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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 9:23 am

I have a UK 2010 SWing that has the permanently on headlight. I know the pro's and con's of headlight use and I prefer the ability to choose to use it when I see fit. Do any of you guru's out there know a way in which I can fit a switch reasonably easily? I'm no engineer but a decently competent DIY mechanic and can certainly follow instructions.

cheers
Laughing 
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 9:53 am

If you were knocked off your Silver Wing in a SMIDSY situation you can better the other party would use the no headlights against you especially as all scooters and motorcycles have been fitted with permanent lights on for years. Plus any insurance assessor doing damage assessment of your scooter would certainly look for a switch to validate the the statement of the other party. In fact if your off switch mod hasn't been OK'd by your insurance company and why would they as it's a compulsory safety feature pushed through by the EC for PTW manufactured after a certain date, it's all the excuse they need to invalidate your insurance.

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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 10:41 am

Headlight use is not compulsory in the UK and giving in to it only reinforces the SMIDSY mentality. Headlight use can be detrimental to safety in certain weather conditions. On my previous Beemer I fitted a 25w bulb in the pilot light which gave a bright glow rather than a beam. Less dazzling, less distracting and car drivers I spoke to found it easier to determine my speed and position. And not all motorcycles have been fitted with permanent headlights and it's not a compulsory safety feature in the UK, though certain officials would love you to live under that illusion.I have fitted two bright LED's in the pilot lights, just as I did with my previous 2001 Swing. These give perfectly adequate conspicuity.

Thanks for your input but I am fully aware of the Elephant Safety argument and personally reject it in it's current form as being too lazy minded and discriminatory. Honda decided that I shouldn't have the choice of headlight on or off simply to simplify manufacturing across markets. Don't blame them for that but I still want to be able to choose.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 10:55 am

Uncle Meldrew's remarks are well stated.

However if you persist in this folly then you might want to buy the Factory Service Manual and take a look at the wiring diagram. I'm quite sure that you can find a wire or two at the headlight circuit where you could splice in a toggle switch.

Perhaps, along with that toggle switch, you might consider replacing the low beam with a HID lamp. That way you could stealth up behind some Harley poseur, flick on your HID, and scare the b'jesus out of the guy, while you nonchalantly motor on. Hey, now that'd be a coup.

Tim
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Meldrew
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Meldrew

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 11:33 am

Dramhunter wrote:
Headlight use is not compulsory in the UK and giving in to it only reinforces the SMIDSY mentality. Headlight use can be detrimental to safety in certain weather conditions. On my previous Beemer I fitted a 25w bulb in the pilot light which gave a bright glow rather than a beam. Less dazzling, less distracting and car drivers I spoke to found it easier to determine my speed and position. And not all motorcycles have been fitted with permanent headlights and it's not a compulsory safety feature in the UK, though certain officials would love you to live under that illusion.I have fitted two bright LED's in the pilot lights, just as I did with my previous 2001 Swing. These give perfectly adequate conspicuity.

No it isn't compulsory in the UK but only because it doesn't apply to the older bikes that are out on the road. As for the 25w bulb in the pilot light I was doing that with the BMW's I rode over 20 years ago, it was a pretty common thing for BMW Club members to do and spares companies like Moto-Bins probably sold hundreds. I probably fitted them back then because I thought I was being a smug git not having to use headlights over in mainland Europe, especially As I'd been pulled up for having no lights on in Austria a few years before. I also fitted a couple of LED bulbs to replace the pilot bulbs on the Silver Wing last year and they were crap, the only thing I gained from the experience is how to fish one out of the bottom of the headlight reflector.

I can't see a problem with permanent lights on either, as long as the standard headlights give out a decent spread of light for night riding. I don't think anyone has been suckered into a lights on for visibility mindset either, it's just part of the standard spec on a modern bike. New cars are coming out now festooned with daytime LEDs and they look better for it, I bet Halfords isn't doing a special line of off switches for disgruntled owners.

Anyway I'm done here, it's your scooter, your choice, your money, and your neck on the block if there's any comeback.
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Swinger_FJS400
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 am

Headlight switch Imgp0011

This is the headlight connector, Im going to wire a switch to the wire soon.

Intend to mount the on/off switch on the right hand side glove box when I have the time to do it.



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tarmacburner2
Silver Wing Guru
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 28, 2013 3:59 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if the headlight on permanently doesn't become part of the MOT. Why the UK hasn't followed many of it's EC partners in making headlight use compulsory I don't know.

The only time I wish the headlight could be switched off is when I;m working on it and want the ignition on. (Pulling the connector on the lamp works.)

Cheers,
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Dramhunter
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 29, 2013 5:12 am

New cars are indeed festooned with DRL's and when every vehicle is so equipped, what then for motorcycle conspicuity? What will we have to do next? All over High Viz? Sure is that not on the horizon anyway?

