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Old 02-21-2013, 02:30 AM   #16
Krono
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
I have tested the crap out of Antigravity batteries, go to this thread if you like to read a lot, look at graphs and watch videos http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770364

If you don't like to read a lot, the Antigravity batteries passed all my tests with flying colors, absolutely crushed Shorai, as well as outperforming AGM's from DEKA and Yuasa.

Since starting that thread and conducting all the tests, I brought Antigravity batteries into my dealership and have yet to see a single unit fail.

I JUST got in an earthX battery and have just begun testing it the same as all previous batteries and so far, I LIKE them, but it will be a while before I recommend for or against them.

I have never heard of Pulse1, but may check into them.

Although I am currently a motorcycle dealer service manager, I used to be a licensed industrial electrician and have been obsessed with batteries since I was a small child :)

Any of the earthX and Antigravity sizes you listed will start your bike, but the Antigravity 8 or 12 cell and earthX 12 will give you more head room for colder temperatures and longer stronger cranking if your KTM gets sickly some day.
As you seem to know well and advise for Antigravity batteries, may I ask you a couple questions ?

I can presume cells used in Antigravity batteries are A123/26650 units, right ?

And does they have a BMS (Battery Managment System) inside (kind of a balancer) ? If not, does they need to be balanced with a suitable charger on a regular basis ?

Thanks

L
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:38 AM   #17
JoelWisman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krono View Post
As you seem to know well and advise for Antigravity batteries, may I ask you a couple questions ?

I can presume cells used in Antigravity batteries are A123/26650 units, right ?

And does they have a BMS (Battery Managment System) inside (kind of a balancer) ? If not, does they need to be balanced with a suitable charger on a regular basis ?

Thanks

L
No, Antigravity batteries do not have any form of BMS in their batteries. What they do have is very well balanced A123 cells inside I have a couple Antigravity batteries that I have cut the tops off of after torture testing and running for many thousands of miles and after capacity testing by drawing the batteries all the way down to 1% SOC, all cells were within 1/2 of 1% in balance.

It could be that as these batteries get 3 and 4 years old balance could shorten their life. On the other hand cells in parallel seldom get out of balance and as for the series of 4 that all powersports LiFePO4 batteries have, they do experience a slight top balancing effect when charged tho above 14.5 volts as measured and proven by me.

Thats pretty technical if you dont have a background in batteries and electronics lol

The short, It hasn't been a problem so far with super high quality A123 cells. It may be in the future as the batteries get old or in some applications where do to position in the bike one part of the battery gets hotter then others.

I wouldn't worry to much about it with Antigravity, at least not for the first 2 years and quite possibly never.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #18
crypto666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krono View Post
As you seem to know well and advise for Antigravity batteries, may I ask you a couple questions ?

I can presume cells used in Antigravity batteries are A123/26650 units, right ?

And does they have a BMS (Battery Managment System) inside (kind of a balancer) ? If not, does they need to be balanced with a suitable charger on a regular basis ?

Thanks

L

Under normal use, the batteries will spend most of their time fully charged, and thus should not need regular balancing.

I have tested mine after several months and found no out of balance cells.

And while some people like to take credit for the balancing effects of peak charging, solar systems have used the same principal for years; known as equilize(ing) voltage.

I am now seeing A123 cells for >$5 a piece.

You can now build a $100 battery for about $25, and yes you can solder them just fine with a skill level slightly above average and not do damage.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #19
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Crypto666,

If your seeing a123 branded ANR26650 cells for $5 apiece, then what you are seing is Chinese made junk that has a fraudulent label slapped on them and will fail in short order.


Its also possible you are seing a123 ANR18650 cells for that price but that is a way smaller cell then power sports manufactures are using and you would have to parallel a bunch of them bedsore achieving enough current capacity to start a bike.

Powersports battery manufactures are using 4 or more $9-11 a123 ANR26650 cells which the good manufactures have tested and matched before strapping together with a stout buss, welded not soldered to the batteries and then run to large and secure lugs, all packaged into an absolutely waterproof case and potted the cells themselves into RTV or some other substance to keep the cells from rattling around and reduce the odds a cell will melt through the case and set your bike on fire should something go wrong.

