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dirt dame

Not liking the lithium batteries so far

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So....the 2018 FE 501 that I bought is the first really modern dual sport bike I have owned.  My last DS purchase was the old  07 TE 450, complete with carburetor, kick starter and lead/acid cell battery.  I must say, that in spite of some of that bike's shortcomings, it was a pretty solid, reliable machine for the 11 years, 12,000 miles and 600 hours that I put it through, only leaving me stranded once because of an ignition coil going bad.  I knew that the older it  got, the more there would be a likelihood  of it giving out somewhere out on the trail...so I bought a current machine.  The new FE is lighter, better handling, has lots of power and the suspension, while not perfect, is still pretty good.  And yet, the bike has been somewhat disappointing too.  In the first month, there was loose wire that needed to  be hunted down, that was causing the bike to stop running out in rougher sections, then the meter wasn't sealed very well and water got under  the display cover in the rain and when I washed the bike (and still does).  This last summer, the clutch slave gave out with only 1800 miles on the bike (replaced it with an Oberon).  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to the joys of having a lithium battery take a dump.  The bike started and ran fine the week before....but after driving 130 miles to Big Bear and unloading my bike  to ride with a good friend  that I hadn't seen for almost a year, the fuel pump powered up, I hit the starter button....and the bike got about three revolutions before there was complete silence.  Not much I could do to salvage that situation, so I loaded the bike back up and drove home.  My old bike had a battery go bad on a ride once, but it wasn't much more than a bit of an inconvenience, to use the kick starter to get it going during the course of the day.  All I had to do was spin the motor.  There was no fuel pump or injectors to worry about supplying with electricity.

Apparently, unlike lead/acid batteries, a lithium battery will perform at a certain level and then suddenly just drop off and kick the bucket all at once.  I bought a new lithium battery, a battery tender and a micro starter pack, so that future trips will not be completely ruined by a sudden failure...but I am wondering if a lead/acid battery would be a good idea, since they will go down at a slower rate and give a bit of a warning before they go bad.

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Does your FE have a kick start option?  I always felt a little weird having the magic button on my XR and no kick starter, but I knew I could bump it (I have changed that over to a lithium battery and have not had it fail yet).  I am not sure if my 500 has a kick start option (seems I read somewhere that it did); might look into that after reading this.

Sucks that it ruined your weekend :(

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12 minutes ago, simicrintz said:

Does your FE have a kick start option?  I always felt a little weird having the magic button on my XR and no kick starter, but I knew I could bump it (I have changed that over to a lithium battery and have not had it fail yet).  I am not sure if my 500 has a kick start option (seems I read somewhere that it did); might look into that after reading this.

Sucks that it ruined your weekend :(

Not sure if you can add one or not.  Probably not a low bucks modification, if possible.  I suppose if I was heavy enough, and had a long enough, steep enough incline with lots of traction, it might be possible to bump start the FE.  Somebody on the Husky website claims that they were able to bump start theirs.  Not sure if I believe it though.

My bike certainly looks like it could have a kicker mod.....

46510301204_d09d65a67a_o.jpg

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Thought I read somewhere that once the battery dies a bump start will not happen as there is no power available to get the electronics going (if I am incorrect someone please let me know and I will delete this!).  It certainly does look like you have the possibility of adding a kick starter (and I agree-it probably ain't cheap if so!).

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14 minutes ago, simicrintz said:

Thought I read somewhere that once the battery dies a bump start will not happen as there is no power available to get the electronics going (if I am incorrect someone please let me know and I will delete this!).  It certainly does look like you have the possibility of adding a kick starter (and I agree-it probably ain't cheap if so!).

Yeah....pretty sure that guy on the other forum was full of sheepdip about being able to bump start his.

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Both of your bikes have the option to add a kick starter. I don't even think it's that expensive, although that is a relative statement.

There is no reason you shouldn't be able to bump start your 500. I'm not sure why you think it's difficult? As long as you have some voltage, to start the fuel pump, you should be able to. And since the bike did turn over, it seems like bumping it was an option. Just about any bike can be bump started...I bump started a BMW R1200RT last weekend with the help of a friend.

