Heated grips - interesting find - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Heated grips - interesting find

Hi folks, I recently picked up some heated grips for my 2106 650 LT and found something interesting about how they work. A little background. I have been an electronics technician for 35 years and have access to a lot of very cool expensive equipment. I had planned to buy a set of Oxford heated grips over the winter and do an install before spring. As is turned out, our local Kawi-Honda-Yam-Suz dealer is going out of business and is clearing out all the parts inventory. Not good because now we have no dealer in a town of 500,000 (Wichita KS). Anyway, they had a set of new heated grips from Bikemaster that ended up costing me $30. Couldn't pass up that deal. I wanted to test the grips before I installed them so I took them to work. I hooked them up to a power supply and monitored the voltage and current. I set the voltage at 12.6 volts and the power supply can supply up to 5 amps of current. The voltage of course stayed constant, as monitored on the power supply digital display. However the current would pulse and was not constant. The grips have a setting of 1-5, probably a lot like other units out there. At a setting of 1, the current pulsed between 0 and 2.20 amps at a rate of probably 3 or 4 times a second. It was kind of hard to judge because the digital display was kind of chasing the actual current and seemed to flutter, but I could read it went to 2.20 amps. As I increased the settings up to 5, the rate would slow, but always applied 2.20 amps. When set to 5, the rate was probably about 1 second of current and then off for about the same amount of time. I always figured they would just apply a constant current at different amounts to get the desired amount of heat. The reason I am bringing this subject up is in case some installs heated grips and uses a circuit that is shared by some other electronics, maybe a cruise system (of course the 650 LT doesn't have) or maybe a digital display of some kind, that pulsed current might cause gremlins that were not there before the grips install. Some of the newer circuits in equipment (not motorcycles) are sensitive to pulsed voltages and currents. Hope this information is helpful, happy riding.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 09:17 PM
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That is interesting and potentially a vital tidbit of info for someone chasing down electric gremlins.

I have these grips and really like them for how inexpensive they are. Good to know im asking for trouble connecting any other accessories on the same circuit. Kawi did a good job of providing options on the newer bikes thankfully

2016 Versys 650LT - Madstad, T-Bob, LeoVince, SeatConcepts, HyperPro CSC Damper, Shoodabeen Flashed
2003 KLR 685 - +1mm IN & EX SS valves P&P, Innovate Wideband O2 Sensor, Progressive 465 w/ RAP, ThermoBob
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 11:10 PM
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I read a weird one today on the KLX forum. a guy put an LED headlight in that developed a problem (apparently has an internal regulator) and it made the bike misfire at mid/high rpms!?! screwing with the crank sensor signal they think. no misfire with the old headlight back in, and no missing with the replacement LED light

the moral to the story.... ya never know

if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 11:08 AM
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I read a weird one today on the KLX forum. a guy put an LED headlight in that developed a problem (apparently has an internal regulator) and it made the bike misfire at mid/high rpms!?! screwing with the crank sensor signal they think. no misfire with the old headlight back in, and no missing with the replacement LED light

the moral to the story.... ya never know
Yes, I have a post #4 of https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...ight=base+load

This reminds me when everyone came out with electronic ballasts for fluorescent lighting,the good expensive ones had filteing built in, the cheap ones produced harmonics to the point that some office buildings with heavy computer activity were having computer problems ( computers using switching mode power supplies which also cause harmonic distortion of sine waves).
The replacement LED headlight assembly mentioned in this post probably had a good filter and blocking diode assembly. The Oxford uses PWM ( pulse width modulated combined with on time, at 100 % it is just that, on continuous).
Another good reason to make sure you consider where and how you connect additional loads on your bike. When in doubt ask, there are no stupid questions, assuming it is OK to connect your heated grips to your city lights may work for you but I could tell you that is a bad idea.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 06:40 AM
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Yeah, I've noticed that a while ago - on all my bikes with Oxford heated grips the headlights dim a bit periodically, when on low revs and the grips are on. The frequency of dips is correlated with the heating setting in the way you describe. This happens even though they're connected directly to the battery (and via a relay against the ignition), it's just that the extra load puts strain on the alternator on low revs, I think. The lights don't dip when at cruising RPM, but it's visible when I'm idling and facing the garage door

Never ran into any actual problems related to that. Tested on the venerable Honda CB500, then Honda CBF600 and now Versys 650 Mk3

2015 Versys 650
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 09:19 AM
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Yeah, I've noticed that a while ago - on all my bikes with Oxford heated grips the headlights dim a bit periodically, when on low revs and the grips are on. The frequency of dips is correlated with the heating setting in the way you describe. This happens even though they're connected directly to the battery (and via a relay against the ignition), it's just that the extra load puts strain on the alternator on low revs, I think. The lights don't dip when at cruising RPM, but it's visible when I'm idling and facing the garage door

Never ran into any actual problems related to that. Tested on the venerable Honda CB500, then Honda CBF600 and now Versys 650 Mk3
You mention dipping headlights at idle with the Oxford grips, I assume you are using OEM headlight and the high beam is off? I would also ask if you are using the OEM regulator? Also is your idle at 1325-1350 RPM? Do you have a voltage display of any kind?
Why I ask, is if a series regulator, you shoudn't get any fluctuation provided you are at the stated RPM. The shunt regulator dosn't usually kick in before it reaches 14.5 VDC or higher. Base load and available excess current at idle exceeds the load of the Oxford grips, however if high beam were on, then you should see a voltage dip at idle.
Either series or shunt regulator is so fast, the incandescent bulb can't possibly change fast enough for the eye to detect, unless of course if the idle is below base load plus the Oxford grips, 1250 RPM or less.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:29 AM
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The high beam is off (I don't remember if I ever checked it with it on). I'd have to check exactly what my idle is, I want to say around 1300, but not sure. I don't have a voltage display, the regulator is OEM and it's been doing that for years (since new, and now it has 50 000 kms).

The dip pattern is something like: 1 second dimmed, then a couple of seconds full brightness, then 1 second dim again etc. It's not flickering, you can count the seconds. I never figured out if they actually correspond to the power settings (ie. whether "30%" setting corresponds to 30% of the time with lights dim and 70% bright) but setting a higher heating level makes the dim/bright "sampling" ratio go towards dim.

The bike is currently in repairs but I'll see if I can record that effect when I get to it

2015 Versys 650
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 11:55 AM
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I've recently installed a voltmeter. My heated jacket/gloves pull down the voltage at idle when the controller is set more than about 1/4 power. As soon as the rpm increases the voltage comes back up. At full heat the rpms need to be up even higher to keep the voltage stable above 14v. The jacket is 90w and the gloves are 60w for the pair.

Heated grips seem to be spec'd quite a bit lower than that, about 40w. Which is around where my gear is at 1/4 power. So, I'm not surprised you're seeing the headlamp dim when your grip heat turns on.

The high beam is 55W on the 2015 V650 (idk about previous generations). When I turn it on plus the heated clothing the alternator won't keep up at lower rpms at all. Our electrical systems really aren't designed to run such a high load, at least not at low rpms. The voltmeter is a nice tool to manage the loads when loafing along around town.
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