How important is a voltage meter? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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How important is a voltage meter?

I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?

Red '05 DL 650.
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revel22 View Post
I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?

As long as the battery keeps starting the bike every day, I think you're doing fine.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
As long as the battery keeps starting the bike every day, I think you're doing fine.
Thanks. But when I'm in Alaska next month and the bike doesn't start on the Dalton Highway, this won't make me feel all fuzzy inside.

Red '05 DL 650.
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 10:54 PM
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I'd recommend adding a voltage meter. Even if you don't have a lot of electrical farkles, it can notify you of problems early.

You can mount one most anywhere you want. I think the Datel VM is the best. I got mine from www.digitalmeter.com. Mounted it under a dash shelf using 3M VHB tape, which is a lot like welding it on.

http://www.stocrallies.com/pictures/veestar/datel.gif

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 11:09 PM
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You can pickup a digital voltmeter meant for monitoring a 12v battery that shows voltage and alarms if it drops below charging voltage for $10 from Canadian Tire.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-29-2008, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revel22 View Post
Thanks. But when I'm in Alaska next month and the bike doesn't start on the Dalton Highway, this won't make me feel all fuzzy inside.
Helps when you flesh the story out.


I commuted this winter running Gerbring Jacket and gloves. No problems with charging.

I did an experiment running jacket gloves, and socks, and found that all of them on high took the charging right to the verge of a loss.

By my calculations my 2007 DL650 has about 130 watts of excess capacity. At that point the charging system is breaking even, neither charging nor discharging..

This is normal running condition. I didn't figure with brake lights or turn signal activated as they are temporary draws.
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-30-2008, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revel22 View Post
I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?
A voltmeter is mandatory. You're going to Alaska? You are insane to run that much wattage and not have a voltmeter. For your trip, it doesn't matter if you duct tape a multimeter to your fairing, get a voltmeter.

The voltage you want to watch for as you ride is whatever the voltage is when your bike is off. On my Wee that is 12.6V. Below that is not good. You will manage your accessories a lot differently and a lot more confidently if you have a voltmeter. And if trouble starts developing with your electrical system, it is likely you'd see it soon enough to do something about it like turn down your load or turn around while you have that option.

I mean, come on, you're going to be in ALASKA, riding along the friggin DALTON? What if you are using too much power? And you don't know it? You don't see trouble coming when all it takes is a voltmeter? And a little less power consumption? The wolves that come by to eat you will feel like you deserve your fate :mrgreen:.

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Pleasanton CA

Last edited by Corkus; 05-30-2008 at 12:17 AM.
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-30-2008, 12:26 AM
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Wolves don't eat people. It's the frickin' bears that come out of the woods at night and recalibrate voltmeters that are the problem.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-30-2008, 12:32 AM
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After my stator failure, I ordered this little fella from Twisted Throttle:

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2864



Should at least let me know what's going on.

1997 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours, [COLOR="DarkGreen"]GREEN[/COLOR]

Old bikes:
2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R, [COLOR="Lime"]GREEN[/COLOR], sold
2005 HD FXDCI, sold
2003 Yamaha FZ1, "Bee", sold
2005 Suzuki DL1000, Black, sold
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-30-2008, 07:06 AM
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I use this one on my bike, works well.

http://www.amotostuff.com/Merchant2/...650_electrical

It's not waterproof so I siliconed all the holes in it. It still gets some water in it but has not been effected, it dries out just fine.

Roger ('14 Tenere ES, COG 5903)
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