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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:48 
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My new bike arrived with the lights wired permanently on. The last thing I need however is for the headlight to come on when I am trying to start it as the battery is quickly drained. I only just got it going last time after leaving it standing for 3 weeks.

I know the answer is to buy an Optimate charger and leave it plugged in when the bike's not in use, which is what I did.

So have safety regulations gone mad or is just that Honda couldn't be bothered to apply a suitable engineering solution to a bike already on the market?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:29 
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I believe all new bikes (since 2004) have to have permanently on running lights now.

Easy & cheap solution - don't leave it for 3 weeks - keep riding!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 13:38 
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My two 53 plate bikes have the lights permanently on, with no switchgear.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 15:26 
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A Cyclist wrote:
My new bike arrived with the lights wired permanently on. The last thing I need however is for the headlight to come on when I am trying to start it as the battery is quickly drained. I only just got it going last time after leaving it standing for 3 weeks.

I know the answer is to buy an Optimate charger and leave it plugged in when the bike's not in use, which is what I did.

So have safety regulations gone mad or is just that Honda couldn't be bothered to apply a suitable engineering solution to a bike already on the market?


A couple of points to keep in mind

1) Cranking takes about 100 amps, where as the lights take only about 5 so it is not an issue. I have owned a 125 and My wife currently has one we have NEVER had problems with starting.

2) A fully charged battery will last for at least 3 months without a problem. If you have an alrm fitted you will have to charge it up every couple of weeks. leaving a bike on trickle charge all the time shortens the battery life.

The best value charger I have found is from Machine mart at about £10. Works great.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 15:36 
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Gizmo wrote:
...leaving a bike on trickle charge all the time shortens the battery life.


Only if the charger is dumb and overcharges the battery.

Using a properly designed maintenance charger will provide maximum battery life.

[edited because someone stole the 'a' in maintenance! Allegedly. :) ]

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 16:38 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Only if the charger is dumb and overcharges the battery.

Using a properly designed maintenance charger will provide maximum battery life.

[edited because someone stole the 'a' in maintenance! Allegedly. :) ]


here is some info that may be of interst...

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq9.htm

I would NEVER keep a battery on trickle charge. And there is no need to. If the bike does not draw current when the ignition is off a good battery will keep near fully charged for several weeks.

If you have security or some other function that takes a permanant battery feed you may need to keep it topped up, Even so it should last a month at least and still be capable of starting a bike.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 16:52 
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Gizmo wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Only if the charger is dumb and overcharges the battery.

Using a properly designed maintenance charger will provide maximum battery life.

[edited because someone stole the 'a' in maintenance! Allegedly. :) ]


here is some info that may be of interst...

http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq9.htm


Link provided includes:

link wrote:
9.3.7. Float Charger and Battery Maintainer

There are basically two types of float chargers. The first type is used to float or maintain wet or VRLA car or motive deep cycle batteries that have been fully charged. The second type is used to float charge or maintain wet or VRLA stationary deep cycle batteries.

If you are using wet or VRLA batteries in starting or motive deep cycle applications and already have a two stage charger, then a voltage-regulated "float" charger, power supply or battery maintainer set at approximately 13.2 VDC can be continuously used after the battery has been fully charged. An example is a Vector VEC080, costing less than $30 (US). Float chargers will maintain batteries at a 100% State-of-Charge with a C/100 rate to offset the battery's internal self-discharge and prevent them from sulfating. Batteries that have the same plate chemistry (battery type) can be connected in parallel to a float charger after they have been fully charged and the charger's current output is greater than 1% of total amp hour capacity of the batteries connected to it.

If you are using wet or VRLA deep cycle batteries in stationary applications, then use a float charger at approximately 13.8 VDC that is sized to carry the maximum load plus an extra 10% depending or more depending on how fast you want to recharge the batteries.


The link doesn't seem to know about chargers including pulsed maintanence facilities like the Optimate. These are the kindest and provide longest battery life.

Float and pulsed maintanence chargers are quite quite different from trickle chargers.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 19:28 
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Just as an addition - I was talking with a mate of mine recently and he recons that although manufacturers have agreed to installing DRL on all new bikes, its not actually mandetory after type aprouval. Its worth looking into as its not exactly difficult to wire in a switch.

Personally its the single biggest reason I would never buy a new bike. :x

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 20:02 
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Daylighyt running lights are a manufaturers decision and not a regulation, they were introduced (allegedly) to stop greater imposition of regulation on us by overenthusiastic governments and pandered to an easy request.

