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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
http://www.phatperformanceparts.com/Kuryakyn_L_E_D_Battery_Gauge_Black_p/4218.htm

the item from the link is what i have, does anybody have used it ?
I have installed on my vn900 and most of the time is one solid green LED on 12V. but when I'm at the light waiting to make a turn, the green LED starting to blinking a bit with signal, if i rev a little on gas, than the green LED go solid. seem like battery is pretty weak when stop on idle and it gets to amber LED pretty easy.
when i am riding its always solid green. I installed positive and negative tab-into my fog lights which is on when headlight is on. I don't think it will effect any accuracy if i tab-into the fogs.

So anyway. if you also have it too. please let me know, is it pretty easy to see green LED start blinking than went off and went down to amber LED at a stop red light ? I want to see if my battery is weak or my stator is not charging.
 

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A healthy battery just sitting around will produce 12v. If you're reading less than 12v at the battery at idle, it most likely means that your stator is generating less power than your motorcycle is consuming to operate. I haven't heard SPECIFICALLY anything to this end for the 900, but on the VN750s the stator barely broke even with power demand at idle. Judging by how the stator is the one weak point (mechanically) on the 900, it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A healthy battery just sitting around will produce 12v. If you're reading less than 12v at the battery at idle, it most likely means that your stator is generating less power than your motorcycle is consuming to operate. I haven't heard SPECIFICALLY anything to this end for the 900, but on the VN750s the stator barely broke even with power demand at idle. Judging by how the stator is the one weak point (mechanically) on the 900, it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.
okay, let me make this clear, when the bike is on idle without holding down the break light and turn signal, the green LED is solid no problem on 12V.
when I'm at a traffic stop red light and waiting to make a turn with turn signal blinking and breaking light on, the green LED start to get weak and blink or sometime just went off, but if i rev the gas just a bit than green LED back on right the way.
i ride city everyday and rarely go on freeway or long ride, maybe that's why the battery never really get charged up fully. i ride maybe 30 min each way to work and back. that's about everyday.

should i get a battery charger or tender ? just to get a full charge once a while ?
 

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I have the same gage on my '07Custom. I installed it along with a brand new Rick's stator and regulator. Brand new battery as well. All of the parts are about 1 yr old, ~2000 miles.

When I turn the ignition on I have 1 solid green. That will last about 30 seconds before dropping out. Once I start the bike, I get 1 solid green. As I'm driving I normally have one steady green and one faintly flashing green which sometimes goes out completely and after a few minutes driving will start flashing again.

My interpretation: Since the gage is tied into a lighting circuit I'm reading the accessory voltage, not battery. Battery is producing over 12v on its own (I've checked with a digital meter). Turn the ignition on, system draw brings the battery down to just over 11 very quickly. Engine running; lighting, ignition, etc. getting 12+ volts from the regulator. Battery is getting ~14.5. Gage shows between 12 &14 volts (1 steady green, 1 flashing green). Battery is weakened by startup so extra juice goes to battery bringing running voltage near 12. Once battery is fully charged, battery draw goes down, running voltage back up to 12+. Sitting at a light with brakelight, directional, maybe cooling fan running and battery discharges. Discharged battery draws power away from running voltage again until fully charged. And the cycle goes on and on. During all of this give and take, my lights never show signs of dimming or surging.

Before spending money guessing if you have a problem, pick up a decent digital multi gage and check your output at various points. Pay special attention to voltage across the battery and AC output on the stator. I use my Kury Gage for piece of mind on the road, but no less than once a month I check voltage at the battery: off, startup, running warm and full draw (high beam, brake light, directional and cooling fan if the weather's warm enough).

Hope this helps.
http://youtu.be/v2CDmKoWLlE
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have the same gage on my '07Custom. I installed it along with a brand new Rick's stator and regulator. Brand new battery as well. All of the parts are about 1 yr old, ~2000 miles.

