Batteries R' Us

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It’s the winter season here in New York City and many riders are already thinking ahead to the spring riding season. A few of us have had the misery of having spring starting issues caused by old and tired batteries. It’s time to replace that battery but where do you get it from? Generic eBay or full price for OEM?

Part of the issue is that the generic eBay batteries are usually lower quality and have reduced CCA ‘s but they dont hit the wallet as hard. Who wants to pay $100 for a battery when you an get the same one for $30? The difference in cost is largely due to the reduced quality of the cells, from the purity of the lead to the quality of the acid and mats in the AGM battery.

First lets talk about what a CCA is. CCA stands for cold cranking amps. It’s the amperage a battery can sustain for 30 seconds at 0F but still maintain a minimum of ~7.2V. Realistically, we are concerned about the first 5-6 seconds of cranking and we are only concerned with a nominal voltage drop of no less than 10V otherwise the ECU may shut down and the starting cycle shuts off. There is also CA, which is cranking amps. The idea is the same, but the temperature is raised to 32F. There is also PCA for the LiFePo4 batteries, or Pulse cranking amps. The idea is the same but at room temperature and the duration is only 5 seconds. Although a PCA is more realistic, the temperature range at which the amperage is reported isnt quite what we need since batteries can have as much as a 60% reduced output at 32F. This is much more evident in LiFePo4 batteries.

So how many CCA’s does your bike need?

Hurricane Sandy and a Darkened New York City

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There are perhaps only 3-4 gas stations in NYC with gasoline left. The lines extend for several blocks with hundreds of vehicles. Even people are filling their jerry cans, either to hold for a generator in case things get bad, or to simply attempt to fill their car in several passes.

This line extended for almost 8 blocks.

A darkened Reade St. The sign hangs with a limp, presumably due to high wind gusts. The only light in this photo is sourced from headlights of vehicles wandering the streets and a full moon.

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S2R1100 EVO (minus all that fancy shit)

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On a breezy late September day in 2007, I picked up a 2006 S2R1000 on Long Island belonging to a cop who didn’t quite have time to ride her anymore. She began her life as the dealership’s test bike, that’s the only reason she had that many miles to be honestly, come to think of it, as I’m writing this, I could see my bike was never destined for a sheltered life!

She was very reasonably price with 4444 miles on the clock and pretty much bone stock aside from a set of bar end mirrors. Since the S2R1000 was relatively new at the time, I was afraid of the O2 issues that people were talking about, but I found no real running issues with the motor when I gave her a test ride.
The very first day I picked her up, I took off the clutch cover and exhaust. I didn’t love the color, but there weren’t that many options for the S2R1000, if you could even find one at the time.

Click to read more! Over 70 photos!

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