Kuryakyn Battery Gauge How To - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Kuryakyn Battery Gauge How To

I went through my first set of charging system problems to include stator and regulator and getting stranded on the freeway. Had the stator rewound at TPE and would highly recommend Tim. Not wanting to go through that again, with information from Tim and reading the posts on the board it became evident that the best way to ensure the health of the electricial system is to monitor it with a voltmeter or indicator of some sort.

I did some research and found this neat little LED indicator from Kuryakyn, it's waterproof, comes in chrome and black, and dims at night. http://www.amazon.com/KURYAKYN-GAUGE...876720&sr=8-17

It lists for a mere $33.77 as of this post which considering the cost and time of the electricial parts and getting stranded on the freeway, I thought to be a pretty good bargain. When it got here, the next thing was to mount it so that it looked like part of the bike. I thought right between the spedo and tach would look the best so I set about figuring how to mount it up.



I took out the instrument cluster and saw I could mount it on the plastic cover at the back. I had some aluminum stock that was wide enough so I cut it to the length I needed and rounded the top to match the indicator.



I just drilled three holes in it without regard as to where they went through. I could have been a little more careful since I ended up on one of the braces and had to trim it to allow the cover to fit back on. The shiney part on the ridge just to the RT of the Lt bolt in the picture is where I had to trim it. If you do the mod, aim a little lower or more centered on that screw.



The screws I used are hex head stainless steel screws from Home Depot. I did put small rubber washers between the aluminum and the plastic cover, not really necessary I suppose but it does give it a little cushion. I intended to use self locking nuts on the back but didn't have room for them so I opted for nut plates instead. I ground the screws to keep them short so there is only about 1-2 threads through the nutplate. That's OK because the nutplate puts pressure on the threads and helps to lock them in. This method gave me enough clearence for the cover to fit completely flush as it was.



The large hole is just an access hole for the cover mounting screw.



To connect it, there is an empty ground connection in the headlight. I tied the positive into a keyed hot wire. However, after re-considering, I think it would be better to run the extra wires and connect it directly to the battery. Depending on which wire you connnect it within the headlight bucket, the reading could be affected by system load. Here is the finished product.



It's very bright on the daylight setting, no problem seeing it in the sun. If I find it bothers me I'm going to blank out the daylight indicator and let it run on it's night setting.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 05:20 AM
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Nice pics. (that's the one I bought and where I mounted it too)
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:04 AM
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Very nice write-up ACE! This should go in the VERSES!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:46 AM
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Great write up AceMcGyver!

If I may, I'd like to offer a lazy man's connection method. It may not be as fancy as yours but it still works.

This is what I did on my bike:

- Wire the voltmeter to a hot wire that powers one of the running / marker lights (the ones that are always on) on one of your front turn signals.

- Solder the voltmeter's ground wire to an "electrical eyelet lug" (you can Google Images that phrase for clarification) and thread your turn signal stem mount through it. The nut that holds the turn signal stem on will hold the ground wire to to frame of the bike and complete the circuit.

Now when your key is on the running lights come on and the voltmeter will turn on, and when the key is off the voltmeter will not drain your battery. The reasons I connected mine in the headlight nacelle and not directly to the battery are 1. it was easy and 2. even if it reads slightly low, it won't be off by much and at least it won't be giving me false high readings.

To attach it to the bike all I did was run the wire through the large opening in the back of the nacelle and just use the included sticky tape to stick it to the top of the nacelle.

A funny side note to this story is I gave one of these to a friend as a gift last year and helped him wire it this way to his 1985 Honda VT700C. However on his Honda when he turns on his turn signal it cuts power to his running light, so every time puts his signal on to indicate that he's going to turn, the voltmeter turns off and on. (He has since rewired it to a more logical place on his bike.)

Oh and yes, these are BRIGHT! The little solar cell to the right of the number 16 is supposed to detect when it's dark outside and dim the LEDs' brightness, but I've found even the slightest bit of light will fool the sensor and make the LEDs bright again. It's not a huge deal for me, but my friend with the Honda actually has 2 1/2 to 3 green lights on all the time and he's put a piece of tape over the voltmeter because it was so bright!

-Sloppy

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 12:51 PM
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Nice write-up indeed!


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


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Aim for the apex."

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 01:07 PM
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one more bit of evidence members of the VN750.com crowd are some of the most clever people I know of. Nice work.

Myself, I went with a mechanical meter and hooked it up to the ground in the bucket and the hot lead from the right running light (blue I think). I will rewire it to the battery when I remove the tank this winter for dent repair and painting.

Michael
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VROC #29972

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