When I turn the ignition on I have 1 solid green. That will last about 30 seconds before dropping out. Once I start the bike, I get 1 solid green. As I'm driving I normally have one steady green and one faintly flashing green which sometimes goes out completely and after a few minutes driving will start flashing again.

My interpretation: Since the gage is tied into a lighting circuit I'm reading the accessory voltage, not battery. Battery is producing over 12v on its own (I've checked with a digital meter). Turn the ignition on, system draw brings the battery down to just over 11 very quickly. Engine running; lighting, ignition, etc. getting 12+ volts from the regulator. Battery is getting ~14.5. Gage shows between 12 &14 volts (1 steady green, 1 flashing green). Battery is weakened by startup so extra juice goes to battery bringing running voltage near 12. Once battery is fully charged, battery draw goes down, running voltage back up to 12+. Sitting at a light with brakelight, directional, maybe cooling fan running and battery discharges. Discharged battery draws power away from running voltage again until fully charged. And the cycle goes on and on. During all of this give and take, my lights never show signs of dimming or surging.

Before spending money guessing if you have a problem, pick up a decent digital multi gage and check your output at various points. Pay special attention to voltage across the battery and AC output on the stator. I use my Kury Gage for piece of mind on the road, but no less than once a month I check voltage at the battery: off, startup, running warm and full draw (high beam, brake light, directional and cooling fan if the weather's warm enough).

Hope this helps.
http://youtu.be/v2CDmKoWLlE
thanks man, seem like same thing happen to you, i guess its normal.
My engine start right up and never just die itself because the battery.
I will go to radioshack to get a digital volt meter to do multi point check up.
THANKS, i guess the green light comes in and out at stop is normal.
 

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I have the same meter on my 08 classic. It does the same thing yours is doing. I've had it for almost 2 years. I have never had any issues with it. I run my cobra lightbar the majority of the time. Never had any charging or starting problems. I have over 23,000 miles on it so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have the same meter on my 08 classic. It does the same thing yours is doing. I've had it for almost 2 years. I have never had any issues with it. I run my cobra lightbar the majority of the time. Never had any charging or starting problems. I have over 23,000 miles on it so far.
I wonder why everyone's meter does the same thing, and at the end of the day the battery was fine and stator working....lol

i guess it only work when your bike is not charging at all and showing red LEDs...:D

at lease something to see i guess.
 

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Make sure your idle is set correctly. The owners manual calls for 950-1050 RPM's and I would guess the charging system requires something similar. Most people I've encountered with 900's or similar bikes seem to rev much lower than mine, and mine is sitting at 1,000 RPM's according to a tachometer. If it worries you, consider raising your idle (remember to let the engine warm up) until you get the solid green.

I wouldn't worry too much though. On many motorcycles (the 900 included) the battery is used at idle to cover the electrical demands of the bike (especially if you have ANY accessories). On the 900's, the Stator doesn't even get to it's full output until about 3000~4000 RPM's. And yes, it is a fairly weak stator (with only about 70 watts extra to go).

The new 1700's have pretty beefy electrical systems but that's probably among the first (besides some of the older nomads) to really have a serious electrical system. Just consider it a Vulcan quirk! But, yes, it's normal to be 'discharging' instead of 'charging' at idle. But, again, make sure your idle is set where it needs to be. Not just because of the battery, but also because the bike can starve for oil in certain spots without the idle being up where it needs to be.

I have a higher-wattage headlight than stock (100 watt high and I think 55 watt low). When my bike is at idle the high beam will dim slightly, or the low beam will dim if I turn the turn signals on. I've also got an aftermarket (Rick's) stator. Just the way the machine works I suppose!

-John
 

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12v?

Make sure your idle is set correctly. The owners manual calls for 950-1050 RPM's and I would guess the charging system requires something similar. Most people I've encountered with 900's or similar bikes seem to rev much lower than mine, and mine is sitting at 1,000 RPM's according to a tachometer. If it worries you, consider raising your idle (remember to let the engine warm up) until you get the solid green.