As far as the main question about the Lithium battery, I have mixed opinions about them. The best thing about them is the weight savings. If you don't really care about that, I would suggest you seriously consider going back to lead acid. I'm considering it myself. Mainly, because lead acid batteries work better in the mountains and lower temps, although they have their limitation too.

 

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1 hour ago, dirt dame said:

So....the 2018 FE 501 that I bought is the first really modern dual sport bike I have owned.  My last DS purchase was the old  07 TE 450, complete with carburetor, kick starter and lead/acid cell battery.  I must say, that in spite of some of that bike's shortcomings, it was a pretty solid, reliable machine for the 11 years, 12,000 miles and 600 hours that I put it through, only leaving me stranded once because of an ignition coil going bad.  I knew that the older it  got, the more there would be a likelihood  of it giving out somewhere out on the trail...so I bought a current machine.  The new FE is lighter, better handling, has lots of power and the suspension, while not perfect, is still pretty good.  And yet, the bike has been somewhat disappointing too.  In the first month, there was loose wire that needed to  be hunted down, that was causing the bike to stop running out in rougher sections, then the meter wasn't sealed very well and water got under  the display cover in the rain and when I washed the bike (and still does).  This last summer, the clutch slave gave out with only 1800 miles on the bike (replaced it with an Oberon).  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to the joys of having a lithium battery take a dump.  The bike started and ran fine the week before....but after driving 130 miles to Big Bear and unloading my bike  to ride with a good friend  that I hadn't seen for almost a year, the fuel pump powered up, I hit the starter button....and the bike got about three revolutions before there was complete silence.  Not much I could do to salvage that situation, so I loaded the bike back up and drove home.  My old bike had a battery go bad on a ride once, but it wasn't much more than a bit of an inconvenience, to use the kick starter to get it going during the course of the day.  All I had to do was spin the motor.  There was no fuel pump or injectors to worry about supplying with electricity.

Apparently, unlike lead/acid batteries, a lithium battery will perform at a certain level and then suddenly just drop off and kick the bucket all at once.  I bought a new lithium battery, a battery tender and a micro starter pack, so that future trips will not be completely ruined by a sudden failure...but I am wondering if a lead/acid battery would be a good idea, since they will go down at a slower rate and give a bit of a warning before they go bad.

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Yuasa YUAM32X5B YTX5L-BS Battery 

$39.00 Amazon Prime free shipping. Replace mine in the 450 exc every other year just because. Starts well in cold temps! If I don't fill my water bladder to the very top...this battery is the same weight as the lithium model...go figure? 

 

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8 hours ago, Bagstr said:

 

I installed one of these.  It gives me some piece of mind. BlueTooth to phone for easy status check or crank test.

 I looked at a lot of options,  including the Antigravity battery that has the emergency "jumpstart" button on it, but decided on the micro start, because it is so versatile and can be used on everything, including trucks (non diesel), as it has a 300 amp capacity.  The battery that I bought has a LED gauge on the top, just press the button and the little lights tell you how much juice you have.

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8 hours ago, SoCalMule said:

Yuasa YUAM32X5B YTX5L-BS Battery 

$39.00 Amazon Prime free shipping. Replace mine in the 450 exc every other year just because. Starts well in cold temps! If I don't fill my water bladder to the very top...this battery is the same weight as the lithium model...go figure? 

 

Plenty of lead/acid batteries available for under 40 bucks on the market.  I will probably get one instead of a lithium, next time around.

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I added a kick starter kit to the '17 five-hundo EXC-F...have not had to use it yet(as I knock on wood). :confused: Can't bump start the five-hundo because it's running a Recluse.:coolio:

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On the 13-17(?) and maybe more KTM EXC, the bike will not run/start without a battery- no jumpstart, no kickstarting, nothing. One can wire up a (fairly small) capacitor in parallel with the battery that will allow the bump/kick start.

 

XCW didn't have that problem.
 

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1 minute ago, Dress4Less said:

I added a kick starter kit to the '17 five-hundo EXC-F...have not had to use it yet(as I knock on wood). :confused: Can't bump start the five-hundo because it's running a Recluse.:coolio:

Not true, Señor!

 

Modern Rekluses are controlled by the slave cylinder- two or three turns of the adjustment screw (Allen head on the side of the case) returns the clutch to fully manual.

