Is the stator dying or is it some other electrical gremlin? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Is the stator dying or is it some other electrical gremlin?

I need y'all's best guesses here. Or else assure me that I have nothing to worry about.

My '09 Versys has 43,000 miles and it has never given me a problem. I do the maintenance myself. I have a device called the Clearwater Voltage Sentry mounted on the triple tree, which lets me know if the bike is charging correctly. When the LED flashes green, everything's fine. If the LED is yellow, it's getting 12.1 to 12.4 volts. If the LED is red, it's getting 11.6 to 12 volts. Yellow and red are not good.

Since Monday, the LED flashes green while I'm riding. But at idle, the LED turns yellow and even red sometimes. If I crank up to 2,000 RPM while I'm standing at a light the LED will turn green after a few seconds. So it seems that the bike doesn't generate a sufficient charge unless the engine runs at 2,000 RPM or more.

My only accessories at the moment are Clearwater Glenda lights and the voltage monitor. I've had the Glendas for a year and this electrical issue cropped up only this week.

I'll add a couple of other things to chew over: I'm a daily commuter, and in the last month, I doubt that any of my rides have been more than 10 miles. It's all been commuting (8 miles each way) and short runs to the grocery store. My company recently moved to another building, and my route unavoidably forces me to endure two loooooooooong traffic lights. I have gotten into the habit of turning off the bike at these lights. When the light is about to turn green, I turn the key and hit the starter. Ever since this charging issue cropped up Monday, I haven't been turning off the bike at the lights; I just idle it fast.

The other thing is: The bike seems suddenly to be idling funny. It's hard to describe. I wouldn't say it's idling rough. It's not missing. It feels like maybe one of the cylinders is firing more thoroughly and one is firing less thoroughly, if that makes any sense. And I can't explain why I think that -- it's just ... I dunno, intuition. Something about the sound and the feel through the handlebars.

The spark plugs are 2,300 miles old. They don't have those nipples on them -- I've always wondered if the stick coils get a good, tight connection on the spark plugs without those nipples.

Last throttle body sync was about a year and 7,200 miles ago. I plan to do that chore this weekend. Ugh, I hate syncing throttle bodies even more than I dislike checking and adjusting the valves. I'll clean the air filter too. I wonder if a dirty air filter could be contributing to the problem.

About 10 minutes after I arrived at the office today, I walked to the bike and performed a fingertip test to the alternator cover and the clutch cover. They seemed equally hot.

In one week, I'm leaving on a solo 2,500-mile trip in the mountains. And now weird electric things are happening. Great timing!

Any advice? Or reassurances?

2009 Versys
2004 EX-500

Last edited by Holden; 09-03-2015 at 09:31 AM.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 10:36 AM
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id still shut off at lights if there going to be long... but ya sounds like your stater might be starting to crap out...i know my volts would drop to 13-12.5 when i was ideling my plug and grips were hot wired (by PO) and the rad fan was on and i had the stock main light in, rest of the time idle was around 13.5-14.2.. now that i redid the wiring and added the LED main light my volts stay up at 13.5-14.2 all the time even when the fan kicks on that ive noticed......
make sure to check your oil and coolant level... oil or coolant being low can cause heat to build up faster

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 11:12 AM
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Eliminate the chance of a battery going bad, run a load test on it
Disconnect the pos and neg cables before you test it
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 11:14 AM
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Any spark plugs nipples need to be removed for installation.

Alternator cover is normally considerably hotter than clutch cover. Measure your charging voltage to make sure. At your mileage with a stock shunt type R/R, it likely is a burnt stator. How's your battery?
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 12:51 PM
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I'd not risk a long trip with the bike doing this. My stator went at 50k, first thought was the Voltage regulator, then, when still no joy did the stator with RM Stator. Replaced the battery too, just for kicks. Original on an '09 bike.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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How's your battery?
Thanks, invader. And the rest of you, too.

The bike shop installed new tires yesterday. This morning I noticed that my helmet intercom was missing. So at lunchtime I rode to the bike shop and yep, there was the helmet intercom, on the ground where I had waited for my wife to pick me up. Since I was already there, I swallowed my manly pride and actually asked, in person, for help with this electrical problem.

