New H4 LED Headlight


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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CnCbuss
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

New H4 LED Headlight

Post by CnCbuss »



Hi guys. Just wanted to share this to the GL1100 forum:
I was pleasantly surprised to find a plug and play LED H4 bulb to replace my standard halogen bulb. The thing I like about this is that it mimics a real H4 bulb very closely in the fact that it has a thin profile (just like a filament) and is very close to the same dimensions as a standard H4. No crazy muti-faceted or multi-sided profile on this one. AND - It's less than some of the supposedly brighter halogens.






I'm attaching some photos to show the yellow light from my old H4 compared to this new DZG purchased on amazon just yesterday. At least now my headlight matches the color of my LED auxiliary lights.
Let me know what you guys think!






...and the meek shall inherit the earth...
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DenverWinger
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1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by DenverWinger »

Well dang.

I have Vetter fairing on my 1100, it uses the old large round "Sealed Beam" bulbs, 6024 I think. I got an H6024 halogen in it now.....
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biguns
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by biguns »

Looks great, Thanks for the info
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by WingAdmin »

One thing I noticed with my 1100 is that even with incredibly bright bulbs, I still was having trouble getting a lot of light out the front of it. Once I looked closer, I realized that the reflective surface on the inside back of the headlight had gone dull, and in some parts even started to flake away. Without a reflector to form the beam properly, even the brightest LEDs aren't going to make much difference. So be sure to check on the condition of your headlight housing itself.
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CnCbuss
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by CnCbuss »

Good point Steve. I didn't notice any dull or worn areas on the inside surface but it would've be a good idea to clean and polish that surface up while replacing the bulb.
...and the meek shall inherit the earth...
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flanzajr
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by flanzajr »

There appears to be no heat sink on the back of it. I'd be curious as to the life of the bulb. Let us know how it performs in the long haul. Thanks!
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CnCbuss
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by CnCbuss »

Agreed. The actual frame/ structure of the bulb is supposed to be enough to dissipate the heat and the claim is that the bulb will last 30,000 hours. I'll keep you guys posted.
...and the meek shall inherit the earth...
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flanzajr
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by flanzajr »

Thanks! I put an HID setup in my 83 but sold it. I'd like to let the new owner know about this if it lasts.
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y0himba
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by y0himba »

I'm curious about the fog lights. Do you have a link to the ones you used? Can you post photos on how they are attached?

I bought a 7 inch LED headlight for a Jeep Wrangler to fit my 83 1100. Made a custom bracket for it, and can now "see for miles" so to speak.
-y0himba
(Insert something witty and meaningful here)
Dirtrack650
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by Dirtrack650 »

Nice. But, any camera will make a LED look blinding bright if the camera is pointed at the LED light source. How about a pic of the beam pattern on a dark road?

I've tried H4 LEDs, 7" LEDs, but I'm happiest with a Hella H4 Yellow in a Bosch lens. The light output is awesome, and much easier on the eyes at night, especially in bad weather. A big advantage is you don't look like everyone else on the the road. My wing really sticks out including the yellow LED driving lights on the crash bars. My other favorite bulb is the Osram Night breaker in headlight housings designed for H4 bulbs.

Another consideration for older bikes (83 1100) is our charging system. A 55/60w bulb uses amps and keeps the r/r cooler.
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77Goldwing
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by 77Goldwing »

I just went through this exercise a month ago, not so much for additional light (I almost never ride at night anymore), but to relieve stress on my old alternator. I, too, have a Vetter fairing. First I went with one of those Jeep-compatible bulbs and it was too fat in the rear to snug into the housing. I even took the housing out and trimmed it with a dremel but that did not work. I then found the following LED headlight at the Walmart website and it fit perfectly without even needing the dremel reaming. I had no way to activate the halo ring but the low and high beams work fine, and the price was right. I no longer have the issue at idle where the headlight dims unless I rev the engine.

Sold and shipped by LabltAutoParts
LABLT Black Motorcycle 7 Inch Round LED Headlight with High/Low Beam Amber & White DRL Halo Ring Angle Eyes
$29.93/EA
1977 Goldwing GL1000
Vetter SS fairing/lowers; custom saddle seat
Purchased 6/30/1978, 1585 miles

1973 CB450/K6 (sold) (1976-Schenectady NY to Guadalajara MX and back)
1972 CB100 (sold)
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y0himba
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by y0himba »

Luckily I learned how to smith at a young age, but I haven't done it in years. I was able to forge a bracket to house it. (Man do my arms hurt after not smithing for so long)

My only issue is the gap around the light. To me it looks awful, and I need to get a ring to go around it. Driving my OCD through the roof.