Add to that some margin to cover insurance as well as other costs and profit for themselves and the retailer and I don't think it is highway robbery.

If you consider time spent personally sourcing and assembling cells into a battery to have no value and aren't interested in a warranty then yes, you can build your own battery and save money but unless you also build a solid case you are asking to have your bike burn down.

Don't believe me? I have a bunch of pictures of burned up bikes from people on this forum who built their own inprotected batteries or bought ones packaged in shrink wrap.

BUT for re batterying things like power tools, and truly have a line on non fake a123 ANR26650 cells, please please post a link as I and others could use some.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #20
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I have tried the cheap chinese cells, and yes, they go quickly.

The cells I have seen are shipped from china, so they could be rebrands or some sort of rip off, but the rc guys I see buying them have no compaints and they are way more critical over battery performance than any mc owner. And they are happy to include the charge/discharge curves to prove their point.


I have never heard of a battery fire from LiFe chemistry, plenty of LiPo though. Having abused LiFe cells repeatedly, I have zero concern over fire.

You can say whatever you want to convince me that I need to buy my battteries preassembled or else my bike will burn down, but experience tells me different. I was trying to convince inmate Burpsa the same thing a couple years ago.

BTW, it looks like a123 may not be the brand anymore. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1802504

http://stores.ebay.com/OMG-Battery/A....c0.m322&gbr=1



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Crypto666,

If your seeing a123 branded ANR26650 cells for $5 apiece, then what you are seing is Chinese made junk that has a fraudulent label slapped on them and will fail in short order.


Its also possible you are seing a123 ANR18650 cells for that price but that is a way smaller cell then power sports manufactures are using and you would have to parallel a bunch of them bedsore achieving enough current capacity to start a bike.

Powersports battery manufactures are using 4 or more $9-11 a123 ANR26650 cells which the good manufactures have tested and matched before strapping together with a stout buss, welded not soldered to the batteries and then run to large and secure lugs, all packaged into an absolutely waterproof case and potted the cells themselves into RTV or some other substance to keep the cells from rattling around and reduce the odds a cell will melt through the case and set your bike on fire should something go wrong.

Add to that some margin to cover insurance as well as other costs and profit for themselves and the retailer and I don't think it is highway robbery.

If you consider time spent personally sourcing and assembling cells into a battery to have no value and aren't interested in a warranty then yes, you can build your own battery and save money but unless you also build a solid case you are asking to have your bike burn down.

Don't believe me? I have a bunch of pictures of burned up bikes from people on this forum who built their own inprotected batteries or bought ones packaged in shrink wrap.

BUT for re batterying things like power tools, and truly have a line on non fake a123 ANR26650 cells, please please post a link as I and others could use some.

crypto666 screwed with this post 03-04-2013 at 03:09 PM
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:41 PM   #21
JoelWisman
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Crypto666, I don't want to convince you of anything.

A note for others: the cells linked above are shipped from china and the label is off. Common counterfeit, and still $8 a cell when you buy bulk of 100 at a time.

a123 26650 cells cost a lot more then $5 dollars if they are real.

I have a lot of respect for the RC guys and some are having luck with some Chinese cells, but the difference in usage is like going by a model train forum and thinking "hey, I wonder if that model train wheel bearing would work good on my bike?"

RC guys discharge their batteries at 3-10 c. That means they will draw current at a rate of 6.9 amps to 23 amps continuously from a 2.3AH battery.

Powersports duty demands 20-30c for brief periods. It's totally different usages profiles.

What's caused fires for a number of build-your-own folks on this very forum is the battery being shorted, usually near the positive tip and body where each cell has a 1/16" gap between the tip and negatively charged cylinder. People install shrink wrap batteries without a heavy protective case and they rub on something and short out.

If anyone thinks a short circuited LiFePO4 battery won't get hot enough to set so rounding plastic on fire I strongly advise you think again.


