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Discussion Starter #1
What should my output charging be from the alternator?
Bike died on a ride this weekend. Put a new battery in on the road and when I got home battery was at 93%.
Also to note when the bike was jumped it would not stay running. Is that normal or can the charging system keep a bike running if it's working, kind of like a car?
Tested the charging when I got home also, and the voltmeter registered at 12.30. When I turned off the bike the voltage jumped to 12.71. I'm a mechanic so I know that somethings wrong but where do I start on this? Thank you.
 

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Was the new battery pre-charged?

At idle the stator is producing minimal and insufficient voltage. Metric bikes don't have a true alternator but a stator.

You want to perform a stator test to proof your charging system. Takes 2 minutes. Plenty of youtube videos or some member might chime in with the links and procedure. A regulator (RR) test won't hurt either.

But before you do that, the plug that joins the stator wires to the RR wires is a known trouble spot for stator charging systems. The plug is opaque white and it's easy to detect telltale signs of overheating etc. The blade terminals and their crimps might be toast.

284520

284519
 

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I have been looking at this issue for a long time but have never experienced the problem so have not commented. Now that my bike is approaching 25 years I am curious so... I have the stock 95 VT1100C2. I did add spotlights but never use them. I am wondering if the members who have this problem have added any components ie changing horn, lights, etc.

My bikes are stored inside and well maintained so no corrosion etc.
 

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Sounds like no charge at all, lower when running as battery is powering lights and ignition.

Roadstercycle.com has some really good troubleshooting and testing videos. In a nutshell, ideally, should have 13.8v DC or more up to approx 14.8v coming out of rectifier connector to battery and at battery terminals. The 3 yellow wires coming from stator should have approx 50v AC between each combo of yellow wires, increasing with rpm up to approx 90v ac, ie a-b, a-c, c-b while running. At rest, 3 yellow wires should have approx 1 ohm (0.4 ohms per manual) between each combo and open, infinite ohm reading on each to engine case/ground.
 

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Glad you posted that, oldguy. The original question was, "What should my output charging be from the alternator?" I skipped that. Guess I was too busy watching the junk playoff games.
 

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284529


I have been looking at this issue for a long time but have never experienced the problem so have not commented. Now that my bike is approaching 25 years I am curious so... I have the stock 95 VT1100C2. I did add spotlights but never use them.
  • I am wondering if the members who have this problem have added any components ie changing horn, lights, etc.
  • My bikes are stored inside and well maintained so no corrosion etc.

Many bikes don't have a problem with the plug even with a ton of electrical accessories. It might ruin the battery, but the plug and blade connectors remain pristine. I don't think there's a definite correlation that a overtaxed charging system causes a bad plug. It just makes it more likely under the same situations like a bike with too many electrical gadgets stored outdoors and the plug exposed to moisture vrs. a bike with no electrical gadgets stored outdoors.

Anyway the simple solution is to eliminate the plug altogether by soldering the wires together. Even after doing that though, the stator won't be able keep up with too many electrical accessories. The other way around, even if the stator is good, a bad plug is bound to ruin the battery. So the plug is worth inspecting. About the only exception is a RR that has an integral plug like some on the stock Aero's.
 

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+1 on cutting out the plug and soldering/heatshrinking the wires.

The plugs on my Nomad and my T both tried to melt on me with no electrical accessories added. I did convert to LED bulbs on the Nomad and thinking that may have actually hurt me. Or those plugs had been stressed when Kaw pulled the motor to fix an oil leak. In both bikes however,,, the crisped, melted parts were on the stator side, see above pic of the 3 yellow wires, looks just like mine did. Looks like the hottest spot was where the wires were crimped to the male spade terminals., making me think the stator manufacturer had a problem with crimping on the wires. I believe it's Shindengen for both.

