Author Topic: Multimeter for a Motorcycle  (Read 6474 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« on: August 02, 2016, 02:26:44 am »
Hi,

I want to purchase a multimeter for basic motorcycle maintenance. I'm not particularly price sensitive, and don't care whether the meter is digital or analogue, although I've seen some suggestions that the latter have advantages.

Based on reading here and elsewhere, I'm considering Fluke (101, 17B+, 115), Brymen/Greenlee (BM257S/DM-810A) and Hioki 3030-10, but honestly I don't know what features I'll get real use from and at what point it's overkill.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there that is application specific.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 02:33:49 am by redg »
 

Offline Fungus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10821
  • Country: 00
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 02:42:45 am »
I want to purchase a multimeter ... I'm not particularly price sensitive

Simple: Fluke 87V

, and don't care whether the meter is digital or analogue, although I've seen some suggestions that the latter have advantages.

The old curmudgeons posting about how great the old analog days were aren't doing anybody any favors...

 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6544
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 03:26:45 am »
I'm cheap when it comes to meters for working on my bikes.  If it reads resistance, DC volts and continuity, I am pretty much set.  There have been times I wish I had a hand held scope meter and have had to drag out a scope.  I like having the temperature.  The 17B+ would be a very nice meter for it IMO. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 03:37:37 am »
If it reads resistance, DC volts and continuity, I am pretty much set.  There have been times I wish I had a hand held scope meter and have had to drag out a scope.  I like having the temperature.

Very helpful, as is your recommendation.
 

Offline Fungus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10821
  • Country: 00
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 03:40:38 am »
If it reads resistance, DC volts and continuity, I am pretty much set.  There have been times I wish I had a hand held scope meter and have had to drag out a scope.  I like having the temperature.

Very helpful, as is your recommendation.

I'd add a good min/max function to the list of features. You might want to look at the battery voltage drop during start, etc.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 04:08:09 am by Fungus »
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Online Lightages

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 4296
  • Country: ca
  • Canadian po
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 03:49:13 am »
You say "motorcycle maintenance", but for what age of motorcycles? No older than 1980? 2000? all motorcycles of any age? Old motorcycles use points for their ignition. An automotive type diagnosis multimeter would be a nice thing to have in this case to measure dwell. Tachometer functions would be nice too.

If these things are not important, then almost any have decently made meter is going to serve you well. Perhaps a small clamp meter like a Uni-T UT211B would be worth having to measure current draw on the battery and the current draw of certain parts.

Generally when working on bikes, you will have dirty greasy hands. It would be nice if any meter you use has a holster which you can remove and wash.

If you want to consider a Brymen, then look at the BM319. It is pretty much designed for this kind of work. Also get a Uni-T UT211B for the small clamp meter.
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 04:29:11 am »
You say "motorcycle maintenance", but for what age of motorcycles?

Sorry, I should have been more specific. It's a modern bike with modern electronics (2016 Moto Guzzi, EFI, ABS, inbuilt connections for GPS/USB, etc).

Looking at the automotive-oriented Brymen 319S now, and will also check out the Uni-T UT211B.

Just came across this thread, in which you also participated: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/which-dmm-should-i-get-anyone-has-brymen-bm319s/

Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 04:43:55 am by redg »
 

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6544
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 04:43:57 am »
You say "motorcycle maintenance", but for what age of motorcycles? No older than 1980? 2000? all motorcycles of any age? Old motorcycles use points for their ignition. An automotive type diagnosis multimeter would be a nice thing to have in this case to measure dwell. Tachometer functions would be nice too.

All of my bikes are 2005 and older.   I still set all of my motors up dry.   Anything to do with timing using a degree wheel, which includes the ignition and cams.   Points are not a problem with an ohm meter.  All my bikes except two are using hall sensors now which makes things simple.  I actually use a 9V battery back, LED/resistor to check timing rather than a meter. 

Some of my bikes don't have a tach.  If the motor stays running, I call it good.  :-DD   

It's a modern bike with modern electronics (2016 Moto Guzzi, EFI, ABS, inbuilt connections for GPS/USB, etc).

Nice!  :-+  How do you like the ABS?  Is it your first bike with this feature?

If it gets beyond some basic electrical stuff, the meter does not do me much good.  I pull out a computer and a scope.    Here's a couple of mine.   

https://youtu.be/h9pixcy3GOU?t=482
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 05:23:36 am by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 05:03:02 am »
How do you like the ABS?  Is it your first bike with this feature?

First bike with ABS and I like the peace of mind that comes with it.

Checked out your YouTube channel; looks like I'll be watching a number of your videos tomorrow :)
 

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 09:26:10 pm »
Thanks to everyone for your assistance.

I have ordered a Fluke 87-5 from my closest authorised dealer, TEquipment in New Jersey. Price was US$387 and comes with free shipping and a TEquipment case that is apparently of decent quality.

As financially attractive as some of the alternatives are, they raise, for me, too many grey market and warranty issues. I like the fact that Fluke is physically located in the U.S. and that the 87-5 has a lifetime warranty, and I am hoping that Fluke will be responsive if I run into a problem, or at least more responsive than would be someone in Poland or Hong Kong or mainland China. It's a pity that Lightages is not authorised to sell Brymen meters here, because if he was, and also had authority over warranty claims, a Brymen meter (although not the automotive one he mentioned) would have definitely been an alternative.

Perhaps oddly, Mr. Jones's YouTube teardown comparison of a 17B and an 87-5 actually had the effect of pushing me in the direction of the 87-5.

