6 vs. 12 volt

Electrical issues
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
WirePan
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:35 pm

6 vs. 12 volt

#1

Post by WirePan » Wed Oct 01, 2003 7:37 pm

Description: I am wondering if it's worth messing with

I've read alot of opinions about changing out the original 6 volt pan system for 12 volt. Most seem to do for the extra light the 12 volt headlight puts out. I don't ride mine much at night so I'm wondering if it's worth messing with. If I did I would keep the ability to put it back to 6 volt.

Whatayathink?



panhandler
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:30 pm
Bikes: 1963 FL mod
Location: Alberta and Mexico

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#2

Post by panhandler » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:13 pm

Howdy, Wirepan and welcome to the group. Various reasons exist for the changeover. Some convert when they do a rebuild if the old wiring, battery or gen is hatched. The 6 volt batteries are getting more expensive and sometimes harder to find depending on where you live. A lot has to be changed over if you go up to the 12 volt so it would be a matter of personal preference. Personally, I would stay with the 6 volt as long as it's working ok and your happy with it. When time comes for an upgrade, then maybe you'd wanna think about the 12. if it ain't broke, don't fix it.... best regards, Panhandler

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#3

Post by Cotten » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:15 am

Consider also that there are two kinds of 6v systems:

There are the old three-brush/relay systems that were designed for slow road conditions, to which few riders restrict themselves. Unless you are doing a serious restoration, they are impractical, as your battery will discharge at highway speeds.
Two brush/regulated systems however, can do quite well, and can push an appropriate halogen headlamp bulb. Even with a sealed beam lamp, they are every bit as bright as a 12v generator system.
The only real advantages that a 12v generator system has is the immediate availability of bulbs, and cheaper batteries.

hd74
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:45 pm

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#4

Post by hd74 » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:50 am

Wirepan:
I agree with Cotten on the 6 volt HD battery. Many years ago I bought an S.I.E. kit to change the 6 volt Harley generator to a VW generator and Bosch regulator. It served me well, but you have a strong generator and a weak storage capacity, so the long trips usually did the battery in. I recently switched to the 12 volt system, but the battery is quite a laugh. It looks like 3 packs of smokes glued together. That should be interesting. The 6 volt batteries are getting harder to find, but I see the suppliers are still putting pressure on manufacturers to produce them.

hd74

panhandler
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:30 pm
Bikes: 1963 FL mod
Location: Alberta and Mexico

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#5

Post by panhandler » Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:59 pm

I have tried various types of 12 volt batteries over the years. The cheap wet cell with the overflow lasts about one season with the rigid frame. I went to a sealed panasonic originally designed for construction warning lites and found it to be great except when running in city traffic for any length of time with the lites on, but it has been sitting on my bench for three years now and still puts out over 12 volts. I use it as a backup on trips. The last two years I have gone to a maintenance free so no drain tube. They can last up to three seasons if you maintain them over the winter (even on my rigid) and the cost is not prohibitive ($60 canadian). They seem to be the best I have come across.

kell
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#6

Post by kell » Thu Oct 02, 2003 3:24 pm

http://www.allelectronics.com has a 6 volt 4 AH gel for $7.50

dereborn
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:11 pm
Bikes: .
Location: Halsingland, Sweden
Contact:

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#7

Post by dereborn » Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:19 pm

I decided to stick to 6V, took out all of the old wiring, replaced and have been running with the headlight on all summer long. BRIGHT too!
About the batteries; the battery from allelectronics.com is 4 AH, and the "stock" one I've got is 22 A (H?) Difference? Theoretical and/or practical...
You'll have to excuse me if this is one of them dumb*ss questions, but hey, we learn by asking, right?

dirtydistrict
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:00 am
Bikes: 2010 road king at the moment. Won't last long
Location: CORNAS FRANCE

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#8

Post by dirtydistrict » Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:28 am

Hi Dereborn, there's never silly questions. That just mean you could use a electric start with a 22 amp, your battery can "provide" such intensity (but your charging system won't probably give back such intensity unless you have a shovel type alternator) . If you run a battery coil system 5 amp is correct, you don't really need more, bring with you a small gauge of electric wire in your tools pouch and you woul be able to pick up electricity ( if break down) from another bike, car, truck, anything you want because they give you more than you need for your ignition. This is the reason why so much shovel users have supressed their electric starter, they don't have to bring heavy batteries, heavy electric start and heavy gauge of electric wire to connect the all stuff, a kick start is well enough. I hope I was clear, my english collapse with my thought sometimes.

dereborn
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:11 pm
Bikes: .
Location: Halsingland, Sweden
Contact:

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#9

Post by dereborn » Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:42 am

OK, thanx dirt. I myself provided starting power to a fellow panman a couple of weeks ago. How about picking up starting power from a 12V vehicle? Will things start smoking on the pan if I try that?
Electrics sure ain't my cup of coffee...
I also read here on the forum about the 9V battery trick! I tried it - and it really works!

dirtydistrict
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:00 am
Bikes: 2010 road king at the moment. Won't last long
Location: CORNAS FRANCE

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#10

Post by dirtydistrict » Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:30 pm

Hi Dereborn, you can pick up 12v anywhere you want (vehicle, motorcycle etc), just check you have the minimum intensity required to feed your coil (3 amp I think); but DON'T pickup power on anything over 12v as you will have damage.
Tension and intensity are different things.

WirePan
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:35 pm

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#11

Post by WirePan » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:34 pm

Thanks a bunch!
What a great resource you all are!
I hope to return the favors in the future!

I'm stickin with 6 volt and I know the hardest part is maintaining a charge on any battery so I've got a "Battery Tender" type charger for it.

kell
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#12

Post by kell » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:02 pm

The rating AH stands for "amp hours." A battery rated 4 amp hours would put out 4 amps for an hour, or an amp for four hours, or 2 amps for two hours. In other words the rating number is a product of the current drawn from the battery and the time it takes for the battery to run down. Of course you don't want to run a lead acid battery down all the way, or to anything less than about 11 volts for that matter, because it lessens their life considerably. In the case of a kick bike like a pan large battery is better not because you need big amps for cranking a starter but because if you cruise slowly around town with the lights on the bike will run the battery down (if it's a small one), since the gen is not charging at low revs and the lights draw enough current to draw down the battery.

53rigidrider
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:02 am
Location: Puget Sound

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#13

Post by 53rigidrider » Sat Oct 04, 2003 12:00 am

I'm running a 6-volt system and won't change until the last battery company quits making them.

Here's a good supplier: http://www.j-pcycles.com/

Ride With Pride.

dereborn
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:11 pm
Bikes: .
Location: Halsingland, Sweden
Contact:

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#14

Post by dereborn » Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:33 am

Ah, I recognize th AH explanation! Makes sense. Hey Dirt - about picking up juice from a car or another bike, are you sure that I - with my 6V system - can pick up power from a 12V system? Sounds scary to me... ???

dirtydistrict
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:00 am
Bikes: 2010 road king at the moment. Won't last long
Location: CORNAS FRANCE

Re: 6 vs. 12 volt

#15

Post by dirtydistrict » Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:03 am

Hi Dereborn, i didn't realized you were in 6v; of course if you run 6v DON'T pick up 12v. Cheers

Post Reply

Return to “Electrical”