Voltmeter-Yes or No ??? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Voltmeter-Yes or No ???

Well I have been seeing a lot in the forum about needing to get a voltmeter, so I am thinking (bad thing) I might get one if most folks think one is needed, sounds good to me.... So what kind, which one, and where to buy, where to mount & how ???
Thanks and have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dog View Post
Well I have been seeing a lot in the forum about needing to get a voltmeter, so I am thinking (bad thing) I might get one if most folks think one is needed, sounds good to me.... So what kind, which one, and where to buy, where to mount & how ???
Thanks and have a good one...Old Dog...
A volt meter shoud be standard equipment on every bike. But unfortunatly it is not. Many here have heard my tale of woe, but what the hell. I've got time...

August 2004, Kentucky Lake, KY. It's early, kinda looks like rain, the bike is packed, ready to head back to Chicago and I'm wearing sun glasses... That morning the bike starts great and we begin our trek out of the resort to begin the long ride back home. About 1 mile down the road I notice that my Kury Akyn voltage meter that I installed a two years before is dropping voltage. I think that this is not good. By the time we hit the gas station 5 miles down the road, my battery has been depleted so the bike will not start after a fill-up. I've got Pick, Duece, and Stevie D with me and we manage to find someone willing to give me a jump from their car. I find that at highway speed, I'm putting 12-13 volts. I should be up at around 13.5 - 14vdc. Whenever I drop below 45mph, the voltage drops too. Next gas stop 100 miles later and the rectifier totally dies. At this time, I still had my original RR under the bike in the OEM position. Pick has an Electrix RR on his bike in the relo position and his original still in place under the battery box. He offers me his Electrix RR. So a quick unplug and remove from his bike and he plugs into his original and I've now riding with a Electrix RR. It helps but I've also got burned wire and we think that I've got 1 leg of the stator grounded. It is at this time that we learn that you CAN push start a VN750. Imagine Pick, Deuce and Stevie D pushing me on my VN750 trying to get enough speed to drop the clutch and get that beast started. It was a sight... We ride like a bat out of hell (my idea) up Illinois to Chicago and I managed to get almost home (50 miles short) before the charging system gave up the ghost. I had to be towed the rest of the way and had to have a stator and RR replacement done. Poor Stevie D kept up with my 85-90mph speeds with no windshield or helmet in the cold rain and weather. That is why he is our Bronze God...

The electrical system failure was unavoidable. But having the voltage meter gave me some notice so I could pull over in an area of my choice rather then get a nasty suprise on the highway.
On my VN750, I have a Kury Akyn voltage meter. I like it but find it to be a bit bright and distracting. Some here have cut tint for it and that solution looks great. Here is the Kury Akyn meter on my VN750.

On my Nomad, I went with a Signal Dynamics Heads Up Voltage Meter. It uses a single LED that will show you your condition by the color. I perfer it as it is easier to hide and nowhere as distracting. Here is the SD_HUVM on my Nomad.

Some here have taken analog voltage meters and put them in chrome housings and they look very natural on the VN750. I rather like that approach and might consider it if I ever redo the cluster on the VN750.

But no matter what you decide, a voltage meter is a necessary accessory on any motorcycle. On the VN750, IMHO it is a must have item.

Hope this helps...


Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
http://www.bulldogsbike.com
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCUI ~ The Big Black Bitch ~ 26,000 miles.
2002 Kawasaki Nomad 1500 ~ The Red Dog ~ Traded in at 22,000 miles of smiles (purchased new 10/05 / Traded in 6/12).
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 ~ Black Betty ~ 34,999.7 miles
VROC ~v~ 485
McHenry County Road Pirates
Chicagoland, IL

Last edited by bulldog485; 02-23-2008 at 11:08 AM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:04 PM
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This is the one I used:
http://tinyurl.com/6ajen


The big selling point for it is that becuase it uses so little power itself, you can wire it directly up to the battery and leave it on all at the time. (even when the bike is "off")

So at a glance you know the charge on your battery, which is nice.

Downside is it does not light up, so it is hard to see at night.

It mounts to anything with a 1/4 hole in it, so making a mount is fairly easy.
They call it "splash resistant"..so it works fine in the rain.

If you like the digital concept (and I do) you can find a lighted meter here:
http://tinyurl.com/83v9g

These are meant more for installing into a fairing, but a little imagination and a trip to radio shack, and you'll find a way to mount one. (these should be wired to switched power)

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 06:25 PM
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I got a battery/alternator tester from Harbor Freight. Only cost $9 and does what I need it to do. Tell me whether or not the electrical system is putting out more than 12 volts.

'04 750A- and loving it!
VROC 13864
Using a Purlator One PL14610
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I got a battery/alternator tester from Harbor Freight. Only cost $9 and does what I need it to do. Tell me whether or not the electrical system is putting out more than 12 volts.

Is this something that is always hooked up to the bike?
(and can be read while your riding the bike?)

KM

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 10:56 PM
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JC Whitney offers a 2" voltmeter and a case for it in their newest catalog. I'm ready to order for peace of mind.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/Voltmeter-Gauges/600002127.jcw

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6

Last edited by dirtrack650; 02-23-2008 at 11:23 PM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 11:59 PM
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Yes Bulldog, that was indeed a fun trip. Brings back a lot of memories.

Yes, you need a voltmeter. I have the Kuryakyn (chrome) one, mounted on my Knifemaker dash. Works great and I would not ride without it. You can't get very far if your charging system is kaput.

Jim "Pick" Foster
Dixon, IL
VROC #9492
2010 Honda NT700V
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 12:47 AM
Now what
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
Is this something that is always hooked up to the bike?
(and can be read while your riding the bike?)

KM
Yes, it's not the prettiest thing but does the job. I have it mounted to the handlebar plate.

'04 750A- and loving it!
VROC 13864
Using a Purlator One PL14610
"Sixth gear? I don't need no stinkin sixth gear!"
If someone throws you under the bus-remember to tuck and roll
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks DT, I had about forgot about JC Whitney, I quit ordering from them years ago when they were one of the 1st to import about everything from China... Now I think everyone does to keep the price competive to jc whitney & wally world.... So may as well buy from them now... I liked the 2 1/16" digital better than the anolog but it is higher and the mounting bracket is not included, as I think it is with the cheaper anolog... Thanks and have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 10:12 PM
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I like the analog white face. I didn't see the housing online, it's in the catalog as black plastic. Should fit between our speedo and tach like others have done.

DT

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6
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