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All About Lithium Batteries for Motorcycles - FAQs

August 09, 2023

A lithium motorcycle battery could be the solution to your dead-battery blues. Using the latest chemistry and technology, a lithium motorcycle battery can offer significantly more cold cranking amps and longer life than standard lead-acid or absorbed glass mat (AGM) lead acid motorcycle batteries. However, a lithium battery is not the right choice for every motorcycle. Here are the facts on these high-tech batteries.

H-D Lithium Motorcycle Battery FAQs

What is a Lithium Motorcycle Battery?

All batteries work by converting chemical energy to electrical energy. The AGM battery found in most motorcycles has lead plates separated by an absorbent glass mat that holds acid electrolyte in a dry state rather than in a liquid free form. Lithium motorcycle batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO) as the cathode material alongside a graphite carbon electrode with a metallic backing as the anode, and does not contain liquid acid. A LiFePO battery also has an integrated  battery management system (BMS) that monitors the battery in all operating conditions to ensure safety and extend the lifetime of the battery. Unlike some other lithium batteries, LiFePO is thermally and chemically stable, providing additional robustness to misuse or damage.

Does Harley offer lithium batteries?

Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFE batteries are available in 8Ah, 7Ah and 4Ah sizes to fit many Harley-Davidson® motorcycle models. Each is designed to be a drop-in replacement for the Original Equipment AGM battery. 

How is a Lithium Battery Different from Other Motorcycle Batteries?

The key difference between a lithium motorcycle battery and an AGM battery is power density. A lithium battery can hold the same power as an AGM battery in a significantly lighter and smaller package. Lithium motorcycle batteries can also be placed in any orientation, which makes them popular with custom builders seeking a creative solution to battery placement.

Learn more about Harley-Davidson® AGM motorcycle batteries.

Learn about the differences between AGM and Lithium motorcycle batteries

What are the benefits of lithium batteries?

The latest lithium motorcycle batteries, including Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFe batteries, offer a number of advantages over an AGM motorcycle battery.

  1. Longer Depth of Discharge 
    The Lithium LiFe battery discharges full power until it is 90 percent discharged, while an AGM battery is considered “dead” after just 10 percent discharge. A Harley-Davidson® Lithium LiFe battery has a very slow self-discharge rate, losing only about 10 percent of its charge in a year. Compare that to a lead-acid battery, which can lose about 1 percent of its charge in a day. When disconnected from the motorcycle a Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFe battery will maintain its charge without maintenance for up to 12 months, a bonus for off-season or long-term storage in places where power for a battery tender is not available. The battery has an on-board tester that allows you to instantly see the power level.
  2. Longer Lifespan
    The H-D® Lithium LiFe battery has roughly twice the lifespan of a well-maintained AGM battery – 500 charge cycles for the AGM battery versus more than 1,000 cycles for the LiFe battery, when properly stored and maintained. Quality and performance backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
  3. No Need for an Adapter
    Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFE batteries are engineered to be a direct, drop-in replacement for an Original Equipment AGM battery. Installation does not require foam spacer blocks or any special electrical connection.
  4. Lighter Weight
    Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFE batteries weigh up to 70 percent less than a comparable AGM battery. Reducing weight can improve nearly every aspect of motorcycle performance.
  5. Quicker to Charge
    Because it is more efficient, a Harley-Davidson Lithium LiFE battery can charge much more quickly than an AGM battery. Using a 5 amp Harley-Davidson® Dual-Mode Battery Charger, a fully discharged 4Ah Lithium LiFE battery can be charged in just 48 minutes, while an 8Ah Lithium LiFE battery can be recharged in 96 minutes. A lithium battery should not be charged with a standard battery charger that includes a desulfator mode. For optimal charging of the Lithium LiFe battery, use a Harley-Davidson Dual-Mode Battery Charger. This fully automatic battery tender offers selectable charge options for both Lithium LiFe, AGM lead-acid and other battery types, and an LED display to indicate the battery's state of charge.
  6. Internal Battery Management
    An internal solid-state Battery Management System automatically detects over/under charging for more-reliable starting performance and protects the battery from deep discharge, over-voltage and over-temperature.

Learn about Harley-Davidson® Lithium LiFe batteries

When is a lithium motorcycle battery not the best choice?

An AGM lead acid motorcycle battery is the better choice in some applications. If your bike has certain accessories that are powered directly from the battery such as a powerful audio system you like to play for extended periods while parked, if you frequently start the bike in very cold weather, or if the bike has been heavily modified, an AGM battery will provide better performance. A Harley-Davidson® Lithium LiFe battery costs about 60 percent more than an H-D® AGM battery, but that initial investment is paid back many times over by its reliable power and longer life. Consult with an authorized Harley-Davidson® dealer to find out which type of battery is the best choice for your motorcycle.

Keep your Harley-Davidson® bike charged and ready to ride with Original Equipment batteries, Lithium LiFE batteries, battery chargers, and charging accessories from Harley-Davidson, available at your local Harley-Davidson® dealer or online.

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