Author Topic: PIAA driving light amperage question(edit): lights added :)  (Read 356 times)

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Offline crag antler

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I have an opportunity to get a set of PIAA 510's.
With installing the Murph's headlight harness upgrade, I thought, what a good time to get driving lights >:D
Get some nice lights for low $ and take of advantage of some upcoming free time and do the Iron Butt.

So the PIAAs are a 55W H3 bulb.
http://www.piaa.com/store/p/77-510-SMR-Fog-XTreme-White-Plus-Halogen-Lamp-Kit.aspx
Would this be too much of a draw on a 18 year old bike?
Battery only a year old.
Thanks. :great:
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 12:46:13 am by crag antler, Reason: Additional pic »
Doug aka crag antler  Florida Cracker in South Conway
2000 Kawasaki Concours
2011 Suzuki DR650

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 09:34:07 pm »
I have an opportunity to get a set of PIAA 510's.
With installing the Murph's headlight harness upgrade, I thought, what a good time to get driving lights >:D
Get some nice lights for low $ and take of advantage of some upcoming free time and do the Iron Butt.

So the PIAAs are a 55W H3 bulb.
http://www.piaa.com/store/p/77-510-SMR-Fog-XTreme-White-Plus-Halogen-Lamp-Kit.aspx
Would this be too much of a draw on a 18 year old bike?
Battery only a year old.
Thanks. :great:


they are 55w lamps, so they pull 110w total, I would not wire them "into" Murph's harness, that is not advised... run an auxiliary fuse block, and tie that, to the battery, then run the lights off that block. The system must include a relay, as inrush current dictates the need, and also, you should have this whole mess wired on a seperate aux switch, to operate them.
The switch wires can be 16ga, but the actual power wires from the relay to the lamps should be bumped up to 14 ga minimum.

the question of "will the system handle it" depends highly on how many 'other' things are in the melting pot, other add on's...
if you start adding heated gear, and other stuff, you are in the zone maxing it out. If not, then no sweat....BUT...

I will caution tho, after seeing and repeatedly fixing melted plugs, specifically the 2 blade connector from the alternator to the main harness, which is located down on the left side, behind the J box and starter solenoid, that this connector after time, becomes invisibly corroded, and becomes a resistive connection, which WILL over heat, and melt down, directly shorting the charging system. before adding these lights, and doing any add on's that pull amps, I would locate that connector (its a white, nylon plastic 2 blade connector, the wires from the alternator go thru) and replace that single connector with double the connection "blades".
This means find the connector, snip the wire of one circuit on both sides of the connector, and solder in (2) 14 ga wires to each end, then crimp on 1/4" blade connections to each wire, one side is a blade, the other side is an insulated blade receptical. Then repeat this on the other wire.
Now you will have 4 blades, and 4 connections, where there were originally 2 of each. This increases the ampacity up to the limits of the wire, as the blade connectors originally were only rated at half what the wire was.
Once that's done, you can safely add into the system, without melting down that connector that runs the charging system, and carries the major load.
The original system, was called on to "handle" a 30 amp load per wire, but that connector was barely able to handle 15 amps per blade, so it's the weak spot.
Exceding these figures, will be seen when operating all the electrics, and watching the lights "dim" at idle, and "brighten up" once you are running at 3000 rpm or more.

 hope this helps..
I've seen those PIAA 510's on Connis, but I think they are a bit overkill, and it's up to the owner to "upgrade" the system to insure trouble free operation.

