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Lithium Motorcycle Battery Review

Rating: The WPS Fire Power Featherweight Lithium Motorcycle Battery has a 5 star rating.5    
Average Price: $95.47
The Quick Wizz:
The Fire Power Lithium motorcycle battery is off to a good start. Local riding is excellent and I notice the extra CCA in every start. My first 2k ride this summer is coming up so time will tell.
 
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Pros:
  • Lose 5+ pounds of weight
  • About the same price
  • No acid under your seat
  • Long shelf life

Cons:
  • Lower Amp-Hours than similiar priced lead acid battery
  • Need special charger
  • May fade after a year - wait for long term test 2020
  • Improper charging or letting it run down can ruin battery

Lithium Motorcycle Battery Review

Lithium motorcycle batteries have come down in price over the last few years and in some cases are very close to the cost of the tried and true lead acid battery. Since my old Yuasa battery was growing tired and I needed a new one, I decided to see if a light weight Lithium was a possible option. After the standard net search and reading, I came up with the good product / bad product scenario. Most of the reviews I found were positive, and a few negative ones were really just rants, but a few reviews did indicate that the lithium battery did tend to fade and fail after a year. A little warry I decided that it would be worth the gamble to lose 5+ pounds of weight on my bike. As I studied the brands further, the WPS Fire Power Featherweight Lithium motorcycle battery moved to the top of my list. At this point I decided to take it one step further and talk to a few shops to see what they recommend, and the Fire Power battery once again seemed to have a good reputation for reliability and low rate of customer return.



Unboxing Fire Power Battery
Unboxing the Fire Power lithium motorcycle battery is a little concerning because the shipping box feels so light it has to be empty.

Official Weight
The Official Fire Power Lithium battery weight is 2.2lbs and confirmed by my unofficial scale.

Built in Tester
The Lithium batteries must have built in circuit protection and a bonus is an instant battery tester. This battery had a full charge right out of the box, and was plug-n-play.

Sizing the Battery

Sizing the lithium motorcycle battery was easy, I just went to the Fire Power web site at https://www.firepowerparts.com and entered my motorcycle information and that was it. Then I double checked the positive and negative terminals to make sure they were on the correct side, and checked the Cold Cranking Amps, which were 240cca compared to the Yuasa's 215cca. One common characteristic I found when reviewing lithium batteries was that the recommended models in the same price range as the lead acid batteries usually have about half of the Amp-Hours (AH). I also noticed that Lithium manufacturers like to camouflage this specification by using Watts-Hour (WH) instead, which is a simple conversion AH= WH/12. So in my case the recommended Lithium replacement was 4AH compared to the Yuasa's 10AH. Doing a little more research I found the step up from my recommended battery, but that model was about $50 more, weighed about a pound more, and I only gained 2AH. I did eventually find a Lithium battery that had the same Amp-Hours, but it was about 2x the cost, so I stayed with my original goal, which was to see if I could find a Lithium battery in the same price range as my old lead acid battery.

Ordering the Battery

Ordering was easy as seeing who had the lowest price and quickest shipping. I also put a call into my local dealer, because many times they match and/or beat the on line e-tailers. In this case Amazon had them all beat in price and shipping time so click-click-click and the WPS Fire Power battery was ordered on a Tuesday afternoon and was delivered on a Thursday afternoon.

Unpacking the Lithium Motorcycle Battery

When you unpack the new Fire Power Lithium motorcycle battery, the first thing you will notice is the weight, you might even think the box is empty and/or that the battery is not real. The official weight is 2.2 lbs., and on my unofficial analog scale it was 2 lbs. The traditional Yuasa lead acid battery has an official weight of 7.6 lbs. but my scale had it closer to 8.5 lbs. So a weight savings of at least 5 pounds and possibly even 6+, I would say that is significant. Another positive characteristic of the lithium battery is that you do not have to add the acid, seal, and charge the battery when you first get it. Although I did place a charge on the new lithium battery after it was installed, it was plug-n-play right out of the box. The charge tester on the top is also a bonus and gives you the ability to check the battery charge with just the push of a button.



Existing Yuasa Battery
The existing Yuasa lead acid battery has been reliable, but is growing tired. Time for a new battery.

Official Yuasa Weight
The Official Yuasa lead acid battery weight is 7.6 lbs. and but my unofficial scale had it closer to 8.5 lbs.

Fire Power Lithium Battery Installed
The Fire Power Lithium battery installed super easy because it is so light, but does create a 1.75" gap at the base.

