Weight and batteries.

I am not a great believer in saving minuscule amounts of weight on a bike as in my opinion it does nothing. As an aviator I know that weight is proportional to acceleration and aerodynamics is proportional to top speed. Many vehicle manufacturers harp on about 0 to 60 mph, or 0 to 100 kph times, a totally useless figure for a road bike as there is never any need to accelerate that fast. To change a plastic part for a carbon fibre part and save 50 grams at a cost of £80 is only any good if you want to look at that part and it looks pretty. Joe Public will never notice that it is carbon and not plastic and you will not notice any increase in performance. What if we could save 3 kilos? I very much doubt that anyone would feel the difference in that either, after all it is only about the weight of 4 litres of fuel, and you could just put 4 litres less in your tank. The 848 is a fairly light bike in standard trim.

I am, however, a huge fan of technology and “toys”. I had a bit of money to spare, we don’t have road tax or MOTs on bikes here, so wondered what I could play with next. I found a battery on the web for the total of €105 (£80) but it was a Lithium rather than the old lead acid technology, so I ordered it to play with. When the box arrived this morning I thought it was empty!


Here it sits on the scales at 605 grams. It claims 290 CCA (cold cranking amps)a measure of the ability to turn the engine. The battery behind is one that was in my garage with a claimed CCA of 210.


As you can see it is 3.5 kgs heavier! According to the label on top of the new lithium battery, it is a replacement for the above battery.



But that great big heavy battery is not the one that is fitted to my 848, that has a much lighter battery fitted as shown below.


So the 848 battery is only 2.8 kgs heavier than the new battery, there is no CCA marked on this battery but I assume that it is over 200.

Ten minutes later I had removed the side panel and the battery clamp on the bike to reveal this.


A nice tight fit on the bike as that was the size of battery needed back in 2010 when my bike was built. After removal of the Yuasa YT12B-BS the scene ended up like this.


The lightweight rubber spacers come supplied with the new battery and when the retaining strap is fitted, it is very stable.

I switched the ignition on and watched the gauges go through the motions and the HID xenon dip beam headlight come on, and then I pressed the starter button. I was completely taken aback at the speed at which the engine cranked. As it ticked over I pushed to info button up one click to see the dashboard indicate that it was charging at 13.9 volts. The maximum for this type of battery is 15 volts but my 848 stays at around 13.8 to 14.1 volts so all should be good.

Rather than take the battery out and play with it on one of the other bikes, I decided to leave it fitted and see how it holds charge and how it performs. It should be fine as I understand that Ducati now fit lithium batteries to the 1299 Panigaleas standard.

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