I’ve resisted this modification for awhile. But after reading reports of failing regulators / rectifiers (RR) and stator coils – not just on the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, but not an uncommon failure on almost any motorcycles, I’ve decided to add a voltmeter to the bike so that I can keep a constant eye on the health of my motorcycle’s electrical system.
By the way, did you know that the number one cause for RR and stator coil failures is NOT the addition of electrical accessories, but rather a bad battery? The typical electrical loads additional (reasonable) accessories demand from the bike’s electrical system is usually very, very well within what the electrical generation system can handle. But when a battery goes bad, and if a single cell within the 12V lead acid battery shorts (a typical 12V battery has 6 cells), this draws a significantly increased amount of current from the bike’s electrical generation system. This large current draw puts a tremendous strain on the electrical system until something – typically either the RR or the stator, or both – gives way and burns up. So remember this – periodically replacing a battery BEFORE it goes bad is good preventive maintenance for your bike’s electrical system. And this is one reason why I choose to replace old batteries instead of waiting for them to go bad.
Tapping the voltage needed for the voltmeter was sufficiently straightforward for me as I had previously wired up an “Ignition ON” distribution system. If you’re interested in that, you can read about that here.
To be able to keep an eye on the voltage, the voltmeter should be placed at a conspicuous area, and the instrument cluster is a natural choice. And so, to wire up the voltmeter, I needed to remove the headlight unit with a rather brutal decapitation procedure.
Total cost ~US$5. Just about the cost of a Big Mac meal. Yet another inexpensive farkle added to my Pulsar 200NS. =)
UPDATE: Following up to a Facebook comment, I was curious how accurate the voltmeter connection was. So, I hooked up my trusty (calibrated) digital multimeter and compared the results. Interesting that the voltmeter was CONSISTENTLY over-reading by a mere 0.06V and the percentage difference between the two is less than a 0.5% error – VERY well within the instruments’ tolerances. That’s HALF a percent – not even 1%! I must say that I’m pretty pleased!