1980 GL1100 I - Charging system

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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1980 GL1100 I - Charging system

Post by Wingsconsin » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:45 am

The new-to-us GL1100 has added on driving lights which really are great in the dark, lighting up the road in front and out to the sides. The anemic headlight (especially the low beam) almost is not worth burning except on high beam at night...

The Volt meter shows 14.4 almost all the time when running the bike except at idle when it drops to 13.8 or so...
When I fire up the driving lights, the meter show 13.8 or sometimes a bit less...

At what point am I just draining the battery ..? Is the battery charging at 13.8 ? If by running with the driving lights I am setting myself up for a problem then my driving habits will need adjustment.

On my GL1500 I have a Compufire alternator that delivers 14.4 at idle, speed load, etc.
Never a worry...but I know the 4 cylinder Wings are a stator system inside the engine adn not as efficient as my alternator ...

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Re: 1980 GL1100 I - Charging system

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:19 pm

As a rule of thumb,the wing's electrical system is designed to operate the bikes needs as it came from the factory. Period.
There is little power left over for bling.
Theoretically there is near 100 watts of excess power avaiable to the user IF the system is in perfect operation and the engine running at 3600 rpm.
At a idle,there's little to spare.
If you want extra lighting,you must compensate somewhere.
The load on the system really needs to be kept close to the factory specs.
Most will reduce the load with LED lighting before adding extra lights.
It's all math and measurements.
Soldering all the electrical connections associated with the charging system can significantly improve it too.I did a post for that with great results.

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