OptiMate Lithium – Ten Years On and Even Better
When TecMate exhibited at the Indianapolis Dealer Expo in 2010, CEO/CTO Martin Human was on a mission - to research the emergence of lithium batteries, a then new power source that was said to be a more powerful and lighter aftermarket replacement for lead-acid batteries.
Following visits to the likes of Shorai, Ballistic and other exhibiting battery companies, it became apparent that there was a need for a dedicated aftermarket battery charger for lithium batteries - one that could be relied upon to safely recharge the battery, especially from a deep discharged state, which is when it is most vulnerable to damage.
Following his subsequent research into the specific lithium technology primarily in use at the time - namely Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LiFePO4, also known by its acronym LFP) - the OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 5A (TM-290 series) was released in 2012.
It quickly became the reference charger for powersport lithium batteries, endorsed and globally recommended by Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha as the lithium battery charger of choice for their worldwide network of dealers.
It also formed the basis for other OptiMate lithium battery charger models that followed, including the highly popular 'riders' charger', the OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 0.8A (TM-470 series), also endorsed and recommended by Yamaha and Kawasaki.
Ten years on, and lithium starter batteries have reached 'mainstream' level, with motorcycle OEMs now releasing models with a lithium battery as stock. Motorcycles have also 'moved on' in technology, with electronically adjustable options for suspension, engine power and torque and ride modes, with larger screens that display and connect with phone and GPS information.
Many rider options remain only selectable when the engine is not running, for obvious safety reasons. That can be a problem for the smaller lithium battery that typically has two to three times less amp-hour capacity than the lead-acid battery it replaced. Some advanced lithium batteries include resettable protection against deep discharge, turning off power when the lowest allowable charge level is reached, but a standard lithium battery should not be discharged too low.
Martin says that "the new OptiMate Lithium LFP 4s 6A (TM-390 series) addresses all those concerns. It includes all the safety and charging features of the ground-breaking TM-290 series, and it offers two more features to cope with modern demands.
"A TUNE mode that delivers a stable 13.6V with up to 5 amps of power that protects the battery against discharge when the parked motorcycle's rider settings are adjusted.
"The second is a pushbutton activated BMS reset function that will reset and re-energize a battery with built-in deep discharge protection.
"The OptiMate Lithium 4s 6A (TM-390 series) replaces the OptiMate Lithium 4s 5A (TM-290 series), and is now available from TecMate worldwide, including the newly formed TecMate Japan."