Here at Overland International, we love to test gear and without question the best way to do so is to simply put it to use. Sometimes we test gear and don’t even know we’re doing so. Take for example our recent impromptu test of a lithium motorcycle battery. While sorting through drawers and doing a little mid-winter cleaning, our own Brian McVickers stumbled across an EarthX lithium battery lurking in an office cabinet. A testament to how busy life can be, he simply forgot about it and there it sat for over half a year. After a quick turn of the wrenches under the belly of his KTM 950 Adventure, the battery was in place and with a press of a button, his bike fired to life, snarling and barking like those bikes are prone to do.
Lithium batteries, like those from EarthX, are one of the easiest, and most beneficial upgrades any motorcycle can receive. Not only do they clearly not mind time on a shelf, they don’t sulfate in storage or require any maintenance. An EarthX battery has a service life of up to 4,000 charge/discharge cycles with an extremely low discharge rate meaning you need not keep your bike tethered to a charger in the off months. With four times the service life of the average lead-acid battery, they’re also an excellent value despite their higher purchase price. One of the greatest advantages to the adventure rider is the extremely low weight of Lithium batteries. Brian’s EarthX battery saved him a whopping 5 pounds over his lead-acid battery.
If you do your homework and read about Colorado-based EarthX, you quickly realize these are not just producing your average Lithium batteries. They’ve taken their engineering to the next level. Their unique chemistry produces cells made of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) for the highest quality batteries on the market. Inside each battery is a microprocessor which monitors and balances the charge as needed. This also permits the use of standard chargers as necessary, forgoing the need for the expensive chargers other lithium batteries require.