Starting with the simplest and most obvious possible culprit, the mechanic tested the battery. "This thing is about to leave you stranded," he said. The battery wasn't holding a charge, but the charging voltage was fine. So I got a battery, which I'll install tonight.

The failing battery is only 2 years old. But it's a cheap battery, too. One early morning in June 2013, a few hours before I was scheduled to take the bike on the Auto Train from Orlando to D.C., I discovered that I had left the headlight on all night and the battery was dead. I needed to leave for Orlando in an hour. So I had an hour to find a store that was open early in the morning with a battery in stock, and to install it. I bought it at a Batteries Plus store. So I got a not-so-good battery. Today I bought a Yuasa.

Anyway ... I learned a lesson today. That Clearwater Voltage Sentry that I bought a year ago was one of the best investments I've made. The bike wasn't acting strangely -- yet. The voltage monitor gave me an early heads-up that the battery was failing, just a week before a long trip through remote areas without cell signals.

I highly recommend buying and installing a voltage meter, whether it's from Clearwater or Kuryakyn or whoever.

As for the advice to check the battery: Thanks, guys. A lot.

2009 Versys
2004 EX-500

Last edited by Holden; 09-03-2015 at 01:18 PM.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holden View Post

Anyway ... I learned a lesson today. That Clearwater Voltage Sentry that I bought a year ago was one of the best investments I've made. The bike wasn't acting strangely -- yet. The voltage monitor gave me an early heads-up that the battery was failing,
I highly recommend buying and installing a voltage meter, whether it's from Clearwater or Kuryakyn or whoever.

As for the advice to check the battery: Thanks, guys. A lot.
same reason i put a volt meter on sylvester, tho i have to say i think there mark up on those single LED ones kinda outrages.. i think they should be $20 tops.. mine was under $5..... but thats just my .02

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Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Holden View Post
Thanks, invader. And the rest of you, too.


. Today I bought a Yuasa.

Anyway ... I learned a lesson today. That Clearwater Voltage Sentry that I bought a year ago was one of the best investments I've made. The bike wasn't acting strangely -- yet. The voltage monitor gave me an early heads-up that the battery was failing, just a week before a long trip through remote areas without cell signals.

I highly recommend buying and installing a voltage meter, whether it's from Clearwater or Kuryakyn or whoever.

As for the advice to check the battery: Thanks, guys. A lot.
If you have a meter, I would suggest to test your stator and regulator , all at the same time.

Do these tests after you have installed the new battery, use your motorcycle charger and properly charge the battery as per instructions. They give a fast charge , and a maximum current, with two charge times, follow with what applies to your charger.

You need three straight pins, or sewing needles. Follow the wire from your stator up to the 3 pin plug, insert the 3 straight pins , one in each space were the spade terminal rests on the plastic housing. There is sufficient room to use a solid 22 gauge telephone wire, I used straight pins because they don't bend, have a bit of a head on them so the alligator won't slide off, and are easily inserted and removed without damaging anything. Keep them spaced apart , you can make a drawing identifying the location in the socket, calling them pins # 1,#2,#3.

So you need a meter that reads volts AC, a set of alligators for your leads.
Set your idle at 2000RPM, have all materials in place and ready for testing.
measure 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and 3 to 1. post those results, voltage should be within 0.5 volts between phases. Since you have a led note what colour it is during this test.

Next test, stop the motor, place your battery tender on the battery. Disconnect the plug from the socket, there are two plastic latches, this socket is a bi-----------h to get apart, try flexing from side to side while pulling apart.When apart, if you have it, apply a light amount of electrical grease.

This test we are testing the voltage output of the stator at no load, two things we are looking for, voltage balance and possible winding damage. Repeat the above test and post results, you should be getting around 22 volts AC, within 0.3 VAC of each other.
A second stage of this is to fasten one lead to frame ground, then measure from frame ground to ; 1 , ground to 2, ground to 3, post results.

Remember, this isn't a ohms test, this stator is able to output 14 amps RMS per phase at max output, second thing, if there are any shorts, you are testing no load , open circuit, so the output voltage will be higher than it is ever possible to achieve under normal load conditions, any shorts will show up.

