Heated Gear (another electric capacity question) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Heated Gear (another electric capacity question)

Hey gang,
Was riding on the chilly Sat morning and noticed that when I got going from home and then again after I stopped for a warm coffee on some lazy backroads that my Gerbings gloves weren’t really kicking out a lot of heat based on the dial setting I had them on. However once we got onto some open roads and sustained higher speeds all of a sudden they warmed right up!

I’m no rocket scientist but to me this is some sort of commentary on the amount of ‘juice’ in my battery that is powering these gloves and how when I am riding harder/faster/higher continuous revs that the alternator is pumping more electricity into my battery and therefore the gloves are drawing the amount they are supposed to for the high setting I had them on. Phew!

So do you agree with my assessment here? And if so is that ‘normal’ or is this indicative of a dying battery? Or something else (like maybe just a loose fuse somewhere or something else goofy)? There’s some good discussion here but I am not sure if they are saying my assumptions are correct (that the higher revs are cranking out more electricity? http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...hlight=gerbing )

Anyone else experience this and what have you found? Ideally if I put my gloves on a ‘5’ then they would kick out a 5’s worth of heat from the moment I start the bike til I get home. Or is this just not the way it works?

I only use the tender on the battery for extended downtimes. Should I be attaching it every evening to keep things up to par?

Thanks everyone for your feedback-
E
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 09:58 AM
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What you are experiencing is normal. When the revs are up, the voltage is also up, which results in higher amperage flow (on a given heat controller setting). This is convienient because your heat losses are greater at higher speeds due to the wind chill effect. The wattage output of the V is pretty stout. I've not had a problem using a heated jacket liner, heated gloves, grip heaters, and heated pant liners, all on at once.
Your good to go.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 10:45 AM
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I have several extra lights, plus the Gerbing jacket and glove liners. I also installed the Martel digital voltmeter (http://www.transcat.com/Catalog/prod...itemnum=QM100V) so I could monitor the voltage available. My Gerbing jacket and gloves heat up while the engine is idling at 1300 RPM and the Gerbing thermostat is set at 3/8 of a turn from full off. I don't see much/any difference in voltage when running faster, though the cool air cools down the jacket a bit when going faster. Generally see around 13.7 volts to 14.1 volts. The variation is caused by the headlight modulator I use.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 04:21 PM
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Gerbings has a web tool on their site that will possibly answer your questions. Tune you browser to http://gerbing.com/MyAmps/

The Versys alternator output is 336watts (24amps) @ 5000RPM (watts = amps * volts)

The Gerbings web tool says there is 275watts needed to run a typical fuel injected bike plus an additional 55watts for the high beam. If we are to believe this figure there would not be enough power for heated gear on the Versys. In actuality there is more than enough power for a jacket liner and gloves at cruising speeds. Like the OP I do find heat diminish at idle. This is a moot point though as there is no need for heat when you are stopped and there is no head wind.

I have the Gerbings jacket liner and heated gloves which Gerbings claim draw a total of 52watts/4.3amps at 50% power and 103watts/8.6amps at 100%. The gloves alone have a draw of 26w(2.2amps) at full power.


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Originally Posted by ScottyNeal View Post
I also installed the Martel digital voltmeter (http://www.transcat.com/Catalog/prod...itemnum=QM100V) so I could monitor the voltage available. My Gerbing jacket and gloves heat up while the engine is idling at 1300 RPM and the Gerbing thermostat is set at 3/8 of a turn from full off. I don't see much/any difference in voltage when running faster, though the cool air cools down the jacket a bit when going faster. Generally see around 13.7 volts to 14.1 volts. The variation is caused by the headlight modulator I use.
A voltage meter will not reflect the alternator output at varying speeds and loads. This is because there is a voltage regulator in place on the Versys that tries to keep the voltage constant at 14v. The faster the engine turns though, the more current is produced by the alternator. Power output (in watts) is the product of volts (normally constant at near 14v) * current (in amps). The power and current produced by the alternator will vary by several hundred percent between idle and the red line.

Last edited by twowheels; 11-14-2011 at 04:31 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 06:12 PM
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Thanks TwoWheels. Does that mean I should also wire in an amp-meter to have a complete picture of my charging system?

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Based on your feedback and some FB correspondence with my buddy (who's a KLR maniac) I feel better about what Im experiencing so I won't freak out just yet!


Thanks again-
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 02:55 PM
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Funny thing - if you have a pulse type temperature controller (or current controller) on your heated clothing, at idle, if you listen closely, you can hear the alternator whine vary with the pulseing of the controller!
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