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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if there's a problem with my setup. This isn't the first time that a battery didn't last past 1 year. I've had $25 Walmart batteries that went 3 years, $120 battery that lasted 1 year. Seems all over the map.

I have 100% stock lighting plus a phone charger that is only on when the bike is running and I just added two 2" LED spot lights that run only when the bike is on.

I bought an LED headlight but I have to fab up a bracket to mount it.

I'm wondering if I'm asking too much from the charging system and maybe converting all the lights to LED would help.

My understanding of LEDs is that they CAN use less power only if they don't use resistors. IDK how much power is drawn from the OEM lights, but there's only so many places to cut power usage.

Is there a type of converter or bulb that can be used that won't just burn off energy thru a resistor so that we can actually save energy and would that make any difference to the battery life?

What about some regulator or something like a boost converter that would always keep the battery at a about 14V so that it's always charging.
 

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A voltmeter will tell you if it's charging and an Oscilloscope will tell you if you are getting AC or Dc from the regulator.
Alternators produce alternating current, regulators take that and make DC and that's storable in the battery. I am not sure if a good meter will detect Ac in the lines after the regulator, I've never tried and don't remember how to check. AC in the line would kill the battery as would overvoltage. I have also noticed that nonlead acid batteries make regulators run very hot in older bikes, not sure if that applies to you. A proper charging system should be running at about 13.2 volts when the engine is running, some will go as high as perhaps 14 volts or thereabouts, check your shop manual for details.
Anyway, just stuff to ponder and maybe check.

Here is a video I found on Partzilla

They have a lot of info on their site you can look up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I noticed is that at idle, the headlight is weaker and as you rev it up, it gets brighter. So I'm wondering if lower power draw lights would help. Converting everything to LED, should remove some of the load from the system.
 

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Yeah,the battery voltage should be about 13.7-14.7 Volts across the battery terminals with the engine running at high idle. You will be using your DVM (Digital Volt Meter) on the DC Voltage setting here. The DVM also has an AC Voltage setting where you can get an idea of the AC component on the Regulator Output DC Level, but that won't really be necessary at this point in your investigation. Look for any signs of leaked battery fluids around the battery mounting area. If that condition exists, that could indicate an overcharging condition which can also wreck a batter prematurely.
 

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I have also pondered this same issue with my bike. In the past 5 years, I've went through 3 batteries. I have gone to the point now of getting a DC volt meter wired straight from the battery. I'll watch this as I ride to see if my battery output varies or stays constant. I have a JW speaker 8700 light that I cannot seem to get working without a flicker. I've tried various resistors and even a led canbus that was supposed to eliminate flicker. Nothing fixed it so I've taken a step back from the led setup and now rocking the OEM light. I've been searching for the right auxiliary lights (which I can never settle on either).
I've done a few regulator checks too and it seems to work. Buying a new regulator and/or alternator just seems to be a very expensive "try".
If you ever come up with a solution, please post something here.
Thanks.

Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have also pondered this same issue with my bike. In the past 5 years, I've went through 3 batteries. I have gone to the point now of getting a DC volt meter wired straight from the battery. I'll watch this as I ride to see if my battery output varies or stays constant. I have a JW speaker 8700 light that I cannot seem to get working without a flicker. I've tried various resistors and even a led canbus that was supposed to eliminate flicker. Nothing fixed it so I've taken a step back from the led setup and now rocking the OEM light. I've been searching for the right auxiliary lights (which I can never settle on either).
I've done a few regulator checks too and it seems to work. Buying a new regulator and/or alternator just seems to be a very expensive "try".
If you ever come up with a solution, please post something here.
Thanks.

Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
I haven't installed my LED headlight yet, I have to fab up a bracket, but I would have guessed that it would be better for the system since it's supposed to use less power.

I wonder if a cap would smooth it out. Not a pro, but the flicker should be voltage jumping up and down, so a cap would smooth that out.

I did build a scope from an Arduino and I could put that on and see if the voltage is stead or not.


Maybe the regulator is overheating or something. Makes me wonder how the LED lights are wired up, from what I understand they can be wired to use less energy or more energy.
 

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So, on my ride this weekend, I had a digital volt meter mounted on my handle bar. The max I saw (while riding) through all rpm ranges was 13.7v. At one point, the meter was bouncing from 12.5 to 13.4 repeatedly.
13.7 seams low. I'm I correct? If I am correct, what's not working properly?
Light Product Camera accessory Automotive tire Font


Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

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I use a battery tender. They sell an inexpensive voltmeter that you just plug in. If you don't ride frequently it is important to charge your battery for maximum life. Batteries are not created equal. I get longer life with the sealed agm battery.
George
 
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