does the TW supply AC or DC to the headlight?
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Thread: does the TW supply AC or DC to the headlight?

  1. #1
    Senior Member badcat's Avatar
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    does the TW supply AC or DC to the headlight?

    does anyone know?
    i want to run LEDS that need DC.

    ken

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badcat View Post
    does anyone know?
    i want to run LEDS that need DC.

    ken
    Everything that runs back to the battery and run's the bike's equipment is D.C.
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    Senior Member jb882's Avatar
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    Its DC.

    That being said you may better be served by running the lights direct off the battery with a relay to control them off the headlamp if you plan on retaining the factory light. For instance i set mine up to only come on with the high beams are on and the lows shut off the led lamps so i dont blind oncoming drivers.
    Pair of 2006 TW's modded to the hilt and a Ducati Multistrada.

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    Senior Member badcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littletommy View Post
    Everything that runs back to the battery and run's the bike's equipment is D.C.
    thanks - i keep thinking of the BW as it doesn't have a battery - headlight is AC.
    k

  6. #5
    Senior Member badcat's Avatar
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    thanks - i'm looking at replacing the headlight with an LED array.
    but all info is great!

    ken

  7. #6
    Banned ZDR1's Avatar
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    On a motorcycle, the only part of the electrical system that has AC power is the charging system, which uses the rotation of the engine to generate enough electricity to operate the bike and maintain/charge the battery. The regulator/rectifier takes the AC voltage from the stator and changes it to DC so that the system can use it, while it regulates the amount of voltage being put into the system.

    The lights, starter, ignition system, and any other system that requires electricity on a bike uses DC power. Power from the battery positive terminal travels through a switch or series of switches, through a fuse, through the load (lights, etc.), through the chassis as a ground and back to the battery through the negative terminal, creating a circuit.

    It's possible to have an AC headlight but very uncommon.
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    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Well actually.....it depends on what year TW you have. The oddball 1987 uses the same system as the BW! AC to the headlight, direct from stator.
    Also the stator generates AC which is rectified to DC. These can fail. For items that could be fussy you would be better off running your lights
    from battery and switch it with a relay. This is also a trick if your lights pull more wattage than stock. On some older bikes heavier wires were the
    trick to better lights. BMW esp would undersize the wire so when you installed a higher wattage bulb all sorts of bad things happened.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member badcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zdiver1 View Post
    On a motorcycle, the only part of the electrical system that has AC power is the charging system, which uses the rotation of the engine to generate enough electricity to operate the bike and maintain/charge the battery. The regulator/rectifier takes the AC voltage from the stator and changes it to DC so that the system can use it, while it regulates the amount of voltage being put into the system.

    The lights, starter, ignition system, and any other system that requires electricity on a bike uses DC power. Power from the battery positive terminal travels through a switch or series of switches, through a fuse, through the load (lights, etc.), through the chassis as a ground and back to the battery through the negative terminal, creating a circuit.

    It's possible to have an AC headlight but very uncommon.
    yeah - older trail bikes - with no battery have AC headlights.
    i have two of them!

    k

  10. #9
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arbolmano View Post
    Also the stator generates AC which is rectified to DC. These can fail.
    I'm not sure what you're referring to that can fail (specifically on the '87), since all bikes that have a DC supply derive charging current that begins as AC and is then rectified to DC.

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