Lights dim when honking horn - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Lights dim when honking horn

Hey guys! My 2003 500 with 27K miles has this new weird symptom. The horn is a Wolo Bad Boy, properly intalled with the relay and power supplied from the battery. When I homk it, the lights dim noticeably. Not enough to hinder driveability, but still enough to grab my attention. Didnt use to do this before or maybe I never noticed. I'm just worrying that maybe the battery, statir, or VRmight be havng trouble.. I'd like to think that it could be a bad ground. Has anyone else had this issue? It's weird. I Really got on the horn today to test it out while riding and noticed no other symptoms, no misfires or loss of power. It happens equally at idle and at speed. Thanks!


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2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
16,484 miles when I bought it September 2011. 29,100 miles January 2014. All these miles have been enjoyable almost entirely thanks to this forum.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juancho View Post
Hey guys! My 2003 500 with 27K miles has this new weird symptom. The horn is a Wolo Bad Boy, properly intalled with the relay and power supplied from the battery. When I homk it, the lights dim noticeably. Not enough to hinder driveability, but still enough to grab my attention. Didnt use to do this before or maybe I never noticed. I'm just worrying that maybe the battery, statir, or VRmight be havng trouble.. I'd like to think that it could be a bad ground. Has anyone else had this issue? It's weird. I Really got on the horn today to test it out while riding and noticed no other symptoms, no misfires or loss of power. It happens equally at idle and at speed. Thanks!


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Sounds like your fine.Just your new horn drawing more power than the old one.Only for the second that you hit the button.

If at first you do succeed,try not to look surprised!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 08:25 AM
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I have the same horn and have never had a problem like this. I installed it using the Wolo harness, it has been on the bike for a year now - works perfectly.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 08:35 AM
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Do a charging system voltage check.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 11:34 AM
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I think the Bad Boy draws 18 amps. I could see that dimming the lights slightly, kinda like noticing the lights in the house dimming when the AC kicks on. Perfect normal in the house under some circumstances.

A slightly weak battery might still start just fine in warm weather, then show up when it is cold or you have a big horn that draws alot of juice.

How it is wired could have a slight effect. A short run of large wire (like 12 gauge) could give the horn more juice than say a long run of 18 gauge. Probably good for the horn, but the battery might notice the difference.

I was just thinking out loud. sfair had your answer. You will probably not know what is going on unless things are checked out.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 11:59 AM
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Horn

Is your power to relay coming directly from battery? That is recommended.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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How can I test voltage system? I own a voltmeter, just tell me where to put it and what to do and what to expect :-)

I ran a wire from the battery to the relay, and from relay to the horn. Ran the horn button wires to the relay too. Grounded the horn to the bolt that holds in in the frame. The battery is a Yuasa thats less than a year old. Im gonna plug in my tender and wait for the light to turn green and test ride her see if its any different.

I'm gonna try and take a look at the battery cables, since they have been known to become loose. The semester is about to start, I need my trusty daily driver to be in tip top shape! Thanks guys!! :-)


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2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
16,484 miles when I bought it September 2011. 29,100 miles January 2014. All these miles have been enjoyable almost entirely thanks to this forum.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 06:40 PM
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Juancho,

Take the battery out and check the fluid level. If it's low refill with distilled water.

'Biker' Bill
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 11:52 AM
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Sounds like you knew how to do the install. Did you use a fuse? A defective unit could draw too much current and still work. Then again, everything might be perfectly normal.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 12:59 PM
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Garage
Do the tests, but I don't think that's unusual. I have virtually the same air horn (Stebel Nautilus) on my Miata and it dims the lights noticeably sitting in the garage with it idling. Anything that draws that much current on a small capacity charging system is going to cause a voltage drop, no matter what.

As MRkeys said, it's possible the unit is drawing more current than it should (ie, if the motor is binding or dragging) so you may need to do a current test on it. Will likely take special equipment since most meters only go to 10 amps.

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Last edited by Gary W.; 08-11-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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