I am having hell finding some decent engine guard (crash bar) fog lights though. I'd prefer to have some with brackets already useable. My old hands ain't what they used to be, and my hammer arm is attached to a rebuilt shoulder. I want LED and bright as the sun.

I'm dreading forging a new ring to go around the headlight to cover that gap, and to attach the little visor hat on top. I'd rather just find one. My buddy said to just put an LED halo around the headlight, but I find too many lights to be garish.

When I am off work and out at the garage this evening I'll post photos.
-y0himba
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grahamlang
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by grahamlang »

why do people think that 'brighter is better'. Better is a correctly adjusted headlight. how fast can you ride at night? how far do you need to see? ride within your stopping distance. enjoy the ride. why dazzel other road users with silly brighter extra lights. dont matter how many you have on, if the other guy is to stupid to see you you could have a search light on and they still wont. i have a 77 K2 with a cibie headlight and a Yam XJR1300 no probs with either. anyway, thats my veiw.
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by y0himba »

I am older. The default yellowish light on my 83 GL1100 isn't bright enough for my eyes, no matter how safe I ride. It's a safety issue for me and my wife who rides with me. With a properly adjusted brighter headlight and fog lights, the road is much easier to see at night.

Same reason I put LEDs in my signals and brake light, plus LED strips on the rear. I also installed a flasher unit so they attract attention when I stop. That is if the person is not looking at their phone...

Bulb life is better, weight is lower, and the brightness is more safe all the way around.

Newer bikes come with the same types of LEDs we are putting in our classic GWs.

The only question I have seen from the communities is the lower draw on the stator. One train of thought by people smarter than me is that the lower draw on the stator isn't good for it. I haven't had an issue yet, but I also put in a brand new stator this winter.
-y0himba
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Dirtrack650
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by Dirtrack650 »

The charging issue is the regulator rectifier. If you're running the stock R/R, it balances out the charging system by shunting excess amps that aren't used to the ground dissipated as heat, hence the need for cooling fins on the R/R. Changing over a vintage bike to LEDs, without updating the regulator to a MOSFET regulator could cause the OEM regulator to overheat and fail.

My 83 is 100% LED except the H4 headlight helping to balance the load.

BTW, any you folk have issue with RF interference from the LEDs?
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77Goldwing
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by 77Goldwing »

What is a MOSFET regulator and where does one find one? I am struggling with understanding how much more "voltage" is being made by replacing the headlight, tail light, and the console bulbs with LED. My voltimeter does not show any increase and, in fact, seems a little lower. What are the symptoms of a failing R/R? Appreciate any insight you can provide. All I know is that before I replaced these bulbs, if I tried to idle at a stoplight the bike would often stall and at a minimum the headlight would significantly dim. I had to idle it at 1500-1800 to keep it running, and now it idles happily at 1200.
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by Dirtrack650 »

Sounds like you should do a charging system check-up. Good battery? Good clean grounds? Clean your yellow stator wire connector plug, clean the plug for the regulator.

MOSFET source:
https://www.electrexworld.co.uk/cgi-bin ... ml#SID=439
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y0himba
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by y0himba »

77Goldwing wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:52 pm What is a MOSFET regulator and where does one find one? I am struggling with understanding how much more "voltage" is being made by replacing the headlight, tail light, and the console bulbs with LED. My voltimeter does not show any increase and, in fact, seems a little lower. What are the symptoms of a failing R/R? Appreciate any insight you can provide. All I know is that before I replaced these bulbs, if I tried to idle at a stoplight the bike would often stall and at a minimum the headlight would significantly dim. I had to idle it at 1500-1800 to keep it running, and now it idles happily at 1200.
It's not more, it's less draw on the stator. Basically, the stator is now putting out too much because the LEDs draw less from it, which heats up the regulator causing it to fail, as I understand it. See the reply above by "Dirtrack650" on Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:30 pm for a better explanation. I put resistors in my circuit to help with this.

