Shorai LFX Lithium-Iron Phosphate Batteries

Founded in 2010, Shorai was one of the earliest manufacturers of lithium powersports batteries. Shorai has since established itself as a major player thanks to its proprietary lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells. MO first tested Shorai’s LFX in 2011, and it impressed us enough to give it an honorable mention for that year’s MOBO awards for the Best New Product category.

Shorai LFX batteries typically weigh significantly less than lead acid-based batteries. For example, a 2015 Honda CBR1000RR’s stock battery is the Yuasa YTZ10S-D which weighs a claimed 7 pounds. The Shorai replacement would be the LFX19A4-BS12 which claims a weight of just 2.45 pounds. That’s a 65% weight savings in a single component.

The weight savings are possible because lithium is the lightest mineral on earth, while also capable of storing a large amount of energy. This translates to a very high energy density, allowing for larger capacities without adding excessive weight.

Of course, the weight savings is only one benefit. Shorai LFX batteries have less than ⅓ the internal resistance per capacity than lead acid batteries, resulting in a quicker charge time and more available cranking power. LFX batteries operate at a higher voltage compared to an equivalent lead acid battery, and are able to consistently deliver that full voltage until it is fully discharged.

Shorai’s batteries have a higher Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating than lead acid batteries. CCA rates the number of amps a battery can deliver for 30 seconds while maintaining steady with at least 7.2V. For that CBR1000RR battery example above, the LFX’s CAA rating is 285 compared to just 190 for the Yuasa. And that’s just at the 7.2V standard. Shorai says its batteries can reliably deliver 9V over five seconds, and even higher over a 30-second crank.

Lithium-iron batteries are also more efficient than lead acid batteries, lasting much longer than lead acid batteries, while requiring little in the way of maintenance. They also do not sulfate, so there are no issues with chemical degradation.

Assuming similar usage patterns, Shorai claims its LFX batteries will last at least twice as long as a standard lead acid equivalent. Your usage may vary, but for a lot of people, the Shorai LFX’s longevity can more than make up for the additional price difference.

Shorai’s LFX batteries use prismatic cells which are rectangular in shape, making them easier to package. Shorai can thus produce LFX batteries in a number of shapes and sizes to fit different battery cases. Each Shorai LFX battery comes with high-density, adhesive-backed foam shims in the package to help ensure a snug fit.

This Shorai LFX battery is significantly smaller than the stock lead acid battery it replaces.

Each Shorai LFX battery is equipped with a battery management system (BMS) which helps balance discharging and recharging loads, preventing the battery from overheating. The BMS also prevents the LFX from discharging to a point that would prevent it from being able to recharge.

Shorai batteries are compatible with lead acid battery chargers, so long as they don’t have an automatic desulfation mode or a similar repair or reconditioning mode that cannot be turned off. Shorai also recommends that lead acid tenders and chargers be disconnected once the LFX is fully charged. Of course, Shorai recommends its own proprietary charger as it helps to monitor and balance individual cells during charging, helping optimize the battery and prolong its service life.

Shorai currently offers 23 different batteries, in both 12- and 6-Volt, with a range of different capacities, case sizes and left or right polarities. Shorai’s website has a handy battery finder tool to help pick out the right LFX for a particular motorcycle.

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