Don't let the integrated plug fool you either, Had replaced my stator, rectifier and battery on my VT1100T, upgrading to a Mosfet SH020 rectifier and lith-iron battery, apparently somewhere in troubleshooting and mounting etc., had intermittent charging issues for a year. found one of the female spade terminals in the rectifier harness connector had lost it's tension and was making intermittent contact. probably stressed it trying to get the connector on while mounted. very little working room under there. All the individual tests were fine, meter probes had no problem with the connector, only when I made jumpers I could clamp the meter probes to so I could rev the bike did I find one of the spades wouldn't stay in the harness connector. Other than that, it's been 5 years and I'm happy with the rectifier and battery upgrade, though I'd use the SH847 series rectifier next time. Even better for the stator and more heavy duty. Both take some mounting and wiring mods. Voltage had never been this steady before.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Was the new battery pre-charged?

At idle the stator is producing minimal and insufficient voltage. Metric bikes don't have a true alternator but a stator.

You want to perform a stator test to proof your charging system. Takes 2 minutes. Plenty of youtube videos or some member might chime in with the links and procedure. A regulator (RR) test won't hurt either.

But before you do that, the plug that joins the stator wires to the RR wires is a known trouble spot for stator charging systems. The plug is opaque white and it's easy to detect telltale signs of overheating etc. The blade terminals and their crimps might be toast.

View attachment 284520
View attachment 284519
Yes Battery was recharged. Thanks I'll check that out this weekend. Busy work week and haven't had time after work to investigate and troubleshoot. I'll post findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been looking at this issue for a long time but have never experienced the problem so have not commented. Now that my bike is approaching 25 years I am curious so... I have the stock 95 VT1100C2. I did add spotlights but never use them. I am wondering if the members who have this problem have added any components ie changing horn, lights, etc.

My bikes are stored inside and well maintained so no corrosion etc.
Same my bike is stored inside and live in AZ My bike is a 96 VT1100C2. I do have the spotlights and wired for always on. Never had battery issues until this ride. Funny thing too is I made 90 miles and we stopped and then my bike was done after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds like no charge at all, lower when running as battery is powering lights and ignition.

Roadstercycle.com has some really good troubleshooting and testing videos. In a nutshell, ideally, should have 13.8v DC or more up to approx 14.8v coming out of rectifier connector to battery and at battery terminals. The 3 yellow wires coming from stator should have approx 50v AC between each combo of yellow wires, increasing with rpm up to approx 90v ac, ie a-b, a-c, c-b while running. At rest, 3 yellow wires should have approx 1 ohm (0.4 ohms per manual) between each combo and open, infinite ohm reading on each to engine case/ground.
So the manual says to run one of checks at 5000 rpm, but you're saying at idle I should still show at least a positive output?
 

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Yes, should at least be over 13.5 v dc. Since the upgrade mine shows a steady 14.2v dc at idle. 14.6 at higher rpm. Starts better, lights are brighter, etc. etc.

ElectroSport troubleshooting chart:

Chart is overly complicated as it covers multiple bikes and charging systems, read carefully,,, Yours should come down a step or 2 and jump to D from your description.

Have you had any issues with boiling the battery dry? or going through batteries every couple years? If so, it's a sign the Shunt Resistor inside your rectifier is bad. If it burns out, then the battery itself becomes the resistor... Rectifier converts the 3 phase a/c from stator to DC and regulates it to 14.8 dc max (ideally,,,). Excess DC, if any, is burned up as heat by the shunt resistor, thus the fins on the rectifier case... Mine was boiling the batteries dry for the 1st few years I had it. New stator(old one finally shorted to ground) and new Mosfet rectifier cured it. Figured out why last year after the fact thanks to a post on the Vulcan forum regarding the shunt resistor.

These stators, which are nothing more than 3 lengths of copper wire all tied together at one end and would into coils. the other end being the 3 yellow wires, have a fixed output solely dependent on rpm and the permanent magnets in the flywheel. (dont beat on or use an impact on your flywheel...) It's up to the rectifier/regulator to deal with output. Instead of permanent magnets, a true Alternator has electro-magnets with a variable field voltage controlled by the regulator to only generate as much ac current as needed. Switching everything to LED may overwork the rectifier's shunt resistor depending on total load. I'm thinking the bikes with spotlights may be better off...

Also check every connection on battery cables, both ends. along with the stator plug.
 
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Here is the test of the stater only, that is where the 5000 RPM is required.

 

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I found this info about wattage. Most of our bikes have about 350 watts available. So this chart shows what normally may be using much of that.

