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Is the volt meter add on to an 1800 a necessity or a luxury?
I have read a lot and many people like having them.
My question is.....is there something on the Wing or a quirk that has arien that deams it a necessary addition.
Thanks guys.
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I will be adding one as part of my long list of mods this winter. Do you need one? No. Is it nice to have? I think so. I can't have too many gauges on any of my vehicles. Monitoring the voltmeter can warn of upcoming alternator or battery problems. I opted for the Honda analog gauge, as a digital just isn't my style.
 

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Wow, I was cleaning out a cabinet in my garage today and found this..... A digital voltage and gear indicator....





I had long ago purchased one for my GL1500 and forgot that I had gotten the replacement head unit in the photo. They don't make the plug & play loom any more because someone in the states has a patent on that and made them stop producing them. Maybe I can gin up something. Hmmmmm... another project...;)
 

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I did mount one on my own bike just cause I like to keep an eye on the battery and charging system. I was looking for a small digital gauge that could be surface mounted, and found this one that I like. The only problem with it, is that it isn't backlit, so I can't see it at night.

I did have to take it apart and modify it slightly to remove the stud on the rear of it so I could surface mount it.

http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?SKU=5720036



 

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Ray it all depends on what your load may be.
In our case it is a good thing to have when the Sidecar with it's lights is bolted up along with a Trailer and we are both wearing full Heated Gear and the Hot Grips are on plus the Heater for the Dogs is on in the sidecar. That's a lot of load and don't forget Running Lights and High Beams.
With all that stuff I do watch the LED Voltage Indicator and turn off some of the Loads as needed with their control switches mounted on the Brake side when it drops into the Yellow range out of the normal Green at idle when stopped at Long Red Lights.

All that said most folks would probably never add quite that much load at one time and we only get to that point with Cold Weather Trips.

As an old Analog Meter type person in the Electronics field I don't use one on the bike or even a digital Meter but prefer a LED Light Bar type Indicator that only takes a very quick look to see which color is on indicating the Load, Battery & Alternator condition. Much quicker and a better warning device than any meter IMHO.
 

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Having suffered through a couple "surprise failures" on previous bikes, I get a good feeling going down the road with my digital meter reporting the usual 14.3 or 14.4 volts rather than guessing that all is well in the electrical department. I glance at it quite frequently. If the reading were to start "going south", you have some chance of getting to a place your would rather be than stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Put one on my 87 Virago, then my 98 Connie and now my 02 GW. Any future bikes I get will certainly have one installed.

Other than that, I have no strong feelings about them... :roll:
 
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I am a firm believer in having one on the bike. It is easy to see when riding, but the camera flash put in a glair in the photo.
 

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The fuse blew on the cruise control on my '03 this past summer. It wasn't until I was several miles further from home that the bike died on the side of the road. Come to find out, the fuse on the cruise also controls the alternator output. I installed a volt meter after that so if it ever happens again I'll know it before I'm stranded. It's a simple install and you can get one for less than $40. I installed mine below the suspension adjustment knob and plugged it into the power plug behind the left fairing pocket.
 

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Nice to have, one of the first things I added. Use to look at lots of gauges flying so I still do a scan even riding a bike. Can be very helpful if you should start to have an electrical problem on the bike. For example this past summer 7 of us drove into town to ride in the 4th of July parade. One (trike) died on the highway, two died in the parade with their blinkers on. Had the three had a voltage gauge the one on the highway would have relealized the alternator wasn't working when he started it before leaving his house. The other two could have seen they were drawing too much power in the parade mode with brights on and the flashers going. They all happened to be 1500s.
 

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Not a necessity but a nice addition to keep an eye on the electrical system in case of an issue.
Here's where I mounted mine............it's wired so it's on all the time and backlit when the ignition is turned on.

 

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I don't think it's a 'necessity' any more than a water temperature gauge is.

Personally, I think that an indicator like this that is not in your normal instrument scan is pretty worthless. By the time you think to look down, you might already be in trouble.

When I install them, I like to keep them where they are readily visible.
 

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This one flashes if voltage drops below 11.0 or goes above 16.0 for more than three seconds and it mounts high enough that it will get your attention and it comes with a visor for better daytime viewing (although it is plenty bright in direct sunlight). I patched it into the existing heated grip accessory plug-in. It's great knowing the charging system is doing it's job and let's you know if there's a problem somewhere. For $50 shipped to you it's well worth having if you have a lot of electronics and light add-ons.http://www.glowshiftdirect.com/blue-digital-volt-gauge.aspx
 

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I installed the black Kuryakyn LED version after my electrical load started getting close to 50%. So far I've had no problems and the display gives me the info I want. It's a flush mount so I mounted it above the NAV controls and drilled a small hole in the plate. The unit is light sensitive, dims nicely at night, and isn't in my field of view. I glance down occasionally to make sure things are OK.

I wouldn't call it a "need" but more of a "might be nice".
 

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I do not know if one of the new digital volt meters will fluctuate or not, but I also like the swing needle type volt meter simply not only to show a pending charging situation but I run a headlight modulator most of the time and also most of the time I forget to turn it off in a group ride until I get into the group, so the voltmeter at idle will fluctuate with the modulator, so I can tell if I have it on or off. Simply an indicator and a help. Kit
 
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