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I have had my 87 Aspencade for 3 years now. When it is running good it is an awesome ride; however, I have had electricalproblems every year. To make a long story short I put a voltmeter gauge in this week and discovered something. When it is running at about 1100 rpm the gauge shows about 14.5 v., which is where it should be. When I turn on my driving lights it drops to about 10v.



Now, I have been studying the forum on this subject and have come to the conclusion that the driving light bulbs may be too large (that is the next thing to check). If they are 50 watt, then I should replace them with 30 or 35 w. bulbs and the general consensus is that the charging system should be able to handle that with no problem. I am going to do that next. My driving lights are factory installed on the lower cowel, so I assume the system should be able to handle them provided the bulbs are the right size. They are also on a switch, so I don't have to have them on.



This leads me to the subject question. I have a Haynes manual and nowhere in there does it specify bulb capacities. I would have thought that since the stators on these older bikes have a limited capacity there would be some guidance as to what kind of lighting should be used. Is there any place I might find this information?



This is a great site and I value everyone's comments.
 

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I think the only thing you will find is what the output of the stator is in watts and probably the wattage for each bulb.

I don't think your driving lights were originally driving lights. I believe they were cornering lamps. I'm not sure how may watts the cornering lamps were, probably around 35 watts, but if they only cam on one side at a time when making a turn they could have been 50 watts. It probably isn't all that unusual that some one converted them to driving lights. That's what every one wants any way. If they used an H4 bulb in there you may or may not be able to tell if the bulb is a 50, 55, or 100 watts.

That being said, 14.5 volts seems high for 1100 rpm. You usually don't see that many volts until you get to about 2500 or closer to 3000 rpm. Although dropping to 10 volts at 1100 rpm if you figure those two lights are running 100 watt bulbs may not be too far off.
 

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This is why I installed LED driving lights for day time use, they draw almost zero power, generate no heat, and are very bright to be seen by the cagers, much brighter and more visible than the other lights during the day time (modulated high beam excepted).

HOWEVER you will also want the non LED lights for night time use since the LED's are pathetic at throwing the light down the road at night.
 

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Thanks for the input. I just checked the bulbs and they are 35w. which is what they should be. I wonder if the way the voltmetre is connected has anything to do with it. It is connected to the line that runs the driving lights. Should I connect it directly to the battery? Would that produce a more accurate reading?

Thanks again
 

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stewmeister wrote:
Thanks for the input. I just checked the bulbs and they are 35w. which is what they should be. I wonder if the way the voltmetre is connected has anything to do with it. It is connected to the line that runs the driving lights. Should I connect it directly to the battery? Would that produce a more accurate reading?

Thanks again
Yes, use a fuse and a relay. Energize the relay with a switched source. That way you don't have your meter reading voltage while the bike is off.
 

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connecting the voltmeter to the auxiliary screws at the top of the fuse box is easier, there is a slight difference, of 0.02 volts between it being connected to the battery, or the auxiliary screws.
 
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