Mine was doing what you described as well, and I ended up putting a new stator in, and getting a new battery. Now happily charging at 14.6.
Dirtrack650 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:30 pm The charging issue is the regulator rectifier. If you're running the stock R/R, it balances out the charging system by shunting excess amps that aren't used to the ground dissipated as heat, hence the need for cooling fins on the R/R. Changing over a vintage bike to LEDs, without updating the regulator to a MOSFET regulator could cause the OEM regulator to overheat and fail.

My 83 is 100% LED except the H4 headlight helping to balance the load.

BTW, any you folk have issue with RF interference from the LEDs?
-y0himba
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CnCbuss
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by CnCbuss »

y0himba wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:15 am I'm curious about the fog lights. Do you have a link to the ones you used? Can you post photos on how they are attached?

I bought a 7 inch LED headlight for a Jeep Wrangler to fit my 83 1100. Made a custom bracket for it, and can now "see for miles" so to speak.
I got these on Amazon...

https://www.amazon.ca/TABEN-Motorcycle- ... _47_i&th=1

It's a custom design mounted using aluminum bicycle stems (the part that holds the handlebars to the vertical downtube for steering) which are just a little larger than the crash bars but with some rubber spacers, they hold tight.
...and the meek shall inherit the earth...
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CnCbuss
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by CnCbuss »

Dirtrack650 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:31 am Nice. But, any camera will make a LED look blinding bright if the camera is pointed at the LED light source. How about a pic of the beam pattern on a dark road?

I've tried H4 LEDs, 7" LEDs, but I'm happiest with a Hella H4 Yellow in a Bosch lens. The light output is awesome, and much easier on the eyes at night, especially in bad weather. A big advantage is you don't look like everyone else on the the road. My wing really sticks out including the yellow LED driving lights on the crash bars. My other favorite bulb is the Osram Night breaker in headlight housings designed for H4 bulbs.

Another consideration for older bikes (83 1100) is our charging system. A 55/60w bulb uses amps and keeps the r/r cooler.
Good point. My main goal was to have the headlight color match my LED's. I got spooked at the beginning of last year driving on a dark part of the highway with my son. Couldn't see the road despite having my high beam headlight on. I drove through a curve blindly with headlights from oncoming cars and cars following me blinding me. Got the LED auxiliary lights shortly thereafter.

I took a couple of photos in my garage this afternoon. Many LED bulbs are poorly made and light too much. As can be seen, the light from this H4 LED bulb is focused up to a vertical line so as not to 'flood' the area to be lighted - just like a real headlight bulb design. Here are the results:

Image
LED Bulb on low beam

Image
LED Bulb on High beam

Image
LED High beam and LED Auxiliary lights on 'high' (there are three settings - High, low and flashing).

I'll try to take photos of the headlight shining down a dark road later and post them.
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Dirtrack650
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by Dirtrack650 »

grahamlang wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:17 pm why do people think that 'brighter is better'. Better is a correctly adjusted headlight. how fast can you ride at night? how far do you need to see? ride within your stopping distance. enjoy the ride. why dazzel other road users with silly brighter extra lights. dont matter how many you have on, if the other guy is to stupid to see you you could have a search light on and they still wont. i have a 77 K2 with a cibie headlight and a Yam XJR1300 no probs with either. anyway, thats my veiw.
You're the only reply that assumed speed was an issue. 🙄 I ride the posted speeds, why settle for 1977 lighting tech when you can upgrade and at least feel safer.
How far do I need to see? As much as it takes to see that deer or critter standing down the road. It's common practice in today's designs to have the triangle of lighting: headlight and two lower aux lights forming the triangle. How many times has a motorcycle approached you at night and you ask yourself, is that a bike or a car with one headlight?

Ride safe, ride on and live.
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gdhubert
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by gdhubert »

For you guys with the Vetter fairings - I have a Vetter on my '82 GL1100 - how the !#@^& do you get that bulb out to change it???

Frustrated - saw some instructions about putting a flat head screwdriver in some slot - but no joy yet. HELP! (please...)

