Tired of seeing ads? Register now! Registered members NO longer have to see any advertising on the forum side of the website. Enjoy! --- Rob

1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Tell us a little about you, and of course... about your bike!!
User avatar
connordavey33
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:56 pm
What Virago you Own: '83 XV750 Midnight

1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by connordavey33 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:28 pm

Hello! My name is Connor and I aquired my Virago about a year ago in a trade. (07 Ninja 250R) I'm happy with my end of the trade so far and am in the process of turning this bike into a Cafe Racer style bike. I've finished the front-end, keeping original fork tubes and slapped on some cheap clip-ons. Converting everything to LED and eventually lithium battery. But for now I'm saving some spare cash to buy a cafe style subframe and maybe some rearsets to finish out the rear end of the bike. Glad to be here on the forum and hopefully I won't have to many problems to complain about :lol: I also have an original XV750H/XV920RH (Chain Drive) Service Manual that came with the bike so let me know if anyone needs pictures!
We're all out of starters, but can I interest you in a box of rocks?

User avatar
ViragoJoe
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by ViragoJoe » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:03 am

connordavey33 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:28 pm
Hello! My name is Connor and I aquired my Virago about a year ago in a trade. (07 Ninja 250R) I'm happy with my end of the trade so far and am in the process of turning this bike into a Cafe Racer style bike. I've finished the front-end, keeping original fork tubes and slapped on some cheap clip-ons. Converting everything to LED and eventually lithium battery. But for now I'm saving some spare cash to buy a cafe style subframe and maybe some rearsets to finish out the rear end of the bike. Glad to be here on the forum and hopefully I won't have to many problems to complain about :lol: I also have an original XV750H/XV920RH (Chain Drive) Service Manual that came with the bike so let me know if anyone needs pictures!
Connor,

You may want to think twice about going with that Lithium Battery. Lithium batteries take and all together different charging system I understand. Unless you have already researched this and are eliminating your current Regulator/Rectifier charging system.

BATTERY TYPES [INFO]
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=793&p=2427&hilit=battery%2A#p2427

Also, going with complete LEDS, these bulbs take way less current (wattage) to make them illuminate and yes they are brighter. I've found that you are not doing your Regulator/Rectifier a favor. I too, thought I was doing my Virago a favor by lessening its current draw with LED's. Only to find that I started replacing REG/REC's. Seems that the standard bulbs in our Virago's are burning off current draw and turning it into heat. Ever wonder why that Reg/Rec has cooling fins? Some 2nd generation Virago's do not, however, are mounted to large chunks of metal. Like the left rear passenger foot peg bracket.

Well, from what I have found is that the power produced by the Stator that isn't used is passed along to the Reg/Rec to be gotten rid of by that component by sending it to ground. Turns out the Reg/Rec will do its best to get rid of this excess juice. Until it reaches the point of Thermal Failure that usually occurs right around 250°F (125°C). Yup, way more than enough HEAT to give you a good 3 degree burn, if you touch it! It still puzzles me why motorcycle manufacturers place it always near the exhaust or another hot spot or under a fairing.

Well, that's my 2 cents. If you want to experiment, it's okay. They still allow us to make choices. Just put some $$$ aside just in case your Reg/Rec decides to agree with me. Then again, it may work out for you.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
connordavey33
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:56 pm
What Virago you Own: '83 XV750 Midnight

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by connordavey33 » Sun May 10, 2020 8:53 pm

ViragoJoe wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:03 am
connordavey33 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:28 pm
Hello! My name is Connor and I aquired my Virago about a year ago in a trade. (07 Ninja 250R) I'm happy with my end of the trade so far and am in the process of turning this bike into a Cafe Racer style bike. I've finished the front-end, keeping original fork tubes and slapped on some cheap clip-ons. Converting everything to LED and eventually lithium battery. But for now I'm saving some spare cash to buy a cafe style subframe and maybe some rearsets to finish out the rear end of the bike. Glad to be here on the forum and hopefully I won't have to many problems to complain about :lol: I also have an original XV750H/XV820RH Service Manual that came with the bike so let me know if anyone needs pictures!
Connor,

You may want to think twice about going with that Lithium Battery. Lithium batteries take and all together different charging system I understand. Unless you have already researched this and are eliminating your current Regulator/Rectifier charging system.

BATTERY TYPES [INFO]
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=793&p=2427&hilit=battery%2A#p2427

Also, going with complete LEDS, these bulbs take way less current (wattage) to make them illuminate and yes they are brighter. I've found that you are not doing your Regulator/Rectifier a favor. I too, thought I was doing my Virago a favor by lessening its current draw with LED's. Only to find that I started replacing REG/REC's. Seems that the standard bulbs in our Virago's are burning off current draw and turning it into heat. Ever wonder why that Reg/Rec has cooling fins? Some 2nd generation Virago's do not, however, are mounted to large chunks of metal. Like the left rear passenger foot peg bracket.

