Easy-to-follow battery charging protocol for weekend riding

How do you charge your Alta if you ride primarily on weekends

  • Option 1: I charge after riding to 100%. Let it sit 5-6 days fully charged.

  • Option 2: I let it sit almost empty all week. Then charge it to 100% on Friday.

  • Option 3: I start charging after riding, set an alarm for 2 hours. Then charge on Friday to 100%.

  • Option 4: I start charging after riding, set a 110V timer for 2 hours. Then charge on Friday to 100%

  • Option 5: I have a better technique that is not listed above.


Results are only viewable after voting.

Philip

Administrator
Staff member
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I would like to figure out a headache-free way to charge my bikes for the best battery longevity for when I ride just once a week. It has become very often around here that the local tracks are open only on weekends. The bikes sit in the garage 5-6 days straight, either almost empty or fully charged, waiting for the next weekend. I really do not like this.

According to other threads in this sub-forum (this and this), we should keep the batteries charged at around 50% at all times. However, what is the best way to implement this in practice? Basically, I would like to re-visit this thread from two years ago.

Here are some ideas:

Option 1: Charge after riding to 100%. Let it sit 5-6 days fully charged.

Option 2: Let it sit almost empty all week. Charge it to 100% on Friday.

Option 3: Start charging right after riding and set an alarm for 2 hours to turn the charger off manually. Then come back on Friday and charge to 100%.

Option 4: Start charging right after riding and set a 110V timer for 2 hours to turn the charger off automatically. Then come back on Friday and charge to 100%.

Option 5: Better than all of the above that does not take any more work. What is it???

----------------------------------

Option 1 is probably the worst for battery life. The battery will be charged almost all of the time.

Option 2 is often okay and actually is not bad at all if the bike is not fully discharged to zero.

Option 3 seems the best for long battery life, but how many of you guys actually have the time and the patience to do this???

I used to do Option 4, but got a bit scared after my BCU went out unexpectedly two years ago. Is it safe to use a 110V timer to cut the power to the bike to interrupt a charge?

Does anyone have Option 5 that is superior to all the other listed options? Charging fully and riding it down to 50% is not really a viable option for me.

I have added an anonymous poll for curiosity. Just wondering how all the weekend riders here have been charging their bikes.

I would especially like to hear from ex-Alta guys who are familiar with this matter, particularly with the min and max SOC and life expectancy of the batteries at these SOC, as well as from those who are familiar with the chemistry of our Panasonic and Sony batteries.
@Rashid510 . @Judaslefourbe
 

Rashid510

Well-known member
Forum's Sponsor
As an active user of my SM and occasional use of my MX/EX I have my batteries at 95% - 100% SOC. Right now both bikes are at that range. I have a few times this year due to SIP have not ridden my Altas for weeks and firing them back up with no issues or faults. Ive done plenty of "long distance" rides on the Alta SM in the Bay Area the past few years and the range has stayed the same.

The people who really know this info @Philip are the Battery MFG and lead design engineers. They can really answer the questions you have pondered. Not too hard to ask.

PS: Those posts were interesting. Especially the comments/feedback/feels about Alta. Reminds me of the wayback machine website.
 

wwmotors

Well-known member
Location
Bavaria Germany
2 hours before i go to the track, i charge to 100% plus balancing with standard charger. On the track i ride and charge several times between 20-80% (powercharger). At home again, i charge to 50% with standardcharger. So the bike is always stored with 50%. I think, that is the best for battery life. In winter, the bikes are stored inside the house with minimum 10 degree C.
 

wwmotors

Well-known member
Location
Bavaria Germany
I charge to full either night before or morning of.
At track I charge between moto's like @wwmotors. I usually end my last moto to have charge at 40-60% and it waits there until next ride day.
For winter, batteries removed at 40-50% and stored inside house.
Sounds cool, but i am not able to stop at the last stint with 50%. It is too much fun at the end, so i go a longstint until battery is empty! Then i charge, while getting dressed and loading RV, to 50%! :)
 

snydes

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Pennsylvania
EDIT:
3.5-3.7 volts is generally considered a good storage voltage for 18650’s from everything I’ve seen/read. Our packs hit a cell voltage of around 3.5v at around 25%. Just food for thought.
 

privateer703

AOF Addict
Location
Altoona, PA
So 25% is the optimal storage? That's good to know. Also, I've read that these batteries are best stored cold, even freezing correct? Mine stays out in a shed, it's been averaging 2-4 degrees C.
As far as charging goes, I keep it near 50%, charge it up to 100% right before I'm ready to ride. Charge it back to 50% when I'm done.
 

snydes

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Pennsylvania
I should have clarified my statement. I don’t want to suggest everyone store there bikes at 25%. For my bikes, unless it’s under 25% I wait closer till I’m ready to ride to fully charge/balance.
 

snydes

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Pennsylvania
So 25% is the optimal storage? That's good to know. Also, I've read that these batteries are best stored cold, even freezing correct? Mine stays out in a shed, it's been averaging 2-4 degrees C.
As far as charging goes, I keep it near 50%, charge it up to 100% right before I'm ready to ride. Charge it back to 50% when I'm done.

I think your routine is solid FWIW.
 

Trialsman

Well-known member
Location
Pittsburgh
My routine is to charge the bike to 100% rapid right before I head out. When I return I slow charge the bike to 100% with cell balance. I then go out and have a loop that takes it down to about 70% which is where it stays until the next ride. Maybe I am reading into this too much. Are these items true?

1. Rapid charging is more heat and harder on cells than slow charge.
2. Cell balancing is important for optimum cell life.
3. 50% -80% is the sweet spot for storage of a battery pack.
 

F451

Well-known member
Location
Seattle
I usually keep my MXR at 25 - 50% or so while it sits in the garage. I'll usually charge to 100% the night before I ride. I usually come home with 25 - 50% or so SOC and let it sit at that level until the evening before the next ride when I will charge it up to 100%. If I deplete it anywhere near zero SOC then I will charge it up to 30% - 50% after the ride and store it like that.
 

Motophyllic

Well-known member
Location
NY
I always charge my bike to 50 percent after a ride. Previous posts said 40 to 60 is ideal. I’m going to need to adjust my charging. I guess 40% is now better?
 

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