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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?

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