Greg.
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77Goldwing
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by 77Goldwing »

The headlight ring twists left. If you feel around the ring, there is a plastic piece that locks into a bunch of serrations. I think you depress it as you twist. Then the headlight pops out and you can replace the bulb from the rear. I went back to a regular headlight before switching to the LED.
1977 Goldwing GL1000
Vetter SS fairing/lowers; custom saddle seat
Purchased 6/30/1978, 1585 miles

1973 CB450/K6 (sold) (1976-Schenectady NY to Guadalajara MX and back)
1972 CB100 (sold)
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1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by DenverWinger »

y0himba wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:16 pm
77Goldwing wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:52 pm What is a MOSFET regulator and where does one find one? I am struggling with understanding how much more "voltage" is being made by replacing the headlight, tail light, and the console bulbs with LED. My voltimeter does not show any increase and, in fact, seems a little lower. What are the symptoms of a failing R/R? Appreciate any insight you can provide. All I know is that before I replaced these bulbs, if I tried to idle at a stoplight the bike would often stall and at a minimum the headlight would significantly dim. I had to idle it at 1500-1800 to keep it running, and now it idles happily at 1200.
It's not more, it's less draw on the stator. Basically, the stator is now putting out too much because the LEDs draw less from it, which heats up the regulator causing it to fail, as I understand it. See the reply above by "Dirtrack650" on Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:30 pm for a better explanation. I put resistors in my circuit to help with this.

Mine was doing what you described as well, and I ended up putting a new stator in, and getting a new battery. Now happily charging at 14.6.
Dirtrack650 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:30 pm The charging issue is the regulator rectifier. If you're running the stock R/R, it balances out the charging system by shunting excess amps that aren't used to the ground dissipated as heat, hence the need for cooling fins on the R/R. Changing over a vintage bike to LEDs, without updating the regulator to a MOSFET regulator could cause the OEM regulator to overheat and fail.

My 83 is 100% LED except the H4 headlight helping to balance the load.

BTW, any you folk have issue with RF interference from the LEDs?
Thought I'd chime in here about alternators... It's Friday night, had a couple beers tonight, and had fun sitting down and writing about things I know nothing about... :ugeek:

Gonna get in the Jeep tomorrow and go "Rock-Hopping" on Nat'l forest trails tomorrow and appreciate this beautiful country I live in. It is one of the younger countries in this world, but has the oldest living document known as The "Constitution of the United States of America" on the planet. I will fly my flag proudly this weekend! Happy 246th Anniversary1

Probably a TL;DR, but WingAdmin might want to edit and post this to "Reference Info" board - "How do bike alternators work".... or something like that..... I enjoyed spending a couple hrs writing and editing this post..
-----------------

"How do 'Wing Alternators work....."

The "permanent magnet" alternators always put out maximum voltage/current, with more RPM the higher the voltage and current. With no load and high RPMs, they can put out on the order of 100 volts.

But the bike needs to run on nominally 14 volts. This to power the bike, lights, charge the battery, etc, So we load that potentially 100 volts from the alternator down to nominally 14 volts by sucking all that power with a demand for current.

So the alternator tries to provide the potentially 100 volts to the demanding circuits, but can't deliver 100 volts because it is loaded with draw from lights and charging the battery and whatever else is connected, each additional load draws more power (watts) which is amps x volts, 4 Cyl Goldwing alternators are designed for 350 Watts. Each additional load sucks the voltage lower and lower. But at standard load at high revs the alternator can still provide maybe 20 volts to all this stuff. That's way too much voltage, and will burn out lightbulbs etc.

So that's where the voltage regulator comes into play. It is connected to the output of the alternator along with the bike's lights etc, and it's job is to waste enough power so that there's only 14 volts left over to run the bike's systems, lights, etc. This is the voltage the bike is designed to run on, so the voltage regulator will "shunt to ground" any extra current necessary to load the alternator down to only 14 volts output.

If engine RPMs are high, the alternator output is correspondingly high and the voltage regulator gets hot from wasting so much power. If RPMs are low, there's not so much output from the alternator, and the regulator doesn't have to waste so much power to keep the voltage at 14 volts.

The designers of the bike figured the current draw of all the bike's lights, ignition system, running the radiator fans and charging the battery and built a corresponding alternator output that could provide all this with some extra power in case the owner decided to add some accessories. More accessory power draw from the charging system means the voltage regulator doesn't have to waste as much power to keep system voltage at 14 volts.

But at idle RPM, the alternator system puts out far less power than at cruising RPM. When you add all the demand for power from the alternator, the total load might reduce the total alternator output to only 13 volts or so, still enough power to keep everything happy.

