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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shorai Lithium Battery

My VFR didn't need a new battery but it was treated to a new one last night. My friend Rob needed a new battery for his R1200GSA and I recommended that he check out Shorai.

 I found out about Shorai a few years ago and I've followed their product with keen interest. Their Lithium Iron technology would seem to address all of the shortcomings of a traditional lead-acid motorcycle battery. They're smaller, MUCH lighter, hold a charge better, and are more environmentally friendly.

Being ordered up Shorai LFX battery for his BMW, and being as thoughtful as he is, ordered one for my VFR as well and surprised me with it last night. He ordered direct from Shorai USA and they had the package shipped from their California distribution centre to his doorstep here in Airdrie Alberta barely 24 hours later. 

Installation was simple but not completely straightforward.

Here's how my standard battery sat with a trickle charger hooked up. The Shorai won't need this type of mainenance.

One could easily be fooled into thinking the box was empty.

The Shorai is so light that it feels toy-like compared to the standard battery.

The BS12 battery that Shorai recommends for the VFR is 2mm narrower, 5mm shorter, and 21mm thinner than the Yuasa 14S it replaced. It weighs 960 grams to the Yuasa's 3900 grams. It has a higher capacity and higher cold cranking amp rating.

Shorai supplies a large assortment of adhesive-backed foam spacers for a snug fit. I stuck a 1" thick strip to the bottom of the battery tray, a small 5mm thick strip to the bottom of the battery (it mounts on its side) and another small 5mm strip to the side of the battery. Ideally the foam should be placed in the tray rather than on the battery itself but the tray in the VFR is more of a basket and doesn't have enough surface to stick it to.

A thoughtful touch: Shorai sticks the mounting nuts to a little chunk of foam so they sit nicely in place to thread the bolts.

The positive wire crimp on the VFR has a complex shape designed specifically for the OEM Yuasa battery post. The casing of the Shorai battery interfered with the crimp so I had to add a spacer. Rob's battery came with a 90 degree threaded spacer which I bolted perpendicular in the post. Then I bolted the wire to the spacer. It sits up about 5mm higher than the original arrangement but doesn't interfere with the seat. I could easily lower it by using a thinner foam spacer under the battery.

Will I be able to feel the difference in weight? Maybe... but doubtful. I suppose in side-to-side transitions there will now be almost 7 fewer pounds to throw back and forth. Regardless, the maintenance benefits make it worthwhile.


  1. Shorai is on sale in Europe. I wonder what you paid for this battery. The Shorai company has his head office in Norway for Europe and they ask 1459 kr. = +-€195 for the LFX 18A1 -BS12

  2. Our Motorcycle club "Red Hot Riders" had the Shorai founder at one of our meetings. This battery has an amazing lightness and does not loose power over time! Awesome product!