BUT! If the battery is dead enough, all the kicking in the world will not allow it to run. Needs the Magic Capacitor.

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1 minute ago, paulmbowers said:

Not true, Señor!

 

Modern Rekluses are controlled by the slave cylinder- two or three turns of the adjustment screw (Allen head on the side of the case) returns the clutch to fully manual.

BUT! If the battery is dead enough, all the kicking in the world will not allow it to run. Needs the Magic Capacitor.

Did not know this Paul...I will need to do some homework...;)

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Just now, Dress4Less said:

Did not know this Paul...I will need to do some homework...;)

Did this on my bike work perfect

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33 minutes ago, paulmbowers said:

On the 13-17(?) and maybe more KTM EXC, the bike will not run/start without a battery- no jumpstart, no kickstarting, nothing. One can wire up a (fairly small) capacitor in parallel with the battery that will allow the bump/kick start.

So what would be the purpose of the kickstarter option then?  And if you buy one does it include info about adding a capacitor or are folks just supposed to figure that out on their own (probably after the battery fails and they kick until they are blue in the face)?  

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Purpose of kick is to have the option, system needs very low battery voltage to fire up ignition and fuel pump so u can kick it over. 

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A battery that doesn’t have enough juice to start the bike will still allow it to run.  A completely dead battery (zero volts) will not.  The kick starter would salvage a riding day due to a situation like Mimi had. I would rather kick start and ride than load up and go home.  

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1 hour ago, Bp619 said:

Purpose of kick is to have the option, system needs very low battery voltage to fire up ignition and fuel pump so u can kick it over. 

 

I don't know about Mimi's bike, but on my EXC once the voltage gets low enough (like zero) even a kickstarter won't help.You can kick all day long, you can tow it behind an airplane, and it will not start.

 

1 hour ago, simicrintz said:

So what would be the purpose of the kickstarter option then?  And if you buy one does it include info about adding a capacitor or are folks just supposed to figure that out on their own (probably after the battery fails and they kick until they are blue in the face)?  

 

The kickstarter works great on a low-voltage situation- like leaving electronics on for too long, and have an otherwise healthy battery dip below cranking voltage. A quick kick and you're on your way again, the bike charging the battery back up.

 

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4 hours ago, paulmbowers said:

The kickstarter works great on a low-voltage situation- like leaving electronics on for too long, and have an otherwise healthy battery dip below cranking voltage. A quick kick and you're on your way again, the bike charging the battery back up.

But not on a 100% dead battery.  Sounds like the kick start option still has value, but that some sort of "auxiliary juice" would be worth considering as well.

Stupid question (did not Google before asking!): could you jump start a bike with a LI battery with another bike?  Could you pull someone else's battery, start your bike and remove the other guys/gals battery and still keep the bike running?  Or does it not jump like a normal battery or run without the battery inline (once removed)?  It almost seems like a short set of cables (if they can be jumped) might make sense to have in a pack.

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Bike will not stay running with battery disconnected. Out at McCain I saw these guys jumpstart their ktm 350exc from another ktm with a super thin like 14gauge speaker wire. Will be carrying in my pack just like 2ft section

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14 minutes ago, simicrintz said:

Could you pull someone else's battery, start your bike and remove the other guys/gals battery and still keep the bike running?

 

Once the battery is disconnected, it stops running.  Been there, done that with a bad ground wire.

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I'm not 100% certain but jump starting a lithium battery would make me pretty nervous. Lithium batteries are capable of discharging at some seriously high amperage rates. Not sure what would happen if you connect a charged one to a dead one without some form of regulation\current limit? In theory it could burst into flames.   Meanwhile I dredged up a link to an old thread from another forum where we discussed the capacitor solution. Remember this thread Paul?

https://ktmtalk.com/showthread.php?494108-Shorted-Battery-Scenario-on-an-EXC/page7

Post 66 on page 7 is where I documented my capacitor set up. If you're really bored you can read the whole thing - 15 pages :). Lithium's are great batteries but they do have a few caveats. One is that they will not tolerate being deeply discharged. Unlike a lead acid battery they will not recover most of the time. Secondly they go into a very high resistance state when fully discharged hence will not provide the needed capacitance\filtering needed to get enough juice to run the fuel pump. The capacitor solves that.

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