Since the voltage is less than the 14 volts the regulator is designed for, the regulator does not have to "waste" any excess power, the system voltage is already less than the regulator needs to deal with.

So when you are sitting at a stop light, rev the engine a little bit and notice the lights brightening up a little, you are seeing the alternator output increase up until the regulator kicks in and starts "wasting" enough extra current to keep the system voltage at 14 volts nominal.

If you are changing your headlight bulb from standard (5 amp load) to LED (maybe 1.5 amp load) that means the voltage regulator has to shunt an extra 3.5 amps to ground at RPMs, making up for the 3.5 amps that the headlight is no longer using, voltage regulator has to work harder and gets hotter.

These comments apply to the 4 cylinder 'Wings with permanent-magnet rotor/stator - type alternators. Actually, this applies to most bikes on the road.

Recently, there are other types of aftermarket voltage regulators (also found on the newer permanent-magnet alternator bikes of many makes) that can be installed on the 4 cyl 'Wings which function differently. These are called "series" regulators, They will "pass" enough current from the alternator into the bike's systems, varying the amount of current passed into the bike depending on the momentary load to maintain the nominal 14 volts. Instead of "wasting" excess current to ground on an "always full output" alternator like the OEM regulators do, a "series" type regulator passes power "on demand", allowing the just the right amount of current so that the voltage on bike system is maintained at the 14 volts. Doesn't load the alternator to full-output all the time like the "shunt" regulator does. There might still be 30-40 volts measured within the alternator due to not being loaded to "full output".

In this case, at idle RPM, the alternator still doesn't generate all that much current, and if the "series" regulator sees less than the 14 volts on the bike's electrical system, will still pass the full output of the alternator to the bike.

The 6 cylinder GoldWings use an automobile-type alternator, adapted to fit the 'Wing engine. These still have a stationary "Stator" within the housing, and whirling magnets within on a rotor, but instead of using "permanent" high energy magnets made of rare-earth materials on the rotor, they use electro magnets, wire coils on an iron core. If the coils on the whirling iron cores are not energized, they are not magnetic, and the rotor can whirl all it wants within the stator and the stator will generate no power at all. But there is also a voltage regulator within this alternator, it is measuring system voltage on the bike, and if it detect the system voltage is less than the nominal 14 volts desired, it will supply some voltage thru the brushes on the rotor shaft to the electromagnet coils on the rotor. Now we have a rotating magnet inside the stator, and we can generate some current. If the current generated is not enough to reach the desired 14 volts, the regulator will send more power to the rotor, making it a stronger electromagnet, and the alternator will generate enough "watts" to maintain the 14 volts.

Not like the permanent rare-earth magnets in the rotors in the 4 cyl 'Wings which are full-output all the time and either need excess current "wasted" or blocked, the voltage regulator built into the alternators will vary the current provided to the rotor, varying the strength of the whirling electromagnet, and thus varying the output of the alternator to be exactly the amount of current the bike needs.

On the 6 cyl 'Wings, many people have installed 90 amp alternators (1200 watts!) to replace the standard 40amp (500 watt) units. The voltage regulators will never allow the full 1200 watts to be pushed to the bike, the voltage at that level would fry everything electrical on the bike. These bikes consume on the order of 250 watts stock, say 20 amps. But the stock alternator is Max 500 watts at full revs, max output is far less than that at idle revs, and insufficient for full load of the bike even at full output idling. So the high-output alternators make up the difference, more than sufficient output to power the bike and any added accessories even at idle rpm.

These alternators will never see full output, unless you are trying to start a Diesel Semi truck with jumper cables from your bike!

Happy 4th July!
~Mark
There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary numbers, and those that don't. :lol:

♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:
~Mark
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Re: New H4 LED Headlight

Post by Old Fogey »

Most of the members of this site are apparently US based, but I'm sure there are others like me that live in other countries.
So for those of you that drive on the left like here in the UK, here is a source of left-dip LED headlight bulbs. Paul has been running his business for a great many years and knows what he is talking about.
I have his H4 Daylighter 2 bulb in my GL1000 and the light from it is incredible.
http://www.norbsa02.freeuk.com/goffyWhyNotLEDs.htm


'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

( Seriously, you haven't read all 115 pages of my http://www.wingovations.com website ?? :shock: )
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