Kickstart-only Battery Delete capacitor vs tiny Ballistic/Shorai Li-Fe-PO4 battery
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Kickstart-only Battery Delete capacitor vs tiny Ballistic/Shorai Li-Fe-PO4 battery

This is a discussion on Kickstart-only Battery Delete capacitor vs tiny Ballistic/Shorai Li-Fe-PO4 battery within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm needing to replace my dead battery now, and I've been hung up on kickstart engines quite a lot since I got into motorcycles, for ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chuck78's Avatar
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    Kickstart-only Battery Delete capacitor vs tiny Ballistic/Shorai Li-Fe-PO4 battery

    I'm needing to replace my dead battery now, and I've been hung up on kickstart engines quite a lot since I got into motorcycles, for the rider to machine connection, potential weight savings, nostalgia, etc. I dropped my '77 GS750 from 552 lbs wet weight now to 500lbs, & more weight savings would nicely offset the hefty crankcase contents of these overbuilt engines. 16-17 lbs weight savings deleting the battery, starter, and starter gears on my dieting large-cc corner carving machine would be excellent!

    Battery Eliminator Oregon Motorcycle Parts says that much less than a 22,000uf capacitor is no good for trying to smooth out the gaps in the stator pulses on ignition startup & idle on a smaller or 2 cylinder engine., & are working on a 40-60,000uF cap kit for 4 cylinder bikes.

    I see very large 22,000uf and larger caps in the 35 to 70 volt current handling capability for $10-$40 on ebay, and I thought about running two of those in parallel in order to have more power and have 2 in case one blew, so for $40-ish I could have 40,000+uF of electrical ignition assist in kickstarting, and keeping the lights from flickering at idle (plus no battery/starter weight).

    Downside I hear is that the caps (maybe just smaller ones?) are bad at soaking up high revving voltage surges from your charging system at it's peak output, and you blow light bulbs much more often. The other downside to this is that if I run out of gas (or the bike breaks down) at night in the hills or in low lit areas where there may be traffic, I am totally without lights as soon as I pull in the clutch or the bike comes to a stop. I go camping with the bike, so lights with the battery off would be nice.




    Ballistic and Shorai have been making Lithium-Iron Phosphate batteries (similar to Li-Ion) for motorcycles that cost quite a lot, are a little smaller, and weigh SUBSTANTIALLY LESS. Comparison: Shorai Motorcycle Battery Review vs. Ballistic Motorcycle Battery Comparison Review - webBikeWorld
    How much power/amp-hours do I really need to adequately power the Dyna-S ignition and one or two indicator lamp bulbs when kickstarting?
    I am looking at tiny 4 cell Ballistic batteries, with no starter motor draw, how small can I go? A 50cc-scooter-spec 4 cell battery should do it, right? May be able to afford one of those, and have some quick headlight power still after the engine is off.



    Ballistic 4 cell battery, this thing might be the ticket for a kickstart only, what do you guys think?:
    Batteries - Ballistic Performance Components
    Ballistic 100-009 $58 ebay shipped (2"x2"x3.25"), or the slightly larger Ballistic 100-010 (2.5"x2.5"x4.25" 2.3 amp/hours) $87 shipped.


    CAPACITOR(S):
    +slightly lighter than LiFePO4 battery
    +much cheaper (~$30-60 ebay)
    +substantially smaller than lead acid battery
    -may burn out light bulbs more frequently on higher rev's (inability to act as a large cushion for charging system spikes)
    -no lights when engine off, no lights when bike dies from no gas or mechanical issues (danger in traffic)

    SMALL LIGHTWEIGHT LI-IRON-PHOS BATTERY:
    -substantially more cost, $100+
    -does not tolerate charging more than 14.4 volts, will fail
    -does not tolerate running it dead below 9 volts, battery is shot if you discharge it less than 6 volts
    +smaller to much smaller than lead acid battery
    +lights still work when engine is not running (safer if bike dies, handy when parked in the dark)
    +probably makes starts and idling better/smoother than caps


    Any users of very large capacitors on here to comment on the downfalls of them (reliability, light bulbs blowing, etc)? Also, just how small can I go on the battery and still have enough voltage spike cushion, as well as electrical capacity to easily start up my 4 cylinder Dyna-S ignition powered bike??



    Last edited by Chuck78; 06-03-2014 at 08:58 PM.

    '77 GS750 920cc, 4-1, GS1100E swinger, 18" Sun rims, Fox Shox, twinpot dual disc, CR31, Yosh cams
    '74 Rickman VR250MX
    '99 Kawasaki KDX220 rugged terrain ripper
    PROJECTS:
    '77 Suzuki PE250B "Pure Enduro" trail beast, ported, Wiseco, TüBliss, Fox Shox/RaceTech
    '76 Rickman CR GS1000-1120cc roadracer, Yosh cams&4-1, RF900R fork, Works piggybacks
    '79 GS425 489cc Formula 500 racer, Tempter cams, GS650 forks, twinpot brakes, DID rims, GS1100E swinger, Fox Shox
    '77 GS550's 650-740cc susp&brake mods