The reason for this being the last test, it is assumed the motor is hot, the stator has been outputing power, it is hot, so expansion has taken place, if you have any shorts or grounds, this will definitely find them.

Just remember, with the plug disconnected , your charger is supplying about 6 amp to run the motorcycle, FYI , if the headlight comes on, once the bike is running, hit the start switch for a second or less, this will kill the light, eliminating 55 watts of wasted power under test conditions.
A alternate solution is to connect to a car battery, with the car motor off using booster cables.

Anything you don't understand, post it AND PM me, I am happy to help. Nothing worse than ruining a good bike trip.

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 08:32 PM
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I have a "HEADS UP" LED voltage monitor on my new '15 (thanks - onewizard). Cold the green is ON, but once it's warmed-up, sometimes at idle (1350 rpm) the LED goes amber or red. That's just the cooling-fan coming ON, and a few revs turns it green again (till the NEXT light...).


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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, onewizard. That's a clearer explanation than the stuff I've read on the Burnt Stators thread. Somehow I've gone 52 years without owning a multimeter. (Or, at minimum, I owned one and can't find it.) Time to get one!

2009 Versys
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 08:58 AM
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I'm daltonic so those single led voltage monitors are worthless for me. I wish there was a simple 3 led voltage monitor, then I could notice which one of the leds is lit up, left = undervoltage, middle = normal voltage, right = over voltage. But noooo, a single freaking led for everything and I can only tell that it is lit up... ****.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Kuryakyn makes the gauge that you're looking for. For this you don't need to see colors; you just have to be able to discern which LEDs are shining:
L.E.D. Battery Gauge | Gauges & Instruments | Motorcycle Parts and Accessories for Harley, Metric & Goldwing | Küryakyn
As far as availability in the D.F. -- I don't know. Scratch that: The Kuryakyn website contains a link to a distributor with several dealers in the DF as well as other Mexican cities.

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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Süsser Tod View Post
I'm daltonic so those single led voltage monitors are worthless for me. I wish there was a simple 3 led voltage monitor, then I could notice which one of the leds is lit up, left = undervoltage, middle = normal voltage, right = over voltage. But noooo, a single freaking led for everything and I can only tell that it is lit up... ****.
there is actully a multi LED one ive seen befor, it plugged into a tender plug and might have even had pass thru so a tender or something else could be pluged in at the same time... or you can go with what i got.12 24V Car Motorcycle LED DC Digital Display Voltmeter Waterproof Meter Excellen | eBay

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 11:41 AM
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Thanks, onewizard. That's a clearer explanation than the stuff I've read on the Burnt Stators thread. Somehow I've gone 52 years without owning a multimeter. (Or, at minimum, I owned one and can't find it.) Time to get one!
It doesn't need to be anything fancy, believe it or not, I have over 6 Fluke 8060A; 8024B, 8020B, these are all old meters, I also have several Fluke 189 and other Fluke meters. What may come as a surprise is, that I use my 8060 series when other inverters are running around me, due to the superior shielding on the old meters, and the fact I am in a very high magnetic field, Fluke knows this and came out with the 87V, designed specifically for this.There are posting around this area that it is a high magnetic field and it is a restricted area for people with Pacemakers.
So what I am saying is a good used fluke or any meter if you plan on buying it just for the Bike. Many purchases, it has cost me more in shipping than what I paid for the meter.If you have something in mind and want a second opinion PM me . I have kind of veered off the topic, just FYI.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 02:11 PM
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there is actully a multi LED one ive seen befor, it plugged into a tender plug and might have even had pass thru so a tender or something else could be pluged in at the same time... or you can go with what i got.12 24V Car Motorcycle LED DC Digital Display Voltmeter Waterproof Meter Excellen | eBay
That's the only option for me, but you've got to admit that three LEDs in a row would use a lot less space, they could be fit under the speedo.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 04:23 PM
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That's the only option for me, but you've got to admit that three LEDs in a row would use a lot less space, they could be fit under the speedo.
i guess, tho this could be mounted IN the dash as well, i just didnt wanna cut sylvester like that.......yet...but at any rate i dont find it advasive mounted above the dash shroud
the switch box isnt there anymore

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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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All righty, onewizard, here's what I did:

There are at least two three-wire bundles coming up from the area of the stator. One consists of a black, a yellow and a red wire. I left that one alone.

