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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so for all intents and purposes I am brand new to wrenching, though I do perform basic routine maintenance on my bikes. I have two TWs (1989 and 1994) and both need some love, so my intent is to tear one down to the frame this fall/winter and troubleshoot everything and make all necessary repairs. While I don't have the experience yet, I am intelligent enough to learn and I am eager to do so (already learning the fundamentals of the single-phase system plus I just bought a service manual, too). In order to diagnose issues within the charging and electrical system, I'll need a multimeter and this is where I need help from those of you with more knowledge and experience than I have. I am looking at three Fluke meters now:


Fluke 107 AC/DC Current Handheld Digital Multimeter $103
Fluke 107 AC/DC Current Handheld Digital Multimeter by Fluke, Gray: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific


Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multimeter Pocket Portable Meter $43
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JT5RUUU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A348TFKJ0TSFC5&psc=1


Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter $144
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OCFFMW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1



So, I’d rather buy what I need up front and not buy the wrong meter now and then have to buy another one down the road as I become more educated. To this end, can someone please let me know if the most basic of these would be sufficient to diagnose any charging/electrical issues on the bike or would I need to step up to one of the more expensive models? If one of the other two, would the middle level model that measures 10A be sufficient or should I go with the higher end version that measures 20A? I have no problem at all spending the money, but I don’t want to buy a $150 meter when the $45 meter would meet all of my needs.


Also, please feel free to recommend an alternative meter if you have experience with one you know to be reliable and sufficient. I’m all ears on this one, guys. Many thanks!
 

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I am a huge fan of fluke meters. I've also been collecting them for many years. I don't use them in the field that much anymore, but each of my tool bags has 87, 115 or 100 series meter. By the most meter you can afford. That is my advice to you. Even if it has functions you may not need today, you will most likely need them in the future.

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Discussion Starter #3
I am a huge fan of fluke meters. I've also been collecting them for many years. I don't use them in the field that much anymore, but each of my tool bags has 87, 115 or 100 series meter. By the most meter you can afford. That is my advice to you. Even if it has functions you may not need today, you will most likely need them in the future.

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Thanks, Smitty. I appreciate the feedback.
 

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I have worked a lifetime in electronics. Since my military days in the early 70's to this decade, I've had access to top of the line test equipment. After I retired, I researched and decided on this meter. It does everything well and is very economical. It has out lasted my FLUKE meters I was allowed to leave with when I retired. FLUKE has a good name in the industry but only if it's kept on a PM schedule and calibrated regularly. It's a built in design that they fall out of calibration and need routine adjusting. It's part of the commercial game to keep contracts for mainentence and warranties funding the supplier of the original equipment. They also offer trade-in pricing in order to keep used test equipment from being bought up by smaller companies who are not truly able to afford these top-of-the-line vendors.
I can highly recommend this meter;
Tekpower Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter

I purchased mine on Sept 5, 2015. 5 years and going strong on the original batteries even.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have worked a lifetime in electronics. Since my military days in the early 70's to this decade, I've had access to top of the line test equipment. After I retired, I researched and decided on this meter. It does everything well and is very economical. It has out lasted my FLUKE meters I was allowed to leave with when I retired. FLUKE has a good name in the industry but only if it's kept on a PM schedule and calibrated regularly. It's a built in design that they fall out of calibration and need routine adjusting. It's part of the commercial game to keep contracts for mainentence and warranties funding the supplier of the original equipment. They also offer trade-in pricing in order to keep used test equipment from being bought up by smaller companies who are not truly able to afford these top-of-the-line vendors.
I can highly recommend this meter;
Tekpower Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter

I purchased mine on Sept 5, 2015. 5 years and going strong on the original batteries even.
Many thanks, Ski. Good info and an economical choice that I likely would never have found on my own. A+, buddy.
 

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So what about the $7 meter at Harbor Freight? It comes with a lifetime warranty (for an extra $7).

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So what about the $7 meter at Harbor Freight? It comes with a lifetime warranty (for an extra $7).

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Excellent choice. If you watch the coupons sometimes they give them away.
 

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So what about the $7 meter at Harbor Freight? It comes with a lifetime warranty (for an extra $7).

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My experiences with Harbor Freight haven't always been stellar. Plus, I am a believer that the price of quality only stings once, so I'd rather spend a little more for the peace-of-mind. No offense, intended, of course.
 

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I agree with Ski Pro 3, I have an old Fluke 87 sitting because it needs repaired, a cheap one off Amazon works great and if it gets destroyed or lost no big loss.

Oh, and I will say the toner from Harbor Freight works better than my Fluke toner.
 

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I agree with Ski Pro 3, I have an old Fluke 87 sitting because it needs repaired, a cheap one off Amazon works great and if it gets destroyed or lost no big loss.

Oh, and I will say the toner from Harbor Freight works better than my Fluke toner.
A second vote for the $38 Amazon meter over the Fluke. Sounds like I have my winner. Thanks, ERDCO.
 

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I grew up using a radio shack analog meter. Remember radio shack? To me analog is the best way to troubleshoot. You get to see the needle move around. Sometimes with the digital it is hard to know exactly what happened the instant you touch circuit. With the analog you may see it jump around. Digital all you see is the numbers. I am mechanical minded and seeing that needle move tells me a lot of information. You can still find analog meters. My 2 cents.
 

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I grew up using a radio shack analog meter. Remember radio shack? To me analog is the best way to troubleshoot. You get to see the needle move around. Sometimes with the digital it is hard to know exactly what happened the instant you touch circuit. With the analog you may see it jump around. Digital all you see is the numbers. I am mechanical minded and seeing that needle move tells me a lot of information. You can still find analog meters. My 2 cents.
Thanks for pitching in here, Apolloha. Duly noted.
 

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Also get a $7 HF meter and see how it stacks up against your $38 meter. It would be interesting to read your report comparing how the two did their jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also get a $7 HF meter and see how it stacks up against your $38 meter. It would be interesting to read your report comparing how the two did their jobs.
Brilliant idea! Will do, Elime.
 

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The Harbor Freight multimeter work fine, and before the pandemic, they often had coupons available where you could get them for free if you purchased another item. One word of caution: The leads are pretty delicate and are subject to breaking if you're holding the ends of the leads and drop the unit. This is no big deal if you have another one for backup, but really frustrating if you need to go buy a new one. I certainly wouldn't want it to be the only one I had if I was out riding somewhere.

This said, Harbor Freght does have decent quality multimeters starting around $20-25. The leads are much better than the cheapies.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
The Harbor Freight multimeter work fine, and before the pandemic, they often had coupons available where you could get them for free if you purchased another item. One word of caution: The leads are pretty delicate and are subject to breaking if you're holding the ends of the leads and drop the unit. This is no big deal if you have another one for backup, but really frustrating if you need to go buy a new one. I certainly wouldn't want it to be the only one I had if I was out riding somewhere.

This said, Harbor Freght does have decent quality multimeters starting around $20-25. The leads are much better than the cheapies.
noted.
 
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