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PR: Proprietary Items Your starter for ten



vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#1
Old age comes to us all I was sure the reason I was not using the Alphabet twin was that the starting was hard, not too difficult you understand I normally started from home in a couple of kicks and everything is set up pretty good, but like that stupid insurance ad it was a nagging doubt about the situations where I might find starting a real problem.
Logically I thought since I have not touched it internally for years I was convinced it was sporting some high CR pistons however on whipping off the front head there sat a 7;3 piston in a good condition head.
Ah well I think its time for another electric start. I say another because the last one was a disaster on the first try( and I mean first push on the button) I stripped the teeth off the big sprag wheel and after taking it off, it got repaired and refitted to another twin project. It was early days for the stater and I guess things have improved and I dont hear many complaints so long as the drill is followed.
So my question is about a battery, the book says 14 Amphr battery I know Lithmium are expensive (plus a suitable charger) but having seen their light weight on Bens Endurance racer it does seem a no brainer I know Eddie has squeezed a Lithmium into a battery box but I want plenty of capacity and I have no compunction in hanging out a lithmium in full view so long as it fits a twin battery platform, my concern is will it work well with a new Alton and what makes and types of lithmium have other found works well.
 
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peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#2
I certainly would not bother with a Lithmium Iron battery, the ones that Francois Grosset recommends are lead acid, AGM, black, the correct size (almost) maintenance free, hold a charge forever, do not need a special charger (Optimate is good) no danger of exploding or bursting into flames whilst being charged. When my VW Transporter diesel battery died this summer whilst on holiday, and left me stranded in Notter Bridge, Cornwall, in desperation I removed the Yuasa battery from my bike, I doubt that it is one quarter the size of the VW battery, but it turned it over and started without any problems, not once, but twice.
My Grandson races remote control cars that use Lithium Iron batteries, it is a rule of most of the circuits that he races at that while the batteries are being charged they must be contained in a special fireproof and I presume explosion proof pouch for safety reasons, if you get caught not adhering to the rules you are excluded from the meeting, I guess someone learned through bitter experience how dangerous these batteries can be if not treated with caution, for the relatively small amount of weight saving, for me it would not be worth the bother. If there is a weakness with the Grosset starter, and I have to say I have not experienced any problems yet, I do not think it will be the battery that causes the problem.
 
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vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#3
I can see your point Peter the internet is not a lot of help there is confusion over Lithmium ion and Lithmium Iron (the latter seems to be the one for M/C batteries) and tons about use in that technological dead end the electric car (IMHO), and of course the technology is advancing all the while, but what I was looking for was experience of use in the Vincent world I cant believe its just Eddie.
 

Bill Cannon

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#4
I've been using a Lithium battery for about three years, although the bike has probably only done about 600miles in that time. I have had no problem with them but I did replace my Ultrabatt one recently with one from County Batteries off the web. Actually turned out to be alternator problem and not the battery! The new battery does not require a special charger. The weight saving takes at least a second off the 0-60 time!

