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Hello, I noticed my voltage on the factory meter runs between 12 and 16 volts. I replaced the battery recently because it would not hold a charge, now I am wondering if the regulator may need replacement. Shouldn't the voltage be consistent around 14 volts?
 

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Definitely. Anything over 15 volts is bad news. You should replace the reggy asap before it toasts the new battery as well.
BTW, welcome to the forum kd7sys, is it sunny in Dallas at the moment? I'm just heading out to work and it's piddling down with rain.
 

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kd7sys wrote:
Hello, I noticed my voltage on the factory meter runs between 12 and 16 volts. I replaced the battery recently because it would not hold a charge, now I am wondering if the regulator may need replacement.
kd7sys, possibly, before condemning the regulator put a KNOWN ACCURATE voltmeter directly on the battery posts. Those factory meters are not all that accurate & are not hooked directly to the battery.

I'm not sure on the 1100's voltage range but the 1200 is good anywhere between 14 & 15 volts at anything over 3000 RPM's. The engine must be warm & the battery fully charged to test.



Shouldn't the voltage be consistent around 14 volts?
NO, it could vary form as low as mid 12's at idle to 15 or so at higher RPM's & still be normal. That small charging system on the 1100 just won't charge at idle with all the lights, cooling fan,& brake lights on. Going down the road at cruising speed it could easily show close to 15 volts.

Once you start getting up around 16 continuous volts (measured at the battery) you are chancing damage to the battery if it stays there long term.

If the battery voltage (after the system is warm & stabilized)is running at 16 volts then you either have a failed voltage regulator, or a bad regulator ground, or high resistance in the regulator connector (not uncommon).

Twisty
 

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kd7sys wrote:
Hello, I noticed my voltage on the factory meter runs between 12 and 16 volts. I replaced the battery recently because it would not hold a charge, now I am wondering if the regulator may need replacement. Shouldn't the voltage be consistent around 14 volts?
check to see if the factory meter is indeed acurate. the one on my '78 wing drops to about 11-12 after a long ride and has done so since the beginning, and yet it always charges. the problem is with the meter. now I did have a regulator go once and was lucky to get the bike home because it drove very poorly and would not idle

also, after-market-batteries just don't last long one or two seasons at best
 

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Are you saying your voltage goes all the way up to 16 volts sometimes? That is too much. I think the mid 14s is the highest it should go.

I have an 83 GL1100.
 

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The genuine Honda book says it should not go above 15 volts.

BUT one mans 15 volts is another man's 16 volts. Make sure the meter is accurate. Try it against a few "knowns". ie,

A couple of auto batteries (car or bike) after they've been standing for an hour or some good torch batteries. Most meters only ever give an indication. Accurate calibrated ones cost a lot.
 

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Even cheap multi-meters are reasonably accurate. I've never heard of one being out of whack by 2 or 3 volts, it's usually more like a fraction of a volt. If in doubt, bring the Wing to an auto-electrician and ask them to test your alternator with their more expensive meters. They can't afford to have inaccurate meters for their work.
 

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Graham B wrote:
The genuine Honda book says it should not go above 15 volts.

BUT one mans 15 volts is another man's 16 volts. Make sure the meter is accurate. Try it against a few "knowns". ie,

A couple of auto batteries (car or bike) after they've been standing for an hour or some good torch batteries. Most meters only ever give an indication. Accurate calibrated ones cost a lot.
New alkaline batteries have a pretty consistent voltage. One quick rough check (pretty accurate) is to stack up nine of them, any size, AA will do, one at a time and see how the voltage steps up on your meter.I happen to have a fresh box of 48 of them from Costco. I tried eight different combinations of cells and obtained the range of 13.95-14.4V using my analog and digital meters. The range with a given meter was less than .01V. Anyway this is a good check on your voltmeter and will give reasonably accurate calibration within half a volt. By connecting your bike's volt meter to nine 1.5V batteries increasing one cell at a time you can see how well your meter tracks and it's approximate accuracy.
 

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exavid wrote:
Graham B wrote:
The genuine Honda book says it should not go above 15 volts.

BUT one mans 15 volts is another man's 16 volts. Make sure the meter is accurate. Try it against a few "knowns". ie,

A couple of auto batteries (car or bike) after they've been standing for an hour or some good torch batteries. Most meters only ever give an indication. Accurate calibrated ones cost a lot.
New alkaline batteries have a pretty consistent voltage. One quick rough check (pretty accurate) is to stack up nine of them, any size, AA will do, one at a time and see how the voltage steps up on your meter.I happen to have a fresh box of 48 of them from Costco. I tried eight different combinations of cells and obtained the range of 13.95-14.4V using my analog and digital meters. The range with a given meter was less than .01V. Anyway this is a good check on your voltmeter and will give reasonably accurate calibration within half a volt. By connecting your bike's volt meter to nine 1.5V batteries increasing one cell at a time you can see how well your meter tracks and it's approximate accuracy.
exavid, that will only show the on board voltmeter's accuracy as a stand alone meter. He really needs to know how the on-board voltmeter's reading compares to the actual battery voltage That (on board) meter is wired in to the load center not the battery). A simple $10.00 digital voltmeter from Radio shack placed on the battery posts will reveal that. Most of those cheap meters are well within .1 or .2 volts & most are probably even muchbetter than that. He could even check the meter against a known high resolution meter at the Radio Shack before buying.

I have a $3.98 small multi-meter I bought on sale at Radio Shack to carry in my motorcycle tool kit (never leave home without it) & that meter is hundredths of a volt for volt against my multi-hundred dollar digital Fluke meter in the 10-20 volt range. I wouldn't want to measure much over an amp or so with it but the voltage side is surprisingly accurate.

Twisty
 

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twisty wrote:
exavid, that will only show the on board voltmeter's accuracy as a stand alone meter. He really needs to know how the on-board voltmeter's reading compares to the actual battery voltage That (on board) meter is wired in to the load center not the battery). A simple $10.00 digital voltmeter from Radio shack placed on the battery posts will reveal that. Most of those cheap meters are well within .1 or .2 volts & most are probably even muchbetter than that. He could even check the meter against a known high resolution meter at the Radio Shack before buying.

I have a $3.98 small multi-meter I bought on sale at Radio Shack to carry in my motorcycle tool kit (never leave home without it) & that meter is hundredths of a volt for volt against my multi-hundred dollar digital Fluke meter in the 10-20 volt range. I wouldn't want to measure much over an amp or so with it but the voltage side is surprisingly accurate.

Twisty
I agree with you, but it you don't have another meter to compare with it will let you know if the years and vibration have gotten to your built in meter. If it is reasonably accurate there's no reason you couldn't use it temporarily across the battery. I also tend to carry a little $4.00 digital I got from Harbor freight on sale, now that I'm retired I don't have access to high grade equipment but the elcheapo compares favorably to my old Triplett 630and B&K digital.
 

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Thanks everyone. It looks like the factory gage is fairly accurate. I guess I am down to replacing a voltage regulator. :clapper:
 

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kd7sys wrote:
Thanks everyone. It looks like the factory gage is fairly accurate. I guess I am down to replacing a voltage regulator. :clapper:
kd7sys, before condemning that voltage regulator make darn sure the interface connector where it hooks to the chassis wiring is in good shape & the internal pins are clean & not burnt.

Then verify your regulator has a good CLEAN ground. Either of those could cause high charging voltage as that regulator regulates by momentarily grounding (through a resistor) one or more of the 3 phase charging legs to pull the voltage low.

Those regulators are expensive to replace if not needed.

twisty
 
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