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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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!