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I know I should have searched but I just spent today making a shelf for my new voltmeter ( I'll post pics later) and installing the voltmeter, tool tube, and Givi crashbars after getting off work.

I want to know what readings I should be getting off my voltmeter to know that my battery is alright. Under load, what is the lowest reading before the battery starts losing power? What should a strong battery show while the bike is running?

Agian, I am sure that I could find it if I spent a half hour searching but I am leaving for a week long camping trip on the bike through Jasper and Banff after work tomorrow and I just don't have the time to spend looking.

Thanks for any info you can provide.
 

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Fully charged battery reads 12.6 - 12.8 volts. Lower than that and it's discharging. Higher than that and it's charging.
 

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12 to 12.5 volts is pretty normal for the battery when the bike is off. 13 to 14.5 volts is about right when the bike is running.
 

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What you're looking out for is a declining voltage while riding at steady speed. As mentioned, the charging system will put out around 14 V, so that's about what you'll see when riding on the highway with minimal load. Experience will give you a more exact figure, of course. If you load up the system with heated grips, clothing, aux lights, etc., you may see that 14V slowly start dropping to 13.5, then 13, and so on. When you see that happening, you've overloaded the system, and need to shed load until it starts climbing back to 14V. At that point, what is happening is your charging system can't keep up with the load, and the excess load is being carried by the battery, which is discharging. Don't have a voltmeter on my Vee (don't add any extra electrical load, so why?) so I'm guessing here that you'd see some drop when stopped (engine idling) but maybe not a whole lot, judging from the relatively constant brightness of the headlights.
 

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12 to 12.5 volts is pretty normal for the battery when the bike is off. 13 to 14.5 volts is about right when the bike is running.
That's in stock condition. Heated gear or auxiliary lights can bring that down significantly. Also check the difference between the bike's voltmeter reading and a hand held meter applied to the battery posts to know the difference you would need to account for in your head. The two will rarely match. You want to keep above the 12.6-12.8V the meter would show at the battery for the long run.
 

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If you load up the system with heated grips, clothing, aux lights, etc., you may see that 14V slowly start dropping to 13.5, then 13, and so on. When you see that happening, you've overloaded the system, and need to shed load until it starts climbing back to 14V.
As long as the voltage stays above 12.6 - 12.8V, you have nothing to worry about. I'm not about to turn off heated grips or clothing if the volt meter is reading 13V and it's 28 degrees F. And if drops below 12.6V, I'll pull a headlight connector to get it back up. ;)
 

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The easiest way to be safe is to remember, watts = amps X volts. I'm not 100% sure of the total charging system wattage, but if you add up all of the electrical draw the bike has in stock, headlight, fuel pump, turn signals, etc. subtract that from the total output and you will know how much surplus power you have. I wouldn't exceed that total number, but that is just me. I will try to look through the service manual later and see what the total supply and draw is for a stock bike.
 

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Pre 2008 650s have about 100-125W overhead. Post 2002 1000s and post 2007 650s have 125-150W to play with.
 

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I regularly see 14.5 volts on my Strom with normal load. I put my voltmeter on this year after I stopped using using my heated gear, so I don't know what to expect, yet. I know when my fan kicks on, the voltage drops. It usually kicks in when I am idling, so I might see 12.8 for a bit.

On start, I always monitor the voltage to make sure it doesn't dip below 9v. It dips to 9.5 - 10.5 regularly.

When I press the Stebel button, I see a voltage drop of a few volts (that thing draws around 15 Amps).

I wired mine up to an On-Off-(On) {Momentary On} switch, with the Momentary On going directly back to the battery and On going to switched power. This way here, I can check my battery at any time without having to turn on the bike. I press the momentary on button and I see my battery voltage. It also means I can turn the meter off while riding if I so choose (I usually leave it on).

I think the key is to monitor your voltage readings in various conditions: Start, idle, cruising, under load, etc. You will learn soon enough what is "normal" and what is "odd". The first time my fan kicked on, I was flipping out trying to figure out what was running.
 
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