Electrical system, What can it handle? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical system, What can it handle?

I am rebuilding my 2000 Vulcan 750. I originally wanted to add dual rectangular headlights and driving lights but as I continue to do some investigation I believe I may be going beyond what the electrical system can handle. Can anyone help me out with some information on what can and can not be done to accomplish this? I was not going to use the second headlight very often as it is more for show but I would like to have it available. For night driving I would use one headlight and the driving lights plus the normal markers which would always be on along with the single headlight. Thanks for any help. This site has really helped me in the past with several other items and continues to give me a better background into the Vulcan. I am very new to motorcycles and this seems to be the best source for a newbie to gain some good knowledge both basic and more advanced which is where I would like to work my way up to someday in the future.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 01:11 PM
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I am running a similar set up.. only difference is that I am running both bulbs in one headlight. use 55W for your main daytime headlight, and a 100W light for high beam, running lights should be 35w and you will be good.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 01:37 PM
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A quick check of my Kawi service manual spec page reads (next to "alternator rated output"): 24 amps @ 8,000 rpm.

At a conservative 12 volts, this translates into 288 watts.

But most of one's riding time is not spent at 8,000 rpm, obviously.

No data is shown (nor have I ever seen) on what the bike's ignition system requirements are.

My bike is equipped with the standard headlamp, and an upgraded bulb (but still a 55/60 watt rating), and two 35-watt driving lights. All the turn signals have been replaced with amber-colored LEDs. The instrumentation bulbs are still what the factory installed.

At rpm's above say, 2,500, I can still get strong voltmeter readings (14 volts, or so) with the headlamp on high beam, both driving lights turned on, and an LED driving light kit turned on (this kit uses about 1.75 watts of power).

However, your "mileage may vary"....as the saying goes. All this also assumes you are of course still with a factory stator, and regulator/rectifier.

As a more practical answer, I'd say to use the above as a rough guide, and use a voltmeter to test the bike's reserves of power (at different rpm's) as you add additional electrical loads to the bike. A voltmeter will of course tell you when you are overloading the system. As another rough guide, once your voltmeter readings are down below about 12.8 volts, the charging system is probably not doing enough to keep the battery charged.

Since you say you are rebuilding your bike, I would encourage you to go over your bike's electrical system, and clean as many of the electrical connections and contacts as possible (use a spray cleaner for this that does not attack plastics--and with good ventilation!). Make especially sure the engine and battery grounds to the frame are clean (no rust, or factory paint in the point area of contact)--and tight. When reconnecting, use dielectric grease wherever possible to insulate contacts and connections from moisture and corrosion. With the Kawi/Clymer service manual as a guide, test the relevant electrical components (e.g., ignition coils) as appropriate, and replace as necessary.

Inspect the 3 yellow wires which run from the stator to the r/r (left side of bike, behind left side cover). Look at where these wires are connected/soldiered together, and check there for signs of melting/excessive heat. If you see damage there, it may mean it's time to test the output of the stator and/or the r/r. Several very good threads are on this forum to help you with this (use the search function in the links shown above).

After your rebuild is complete, be careful to keep the bike properly covered and/or out of the elements when not in use, to keep corrosion at bay. This bike is a rust farm if not properly sheltered. Keep the fuel tank at (or nearly) full when not in use, to keep rust from forming inside the tank.

Good luck with your rebuild. Let us know how it goes...!


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:12 PM
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Someone did the math once and came up with aprrox. 72w of unused power available on a stock bike. I tend to trust this. That means two 35w driving lights are putting you at the very top.

They could of course cause a drain on the system if you are stuck in traffic...so adding a switch to turn them off is always a good idea. So is adding a voltmeter to moniter your battery if you plan on adding ANY electrical power munchers like heated gear, lights, etc.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 03:12 PM
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I run 25w buylbs in my driving lights. I think they work pretty well. Not quite like 55w of course but do a very good job of lighting the road.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 01:49 AM
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Crap! I just bought two 55 Watt driving lights to put on my bike for night time riding. They would of course be on with the low beam cause I want more visibility while I am riding at that time. Guess I will put them on my Bronco II
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:30 AM
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just change the bulb for a 15w bulb and you will be good.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 10:43 PM
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not electrically inclined

I am a new 750 owner and new to this site. I really enjoy reading and looking at the modifications that people do to their bikes. I am finding out that accessories for the 750 are hard to get and so you make you own. With that thought in min
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 10:53 PM
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not electrically inclined

I am a new 750 owner and new to this site. I just spent the afternoon putting a light bar on the front of my bike. Looked great and worked good for a while then no driving lights and no headlight. I ran the wires for the driving lights into the headlight bucket and tied into the red and yellow power wire. It worked great. Diving lights and headlight with lowbeam and headlight only on highbeam.Disconnected the light bar and still no headlights. I must have not grounded it properly. Did I do real damage or just a fuse or breaker. I really don't know alot about the electrical system and probably should have had help with the set up. Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enginecompany11 View Post
I am a new 750 owner and new to this site. I just spent the afternoon putting a light bar on the front of my bike. Looked great and worked good for a while then no driving lights and no headlight. I ran the wires for the driving lights into the headlight bucket and tied into the red and yellow power wire. It worked great. Diving lights and headlight with lowbeam and headlight only on highbeam.Disconnected the light bar and still no headlights. I must have not grounded it properly. Did I do real damage or just a fuse or breaker. I really don't know alot about the electrical system and probably should have had help with the set up. Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.
sounds like a fuse, check your connections and make sure none have went to ground,how many watts are your driving light bulbs? You really shouldn't exceed 35 watts each on the 750's charging system.




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