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TOPIC: Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out

Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 08:07 #821704

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Personally, I think a LiFePo4 battery makes a lot of sense in a custom build, especially like the one in the OP's avatar. I think they also make sense from a performance perspective, as any weight that can be removed from one of these portly dinasaurs will have a positive impact on handling and braking. Yes, customization and performance enhancements cost money, but to my mind there are far worse ways to spend a few dollars.
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1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 08:39 #821708

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Yep removing weight will help improve power / weight ratio, The mounting flexibility aspect also make sense on a custom build, but I would not justify this ~$500.00 expense over a $50 AGM by saying that "speed costs money". Especially on a sled with 50 hp to begin with. Using that logic one could simply just go buy a different faster bike with more power and better handling. Everybody wants to re-invent the wheel.

And for some, a trip to jenny craig would also improve the power to weight ratio. lol

Party on Garth! :)
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Located in the Saint Louis, Missouri Area.

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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 10:20 #821711

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Does Jenny Craig still exist? :laugh: The easiest way to lighten your bike is pushing away from the table. Lol. BTW an Antigravity with a Ricks reg it would be $280.... jus sayin. Remember there are people out there throwing thousands of dollars at leather tassels for their bikes, a slightly more expensive battery might make more sense. If you're into old bikes and financial sensibility... I want two of whatever you had. :laugh:

In my mind; stock bike=Lead battery, Custom bike = Lithium Battery
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 10:29 #821712

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I have one of those in one of my turbos .Its very handy as the power commander and the batt both fit in the battery box . Its also handy if Im working on one of my bikes that doesn't have a battery as no matter which side the cables are on you can always hook it up . It also came in handy when my friend called me stuck on the side of the road when the alternator went on his 900 ninja .I threw it in my pocket and jumped on my bike and it had enough power to get him to my house so we could change it out .

All my stock bikes get regular batteries .
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 11:38 #821721

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Glad the OP found a solution

I seem to agree, stock bike stock battery, maybe even a sealed AGM. But $350 for a batt and R/R is way more then I spent on complete LED upgrades. It reduces battery draw and I get the advantage of brighter lighting with longer life. To me $350 is better spent elsewhere on a stock or slightly “modified” :huh: bike.
1976 KZ 900 A4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 14:10 #821730

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$200.00 battery + $150.00 for the R/R, and don't forget the >SPECIAL< charger needed which runs ~$150.00 = 500 bucks, unless we are saving weight on a calculator by ignoring other "must have" other stuff.

Then combine that with the fact that most "leaner bike" owners are young and clueless on how to modify electrical systems because they are only on here to "learn", so it gets even more expensive. And, in this point and click age, they have never looked through the owners manual NOR attended any classroom training on checking the oil, yet see all this neato stuff being used as the holy grail, and WANT. Only watched what's on YouTube videos.

WOW, it's over 60* F AND it stopped raining! YA! My bike is an animal in this weather. I am going to see if my bike will start so I can get some >trouble free< therapy in today. . Whaddya thingk? I bet $100.00 it starts immediately. Who's on? you gonna LOSE. lol

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Located in the Saint Louis, Missouri Area.
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 25 Mar 2020 15:37 #821738

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$150 antigravity battery delivered
$130 for regulator delivered
_______________________________
$280 total

no need for special charger. they come fully charged. and as long as you don't let the bike sit for over a year you don't have to put it on trickle- this is an advantage of LiFePO4

I'm sure your bike will start up just fine. It was never about that
-Vic
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Last edit: by DoctoRot.

Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 26 Mar 2020 06:43 #821801

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You are a talented bike builder Doc. I don't think the PO has near the talent you do. I think I even voted for your bike as BOTY when mine was on the ballot. BUT, most are not as talented as you in modifying electrical systems. As can be referenced in the title of this thread. "can't figure this one out"

Also to note, anyone converting to the newer technology will need the right charger for this battery at some point. Real world experience should make this painfully clear to anyone taking a serious look into converting a dinosaur like a vintage Kaw. The PO stated he charged this battery in the first few posts, so obviously it needed to be charged. That can also be marked up as part of the "learning curve" by not installing the right parts to begin with. I'm curious what happens once he installs the Ricks Motorsports "lithium compatible" regulator? I would also put the R/R cost closer to 150 bucks, don't forget shipping shipping and taxes. It seems every time I buy something it costs more than I had initially figured. Just one more thing and I'm good.. :whistle:

My only point in stating was that I knew my 4 year old AGM battery would start my bike, because it works right, and my charging system is right. All 40 year old OEM parts on my 40 year old bike, functioning like the Japanese engineers intended it to do.. with a little help from a relay to feed the R/R proper battery "sense" voltage on the brown wire. (aging wiring harness voltage drop) Smart little fkrs, those Japanese. lol

But, HEY! Don't let my biased opinions stop anyone from converting to one of these small, light, neato batteries. Anyone that does attempt this conversion should be aware of the advantages AND potential pitfalls involved. It's not without it's share of potential problems.

It's your money. If you have too much, send it to me.

In some modification threads, the advocates seem to have stock in the companies selling the stuff. lol
1981 Kawasaki Kz1000K1
Located in the Saint Louis, Missouri Area.
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Last edit: by old_kaw. Reason: typo's

Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 26 Mar 2020 11:26 #821827

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+1 on Doc’s talents.
1976 KZ 900 A4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 26 Mar 2020 17:04 #821866

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You guys are too kind..

The thing is when I first came to the site I knew absolutely nothing. I had never cleaned a carb, never spliced a wire, never done any metal fabrication, and knew very little about motorcycles general. Its through this great website combined an my own mistakes and explorations along the way that got me to where I am. I think its important for both sides of an issue to be understood and allow people to make their own informed decisions.I also think its important to screw up and make mistakes because in the rectification of those mistakes the problem is more deeply understood.
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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 26 Mar 2020 17:59 #821869

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DoctoRot wrote: You guys are too kind..
I think its important for both sides of an issue to be understood and allow people to make their own informed decisions.I also think its important to screw up and make mistakes because in the rectification of those mistakes the problem is more deeply understood.


Im a graduate from the school of hard knocks! Builds character.
1976 KZ 900 A4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.

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Kz550 battery dies when I’m riding it. Can’t figure this one out 27 Mar 2020 09:22 #821898

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Well said Doc.

You have the intelligence and drive to take an educated approach to modifications and problem solving. Yes, mistakes are how you learn. Persistence helps. Most of the folks wanting the neato mods see how others did this or that, skipping the education and research part needed to make things work,, so they can ride an already dead bike. I attended college twice post military. The first time 2 years college auto mechanics teaching all aspects of the internal combustion engine including carburetion theory and physics (pulleys, levers, gear ratios, etc.). Worked at several shops, but hated the constant state of various odors, greasy hands and clothes.

THEN, fast forward 20 years, I took another 2 year electronics course after my TV started to fold up.. $13,000 in student loans later My TV worked, and a whole lot of others since. I wanted a career change at that point (worked CATV for years ),I guess god directed me in this path using my TV.


I don't claim to know everything, and I learn new things most every day from the folks on KZR. Mostly related to specific Kawasaki's.. When I see people with no technical training or knowledge all of a sudden "fixing" a dead bike by spending massive quantities of money on aftermarket stuff that was never intended to be used on their bike, when all they need to do is read the manual and test a few things. Fixing the OEM systems is a smarter and cheaper path to take. All systems are clearly documented, and engineered to function way past the end of warranty period. If not, it would drive the dealerships out of business in short order.

I tried to buy this bike. The tires were sunk into the dirt ~6" and it was overgrown by vegetation. The loon plate explains it. lithium battery and some fresh gas? :evil:
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