it handles all around as well.
Batteries for the Digital Age
In terms of sheer battery performance, lithium is an improvement over lead-acid in every way. Lithium batteries are approximately 80% lighter than their OEM counterparts, hold more power, and store long-term with virtually no maintenance. They have a remarkably low self-discharge rate; months without a battery tender is no problem. And in the event they do lose their charge, they also recharge many times faster than their lead-acid counterparts. But that’s not the real fun stuff. For the serious rider, the real bonus is the dramatic weight savings these batteries offer, and the way it translates to performance on the road.
Lithium Battery Brands
Several companies have been instrumental in driving lithium battery technology to the motorcycle aftermarket. One of the leading names in the industry is Japanese manufacturer Shorai.
Ballistic Performance Components
Another one of our favorites is Ballistic Performance. Assembled by hand in the USA and carrying an industry-leading 3-year warranty, Ballistic boasts exceptional shelf life, with only a 10% total charge loss over 12 months of static use. Ballistic’s distinctive bright red cells also ship in a foam carrier that can be trimmed to ensure a precise fit in your bike, and their completely “dry” technology allows the battery to be installed any direction, perfect for custom applications.
Western Power Sports
Another uniquely featured entry to the market is the Western Power Sports Featherweight lithium battery. They’ve incorporated an innovative onboard LED test gauge to display your charge instantly, a feature that I really like. And if it does lose its juice, they claim an incredible 90% recharge in only 6 minutes!