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LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

This area is for sharing Maintenance Procedures & Information related to the Yamaha Virago Electrical System.
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ViragoJoe
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LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:17 am

Like most, I too, love the Brightness of LED's. But, at what cost?! Not talking about the cost of the bulbs themselves. The cost of replacing Regulator/Rectifiers and the work associated to replace them.

I was under the impression (like other folks) that I was doing my electrical system a favor by lowering the power consumption of my Virago's electrical system. After doing several deep dives into the Internet. I have been doing a disservice to my electrical system and wondering why, I've replaced a couple Regulator/Rectifiers along the way. A real PITA!

Here is what I have found:

"It's normal for an OEM shunt-type regulator/rectifier (RR) to get quite hotespecially when the load being drawn by the electrical system is "low". The RR is simply converting excess stator output wattage (that isn't needed to run the bike and charge the battery) to heat. That's why there are cooling fins on most RR's."

Depending on the location of the regulator rectifier, the part can easily overheat. ... Ground connections are important for good voltage, and if there is faulty voltage, the regulator rectifier can run hot. Bad grounding, corroded battery connection and poor or loose battery connections will cause faulty voltage. To help assist in eliminating faulty voltage. Run a ground wire from one of your Reg/Rec mounting screws directly to the Negative Battery Terminal.

With the use of LED lighting it provides more unused energy created by the Stator that must now be gotten rid of. As the Regulator side of the Regulator/Rectifier Shunts the excess wattage energy to ground causes the Reg/Rec Thermal Temperature to rise. Reaching temps to 200° ~ 250°F that can really burn you. The internal components fry.

The halogen headlight burns off some of the current and it won't need to be sent to the Reg/Rec to get rid of it. So, the Reg/Rec doesn't have to work as hard for the Headlight and other incandescent bulb are burning off that extra energy produced by the Stator. At lower RPM 's the Stator isn't producing the full 40 volts. So, lets say we turn off the Headlight and remove other light bulbs. When we get to 3,000 - 4,000 RPM's the Stator is at full capacity and driving 40 volts to the Reg/Rec. The Reg/Rec doesn't have the assistance from the Headlight and the other bulbs to help burn off the current. So, it has to now dump almost all the Stators Voltage to ground causing the heat factor to increase at the Reg/Rec to the point of thermal failure of the Reg/Rec components. What's worse, It seems all motorcycle manufacturers place them always near a heat source. Our exhaust systems are right there near the R/R. The exhaust plenum mixing chamber is right there near the left passenger foot peg. Plus the larger Virago Reg/Rec's don't have cooling fins. In addition, located in a place with minimal air flow to help cool them, sitting behind the left passenger foot peg bracket. I believe the Yamaha Electrical Engineers felt that the foot peg bracket would be sufficient to absorb the heat transfer. Bad idea.

That's why in 1997 they developed this superseded Reg/Rec at the tune of $334.95 with a newly added Ground Wire:
Click Images to Enlarge
rectifierregulator-assy_big3LP8196001-01_a677.jpg
rectifierregulator-assy_big3LP8196001-02_4943.jpg
Air flow is still an issue in that area.

So, think twice about going with a lot of LED bulbs! I've gone back to incandescent bulbs, I'm sorry to say!
Really miss that Bright Headlight on those lonely dark roads with deer about.
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1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by jsyzdek » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:59 pm

Really good info Joe. I haven't had any issues with LEDs, but there's a catch: I replaced a 55W Halogen H4 with a 25W LED bulb. Lots of H4 LEDs are advertised at some crazy wattages, but 25-26W is all that can be packed on a chip that is the same size as the tungsten filament, allowing for decent focusing of that light. Each time I buy a bulb, I test it with a variable power supply to see what the true wattage is, and how stable it is between 11 and 15V. That's one.

Second thing is that I swapped the halogen for an LED not to help the bike, but to create some headroom for adding extra devices, like a phone charger (takes about 12W peak), another LED light (45W, really bright), heated grips (14W) and possibly something more in the future. So I'm drawing about the same number of amps with all that junk connected, as compared to running all regular bulbs. Maybe that's why I never see an issue.

