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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may be putting a upper fairing on the bike, So before setting up all my lighting now, and wondering if it will work with the fairing, I'm considering all my driving lights now, to make sure they will work with the upper fairing.

I wanted to go with the Cobra Steel light bar , and go with 55 watt bulbs in it, and run it through a relay off the trigger wire in the can, but my question is, I see people with driving lights installed on their lower front forks, or on the highway bars also. Can the VTX charging system run all 4 driving lights if I run both sets through a relay, on separate switches , each on their own circuits?

Also I'll be adding a HID headlight kit into the main can as well, so I'll have to take that into consideration as well, all though it goes through a ballast etc.

Thanks for your help, If you have pictures, or suggestions on which driving lights to go with, it would be greatly appreciated
 

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:bump: Because I'd like to know too.
 

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I am another that doesn't know. I know that you can't keep adding electrical thingys but how much can you add :dontknow: bill
 

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I would venture to say that that would pull too many amps. You might be able to use something like a capacitor as a reserve power. Similar to what big car stereo systems have, just not as bit. You might be able to pull the alternator off and have it reworked at a shop. Similar of what you can do to an automotive alternator to increase the amp. load. Another way is to find out what the output of the stock alternator is and find out how many amps. the lights pull. Service Manual might give you the info. I am trying to find one myself, but don't want to pay the 80-90 for it.
 

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I am pretty sure that I read the stock alt on a 1300 puts out about 380 watts. If you do 4 55 watt lights you are using a lot considering everything else the bike has to power. If you did 4 of the Kury 20's or evern 35 watt you would be just above you 2 current lights. Also you might consider changing your turn signals to LEDs to reduce the load there.

The last thing you want to do is find the limit by burning it up.
 

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I will say don't add more headlights. My Reason is This:

Your current headlight draws 55/60 watts. Your tail/stop draws 5/20 watts. Each turn signal bulb draws 20 watts. And your front yellow drving lights draw 5each. So, at a stop light with turn signal on you are drawing a minimum of 130 watts just in lights alone. Now, I am not sure exactly how many watts it takes to keep the ignition going. But, your alternator is only rated at 380 peak watts. Three more headlights drawing 55 watts each will use more than a third of the total of the alternator, alone. Your current system of lights is using about 1/3. And to keep your alternator from failure pre maturely you should only use 80% of its capacity. You would be exceeding that just in lights alone. Now you have to worry about the fan coming on in summer, and don't forget the ignition and maybe an ocassional horn blast.

Now let me give you a personal experience. I have Sylvania Headlight. 55/60 watts (same as stock). I had stock tail lights. I added a light bar
with 55 watt bulbs in each. I have a voltmeter LED light that changes color as the voltage changes. Voltage will change as more draw is added. When I first put the light bar on and went to work one early (dark) morning. I noticed that my Volt light went from Green(good) to yellow and eventually red(bad) while at a stop light. I switched off the light bar and the light went back to yellow and when I got underway, again the light went back to green. Then I switched on the light bar and it stayed green until the next stop light.

I fixed all this by replacing the light bar bulbs with 35 watt halogen bulbs. Then I replaced the tail/stop light with an LED set up that draws less than 1 watt. Now, my voltmeter light always stays green. So, just changing those three bulbs saved my alternator usage about 54 watts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you guys are focusing on the amps, and watts.

When you run everything through a relay, as I mentioned, from what I read, the relay dramatically drops the amps.

If you were hooking up the driving lights directly to a battery, and the load was directly on the alternator, then i could see you adding up the amps, etc.

But If I'm not mistaken, when you add relay's in between the circuit, and use a trigger wire to fire the relay, you are reducing the load on the circuit, and alternator

I may be totally wrong

I was thinking of adding 2 lights to the highway bars I just bought ( Cobra Fatty bars ) and also a Cobra Light-bar
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't think the bike had a alternator, Usually an alternator requires a belt no?

I was thinking it has a magneto?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will say don't add more headlights. My Reason is This:

Your current headlight draws 55/60 watts. Your tail/stop draws 5/20 watts. Each turn signal bulb draws 20 watts. And your front yellow drving lights draw 5each. So, at a stop light with turn signal on you are drawing a minimum of 130 watts just in lights alone. Now, I am not sure exactly how many watts it takes to keep the ignition going. But, your alternator is only rated at 380 peak watts. Three more headlights drawing 55 watts each will use more than a third of the total of the alternator, alone. Your current system of lights is using about 1/3. And to keep your alternator from failure pre maturely you should only use 80% of its capacity. You would be exceeding that just in lights alone. Now you have to worry about the fan coming on in summer, and don't forget the ignition and maybe an ocassional horn blast.

Now let me give you a personal experience. I have Sylvania Headlight. 55/60 watts (same as stock). I had stock tail lights. I added a light bar
with 55 watt bulbs in each. I have a voltmeter LED light that changes color as the voltage changes. Voltage will change as more draw is added. When I first put the light bar on and went to work one early (dark) morning. I noticed that my Volt light went from Green(good) to yellow and eventually red(bad) while at a stop light. I switched off the light bar and the light went back to yellow and when I got underway, again the light went back to green. Then I switched on the light bar and it stayed green until the next stop light.

