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A Suzuki "factory rep" told me at one of the big bike shows that the little discussed weak point of the 650 is electrical output -- that the system couldn't support more than one or two electrical accessories and certainly not some combination like GPS, running lights, and a heated vest. (He also said the alternator couldn't be upgraded because there wasn't any space for a bigger one.)

Yet, many people obviously are putting a couple, if not several, electrical devices on their bikes.

Was the guy just blowing smoke?

More importantly, is there accepted guidance or limits on accessories loads -- by voltage or watts?
 

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Wattage is volts times amps, the measure of electrical power. You can use either the wattage or amperage to measure the output of the generating system and the consumption of the electrical equipment. If you exceed the max output of the generating system, you draw down the battery--thus the voltage drop. A voltmeter is the simplest way to gauge the load on the system. A voltage drop means that there is too much load. A fully charged so-called 12 volt battery actually has 12.6 volts. The charging system puts out something in the range of 14 volts to force electricity into the battery.
 

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2008 and later 650s put out [email protected] That leaves about 125-150W for extras. Motors, incandescent lights and heated gear are the big draws. A GPS draws very little. A headlight cutout switch provides an extra 55W for daytime riding. LED lights, replacing the stock headlights with HIDs and providing heat for the torso, hands and feet where it is needed instead of less useful areas like heated seats are ways to get more bang for the watt.
 

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Although I never have had electrical capacity concerns, I am thinking about getting a headlight cutout switch for the extra 55 watts. I typically run my Gerbing's vest, my heated grips, a GPS (which also runs my XM radio), and a radar detector with no issues whatsoever. Granted this is usually high-speed / highway driving, so the Generator is spinning fast, but still I have no issues.
 

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Ok wel he is right and wrong lol. 125-150 on the newer bikes means a set of running lights 2 x 55watt and a heated vest at day 50 watt means you are past maxed. So smart choicess are good like led running lights such as the 300$ set on twisted throtel or even the custom jobs some of us have done with 1/3 watt led lights found online. The twisted throtel ones draw 20 watts per set so lots of power. GPS, satalite radio, and any other item like that draw little and should not be considered big items.

I have all these thigns wired and am not concerned. But he is right its not a goldwing that can have heated gear, 20 55watt running lights, a microwave, easy bake oven, coffie maker running at once :green_lol:

Now heated gear for 2 people even with led running lights means you need to be carfull. But again as others mentioned you can get more power, good cheap one is getting led bulbs to replace the 2 55watt (max) tail lights, they don;t run at 55 watt each all the time only when breaking occurring. But its power saved.

There was mention at one point of a after marker alternator but form what I understand the only maker is considered very unreliable last I heard
 

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The brake lights are 21-27W each depending on the bulb manufacturer, not 55W. Anybody running a heavy electrical load ought to have a voltmeter mounted.
 

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Greywolf, how many watts does a HID set save compaired the the OEM?
 

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Greywolf, how many watts does a HID set save compaired the the OEM?
About 22-30W watts in total. That's only half the story though. They also put out more light, covering the need for running lights. Low draw LEDs can be used for marker lights to provide a triangle of light if desired. Heated gear will bring down incandescent light intensity. HIDs are at full brightness from about 8-16V.
 

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I'll jump in on this one as I was playing with capacities on my way to work today. I needed to figure out what I can and can not run together at once etc.

I have the Datel Voltmeter and at speed (35 mph) with nothing running the meter shows 14.3 on the meter.

I turned on the OEM heated grips at 3/4 and the meter did not change.

I turned on my Warm n Safe jacket run off a Heat Troller. I didn't turn it all the way up maybe half way and the Volt Meter went down to 14.2

I then hit the switch for the 2 x 55W landing lights and it jumped down to 12.7.

I'm pretty happy at this point as I'm pretty sure I could ride for a good long time at 12.7 volts but I had to test the dropping a headlight trick. Flipped the switch and it jumped up to 13 volts.

The only draw I haven't put in the mix for draw is my tankbag electronics, but I assure you I will turn al that off if I need to to keep warm.

What voltage is considered the limit? I've read 12.8 but I don't really get that. I understand the lower the voltage the less the battery is charging but it still isn't drawing the battery down. So if I had to ride for 2 hours at 12.6 volts I wouldn't be drawing the battery but the charge I needed to replenish the power used by the starter would take longer to replenish.

I really like having the extra 55w from the headlight to help with things. I'm also really happy that I can run most of the stuff I want to run. I would like to switch the Landing lights for some HID aux lights but that probably won't happen right now.

Also with Nothing pulling from the system if you drop the headlight the meter goes up to 14.4
 

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I have the Datel Voltmeter and at speed (35 mph) with nothing running the meter shows 14.3 on the meter.

I turned on the OEM heated grips at 3/4 and the meter did not change.

I turned on my Warm n Safe jacket run off a Heat Troller. I didn't turn it all the way up maybe half way and the Volt Meter went down to 14.2

I then hit the switch for the 2 x 55W landing lights and it jumped down to 12.7.

I'm pretty happy at this point as I'm pretty sure I could ride for a good long time at 12.7 volts but I had to test the dropping a headlight trick. Flipped the switch and it jumped up to 13 volts.

The only draw I haven't put in the mix for draw is my tankbag electronics, but I assure you I will turn al that off if I need to to keep warm.

