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Drive less, ride more...
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings--fellow Vulcaneers!!!.....:smiley_th

I felt now was an appropriate time to suggest that we add "install a voltmeter!" to the list of "must do" items (besides others like the m/f battery and the spline lube check).

For those of you not familiar with this add, it's inexpensive and will give you the peace of mind of knowing what you're bike's charging system is doing.

Adding a voltmeter is a good idea on ANY bike, and not just our 750. Charging system failures occur on many different model bikes, and is no real reason to avoid or be leery of any bike, including our VN750.

However, to all who would inquire within....in the interest of good forum etiquette, please use this forum's search feature--b4 asking questions that probably have already been asked.

Happy New Year, Everybody!!!....:D
 

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Growling at the World...
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Adding a voltmeter is a good idea on ANY bike, and not just our 750. Charging system failures occur on many bikes, and is no real reason to avoid or be leery of any bike, including our VN750.
The KuryAkyn Voltmeter I added to my VN750 years ago allowed me to see just how bad I was going to be f**ked before my bike died at the 2004 Gathering on the way home. I watched my voltage drop from 14 to 8VDC and die a few times on the way home while limping and praying. A volt meter is a must have item for any motorcycle. On the VN750, it will give you enough warning to get to where you need to be (in most cases) if your stator dies on you...

Here is how I did mine on my VN750 and on my Nomad...

KuryAkyn Volt Meter on a VN750

Signal Dynamics Head's Up Voltage Monitor on my Nomad
 

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good suggestion.

I have installed a digital voltmeter on my car; very sensitive. Makes you wonder why every vehicle/bike made doesn't have one on. Maybe they will have them installed when we get rid of idiot lights.

BTW, the Battery Eliminator Jr is working great. I think it probably only needs to be plugged in once or twice a month; really no need to keep it plugged in permanently as a battery should not lose charge in a week?

Stone
 

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I used this one on my Vulcan:
http://tinyurl.com/6ajen

Because it used less power than a battery normaly loses on it's own , I had it hooked up all the time , even when the bike was off. It is "splash resistant" not "waterproof"..but I had mine for several years and it still works fine.

I don't think I would order any meter from China through Ebay..even given the low cost, but if you would like to have a LED digital meter that has been reccomended by many motorcycle riders and is accurate..(and has an American company behind it) look here:
http://tinyurl.com/83v9g

KM
 

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I've got one of these on McKnight (eBay item # 250163174515), although haven't figured out the lighting system on it yet (may not have it installed completely right). But I like the time, temp, and voltage functions a lot - definitely, definitely worth the money. Probably worth more money if that backlighting feature would work!! :confused:
 

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I like the look of the round auto/truck gauge and did some shopping for one before finding the digital on eBay. Yes, ordering from China may be a risk, and I've been burnt once buying some computer gear years ago on ebay. I did find a volt gauge at Radio Shack that might look cool and be more accurate than the round auto style. Don't know how it would hold up to motorcycle abuse.
You all do good work on your VN's thanks for sharing...

DT
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
As Bulldog has suggested above, two voltmeter models in particular that have established a good track record with some VN750 forum members include the following:


Model #1050 from Signal Dynamics--

http://www.signaldynamics.com/products/Modules/HUVM.asp


and the LED gauge unit from Kuryakyn--

http://www.customdynamics.com/LED_battery_gauge.htm#Kuryakyn_LED_Battery_Gauges_and_Chargers_


Actually, both voltmeters can be seen with the last link shown above--just scroll down enough after it loads to see and read about either or both.


The advantages to these units include:

1. They have already been designed specifically for motorcycle use (i.e., tested for vibration and water-tightness) and require no real modifications to themselves

2. Since they give the necessary feedback via color readout, they promote safety by keeping the rider more quickly informed (by just a color check) and thus more focused on traffic and riding

3. Early warning of a charging system failure is more immediate, via a <<<flashing>>> color

4. Both are less than $40, and either is easily worth the investment

5. They have been around long enough that any "bugs" in their designs have been already worked out (e.g., the previous night-brightness problem with the Kuryakyn model).