On my SV650 normally only one H4 bulb is on when you run low beam, the second one only kicks in when you turn on the high beam. I bypassed that to have both bulbs going in both scenarios. 2x25W is about the same as a single 55W, so again, no problem. I also have extra light bars, I think 9W each, so 18W total, and I also run heated grips on it, because I do a lot of riding at night, and it does get a bit cold after sunset here. So I guess the answer here is: it depends.

From your comment in the other thread I thought that there is something to the actual power draw profile (e.g. pulse vs. continuous) that makes the LEDs dangerous to the regulator. Glad to see that it is not the case.

If you ever want to go back to LEDs, I found some in the past that really work well, and aren't all that crazy expensive.
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by ViragoJoe » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:14 am

Sure I would appreciate any information you can supply. I miss the brightness of the LED's. Where I live there are wooded areas and a lot of trees along the road sides also. Those little 4 legged critters (Deer) use them for security to hide in. Sometimes out of no where they will pop out. They usually travel in a small group. If you see one, there are usually 2 or 3 more. Although the speed limit is 40 and more depending on the road. Yours truly travels at 25 MPH when wooded on both sides of the roads with car and bike. Most folks just blast right through these areas with not a care in the world. They usually get impatient and want to pass. I just turn on my warning flashers and let them pass. I have a wooded area behind my house. Some mornings I'll have a herd playing in my back yard. Once I had 3 does with 5 fawns. One morning heading to work there was this big buck with a huge rack standing between my house and the neighbors. Deer hunters would go crazy go nuts to see one of these guys. He just watched me pull out of the driveway and casually walked back to the woods.
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1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by jsyzdek » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:01 pm

Yup, I know about those 4-legged guys. The main reason I have all that extra lighting.

Here's what I run on my SV650:
https://www.amazon.com/Headlight-Motorc ... 07X9XSD71/
It actually draws 26W per bulb and is bright. It won't fit in the Virago unless you remove a little material either from the bulb itself, or from the reflector. I decided to move the older bulb from the Suzuki to the Yamaha and just get this new one for the Suzuki, which has plenty of space inside, and behind the reflector.

The bulb that fits, is no more offered on Amazon, but it's the type that has LEDs facing up, with a fan right below. I also have another bulb that was that style, but had a fan in the front. That one wouldn't fit in the Virago. I got this one for my dad:
https://www.amazon.com/AUXITO-Motorcycl ... 07T4H4FR3/
It draws around 14W, so it's about half-as-bright, but it fits directly.

For the light bar I got:
www # amazon # com/ Nilight-Lights-Driving-Lighting-Warranty/dp/B00WE47FVM/
It's the 20" wide, 126W rated one. Don't be fouled by the power rating though. It really takes 45+/-1 Watt anywhere between 11.8 and 14.5V. So no worries about overloading the circuit. Generally: NEVER believe the power rating of any LED bulb. Just gotta put it on an adjustable power supply and measure it yourself.
I pointed it a bit down and so far I had no one flash or complain about being blinded.

For brake/rear lights I got:
www # amazon # com/ iBrightstar-Newest-Extremely-replacement-Brilliant/dp/B074GPX2Q8/
I don't have the power draw numbers with me, but it's really, really low, while being a little brighter than the stock 27/8W bulb. Partially because it only produces red light, instead of white, so when it goes through the red cover, nothing gets filtered out (which is not the case with white light, where you lose about 90% of the photon flux because red light only constitutes a small part of the spectrum). When you engage the brakes it produces 3 flashes and then a continuous red light. REALLY BRIGHT.

For the front position/turn signals I got:
www # amazon # com/ Safego-BAY15D-Reverse-Parking-Non-canbus/dp/B073S5ZJ4R/
The position light draw is lower than I can reliably measure with the power supply (same is true for the red ones above), and they take about 0.5W if I remember well, when the turn signal is on. Again, same is true for the brake lights.