Anyway, I'm not saying someone can't build their own battery, I'm just saying it won't save that much if you build it from components that will last and can be dangerous.

That's all. No government conspiracy or attempts at mind control :)
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
I have tested the crap out of Antigravity batteries, go to this thread if you like to read a lot, look at graphs and watch videos http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770364

If you don't like to read a lot, the Antigravity batteries passed all my tests with flying colors, absolutely crushed Shorai, as well as outperforming AGM's from DEKA and Yuasa.

Since starting that thread and conducting all the tests, I brought Antigravity batteries into my dealership and have yet to see a single unit fail.

I JUST got in an earthX battery and have just begun testing it the same as all previous batteries and so far, I LIKE them, but it will be a while before I recommend for or against them.
so far Antigravity and Earth-X seems to be top of the heap with Earth-X still needing to prove itself for long term.

A good part of reason why Joel has no come backs with Antigravity is all his installed batteries are correctly sized. on top of Antigravity putting out a quality product of course.

IMHO a good part of LiFePO4 battery failures can be traced to undersizing recommended battery by mfg.

Joel we need a chart from you indicating size of battery for which bike for:

1. Starbuck duties
2. Adventure bike duties to parts unknown
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:12 AM   #23
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I purchased a new EarthX battery for my 91 883 Sportster on 8/20/2013. On 9/1/2013 I rode it to work, and it started and ran fine. When I got ready to ride home, it had discharged almost completely, showing only a faint glow in the headlight and instrument lights, and would not even click the starter.

Although earlier Sportsters and other motorcycles had/have kickstarters, my 91 doesn't, so I pushed the motorcycle to start the engine and rode it home, a distance of about 8 miles. During the ride, the lights were working and turn signals operated properly, however when I pulled into the driveway and shut the engine off, the battery would not restart the warm engine, would not even turn it over. The battery was very warm to the touch and the plastic case as soft and melted on the bottom and ends.

I think I came very close to having a fire or possibly an explosion under my seat. I did like the much lighter weight, but I'm not terribly impressed with the battery or its cell management system.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post
I purchased a new EarthX battery for my 91 883 Sportster on 8/20/2013. On 9/1/2013 I rode it to work, and it started and ran fine. When I got ready to ride home, it had discharged almost completely, showing only a faint glow in the headlight and instrument lights, and would not even click the starter.

Although earlier Sportsters and other motorcycles had/have kickstarters, my 91 doesn't, so I pushed the motorcycle to start the engine and rode it home, a distance of about 8 miles. During the ride, the lights were working and turn signals operated properly, however when I pulled into the driveway and shut the engine off, the battery would not restart the warm engine, would not even turn it over. The battery was very warm to the touch and the plastic case as soft and melted on the bottom and ends.

I think I came very close to having a fire or possibly an explosion under my seat. I did like the much lighter weight, but I'm not terribly impressed with the battery or its cell management system.
which model EarthX battery did you install in your 883?

internal BMS are not designed to to prevent large currents from flowing out of battery or it would defeat purpose of battery. which is to start your bike under huge current loads. depending on size of bike and temperature. a motorcycle can draw from 75amp to 250amp+ continuous under a long crank.

LiFePO4 batteries with cell balancing operate by shunting off a tiny bit of current for each cell, allowing weaker cells to catch up keeping cells balanced.

LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries has to be wildly abused to catch on fire. like say subjecting battery to 39v for extended time periods at 30amps ... I'm not aware of any 12v LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries exploding. LiFePO4 are inherently stable and the safest of all li-ion batteries.

12v LiFePO4 battery with internal cell balancing will reach full charge at 14.6v .. then slowly settle down to 13.75v range.

new EarthX LiFePO4 with overcharge and under discharge protections using MOSFETs are set to disconnect main buss by voltage, not current ... or there's no way LiFePO4 battery could deliver the 20-30C amp loads necessary to start your motorcycle.

any battery not just LiFePO4, if allowed to discharge too low to dead. depending on how long battery stays totally discharged. it could permanently kill battery.

obviously something strange is going on for your new EarthX battery to have melted. please send that battery back to EarthX. I'd be real surprise if they don't immediately warranty battery.

one of the most common problems seen with motorcycle LiFePO4 failure is when folks try to start their cars. result will be melted main buss. Full sized cars can draw currents way excess of what amp loads motorcycle batteries are designed to handle.

