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I assume you like to ride a motorcycle. I assume you don't like to be cold. Plug in some heated stuff and be happy, right? Making heated items jive with your rig can be a nightmare — but it doesn't have to be if you know how to do it correctly! There are really only two obstacles to overcome when deciding how to keep yourself warm on your bike.
A modern motorcycle usually supplies more electricity than the bike needs, depending on its stator output and battery.
If you have a six-volt system or run a magneto, this article does not apply to you. Buy a modern bike, ya cheapskate. For you folks on contemporary see more Your stator has the job of producing AC electricity, which heads over to your regulator or rectifier, where it is turned into DC current, typically between 13 and 15 volts.
If you want to run heated gear, you need to know three things: That would be how much electricity you are producing.
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Keep in mind that stator output rises with engine rpm. Figure out your stator output at cruising speed in top gear, not the peak output.
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Understanding motorcycle electrical systems isn't just for heated gear. You can bring, charge, and use all manner of electronic doodads on the road with you with nifty items like this USB power port.
Finding how many amps your bike consumes source running is as simple as adding up all of the individual draws and calculating the total.
Some service manuals will have this info, but not all. Most bulbs have common amperage draws. For instance, most H4 headlights eat up 55 watts on dip beam and 60 watts on the main beam.
Most bikes will have a range, because there are some things that are on constantly, and others that are used intermittently or rarely. See the table for some common usage scenarios.
How to add heated gear to your motorcycle
Most modern fuel-injected bikes use to watts in peak scenarios. The difference between production and consumption is the magic number. That's the amount of juice you can safely use to power heated items without stranding yourself.
The reason this is so important is because it usually takes Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free lot of electricity to power items that create heat. The final piece of the puzzle is figuring out the draw of click the following article items you want to use. In order to make it easy to figure out the electrical consumption of the heated items you may want to purchase, we post amperage consumption figures on each piece of heated gear, if we have it.
RevZilla provides maximum draw figures for heated items. We assume the gear is running as hot as it goes, again, in the interest of being conservative. Simply add up the amperage of the stuff you want to use, and see if your bike will support it!
Directly converting watts to amps is not really possible. But because bikes run at a very consistent voltage, you can calculate amps from wattage and voltage, and vice versa. Your voltage should be somewhere between For figuring power supplied, use When calculating, I like to leave a 10 percent margin or so for a few reasons.
First, not every electrical system is completely efficient. A little corrosion on the battery terminals or a weak stator might yield less available juice. Secondly, it can be hard to start a bike in cold weather. You also may wait for the bike to warm up, and time spent idling is time when the electrical system is not producing maximum juice.
This bike usually runs at 2, rpm in top gear at 70 mph. The bike produces 29 amps x With a few quick calculations on scratch paper from the comfort of your toasty house, you can quickly determine what you can reasonably power on your bike. The charging systems are just not made to pump out much juice. Some bikes actually discharge at idle. When you Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free your factory service manual, you may notice it will list a given output at a certain engine speed.
If you do lots and lots of idling, lots of heated gear may actually leave your battery without a full charge. If you have here bad electrical component, you will be hitchhiking. Your charging system needs to be in spec. You need clean connections, good ground paths, and a fresh battery to power your magical warming pants.
A bad-enough battery actually eats up electrical output. The battery will never take a charge, forcing your poor stator to work overtime for the rest of its short life. And then it will die. If nothing else in this guide sticks with you, please let it be this: A properly functioning charging system and battery are essential for running high-draw loads like heated gear on a motorcycle.
Everyone has a different method of hooking things up. There is no industry standard, click here makes things a little challenging right from the start. I generally use spade terminals for grips, and would also use them for a seat heater that was not wired with a Deutsch plug, as Harley-Davidson uses.
On my bikes that are ridden through the winter, I often roll into the shop, kill the bike, unplug my gloves, and plug in my float charger. If you elect to go the route we take in our video and wire in a basic SAE connector, know that you can purchase nearly any visit web page of adapter you might want.
Different manufacturers recommend different things in regards to what should or should not be used with their components. This article is only outlining what is electrically possible. Heated gear is a simple circuit. In fact, lots of heated gear simply acts as a controlled short, for those of you who are familiar with wiring. Most well designed connectors are designed with a few simple principles in mind. First, they are designed so it is nearly impossible to switch polarity.
That means Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free them up backwards, for you laymen. They are also designed in such a way as to keep the Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free side of the connector from ever making contact with the frame, which is often used as a ground path itself.
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Because of this, anything that receives power is usually male, and anything that gives power is typically female. Being that they are in use on motorcycles, most good, commonly used connectors try to incorporate at least some modicum of weather resistance. Wire gauge is important, too. See the difference between the thickness of the wires? What's really crazy is that the thicker cord actually had thinner wire and more insulation.
Believe it or not, the thinner wire here can safely carry more amperage.
Not all SAE leads are created equal. This is the most frequently used connector style on gear itself, including pieces by Firstgear and Tourmaster. Powerlet also has a proprietary connector. Many BMWs have factory Powerlet ports, so that may influence your decision on what gear to purchase.
SAE connectors are used on many Battery Tender leads to your battery terminals, and may even have been installed by the dealer you purchased your bike from. If you elect to use these, make sure the wire is of a sufficient gauge to power heated gear.
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An SAE lead is being connected to an adapter. Late-model Harley touring machines have a pre-wired power port that makes installing a heated seat a snap. The connector is known as a Deutsch plug. Finally, snow machines that offer plug-ins for heated visors use RCA jacks — the same ones your stereo used in college.
I've seen one fella who had a stack of these so tall he had to use a longer bolt for his battery terminal - which he then shorted out Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free his metal seat pan.
Rather than have a bazillion wires coming off my battery terminals, I sometimes prefer to wire in a power distribution block, especially if I am trying to use a switched-ignition power source. One lead and a few adapters saves having leads running everywhere on the bike.
This is the easy and simple option for most riders who want a solid, basic way to power heated stuff. Be sure you are not causing a fire hazard. You can also wire in a permanent receptacle, such as the one Powerlet offers. You may also want to supply your heated gear with just click for source power if you Cincinnati Hookup Expert Crazy Shirts Free to eliminate any risk of battery draw that a forgotten piece of gear could cause.
The final step you need to take is to fuse your power supply. Get the total amperage draw of all the gear you are running on the circuit sand use the next-larger fuse on your power supply wire, without exceeding the amperage of the fuse that was installed in the lead.
Always fuse the positive leg of the circuit, as close to the battery as is practical. I've ridden in sub-zero temperatures quite a few times. I used to do it because I was tough. Now I do it because I'm comfortable. If you need some help, you know the drill. Just like in all our tech articles, comment below, and either another rider will be along to help, or I shall.