When a bike's charging system starts to fail, these units will usually give more than enough satisfactory early warning to make it (back) to civilization before the bike actually stalls out or fries a battery.

Installation questions can generally be easily answered by one of the forum members.

Good luck!!!.....:rockon:
 

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Anyone install a headlight cutout switch to conserve battery power in the event of a charging failure? Yes, I know it's breaking the law and is a safety issue, just wondering.
 

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Anyone install a headlight cutout switch to conserve battery power in the event of a charging failure? Yes, I know it's breaking the law and is a safety issue, just wondering.
Didn't Old Dog ask this question a while back??

Then the topic somehow changed to sending signals to his girlfriend, or something like that??

:)
 

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Growling at the World...
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What I don't like about the KuryAkyn volt meter is how bright it is at night. It is downright distracting. That is why I went with the Signal Dynamic's monitor for the Nomad. Much less of a distraction but still in sight for when you have a problem.

Here is a picture of my KuryAkyn meter on the VN750...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I have a new Kuryakyn LED voltmeter (it's about 2 months old now).

I think you'll find that the night-brightness problem on this meter has recently been solved. The brightness at night on mine is perfect. It also has this real neat self-diagnostic LED sequence it goes thru each time the bike is started.

In any case--why have a needle-type gauge that passively watches your bike's charging system when for about the same price you can have a smart computer that does it actively, instead?.....:smiley_th
 

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Growling at the World...
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I have a new Kuryakyn LED voltmeter (it's about 2 months old now).

I think you'll find that the night-brightness problem on this meter has recently been solved. The brightness at night on mine is perfect. It also has this real neat self-diagnostic LED sequence it goes thru each time the bike is started.

In any case--why have a needle-type gauge that passively watches your bike's charging system when for about the same price you can have a smart computer that does it actively, instead?.....:smiley_th
My 5 year old KA voltage monitor has a night dimmer eye on the face, but even then it is still one bright bastard at night. Someone here (maybe Knifemaker) solved this by cutting a piece of auto-tint for the face of the meter and it dulled it down nicely without losing any of the chrome pretty.

I was going to mention this in my last post, but I've already had a few and am buzzing nicely...
:beerchug:
 

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...In any case--why have a needle-type gauge that passively watches your bike's charging system when for about the same price you can have a smart computer that does it actively, instead?.....:smiley_th
Because it's sometimes good to know exactly what is going on, rather get general information. Might as well just replace the tach with a light that flashes if you go over redline on get a speedometer that just blinks if you ride over the posted speed limit. To this end is why I like a digital readout of the exact voltage..even quicker to read than a "needle" ..And there is a diffrence between 12.7 volts and 12.8 that can be significant. As wonky as the Vulcans charging system can be, I'd rather have exact information than just a OK-Not OK light.

And when riding I like to look at the voltmeter when I want..flashing lights don't always do much to get my attention...look at how many times I forgot to switch off a turn signal...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
For those out there who feel the need to watch their bike's charging system performance that much more closely, you make a valid point, KM.

That's apparently why voltmeters with digital numeric readouts are also selling at ok levels.

My earlier idea was that a rider could easily drive for miles without noticing a problem--but with an active visual failure alert, precious time and distance might otherwise be saved.

I hope the main idea of this thread isn't lost, though--any voltmeter (that's water-tight and vibration-resistant) beats walking and talking in the middle of nowhere, hands down......:doh:
 

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Undercover Sportbiker
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Don't mean to hijack a thread, but can someone point me in the right direction? I've read up up on the various kinds that people have gone with and the difference in voltage between a direct connect to the battery with a relay vs. hooking it to one of the acc wires in the headlight housing. What I have not found is specific instructions on which wires go where. I am not well versed in the electrical side of things beyond "plug and play" type hook ups. I know that it's probably very simple but can someone lay it out what wires get hooked where? I am buying the Auto Meter from Jeg's (http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_10002_19266_-1) along with the bullet style case. As always, your input is appreciated!
 
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