There are some electrical modifications I would like to make to the bike this winter, as well. First, while the stock V-Strom headlights are pretty much amazing (much better than my Nissan Frontier, even), I'd like to add a little extra lighting to make the bike more conspicuous at night, so I'm adding fog lights. Second, it can get a little chilly in south-central Alaska, even in the summer time, so I would like to add heated grips. Third, after adding the TechMount PDA holder to the bike, I realized it would be good to have an auxiliary power port near the handlebars to supply power for my Android phone. Using the GPS and Google Navigator sucks the battery dry much like an early '70s muscle car sucks a gas tank dry. If I want to navigate with the Android for more than about an hour (especially in Alaska, where there are long stretches of highway with poor cellular service), I need a way to get juice to it.
Before deciding on these items, however, I had to take stock of the electrical load this would place on the bike. From what I could find on-line, the V-Strom's alternator can supply about 40 amps of current. EDIT: Pat (Greywolf) over at Stromtroopers suggests it may be a little lower -- 33A rather than 40A, with 10-12A available for accessories.. My thumbnail calculations suggest that my intended upgrades would add about
- Fog lights:
~10 amps (2 x 55 watts @12 volts = 110 watts @ 12v = 9.2 amps)~130mA (I found some LED H3 bulb replacements over at superbrightleds.com that I will be using instead of the halogen lights that came with my fog lights to keep current draw down);
- I am also replacing the stock incandescent brake lights with LEDs from superbrightleds.com, giving me one additional Amp (Note: they also sell straight 1157 replacemnt LEDs, but I decided to go with the motorcycle bulb after reading a report that the straight 1157s only illuminate directly behind the bike rather than lighting up the whole reflector);
- Oxford's Heated Grips: 4 amps (48 watts @ 12 volts);
- GPS power: 2 amps (my Android phone supposedly draws about 0.5 amp, but I'm providing a really large fudge factor for other devices).
After lots of trial and error, I decided to mount the fog lights at the bottom of the SW-Motech crash bars. There is a fillet at the front of the crash bars where the bars wrap upwards around the engine. That places the fog lights lower than I would like, where they could potentially be damaged by obstacles on the ground, but I when I tried to mount them inside the cowl, they didn't clear the forks.
|Yes, it needs a longer bolt. I'll fix it...eventually.|
The next problem was trying to decide how to distribute power to all of these electronic gadgets. I don't want to simply run a lead to the battery for each of these circuits, since that is a sloppy approach. I don't want to clutter the battery with a slew of ring terminals, nor do I want to add more wiring than necessary to the bike. I discovered that Suzuki offers heated grips as an option for the V-Strom, and that there is a power lead near the radiator that is designed to power the OEM heated grips. This power lead only has power while the bike is running, so I can't inadvertently leave the heated grips or fog lights on when the bike is off. This wire has a plastic quick-disconnect connector to allow you to easily add the heated grips after purchasing the bike, and Easternbeaver.com makes a wiring harness that is designed to plug into this connector to provide power to your accessories. Eastern Beaver recommends that you only use it for low power accessories ("less than 7 amps"), but that is plenty of power to trigger a relay for all of my accessories. If I connect a wire from the battery to a relay, trigger the relay with the heated grip circuit, then run the relay to a bus bar, I can provide switched power for all of my accessories directly from the battery. Here's the schematic for the circuit:
|Although I don't much care for Microsoft, Visio is a pretty good product :)|