This new meter has been specially designed for classic bikes to provide instant visual feedback to the rider about the state of charge of the battery and how well the charging system is performing. It is primarily intended for fitment to older bikes with the Lucas dynamo charging system, but will perform equally well with other makes of electrical systems, alternator bikes, classic cars or even modern machines.
The meter features two arrays of multicolour LEDs which provide an instant visual indication of both the battery voltage and charging (or discharging) current. The LEDs are colour-coded to give instant recognition of ideal (green), acceptable (yellow) or possibly problematic (red) conditions. The rider can therefore see at a glance, even whilst on the move, how well the electrical system is performing and what state of charge the battery is at. This provides confidence to proceed with full headlights at night and the ability to rectify any issues that may arise before being left stranded at the side of the road with a flat battery.
It is designed to work with both 6 and 12 volt electrical systems and automatically calibrates itself to the required voltage and current ranges based upon the measured battery voltage. The colour-coding of the LED indicators and auto-ranging of the display mean that it is not necessary for the rider to remember what voltage or current readings the electrical system should be showing. Instead you know that if it green all is good, orange is ok, but if it shows red then there might be an issue which should probably be investigated.
Low power consumption has been a priority in the circuitry design ensuring that no additional load is placed upon the bikes electrical circuit. In use the meter draws a minimal (TBC)mA of current which is a fraction of even one of your existing pilot or LED lights. When the bike is stopped and all electrical systems are turned off, the meter settles in to a “sleep” mode with a minuscule current draw of only (TBC) µA (that’s 0.000000? Amps). In theory it could therefore be left connected to a standard 8Ah battery for well over a year before it ran out, although in practice the self-discharge of the battery will be much greater than the load of the meter. In this sleep mode, the voltage LEDs blink once every 8 seconds allowing you to easily monitor battery condition even whilst the bike is not being used.
The meter is microchip based and runs custom written firmware (the internal program) allowing precision control of the various functions and the ability to easily monitor the non-linear characteristics of a motorcycles lead acid battery. Battery voltage is measured directly by an inbuilt 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter providing high-precision. Current is sensed using a Hall probe which precisely senses the magnetic field generated by the current flowing through the main wires. It therefore does not introduce any additional resistance or voltage losses into the system and is infinitely more accurate than the standard Lucas analogue meter fitted to many classic bikes.
Full fitting instructions are available to view online in the Bike Meter Installation Guide. Installation is simple and involves connecting only four wires to the bike’s electrical system. The two finer wires are the power supply to be connected to the battery terminals. The two thicker cables are for the current sensing and are fitted in-line with the connection between battery and ammeter. There are no switches to connect (the meter enters sleep mode automatically when the bike is being used) and no additional configuration is necessary.
The meter is intended to be fitted to the handlebars for easy viewing whilst on the move with the wires connected at the main switch and ammeter contacts inside the headlamp unit. However it could equally well be installed back near the battery or voltage regulator if a more hidden and discreet installation is preferred.