What Might Go Unsuitable? [EBL Li-Ion Test]


The EBL LiFeSO4 lithium-ion battery comes with three top adjustment shims, fasteners to connect them, terminal screws, a tiny screwdriver, proprietor’s guide, and top shims directions.

Given the chance to take a look at state-of-the-art know-how, an individual would normally leap on the likelihood, proper?

With a lot publicity—good and unhealthy—about lithium-ion batteries, and armed with minimal earlier expertise with lithium-ion batteries past those for digital gadgets, I couldn’t assist however be somewhat apprehensive about utilizing one in my 50-year-old Honda CB350F. However, as Huxley wrote, it’s a courageous new world, and this stuff might nudge the previous flooded-cell lead-acid battery apart earlier than too lengthy, so I assumed I’d give one a attempt.

EBL Lithium-Ion Battery Review: battery and charger
Topping up the cost on a lithium-ion battery earlier than set up requires a charger designed to work with a lithium-ion kind. This Schumacher charger can do each lead-acid and lithium-ion.

I began by doing a little analysis on this sort of battery. It turns on the market are a number of varieties of lithium-ion batteries. The EBL bike battery I’d be testing in my classic CB350F is a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, which is the fabric of the destructive cathode, whereas the constructive anode is graphite carbon. Any such lithium-ion battery has much less power density than the a lot smaller lithium polymer sorts utilized in digital gadgets. Nonetheless, that is a bonus for a bodily bigger battery utilized in a motorbike utility as a result of it permits the battery to final by way of many extra cost cycles. It’s also extra chemically secure, much less more likely to overheat, and degrades slower than different lithium-ion batteries.

The composition of a LiFePO4 does embrace an electrolyte within the battery cell to permit the lithium ions to journey between the cathode and the anode. The electrolyte will not be acid, as in a conventional flooded cell lead-acid battery. As a substitute, it’s an natural solvent equivalent to ethylene carbonate, propylene carbonate, or one thing comparable.

I questioned whether or not the ability supply of the most recent tech battery would roast my previous bike’s voltage regulator, singe my stator, or scorch the starter motor. In any case, a lot newer bikes with high-energy digital ignition techniques might be anticipated to be designed with trendy battery know-how in thoughts. Nonetheless, when my previous Honda was constructed, the lithium-ion battery wasn’t even on the drafting board. LiFePO4 batteries didn’t come into industrial manufacturing till the late 2010s. However, the lithium-ion battery has many intriguing options.

Even with all three height-adjustment shims connected to the underside of the EBL battery, it was nonetheless one inch shorter than the Yuasa lead-acid battery. However, that was not the set up drawback.

A big benefit is substantial weight discount. In contrast to the Yuasa YB12A-A lead-acid battery that the Honda had been utilizing, which weighs in at 8.4 kilos, the EBL lithium-ion battery weighs solely about two kilos.

Because the EBL battery incorporates no acid and is totally sealed, potential harm to your bike from cell leakage is unlikely. There isn’t any hazard of spillage, no want to fret about battery cell fluid ranges, and no chance of sulfation. That little overflow drain tube that threads from the battery field to underneath the bike can be eliminated.

The EBL terminals are copper, in order that maddening oxidation buildup that may look grody and trigger poor or full lack of connection shouldn’t be a difficulty. They’re additionally cylindrical and tapped for the connection in three positions—prime, entrance, and facet—to permit cable connections in one of the best place. That proved to be an important function earlier than this story was executed.

The EBL LiFeSO4 battery (L) was too lengthy and somewhat too thick for the battery field within the 1976 Honda CJ360T. Right here, it’s subsequent to the battery that matches the CJ.

As to with the ability to decide the standing of the battery as time passes, the EBL has a cost standing indicator constructed proper into the highest of the battery case. Although the EBL proprietor’s guide exhibits the system’s on/off button, it actually doesn’t clarify a lot about how the standing indicator works. For instance, how would the readings differ when the engine is operating versus when it isn’t?

The factor even has what EBL calls a battery administration system. It’s a chip that detects short-circuit, overcharge, over-discharge, over-current, overheating, and over-voltage situations. Right here once more, the proprietor’s guide is silent on what occurs if any of these situations shut issues down and if any type of re-start course of is critical or troubleshooting procedures.

The product literature claims the battery will final by way of over 50,000 begins, and over 3,000 cost cycles, all whereas delivering 360 cold-cranking amps, 10 occasions longer battery life than a lead-acid battery, and 5 occasions sooner charging. It even claims it’ll begin my bike in temperatures starting from 76 levels under zero to 131 levels. There’s no likelihood I’m making an attempt to start out any bike—or my automotive, for that matter—when it’s -76 levels, but it surely’s good to know they assume it might. And if it will get to 131 levels round my place—I stay in Wisconsin, not Demise Valley—I’m standing within the bathe operating chilly water.

 EBL Lithium-Ion Battery Review: Installed in a Honda
The battery is simply too broad on this set up.

Okay, so I’m offered on the qualities of the LiFePO4 battery. It has all of the qualities that I’d contemplate the final word bike battery. But, I nonetheless had misgivings about whether or not its space-age efficiency traits would trigger issues—and even harm—to my CB350F’s 50-year-old battery-and-coil ignition system and different electrical elements, and whether or not its bodily dimension would pose any set up issues.