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chuck78's Avatar
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    As far as power for the size and weight, the Antigravity Batteries' smallest 1lb and 4.25" x 1.25" x 3.75" 6amp/hour offering is the best, but $108 best deal, $119 retail. Seems better for sure. Shorai didn't stack up for my needs. Caps or Ballistic are closer to my over-extended (total engine rebuild!) budget...
    Antigravity Batteries the lightest most powerful and compact Lithium Batteries

    '77 GS750 920cc, 4-1, GS1100E swinger, 18" Sun rims, Fox Shox, twinpot dual disc, CR31, Yosh cams
    '74 Rickman VR250MX
    '99 Kawasaki KDX220 rugged terrain ripper
    PROJECTS:
    '77 Suzuki PE250B "Pure Enduro" trail beast, ported, Wiseco, TüBliss, Fox Shox/RaceTech
    '76 Rickman CR GS1000-1120cc roadracer, Yosh cams&4-1, RF900R fork, Works piggybacks
    '79 GS425 489cc Formula 500 racer, Tempter cams, GS650 forks, twinpot brakes, DID rims, GS1100E swinger, Fox Shox
    '77 GS550's 650-740cc susp&brake mods

  3. #3
    Member jimbo184's Avatar
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    I've been using the Ballistic 4 cell "scooter" battery on my Yamaha R5 for 3000 miles with no problems. I'm also using a "Rick's" solid state reg/rectifier and points. These parts are so small you can hide them about anywhere.

    Jim B

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  5. #4
    Junior Member slhommed's Avatar
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    I am running a '78 KZ650 on 2 capacitors that are very similar to the ones you picture here (larger though ~40k uF). I have them stowed and covered with dip so I can't easily tell the exact specs.
    I am running original points. I found this thread while looking for other folks experience with running a similar setup with the Dyna S.

    Let me see if I can recall this next part correctly...
    I have my capacitors wired such (I recall this to be serial) that they have higher capacity but less resistance. This allows for me to get more capacity ( ~ N*.75, or some such calc) but not take as many kicks (only 1) to fill them up.

    The only lights I have are 1 tail light and 1 head light.
    The tail lite is a small trailer style light. Peterson Round Trailer Tail Light with License Plate Light, 2 Stud Mounting, Left Hand Peterson Trailer Lights 432000
    The headlight eats a ton of amps. I think its somewhere over 8 amps. Blazer International Baja C52CW - Off-Road Light | O'Reilly Auto Parts
    Kickstarting with that headlight turned on would be a never ending workout.

    So, works great for me without the Dyna S. I'm interested to see what happens with the Dyna S.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Joep7's Avatar
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    "Rider to machine connection"...gag me

  7. #6
    Senior Member goldy's Avatar
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    I've been using the Balistics scooter batteries in my Brit bikes for about the past two years with no issues at all.
    All you need is something to 'light' the coils.
    “And this you can know – fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”
    John Steinbeck

  8. #7
    Senior Member YucA's Avatar
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    Get a battery. I ran a few different caps for a while, and in the end it can suck for reasons you already stated, as well as lights dimming while the engine is idling if your charging circuit isnt putting out enough amps for the entire system to be happy. Downsides far outweigh the benefits. As long as you have a good reg/rec you wont blow out bulbs if you insist on caps.

    What battery you get, it up to you. $100 for a lithium battery isnt bad, they last for a long ass time. Just get a good balance charger, so it lasts.

    Im not getting into the math, but your thinking that putting two 20k caps in parallel = 40k is completely and utterly incorrect.
    Last edited by YucA; 06-04-2014 at 08:03 AM.

  9. #8
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    I don't know why magnetos have not become the gold standard for café racer ignition systems, of throwing every useful electrical thing away for immaculate open triangle glory.

    You don't need a battery of any kind, and the alternator only needs to pump out fairly easy low amps for the headlight and tail. I think the EM pulse from one could fry an iPhone at three paces, so remaining off the grid is dealt with extreme measures.

    "Here's a R.C. Kawasaki setup with a mallory duel point distributor. The R.C. angle drive will accept any magneto or
    distributor that is for a type 1 VW engine. Setup with a MSD distributor would be a great way to go."Name:  KAWIRCANGLEDRIVEIGNITION.jpg
Views: 3149
Size:  22.1 KB

    Caps work fine on some bikes like SR500s and some others. Guys need to bear in mind bigger and bigger ones store a hell of a lot of charge unless "grounded out" and the charge dissipated. The big ones in Microwaves store plenty of charge that can kill if mishandled.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    magnetos for a GS750 are rare as rocking horse poop. Mags for KZ and cb's are way more common and are still in the $500-$1000 range which is a lot of cash for anybody. That's probably the only reason they are not the gold standard, cafe kids are fucking cheap.

    I didn't think you could use caps on a GS750. the charging system is hella weak on those bikes and I don't think one kick will generate enough to start the bike.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  11. #10
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Wise words of the month: " cafe kids are fucking cheap. "

    I've always thought riding a Big Twin Harley chopper with dual magnetos would set off security systems, fry laptops and cripple WiFi, and cut Police communications when stopped for a highway street-hassle. Pleasant thoughts, but only fodder for a movie I guess.

    A steam punk could make a toothed belt drive mag with car bits, that would work fine, and look like something from Capt. Nemo's Nautilus. Creativity! Bah, Humbug!

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