Bill
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
#5
Old age comes to us all I was sure the reason I was not using the Alphabet twin was that the starting was hard, not too difficult you understand I normally started from home in a couple of kicks and everything is set up pretty good ....., it was a nagging doubt about the situations where I might find starting a real problem. .....Ah well, I think its time for another electric start. I say another because the last one was a disaster on the first try (and I mean first push on the button) I stripped the teeth off the big sprag wheel and after taking it off, it got repaired and refitted to another twin project. It was early days for the starter and I guess things have improved and I don't hear many complaints so long as the drill is followed.
So my question is about a battery, the book says 14 Amphr battery I know Lithium are expensive (plus a suitable charger) but having seen their light weight on Bens Endurance racer it does seem a no-brainer. I know Eddy has squeezed a Lithium into a battery box but I want plenty of capacity and I have no compunction in hanging out a lithium in full view so long as it fits a twin battery platform, my concern is will it work well with a new Alton and what makes and types of lithium have other found works well.
  1. Old age. You can't slow the passage of time that gradually makes life less easy but you can do a few things that make important things in your life easier. Cue electric start for my Rapide which was aways a good starter by leg but a worn right knee would be less problematic if I don't have to kickstart.
  2. I've used the Grosset electric start for two or three years. It works really well but needs to be fitted correctly which involves a few fairly simple mods and careful setup to check clearances. Important to have your ignition timing set accurately too as a backfire can break the cheap but annoying to fix shear pin. (This has not happened to me as the BT-H mag I have always used [40,000 + miles] has an excellent auto advance built in.) Disadvantages in my experience are minor, i.e. you can't move the bike backwards if you have it in gear. This is a function of the sprag clutch which works as a "freewheel" in only one direction of rotation. You need to just click it back into neutral (or one of the many neutrals if you have a dodgy gearbox ;)) when you want to move backwards which is not a big deal. Another disadvantage might be cost as it is not cheap. If you are lucky or organised enough to have savings, spend them on an electric start to allow you to continue riding your Vincent twin because that is priceless.
  3. Any battery that will fit on the bike and has enough cranking power will do the job. Lead acid batteries work well, readily available and are relatively cheap. I use a Shorai lithium battery. The one that I use is expensive and has a high cranking capacity for its size, important as I have removed the kickstart altogether. There are cheaper brands available but I have no experience of these. I have had no problems with my lithium battery. It is in service starting my Ducati 996 ST4S while the Rapide is of the road. (A rebore and a few mods over the winter.) It is light so that offsets somewhat the weight of the starter. It also can be mounted any way up, is powerful for the size and fits in a dummy battery box. I have an Optimate lithium battery charger but I am lead to believe that you can use a standard basic battery charger as long as it doesn’t have a desulphate mode. Lithium batteries have had some bad press but I have also had lead acid batteries “blow up” or leak spoiling chrome and ruining clothing so choice is a bit of a swings and roundabouts. I have a Walkernator fitted to my twin but I don’t see why an Alton shouldn’t do the job as long as the regulator/rectifier is up to the job. Someone else may have this setup and be able to comment.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#6
I guess Bens racer does not have a charging circuit in place, so no concerns about charging, as I said previously, the battery that Francois recommends has a huge cold cranking ability, enough to start a 2 litre VW diesel, 220-240 I think, the only real advantage that I can see with the lithium battery is the weight saving, if you put a little less fuel in the tank you probably achieve the same weight saving.
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#7
Don´t confuse Lithium polymer batteries with LiFePo4 types. The first type is the "explosive" , the LiFePo4 is not risky at all to use in bikes in a decent battery size. I have replaced a number of lead batteries when they died - from age or from vibes - and filled the old case with the LiFePo accus you can find at Ebay and series solder them yourself in your chosen capacity.

Vic
LiFePo4 accu
 

stu spalding

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#8
Hi Tim, Carrot cycles, of Lincoln, do a Shorai 18aH lithium iron battery and a replica Exide case that it just slips into. Mine gets a lot of use with a Grosset starter and works fine. As you say, they are expensive, but I would have used the same cost in lead/acid in the time it has been fitted. I use an old basic charger that doesn't try to think for itself, with no problems. Cheers, Stu.
 

Vincent Brake

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#9
Old age comes to us all I was sure the reason I was not using the Alphabet twin was that the starting was hard, not too difficult you understand I normally started from home in a couple of kicks and everything is set up pretty good, but like that stupid insurance ad it was a nagging doubt about the situations where I might find starting a real problem.
Logically I thought since I have not touched it internally for years I was convinced it was sporting some high CR pistons however on whipping off the front head there sat a 7;3 piston in a good condition head.
Ah well I think its time for another electric start. I say another because the last one was a disaster on the first try( and I mean first push on the button) I stripped the teeth off the big sprag wheel and after taking it off, it got repaired and refitted to another twin project. It was early days for the stater and I guess things have improved and I dont hear many complaints so long as the drill is followed.
So my question is about a battery, the book says 14 Amphr battery I know Lithmium are expensive (plus a suitable charger) but having seen their light weight on Bens Endurance racer it does seem a no brainer I know Eddie has squeezed a Lithmium into a battery box but I want plenty of capacity and I have no compunction in hanging out a lithmium in full view so long as it fits a twin battery platform, my concern is will it work well with a new Alton and what makes and types of lithmium have other found works well.
I run an alton new type+ podtronics and shorai 18 amp for 4 y now no problem some 25K km
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
#10
Hi Tim, Carrot cycles, of Lincoln, do a Shorai 18aH lithium iron battery and a replica Exide case that it just slips into. Mine gets a lot of use with a Grosset starter and works fine. As you say, they are expensive, but I would have used the same cost in lead/acid in the time it has been fitted. I use an old basic charger that doesn't try to think for itself, with no problems. Cheers, Stu.
My setup is similar to Stu's with the same battery and in a dummy Exide case. A 14aH version with the same dimension is available and a bit cheaper. A couple of other Coventry Section members are using an even smaller size with their Grosset starters. If you are thinking of going "Lithium" to drive your electric start the picture below gives the dimensions of the battery that Stu and myself are using. Versions with the "+" and "-" terminals position swapped end for end if that makes installation easier
shorai LFX14A case size.jpg
 

Marcus Bowden

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#11
I had my "B"rap starter fitted the same time as Peter (day later) my daughters red Rapide had one fitted in 2003, one gear replaced shortly after fitting (hardening not correct) Grosset ignition system too. my "B" is similar yet has a manual advance/retard so can retard more yet still backfires ! broken a sprag gear and the plastic planet gear in the epi-cyclic reducer in starter motor so have had the final motor pinion removed (shear pin in) since April checked timing several times, now fitted with two old stock Bosch & Champions non resistance plugs (twin plugged) last couple of outings no backfires !!!! so thinking of re-fitting pinion with the cross sectional area (CSA) reduced by 20 % on shear pins. Daughters bike never gives trouble, I find that not moving backwards is great when stopped on an incline. But must be in neutral when rolling back onto center stand, as it's so easy to do whilst astride the bike even with wife up behind so long as it is not being lifted with wheel off the ground. Trying to reduce possibilities of disasters mounting and dismounting.
Yes it's about the battery, I splashed out and acquired a lithium iron, normally my lead acid 20A/H extend 3" beyond battery carrier and nearly touch my exposed suspension springs gained nearly 1/4" by removing boxes and saved 1/3 rd of the weight. CCA cold cranking amps is what we require the lead acid 230 the good ones the Lithium iron nearly 400 amps yet I couldn't get one the same physical size as the lead battery, if I could it would have another 25% extra capacity. I like Tim like having a good reserve, one day I hope to have a generator that will match maximum consumption at tick over, just like a car. Full lights,heaters, fans, music system at tick over with meter on battery 14.35 Volts, magic as Baxter would say.
Bloody stormy tonight down here in the south west.
bananaman.
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
#12
I guess Bens racer does not have a charging circuit in place, so no concerns about charging, as I said previously, the battery that Francois recommends has a huge cold cranking ability, enough to start a 2 litre VW diesel, 220-240 I think, the only real advantage that I can see with the lithium battery is the weight saving, if you put a little less fuel in the tank you probably achieve the same weight saving.
Rereading your post it occurred to me that I drive a 2 litre VW diesel Golf and the battery is huge compared to the lead-acid battery that Francois recommends so I'm not sure that would last long on my VW assuming it would turn it over in the first place. I think the battery on my VW is probably 70aH and around 600+ CCA.
I think you may be right about the advantage of the weight saving. I could put in less fuel to achieve the same result although I usually fill it right up each time in case I decide to just keep riding. I also thought about foregoing the sweet after dinner this evening to save a little weight. Unfortunately, Gloria had stewed some of our own apples and served them up with ice-cream so I quickly forgot about the weight saving. I was saddened that my resolve was weak but cheered up again when she said there was enough apple left for the same again tomorrow.:)
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#14
Marcus, you already have an alternator that will give you all the power you will ever need on tickover, the Nippon Denso tucked away in one of your sliding drawers, you have shown it to me several times, speak to Norman Walker, he could probably sell you the fitting kit.
Using the Yuasa motorcycle battery to start the VW Transporter was only ever intended to be a get me out of trouble measure, it just enabled me to get to an Autoparts supplier to purchase the correct battery, I was just surprised that there was enough power to start the VW twice, certainly got me out of trouble and saved me quite a lot of money in recovery and garage charges, another unforeseen added advantage of going 12 volt.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#15
A local NSW member has fitted a LiFePO battery that can be made to fit in a battery box. It is rated at 480 CCA!! That should do the job.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#16
I retract all my previous comments, that Shorai battery looks amazing, and safe also, better start saving for a battery and charger I suppose, expensive business riding these Vincent motorcycles isn't it.
 

Marcus Bowden

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#17
Peter my handsome you should be able to spend at least a £ 998 a year on each of your bikes to keep abreast of increased value, think of the poor folk who loose that every year on much newer machines.
 

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#19
I have been hiding my Podronics regulator under the battery, the new Grosset relay wants this location now, so where do you move the Podtronics regulator?
PodReg2.jpg
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#20
The solenoid is a pretty small unit, I would leave the regulator where it is and find a neat place to site the solenoid, you will need longer leads made up, but that should be easy enough.
 


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