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If you have a draw meter i would recommend testing all the lights you installed to see what they are really drawing power wise. Most use a lot more juice than they claim unless your buying the higher end stuff like JNS Engineering sells. I like the ones you picked out for turn signals. They're pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Are you referring to CANBUS? If so you have load resistors and you're overloading the system by going off of the wattage for the Light Emitting Diode part of the bulb, the extra resistance makes it use the same power has a stock bulb.
I'm really not an expert in this type of stuff. I was recommended these LEDs for the indicator lights to fix an issue I was having with my LED turn signals. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0859JJHBC/

Can you go a little more into what the issue could be? and how I can address it?
 

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Some cars monitor their lighting systems for blown bulbs by measuring the resistance of the circuit. When you replace with low resistance LED bulbs it triggers the computer to throw a warning light and make the system hyper flash the blinkers so you know something is wrong. So they developed something called a CANBUS light that either uses solid state processors or resistance loads so the cars system isn't throwing a hissy fit. So even though the actual light bulb part of it only uses for example 1.7 watts it's pulling the same juice as a 12.5 watt via the resistors or solid state circuit. When I'm saying test the lights current draw, i mean every light you've changed not just the bulb ones. Those cool turn signals will use more than they say because they have microprocessors in them to run the light show. They'll (they meaning the inexpensive light makers) rate them at the hypothetical number for the bulb , not the actual draw of it all together. Plus the rating they are giving you is based off of 12.8 volts static testing station. Not the highly fluctuating 13.5-15 volts your bike is running at. When either the volts or the amps increase, so will the wattage draw. For example of one of the headlights you were considering was rated for 35 watts. That will be at a static 12.8v would be 2.73 amps. But if your system is running at 14.5 volts charging the battery back up after a start, that times the 2.73 amp draw is now 40 watts instead of the rated 35. The more bulbs in the circuit the larger the combined effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Some cars monitor their lighting systems for blown bulbs by measuring the resistance of the circuit. When you replace with low resistance LED bulbs it triggers the computer to throw a warning light and make the system hyper flash the blinkers so you know something is wrong. So they developed something called a CANBUS light that either uses solid state processors or resistance loads so the cars system isn't throwing a hissy fit. So even though the actual light bulb part of it only uses for example 1.7 watts it's pulling the same juice as a 12.5 watt via the resistors or solid state circuit. When I'm saying test the lights current draw, i mean every light you've changed not just the bulb ones. Those cool turn signals will use more than they say because they have microprocessors in them to run the light show. They'll (they meaning the inexpensive light makers) rate them at the hypothetical number for the bulb , not the actual draw of it all together. Plus the rating they are giving you is based off of 12.8 volts static testing station. Not the highly fluctuating 13.5-15 volts your bike is running at. When either the volts or the amps increase, so will the wattage draw. For example of one of the headlights you were considering was rated for 35 watts. That will be at a static 12.8v would be 2.73 amps. But if your system is running at 14.5 volts charging the battery back up after a start, that times the 2.73 amp draw is now 40 watts instead of the rated 35. The more bulbs in the circuit the larger the combined effect.
Great information, I never knew about the theoretical vs. actual draw on LED lights.. So dumb question now; I have a decent multimeter, but how do I go about checking the draw on them?
 

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Does your meter have a little clamp looking attachment?

Not all meters have an amp tester. You can kinda get a somewhat close idea from watching the load drop when you turn a light on but that's not going to be accurate enough in your situation. From what I'm gathering your trying to save watts in the rest of the system so you can build a super awesome headlight setup. There's reasonably cheap meters on Amazon that have a special clamp looking attachment for monitoring amp draw on a running system. It just goes around the wire of the circuit you are checking. I need to get another one myself, mine was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it doesn't light up anymore lol. If i see a decent one I'll post it for you. It's been a bit since i looked at them but they were about 45 for a decent El cheapo, and 65ish for a slightly better one. The actual good automotive ones are a few hundred bucks but i don't think we need quite that level of accuracy for a basic 12v system with no computers. You have to make sure it is capable of reading both DC and AC currents. Most of the cheaper ones only read AC.
 

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I noticed they are getting sneakier with these. A lot of the cheap ones are saying ac/dc but it's only the voltage that's both, in the smaller print it showed only AC on the amp. I kinda like the little cheap one above, was going to get another expensive one but i think this will do nicely for working on the bikes and equipment. Wouldn't be good for cars it only goes up to 60amp. If you want one too do cars this won't work.
 

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If it helps at all, I just wired up a second horn, took the bike out at lunch, and let er rip for about 3min until it started making weird sounds, I may have broken both horns. Anyways, I used 18awg since that was all I had. No blown fuses... might need a new horn now lol.
 

