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Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Senator17, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. It might be my pedantic quest for symetry, but I'd like to modify my headlight on my 2012 Kawasaki Z1000 so that both headlights light up when I start the motor, not just the left one. I see alot of bikes where the bulbs in both sides are twin fillament, that is low beam and high beam, and both low beam light up when the engine is started.
    I was wondering if anyone has made the modification or thought about making the modification, how would you do it? Also would there be any issue with the charging system on the bike having to supply more energy for running the extra light? I've also added a twin USB socket to run a GPS unit. I don't know what the capacity of the original charging system is on the bike and if it will cope with the extra current draw for running more electorincs that the bike already came with. Do the manufacturers allow for riders adding extra electronics? I don't want to overload the system and create problems.
    I'm also thinking of adding some LED running lights below the head lights.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hmm, different manufacturers do different things, obviously: on my '95 VFR both headlights have low and high beam filaments, and both are on low beam all the time the ignition is on..... I'd check with your mechanic, or an auto electrician, I can't see why it couldn't be done on your bike.
  3. Don't know about the Z1000, but there would have to be someone(s) on Netrider who knows about their alternator capacity & light sockets. Pull off the panels or whatever as if you were chnging the globes & have a look at what type is in each side.

    I just went through this with my little 150cc Yamaha. Twin headlights, but from Factory has only one low beam & both on high beam. Turns out both globes are H4 dual filament, with one not having a connector for the low beam. You may find the Zed is the same. Auto stores sell sockets for halogen globes for around $10 with all the terminals fitted with a short length of wire each.

    What you need is a digital voltmeter. The output of alternators varies with revs and at idle is where they show up being overloaded easily. You need a digital voltmeter. To check the voltage – 12V systems actually run at around 13.8V which is the level needed to fully recharge a lead acid battery. My bike at idle was dropping to 11.2V – too long at that (hours?) will flatten the battery. When the voltage is at that level it also means the power is being provided by the battery as well – not a long-term mode. Give it some revs – to about cruising range and you should get back up to 13.8V, if it doesn’t then the alternator doesn’t have enough output and you will probably end up killing your battery well before it’s time.

    So do manufacturers allow for riders adding extra electronics? Sometimes yes & sometimes no. For the Yamaha R15 – no, it only just has enough to run with both high beams on, but it’s a cheap mass market bike that retails for $3,500. I would imagine that a head-line bike like a Z1000 would not be under specified.

    I added 2 LED spotlights for increased load of 7W rather than the second halogen at 35W. Works OK.

    USB chargers such as those little Cigarette lighter socket types use switch-mode regulators which are high efficiency so will only add about 10W for the high-rate 2.1A types. That’s on my list.
  4. Wow Al, very knowledgable, thank you for the info.
  5. Or verbose. First step to see if you have an easy job, check the back of the headlights. I had 2 similar plugs, but one was only wired with 2 terminals. This is a H4 hi & lo type plug which is a common globe type, the top one was unused in my case so all I needed to do was run another wire from the other light. Doesn't mean the Z1000 is the same at all. H4 socket.

    Don’t try adding a switch-mode regulator with charge-pump biased high-side n-ch mosfet switching, low voltage drop-out & slow ramp soft start unless you have a very wide hysteresis band or you’ll end up with headlights that blink every 2 seconds like I did.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. All good info above I would only add in some bike designed with asymmetric headlights the reflector lens may be different shapes to change the light pattern spread. See if you can see that the reflectors are the same before doing any mods.

    A quick Google says the 2011 Z1000 has an average electrical load of 200 watts and a peak alternator generation capacity of 336 watts at 5000rpm.
  7. Thanks again, but can you explain that one in English?
  8. Thanks, does that mean I have the capacity to make the mods I was thinking of doing?
  9. In english: It's too long since I've done any circuit design.

    Yes you have enough capacity.
  10. I suspect you would have the capacity to do it but if you have separate lights for high and low beam I suspect the reflectors would be set up that way too and simply putting a dual filament globe in wouldn't work.

    You will probably need to replace the headlights with a pair that work that way and that is goin gto alter the look of the bike. Maybe better but possibly worse.

    On the upside that would make rewiring pretty easy.
  11. #11 Al_Cam, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    Good point BM. Low beam on right hand side should have low cut-off so as not to dazzle oncoming vehicles, left hand rises up for side of road.
    headlight pattern.
    Bike made for any market may have symmetrical reflectors that would have high cut-off on both sides and fitted with 2 dual filament globes just not wire up the low beam globe on the oncoming vehicle side. I assumed the RHS low beam on my bike was not wired up cause the alternator is under rated -wich it is.

    Just googled 2012 z1000 headlights and it lists two H7 55W globes. H7 is a single filament bulb, so presumably it's one low beam and one high beam reflector. So Senetor17 I think if you do wire up your second globe you'll find it's high beam only. Start your bike and have someone else switch from low beam to high beam while you watch the low beam side, I'm guessing it won't change between the 2 modes.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Thanks guys, great advice as usual, I'll take a look at it this weekend.