Light Bar - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Year/Make/Model: 1997 Vulcan 1500 Classic
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Light Bar

I've read that a light bar helps a lot, as far as people seeing you (well, the ones looking at their phones aren't going to see a trailer truck, let alone someone on a bike). Anyone had any trouble with power though? Drawing too much from the battery? Or if I go LED, it shouldn't make much difference...

Any recommendations? I've got a '97 1500 classic.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:13 PM
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I had that problem with the Kuryakyn lights I have. The stock bulbs were 35 watts. It was drawing too much power and draining the battery faster than the stator could charge it. Stranded me once. Luckily, I was able to push start it and get home. Switched the halogen bulbs out with LEDs and haven't had a problem since. Go with LED from the start if you can.

I'm not sure if your bike has the dual stators or not. If you do, you should be fine either way.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 12:17 AM
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Mine came with a light bar when I got it,not sure if it's factory or aftermarket.No LEDs,just regular bulbs.I haven't had a problem with charging

Fyi,at night I do fairly often have cars flash their lights at me after I've turned my high beam off,indicating that the light bar is blinding them.I even have it turned as far to the right as it'll go too,to try to minimise that effect.I still leave them on at all times anyway,as I feel like that's the only way they can see me

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 03:44 AM
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On my 1500, I tried 50w bulbs in the F&S lightbar as the OEM 25w's were difficult to find and the battery definitely could not keep up with the 50w's. Eventually, I did manage to find a source for 25w's and the battery seems to keep up with them just fine. As a side note, I couldn't see a difference in light output with a 25w in one lamp and a 50w in the other.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 08:40 AM
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I have an aftermarket light bar installed by prev owner. I did have some charging issues. So, I upgraded to led's. I have a 4,000lm low beam, 6,000lm high beam and both driving lights are 1,500lm each. I ride at night several times a week. i have no more charging issues. Also, I light up the whole intersection. Its nice to be able to see better. Cars in front of me on the freeway move over and let me by......I like it! Tells me they see me.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:06 AM
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I had a couple of different light bars on my Honda Sabre 1100, and, of course, the Voyager has driving lights in the fairing. The Sabre had less power to spare than the larger Kawi cruisers, and had no problems with 35 watt bulbs, though I later changed to LEDs because I was running other accessories and wanted to reduce the extra watts I was using. I'm surprised that anyone with a Kawi 1500 or 1600 would have power issues, unless they were also running other high watt accessories. But changing them to LEDs would solve that.

As for safety, a triangle of lights has been proven to be more attention grabbing that a single bright light. Even the Air Force has data that shows that pilots will sometimes not "see" a single point of light, but will notice a cluster of lights much faster, even if they are dimmer than the single point. The triangle also helps with depth perception. With just a headlight to judge speed and distance, drivers often misjudge how far away a bike is and how fast it is going. That's less likely to happen with a triangle of lights. And the more lights you have, the more likely you are to been seen period. If the headlight is modulated, even better.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
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Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy.Diesel View Post
I have an aftermarket light bar installed by prev owner. I did have some charging issues. So, I upgraded to led's. I have a 4,000lm low beam, 6,000lm high beam and both driving lights are 1,500lm each. I ride at night several times a week. i have no more charging issues. Also, I light up the whole intersection. Its nice to be able to see better. Cars in front of me on the freeway move over and let me by......I like it! Tells me they see me.
I can see an 800 having an issue. From what I've read, they don't have much power to spare like the bigger cruisers do.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre-t View Post
I'm surprised that anyone with a Kawi 1500 or 1600 would have power issues, unless they were also running other high watt accessories.
My bad - should have mentioned: I have a Drifter which along with the Meanstreak (I think) have single alternators while the Nomad had a dual alternator. Not sure what the Classic has but I think it's dual as well (if it does there would be plenty of power for lights of any wattage).
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Last edited by VulcanDrifter; 09-09-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:56 PM
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Check out Cobra. A little pricy but well built. Here's what I have on my 9.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 03:22 PM
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I picked up some LED lights on Amazon and attached them to my crash bar. They're low power but I still used a relay and tapped into the taillight to power that so they go off when the key is off. The biggest problem is that they get covered in road grime eaily.
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