UPDATE 2: Per your guys' advice, I picked up a multimeter today and did some testing on my power draws. I think healdem might have hit it on the head. Last night while I was out, I had been gone for about 1 1/2 hours, but had stopped several times for 10-20 minutes or so for my wife to take pictures of the bike.
Each of these times, I left the bike in neutral, idling with all the accessories on. The bike had been idling for about 15 minutes when I turned it off and subsequently ran into the battery issue. After running my tests today, I believe I may have pegged that as the issue.
EDIT: It seems to me that I apparently have too much running at a time to be properly charging my bike. Is this true? I see plenty of guys on here that run way more than this and haven't had these problems before. Is it possible that the charging system on the bike is bad (it doesn't seem like it from the readings, but I could be wrong).
Here's the results of what I got:
The multimeter read 12.03 volts on the cold battery. It fired up just fine. Immediately after I fired it up and it was idling high it read 14.27. Once it warmed up and the idle dropped, it read 13.15.
Bike at idle speed
No accessories: 13.15 (12.38v when fan was on)
W/ only Driving lights: 12.8
W/ only Givi lights: 12.8
W/ driving lights & hi beam: 11.88
W/ driving lights, hi beam & Givi lights: 11.85
W/ driving lights, hi beam, Givi lights and fan: 11.63
EDIT: I believe the numbers above are off, I forgot to check whether or not the fan was also on for the first three. I got the
Bike at 3500 rpm
No accessories: 14.35 (13.2 when fan kicked on)
W/ only Driving lights: 13.37 (12.56 with fan)
W/ only Givi lights: 14.2 (no fan)
W/ driving lights & hi beam: 12.75 (12.2 with fan)
W/ driving lights, hi beam & Givi lights: 12.46 (no fan)
After all the testing, I turned everything off, let it idle for another minute or two and shut off the bike. The battery reading after the bike was off was 12.20v.
I realized as I was testing this that the radiator fan adds a significant draw on the power as well when that kicks on. While the bike is moving, the fan should be kicking on unless it's extremely hot outside. But I can definitely see how it would kick on for long periods of idling.
So what do you guys think? I can definitely see how there was too much draw on the system last night to properly charge the battery, resulting in what I experienced, but under normal operating conditions (short warm up, normal driving at average rpms, etc.) do you think I'll still encounter problems?
Also, my cold reading on the battery (12.03v) worries me a little bit. Could my battery have been damaged last night by running it down?
In addition, my driving lights are wired to a relay that is activated once the lo beam comes one (which happens after the engine starts). I have also run a manual switch for the driving lights as well so that once the motor is running, I can manually turn them on and off.
EDIT: I thought I'd also mention that I normally drive with my hi beams on during the day. I guess that's another 55w on the system.
Last edited by jchristian79; 06-26-2010 at 08:23 PM.