Cycle Electric Catalogue

Testing for an overloaded charging system If the electrical system uses more amps then your charging system can put out, voltage will drop causing battery discharge. When this happens it appears that the charging system has failed when in reality it may just be overloaded. Testing System Voltage The easiest and fastest way to determine if a charging system is operating satisfactorily is with a voltmeter. Connect the voltmeter across the battery before starting the bike. A fully charged battery should read 12.7 volts at 72° F. Anything less indicates a battery that needs to be charged or has other problems. Start the bike. If an electric starter was used run the mo- tor at a high idle for a minute or two to recharge the battery after starting. (Caution: take care not to blue the pipes). Turn on accessories used in normal operation (not turn signals or horn). If the voltage at the battery is between 13.8 and 14.8 VDC (depending on model) you can assume the charging system is keeping up. If the voltage is too low, do a system amperage output test and an amperage usage test. If the output is low repair the charging system. If the output is normal and usage exceeds output install a larger charging system or reduce the load. Determining Usable DC Amps (System Output Test) We define usable amps as the amount of DC amps the charging system can deliver while maintaining an acceptable volt- age. If voltage drops below 13.8 the battery will not fully charge. By the time voltage drops to 12.7, you are drawing amps out of the battery, so any increase in ampere output after voltage drops below 13.8 will be considered unusable amps. To test system output, you will need a voltmeter and an amp meter rated for higher amps then the system rated output, and a load dump. (i.e. carbon pile resistor or other variable load) Connect the voltmeter across the battery. Connect the amp meter in series with regulator output (measure amps in the wire from the regulator to the battery). Start the motor and allow it to warm-up enough to obtain a steady idle (1000 RPM). Connect load across the battery. (Add light bulbs, resistors or whatever your using for a load dump) until the voltmeter reads between 13.8 and 13.5. Read amp meter. This will be usable low speed amps. Now increase RPM to normal cruising speed (2500 RPM) add load until volts drop to 13.8. Read amp meter. This will be usable high-speed amps. On some systems maximum amps will come at 4500 RPM or higher. Unless you cruise at 95+ do not consider this as usable. Usable DC amps should be at least 1or 2 amps higher then system load. Determining Amperage Usage 1) Disconnect your charging system. Put a battery charger on the battery to keep system voltage up. 2) Use a clamp on inductive amp meter on battery negative cable. 3) Start the engine and turn on all normal electrical accessories. Read the amp meter. Add 2 amps for battery draw. This is normal amperage usage. 4) Turn on all accessories. Read meter. Add 2 amps for battery draw. This is maximum usage. Note: Amperage usage should be at least 2 amps lower then charging system output. Low Mount Oil Coolers Cycle Electric Inc. does not recommend installing an oil cooler in front of any regulator. Regulators are solid-state electronic devices that produce heat. They need a flow of cooler air to dissipate this heat. As the temperature of a solid- state device is increased, the probability of failure is increased. If the regulator gets hot enough it will fail. An oil cooler placed in front of the regulator will put the heat from the motor into the regulator. This is not a good idea. Lithium Ion Batterys Lithium Ion Batteries are quickly becoming popular. There are several versions of them made out of different com- pounds available. Each has its own charging characteristics. Contact your battery manufacturer to find out what the optimum charging voltage is for that battery. The most popular lithium ion compound used for motorcycle batteries is lithium iron phosphate. They like a charging voltage between 13.4 and 14.4 VDC. A lead acid batteries optimal charging voltage runs between 13.8 and 14.8. Cycle Electric Inc. standard regulators charge between 14.2 and 14.6 volts DC depending on model, All Cycle Electric Inc. low volt regulators charge between 13.7-13.9 volts DC. All Cycle Electric Inc. regulators are compatible with lithium ion batteries designed for use on 12 volt motorcycle systems but we recommend using “L” models for added over charging protection. Warning: disconnecting the battery with the motor running can cause damage to electronic components. Do not discon- nect your battery with the motor running. We do not recommend the use of batteries that have a self-disconnect feature. For more information on diagnosing charging problems go to our web site


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