 

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Another good article. I love the picture of this guy's office rolling down the road.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you everyone for the detailed information. Turns out my stator is bad. Only getting 15 VAC even when revving the bike. Gonna replace both, the stator and rectifier. Any suggestions on Stators?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, should at least be over 13.5 v dc. Since the upgrade mine shows a steady 14.2v dc at idle. 14.6 at higher rpm. Starts better, lights are brighter, etc. etc.

ElectroSport troubleshooting chart:

Chart is overly complicated as it covers multiple bikes and charging systems, read carefully,,, Yours should come down a step or 2 and jump to D from your description.

Have you had any issues with boiling the battery dry? or going through batteries every couple years? If so, it's a sign the Shunt Resistor inside your rectifier is bad. If it burns out, then the battery itself becomes the resistor... Rectifier converts the 3 phase a/c from stator to DC and regulates it to 14.8 dc max (ideally,,,). Excess DC, if any, is burned up as heat by the shunt resistor, thus the fins on the rectifier case... Mine was boiling the batteries dry for the 1st few years I had it. New stator(old one finally shorted to ground) and new Mosfet rectifier cured it. Figured out why last year after the fact thanks to a post on the Vulcan forum regarding the shunt resistor.

These stators, which are nothing more than 3 lengths of copper wire all tied together at one end and would into coils. the other end being the 3 yellow wires, have a fixed output solely dependent on rpm and the permanent magnets in the flywheel. (dont beat on or use an impact on your flywheel...) It's up to the rectifier/regulator to deal with output. Instead of permanent magnets, a true Alternator has electro-magnets with a variable field voltage controlled by the regulator to only generate as much ac current as needed. Switching everything to LED may overwork the rectifier's shunt resistor depending on total load. I'm thinking the bikes with spotlights may be better off...

Also check every connection on battery cables, both ends. along with the stator plug.
Any suggestions on a new stator? Mine is bad. Only putting out 14 vac at 5000 rpms
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, should at least be over 13.5 v dc. Since the upgrade mine shows a steady 14.2v dc at idle. 14.6 at higher rpm. Starts better, lights are brighter, etc. etc.

ElectroSport troubleshooting chart:

Chart is overly complicated as it covers multiple bikes and charging systems, read carefully,,, Yours should come down a step or 2 and jump to D from your description.

Have you had any issues with boiling the battery dry? or going through batteries every couple years? If so, it's a sign the Shunt Resistor inside your rectifier is bad. If it burns out, then the battery itself becomes the resistor... Rectifier converts the 3 phase a/c from stator to DC and regulates it to 14.8 dc max (ideally,,,). Excess DC, if any, is burned up as heat by the shunt resistor, thus the fins on the rectifier case... Mine was boiling the batteries dry for the 1st few years I had it. New stator(old one finally shorted to ground) and new Mosfet rectifier cured it. Figured out why last year after the fact thanks to a post on the Vulcan forum regarding the shunt resistor.

These stators, which are nothing more than 3 lengths of copper wire all tied together at one end and would into coils. the other end being the 3 yellow wires, have a fixed output solely dependent on rpm and the permanent magnets in the flywheel. (dont beat on or use an impact on your flywheel...) It's up to the rectifier/regulator to deal with output. Instead of permanent magnets, a true Alternator has electro-magnets with a variable field voltage controlled by the regulator to only generate as much ac current as needed. Switching everything to LED may overwork the rectifier's shunt resistor depending on total load. I'm thinking the bikes with spotlights may be better off...

Also check every connection on battery cables, both ends. along with the stator plug.
Oh also I had 1 ohm on any combination of the stator leads but just the VAC test was low and nothing going to ground
 

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Actually, the VAC test is the main test. It reveals any defects that the other two tests pin points. I don't think any voltage suppose to go to ground.
 

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What I really meant ..... there should not be any 'continuity' between any stator wire to ground. I only do the ac output test. If that's bad, the other tests aren't necessary. The stator's bad, period. Because I don't do the other tests, I might get and write things wrong. The forum has eliminated the 'edit' function so corrections require a subsequent post.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Does anyone have any suggestions on regulator and stator aftermarket, so I don't have to break the bank? Also the gasket kit maybe? Thank you
 
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