Lithium Battery Guide Do’s and Dont’s

Save yourself time, stress and money before swapping out your standard battery for a lithium. The pros of a lithium are numerous, but use it incorrectly and you can pay the price.

It only takes a couple of minutes.

It is imperative that you take the time to read this information, as many people think that swapping out a conventional battery on their bike for a small lighter Lithium battery is a simple procedure. There are several pitfalls that can occur, the main being you are out of pocket as you will need a new battery.

PLEASE read everything below to save yourself time and money in the future.

Almost all failures of lithium batteries are caused by ‘User Error’.

Notably the user not reading the instruction manual and fully understanding the product

 

The prevention of overcharging and over discharging of lithium batteries is totally the responsibility of the owner/purchaser and failure to do so is NOT covered by the guarantee.

For bikes built before the mid-1990’s and cars with dynamos/generators and/or with external voltage regulators. You MUST change the voltage regulator to a new modern electronic type as a current spike or momentary overcharge WILL damage the battery.

If your vehicle has a Parasitic Drain (see details on parasitic drain below) you MUST keep the vehicle on a lithium specific battery charger/maintainer such as the OptiMATE TM470 when not riding/driving it.

If you are in the process of building the vehicle you should only fit and use the lithium battery when the build is finished. All testing should be used with a slave or spare battery ideally a non-lithium battery as testing and maintenance work will involve a draw of current from the battery.

NEVER leave lights, ignition or any other electrical components on without the vehicle running.

NEVER let the lithium battery voltage drop below 11.5v or it may refuse to accept or retain a charge (This is not the fault of the battery, it is merely one of the characteristics of lithium and is NOT covered by the warranty) The use of a state charger such as the OptiMATE TS126 will help to easily monitor the battery charge capacity as well as its voltage

Please ensure that the battery you choose is a suitable size and capacity for your vehicle. Correct selection is your responsibility. If you are unsure ASK.

If you are unfamiliar with lithium batteries or the way they work, how and why they differ from conventional batteries or do not understand any of the above points please contact us with any questions you may have.

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NEVER charge a lithium battery with a standard Lead/Acid / Gel charger. Irreversable damage WILL occur.

Batteries fitted onto vehicles using a total loss system (no means of on vehicle charging) are not covered by the guarantee NO Exceptions

 If your lithium battery charge is below 11.5 volts – YOU WILL DAMAGE IT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 If your battery overcharges above 14.5 volts  (even momentarily) it will be damaged. Prolonged overcharging  (even for a few minutes) could result in fire, explosion and or personal injury.

 

 

 

Parastitic Drain

 

A parasitic battery drain is when abnormal and continuous discharge of power occurs after having shut off the engine. Usually, this is caused by a short circuit or an electrical device that remains in the “on” position or energized, such as:

 

  • A GPS or Tracking Device
  • An Alarm or Immobaliser
  • A switch
  • A computer module
  • An unknown electrical fault

Overcharging

 

Overcharging a Lithium Battery can occur if the alternator on your bike produces more volts than the battery is designed to hold. This can be more common in older bikes, so it is essential to check the voltage of your bike.

Over-Discharging

 

Over-discharging can occur when you have a parasitic drain on your bike ie: if you have a tracker fitted that runs off the battery. If you go for periods without using the bike or without charging the battery, the tracker will be constantly drawing on the batteries power. If the batteries voltage falls below 11.5V you run the risk of over discharge and the battery may not be able to be recovered.

Another example of over-discharge is repeatedly attempting to start the engine. If you have the correct battery the engine (if the engine is set up correctly) should start the 1st or 2nd time. If you repeatedly try to start the engine this can cause an over-discharge, as unlike a conventional battery which keeps going until it runs out of power, a lithium will keep going giving full power until it drops below 11.5v, then that’s it. Unlike a conventional battery which can be recharged, a lithium may not be able to recover.

TOP TIP: If your bike does not like cold / winter starts, turn your headlights on for a few seconds first. This will draw a little heat into the lithium battery. Turn off lights then attempt to start the bike.

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