Lithium batteries have a very low internal resistance. this means all li-ion batteries will discharge at extremely high discharge rates. internal battery straps that goes into main buss will melt under excess discharge currents.

after you put your old lead acid battery back in .. please measure voltage at battery when engine is rev'd to mid rpm. this will tell if your charging system is putting out normal voltage range.

another very important thing to check for is .. dead short from grounding positive terminal. LiFePO4 batteries are typically tiny .. much smaller than PB .. this means new battery has to be mounted solidly without using OEM battery tie downs.

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Old 09-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #25
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Unlike lead/acid batteries which can discharge hydrogen gas and explode, LiFePO4 batteries can not explode as there is nothing explosive in them. LiFePO4 cylindrical cells can burst, but it isn't anything like an actual explosion and won't damage near by things.

In any case, all but the smallest EarthX batteries use pouch cells that can't even build up pressure.

LiFePO4 batteries CAN start fires though its rare and not nearly as exciting as LIPo batteries such as are in laptops and cell phones.

The difference between the plastic case melting and ignition is about 600 degrees F, so baring signs of the case being crispy and charred, you may have been very far from the battery catching fire.

One thing I do like about Antigravity batteries is the cells are potted into the case with high temperature silicone to prevent melting through the case under even the worse case scenario, which is not the case with EarthX. On the other hand EarthX batteries are lighter then Antigravity batteries and the lack of RTV potting is one reason why.

One of two things likely happened:

1: your bike has a big constant draw or the key or an accessory was left on. This would drain the battery to a damaging low level. Both Lead/acid and LiFePO4 batteries are always damaged by being drained excessively low, but in the case of LiFePO4 the damage is usually more severe and requires a special super low charge rate to recover, if they even can be recovered.

When you push started your bike, your charging system started charging the battery at maximum speed. This will nearly always cause a LiFePO4 battery to rapidly fail, and if not potted or protected in some other way, melt the battery case.

2: the battery had an internal defect in a cell OR the protection circuit, drained itself, and as above, melted down from rapidly charging.

If a LiFePO4 battery is excessively discharged it really should be recharged on a special LiFePO4 charger with a special recovery program. Optimate makes the only consumer charger with this feature that I am aware of.

If your in BFE or really must ride, the best odds of push charging and NOT melting the battery down can be achieved by push starting the bike and then turning every accessory on AND leaving the bike just idling for at least 20 minutes. Kinda hard to do if the bike is air cooled but at least idle it some and switch every accessory on / keep the revs as low as possible. What all the above does is keeps the recharge rate as low as possible but is still a poor replacement for a dedicated charger with a recovery cycle.

I have torture tested a lot of brands of LiFePO4 batteries and would LOVE to autopsy that battery. You can see some of my testing if I can figure out how to link to my YouTube page. I am positive I can tell you what happened to that battery as well as how close it was or wasn't to combusting. If you happen to live near St Louis or wouldn't mind mailing that battery, I'd love to analyze it and regardless of personal brand preferences will tell it like it is.

Also note, EarthX has excelent customer service and I would expect they will replace that battery immediately. I would also expect them to replace it even if you send it to me first, but if they won't, I have one of their batteries that they sent me for testing that still works 100% and would send you that should they choose to not replace it, though I really doubt this would happen.

I don't own stock in any battery companies or work for any, I'm just a service manager / electrician with fire investigation experience who is fascinated with batteries. PM me if your willing to let me look at yours or have any questions.

Joel Wisman
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #26
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Hi _cy_. Read his description carefully. He installed the battery, it started his bike, then he rode to work normally at which point the battery went dead while he was working. Anything is possible but it seems likely to me from his description that the BMS discharged the battery, his bike has a massive parasitic draw from something broken or a cell had a defect.