Recent research by the TRL shows that whilst headlight and high viz use by motorcyclists increases conspicuity it has had almost no impact on the reduction of SMIDSY type accidents. My own experiments with my own bikes and my own safety show me that is true.

My personal view is that if it isn't compulsory then the process should be education, not legislation unless it can be categorically proved that doing it IS of measurable benefit. You will notice I said "I prefer the ability to choose to use it when I see fit." I am an intelligent, educated, responsible and experienced rider. I do not wish to be treated like an imbecile. I KNOW the benefits of daytime headlight use, I also know the drawbacks, which are obviously less well know. I also know the benefits of wearing a decent riding jacket, for instance but would be dead against being made a criminal if I didn't choose to wear one. I am not a sheep. Notice also I didn't say I wouldn't use a headlight in daytime. My point is rider choice and not having every aspect of my life regulated.

Anyway, I thought I asked a straightforward question. I wouldn't preach to any forum member and don't wish to be preached to. Advice is fine, it's why we are here I suppose. Meldrew, I am grateful for your concern and have had similar experiences but I fail to see why you seem to feel offended by my views. Should I discover that such a modification would indeed invalidate my insurance then of course I would not proceed. But then, isn't that a good back-door way for the authorities to get us to comply with something like this? As for not using my headlight potentially being used against me in a SMIDSY situation, if I WAS using it and got rammed, the courts won't punish the car driver any heavier.

Anyway, kinda sorry I asked now. Let all just get back to being comrades on two wheels. Peace, Love & Harmony.
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Meldrew
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Meldrew

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 29, 2013 6:28 am

I'm not offended at all mate, I couldn't care less that my lights go on when I turn the ignition on, my first maxi was a US import Helix that had lights and front indicators as running lights, and I don't have any concerns regarding wearing hi-vis or reflective gear either. I've put reflective patches on my helmets for many years now, and they're also designed into my riding gear, and I've also got a good quality hi-vis vest for when I choose to wear one. Of course it has lost a lot of it's visual impact because hi-vis gear is so over used nowadays, but it's got handy pockets for petrol money and some of the other junk I carry. I don't care either that side stands have ignition cut outs, and that I have to have the side stand up and squeeze a brake lever to start the engine. All little things that don't bother me, but some people want to tinker with or remove those safety features.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 29, 2013 10:41 am

The less electrical load, the harder your regulator works. I know it sounds backwards, but it isn't.

I would be careful about removing a major load. Honda designed the regulator to dissipate heat at some minimum load amount, not the greater heat at even less load.

As for the switch, there is a headlight relay. You can switch the low current line into the relay I expect.
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Swinger_FJS400
Scooter Rider
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Swinger_FJS400

Number of posts : 19
Location : Singapore
Points : 3019
Registration date : 2013-03-07

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeSun Jun 30, 2013 8:57 am

Having a headlight switch is great, just like having choices in life.

My Japan spec fjs400 comes with hazard light switch,
I can keep it turn on for a long time without having the headlight turn on and drain the battery.

If you have 12v cigarette socket connected to ignition switch as well, can charge laptop,
tablet etc devices with the headlight switched off too..there are just so many application with the added flexibility.
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Cosmic_Jumper
Site Admin
Cosmic_Jumper

Number of posts : 3747
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeSun Jun 30, 2013 2:01 pm

Swinger_FJS400 wrote:
Having a headlight switch is great, just like having choices in life.

My Japan spec fjs400 comes with hazard light switch,
I can keep it turn on for a long time without having the headlight turn on and drain the battery.

If you have 12v cigarette socket connected to ignition switch as well, can charge laptop,
tablet etc devices with the headlight switched off too..there are just so many application with the added flexibility.

Is there any way you can send a link for your JDM FJS400 wiring diagram? I'd sure like to see how Honda configured the wiring for hazard lights.

And yes too, given the need to have hazard lights on for a long time I can see the need for the ability to have the headlight shut off.

Tim
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Swinger_FJS400
Scooter Rider
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Swinger_FJS400

Number of posts : 19
Location : Singapore
Points : 3019
Registration date : 2013-03-07

Headlight switch Empty
PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03, 2013 1:58 am

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
Swinger_FJS400 wrote:
Having a headlight switch is great, just like having choices in life.

My Japan spec fjs400 comes with hazard light switch,
I can keep it turn on for a long time without having the headlight turn on and drain the battery.

If you have 12v cigarette socket connected to ignition switch as well, can charge laptop,
tablet etc devices with the headlight switched off too..there are just so many application with the added flexibility.

Is there any way you can send a link for your JDM FJS400 wiring diagram? I'd sure like to see how Honda configured the wiring for hazard lights.

And yes too, given the need to have hazard lights on for a long time I can see the need for the ability to have the headlight shut off.

Tim

Hello Tim, I got ur pm.