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If it helps at all, I just wired up a second horn, took the bike out at lunch, and let er rip for about 3min until it started making weird sounds, I may have broken both horns. Anyways, I used 18awg since that was all I had. No blown fuses... might need a new horn now lol.
Hope your weren't around any other peep's while testing it out! :LOL:
 

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2004 TW200, Jets 'n Shims, DGV2, Acerbis Guards, ProTaper KX, JNS LED BLK
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This one if you want a decent one that can do your cars, bikes, house, etc. Wouldn't go any more expensive than this for DYI stuff.

I have the Klein Tools CL800

It’s a great meter. I use it on everything auto/moto & home, HVAC, etc. Very solid features & build quality.

Haven’t tried the Amp clamp on DC yet, but it works great on AC.

I’ve worked with Fluke & Snap On meters & the Klein delivers more functions for the $.
 
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
If it helps at all, I just wired up a second horn, took the bike out at lunch, and let er rip for about 3min until it started making weird sounds, I may have broken both horns. Anyways, I used 18awg since that was all I had. No blown fuses... might need a new horn now lol.
I swear I think my horns are messed up too. I kept hearing this weird buzzing sound I could not locate, as it only started at high RPMs.. I need to look closer at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Does your meter have a little clamp looking attachment?

Not all meters have an amp tester. You can kinda get a somewhat close idea from watching the load drop when you turn a light on but that's not going to be accurate enough in your situation. From what I'm gathering your trying to save watts in the rest of the system so you can build a super awesome headlight setup. There's reasonably cheap meters on Amazon that have a special clamp looking attachment for monitoring amp draw on a running system. It just goes around the wire of the circuit you are checking. I need to get another one myself, mine was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it doesn't light up anymore lol. If i see a decent one I'll post it for you. It's been a bit since i looked at them but they were about 45 for a decent El cheapo, and 65ish for a slightly better one. The actual good automotive ones are a few hundred bucks but i don't think we need quite that level of accuracy for a basic 12v system with no computers. You have to make sure it is capable of reading both DC and AC currents. Most of the cheaper ones only read AC.
My meter is definitely not like any of those.. Just a regular one. I read your other comments and think I will grab the $40 one. But first I'm going to rewire my horns with the relay to be safe, and see if the issue persists. I kept hearing a quiet buzzing sound, thought it was just a vibration, but now I'm wondering if that's the culprit. But I don't really have any plans for a headlight, not even an upgrade. I don't do any night riding. Yet, at least. I just wanted to get rid of the hideous oem turn signals and tail light.
 

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If horn was pulling a steady draw it could pull the system down enough at low rpm riding to cause everything else to try and pull more amps to get the watts so that definitely could've caused it. Hopefully it's that easy of a fix.
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
If horn was pulling a steady draw it could pull the system down enough at low rpm riding to cause everything else to try and pull more amps to get the watts so that definitely could've caused it. Hopefully it's that easy of a fix.
Right on, thanks Mav. You are very helpful, glad you are a part of these forums.
 

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I swear I think my horns are messed up too. I kept hearing this weird buzzing sound I could not locate, as it only started at high RPMs.. I need to look closer at it.
If it's buzzing when you are not pressing the horn, that is an issue. I didn't hear anything like that with mine.

And like Mav said, that meter will help with assessing the draw, and if there is a draw occurring without the horn button pressed.

Something else I came across was an article related to resonant frequency for others that were hearing buzzing at a specific RPM range... and for a bunch of them, it was the horn, but it wasn't electrical. One guy figured it out taping up his horn and the buzzing at RPM stopped... interesting read:

 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
If it's buzzing when you are not pressing the horn, that is an issue. I didn't hear anything like that with mine.

And like Mav said, that meter will help with assessing the draw, and if there is a draw occurring without the horn button pressed.

Something else I came across was an article related to resonant frequency for others that were hearing buzzing at a specific RPM range... and for a bunch of them, it was the horn, but it wasn't electrical. One guy figured it out taping up his horn and the buzzing at RPM stopped... interesting read:

Oh the tape is a fantastic idea, I will do that next time I'm on it. Ride for a bit to confirm the sound, then tape it up and check again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
New and interesting problem with the bike.. Decided to ride to work this morning, and the moment I turned on the key, the horns started blasting. So I'm 99% sure they are the culprit for the issues lately. I think somehow the horn switch circuit has been welded together behind the button.. I disconnected the horns and rode with no issues. I'm hoping the worst outcome is I will have to replace the left control cluster.. But I'm going to be rewiring the horns through a relay to see if that fixes everything.
 
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