Installing the New Lithium Battery

The installation for the new Fire Power Featherweight battery went very easy. It is light, easy to maneuver, and it comes with some plastic shims that you can use to take up the free space created by the smaller battery. I would say that the shims are probably not a final installation design and that you are probably going to spend more time figuring out how to properly and firmly secure your battery compared to the actual install and hook up. Some manufacturers do make the lithium battery dimensions the same size as the OEM dimensions so they fit as designed, and if you have this option, it is a good way to go. In my case the new lithium battery was about 1 3/4" shorter. I would also like to point out that the lithium battery can be installed in any position, and I never liked having my lead acid battery installed on its side.

First Start

So one of the things I wanted to do was to compare the cranking speed of the old lead acid battery to the new lithium battery. Granted that the tried and true Yuasa was growing tired, but it had just been on a 400 mile ride and on a tender. Even with the recent charge, I was expecting the older battery to sound tired, and it did, as compared to the new WPS lithium. My Triumph has a distinct priming and start-up sound, which is how I knew my battery was growing tired, and the new battery, right out of the box, with the 25 extra cold cranking amps, was definitely noticed. I started it several times and one was just as strong as the next. I also was able to test the battery while the bike was running with my high beams on and hand warmers, and it indicated a full charge.

Missing the Amp-Hours

So prior to my first start up, with the new lithium battery installed, I turned on just my electronics, which amount to lights and standard motorcycle electronics like the fuel pump and ECU, and the new Lithium battery indicated 1/3 of a full charge. Now I do not have heavy electronics on the bike, a radio or much of anything that would drain the battery. So as I mentioned earlier the Lithium batteries in the same price range as the lead acid batteries, tend to have fewer amp-hours. In my case the WPS Fire Power Featherweight has 2/5 compared to the Yuasa. So we will see if the lower Amp-Hours become a negative factor over time.

Lithium Motorcycle Battery Pros and Cons

So batteries have evolved over the last 10 years as we need stronger lightweight power sources. The old lead acid battery and the new Lithium motorcycle battery each have their pros and cons. The lead acid is tried and true and understood by most folks, it has a low initial cost, but is heavy, has a limited number of discharge cycles, and environmentally unfriendly. The Lithium battery has a higher cost, but is 1/4 the weight and does not require any maintenance. At this point you might say, "substantially lighter, no maintenance, just a few more bucks, that is for me!" but there are a few other differences to be aware of. The lithium battery first requires an internal protection circuit that limits voltage, current and over discharge. The high discharge rate can cause extreme temperatures and the circuit is designed to keep this from happening. Also, the protection circuit keeps the battery from dropping too low on discharge. The Lithium battery does not like to be over or under charged at all. So although the Lithium battery has a pretty good shelf life, the circuit protection takes about 3% per month. Another consideration is life span, the Lithium battery has more life cycles than a lead acid battery, but as I do more research, I keep coming across that they have a tendency to drastically deteriorate after a year, even if it is kept in optimum conditions.

Time Will Tell

So I have been out a few times on short runs and the WPS Fire Power Lithium motorcycle battery has been perfect. I have retested it multiple times and also felt the battery for heat. In the short term, the lightweight lithium battery has been a good option for my Tiger 1050 and I am glad to get rid of 5 to 6lbs. of weight and the acid under my seat. One of my long rides this summer is coming up so I can test the effects mileage has on the battery, and then we will see how it stands the test of time. Personally if I get two good seasons out of this battery, it will be a good trade-off for losing 6lbs. of weight.



Middle Fork Idaho
Middle Fork Idaho was a great place for a break and sustenance. Lolo Pass is right around the corner, battery is performing perfectly.

Beartooth Pass Elevation elev. 10,947 ft
The Triumph can definately feel the lack of oxygen at this elevation, but the Fire Power lithium battery fires the triple right up.

Arco - First Nuclear City
If you have ever made a run into Arco Idaho you know it is fast and quite warm. Battery performs great after extended speed and hot weather.

First Trip Update

The first 2500 miles have been complete this summer and the Fire Power battery performed like a champ. We encountered cool mornings, 98 degree afternoons, and some wet and cool afternoons too. I used my hand warmers in the morning and rode with my high beams on all the time and I am not sure, but I probably started the bike 30 times a day for 6 days, and I even left my lights on when we stopped sometimes. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 starts, the battery performed flawlessly and is meeting all my expectations. The extra cold cranking amps have been definitely appreciated and start my bike much better, it is still hard to believe that so much power can come from something so light. In the short term, this battery has been excellent and not skipped a beat and I would not hesitate to purchase it again. Now we just have to wait for the long term test results, which I will post at the end of the first summer, 2019, and then next spring, 2020.

Hope this review has helped you make an informed decision, and keep the rubber side down brother!

Review Disclaimer

This review was written with the intent of giving a fair and honest review of the WPS Fire Power Lithium motorcycle battery. This battery was purchased by WizzWare and not sent to us as a demo. All images in this review are WizzWare originals and the product was not touched up or specifically positioned to hide any flaws.