LiFePO4 usually won't catch fire, but un potted / protected LiFePO4 batteries WILL melt through case when rapidly charged (20+ amps on that bike) from super dead. I've done it with both Shorai and Balistic in my living room and had to move the batteries outside when large volumes of white smoke and melting bubbling cases insued :)
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Unlike lead/acid batteries which can discharge hydrogen gas and explode, LiFePO4 batteries can not explode as there is nothing explosive in them. LiFePO4 cylindrical cells can burst, but it isn't anything like an actual explosion and won't damage near by things.

In any case, all but the smallest EarthX batteries use pouch cells that can't even build up pressure.

LiFePO4 batteries CAN start fires though its rare and not nearly as exciting as LIPo batteries such as are in laptops and cell phones.

The difference between the plastic case melting and ignition is about 600 degrees F, so baring signs of the case being crispy and charred, you may have been very far from the battery catching fire.

One thing I do like about Antigravity batteries is the cells are potted into the case with high temperature silicone to prevent melting through the case under even the worse case scenario, which is not the case with EarthX. On the other hand EarthX batteries are lighter then Antigravity batteries and the lack of RTV potting is one reason why.

One of two things likely happened:

1: your bike has a big constant draw or the key or an accessory was left on. This would drain the battery to a damaging low level. Both Lead/acid and LiFePO4 batteries are always damaged by being drained excessively low, but in the case of LiFePO4 the damage is usually more severe and requires a special super low charge rate to recover, if they even can be recovered.

When you push started your bike, your charging system started charging the battery at maximum speed. This will nearly always cause a LiFePO4 battery to rapidly fail, and if not potted or protected in some other way, melt the battery case.

2: the battery had an internal defect in a cell OR the protection circuit, drained itself, and as above, melted down from rapidly charging.

If a LiFePO4 battery is excessively discharged it really should be recharged on a special LiFePO4 charger with a special recovery program. Optimate makes the only consumer charger with this feature that I am aware of.

If your in BFE or really must ride, the best odds of push charging and NOT melting the battery down can be achieved by push starting the bike and then turning every accessory on AND leaving the bike just idling for at least 20 minutes. Kinda hard to do if the bike is air cooled but at least idle it some and switch every accessory on / keep the revs as low as possible. What all the above does is keeps the recharge rate as low as possible but is still a poor replacement for a dedicated charger with a recovery cycle.

I have torture tested a lot of brands of LiFePO4 batteries and would LOVE to autopsy that battery. You can see some of my testing if I can figure out how to link to my YouTube page. I am positive I can tell you what happened to that battery as well as how close it was or wasn't to combusting. If you happen to live near St Louis or wouldn't mind mailing that battery, I'd love to analyze it and regardless of personal brand preferences will tell it like it is.

Also note, EarthX has excelent customer service and I would expect they will replace that battery immediately. I would also expect them to replace it even if you send it to me first, but if they won't, I have one of their batteries that they sent me for testing that still works 100% and would send you that should they choose to not replace it, though I really doubt this would happen.

I don't own stock in any battery companies or work for any, I'm just a service manager / electrician with fire investigation experience who is fascinated with batteries. PM me if your willing to let me look at yours or have any questions.

Joel Wisman
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Hi _cy_. Read his description carefully. He installed the battery, it started his bike, then he rode to work normally at which point the battery went dead while he was working. Anything is possible but it seems likely to me from his description that the BMS discharged the battery, his bike has a massive parasitic draw from something broken or a cell had a defect.

LiFePO4 usually won't catch fire, but un potted / protected LiFePO4 batteries WILL melt through case when rapidly charged (20+ amps on that bike) from super dead. I've done it with both Shorai and Balistic in my living room and had to move the batteries outside when large volumes of white smoke and melting bubbling cases insued :)
Joel, thanks for weighting in ... as always your comments are dead on. yup I read too fast and missed where he left his bike and battery had all day to discharge.

