MOTOCROSS ACTION PRODUCT TEST: TURNTECH LIGHTWEIGHT LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY
WHAT IS IT? The TurnTech battery is a very lightweight battery that can easily save as much as 3 pounds over the stock KTM lead acid battery.
WHAT’S IT COST? $99.00 (2.5-amp), $159.00 (5.0-amp).
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the TurnTech KTM battery.
(1) Weight. When you buy a new KTM, your friendly local dealer should give you two batteries: a 4.0-amp unit for summer and a 5.0-amp battery for cold-weather starts. Typically, the 4.0-amp battery is in the bike. The stock KTM batteries are heavy. The 4.0-amp battery weighs 3.71 pounds, and the 5.0-amp unit weighs about 1 pound more. By comparison, the 2.5-amp TurnTech battery weighs 1 pound and the 5.0 TurnTech battery tips the scales at 2 pounds. No matter how you slice it, that is a weight savings of 2.71 pounds and possibly 3.7 pounds. You couldn’t save that much weight on your KTM with $3000 worth of titanium!
(2) Lithium iron phosphate. Don’t confuse TurnTech’s lithium iron phosphate battery with the more commonly used lithium ion battery (more specifically, the lithium cobalt dioxide battery). A lithium iron phosphate battery has a higher resistance to thermal runaway, longer calendar life, quick recharge rates, five times as many available discharge cycles, a higher peak-power rating and costs less.
(3) Amp hours. MXA elected to run the 2.5-amp battery in our KTM 450SXF because we only use it for motocross (thus, we have control over how often we start the bike and don’t need to worry about multiple starts in a row). We wanted the weight-savings. If you use your KTM for offroad riding and play riding, ride in cold weather, or have an electric-start KTM two-stroke, you should opt for the 5.0-amp TurnTech battery. TurnTech can make 7.5- or 10-amp batteries if you need something special.
(4) Performance. The smallest TurnTech battery never failed to start our KTM 450SXF. We did notice several things.
(a) The engine turned over more slowly than with the stock lead-acid battery.
(b) As the battery warmed up, it seemed to gain amperage and spin the engine faster.
(c) It is rechargeable with a standard-issue lead-acid battery charger.
(d) We had to zip-tie the battery (after padding it) into the stock KTM battery box because it is so much smaller (only 3.5×2.0x4.6 inches).
(e) With a little engineering, it would be possible to locate the TurnTech battery lower on the chassis to open up the airbox.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The 5.0-amp is best for trail riders and two-stroke owners. One caveat: It is critically important that you pad the battery and mount it securely. If it rattles around, it will break open.
When you forget about the electrical parts of the TurnTech battery and focus on the fact that it saves more weight than $3000 worth of titanium, you know it’s a five-star product.