I think there are some problem with my message box as my msg seem to be stuck in the outbox for good, Im not even sure if my messages reaches you.

Nick
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"Hi Yo"
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Headlight switch 510-80

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03, 2013 3:37 am



Hello Tim, I got ur pm.

I think there are some problem with my message box as my msg seem to be stuck in the outbox for good, Im not even sure if my messages reaches you.

Nick[/quote] As I understand it, and I'm often wrong, the PM will stay in your outbox until the recipient picks it up. Then it will go to your sent box. At least I think that is what I read one time. Unless he notices the blinking PM icon, he may not realize he has a message. Don't ask how I know.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03, 2013 7:00 pm

Swinger_FJS400 wrote:

Hello Tim, I got ur pm. I think there are some problem with my message box as my msg seem to be stuck in the outbox for good, Im not even sure if my messages reaches you. Nick

Yes, FJS400, I did get your reply to my PM. I also PM'd to your reply earlier today. But there is no need for you to respond to this post.

Tim
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03, 2013 8:11 pm

Swinger_FJS400 wrote:

This is the headlight connector, Im going to wire a switch to the wire soon.

Intend to mount the on/off switch on the right hand side glove box when I have the time to do it.

I have installed a switch in series with the LOW BEAM using the following components from Digikey.com:

513-PB-ND, Boot, $0.53.
512-PB-ND, Push Button Switch, $1.55
350-2994-ND, LED PMI Snap IN Green, $2.23.

Mounted the LED and the Switch to the left of the RIGHT HAND glovebox. This switch needs less than half inch of real estate. There are a plethora of swiches to choose from - but this one is small (I needed to mount five - this worked for me) and can handled 10 amps.

I ride with my lights on ALWAYS - but felt the need to be able to turn off my headlights for electrical conservation reasons when STOPPED. Hoping I never have to use this feature - but I have needed it in times past.

With switch ON both HI/LO operate normally -
but with switch OFF only HI beam operates (if on HI beam of course) - so this gives you the HI beam if you want it - or no lights if that is what you want.

Best that you have a Honda Service Manual (online for $30) prior to doing tihs as you need to be sure you cut the right wire! When I did this most of my plastic was off for other reasons - but if you only do this mod I am guessing you need only have access to the headlight connectcor for the splice - and removal of the right glovebox for insallation of the switch/LED.

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Swinger_FJS400
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 12:18 am

Hi Yo wrote:


As I understand it, and I'm often wrong, the PM will stay in your outbox until the recipient picks it up. Then it will go to your sent box. At least I think that is what I read one time. Unless he notices the blinking PM icon, he may not realize he has a message. Don't ask how I know.

Thank you, got it now Cool 
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Swinger_FJS400
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 12:37 am

Dimond wrote:


Mounted the LED and the Switch to the left of the RIGHT HAND glovebox.  This switch needs less than half inch of real estate.  There are a plethora of swiches to choose from  - but this one is small (I needed to mount five - this worked for me) and can handled 10 amps.

I ride with my lights on ALWAYS - but felt the need to be able to turn off my headlights for electrical conservation reasons when STOPPED.  Hoping I never have to use this feature - but I have needed it in times past.  

With switch ON both HI/LO operate normally -
but with switch OFF only HI beam operates (if on HI beam of course) - so this gives you the HI beam if you want it - or no lights if that is what you want.

Best that you have a Honda Service Manual (online for $30) prior to doing tihs as you need to be sure you cut the right wire!  When I did this most of my plastic was off for other reasons - but if you only do this mod I am guessing you need only have access to the headlight connectcor for the splice - and removal of the right glovebox for insallation of the switch/LED.  


Thank you, great info!

I have just soldered a similar switch to a pair of wires to prepare for the operation when I read ur message...My mini switch is only rated for "3A126vac" ....that wouldn't do right?

My workshop manual will arrive in a week but I'll go ahead with the splicing using multimeter to find the correct wire.

I guess u said it correctly, "electrical conservation" when the engine is not started.

I have a koso voltmeter connected real time and see how fast the battery drop below 11.8v  as long as the bike is not cranked. In the tropics (singapore) the radiator fan turn on very often and with the headlight "on" as well, you just cant keep the fan running longer to cool the bike once u turn off the engine.

Headlight switch Imgp0013

Headlight switch Imgp0015
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 11:07 am

Swinger_FJS400 wrote:

I have just soldered a similar switch to a pair of wires to prepare for the operation when I read ur message...My mini switch is only rated for "3A126vac" ....that wouldn't do right?

I have a koso voltmeter connected real time and see how fast the battery drop below 11.8v  as long as the bike is not cranked.