Finally, I'm involved in a group that is opening a business, and my partners are telling me that the meter may come in handy for uses additional to my bike.

In any event, thanks again.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 09:41:13 pm by redg »
 
The following users thanked this post: Fungus

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6544
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 01:08:57 am »
That 87V should last you.  I tend to stay in the sub $50 range for this sort of meter and toss it if it fails.  The two that have failed in the last 20 some years have been with the LCD.   Drops and temperature cycling in the trailer.   I think that FLUKE-125B/WWG would be slick but I am pretty hard on tools and afraid it would become a shelf queen.

Not that is matters but the 17B+ is a little different from the 17B.  No more pots and both large style fuses, etc.

Keep the rubber side down!
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 02:59:31 am »
That 87V should last you.

Yes, an important reason why I decided to purchase an 87-5.

Equally important - the manufacturer is located on my continent, with a clear place of business, and warrants the meter for life, and I can communicate with the manufacturer in a language that I speak.

As a Canadian, albeit one located at the moment in New York, I'm not talking about Buy America, a phrase that I associate with the Tea Party and Donald Trump. I'm talking about knowing, when one buys a product, who the manufacturer is, who the vendor is, who warrants the product and who is going to deliver if there is a repair or parts issue.

In the case of a Fluke 87-5, I know the answers to those questions. In the case of a lot of these other meters (leaving aside the Fluke 17B+, which clearly isn't warrantied outside China and perhaps India), I don't know the answers.

Earlier in this thread, you said that a Fluke 17B+ would be a good choice. I appreciate you saying that. For one thing, one can buy three of them for the cost of an 87-5. But in the end, trying to work my way through the morass of choices, and having finally had the good sense to raise the question on this site, where I got some great advice from you and others, I got onto TEquipment's web site and pressed "Submit" on an order for an 87-5.


« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 03:38:45 am by redg »
 

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3449
  • Country: ca
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 03:45:47 am »
Equally important - the manufacturer is located on my continent, with a clear place of business, and warrants the meter for life, and I can communicate with the manufacturer in a language that I speak.
Regarding the lifetime warranty, it is a minimum of 10 years.  Terms and conditions snapshot from user manual attached.

Quote
I'm talking about knowing, when one buys a product, who the manufacturer is, who the vendor is, who warrants the product and who is going to deliver if there is a repair or parts issue.
This recent thread about sending a meter back to Hong Kong highlights your very concern.  Start at "QualityGuy" post

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/usa-source-for-brymen-meters/25/

 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Offline BMack

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 219
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 04:01:44 am »
Great choice, I love my 87V! I really don't like using other meters at this point.

Don't forget to find yourself some good clips/leads. I like the Fluke stuff but Extech and others' industrial silicone sets are also quite nice. You'll want some sharp "piercing" probes for testing in some of the smaller connectors and definitely various types of clips. It makes it a lot easier to troubleshoot with a ground clipped on so you have your positive probe in one hand and a free hand. You might even want to consider the magnet so you don't have to worry about it falling off the bike if you want to set it down and can't reach the floor...though it's darn expensive for what it is
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3449
  • Country: ca
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 05:09:17 am »
Earlier in this thread, you said that a Fluke 17B+ would be a good choice. I appreciate you saying that. For one hing, one can buy three of them for the cost of an 87-5.
BTW, if you need a second or third meter, with patience you could get an used Fluke 87I, III and/or V in the $100 to $150 USD range.  Obviously, you won't qualify for the warranty, like the 17B+,  but at least you would have one brand new meter that you can always do comparison measurements to ensure the readings are close.
 
The following users thanked this post: redg

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6544
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2016, 10:45:18 am »
That 87V should last you.

Yes, an important reason why I decided to purchase an 87-5.

Equally important - the manufacturer is located on my continent, with a clear place of business, and warrants the meter for life, and I can communicate with the manufacturer in a language that I speak.

As a Canadian, albeit one located at the moment in New York, I'm not talking about Buy America, a phrase that I associate with the Tea Party and Donald Trump. I'm talking about knowing, when one buys a product, who the manufacturer is, who the vendor is, who warrants the product and who is going to deliver if there is a repair or parts issue.

In the case of a Fluke 87-5, I know the answers to those questions. In the case of a lot of these other meters (leaving aside the Fluke 17B+, which clearly isn't warrantied outside China and perhaps India), I don't know the answers.

Earlier in this thread, you said that a Fluke 17B+ would be a good choice. I appreciate you saying that. For one thing, one can buy three of them for the cost of an 87-5. But in the end, trying to work my way through the morass of choices, and having finally had the good sense to raise the question on this site, where I got some great advice from you and others, I got onto TEquipment's web site and pressed "Submit" on an order for an 87-5.

I think when I got the 17B+, it was about half the cost of the 87V.  Very expensive for not having RMS but the build quality is decent. 

The first digital handheld I bought was from Sears.  $20 or something maybe 25 years ago.  LCD cracked and had a black spot but the meter still worked.  The second meter that eventually failed was under $30.  Just not worth my time trying to warranty something like this.   I just get something new and move on.   Really the free Harbor Freight meters would work fine for me if the leads and over all build quality was a little better.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline redg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter for a Motorcycle
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2016, 06:22:42 pm »
Follow-up thread (Importance of Customer Service: TEquipment and Fluke) arising from an issue that arose on receipt of the meter: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/importance-of-customer-service-tequipment-and-fluke/
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf