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  1. #1
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Not trying to be a smart-ass, and to some extent I guess it makes sense. Still, I'm thinking that recent developments may have made mods like that unnecessary for most of us.



    I get it that some of us go way off the beaten path, and that getting back is not guaranteed if the bike won't start. Nobody likes to walk out and leave a lot of camping gear,



    personal items and of course the bike to the mercy of whomever passes by. Still, I think some put the kicker on primarily because they don't like to deal with having a low or



    dead battery when taking the bike out for an infrequent ride from home. Chargers, etc.



    Back in '84 I was nervous when I bought my new Honda V65 V4 which had no kick starter. First bike I ever owned without one. It turned out OK, despite my misgivings.



    Later Deltran brought out their Battery Tender, made primarily for bikes. By hooking up the supplied pigtail to the battery and running it to an accessible place on the exterior



    of the bike, plugging in a charger no longer involved digging through bodywork to get to the battery.



    Much easier, but still a PITA if you are in a hurry and the battery is down.



    A couple of years ago new technology made low batteries and chargers almost obsolete. I'm talking about lithium-ion batteries.



    A few firms brought out those new batteries sized for bikes. Shorai and AntiGravity were the first that I saw. Early reports were almost unbelievably good.



    I had a one year old Ducati 1100 V-twin which was a slow starter with the stock battery. The battery tested perfectly so there was no logic to replacing it with another like it.



    I dreaded the day when it would go from "slow starter" to "non starter" because the battery on that bike was buried down inside the bike and would take a good mechanic with



    a full assortment of tools half an hour to reach it. I ordered a new AntiGravity battery for it.



    When it arrived two days later I opened the package and could not believe it. The old battery weighed close to ten pounds and was huge in dimensions. The new li-ion battery



    weighed two pounds and would have easily fit in a pocket of my cargo shorts. It came with some foam pads to keep it from sliding around in the battery box.



    The Ducati started up with the first touch of the button. Since then it occasionally is slow, but definitely an improvement over the stocker. Both AntiGravity and Shorai say that



    the discharge rate on their batteries is so low that they can sit without being used for up to a year and still start a bike.



    I got very sick in November 2011. Did not ride at all for 3 months and didn't ride the Duc for more than four months. After sitting all that time without being charged, it



    started immediately. (Fortunately I had put Star-Tron in the gas tank) I'm convinced.



    AntiGravity states the life expectancy as four or five years. It has been in my bike for almost two years. Shorai claims five or six years for theirs.



    The AntiGravity battery is older technology than the Shorai. The AG has more cold cranking amps than the Shorai but the Shorai has more reserve capacity. Next time I'll



    probably go for the Shorai.



    Either battery can be charged, so long as the charger has no de-sulfating cycle. The Deltrans do not.



    The first thing I put on my TW was a Deltran charger pigtail. Pulling the seat to access the battery is a PITA, and that problem is solved. I'll be ordering a new Shorai for it



    before long. The only downside is cost,(around $150.) but pro-rated over 5 or 6 years it is certainly worth it to me. Unless I do something dumb,like running a lot of power



    tools or accessories off it, my TW will start, period.



    I understand that a kick starter kit for a TW results in the cases supporting the shaft with no internal support. The cases break, I am told. Not to mention the additional



    weight. Instead of adding weight, the li-ion battery takes weight off.



    For those who have a kick starter, I'm not knocking them, but for those thinking of adding them, I'm offering the idea that it may be unnecessary. Food for thought.



    NOTE: I originally called my battery a ZeroGravity. It is really an AntiGravity. I just corrected it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Polarpilot's Avatar
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    I live virtually at the end of the line. After three years my battery has failed the cost to fly the battery in three years ago was $254. Batteries even when dry are red lable cargo and have premium surcharges on them.

    Right now a kick starter would work to keep me riding.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    You may be right, but consider that the new li-ion batteries contain neither acid nor lead, are considered environmentally friendly and weigh a fraction of the lead-acid batteries, I'd check to see if the cost might be much less. Maybe call Shorai?

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  5. #4
    Senior Member chipyting's Avatar
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    The TW200 is super easy to push start, don't ask me how I know. Turned the ignition on, I put the choke all the way out, put the bike in 2nd, ran a bit with the clutch in jumped on, popped the clutch and she started right up. If you have a small incline, it's easier, you can skip the jumping on part. After I did that, I realized that I no longer needed to install a kick starter. Your results may vary, see a doctor if symptoms return, use as directed,

  6. #5
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Chip, that does not surprise me at all. I had a 250 Bultaco Matador back in the late 60s. European metal quality was still spotty for a couple of decades after WW2. That Bultaco had a kick starter shaft made out of something with the apparent strength of cheddar cheese. I had to split the cases to change it, so I often delayed and just push-started it. I even went trail riding with no starter of any kind. I got used to parking it on a hill, if available.



    Not as easy on a loaded-down TW, but not impossible.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Polarpilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom99 View Post
    You may be right, but consider that the new li-ion batteries contain neither acid nor lead, are considered environmentally friendly and weigh a fraction of the lead-acid batteries, I'd check to see if the cost might be much less. Maybe call Shorai?
    Ordered a Shorai lithium battery and charger this afternoon in time for their same day shipping. With a bit of luck it will be here mid week and if the weather cooperates I will be riding late this week.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    That's great. Let us know how it turns out.

  9. #8
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom99 View Post
    I understand that a kick starter kit for a TW results in the cases supporting the shaft with no internal support. The cases break, I am told.


    Hi Phantom,



    I am not sure who told you this, but I respectfully disagree. Having removed and re-installed several kickers on a couple of TW's, I can assure you that the kickstarter shaft/gear is well supported on both the engine case end and the clutch cover end.



    Brian

  10. #9
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Brian, as I said,the part about the kick starter shaft was hearsay. I'll certainly take your word over what I hear on the street.



    The part about the li-ion battery, however, is not hearsay. It is legit.

  11. #10
    Member Thomas K's Avatar
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    when it's 10 degF with a dead battery and your wearing snowmobile bibs, gloves, boots, a couple sweatshirts under your heavy coat trying to push start your bike is no fun. By the third try pushing my bike up the driveway I was sweating so bad I thought I was going to passout.

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