Jedco.com rates their 125VAC 3A swiches as 4A for 14VDC. So I am guessing your swich should handle about 4A - and your 55watt lamp load translates close to 5A (see http://www.ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms_law_calculator.php and used 13.5VDC) - so your switch may not be a good match. It does not cost more (just harder to find) to get a 10A 14VDC switch - so you may wish to consider upgrading your switch. If you look for automotive switches - you will get a larger variety of 14 VDC rated switches. Some use a rule-of-thumb that 126VAC amps rating times 1.8 is 14VDC rating.

When I turn on my SWing - with full battery at 13.2 Volts, my voltage drops to 11.4 VDC after waiting a few seconts before starting my SWing. If I turn off my headlights - the voltage only drops to 12.2 VDC. I don't think there is anything significant in this data - just saying.

If you are interested in saving energy - you may wish to also consider the DDM Tuning 35watt HID conversion as you will see way better and save 40watts - but not sure you need to save any watts!

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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 11:13 am

Swinger_FJS400 wrote:


If you have 12v cigarette socket connected to ignition switch as well, can charge laptop,
tablet etc devices with the headlight switched off too..there are just so many application with the added flexibility.

Anoter optiion (which I have done) is to install a fused 12V Socket in trunk (or anywhere) that is connecetd directly to battery (always hot) so you can use it WITHOUT having to turn on ignition switch. However, you need to know power consumption of what you are plugging in and to remember to unplug it before battery goes DEAD.
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 11:24 am

jmaslak wrote:
The less electrical load, the harder your regulator works.  I would be careful about removing a major load.  Honda designed the regulator to dissipate heat at some minimum load amount, not the greater heat at even less load.

As for the switch, there is a headlight relay.  You can switch the low current line into the relay I expect.

The 'regulator' comment is very important and somethnig that I had not considered. When the battery needs a charge, or if the engine is off, then this is not a factor - but with a full battery this is a very important consideriation. I am guessing that burning up the regulator is a $300 repair and if stator get's fried (don't know if this would happen) then the bill may be in excess of $600. Does anyone know what happens to stator IF rectifier/regulator gets fried?

It is my understanding that with headlight switch set at LO the low-beam is powered directly - and that in HI the high-beam is powered directly with low-beam powered through the low-beam relay. So, if you wire in the 'switch' in series with the low-beam relay trigger you will not be able to shut off all the lights - all the time - so, need to wire swich in series with low beam headlight power.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 12:04 pm

jmaslak wrote:
The less electrical load, the harder your regulator works.  I know it sounds backwards, but it isn't.

I would be careful about removing a major load.  Honda designed the regulator to dissipate heat at some minimum load amount, not the greater heat at even less load..

Am I correct in understanding that the charging system needs a load so that the regulator/rectifier doesn't fry itself overworking trying to charge something (a load) that isn't there? Having a heart attack while beating a dead horse, as it were? 

Tim scratch
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 12:23 pm

The function of the regulator is to make sure there is enough load on the stator to keep the voltage at the regulator's set point. The amount of power created by the stator is based on engine RPM.

As load on the stator increases, voltage decreases. Honda is trying to keep the voltage below a certain point so that the battery and other systems aren't damaged (or the stator for that matter).

The regulator is basically a switching heater. It heats up when there isn't enough bike load to keept he voltage below a certain point. This heat takes power, which keeps the bike from allowing the battery to charge too quickly.

If the regulator were to overheat and burn out (that's the failure mode - the switching diodes get too hot and burn out, so they no longer turn power to heat), voltage would get high and burn up the battery and the stator, and quite possibly other electrical components on the bike (headlight bulbs would burn out quicker, etc; I'm hoping Honda engineered the expensive computer components to handle the higher voltage). The battery would cook (boil off electrolyte, even in a gel cell or AGM). The stator would have a tendency to arc, causing it to eventually short out.

So, if I had a bad regulator, I'd hope my stator survived but almost certainly expect to replace the battery. The dead battery is probably how you would notice the bad regulator - you would think your battery isn't getting charged (it really got way overcharged so it can't hold a charge for that reason), so you would probably replace it. After the second battery gets cooked...then people think "Oh, the charging system isn't putting out enough voltage (actually it's doing the opposite) and replace the regulator and likely yet another battery. And if that didn't fix things, it probably took out the stator and now isn't producing enough power.

As for leaving flashers on without the engine running and with the headlight off, I personally would want to modify things so that the flashers could be turned on without having the key in the ignition. I would probably put switch in either the left locking glove box or under the seat, so that someone couldn't play a joke on me by switching them on when I park at work in the morning. But I'd prefer to be able to have them on without the key in the ignition just in case someone is a better mechanic than I am and comes across my dead Silverwing on the side of the road. That said, I'd prefer to push it far enough off road to not get hit even without the flashers - it's not like a car that might be blocking a lane somewhere.
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight switch   Headlight switch I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04, 2013 4:52 pm

jmaslak, good explanation and well put.Smile
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