How much electrical power do I have to spare?


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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crisco
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:33 pm
Location: Sarasota FL
Motorcycle: '83 GL1100 Aspencade

How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby crisco » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:53 am



I have been working through the bugs on an '83 wing that I bought a few months ago, everything's going great thanks in large part to this site. The only thing I haven't found an answer to so far is this:

How much spare electrical power does the bike make? I don't see an alternator, so I assume it's not making tons of amps. I also know I have a 30amp main fuse, but I'm not sure how much of that 30 amps the bike actually uses.

I'd love to add aux. driving lights up front, and I thought that I've seen them on 83's before. Can I do this without making bonfire out of my new wing?


Thanks all!
Chris



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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:56 am

You don't have a lot, but you can put a pair of 35-watt driving lights up front without causing problems - I've had 35 watt driving lights on mine for a couple of years now. Replacing running lights (turn signals, brake lights) with LEDs will help free up a lot as well.

You'll know if you've exceeded the charging capability of the bike if you're running the engine at 3,000 RPM, but with all your stuff turned on, the bike isn't capable of keeping the system (i.e. battery) voltage above about 13.5 volts. If it's sinking below 13.5 volts even with the engine at cruise RPM, then you're drawing too much.

crisco
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:33 pm
Location: Sarasota FL
Motorcycle: '83 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby crisco » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:10 am

THAT is the info I needed. Thanks mucho.

robertdawber
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Eliot, ME
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby robertdawber » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:57 am

I can tell you when I bought mine it came with 55watt (each side) lights. What a HUGE drain that is.
Part of my current rehab work is to do what Wingman already wrote and change out some lights to LED and then I am going to change these lights out to a lower wattage use bulb.
I ride with my stereo on as well-so, at night you can use a good deal of power if you are not careful. Do you have a volt meter on the bike? If you do and use it correctly you can monitor your use.
The good thing is that the technology is really coming a long way with regard to LED. Also-if you check the message board here you will find some good and helpful info-including a link to a web page.
Keep us updated on your progress!

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:29 am

I first tried 55 watt driving lights, but it overwhelmed my bike's electrical system. So I replaced them with 35 watt bulbs - they're just as bright, but draw less power, and this ran fine.

Have a read through this thread to see how I went about it.

crisco
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:33 pm
Location: Sarasota FL
Motorcycle: '83 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby crisco » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Great info. I planed to put a volt meter on the bike permanently anyways, so this will push that ahead on the to-do list. Great sourcing on the 35watt bulbs too, I've never seen those locally.

I wasn't really looking for more night illumination, more wanting more "light points" for visibility's sake, I think it helps other drivers judge a bike's speed better. Three points of light that are as far apart as possible will give more hints at my approach speed to a driver who may want to pull out on top of me then one single headlight. At least that's what I think.

Thanks guys! I'll post up pics when the project's done.

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:04 pm

crisco wrote:Great info. I planed to put a volt meter on the bike permanently anyways, so this will push that ahead on the to-do list. Great sourcing on the 35watt bulbs too, I've never seen those locally.

I wasn't really looking for more night illumination, more wanting more "light points" for visibility's sake, I think it helps other drivers judge a bike's speed better. Three points of light that are as far apart as possible will give more hints at my approach speed to a driver who may want to pull out on top of me then one single headlight. At least that's what I think.


You're right about that, and for that purpose, LED's work great - lots of points of light, small amount of power used.

crisco
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:33 pm
Location: Sarasota FL
Motorcycle: '83 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby crisco » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:19 am

Absolutely. I've already replaced a couple with LEDs, the rest to follow. I love how they're instantly on/off.

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:06 am

crisco wrote:Absolutely. I've already replaced a couple with LEDs, the rest to follow. I love how they're instantly on/off.


Me too, and that grabs your eye (well, not your eye, but cage drivers eyes). Anything that draws attention to you is good!

Bluto
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:20 pm
Location: Bethany, Illinois
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I

Re: How much electrical power do I have to spare?

Postby Bluto » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:08 am

I had 55 watt lights on mine, but wouldn't keep up. I ended up taking mine off. Now i will have to think about getting some LED lights. I really like having the extra lights, but couldn't use them with the drain it created.
I thank you for the info also.




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