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Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

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51Hog
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Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#1

Post by 51Hog » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:29 am

12v Pros-----
Availability of Bulbs.
LED's are more readily available.
Batteries easy to get and cost less.
Accessories like alarms, GPS, Bike to bike intercoms are 12v.
Can run a little more light than with the 32e.

12v Cons-----
Not stock but can be made to look like stock.
I cannot think of any cons.

6v Pros----
Correct for the application.

6v cons-----
Accessories non existent or very hard to find.

Help me out here..............



Cotten
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#2

Post by Cotten » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:07 pm

51Hog!

Lumping 6v two-brush regulated systems with the self-defeating 32evil three-brush systems isn't fair.
DuoGlides can push a 6v halogen headlamp as brightly as 12v systems.

Twelve-volt systems offer convenience, little more.

(For most of us, that just means riding at highway speeds without discharging. But if you want to bring along your home entertainment center, that's okay, too.)

...Cotten

steve_wood
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#3

Post by steve_wood » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:09 pm

51Hog:

I have a 12V 65A generator on my 56 FLH. I got an electronic regulator that hides inside the relay case. You can barely tell that it isn't stock - only a close inspection of the generator reveals the truth.

steve

Ohio-Rider
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#4

Post by Ohio-Rider » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:00 pm

Do you get a hotter spark from a 12v as versus a 6v coil?

PanPal
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#5

Post by PanPal » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:06 pm

I got an electronic regulator that hides inside the relay case.
Do you have a picture?

51Hog
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#6

Post by 51Hog » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:22 pm

Cotten.
You are correct. Lumping them together is not fair and while I agree that a 2 brush can run bright lights, I still cannot find one to run my "entertainment center". ie bike to bike communications, charge my cell phone, run a gps, And first and foremost, run a 2 way alarm.

Steve.
What regulator are you running, and where did you find it? I would like to do the same.

Ohio.
The spark is the same IMHO, and I do not believe that the 12v will make it run any better at all.
Dale

Hauula Pan
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#7

Post by Hauula Pan » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:44 pm

I'm one of the few (probably the only one actually) in my area still running 6V. My reasons, 1. $$$$$ I just don't want to spend all that money to change over. 2. Simplicity - Not much there to go wrong and easy to troubleshoot. 3. Traditionalist, Stock is stock. 4. I've never had any trouble with it. I've had this bike for a little over 29 years, still running the same old 3 brush gen. Only time I had a problem was when using an after market Taiwan relay. (They all stick, every one of them) (and some were even wound backwards.) Will drain your battery in a heartbeat. I installed a cut off switch that solved the problem until I found out what was causing it, then paid the extra $$$ for a good original Delco and no more problem. People tell me their main reasons for changing to 12V are 1. Brighter lights (mine are just fine) 2. Cheaper easier to get batteries (How many do you need to buy to equal the cost of the gen. reg. etc.) seems to me that's just not a valid reason there. and 3. Compatibility with modern accessories (OK I'll give em that one to a point) If you want to hang an alarm, comm. set, flashing lights, bells, whistles, solid state electronics, your laptop etc. yeah you'll need 12V. OK I guess you get my point. I just don't buy that 12V are better than 6. But that's just me so take it for what its worth and make your own decision. Last piece of advise here - If you already have 12 and aren't doing a Restoration keep the 12V, if you have a 6V no real reason to change unless you want to. If wired and maintained right either one will work just fine and last a long time.

51Hog
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#8

Post by 51Hog » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:13 pm

Hauula Pan wrote:1. $$$$$ I just don't want to spend all that money to change over.
If you have to set up a new charging system, it actually costs less to go 12v.
I have a 32e that needs an armature and fields. May as well just do a complete rebuild while I am at it. 200.00 + shipping on the parts. Not to mention labor if you cannot do the work yourself.
Granted, you need bulbs, a coil and a regulator. $100.00
Cycle electric generator 217.00 + freight
Total system $350.00+- Landed

2. Simplicity - Not much there to go wrong and easy to troubleshoot.
Exactly the same with a 12v system
3. Traditionalist, Stock is stock.
I agree 100%. Stock is stock. Not many totally stock bikes out there tho...
Most just look stock from about 5 ft away. You were not stock with your aftermarket Taiwan regulator.

4. I've never had any trouble with it. I've had this bike for a little over 29 years, still running the same old 3 brush gen. Only time I had a problem was when using an after market Taiwan relay. (They all stick, every one of them) (and some were even wound backwards.) Will drain your battery in a heartbeat. I installed a cut off switch that solved the problem until I found out what was causing it, then paid the extra $$$ for a good original Delco and no more problem.

People tell me their main reasons for changing to 12V are 1. Brighter lights (mine are just fine)

If you are running around the city.
2. Cheaper easier to get batteries (How many do you need to buy to equal the cost of the gen. reg. etc.) seems to me that's just not a valid reason there.

Been through three batteries in three years---close to 100.00 apiece.
and 3. Compatibility with modern accessories (OK I'll give em that one to a point) If you want to hang an alarm, comm. set, flashing lights, bells, whistles, solid state electronics, your laptop etc. yeah you'll need 12V. OK I guess you get my point.

