Is this really needed on a bone stock bike,,,,meaning the bike has no electrical add ons such as additional lights. Eastern Beaver seems to think so. Just wondering how many are installing this headlight relay.
Sadly, yes. It would cost Suzuki very little to do it right but that's what we get with a budget bike. Full headlight current goes thru the switch instead of relays. Switches will burn up eventually at a high failure rate. I think there's a survey somewhere here with numbers. I'm adding relays to our 2012's as one of this winter's projects.
Plenty of reports here of people having issues with their lights traced to damaged connectors and/or switches. Some have no issues. Installing a relay would take the load off these components. I think of it as cheap insurance.
Re shorter bulb life.....true no doubt though it hasn't been an issue for me in thousands of miles.
There seems to be some confusion on what a relay actually is.
On a relay you will have a main voltage say 20 amp coming into one pin of the relay, (we'll call this pin 1) , and then another pin that goes to the headlight, horn or whatever is going to be the source, ( we'll call this pin 2). You will have 2 other pins, one goes to the switch ( pin 3 ) and the other ( pin 4 ) likely goes to ground. When you push the light button, starter button, horn etc ( pin 3 ) it sends it to ground which completes the circuit and then allows current to flow between pins 1 & 2 ),.
Another good example of this is on a water cooled engine ( including motorcycles that have a fan ). When the temp sensor in the block, rad or wherever it is, reaches its set temperature range, then it closes the circuit ( shorts it to ground ) and the fan will start. Most if not all of these temperature sensors are protected by a relay of some description.
A properly designed switch, and I don't believe that Suzuki or any other manufacture would design a switch that wouldn't handle its rated load, is not going to cause problems. In the example of the fan switch above the stock fan sensor was designed ( this was a first generation gold wing ) to handle the current draw and rarely ever caused a problem. If you wanted to use a car type sensor ( different temp range etc ) then you had to protect it with a relay, otherwise it would fail. The reason was that it was not designed to operate at the high current draw of the the fan motor. However the stock gold wing temp sensor was.
There are many good examples on the web of relays and how they work for those that are interested.
I put one in. I procrastinated all summer long in doing so, but took the time to do it a few weeks back. The EB kit is very well thought out, all the wires are cut to fit a Vstrom's layout exactly....basically plug in and go. I did get the kit that is made for the PC8 fuseblock. Honestly, it took longer to remove the bodywork to a sufficient degree, and figure out a good way to zip-tie the new wiring in a way that kept everything tucked out of the way. It's one of those mods, where if you never need it, you'd never know if it did it's job or not....not a very exciting farkle, but I will say that my headlights do seem to burn a little harder into the darkness.
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