When do i need a horn relay? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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When do i need a horn relay?

I am planning to install a new horn. Either a Fiamm or a Stebel. My question is when do i need to use a relay? Does the Versys already have a relay wired in for the stock horn? If so how many amps can it handle? Would a relay make the horn louder do to more amperage? I read on here that the stock horn draws 4 amps, the Fiamm 5 amps and the Stebel 18 amps. If that is correct would I be good without a relay for just the Fiamm? Thanks

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 12:35 PM
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The short answer to your question "Do I need to use a relay" is yes, assuming you want a loud horn that doesn't melt your stock wiring. The horns you mention draw much more current than a stock horn.

Take the hot lead on the OEM horn coming from the OEM horn button and use that power to fire the relay. That way you use the regular horn button to actuate your new, louder horn. Wire the new horn's power with beefier wire (I used 14 gauge) through the relay and then straight to the battery. The relay completes the circuit that brings power straight from the battery to the horn. Ground the relay and the horn and you're in business.


You won't get the horn's full sound on the smaller gauge stock wiring and you may melt the wire insulation because so much current is going through. I doesn't take long to do it right.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
The short answer to your question "Do I need to use a relay" is yes, assuming you want a loud horn that doesn't melt your stock wiring. The horns you mention draw much more current than a stock horn.

Take the hot lead on the OEM horn coming from the OEM horn button and use that power to fire the relay. That way you use the regular horn button to actuate your new, louder horn. Wire the new horn's power with beefier wire (I used 14 gauge) through the relay and then straight to the battery. The relay completes the circuit that brings power straight from the battery to the horn. Ground the relay and the horn and you're in business.


You won't get the horn's full sound on the smaller gauge stock wiring and you may melt the wire insulation because so much current is going through. I doesn't take long to do it right.
What Bones said,+Just add an inline fuse to the final connection at the battery (I would not exceed 15 amps) to avoid any chance of fire, if the wiring were to short to the frame.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys, so while im at it do you think i should just install a small fuse panel for future upgrades?
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 12:18 AM
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The relay that came with mine says to install a 30 amp fuse...will a 15 work?

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:12 AM
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if they rate the horn at 30 AMP then use a 30AMP fuse

if you have already fitted the horn and are using a 15AMP fuse, and you ar enot having any problems, then I guess the manufacturer is over speccing the problem
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jeepinoutwest View Post
Thanks Guys, so while im at it do you think i should just install a small fuse panel for future upgrades?
If you're planning 'em, yes. Potential future electrical accessories could include GPS, satellite radio/mp3 player power, extra lighting, radar detector, heated gear, blender for margaritas, etc.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:30 AM
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I installed 4 in-wire spade fuses with flip caps, under the seat. Much easier than finding room for a fuse panel.
I agree. Fit a relay.
Ted.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 08:48 AM
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A related wiring/planning question

A related wiring / planning / design question - I plan on adding these electrical accesories to my V 1) Louder horns, 2) Driving lights, 3) Heated Grips with heat-troller, 4) heated jacket and pant liners with dual heat-troller.

Since I use the space under the seat for my Kawasaki U-Lock, I am planning to run a heavy guage wire (or wires?) from the battery to the under dashboard to an added fuse block, then to the accessories (controlled by relays triggered by a circuit that only comes on with the ignition on).

So my question is - Do I also need to put an additional fuse at or near the battery connection under the seat? That is to say, in series with the new fuse block under the dashboard? Or would that be over doing it?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lowflyer43 View Post
What Bones said,+Just add an inline fuse to the final connection at the battery (I would not exceed 15 amps) to avoid any chance of fire, if the wiring were to short to the frame.
15 amps is about all you should put on a 14 gauge wire, If you need more amps increase the wiring size. Pick your horn then determine the size wire and fuse you will need.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jeepinoutwest View Post
Thanks Guys, so while im at it do you think i should just install a small fuse panel for future upgrades?
Yes, but I would not run the horn through a small fuse panel. I'd go straight to the battery, with a fuse in-line as lowflyer43 pointed out.


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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bones may I ask why not use a fuse panel? I dont understand the engineering.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:12 PM
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Bones may I ask why not use a fuse panel? I dont understand the engineering.
May I, Bones? ...

Fuse panels are rated for a maximum amperage (total) that the panel can handle. Most are rated around 30A-50A (motorcycle-sized, that is). Also, some place limits on the maximum amount of amperage that can be run through a single circuit. Placing a high-draw device in the panel will use up some of that room, and possibly exceed the ratings.

For example, a fuse panel I am looking at is rated for 30A. It has 5 fuse-able circuits with a total of 8 connections. (Some circuits will allow 2 leads to be attached to a single fuse.) The maximum rating on any circuit (i.e. the largest fuse allowed) is 15Amps. If I used a 15Amp fuse, that would only leave 15Amps for the four other circuits remaining, meaning they would all have to add up to no more than 15Amps to not go over the 30A total rating.

Does that clear up the confusion or did I just make it worse?

In essence, adding high load devices (high amp ratings) to a panel can possibly overload them, especially if you plan to add many devices.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:50 PM
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May I, Bones? ...
Please do!

(+1 what acinonyx said.)


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 05:20 PM
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I bought my stebel horn from twisted throttle and got their plug and play wiring kit for the horn.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade...view/2867/539/

It makes the installation very easy and you have the correct wire guage and 30A inline fuse direct from the battery. As others here have already said, this is better for the high current horn than a fuse panel.

I wired the relay in parrallel to the stock horn so that both horns sound off. That way, if the stebel failed I would still have the stock horn (for what it's worth). I made the double connectors from the relay so that I didn't have to splice into the stock wiring harness.

I do plan to install a fuse panel for lower current accessories (a 90 watt heated jacket would only draw about 7 amps at 13 V.) Again I like the one from twisted throttle. The relay that comes with this fuse panel also has a set of normally closed contacts for a battery charger. This shuts off power from the charger when you turn on the ignition switch in case you forget to unplug it.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade...view/2186/593/

Cheers, John
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Acinonyx, that clears it up perfectly. Will install w/o fuse panel.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 08:33 AM
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On your second link to twisted throttle - I really like that "wire guage guide/chart". It's just what I need for my accessory wiring project on my V! What a Forum!
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 12:13 AM
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Don't know much about electric/wiring.
Here's what the electrician did for my horn upgrade.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 12:01 PM
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Electrical tape?

I noticed your electrictian used electrical tape. I would suggest using heat shrink tubing instead, because it last a lot longer. Most electrical tape, when exposed to heat, cold, and moisture over time will lose its glue, and begin to unravel. I have seen it unravel (over time) even when it is not exposed to the elements.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 06:59 PM
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Thanks, Trialguy. You're right and will get some. Another DIY . The quest for prefection goes on...A empty mind is the devil's workshop.

Best Regards.
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