Well, from what I have found is that the power produced by the Stator that isn't used is passed along to the Reg/Rec to be gotten rid of by that component by sending it to ground. Turns out the Reg/Rec will do its best to get rid of this excess juice. Until it reaches the point of Thermal Failure that usually occurs right around 250°F (125°C). Yup, way more than enough HEAT to give you a good 3 degree burn, if you touch it! It still puzzles me why motorcycle manufacturers place it always near the exhaust or another hot spot or under a fairing.

Well, that's my 2 cents. If you want to experiment, it's okay. They still allow us to make choices. Just put some $$$ aside just in case your Reg/Rec decides to agree with me. Then again, it may work out for you.

Appologies for the late reply! Life has been kind of hectic with just moving and online classes after the whole Covid deal.

I have done some research into the charging circuits and other things needed for a lithium system, and it is definitely doable but will cost a significant amount (I've parted it out to about 300 dollars). I had plans to replace the rectifier anyway with an updated one but I will definitely look into it!

Many thanks,
Connor
We're all out of starters, but can I interest you in a box of rocks?

User avatar
ViragoJoe
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon May 11, 2020 12:49 pm

Appologies for the late reply! Life has been kind of hectic with just moving and online classes after the whole Covid deal.

I have done some research into the charging circuits and other things needed for a lithium system, and it is definitely doable but will cost a significant amount (I've parted it out to about 300 dollars). I had plans to replace the rectifier anyway with an updated one but I will definitely look into it!

Many thanks,
Connor

Connor,
Would you share this Lithium Battery Charging System information (Links etc.) with us? It could help others wanting to do this same Lithium Battery conversion?

The Current Regulator/Rectifier will definitely need to be replaced with one that will work with a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or any other Lithium Chemistry. Have you located such a Reg/Rec? It is a key ingredient, if not the main ingredient.

Thanks in advance.

Also note: With many varying environmental conditions which motorcycles are used; it is worth noting that Li-ion batteries will not charge below 0°C. Warm climate areas will not be affected.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
jsyzdek
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland, CA
What Virago you Own: It's a 1995 XV1100. And my dad has a 1996 XV535 :-)

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by jsyzdek » Tue May 12, 2020 1:50 am

Connor,

I'm a big fan of Li-ion, with that said, they are a bit touchy as far as temperature goes. You go too cold, they won't charge well, and you will need to warm them up before you can start the bike (usually by running your headlight for a while). You get them too hot, and they may explode on you, especially while charging.

Most reputable Li-ion batteries on the market have built-in BMS (Battery management system) that does all the magic for you. All you need to do is connect the + and - to the red and black leads and you're set.

I ran Li-ion on my old GS500F, I run a Li-ion on my SV650S, but I decided not to put one in my Virago. First of all: previous owner put a good AGM battery in, and I ride the bike frequently enough, that it never self-discharges. But the second thing is that in the Virago, the battery sits very close to the rear cylinder, and very close to the exhaust box at the bottom of the bike. If that battery gets too hot, it'll eject me from my seat. For sure.

I have NOT done the research, so I'm not saying it will be a problem. Just saying that it might. It would be worth sticking a digital thermometer in the battery compartment, ride the bike for a while, let it idle for a couple of minutes to simulate sitting at a red light, and see how hot it really gets in there. If it's under 100F, you'll be fine. But if it gets much hotter than that (>110F) I would strongly advise against going with Li-ion, or think through options for either mounting the battery elsewhere, or using some insulation there (e.g. bubble wrap with Aluminum foil on it, like in cooler bags) to protect the battery from overheating.
Keep Calm and Ride On!

User avatar
ViragoJoe
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue May 12, 2020 9:56 am

Yikes jsyzdek!!

I kinda like my Buttski where it is. Didn't know Lithium batteries were that touchy.

I think I'll just stay with my Yuasa AGM Battery it works jussssst fine!!

Is that why some folks that vap the vaping device on occasions has a tendency to blowup.

I remember seeing a video where a bus driver tells a passenger that there was no smoking and vaping on the bus. Vapor-er gave the bus driver the finger and took a drag off the vaping device and it blew up. Now that's Karma.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
jsyzdek
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland, CA
What Virago you Own: It's a 1995 XV1100. And my dad has a 1996 XV535 :-)

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by jsyzdek » Tue May 12, 2020 12:41 pm

Yes Joe. I'm a battery engineer myself and I've been working with Li-ion for 16 years now. There is a lot of safety built into these cells, but they are intrinsically dangerous. Here's why: they pack a LOT of energy into a small volume and low weight. The more energy you pack, the closer it becomes to a bomb. And a Li-battery is more a bomb than it is fuel.

A can of gasoline won't catch fire, so long as there isn't enough supply of oxygen, AND there isn't a spark. If you have a bucket half-full of gasoline, and there is no wind, there will be a layer of concentrated vapor over the gas. You cold drop an ignited match in there, and nothing would happen. I ain't trying that at home, but I've seen it, and the chemistry tells you that nothing should happen if there isn't much oxygen in that vapor.