I wouldn't worry too much though. On many motorcycles (the 900 included) the battery is used at idle to cover the electrical demands of the bike (especially if you have ANY accessories). On the 900's, the Stator doesn't even get to it's full output until about 3000~4000 RPM's. And yes, it is a fairly weak stator (with only about 70 watts extra to go).

The new 1700's have pretty beefy electrical systems but that's probably among the first (besides some of the older nomads) to really have a serious electrical system. Just consider it a Vulcan quirk! But, yes, it's normal to be 'discharging' instead of 'charging' at idle. But, again, make sure your idle is set where it needs to be. Not just because of the battery, but also because the bike can starve for oil in certain spots without the idle being up where it needs to be.

I have a higher-wattage headlight than stock (100 watt high and I think 55 watt low). When my bike is at idle the high beam will dim slightly, or the low beam will dim if I turn the turn signals on. I've also got an aftermarket (Rick's) stator. Just the way the machine works I suppose!

-John
+1 on the engine idle. My 800 does the same thing. The low engine speed with the increased load from brake lamps and/or turn signals over taxes the changing system and the battery is doing what it is supposed to. Ride it. If in doubt get a battery tender and use it when ever the bike is idle more than a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Make sure your idle is set correctly. The owners manual calls for 950-1050 RPM's and I would guess the charging system requires something similar. Most people I've encountered with 900's or similar bikes seem to rev much lower than mine, and mine is sitting at 1,000 RPM's according to a tachometer. If it worries you, consider raising your idle (remember to let the engine warm up) until you get the solid green.

I wouldn't worry too much though. On many motorcycles (the 900 included) the battery is used at idle to cover the electrical demands of the bike (especially if you have ANY accessories). On the 900's, the Stator doesn't even get to it's full output until about 3000~4000 RPM's. And yes, it is a fairly weak stator (with only about 70 watts extra to go).

The new 1700's have pretty beefy electrical systems but that's probably among the first (besides some of the older nomads) to really have a serious electrical system. Just consider it a Vulcan quirk! But, yes, it's normal to be 'discharging' instead of 'charging' at idle. But, again, make sure your idle is set where it needs to be. Not just because of the battery, but also because the bike can starve for oil in certain spots without the idle being up where it needs to be.

I have a higher-wattage headlight than stock (100 watt high and I think 55 watt low). When my bike is at idle the high beam will dim slightly, or the low beam will dim if I turn the turn signals on. I've also got an aftermarket (Rick's) stator. Just the way the machine works I suppose!

-John
Is there anyway to check my idle rpm without a techo ? or only a shop can do it with some kind tester. i think my bike idle really slow. slower than my shadow 750.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
+1 on the engine idle. My 800 does the same thing. The low engine speed with the increased load from brake lamps and/or turn signals over taxes the changing system and the battery is doing what it is supposed to. Ride it. If in doubt get a battery tender and use it when ever the bike is idle more than a day or two.
haha, i already though about that, getting th battery tender tonight and will be here tusday afternoon.
 

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Is there anyway to check my idle rpm without a techo ? or only a shop can do it with some kind tester. i think my bike idle really slow. slower than my shadow 750.
You can play this one by ear.
For what it is worth, someone told me once that you should be able to hear distinctly each firing but they will be slightly too fast to count them, then you have the right idle speed.
Seems to be about right on my bike and my tacho is reporting 980 rpms.
Gilles
 

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just to throw in my two cents....
(and I am poking around the forum with a charging system problem):

most bikes act the same. they only develop charging amps at higher RPMs than idle. it's a stator/rotor combination - the stator is fixed to the engine waiting for the rotor (connected to the crank) to spin inside it and produce an electrical field. So, when the engine spins higher, say 2500 RPM a current is created in the stator and we are all happy. at idle the stator/rotor are at the low end of electric generation and at highway speeds the stator/rotor is at the high end of electric generation.

so, if you ride city stop and go all the time, then I would get a battery tender for when you park it for the night or the week.