I left the rear turn signals alone, even though I got the bulbs. Given the effective impedance of these bulbs is a lot higher than incandescent bulbs, the turn signals flash about 80% faster when you replace just the front, or just the back. But when you replace all 4 turn signals, it goes really crazy, making a weird sound and producing a constant light. So I left the rear turn signals alone. My goal was to limit the constant power draw, and the front turn signals are also position lights, and that's where I save 16W already.

For the dash backlight and the indicator lights I got these:
www # amazon # com/ YITAMOTOR-3-SMD-Instrument-Panel-Cluster/dp/B018LUL2WK/
They take less power than I can measure and they are a little brighter than the stock 5 or 3W bulbs. Not bright enough to be annoying, but a bit brighter. And that again saves another 10-20W given that there are 4 backlight bulbs.


I had nothing but good experience with LEDs. Except for one set of H11 bulbs for my wife's car that burnt quickly and one H4 that burnt, everything else has been really, really good.

PS: I obstructed some of the URLs because there is a limit of 5 per post...
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by ViragoJoe » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:20 am

This is the bulb that I was using. It fits perfectly in the headlight bucket with all the wiring, however, it is a very tight fit in there.

LED HEADLIGHT BULB DIY INSTALLATION:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=828

Yes, unfortunately, posts only allow 4 pictures and 4 links each maximum per posting.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by jsyzdek » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:40 pm

The ones I use on the bikes have the same plug as the stock bulb so the fit on the back end is perfect. Everything controller/cooling-wise is then located up front. I never had to file anything away, but even if I did, that would mean a little notch in the radiator fins or something like that, that wouldn't really affect the performance. Again: didn't have to do any of that with any of the bulbs I got.

I really like the bulbs that have LEDs only facing up and have some sort of a "screen" up front. That means that none of the light goes up into the faces of oncoming drivers, but rather gets directed onto the pavement via the top part of the reflector. Bulbs configured that way can have radiators (and sometimes even a fan) right below the diodes making them quite compact and efficient. The most powerful ones are usually configured that way.
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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by rchawaii » Mon May 18, 2020 4:42 pm

Older topic, but I would like to add some sort of running lights off of a switch. Underbody glow or similar. Has anyone seen or done that? I need all the lighting I can get sometimes.
My bike is a 1983 Yamaha XV Virago 500

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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue May 19, 2020 4:49 am

rchawaii wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 4:42 pm
Older topic, but I would like to add some sort of running lights off of a switch. Underbody glow or similar. Has anyone seen or done that? I need all the lighting I can get sometimes.
Charles,

Yes, what you are asking is doable.
Are you possibly referring to under body glow as to say engine accent lighting where the engine area is illuminated? Pictures below do not reflect how nice the accent lighting really looks. My accent lighting is in blue. It also depends on how and where you install the lights to get the best illumination affect.

Examples:
Click Images to Enlarge:
26948547.REDLEDACCENTLIGHTING.jpg
26948514.LEFTLEDLIGHTS.jpg
26948588.RIGHTLEDLIGHTS.jpg
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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by rchawaii » Tue May 19, 2020 10:54 am

Joe! You're the man. Ive never installed these. How difficult is the installation and do I need to run it through my main fuse block? I have a dedicated free space on it, just for that purpose (upgrades).
My bike is a 1983 Yamaha XV Virago 500

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Re: LED's - Headlight & Other Bulbs / Regulator-Rectifier affects [INFO]

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue May 19, 2020 11:15 am

rchawaii wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 10:54 am
Joe! You're the man. Ive never installed these. How difficult is the installation and do I need to run it through my main fuse block? I have a dedicated free space on it, just for that purpose (upgrades).
Charles,

You can lunch off the Run Side of one of your Turn Signals in the Head Light Bucket. It is already fused to the fuse block via the T/signal connection. The lights mounting can be done by two sided tape or Velcro so you can adjust them to your liking.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

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