What voltage is considered the limit? I've read 12.8 but I don't really get that. I understand the lower the voltage the less the battery is charging but it still isn't drawing the battery down. So if I had to ride for 2 hours at 12.6 volts I wouldn't be drawing the battery but the charge I needed to replenish the power used by the starter would take longer to replenish.
I don't think there's any question that you're pulling the battery down when you have the Landing Lights and some heat running. If GW is correct that the later models (07-09) have 125-150 Watts to operate the accessories, add up your numbers: 110W for the lights, probably 25W for the Heated Grips, possibly 50W for the Jacket. It seems to me that you're exceeding the capability of the alternator under these conditions and are discharging the battery so, over time, the voltage reading will tend to drop slowly. Dropping out one headlight brings it back to where the alternator can keep up.

Ride safe.
 

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It's '08 and '09 650s that have 400W alternators. '07 and earlier have 375W.
 

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I don't think there's any question that you're pulling the battery down when you have the Landing Lights and some heat running.
Well, actually, there is a question. Which is why I am asking. The battery at rest reads 12.7 - 12.8 If I whack it with almost everything including the landing lights I'm getting to 12.7-12.8 on the volt meter. Which means I'm teetering on discharging the battery or slightly discharging. This is a scenario I will never run at. However, knowing where the line is and backing off is a good thing.

I do not want to discharge the battery and I do not want to leave a battery sitting with no charge. Starting and idling with some things on do discharge a bit but if I'm only charging at .1 amp after draining the battery then it's going to take me a good long time to put back what I've taken. End result will be battery failure.

The reality of the situation is, if I find myself in a cold dark place and want the landing lights to burn some bugs and find anything around me I'm going to adjust what else I have running. Turning out the headlight is an option but not one I'd like to do in the above scenario. So that would mean turning heated stuff way down or off.


If GW is correct that the later models (07-09) have 125-150 Watts to operate the accessories, add up your numbers: 110W for the lights, probably 25W for the Heated Grips, possibly 50W for the Jacket. It seems to me that you're exceeding the capability of the alternator under these conditions and are discharging the battery so, over time, the voltage reading will tend to drop slowly. Dropping out one headlight brings it back to where the alternator can keep up.
No one, not even GW really knows what wattage we have left over. There are too many factors going on. For instance, the fan kicks on. These are guesses, some good. I will fully admit that I'm on the edge. I know that, that is why I paid good money for the Datel meter and headlight killer.

My real question really is, What voltage is considered bad to be under. I've read some statements of people not dropping below 13.8 which I think way above any real danger point(not I said think :) ). My ST never EVER read anything higher then 13.4 with nothing running on it. That thing had a HUGE alternator on it compared to the Wee. Just want to know where that line is so I can dial back from it.

I've been thinking a good solution would be to go to HID aux lights at 35 watts each. That gives me @40Watts savings along with being able to drop 55watts at the headlight. I'd have them already but with my upcoming trip to Alaska in June, Aux lights aren't really of a concern. I was even tempted to take them off for the trip and rig up some cheap LED blocks that I have on my Plow truck. Yeah yeah that's the ticket, I could even make them strobe :thumbup:
 

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35W HIDs actually use 40-44W. Some power is lost to the ballast. Check the on board voltmeter against a hand held voltmeter at the battery. That will give you an idea of the correction factor to apply. There are a lot of variables in play. That's why I've included so much leeway in that 125-150W figure. My bottom line is the battery needs 12.6-12.8V to maintain a charge. If your voltmeter shows more than that after the correction factor, you're in good shape.
 

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35W HIDs actually use 40-44W. Some power is lost to the ballast. Check the on board voltmeter against a hand held voltmeter at the battery. That will give you an idea of the correction factor to apply. There are a lot of variables in play. That's why I've included so much leeway in that 125-150W figure. My bottom line is the battery needs 12.6-12.8V to maintain a charge. If your voltmeter shows more than that after the correction factor, you're in good shape.
Thanks GW, I will be putting a voltmeter on the battery itself. My Datel is hooked up to my AP-1 on it's own circuit but I made a mistake and had it share a ground with my tank bag plug. So in theory what it's showing will take into account some draw from the other things on the line. So it should be erred on the side of caution.

My goal is to keep everything above 13 no matter what to build in safety.
 

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so ??? I have bought a small volt meter to add to the bike permanently but was thinking going off a set of wires up front that some off my fuse block. They are oversize wires for the job, would this be fine or should I just wire direct to battery ??
 

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Either way will work. The shortest path with heaviest wire is the best one but the voltmeter itself can make a difference. Comparison of the mounted meter with a good quality hand held meter at the battery is always a good idea.
 

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Either way will work. The shortest path with heaviest wire is the best one but the voltmeter itself can make a difference. Comparison of the mounted meter with a good quality hand held meter at the battery is always a good idea.
Well these wires I plan on hooking to are will be running the gps only, so next to nothing for power and are much bigger then needed, so no issues on resistance so good. and ya ao for good multimeter, not a problem my house has a collection fo 20-500$ units. Dad is a electrician/electrical electrical engineer. So when it comes to wiring jobs I learned form the best lol but little questiosn on the volt meter location is oddball still to me lol. :thumbup:

Think this weekend will be finishing all the wiring on my bike including the abs kill switch, the volt meter, and gps wiring :hurray:
 
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