I just don't buy that 12V are better than 6. But that's just me so take it for what its worth and make your own decision.
Last piece of advise here - If you already have 12 and aren't doing a Restoration keep the 12V, if you have a 6V no real reason to change unless you want to. If wired and maintained right either one will work just fine and last a long time.


es225
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#9

Post by es225 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:44 pm

One shouldn't forget ROBUSTNESS. 6 V bulbs have short filaments of heavy gauge wire, 12 V bulbs long filaments of light gauge wire. I went back to 6 V after breaking one tail lamp filament after the other. The 22 Ah 6 V battery is of a much heavier construction than any 12 V battery that will fit in our horse shoe oil tanks. All these 12 V 5.5 Ah batteries had their lead-filled grids shoken apart within one year, the good old 6 V 22 Ah lasted for well over five years. Keep your connections clean to prevent unwanted voltage drops (a 1 V drop in a 6 V system is a 16 % loss and corresponds to a 0.5 V drop in a 12 V system - which is only 4 % loss). Set your regulator at 7.0 V and your bulbs will last forever so the poor availablity of 6 V bulbs becomes a non-item. And so on and so on.
JW

108
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#10

Post by 108 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:28 pm

Hauulapan, I'm not in you area but your not the only one, I'm running the 32E 6V three-brush also with no intention to convert unless there is a major meltdown . I ride it about 2k a summe. It has the same HD relay it's had since the "50's. I increased the wire guage to the headlamp years ago to maximize the voltage. My last battery lasted 4 seasons(Its important to keep it fully charged durring the winter-the plates start to decompose if its low/dead) Technicaly it's true about high rpm discharging -but who ever rides one of these that long non-stop? My last headlamp came from NAPA listed, for a farm tractor--pulled it out of the box and it said "motor cycle" on the lens! My only "problem" is, with a 25T sprocket, it dosent want to charge below 35 mph in high gear. I'm thinking of getting a LED tail bulb to help it charge "positive" a little sooner.

51Hog
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#11

Post by 51Hog » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:14 am

Could be that they are just sending crap for batteries up here. I am not the only one that gets less than a 5000 mile season out of them. That falls more or less in line with you guys that do 2000 miles per season and whos batteries last 4 years?
And yes----My third brush is adjusted properly for the load I run.
And the original relay functions great.
I am not arguing that 6v is good or bad. Just that for my application, It is not convenient.
I am with Cotten-- The E in 32E stands for EVIL..... :evil: at least when a person is putting on a 1000 +- highway miles a month.
This season wil probably be more.

Unfortunately, it looks like I will not be able to do the Anchorage to Key West trip this year.
:cry:

ozwick86
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#12

Post by ozwick86 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:35 am

I converted to 12v because the 6V batteries I got (all) were crap and stranded me on the road twice. I even had problems with other 12V brands I tried. Now with the Yuasa YZT14S 12V, no worries. Yuasa's are made in Japan unlike most of the other crappy batteries you find. From my experience, I have found what works for me and I have piece of mind when I am way out in the country. Just my opinion.

Cotten
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#13

Post by Cotten » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:22 pm

108 wrote:Technicaly it's true about high rpm discharging -but who ever rides one of these that long non-stop?
Most riders do.
It doesn't take that long at modern highway speeds to discharge, especially in states that require your head and taillamps be lit constantly.

A note on the 12n-5.5a-3b batteries:
Heat kills them before vibration (if properly supported in the oiltank).
That's why I asked Cycle Electric to produce their low-voltage DC regulators.

But the small battery should still be replaced every spring.

Waiting for any battery to give out is playing russian roulette with your generator's armature.

....Cotten

108
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#14

Post by 108 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:08 pm

Cotton, After thinking about it a while, I never ride on the highway more than about 50 miles at a time before turning off to a slower road for whatever reason. Mabey thats why I've never had a run-down problem. We do have our lights on full time in Indiana, which is why my switch and armature terminals are jumped together and also why I mentioned getting a 32LED tail bulb to decrease the load a couple amps. At least once a week durring the summer I check the battery voltage after its sat overnight, not just to see if its maintaining charge but to catch early evidence it might be going bad.

Hauula Pan
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Re: Pros and cons of 12v vs 6v

#15

Post by Hauula Pan » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:17 pm

Well it appears we've really hit a nerve or two on the Pro's & Con's of 6 & 12 volt systems. My choice to stay with 6 is mostly just because it works OK for me, and as long as it keeps on working I have no reason to change. For others going with a 12 volt system makes more sense and works better for them. I believe that properly maintained either one will work fine and last a long time. I can certainly see where the charging on long highway runs issue would be a good reason to switch, as well as the conveinence of more compatibility and availability. I think it really boils down to your needs and riding style. Personally, and that's the key word here, I have never had a problem with my 6 volt system so I stay with it. To be honest its probably just because I'm familiar and comfortable with it and for my riding style it still works. It is good to point out, and by the way I do agree, that 6 volt systems do have their limitations. And if we're strictly listing pro's & con's they probably have more con's in the long run than 12's but I don't think its fair to condem them or make a blanket statement that they're no good. I think its good that this little debate let people know about exactly what its title said. There are pro's & con's. Here they are, check em out & make your individual choice. A job well done I'd say. Let's just keep the old iron running, any way we can, because there ain't nothin else like it!

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