I'd also suggest, you do a search and take the time to do SISF's "free power mod", this increases the systems grounding, and enhances the ability to make things work efficiently, grounds on this bike, and even moreso on the C14, are it's Achilles's heel, and are always in need of constant attention.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 09:43:58 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline crag antler

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 09:53:23 pm »
Thank you MOB.
I knew there would be more knowledge here than I would have.
I thought when I saw 55w, there may be some concerns.
Guess I'll keep looking for a good light set up. Any tips would help. :great:

Only heated gear I run is a electric vest and that is few and far in between.
Thanks again, Doug
Doug aka crag antler  Florida Cracker in South Conway
2000 Kawasaki Concours
2011 Suzuki DR650

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 10:42:22 pm »
if I had gobs of $$
these are nice
http://www.advpulse.com/adv-products/cyclops-motorcycle-driving-lights/

but, I'm down to one C10, and it is running dual beam lights in my custom fairing..( twin NAPA 80/100's.... and they rock...) and yes, I upgraded my wires and such ..
for aux lights, I go to something more compact, and usable..
for the money, these by far stand above all, and won't break the bank... and, they are pretty energy efficient, miserly,

http://stores.advmonster.com/model-20-light-kit-with-harness/

for less than the PIAA's, these can be had, and in my opinion, a far superior lamp, in a small package,(allowing more mounting versatility) and have a dimming control as an option...
http://stores.advmonster.com/model-55-led-light-kit/


all this companies products are awesome, especially thier LED headlights... I may drop money on some this year...

before adding aux lights, might want to consider a simple main light upgrade tho... this one rocks....

http://stores.advmonster.com/h4-r3-led-headlight/

if you need more light after trying it, then go for it, but in reality, this will double what ya have right now, and frankly they make my NAPA 80/100's look like candle light...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:56:31 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 03:40:35 pm »
I have been running Hella FF-200's (55 watts each) for 15 years on my C-10. If you are looking for long range lighting, incandescents are still the way to go. The difference in LED and incandescent lights is the size of the reflector in the 510's, FF-200's, or FF-50's. The biggest reflector you can stand to look at will light up the road furthest. I have no issue with LED's, I use them for DRL's so people see me and they use a lot less amps to run. My bike is set up as an IBA style, rally bike - lights and all.  I have ridden with riders that have LED lights and what I notice is a big, non-focused, blob of very bright light that floods the road at less distance than a normal low beam. LED capsules have no reflector, so the light is not focused, just bright.

If you are going to be doing IBA certificate rides, 24 hour or multi-day events or if lucky, the Big Show, you will be riding all night and need serious, long range lighting to deal with the forest rats and other hazards. If this is your cup of tea, and you need any help, ping me off list.

As to installation, Rich's comments are spot on as usual.  Heed them.  HTH
Larry Buck - COG 3451, Retired SE-AD, now SE-AAD, Ex - Concourier C-10 Tech Editor, COG National Safety Officer, IBA 5581, MSF-Rider Coach, Forum moderator.

Buck Sport Touring-"Ride Far" www.bucksporttouring.com

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 12:09:28 am »
I bought a set of FF50's years ago, intending on slapping them on my old 'touch of gray' '86, but ended up putting them on my GMC truck, as it had some really degraded lamp lenses.. those 50's were awesome, tossed more usable focused light down the road then either of my hi/low beams did on the truck, with Silverstar bulbs...
but, again, don't confuse incandescent lights, with Halogen's, which both the Hella's noted are.. Halogens are far superior to a fillament bulb.
I know we are old, but man, LED's have really gotten high tech, and now actually do outperform most any other type... but, cheap lamps, are cheap lamps... and lower wattage consumption high quality LED's, stand above and beyound visually over the cheapo ones on ebay for $15... good ones run about $100 a set, and are seriously blinding... I have a couple local ADV pals with them, and they made a believer out of me. It all boils down to a good reflector design, and package... and sometimes, deep pockets...
 :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :beerchug: :beerchug: :beerchug:

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline crag antler

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Re: PIAA driving light amperage question
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 01:44:33 pm »
Well, I found some LEDs for low $ and thought I would try them out.
If they don’t suit my need, I’ll put them on the DR.
Used the tips here for making my own bracket from a flat corner brace.
Wire them up when I do the Murph’s headlight harness upgrade.
If anything it’s a start.



Doug aka crag antler  Florida Cracker in South Conway
2000 Kawasaki Concours
2011 Suzuki DR650