RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

Is That a Shorai Lithium Iron Battery in Your Pocket?

Oct 02, 2013 View Comments by

Is That a Shorai Lithium Iron Battery in Your Pocket?I’m going to out on a limb here and say that pound for pound and dollar for dollar there’s no more cost effective way to reduce the weight of your motorcycle than to get one of these here newfangled lithium iron batteries from Shorai. A Shorai battery shaved over seven pounds from my bike! Seven pounds! That’s about 28 McDonald’s Quarter Pounders, before cooking! Forget the ounces you save upgrading bits and pieces to carbon fiber. Forget titanium this and magnesium that and the helium in your tires. This Shorai is the shortest way to a trimmer, fitter, healthier, and happier you.

The batteries utilize Lithium Iron technology. No, that’s not a typo–iron, not ion. Lithium ion is the kind of battery in your smartphone and laptop. Lithium iron (the cool kids say LiFePO4 or LFP, Lithium Ferro Phosphate) is the stuff in RC cars, electric bikes, and other applications that require faster power delivery and longer lifetimes. And they’re safer to boot (less prone to catching fire if charged too quickly or unevenly).

Installation is a snap, as Shorai provides extra padding to fill out the now empty space in your battery box. Use the padding to snug the battery in place or use the newfound space to store nuts and trail mix; it’s your choice. Hook the battery up like any normal battery (the terminals have threaded holes instead of using those dreadful captive nuts. Hooray!) and away you go. Ken Freund’s got a much more detailed look at new battery technology (including tips on long term storage and charging) in the upcoming Jan/Feb issue. Be sure to check it.

There’s just one problem; nobody will notice. There’s little chance that you’ll pull up to your next bike meet up and have someone ask, “Hey, is that the new Shorai?” The battery, after all, is perhaps the least sexy part of a motorcycle, even less sexy than those rubber drain tubes. Shorai must realize that this is a problem; otherwise they would not have included in the box what may be the largest company sticker in the known universe. This thing is big; you could use it as a bike cover for one of those new Honda Groms. Smaller stickers are included as well for the more modest.

At the end of the day, will saving a few pounds matter on your continent crusher? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure will give bench racers that hidden edge and perhaps compensate for that chromed cup holder you just bought.
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About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.