Battery tender’s lithium magic

Battery tender’s lithium magic

I bought my 2006 Kawasaki ZX6R in 2009, and hobbled along to 2015 with whatever lead-acid battery was in there. Then I decided to stop screwing around and get serious.

(TLDR? Checkout the BikeMinds mod post)

No more playing around.

By serious I mean buy a real f*cking battery. One that’s light and makes the starter motor sound like an angry animal even on the coldest days when the oil in the crank case has honey-like viscosity. So I bought a Battery Tender Lithium battery.

brand new battery tender lithium motorcycle battery

I had already gone through this with my race bike, and what I learned was that these batteries deliver. They are insanely small, insanely light, and they seem to hold a charge extremely well through long periods of neglect. <- Yes, I neglect my motorcycles from time to time and yet I expect them to work without question when I need them to. Unreasonable expectation? Not with products like this under the seat.

Small.

Speaking of under the seat, ask yourself what else you want to put under there, because you’ll gain half your battery box’s volume back after you stick this bad boy in. Take a gander:

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The lead-acid medicine ball that came out of this bike was bigger. Half of it was under the tank, and half exposed under the seat (see above). You know what sucked? To get the battery out you had to unbolt the back of the gas tank and lift it up. But with this little guy? Never again.

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Just re-route some wires,  play a little basic Tetris, and BOOM! Now I can remove and replace the battery to my heart’s desire. And all I have to do is remove the seat. Hell yeah!

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Battery Tender: A good company

In the interest of full disclosure, after a year this battery failed. Battery Tender asked only that I ship the failed battery to them, and hardly a week later I had a brand new one at my doorstep. Shipping is cheap, by the way, since these featherlight plastic boxes feel nothing like the batteries you might be used to.

I have 2 of these batteries; the one in my race bike is going 2 years strong. The one in my street bike failed, but was promptly replaced under warranty as noted above. These perform so damn well when they work, I consider the failure a pretty minor blemish. But I’ll report back in another year or so for good measure!

 

Couchifying a ZX6R

Couchifying a ZX6R

The problem

My 2006 Kawasaki ZX6R street bike sits more than it rolls. I’ve just lost my taste for it – the high strung motor, the rear set rearsets, the low clipons – my track time on a motorcycle has gone to a dedicated race bike and the ZX is not what I want for street riding.

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But it’s what I have. I dream of Motus MSTs, more practically Triumph Street Triples (yeah, I’m all over the place), however the cheapest option seems to be keeping what I have and finding a way to make it work for me. So I’ve committed to a last ditch effort: make my ZX6R a comfortable street motorcycle.

And to that end…

The solution?

Vario foot pegs

I currently have Woodcraft rear sets. They rock at the track, but they are not comfortable for cruising. Scratch that – that are anti-comfortable for cruising. I’ll return to stock rear sets which will allow the use of MFW‘s Vario foot pegs.

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The Vario is an interesting product that mounts to stock rear sets and adds an extension between the rear set and foot peg. This allows you to lower your pegs and adds some forward/backward adjustability. Cramped and tired legs? Solved!

Apex Manufacturing’s Adjustable Clip-ons

Apex Manufacturing makes a pretty basic but compelling kit for height-adjustable clip-ons.

 

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That’s it, I think…

Hand and foot positions seem to be the biggest cause for discomfort while tooling around on the ZX. So those are the must-solve issues. A cushy seat, a nicer windshield – that stuff will be worth diving into once I’m smiling again on long highway stints 🙂

Will report back soon!