As part of the agreement to this of the MCIA it was agreed that an individual purchaser coula continue top request a switch be fitted, this prevented a battle with the likes of MAG on the safety issues of daylight running lights particularly when a biker is riding away from a low sun. This gentlemans agreement has now been long forgotton.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 21:28 
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Wonder how long before DRL goes the same way as the 150bhp limit?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:29 
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Echoing what Paul said, I would like to add for Gizmo's information that an Optimate charger decides what your battery needs and supplies it, whether it be from a deeply-discharged state or just a top-up of charge. It continuously monitors the battery state if left plugged in. It's not like the trickle chargers of yore that boiled your acid off if you left them connected too long. I use a second Optimate on my car in the winter months. £45 may seem a lot but you should be able to start every time and spend less on new batteries. Just don't forget to disconnect it before you start up and drive/ ride away! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:32 
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A Cyclist wrote:
...Just don't forget to disconnect it before you start up and drive/ ride away! :)
:rotfl:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 20:21 
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Strangely enough - i don't like chargers left on constantly - unless ideas have changed recently -the theory behind "most " lead acid batteries was a charge /discharge cycle - to make the battery "work " to give maximum life.But also have found recently that the likes of sealed lead acid batteries ( as used in helmet lamp packs) don't like being left off charge.
Again possibly left over from the work ethic of lead acid batteries.
I do remember in large telecom battery installations, a routine requirement for a float battery was to be discharged to permissable voltage then recharged to get rid of nasties forming in the cells.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 20:31 
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Patch wrote:
Daylighyt running lights are a manufaturers decision and not a regulation.


Partly true.

Some Countries have a legal requirement. Manufacturers have decided to standardise on the spec to reduce the number of market specific variants.

Its also why some bike have Catylitic converters........ :x

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 14:03 
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DRL are not mandatory as is the dual headlight rule (one switched out). they were introduced globally as part of harmonisation. It also saves them cost.

However, there are some safety drawbacks.

1. Be very careful when pass cars at junction on roads with speed bumps or poor surface. It can look like you are flashing them to pull out.

2. You can't switch your lights off when passing horses

3. Headlights can mask your indicators (be prepared to reinforce a signal)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 21:15 
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DIY - Headlights highlight a bike - then by watching it you can decide what the rider is doing - if behind you - try moving over slightly -- bikers take tis as an invitatin to pass - you can always use hand sigs to reinforce this - most bikers will try and let you know their intention "if they see you as friendly" - or so i have found - thats the basis of good driving - communications and courtesy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:23 
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botach wrote:
DIY - Headlights highlight a bike - then by watching it you can decide what the rider is doing - if behind you - try moving over slightly -- bikers take tis as an invitatin to pass - you can always use hand sigs to reinforce this - most bikers will try and let you know their intention "if they see you as friendly" - or so i have found - thats the basis of good driving - communications and courtesy.


"Headlights highlight a bike"

I'm afraid there is no evidence (in any current research) that riding with your headlights on increases your conspicuity at all in normal daylight - we are encouraged to ride with our lights on - because it is "believed" that it improves our visibility and there are minimal drawbacks from doing so. FWIW I do ride with my lights on unless there is a reason not to.

Conspicuity has very little to do with the physics of illumination and much more with triggering the parts of the brain that will draw attention to you (e.g. lateral movement)

"bikers take tis as an invitatin to pass"

The thinking rider makes his own mind up as to if it is safe or not. I often get drivers move over in solid white lines or totally inappropriate places. I'll more likely drop back as a result of this than assume its safe pass. When I do eventually go, I'll thank them anyway.

"if they see you as friendly"

Again there is a need to be cautious. A car could move over for all sorts of reasons (pot hole, dead animal, traffic cone, getting ready to swing a U-turn or turn right etc.) and be totally unaware of a following motorcycle. What you see as an offer may be nothing of the sort


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:50 
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diy wrote:
...A car could move over for all sorts of reasons
And usually does, without indicating...

diy wrote:
[...] and be totally unaware of a following motorcycle.
Unaware of most things!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:58 
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I'll tell you one place where the lack of a headlight switch is potentially dangerous. When giving way on unlit narrow single track roads at night, it's very difficult for the oncoming moving vehicle to see what he's trying to avoid if you leave the headlight on.

Well behaved and skilled drivers and riders turn the headlight(s) off after stopping to give vision to the moving oncomer. About 2/3rds of cars around here have learned the trick.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 13:02 
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diy wrote:
The thinking rider makes his own mind up as to if it is safe or not. I often get drivers move over in solid white lines or totally inappropriate places. I'll more likely drop back as a result of this than assume its safe pass. When I do eventually go, I'll thank them anyway.


The thinking rider is also capable of making up his or her own mind as to when to have lights on :x

FWIW I never ride with lights on in the daytime. They don't see because they don't LOOK. All the high-viz, 55W lighting and brightly coloured bikes in the world aren't going to change that.

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