Charging system blues - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Charging system blues

I've been following the "Burnt Stator" thread with interest. In the spirit of "knowledge is power", I installed a dash-mount voltmeter a few months ago, so I'd have forewarning of problems. I've also considered buying a replacement alternator and taking it with me on long trips.

Well, on this morning's ride, my dash mount voltmeter was reading lower than usual. At times it was showing a steady 11.8 volts. If I turned off my electric vest and grips, it would go up to 13.0 or a little more. (I didn't want to turn off my heated clothing!) Normally, in the past, it would show 14-14.6 volts.

When I got home, I attached a voltmeter directly to the battery and compared to the dash-mount voltmeter. The direct connect was about .1 volt higher, as would be expected.

When I started and revved the motor, the voltage would slowly go up, maybe about .1 volts every 5 seconds. I couldn't keep that up for long for concern for the motor. I expected that it should go up to around 14 volts immediately, which it didn't.

I read the manual and tested the alternator. It said it should read 42+ volts at 4000 rpm. I got 51 volts. The manual says "If the output voltage shows a much higher than the value in the table, the regulator/rectifier is damaged." Is 51 "much higher" than "more than 42"?????

The alternator passed the resistance tests across the leads.

The manual then says to "measure the resistance between each of the black leads and chassis ground". There are no BLACK leads to the alternator; all are white. I assumed this is a misprint, and tested the white leads to ground. One showed no continuity, one had some continuity and one had a dead short.

So, I guess I need a new stator, and it seems like it might be prudent to also install the "Invader-recommended" R/R while I'm throwing money at it.

Best price I found for an stator ($134.99):

http://www.regulatorrectifier.com/ca...-Versys-Stator

Comments/Suggestions? (By the way, my 2008 Versys is just short of 30K miles.)

Thanks,

Michael

Last edited by michael95453; 12-09-2011 at 08:37 PM.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 09:22 PM
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 09:22 PM
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Michael , before you buy anything, I got some simple tests for you to make that nobody has come up with. What I would suggest , motorcycle running, you can raise the idle speed with the adjustment screw to 1500 rpm. Use a 100 watt incandescent light bulb, something to put the bulb in and a two wire cord attached to the light.

You already have a meter, what I want you to do is disconnect the stator from the RR and using the light bulb , measure , using the bulb as a load, a to b then b to c and last c to a, this will be volts ac, if you don't mind, and have it on your meter, could you also measure the frequency at 1500 rpm, divide frequency by rpm = number of poles X 2, you could then use this as a extremely accurate tach. I looked at one of the old posts with a picture of a burnt stator, total poles is 18 so frequency should be 9000 HZ at 1500 rpm.

The light bulb is acting as a load and if there is any damage the readings will be different between phases. Post your readings.

The manual states a fairly good RR test, if your meter has a diode test position, use that, also pay attention to lead polarity. From the brief description you stated , it sounds like 1 phase of the regulator has failed. If that is what happened, continued use will fry the stator, which I think may still be ok.


Last edited by onewizard; 12-09-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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OK onewizard, here goes:

I re-tested the voltage of the alternator leads @ 4000 rpm per the manual and got 47.5, 53.6, and 53.7 volts.

The alternator leads to ground were 0 ohms, .1 ohms and .1 ohms. This seems bad.

The R/R diodes tested out at .530 - .540; all of the 6 diodes falling in that range. This seems good, and means to me that the R/R is still OK.

I did the "onewizard light bulb" test and got 20.7, 22.5 and 22.0 volts @1500 rpm. I don't have a frequency measurement (I don't think). I'm not sure what this tells me.

So, at this point, it seems to me that the "shorted to ground" aspect of the alternator is a bad thing, and would necessitate its replacement. Along with the lack of voltage in the entire system when it charges. It does charge, but very slowly.

Just for the record, the bike was lightly dropped on the left side (by the previous owner more than 2 years ago), with some light scratches on the alternator cover. This was a 0 mph set down, as I was told.