LiFePO4 due to extremely low internal resistance will discharge at 20c-30c + with no problems. but this means that same LiFePO4 battery will also accept same high rate during bulk phase of charge.

assuming 883 has a 450+ watt output .. that would be about 30 amps delivered to battery. which any Li-ion battery would try to absorb fast as it's delivered. yes this would result in battery heating up.

what I've always done for dead li-ion batteries discharged too low is charge at .1C until voltage recovers to normal range. then switch to normal charging volt/current rates.

essentially this is what Optimate Lithium LiFePO4 charger is doing. in the middle of running tests on new gen EarthX ETX18. which measured right at 4.78AH actual @ 1amp rate. at low milliamp rate battery mfg used to achieve max 5.5 AH, test would take all day or way past my patience levels.

sure is nice having your valuable feedback again ...
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #28
Ron521
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So today I took the melted EarthX battery back to the store to return it. The clerk immediately began telling me that I must have some issue with my motorcycle, that this was the first lithium battery they had EVER seen fail, etc. He called mechanics from the back as well as other employees to examine the soft, gooey, deformed plastic case.

I was grilled for a while about my installation, how the failure occurred, why my old battery needed to be replaced, etc. I answered their questions and explained that I felt that the EarthX battery did not live up to the claims in any way except that it was very light and that while it worked, it had spun the 883 over very nicely. I further said that I was sorry to have wasted my money on it, and that I wished I had simply purchased a Yuasa AGM instead.
All the while, they were answering incoming phone calls and looking up stuff in catalogs for people on the phone, basically dragging out the process much more than they really needed to.

Finally, they said they needed to call EarthX for an authorization before they could give me a refund. I replied "that sounds like a problem between you and them, but it has nothing to do with me". Despite this, they went ahead and called EarthX and spoke to someone named Kathy.

I could only hear one side of the conversation, but the clerk was repeating some of what Kathy was telling him, so when he read the numbers from my melted battery to her, she apparently said that my battery was "two generations old", that they DID have issues with those, and that the current batteries have "improved battery management circuits".

From what the clerk was repeating, I believe she also told him to make me some kind of offer on a current EarthX battery, however after he hung up the phone, he did not relay any offer.

In the end, after 45 minutes or so, they finally issued a refund. Black marks to EarthX for not rotating their stock, selling old stock as new and at full price, hoping that it would work ok and knowing that they "had issues with them".
And at the very least, grey marks to this store for making the return process inconvenient and difficult.


So, I'm shopping around for a battery, don't even have my old one anymore, as I left it at the store when I purchased the EarthX. Not sure if I'll consider lithium again or just continue with AGM, which has been reliable in both my car and my Sportster.

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Old 09-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post

So, I'm shopping around for a battery, don't even have my old one anymore, as I left it at the store when I purchased the EarthX. Not sure if I'll consider lithium again or just continue with AGM, which has been reliable in both my car and my Sportster.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles. I've run EarthX in my 300 and 450 for 2 seasons. They have worked great for me. I wonder if your dealer wasn't the one at fault for having such old inventory on hand?

You should go with AGM. Weight savings of a couple pounds on a Harley is like Rush Limbaugh taking a big dump. The couple of pounds he lost is insignificant and he's still loud, slow, and fat.
__________________
We don't stop riding because we get old, we get old because we stop riding.
"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it"

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Old 09-04-2013, 04:52 AM   #30
Ron521
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Joined: Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellSickle View Post
Sorry to hear of your troubles. I've run EarthX in my 300 and 450 for 2 seasons. They have worked great for me. I wonder if your dealer wasn't the one at fault for having such old inventory on hand?

You should go with AGM. Weight savings of a couple pounds on a Harley is like Rush Limbaugh taking a big dump. The couple of pounds he lost is insignificant and he's still loud, slow, and fat.
I can not believe you took advantage of this crappy situation to compare my Sportster to one of the most despicable human beings on the planet. You know nothing about my motorcycle. The three adjectives you chose do not apply. But thanks for such a warm, friendly feeling.
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