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Gear Scout: Shorai Lithium Motorcycle Batteries

We’ve all been there––finger on the starter button, brow furrowed as we whisper a hushed plea, “come on, baby…come on.” It’s easy to take a battery for granted, right up until the moment it denies you of a good ride. Prior to 2010 and the introduction of Shorai batteries, we didn’t even know just how much we could expect out of battery. Is there more to a good battery than reliable cranking power?

Shorai is the world’s principle producer of prismatic cell, lithium iron phosphate batteries. What that means in the science lab is heady stuff. What it means to the adventure rider is pretty easy to understand and appreciate. A Shorai LFX battery is up to 80% lighter than a standard lead-acid battery. For a larger motorcycle, those weight savings can translate to a reduction of 8-15 pounds. An LFX battery also maintains a higher voltage level for quicker starts and perhaps most importantly, they do not sulfate in storage. The chemical process which degrades the power of lead-acid batteries as they sit idle is simply not a concern with a Shorai LFX battery. If you ride more than a couple times a month, and let’s hope you do, a trickle charger is wholly unnecessary with a Shorai lithium battery.

The weight savings paired to improved starting performance were the most attractive benefits to us at Overland International, and reason enough to start putting Shorai LFX batteries in our project bikes.


Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.