Running Lights Install - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
Ndr
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Running Lights Install

So I'm hooking up a set of running lights on the bike and would like to install a relay in the headlight bucket to setup the lights so that they only come on after the ignition switch has be turned on. I have a power and ground wire running straight from the battery into the headlight bucket to feed power to the lights, and have the relay setup to go, however, I am not sure which would be the best wire to tap into to feed power to activate the relay.

I would prefer that the running lights stay on regardless of having the low or high beam on, yet at the same time, I would also prefer that the running lights act the same as the headlight and only turn on after the starter button has been pressed.

I also plan on hooking a volt meter into the main feed to tun on in the same manner, this way having a direct line to the battery.

Can anyone recommend the best wire to tap into to setup the relay?

......I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.

*2014 VN900 Custom (16,200 miles and counting)
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:41 AM
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It seems simple enough. I would suggest using your amber running lights as the trigger & install a switch to turn them on. Thus when the bike is turned off you could not accidentally leave your lights on.

I'm not sure how you would trigger the low & high at the same time. You might have to refer to the wiring diagram in the manual & see if there's a common in the wiring. Possibly somewhere in the handlebar switch & obviously tap the wire closer to the bike & not out on the handlebars. lol

What bulbs are you using? 55w are regarded as a no no with our electrical system. I run 25w bulbs & they work just fine. Some folks have used 35w but I needed the extra juice for other toys.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:55 AM
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OK, just took a quick peek at the wiring diagram & it looks like the hi & low are independant going to the switch.

Hey guys, whitch pin is it coming off the junction box for the head light? You'd think I'd have that memorized by now! lol I'd look it up but I don't have the time right now.

P.S. I have a repair manual in my sig. The wiring schematic is included in there. You could check it ot & it's going to be valuble eventually anyway!
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 09:46 AM
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For you and those that didn't know, there already is a set of power leads (pos+neg) in the headlight bucket. There is another set under the right side cover. These are fused (10 amp) and referred to as " accessory leads " in the owners manual.

They however, "always on" so a switch or relay would be needed. I agree a relay to the front running light would be a good choice, but I myself like to have dedicated switches to any power using item I add to the bike....so if there's an electrical problem I can quickly eliminate any add-ons.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
..... but I myself like to have dedicated switches to any power using item I add to the bike....so if there's an electrical problem I can quickly eliminate any add-ons.
I know you said add ons, but for the haed light I usually would recommend replacing the stock circuit so that the head light switch operated a relay that in turn sent power directly from the battery, via fuse, to the head light. I actually have my low beam going through a closed relay contact so even if the switch or relay fail the light will operate. Besides, do you really want all the power to your head lights going through small gage wires and tiny contacts on your head light switch?

Last edited by dariv; 03-15-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dariv View Post
I know you said add ons, but for the haed light I usually would recommend replacing the stock circuit so that the head light switch operated a relay that in turn sent power directly from the battery, via fuse, to the head light. I actually have my low beam going through a closed relay contact so even if the switch or relay fail the light will operate. Besides, do you really want all the power to your head lights going through small gage wires and tiny contacts on your head light switch?
Uh, I do see the logic in that, but... After all the years of being on this forum, and the Yahoo one,and with folks having 20+ year old bikes, I don't think I've ever read a post about someone with melted wires or a burnt out headlight switch.

So again, lawnmowers for AstroTurf....


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:05 PM
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Uh, I do see the logic in that, but... After all the years of being on this forum, and the Yahoo one,and with folks having 20+ year old bikes, I don't think I've ever read a post about someone with melted wires or a burnt out headlight switch.

So again, lawnmowers for AstroTurf....


KM
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Then consider this: all the stock wiring causes Voltage drop, especially on an older bike. A 55 watt bulb is Only 55 watts at around 13.5 volts. So let's say you have a 10% voltage drop at the head light. Remember that power = v squared over r. Therefore the power output decreases EXPONENTIALY with voltage drop. You would lose around 25% power to the bulb at around 43 watts.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dariv View Post
Then consider this: all the stock wiring causes Voltage drop, especially on an older bike. A 55 watt bulb is Only 55 watts at around 13.5 volts. So let's say you have a 10% voltage drop at the head light. Remember that power = v squared over r. Therefore the power output decreases EXPONENTIALY with voltage drop. You would lose around 25% power to the bulb at around 43 watts.
It's not the wiring, it's the owners lack of maintenance. I keep tellng you folks to clean all your electrical connections and contacts, so it's not my fault if you burn something out...

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndr View Post
So I'm hooking up a set of running lights on the bike and would like to install a relay in the headlight bucket to setup the lights so that they only come on after the ignition switch has be turned on. I have a power and ground wire running straight from the battery into the headlight bucket to feed power to the lights, and have the relay setup to go, however, I am not sure which would be the best wire to tap into to feed power to activate the relay.

I would prefer that the running lights stay on regardless of having the low or high beam on, yet at the same time, I would also prefer that the running lights act the same as the headlight and only turn on after the starter button has been pressed.

I also plan on hooking a volt meter into the main feed to tun on in the same manner, this way having a direct line to the battery.

Can anyone recommend the best wire to tap into to setup the relay?
I have a terrible copy of the wiring harness, so maybe someone can verify it, but I think that on the HI/LOW beam selector switch there should be a "hot" lead. If that lead is controlled by the fuse box circuit that disables the headlight, you should be good to go.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
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It's not the wiring, it's the owners lack of maintenance. I keep tellng you folks to clean all your electrical connections and contacts, so it's not my fault if you burn something out...
You just can't bring yourself to admit that I'm right.
Anyway, if you want to improve the light output of your headlight, throw a relay in there and enjoy the copious amounts of light emitting from your bulb.

If it ain't broke, improve it...
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