It's different with bombs and batteries: the fuel and the oxidant are mixed together inside. You don't need a supply of oxygen to keep it going. Once it's set off, it'll go.

Li batteries give a lot of freedom: they are lighter, they can be operated in any position (upside down etc.) and they give a lot more power per unit volume and unit mass (so long as you're in their operating temperature range, which is typically 0C-40C), you can also drain it completely (built-in BMS won't let it go below certain voltage; if it did, that would severely affect the cells) and charge it up, and it's like brand new. You can do it literally a thousand times, and it will work just fine, unlike flooded Lead-acid, which you leave with your lights on, and you can tell your battery bye-bye.
But with freedom comes some responsibility. Those little suckers can blow in your face. Quite literally as you said. I was really happy with the 16-cell battery I made myself for the GS500, I'm really happy with the Shorai battery I have in my SV650, and now I remember that my dad has a Li-ion battery in his XV535 and he loves it. He sometimes leaves the bike for 2-3 months untouched, and he doesn't have to worry about trickle charging it. It starts right up whenever he needs it. He goes on short rides through the mountains, and he doesn't push that bike, at all, and there are no red lights (no lights within miles!) to sit at. Also: the 535 doesn't get as hot as 1100, and so I'm not worried at all about his situation.

With my 1100, I would definitely stick a temperature probe in the battery compartment if I were ever to consider putting a Li-ion in there. Ride for a while with the probe in front of the battery, and ride with the probe at the bottom. Just to see how hot it gets when I push the bike to its hottest. If that temp. stays under 110F, hopefully under 100F (it all depends on how hot the air is), then I would have no reservation putting one in. In mild climate (like we have it here in California) Li-ion does really well. Even if your climate is colder, but you don't ride when it's freezing, you will never have any issues with it, either. In hot parts of Nevada or Arizona? nah, I really wouldn't do it.


Additional comment: if you ever wondered why they don't put Li-ion batteries under the hood of a car, that's precisely why. If that Li-ion were to sit somewhere else in the car: away from the hot engine and exhaust, then sure, it would do well, except it would struggle in cold climate.
Keep Calm and Ride On!

User avatar
ViragoJoe
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue May 12, 2020 1:08 pm

jsyzdek,
Thanks for the great information and explanation on Lithium batteries.

I don't think they would work as well here. Michigan temperatures are all over the map. Winter temps can be brutal and freeze your cookies off. In the summer months there are times you'll burn those cookies to a crisp!! :lol:
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
jsyzdek
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland, CA
What Virago you Own: It's a 1995 XV1100. And my dad has a 1996 XV535 :-)

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by jsyzdek » Tue May 12, 2020 11:55 pm

I hear ya. The truth is that most riders are fair weather fans and even those who don't think they are (like me), still are. Very few people actually ride at temps significantly below 30F (0C). While that's about the cutoff for Li-ion to start a bike without ANY rain dance, they will still work at 20F or so, especially if you let them warm up a bit by running your headlight for a couple of minutes and then letting it rest for 10-15 seconds. Not too many guys I see out there at <20F.
And while hot days happen, not too often it's >110F. The batteries are "safe" up to about 140-150F, so even in Arizona they should be fine, but they will just degrade prematurely. Normally you will get 10+ years out of them, which justifies the price. But if it degrades in 3-4 years, then that's a lot of money down the toilet. So they would do well, even in Michigan unless you really ride on those really cold days and nights :-)

I ride in the rain, I rode in 116F heat in blazing sun, and I rode when there was frost on the road. But I don't think I would really go outside of that range. That's about the limits to when I still enjoy riding :-)
Keep Calm and Ride On!

User avatar
ViragoJoe
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: 1983 XV750 Midnight Special [Intro.] & Lithium Battery

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed May 13, 2020 3:02 am

The batteries are "safe" up to about 140-150F, so even in Arizona they should be fine, but they will just degrade prematurely. Normally you will get 10+ years out of them, which justifies the price. But if it degrades in 3-4 years, then that's a lot of money down the toilet.
Don't know how expensive Lithium Batteries are. I have a Yuasa AGM (350 CCA) battery in my bike. It was in it when I bought the bike in 2008. Yup, I'm on my 13th year with that battery. It still turns those big jugs over (1100cc's) and the bike starts right up. The secret is keeping her on a float charger when not riding. Pulling the battery in winters months and place on a float charger in the basement. This past winter it was left in the bike. Pulled some back muscles and couldn't bend to take it out. I use that expensive float charger from Harbor Freight $4.99 on sale. Between 500 to 750 ma, less than 1 amp. Depends what they are selling at the time. Low is the way to go.

Of course, I have another battery waiting in the wings in case this battery decides to stop performing. Also, an AGM. But the electrolyte isn't in it yet. Stores better that way.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

Post Reply