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Discussion Starter #1
Gang,
I see some of you running an extra set of lights, mostly LED stuff, on the front to augment your standard T-dub headlight. Just wondering, I've not seen any form of spec on the electrical system of the T-dub in terms of what that system puts out. Now, I'm not talking volts here. I'm talking AMPS. I realize there's no alternator and or generator. It's a STATOR that puts out the juice. So, after all the juice that's needed to run the bike, headlight, tail light, turn signals etc., what's left in terms of AMPS, 1, 3, 5, ZERO, what?
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wow,
22 views so far and no one can answer about the electrical output of a TW, hmmmm.
Scott
 

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Don't you mean left over watt's?
 

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Newer Model Power Output averaged at 14v






RPM ............... AMPS.....................WATTS


2000 ..................8............................112


4000 ..................13..........................182


6000 ..................14..........................196


8000 ..................15..........................210










Early Models 87-2000






RPM.........Amps........Watts


2000............1..............14


4000...........2.2...........30.8


8000...........3..............42


11000.........3.3...........46.2
 

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Bikes are built to use not more than 75% of the electrical output.

So there is some extra... ;):p
 

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I am not an electrical wizard by any stretch so let me make that clear. My suspicion regarding these electrical systems and again it is pure suspicion is that the battery you have plays a major role. With the stock lead/acid battery the bike tends to do pretty well as long as the battery is in full working condition. You should be OK adding a couple additional light loads. If I were looking to add much more than an extra light such as heated grips and 12V sockets for an air compressor plus a phone charging mounts and GPS I think I would search for a newer type AGM or Lithium Ion battery that has greater internal specs but also keep in mind the charging factors involved with such batteries. You do need to be careful here because the type of charge coming from the stator may or may not be suitable for various types of batteries. I have what is termed a "Smart Charger" said to be capable of detecting the type of battery connected to it and adjust accordingly. It does light different lights when I charge the standard deep cycle marine lead/acid batteries and again different when I charge the AGM ones I have for other machines and devices plus when I charge full Gel batteries. I think they all require some sort of different current and our TWs are specifically designed to charge only lead acid batteries. I have no idea what these differences are and I would be very careful using the newer and much more powerful Lithium Ion batteries until I made sure the charging system is right for them.
I do know this much. On my kayak with an electric trolling motor I can run at full speed for about 6 hours with a heavy deep cycle lead acid battery. I can go the same speed for close to 12 hours when I use the same size and weight AGM battery.

GaryL
 
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our TWs are specifically designed to charge only lead acid batteries.
That should read “Our TW’s are designed to provide 14vDC to the battery constantly”

This suits a lead acid battery in its native environment, but is also good for a “modified” Lithium battery, the modification being that it has overcharge protection. The two things that a lead acid can cope with but a Lithium cannot, are “De-sulphate mode” where a charger slams all it can down the wires, and “trickle charge”, when the charger tries to keep the battery “topped off”

The TW provides neither of these – just 14vDC constant

Provided the Lithium battery has that overcharge protection in place, it will simply charge up when it needs it, and not accept a charge when it doesn’t. The sort of Lithium batteries we’re like to encounter are deliberately built with this in mind, and are suitable for automotive use knowing full well that they will encounter 14vDC constantly

The question of whether you should keep a Lithium on a “battery tender trickle charge” over winter, depends on whether you want to have a live indoor AC circuit feeding your bike constantly, bearing in mind that Lithium is likely to be fine for up to six months anyway – your place, your risk – but I wouldn’t recommend it. After six months, sure, charge it for a couple of hours, but that’s all it’s going to need. The average automotive Lithium has under charge protection as well, so you’re not going to hurt it

As for the comment on over spec – sure – if you are worried about the bikes stator not keeping up with demand, then get a Lithium battery that can keep things going for longer. This will only work if you either charge up the battery most days, or switch out the extra lights/heated grips etc when not needed to give the battery a chance to recover

This question comes up almost annually, but the answer is mostly the same:

