Motorcycle 12 volt Electrical System Basics & Troubleshooting – part 3 - Determining Load

Motorcycle 12 volt Electrical System Basics & Troubleshooting – part 3 - Determining Load

Adding a Motorcycle Accessory?  Be Sure to Determine the Load On Your Electrical System First

No motorcycle would be complete without a few additional after market accessories!  Many of these are electrical. Before proceeding with installing an accessory (let’s say, auxiliary lights) it is important to figure out if your motorcycle can power the accessory that you want to add. This will require some math, but don’t worry, it’s easy!

  1. Start by figuring out the maximum power the motorcycle can supply. The battery on most motorcycles will be rated in amp-hours or Ah. This should be displayed on the battery itself as well as in the owner's manual of the motorcycle. You want to calculate Watts. So multiply the amps # by 12 (Volts) and that will give you total Watts.
  2. The next value that you need to find is the maximum load that your motorcycle's standard equipment draws on the battery. This should be mentioned in your owner’s manual. If not, check online forums for your model bike. This value will be in Watts.
  3. Subtract the #2 above from #1. The number that you are left with is the power in Watts that are available for any additional accessories.
  4. Your accessories should specify maximum power drawn in Watts. If not, then look for the maximum current value in Amps. Multiply Amps by 12 (Volts) to obtain the value in Watts.
  5. Do this for all the auxiliary accessories. Add all the values in Watts to find the total power consumed by the accessories. It should be less than the power available from the system calculated in step 3. If the total power needed exceeds the available power then you will consider dropping one or more of the accessories or look for an alternative that draws less power.
  6. Once you finalize the accessories that you are going to install, consider whether you want to install an auxiliary fuse and power distribution block to better manage the connections and provide an added measure of safety. Look for our next article where we will go into detail on this option.

We hope you found this helpful.  Thanks for reading and get out and ride!

Your friends at UTZStore.com

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