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TECH


batterytech Battery technology: AGM vs LFP By Wes Fleming #87301


IT’S A TENET OF POLITE DISCUS- sion in the motorcycle community that you don’t bring up the synthetic vs. natural oil debate, despite the fact that nearly all commercially available oils we use in our motor vehicles are at least semi-synthetic to start. Only slightly behind that on the scale of


“We don’t discuss politics, religion or these things” is the type of battery that is best to put in your motorcycle. There are a lot of myths surrounding batteries, and this article will attempt to explain away some of them, espe- cially those attached to AGM and


lithium batteries. All batteries work in the same fashion


and contain the same basic components, which are an anode, a cathode and the elec- trolyte. Electrons produced by the electro- lyte flow from the anode to the cathode, creating the electrical power we use to start our motorcycles and power our add-on devices like heated jackets and GPS units. First up is that one battery is “better” or


“best” for your motorcycle. The truth is that as long as the battery does what it’s sup- posed to (start your motorcycle), lasts as long as you expect it to (usually three to five years) and fits your budget, that is the best


battery for your motorcycle. Second: gel batteries and AGM batteries


are not the same thing. Both are lead-acid batteries, but their similarities with old car and motorcycle batteries that had to be periodically topped up with distilled water largely end there. Gel (or gel-acid) batteries keep the elec-


trolyte (the solution of sulfuric acid and dis- tilled water) suspended in a silica paste. Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries are a more advanced form of battery, but are often confused with gel-acid batteries because of misinformation or misunder- standing, as their electrolyte is absorbed


Even when you use the proper charger for your battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Improperly charging your battery can result in catastrophic damage, as seen here, which could result in fire, injury and/or death.


38


BMW OWNERS NEWS October 2017


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