For the ’87 – forget it – different system
From ’88 to 2001 the headlight bulb is rated at 35W (for a reason)
From 2001 onwards, the headlight bulb is rated at 55W (improved stator output)

I’m not entirely sure that LT’s figures are correct, though I have no reason to doubt him, (he’s usually right). But the figures supplied suggest a four or five fold increase, and I’m not quite sure why Yamaha would do that

But the fact remains – if those figures for the 2001 plus models are correct, you should be able to run two extra headlights, heated grips, and still have enough left over to mount a lighthouse on the back

The thing is – no-one’s ever come back and said “My battery can’t keep up”

Bear in mind given the figures, (so it’s all LT’s fault) that they suggest that pre 2001 is the most susceptible to stress, If you want to try “loading” a TW, then the later model would be a good starting point. Also consider that the humble lead acid battery is likely to “boil dry” if you get it wrong

And if you do try this – let us know how you get on (and try not to live up to your nick) ;)

(Apologies for not replying sooner, but getting life insurance on a third party can often cause such a delay) ......
 

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Batteries can be very hard to understand. My favorite batteries so far have been the VMax Tanks AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) batteries. I reached out to them regarding the charging and trickle charging with my Battery Tender Jr. fixtures. Their response for the Battery Tender chargers was that I SHOULD NOT keep them on the AGM battery. They have their own trickle chargers they sell so out of an abundance of caution I bought one of their specifically designed chargers just to be as safe as possible.
I recently made a rather serious mistake with a 12V, 7 Amp Hour sealed lead acid battery. This battery powers my fish finder for ice fishing. I zapped it with a regular battery charger on the lower setting which is 5 amps. I left it too long and completely cooked the battery. Then I read the warning right on the cooked battery, Maximum recharge amperage of 2.1 Amps. Use extreme caution when charging batteries and just be sure the zap you are giving them is not more than the battery can take.
Again, not being an electrical wizard, take my advice for what ever it is worth. Lots of automobile fires are started because the voltage regulator went bad and allowed the battery to get severely overcharged and start the fire. My neighbor burned his house to the ground by leaving his car battery hooked up to a faulty charger in his garage that was supposed to drop down to a trickle once the battery reached full charge. Shit happens I guess and any electrical device is subject to fail. I charge my batteries in the middle of my garage floor away from any other combustible objects. I also leave a note right here by my computer "Batteries Charging" which reminds me to keep a constant check to be sure they are not overheating. Never charge any lead acid batteries in an enclosed area as they emit dangerous fumes that could cause an explosion. I don't honestly know if putting an inline fuse between the charger and battery will help to keep things safe in the event the charger fails to drop down to trickle.

GaryL
 
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The thing is – no-one’s ever come back and said “My battery can’t keep up”....
Well, I certainly have. I have had this problem with both post 2001 TWs. I tend to ride quite slowly in the bush, and all I have is a GPS hard wired to the battery (less than 1 amp). I used to leave it on when stopped intermittently during the day, and I eventually ran the battery down to the point I had to push start the bike one day. My solution was to pull the connector on the low beam and the always on front signals (and later switch to LED's which don't have that feature). I just wasn't getting enough RPM's to keep the battery charged....I never had a problem on the street. I would just turn on the high beam when I returned to the pavement.

After this mod I could run a heated vest from the same plug, but that's about all. It takes 4.5 amps. Without the mods I would be drawing down the battery (AGM) at my low speeds. The headlight draws about the same 4.5 amps, so a ballpark answer to the OP's question is that below 4000 RPM there is almost nothing extra. You can use LT's numbers to do a power draw inventory and compare it to output at various RPM's.
 