Seems like the next thing to do is remove the cover and look.

Thanks for the help,

Michael
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 06:00 PM
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Thanks, I forgot to ask if the testing of the stator was with the connector disconnected from the RR, I guess it would take some imagination to still do the test with the connector in place. You are correct if the three leads from the stator are referenced to ground, also looks like you could have shorted turns. I missed that the first post, FYI all leads from stator should be 1,000,000 ohms to ground, only need to test one lead as it is a star or also known as a Y connection, so looks like you need a new stator. Personally, if I was still into this, I would have it rewound and increase the wire size , and reduce the turns.

Thanks again for the feedback, the light bulb loaded the stator and is a much more accurate test.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael95453 View Post
Well, on this morning's ride, my dash mount voltmeter was reading lower than usual. At times it was showing a steady 11.8 volts. If I turned off my electric vest and grips, it would go up to 13.0 or a little more. (I didn't want to turn off my heated clothing!) Normally, in the past, it would show 14-14.6 volts.

When I got home, I attached a voltmeter directly to the battery and compared to the dash-mount voltmeter. The direct connect was about .1 volt higher, as would be expected.

When I started and revved the motor, the voltage would slowly go up, maybe about .1 volts every 5 seconds. I couldn't keep that up for long for concern for the motor. I expected that it should go up to around 14 volts immediately, which it didn't.

I read the manual and tested the alternator. It said it should read 42+ volts at 4000 rpm. I got 51 volts. The manual says "If the output voltage shows a much higher than the value in the table, the regulator/rectifier is damaged." Is 51 "much higher" than "more than 42"?????

The alternator passed the resistance tests across the leads.

The manual then says to "measure the resistance between each of the black leads and chassis ground". There are no BLACK leads to the alternator; all are white. I assumed this is a misprint, and tested the white leads to ground. One showed no continuity, one had some continuity and one had a dead short.
l
From the sounds of it you answered your own question, you need a regulator/rectifier, not a stator. Coils in a stator don't burn out easily but the diodes in a regulator/rectifier are a much more likely point of failure. Make sure to keep caked dirt of the heat fins, it's over top of the rear wheel, or it can overheat and fail.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:15 PM
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Rick's stator (21-227) for $106.86 from: (out of stock) http://www.powersportparts.net/RICK-...p/27-21227.htm

$118.26: http://www.chrome-addiction.com/g-ri...tors-30810.php

Compu-Fire 55402 series type 40A R/R. Lowest price I found ($171.99):

http://www.debrix.com/Voltage-Regula...f55402-mca.htm

Last edited by invader; 01-09-2012 at 08:00 AM.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 11:31 AM
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I guess a little more detail is required on my part.To explain why you cannot have any ground reference on the stator, and no question the stator is damaged if you read anything below 1 million ohms between any of the three output leads to ground. ( white wires according to manual)

What happens is whenever any of the three output leads is negative , the opposite end of that winding is positive, which in your case is grounded, this actually shorts out that winding. So the only charging cycle is when the output wire is positive, every half cycle. The only way your stator could work is if you removed every ground connection on the bike, including the RR.

As to the RR, there is some really good test procedures in the manual, however the basic test you did, appears to be using a meter with diode test function, I would say there is nothing wrong with it, but if in doubt follow the manual.

Word of caution, disconnect the RR and do not try using it any further, otherwise you may be replacing the battery and RR.

Again I appreciate the fact you did the light bulb test, if you really wanted to prove the stator is shot, you could connect one side of the bulb to ground and run the bike with the other side connected to each individual output, one at a time. I am willing to bet that you get very similar output readings to what you got in your prior test, volts ac, you should have 0 VAC to ground output, using a light bulb for a load.

Why do I know this, I did this for a living for 9 years, in a motor shop and on service.