I fixed all this by replacing the light bar bulbs with 35 watt halogen bulbs. Then I replaced the tail/stop light with an LED set up that draws less than 1 watt. Now, my voltmeter light always stays green. So, just changing those three bulbs saved my alternator usage about 54 watts.
Did you run the lightbar through a relay?

Or did you run it through the plug inside the can?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With the looks of all this, Adding a HID headlight may put more of a load on the system.

Their are headlamps such as the Piaa Extreme white, anti vibration bulb, that puts out if I remember 130/110 watts but equivalent to a 55/60 stock bulb as far as load on the system
 

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Two things.....check your state's regulations on the number of headlights allowed. Many limit the number to three on a motorcycle. Secondly, watts or amps, its all the same load upon the battery/charging system regardless of relays, etc. I suggest that you not load the alternator more the 75% of its rated capacity. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Two things.....check your state's regulations on the number of headlights allowed. Many limit the number to three on a motorcycle. Secondly, watts or amps, its all the same load upon the battery/charging system regardless of relays, etc. I suggest that you not load the alternator more the 75% of its rated capacity. :thumbup:

A Goldwing which i just sold, has two headlights, and has the option of adding 2 driving lights which i had, so thats 4 right there, but there may be a limit to 5, 1 headlamp, and 4 driving lights, I'll check into that

As far as " Loads " on the system, there are a number of things to drop the amount of the " load " such as capacitors, relays etc, so yes, you are adding to the system, but using such devices as those will drop the amount .

I need to look into it some more
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would venture to say that that would pull too many amps. You might be able to use something like a capacitor as a reserve power. Similar to what big car stereo systems have, just not as bit. You might be able to pull the alternator off and have it reworked at a shop. Similar of what you can do to an automotive alternator to increase the amp. load. Another way is to find out what the output of the stock alternator is and find out how many amps. the lights pull. Service Manual might give you the info. I am trying to find one myself, but don't want to pay the 80-90 for it.

No need to pay anything for a manual, the whole manual is free as a download, Its 300MB, so it may take a while to download, but beats spending $80 bucks for a manual, see here:

http://www.vtxcafe.com/showthread.php?t=3614&highlight=manual
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
heres the info from rattlebars site on relays :

You can see everything here on wiring up the lights, this is how I did my last VTX lightbar, and worked perfect with a 135/110 headlamp, and 2 55 watt driving lamps ran like this :

http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/foglites.html




RELAY BASICS - 101
Some may not know what a relay is or how it works. Maybe a little parable. There once was a little man named Jon whose job it was to lift a weight of 50 lbs. He could do this all day long with no trouble. But, one day the boss came up and said that Jon now had to lift 200 lbs. But Jon knew he could not lift 200 lbs without eventually breaking his poor little back. So, he got his friend, Hercules to lift the 200 lbs each time that Jon tapped him on the shoulder. So Jon was able to lift the extra weight through Hercules' strength and Jon did not have to lift any weight at all.
Let's say you want to add some extra horns to your bike. Your horn switch (Jon) was designed little but it only had to supply current (50 lbs) to your dinky little stock horn and can do that easily. However, your new horns are bigger and require more current (200 lbs). If you simply hook up the new horns to your existing wiring and switch, then your switch will burn out rather quickly. How to get around this? Install a relay (Herculese). A relay is a mechanical or solid state SWITCH which is triggered (tapped on the shoulder) by current supplied to its trigger terminal (86). When current hits that terminal it closes the switch inside the relay, be it mechanical (by energizing a coil magnet) or solid state (by tripping a transistor). The other terminals of the relay then feed current from the INPUT terminal (30/51) through the now closed contacts to the OUTPUT terminal (87). Your old horn switch does not feed current to your new horns, it only triggers the switch inside the relay. The switch inside the relay feeds current to your horns from a completely different source (ie battery).
To wire up your new horns so that your little switch can work them, wire them as illustrated. Your old horn wire that went "hot" when you pushed the horn button is hooked to the TRIGGER terminal (86). When you hit the horn button, the button only needs to supply a small amount of current to trigger your relay. Hook up heavier wire thru a fuse directly from the battery to the INPUT (IN) terminal (30/51) and then hook your new horns "hot" to the OUTPUT (OUT) terminal (87). Terminal 85 is common ground (you can use your old horn ground). Now, instead of asking your weak and EXPENSIVE horn switch to work the increased load, your strong, CHEAP and easily replaceable relay does all the heavy lifting. (<A href="http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/relay.htm" targer="_blank">Click here for more info)
Relays will also fail after a time. Some are even rated by the number of times they will close a circuit before burning out (common relays are usually rated to 100,000 operations). The advantage is that a relay is normally cheaper and easier to replace than a switch. Using a relay also allows the use of smaller guage wire to the switch as well.
A common auto relay is shown above along with the functions of the terminals.
One should note that many relay packages are incorrectly labeled. The package that this relay came from labeled terminal 87a as "power to lamps" just like 87 when the 87a terminal is actually "normally on" and goes cold when the relay is triggered. One should test these terminals to determine what each actually does before making a permanent installation. Usually, if the center terminal is labeled ON THE RELAY as "87a" then it is usually a normally on terminal and will go hot (complete the circuit with terminal 30) when the trigger is cold. If it is also ON THE RELAY labeled as terminal "87" then it will usually be a normally off just like the outer 87 terminal. These 87 terminals can be used creatively as input to feed current from two sources to the 30 used as output. Details on use of these terminals in this reversed fashion can be found at http://www.rattlebars.com/goodies/bulk.html One should always mount a relay of this type with the terminals down and it helps to seal the seams around the case and terminals with silicone seal. These relays are sensitive to moisture and they will corrode if directly exposed.
 