I have an '83 Yamaha and when i'm riding through town the directionals work fine as far as blinking. when I come to a stoplight they stop blinking if the bike is at idle. rev it up from 1,000 RPM to 1,500 and it starts to blink again. LOL
 

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I have an '83 Yamaha and when i'm riding through town the directionals work fine as far as blinking. when I come to a stoplight they stop blinking if the bike is at idle. rev it up from 1,000 RPM to 1,500 and it starts to blink again. LOL
Something wrong with that Yamaha. That is a safety hazard.

Under normal riding conditions, a tender should not be needed.
 

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+1 sfair... my brother had two of those 83 750 maxims... AFAIK the only year with the square headlight ... and neither one had blinker problems at idle...
 

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just to throw in my two cents....
(and I am poking around the forum with a charging system problem):

most bikes act the same. they only develop charging amps at higher RPMs than idle. it's a stator/rotor combination - the stator is fixed to the engine waiting for the rotor (connected to the crank) to spin inside it and produce an electrical field. So, when the engine spins higher, say 2500 RPM a current is created in the stator and we are all happy. at idle the stator/rotor are at the low end of electric generation and at highway speeds the stator/rotor is at the high end of electric generation.

so, if you ride city stop and go all the time, then I would get a battery tender for when you park it for the night or the week.

I have an '83 Yamaha and when i'm riding through town the directionals work fine as far as blinking. when I come to a stoplight they stop blinking if the bike is at idle. rev it up from 1,000 RPM to 1,500 and it starts to blink again. LOL
You're correct on the charging system not producing full output at idle but that's why there's a battery. Electrical components should all function at all parts of operating the motorcycle; even if the engine is off. That's why your headlight (should) stay on after shutting it down. What if you have an engine failure (a common sight on aging carbed bikes!) while going down the highway? You definitely want your headlight, turn signals, brake lights, and related systems to function in that moment!

I agree with Sfair. Som'n' ain't right!

From what I can recall when I replaced my stator; the stator (which outputs high voltage converted to around 13 volts by the reg/rect) produced somewhere around 35 volts at idle (dropping rapidly as the idle dropped even slightly; I believe the engineers built the electrical system to operate at a BARE MINIMUM of 950 RPM's, as the manual indicates is the MINIMUM idle speed) but 56 volts 'at speed'. Now the regulators job is to take whatever the output is down to around 13~14 volts. If there was NO LOAD, 35 volts would be 14ish volts, and 56 volts would be the exact same. However, that big jump in voltage indicates to me that there is a big difference in output; but we knew that already. But it did tell me two things. 1) The battery is an essential component. And 2) The idle must be set correctly, if it's too low there will be very little charging voltage.

Also, 12.0 volts is a dead battery. 12.0 volts on a running bike means something is seriously wrong. A healthy charged battery should run around 12.4~12.6 volts without load and should be able to maintain above 12 volts with a normal load applied (the load it's rated for). The charging system should be well above 13 volts, but below 15 volts when cruising. These however, are just broad ballpark pictures of what's going on with your electrical system. If anything seems amiss, further investigation (including detailed testing of the stator, reg/rect, and battery) are a must!

Also, the Kuryakyn L.E.D. gauge reads green between 12.5 and 14.5. A good, strong battery should be 'green' for at least a short while key-on motor-off. DEFINITELY green with the bike running. If you aren't in the 'green' with the bike running; then something is not right. Because that means you are at or below 12.4 volts. 12.4 volts is the 'minimum' voltage for a lead acid battery (should not allow it to go below that, or risk damaging the battery!), and 12.4 volts is WELL BELOW what the charging system should be outputting, even at idle.
 

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With a battery reading that low, you will be calling one of your buddies to come get ya sooner or later. I know what you are saying and have been in in that spot before. I had an 83 Honda Nighthawk that was nothing but an electrical nightmare. But I got that bike to learn to ride on. I rode close to home and always told some one where I was going and so forth. I always parked at the top of a hill and became a master at drift starting it. Not the smartest thing to do but, I did master that skill and mastered slipping the clutch because if you let it idle, it would die.
 
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