Last edited by onewizard; 12-11-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Burnt stator:
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 06:01 PM
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Pretty sure that one coil at 3pm is not supposed to be black and smell burnt Is this a common point of failure on the Versys? What year is the bike? Did they change it between years? I've been loading my system with heated gear and so far no sign of problems.

Last edited by twowheels; 12-12-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Pretty sure that one coil at 3pm is not supposed to be black and smell burnt Is this a common point of failure on the Versys? What year is the bike? Did they change it between years? I've been loading my system with heated gear and so far no sign of problems.
My Versys is a 2008 with 30,000 miles. There are many threads about burnt stators on this forum, so it appears to be a common point of failure. But I guessing that probably over 95% don't have the problem. Luck of the draw. I have no idea if there are any changes since the original design. It is my understanding that heated gear isn't a "cause".

I was glad I had installed a voltmeter on my dash. It alerted me to low voltage. I rode on Sunday and it was fine. I rode on Friday, and it showed a lower voltage than before. I did the test in the manual, which indicated that the stator was gone (or going).

I'll fix it and move on...
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 10:06 AM
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Michael, are you changing the R/R? I ordered the Compu Fire 55402 per Invaders recommendation. I will be changing it as soon as it arrives. I am doing it as a preventive measure as I don't have charging problems now.
Good luck!! (You've probably already had your quota of "bad luck" for the V).
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Michael, are you changing the R/R? I ordered the Compu Fire 55402 per Invaders recommendation.
I'm not going to change the R/R now. Maybe down the road. I don"t want to spend another almost $200 at this point. I will be interested in your project when you have it done.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 02:56 PM
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Best price I could find for a stator when I was trouble shooting my F650GS BMW was $749.00.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 03:35 PM
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I'm not going to change the R/R now. Maybe down the road. I don"t want to spend another almost $200 at this point. I will be interested in your project when you have it done.
I ordered the R/R from Chrome Addiction? $174. I will post when it's changed out. I just got back from a test ride after adjusting the valves and changing brake fluids. I put my hand on the stator cover and she was mighty hot. It seemed a little hotter than the valve cover but what we really need is a temp check with a thermometer (infrared?) before and after the R/R change. I don't have the instrument as of now.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 03:51 PM
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but what we really need is a temp check with a thermometer (infrared?) before and after the R/R change.
I believe that Invader has posted the results of his "before" condition. I can't wait until we learn about the "after" condition.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 05:00 PM
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I bought a "cheapie" infrared thermometer today. My new R/R should be here in a day or so. Other than a temp change based on the R/R it may take a long time (30000 miles) to see if we improved anything?? Or we may never know?
But I'm feelin better already, in my head.

If anyone wants to jump in and suggest a standard method of getting the temp readings, feel free...... if we want to make a comparison with each other.
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:22 PM
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I've also got a R/R coming from Chrome Addicition - and I have a temp sensor on my digital multi-meter. Let me know where to measure. Where did Invader measure his "before" temp? I'll measure before and after.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:49 PM
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The stator is bolted solid to your large round protruding generator cover on your left when you're sitting on it, in front of your left foot.
Measure temperature at middle of generator cover while still idling as soon as you stop from riding in different conditions and speeds. I got the highest reading when riding in town at lower rpm's; 245F in 50F ambient. It showed about 230F getting off the highway in 60F ambient... You can also compare to other engine surfaces.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 06:52 PM
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Lowest price found for Compu-Fire 55402 R/R is $171.99 from Debrix Cycles ($25.85 USPS shipping to Ontario).

http://www.debrix.com/Voltage-Regula...f55402-mca.htm (International shipping)

http://www.chrome-addiction.com/g-co...tems-46974.php (USA shipping only)

http://www.usmotoman.com/product/vol...ystem/-1_17037 (International shipping)

http://www.amazon.com/Compu-Fire-Regulator-3-Phase-Charging-Systems/dp/B0035U7LRM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=A1LKON3BQ3L8YD&s=generic&qid=1323061499&sr=1-1 (International shipping $174.01)
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