Designed and manufactured with American-made materials in Falls Church, Virginia, Full Spectrum’s lithium-ferrous (also known as lithium-iron) batteries are available for everything from electronics-laden sport-tourers to full-on racebikes. The company’s Pulse series of batteries come in three sizes (P1, P2 and P3) and outputs for these machines, based upon their power needs.
Looking somewhat like oversized cordless-phone power units, rather than fully enclosed batteries, Full Spectrum cells are wrapped in PVC and encased at the top and bottom in lightweight, high-temp plastic cases that are supposed to aid in the units’ cooling.
The company suggests Pulse 1 batteries ($159) for track day and racebikes without cooling fans and running a minimum of electronic gizmos. The Pulse 2 ($259) is recommended for sportbikes up to 1000cc that are ridden in stop-and-go traffic and run some aftermarket electronics, such as heated grips, radar detectors and electric riding gear. For hot-rodded bikes with lots of compression, big-bore kits and advanced electronics, a Pulse 3 ($359) is said to be the best bet.
Full Spectrum’s 12-volt, 240-amp Pulse 2 battery was the subject of this evaluation. It weighs 1.58 pounds and measures 119mm long x 60mm wide x 95mm tall. Equipped with integrated brass terminals, it’s a direct replacement for stock, lead-acid batteries.
The Pulse 2 was tested for six months in a 650cc, V-twin streetbike that wasn’t loaded down with any aftermarket electronics. Here, the weight difference between the batteries was 5.9 pounds. The results of this test were stellar and glitch-free. That’s to say we never noticed a difference in the battery’s performance compared to the conventional battery supplied from the factory. Throughout a particularly brutal east-coast winter (November through March), the Pulse 2’s cold-cranking and power-depletion properties were tested by using it to start a 2009 ZX-6R, which was stored in a non-heated garage, several times. The Full Spectrum unit weighed 5.3 pounds less than the Kawi’s stock battery. During the first four months of winter, the bike was lit up twice; then started once a month. Each time, the motor spun over quickly and the bike started right up each time. Again, no discernable concerns were found with the Full Spectrum battery.
The company doesn’t recommend using a Battery Tender or other chargers on its batteries. Instead, its Pacemaker charger ($70), which looks like an overgrown laptop power supply unit, is suggested. We only used it once, about halfway into street testing.
The only real concern, which isn’t battery-related, is that Full Spectrum doesn’t include Velcro or zip ties to keep the units from bouncing around in their now-spacious battery boxes or trays. These methods work, but the best solution would be a custom-cut piece of foam approximating the size of the stock battery. On the plus side, this extra under-seat space can be used for other electronics, such as fuel controllers — which are generally located in crash-vulnerable tail sections.
These amazing weight savings come at a cost. Full Spectrum Powersports’ Pulse 2 has a $180 higher price tag than the battery that came in the ZX-6R, but performance differences were imperceptible. What cost weight? You decide.
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