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Installing twin air horns on motorcycle HELP!!!! Answered

Hi 
I own a Kawasaki ER5 and I am finding it difficult to have both horns working.
I have used the original horn wiring 2 wires to a connector block with 4 wires coming out to each horn. Is this wrong? if so please give me some instructions (that I would understand) how to install correctly please 
Thank you
Darren

20 Replies

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joy555 (author)2014-03-24

O that's good. Looks really nice. I also recently purchase a set of truck horns from http://www.pbmissions.com/

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crazypj (author)2013-12-08

This is a real old thread but it would have been much better to fit a relay from battery to horn + side then use horn button to control relay. Using horn button directly can burn it as it was not designed to carry high amps

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hopeadams20113 (author)2013-11-25

I was having same issue with my train horns..your discussion proved problem-solving for me.thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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Goodhart (author)2011-10-09

Ok, are they "air horns"? If so, do you have a compressor for them? If they aren't air horns, then how are you wiring them, in parallel or in series? If in series you may have a bit of an overload problem.
If in parallel, then one of them is wired incorrectly. The button or switch must make connection to the power to the relay that then connects to the horns (hot wire) while the ground side can go directly to a chassis ground (IF your bike is negatively grounded....most are).

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dazzer730 (author)Goodhart2011-10-10

They are air horns but run off electric (no compressor). The bike had 1 horn origionaly with 2 wires going to that horn. i took those 2 wires and put them in a conecter block with 4 wires coming out so both air horn has 2 wires going to them

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Goodhart (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

A test that would tell you a LOT would be to have your motor cycle running, and the headlamps on: have the horns wired up and press the button. IF, as before, only one horn blows, AND the headlamps dim, you are drawing too much power for the wires and fuse involved.

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Kiteman (author)2011-10-09

Can you sketch a circuit diagram of what you've done?

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

Yes i will try and produce a simple sketch and i will upload it in the pictures.

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

I'd be looking for something like this:

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

Yes that is what i have got but I cant get them to work they sound like they want to.
As soon as you press the horn button the horns make a small noise (not horn noise) for about half a second then the fuse blows.

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

Do they work OK with just one horn?

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

Yes it does I have just done a voltage test with 1 horn it produces about 11.4 V with 2 horns it produces about 7-8 V. What do you recomend i should do as 1 horn would look silly.

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

If you measure the voltage across the points marked in green on the first sketch below, it should be roughly the same each time.

With two horns in parallel, though, it will draw more current (amps), which is what will blow the fuse.

Have you tried connecting the horns in series (second sketch)? The resistance of the horns should cut down the current, stopping the fuse blowing.

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

I tried the circut in seires in every way but it just wouldnt work. The parallel circut works on 1 or the other horn but not both together. Is there any small device like a capacitor that i could put in the circut to increase the voltage to the horns?

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

Adding a capacitor won't work.

Are the horns sensitive to polarity? That is, do they work connected one way round, but not the other?

If that's not it, then I'm thinking that either:

> The fuse that keeps blowing is smaller than it should be (check your bike's manual).

or

> Those horns were not designed for a bike, but for a car (I've never played with bike electrics, but I'm assuming the power demands are different).

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

it doesnt matter which way the wires are the horns work but why will adding a capacitor not work it seems logic to up the voltage. Is there any i can up the voltage?

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

The capacitor does not add charge to a circuit - it's used to smooth out signals, store charge (from the circuit) for a short while etc.

Never mind the voltage for now - what rating was the fuse that blew?

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dazzer730 (author)Kiteman2011-10-10

10Amps and that is what the manual specifies. But that was for only 1 horn. As I have fitted an extra horn should i fit a 20Amp fuse ?

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PKM (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

If you are blowing a 10A fuse then you are probably drawing over a hundred watts- that's more power than your headlight, not trivial even on a 500cc bike. Bear in mind that the original horn was probably much lower power so you might even need thicker wiring to handle the current two horns will draw.  This and a 20A fuse should sort out the problem, but make very sure that the old one was blowing because the horns were too much load, not because you had a short circuit anywhere.

The "unnecessarily complex but cool" solution is to involve some sort of astable circuit that will quickly switch between the two horns, so only one is ever powered up at once.  It'll make your bike sound like a fire engine :)

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Kiteman (author)dazzer7302011-10-10

Without knowing how thick they are, I'd be afraid of the wires burning out at that current - I had a wire burn through on my Mini a few weeks ago on a 15A circuit.

Maybe you could take this question to a Kawasaki (or general bike) forum? I'd rather you didn't risk damaging your bike on the word of somebody who had never done the job you're trying.

You could even ask Kawasaki themselves:

http://www.kawasaki.co.uk/

http://www.kawasaki.com/OwnerInfo/

http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/

http://kawasakiownersclub.com/index/

http://www.bikersoracle.com/er5/forum/

http://www.bikechatforums.com/index.php?sid=cc65edb1898fbb543b4d0b5d925656f8

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