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mch

EarthX Lithium Battery in 2012+ WR450F

12 posts in this topic

I finally got around to replacing my original battery.  I rode my bike about every weekend and even stuck it on a trickle charger here and there, but the battery has always seemed a little weak.  Weak battery + the WR's known hard starting issues made it a good candidate for a Lithium Battery.  For this model, I ordered the EXT12A Battery and the Terminal Adapter kit (you do need this).  It's basically the same size as the stock battery, but a little shorter.  Since the battery lays on it's side (even the stock is laying on it's side), you need to add some of the provided foam or some other filler to the portion of the battery facing the rear (about 1 inch gap).  With the stuff that comes with the terminal adapter kit, it puts a metal piece up in the same spot where your OEM connectors connect to the battery terminals (facing up - what is normally the top).  The issue are:

 

1. The new screws provided (and needed for those holes) are like 1 mm bigger or a different thread pitch and do not go through the holes on the OEM connectors.

2.  The sides of the OEM connectors have bends that wrap around the battery terminal, but the EARTHX adapter is a little too fat.

 

So to address issue, you could cut the OEM connectors and use something else, or flatten out the side bends and ream out the hole to accept the bigger screw.  I actually used a wire cutter and cut the end of the terminal which allows the ring to expand a bit (you should be able to see the snip in the pictures below) and flattened out the bends in the connector.  It really didn't take much time.  Also, the terminal adapter has some front facing screw holes that I believe are the same size screws as OEM.  I mounted my battery all the way forward, but you could probably mount it all the way back and that should give enough room for the different orientation of the OEM wires (Looks like plenty of wire too) to use the front facing screw holes.

 

Here's some pics, yes, under my seat, etc. is real dirty.  I ended up sticking some additional foam on the top of the battery (Where the EarthX sticker is) to snug it up a little more (Extra foam not pictured).  The bike cranks a lot faster now and it seems to start better too.

 

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Edited by mch
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Thanks for your post.  May I ask how much it cost?

 

It was $175.  The price is a little steep when compared to other Lithium batteries, but this one reportedly has electronic components built in to keep it from over charging, over discharging, and equalizing cells (so you can use a normal battery charger).  I had a Shorai battery in my Sportbike and the battery was much smaller than the original (You had to use a lot more filler to get the battery locked in), and the charger was like $70-80.  The Shorai works with some normal chargers, but they won't equalize the cells without their charger (or I suppose some fancy RC car charger) 

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Yes, the price is a little steep, but good additional info on the charger consequences & cost.  Thanks.  I may get one comes time to replace my stock battery.

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Just an update, this battery is working great.  It definitely starts better than what I had to deal with using the stock battery.  I had bumped my FI to 12 or so, but with the stock battery it's still wasn't the fix all to the WR's known starting issues.  With this new battery cranking a lot better, I say it's pretty close to being what someone who bought any bike would consider "normal" starting.  I have a couple friends with KTMs and their bikes definitely start a little better than mine (on average).

Edited by mch
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I put a Shorai LFX14L2 (the one they recommend) in my '03 WR450 last night, it fit perfectly with no modification to anything. Of course, it doesn't have the circuitry that yours has. 

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Just an update, this battery is working great.  It definitely starts better than what I had to deal with using the stock battery.  I had bumped my FI to 12 or so, but with the stock battery it's still wasn't the fix all to the WR's known starting issues.  With this new battery cranking a lot better, I say it's pretty close to being what someone who bought any bike would consider "normal" starting.  I have a couple friends with KTMs and their bikes definitely start a little better than mine (on average).

 

Are you going to turn your CO setting back down?  If so, let us know how it starts after the CO change.  Thanks.

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I don't think I'll turn it back.  From all accounts, it seems like it should have come from the factory with a setting somewhere in that range.  I can't see any reason to set it back to a setting that was provided to clear some ridiculous EPA standards.  Even with better starting, I think my friend's KTMs still start better.

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So how's your earthx holding up? I'm thinking of one for my '12 wr450. I'm trying to justify the extra $70.

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Lithium batteries have pros and cons.  The pros being light weight and high capacity.  The cons are that if it's discharged below about 8 volts it's shot.  And you may need a special charger that the battery manufacturer sells.  I used a Ballistic battery in a bike and bought the special charger for $70.  Recently I noticed that it had a sticker on the face and I could see some printing underneath.  So I peeled it off and under the sticker was an really common Imax B6 charger, popular with RC people.  You can get it on ebay for $20 without AC adapter, $30 with.  The AC adapter you may already have as it's a 12V unit common to a lot of computer equipment.  If you want to balance charge the battery you'll need a balance cable, also on ebay for under $5. 

Now I use the charger for my RC batteries as it's programmable for any lithium, NiMH, lead acid or nicad.  

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I have a Shorai and I managed to drain it down to the point that my ignition started cutting out (didn't realize that my lighting was running on DC without any changes to the charging system). It'll still start my SV1000. I don't know how far down the ignition cuts out at, though. It was in my SV1000 for a couple years, I borrowed it for the WR. I ended up buying a new Shorai too so I have a battery for each bike, and I have the older one in the WR because it's less of an issue if the battery is drained. 

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