Geeked .............................................................. 18


Sure, many of you don’t mind how your bike rides, con­sid­er­ing the way it is drip­ping in pounds of heavy chrome with scads of bags filled with every piece of gear con­ceiv­able. But there is also a large per­cent­age of folks read­ing this mag­a­zine who want to wring out every bit of power their bike can give. Do­ing mo­tor work or adding forced in­duc­tion is a path to great­ness, but get­ting rid of dead weight is also a good (and usu­ally cheaper) way to in­crease power. Yes, a re­duc­tion in poundage is never re­ally equiv­a­lent to in­creas­ing real-deal horse­power, but as the rac­ers say, “Every ounce counts when you have the need for speed.”

A rule of thumb for the kind of bikes we ride is that the loss of 7 pounds is equal to gain­ing one unit of horse­power. One of the eas­i­est ways is to ditch the stock ex­haust setup for some­thing lighter. This ac­tion can get rid of 25 pounds or more on some bikes.

One of the other ways we have found re­cently is to ditch the 15-pound stock lead-acid bat­tery and go with one of the new crop of di­rect-fit lithium-ion bat­ter­ies. These types of bat­ter­ies are lighter be­cause they have no cor­ro­sive liq­uids and no toxic heavy met­als in­side them. They are also en­gi­neered to be smarter with built-in charge and equal­iz­ing pro­tec­tion, which pre­vents the bat­tery from be­ing over-charged. Also, by their na­ture these types of bat­ter­ies have a low self-dis­charge, so they can be stored for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time even in low-tem­per­a­ture en­vi­ron­ments with the abil­ity to start right up. No trickle charger needed! Lithium-ion bat­ter­ies also have su­pe­rior vi­bra­tion re­sis­tance so you can mount them in a myr­iad of di­rec­tions with­out dam­ag­ing the bat­tery or bike. And that’s a good thing, right?

We have been test­ing this lat­est crop of lithium-ion bat­ter­ies for a while now, and although they are only a por­tion the weight of a lead-acid bat­tery, we have been see­ing more than twice the ser­vice life of the con­ven­tional bat­ter­ies. And that is a win-win sit­u­a­tion right there if we have ever seen one. Look for an in-depth test on these bat­ter­ies and more on hot­ HB

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