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Nothing wrong with a discharge rate exceeding your recharge rate, your battery provides the make-up wattage. Now this can be done for only so long before battery gets drawn down to levels of operator concern but nothing terrible or damaging is occurring. Operator's responsibility to monitor this intelligently.
Reducing what we call the "hotel load" , the always on current draws, like headlight, indicator, clearance & tail lights with LED rather than incandescent bulbs reduces the time your added accessories draw more current than the charging system provides. Intermittent current draws like horn & turn signals may be dismissed unless you lay on the horn constantly like a N.Y. cab driver or forget & leave your turn signals on like me.;)

Certainly the battery box will accept a larger rated LiPo4 battery than the stock 8 amp hour lead acid battery. The 8 amp hour LiPo4 vended as a direct replacement for our TWs occupies about half of the available space so a significantly larger LiPo4 battery in both size and current capacity may be fitted. This would permit longer excursions into the realm of discharge rate exceeding recharge rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well gang,
I certainly got my answers here. Unlike larger motorcycles, like my GL 1800 Goldwing and, about 99.999999% of the rest of the worlds autos/trucks/motorhomes etc. the electrical supply on the smaller machines like a TW, are apparently designed to handle all the requirements that come standard on the bike. But, based on some of the figures above, especially for later models, you need to have some fairly high RPMs in order to provide a few extra watts/amps to handle something like a small air compressor. This is what my post/inquiry was all about although I didn't really relate it to the original question. I'm planning getting a tiny air compressor for tire pressure adjustments for off/on road stuff, while maybe quite a distance away from camp where, I've got more air supply than imaginable. Now, based on some of this provided information and numbers, I could just pickup a tiny C02 inflation system and, a few of those tiny C02 cylinders. I have no idea how they work and to what psi they'd provide. I'm talking about maybe running around 8-10 psi for trail running and about 18-20 psi for street use. So, the C02 system would have to bring up the tires from trail to street pressure. And the same for whatever type/style of micro compressor I'd acquire. So, that's what my inquiry was all about.

I most certainly want to thank all who've responded here with the techno-info on the Dubs electrical system.
Scott
 

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You can run a small compressor on any year TW provided you give it half throttle while doing so – heck, you could probably do it on a high idle – the compressor will tell you how it’s getting on by the noise

The TW will have recovered by the time you’ve pulled away and got comfortable – no sweat

The CO2 idea is a neat one, but I’d be wary of shooting that much gas into a closed environment – once you fired off one of those things off there’s no stopping them

The main issue with those “get a small compressor for 5 bucks with every five gallons of fuel” jobbies, is that they tend to over heat filling a car tire, and blow their seals. On a bike tire, they are ideal

You’ll be fine ……
 

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" You’ll be fine ……" Very correct. You should be able to use the small air compressor to top off a tire without the engine running without dipping too far into a healthy fully charged batteries capabilities...or at least I can.
I no longer use my compact CO2 kit since it took about 2 cartridges for the rear and one for the front each time I wished to seriously change tire pressures. Instead I simply run low 8 to 12 psi front & rear almost all the time whether I am swimming through first gear mud or pounding twisty pavement at max speed in top gear. I will inflate to higher pressures only when I feel need to maximize fuel mileage. However neglecting to lower pressures later on has lead to inadequate traction issues. Safer to just leave 'em low for my dirt oriented needs in my opinion.
 

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I have used one of those tiny compressors on all my TWs from 1987 models right up to present with no battery issue at all. Out in No Man's Land I would be sure the bike was at least running at idle if the bike does not have the backup kicker or you were at the top of a down hill run you could easily push/jump start on. One thing about electrical accessories you might add is to be mindful to always put stuff like heated grips and vests on a switched power source and not direct to the battery. Any item that creates heat is a major draw and if you forget to turn it off when the engine is off it will drain the battery PDQ. I don't know what or why some of the USB ports tend to remain on when the bike is off but we have heard from others here who experienced this issue. If you can switch the blinkers and lights over to lesser draw LEDs then all the better for running additional options. Probably not necessary unless you get wild with accessories. A small compressor while the engine is running is No Issue and probably not much of an issue when the engine is off as long as the battery is at full charge and you don't run it for very long.

GaryL
 
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Since an air compressor is an interment load, probably no more than 8 minutes, the battery will be fine if you run the bike at say 4,000 rpm, and probably even if it is off. It took 5 or 6 hours at slow speeds in first or second to create my issue. However, sit there with the engine off while glassing the hills for elk in your nice warm electric jacket for 30 minutes and it might not start. :eek: :p
 
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