q Over the last few years, we have seen lithium-based batteries start to take over for lead-acid batteries. Even automotive manufacturers have begun to rely on these lightweight, high-output and long-lasting batteries to control their electric vehicles. CV4, which is a popular aftermarket brand in NASCAR racing and has recently turned to the ATV industry, has now brought the lithium world of batteries to us.
A LIGHTWEIGHT & LONG-LASTING ENERGY SOURCE
CV4 batteries are very different in chemistry and construction from a traditional lead-acid-type battery. They are one-third the size and weight and are wrapped in a thin plastic cover. CV4’s new lithium battery also bolts right up to the stock housing. There is your typical positive and negative side to the battery, but each side is equipped with an O-ring terminal. These terminals connect to the OEM battery cables using the supplied nuts and bolts. CV4 suggests using a piece of shrink-wrap to cover the exposed metal on the OEM battery cables. If you do not have any handy while installing, two to three layers of electrical tape did the trick for us.
CV4’s lithium batteries do not require regular maintenance charging like lead-acid batteries. They will only lose less than an estimated 10 percent of their total charge over a 12-month period—that’s a year in storage, not a year total. While you’re riding your quad at regular intervals during the year, the battery will remain close to full power. These benefits alone had us sold on the new lithium design. If you’ve ever left your ATV key on, you know firsthand that a lead-acid battery can be lost for good in a couple of days.
When you do have to charge the CV4 lithium/ferrous battery, use a regular battery charger at 3A @ 13.8-14.4V for 45 minutes, or, for a fast charge, at 10A @ 13.8-14.4V for 15 minutes. To test if it will recharge, we left our YFZ450R with the CV4 battery installed, the key on and on neutral overnight. Although the CV4 battery would not turn on the Yamaha racer in the morning, the green neutral light was still lit up. We threw our cheap AutoZone battery charger on for 15 minutes. It returned to full power, and our machine fired right up.
What’s wrong with the stock battery? Nothing, really. In fact, most of the stock ATV batteries these days are made by top companies like Yuasa. If you remember to switch the key off after riding and use trickle charges from companies like Battery Tender (www.batterytender.com) to maintain the charge, these batteries will last multiple seasons without problems. Check out our “Spring-Cleaning Tips” story on page 96 for proper lead-acid battery maintenance.
CV4’s lithium batteries are going to make a name for themselves in both the ATV and UTV market for these reasons—and they are lightweight. Our Yamaha YFZ450R’s stock Yuasa battery weighs just over 8 pounds. The CV4 lithium we replaced it with weighs just less than 3 pounds.
The CV4 battery can be installed straight from the box without the need of acid, and mounts to stock housing with the supplied nuts and bolts.
Cons? At $219, it is the most expensive ATV replacement battery on the market. A company called Shorai (www.shoraipower.com), offers a cheaper alternative to the CV4, but we have yet to test them, but stay tuned. They use a lightweight carbon fiber casing and start out at only $129.95. Much like the CV4 lithium battery, there is no maintenance or necessary trickle charging when the ATV is parked for long periods of time. Yuasa-brand acid batteries are trusted by many OEMs. To replace the YFZ450R’s stock Yuasa battery, it will run you $105.99, and between $40.99 and $148.99 (www.rockymountainatvmc.com) for almost every other make of ATV and UTV.