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As far as the HID bulb goes, that draws 35watts vs the 55/60 stock.

As far as 4 driving lights. . I'm sure you might be able to at speed but you won't be able to do anything else, honk at someone, flash your high beam, or have the cooling fan come on.

I suppose there comes a point where you there's just too much going on. Even running the lights through relays, you've still got to come up with the electricity to run them. The relay only reduces the amount of "stress" the switch the headlights are run through will have to take, there's still a power draw coming from the battery or some other source.

Relays are good, but they can't pull power out of thin air. . you've got your (soon to be) HID system, 35watts, four driving lights @35watts (for the sake of arguement) plus tail light/turnsignals. . . just in headlights/driving lights your looking at about 180watts. . add in tail lights and what not, your probably closer to 220. if you increase the driving light wattage to 55 watts, your sitting on 220 watts just in driving lights, not including the rest of the factory system.

IMO, two decent powered, well designed driving lights are more then enough to illuminate the road. . anything more, your just pee-in into the wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As far as the HID bulb goes, that draws 35watts vs the 55/60 stock.

As far as 4 driving lights. . I'm sure you might be able to at speed but you won't be able to do anything else, honk at someone, flash your high beam, or have the cooling fan come on.

I suppose there comes a point where you there's just too much going on. Even running the lights through relays, you've still got to come up with the electricity to run them. The relay only reduces the amount of "stress" the switch the headlights are run through will have to take, there's still a power draw coming from the battery or some other source.

Relays are good, but they can't pull power out of thin air. . you've got your (soon to be) HID system, 35watts, four driving lights @35watts (for the sake of argument) plus tail light/turn signals. . . just in headlights/driving lights your looking at about 180watts. . add in tail lights and what not, your probably closer to 220.

IMO, two driving lights are more then enough to illuminate the road. . anything more, your just pee-in into the wind.

Ahhhh, sounds like I'm getting somewhere now. Thanks for explaining it more. I wasn't going to use the 4 driving lights all the time, I thought when I'm on dark roads in the middle of FL, driving past all the cows at night, I'd light up the road with the 4, as there are allot of dear out there.

So if your at 220 watts with the everything, and the alt output @ 5,000 RPM, is 364 Watts, I just checked the manual, then I'm still below 75% of the rated output, so the question is, when you crunch the numbers, If I'm still below the rated output, by more then 25%, why wouldn't it all work?


I guess the question is, the rated output is @ 5,000 RPM,@ 364 watts which Is not a realistic cruising RPM. So if your say cruising at 3,000 RPM, I'm not sure if that number is right, because I don't have a tach on my bike, but lets say 3,000 RPM cruising speed, then the output is problem around 250 watts or less, now I would be all most at 100% of my output on the alternator.

So I'm starting to see why It may not work.

Thanks for the HID correction also, your 100% right, using a HID headlight drops it down from 55 watts to 35 watt HID.

OK, so time to order the HID kit, and next I'll have to order some driving lights.

So do you think go with a light bar? Or some driving lights on the highway bars ?
 

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When you run everything through a relay, as I mentioned, from what I read, the relay dramatically drops the amps.
No - a relay is just a fancy switch that allows you trigger it with minimal juice. Maybe that is what you are thinking of.
The device will still draw the same regardless.
 

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Did you run the lightbar through a relay?

Or did you run it through the plug inside the can?
Any accessory I add to anything runs off a relay to reduce any load off the original wiring.
 

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A Goldwing which i just sold, has two headlights, and has the option of adding 2 driving lights which i had, so thats 4 right there, but there may be a limit to 5, 1 headlamp, and 4 driving lights, I'll check into that

As far as " Loads " on the system, there are a number of things to drop the amount of the " load " such as capacitors, relays etc, so yes, you are adding to the system, but using such devices as those will drop the amount .

I need to look into it some more
The Gold Wings alternator's capacity was nearly double that of the VTX
 

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So, bottom line. If I run 4 running lights, I run the risk of burning up my charging system?
 
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