When ordering the battery, I requested EBL to contemplate these points and inform me which battery would match the previous bike and never trigger an issue. EBL took that accountability and shipped me the EBL YTX9-BS LiFePO4 12V 6Ah 360A battery.

After eradicating the previous flooded-cell lead-acid Yuasa battery, which had been in service since July 2021, I in contrast the batteries side-by-side. That exposed that even with all three of the additional shims equipped with the battery connected to the underside of the case, the EBL unit was nonetheless one inch shorter than the usual battery, reducing the connection level of the terminals. Thankfully, that didn’t produce any issues.

The EBL LiFeSO4 battery linked within the 1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster.

However, once I tried to put in the EBL battery into the battery field, it was inconceivable to get the battery to pivot into place. The EBL battery case measures a fair 6.0 inches broad, whereas the battery field measures 5.75 inches. The Yuasa battery measures 5.25 inches, so it pivots in fairly simply. So, I believe we now have answered my query within the headline.

However, I wished to know concerning the technical facets of the EBL’s efficiency with the previous bike’s electrical system, so I put in the battery briefly secured in place with a cable tie and hooked it up. It began the bike immediately, and all the things labored wonderful. I let the bike run for fairly some time, spinning up the motor quite a few occasions. There was no proof of issues heating up or some other indicators of issues.

However, as a result of I might solely safe the battery within the battery field at an angle with the cable tie looped by way of the tip of the elastic band and across the hinged battery field retainer, I didn’t try any experience time.

After contacting EBL, I made a decision I’d try different doable take a look at bikes for bodily match within the battery field and verify again with them about some other technical points with compatibility.

The peak distinction between the EBL and Yuasa is substantial.

My 1976 Honda CJ360T has a battery and coil ignition system much like the CB350F and doesn’t have an electrical starter to be involved about, so it turned the brand new take a look at mule.

Within the case of the CJ360 battery case, each the width and size of the EBL battery had been simply barely too giant to permit the battery to slip down into the bike’s battery field.

The subsequent candidate bike was my 1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883XLH. The Harley-Davidson’s battery is about two inches taller and an inch wider than both of the Honda’s lead acid batteries. On this case, whereas area was not apparently an issue, the terminals are on the other ends of the EBL battery. That requires the battery to be put in with the terminals dealing with out as a substitute of dealing with in, as is the case with the lead acid battery being changed. The cables on the Harley don’t have any further size.

Nonetheless, by eradicating the shims added to make up the connection top distinction on the batteries for the Hondas, the EBL battery sat low sufficient to permit the cables to achieve the terminals if the battery was reversed in place from the lead acid battery orientation.

EBL Lithium-Ion Battery Review: Mounted in a Harley-Davidson Sportster
After makes an attempt to suit the EBL lithium-ion battery into two classic Hondas, it lastly discovered a house in my 1999 Harely-Davidson Sportster 883.

The additional inch of width contained in the battery field allowed the cables to suit snugly alongside every finish of the battery, and the triple-option connection factors on every terminal made it doable to attach the terminals according to every finish of the battery. The battery was held securely in place by the vertical sides of the three-piece battery field.

After the connections had been secured, however earlier than the Harley-Davidson Sportster battery field was absolutely reinstalled, I hit the starter button. The V-twin fired up instantly, and I let the bike run for some time. I checked for warmth build-up on the terminal connections, cables, and battery case and located none. I reinstalled the battery field and accomplished the set up.

As a reminder to myself, I added a label on the battery tender connector saying that this bike has a lithium-ion battery, so I’d use the right setting on the Battery Tender.

So, it seems the EBL LiFeSO4 battery that was despatched couldn’t be put in in a 50- or 48-year-old Honda as a result of bodily dimensions being too massive for every bike’s battery field. Nonetheless, with somewhat revision to the usual set up place, putting in the EBL unit in a 25-year-old Harley-Davidson Sportster 883XLH is feasible. On the level of set up, the operate of the battery seems to be suitable with the bike’s electronics.

The takeaway is to confirm the size of your bike’s battery field in opposition to the battery’s said dimensions, notably in case you are switching from a lead-acid battery to lithium-ion. Additionally, rigorously contemplate the place the battery connection terminals have to be positioned so the bike’s battery cables can attain constructive and destructive posts.

I’ll replace this report if any adjustments happen, or when the Sportster wants one other battery. If EBL’s claims maintain up, that ought to be fairly some time.

EBL YTX9-BS LiFePO4 Lithium Bike Battery Specs

  • Kind: Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) YTX9-BS LiFePO4
  • Volts: 12
  • Amps: 360
  • Capability: 6Ah
  • Cells: Single
  • Terminal kind: Copper multi-position
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.4 x 3.6 inches
  • Weight: 1.98 kilos
  • Charging: Have to be lithium-ion suitable
  • Guarantee: 1 yr

EBL YTX9-BS LiFePO4 Lithium Bike Battery Value: $100 MSRP (costs differ from $50 to $140 for various sizes)


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