Another bundle consists of three white wires that come from the stator. They enter a plug, and three black wires come out. I inserted sewing needles into the black side (NOT in the white side -- that is, not in the stator side), set the rpm to 2,000, and measured voltage. I tested three times, and each time the voltages differed.

Test 1:
1-2: 13.5v
2-3: 11.8v
1-3: 10.2v

Test 2:
1-2: 12.7v
2-3: 11.8v
1-3: 11.3v

Test 3:
1-2: 12.2v
2-3: 10.6v
1-3: 10v

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Last edited by Holden; 09-04-2015 at 06:42 PM.
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 09:04 PM
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All righty, onewizard, here's what I did:


Test 1:
1-2: 13.5v
2-3: 11.8v
1-3: 10.2v

Test 2:
1-2: 12.7v
2-3: 11.8v
1-3: 11.3v

Test 3:
1-2: 12.2v
2-3: 10.6v
1-3: 10v

I missed one thing, during these readings, did you note what colour your led was.

I sent a PM----------You are in the correct plug, black go to regulator AND headlight relay. From what I see, I would say you have shorted turns. I hope you can identify 1,2,3 for the next two tests. You are in the white wires, open cct --that is no load on the stator.

Since you are using the OEM regulator, it normally doesn't start shunting until after you exceed 14.2 VDC. If the readings are in order, the lowest being the last set, unless your fan came on, the readings should have been in reverse. That is the last reading should have been test 1.

So the phase to phase voltages should be around 22 volts AC and the phase to ground voltages should be identical to each other.

What I expect you to find is;

1-2 : 21 VAC ---------- what it should be : 22 or 36 VAC
2-3 : 18 VAC ---------- what it should be : 22 or 36VAC
3-1 : 16 VAC ---------- what it should be : 22 or 36 VAC

Volts to ground could match the above readings, or could have a even larger difference .

Sorry, just remembered the 22 VAC was measured under load with a series Polaris regulator, your readings should be up around 36 VAC, and balanced.

I will do the last two tests on my bike in the morning, as I am curious how it is fairing. I will post the results and some pictures.

Last edited by onewizard; 09-04-2015 at 09:38 PM.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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I was misleading yesterday when I wrote about three tests. I performed Test 1 three times. The extreme South Florida mugginess, combined with the approach of nightfall and the onslaught of hungry mosquitoes, drove me inside.

This morning I braved the early-day South Florida mugginess and performed all three tests.

Test 1 (Insert the 3 straight pins , one in each space were the spade terminal rests on the plastic housing. Set your idle at 2000RPM. Measure 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and 3 to 1. Since you have a led note what colour it is during this test.):
1-2: 12.v
1-3: 9.5v
2-3: 11.2v
The voltage sentry LED was green.

Test 2 (Place your battery tender on the battery. Disconnect the plug from the socket. Repeat the above test and post results, you should be getting around 36 volts AC, within 0.3 VAC of each other.):
1-2: 15v
1-3: 12.8v
2-3: 14v

Test 3 (A second stage of this is to fasten one lead to frame ground, then measure from frame ground to 1, ground to 2, ground to 3):
G-1: 12.3v
G-2: 3v
G-3: 12.4v

For Tests 2 and 3, I borrowed a neighbor's Exide car-boat charger, a black box on wheels, and set it to 12v and 40 amps. It has an analog gauge that indicated around 6 amps.

Thumbnails: First picture shows the needles in the plug. For some reason, the website rotated the photo 90 degrees counterclockwise. The second photo shows the plug unplugged.
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File Type: jpg IMG_2820.JPG (84.3 KB, 67 views)

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Last edited by Holden; 09-05-2015 at 07:43 AM.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 10:13 AM
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looking at the numbers, I am going to say I am 90% sure your stator is going,
You moved the pins to the white side for the last two tests?
Black leads go to regulator, white leads come from stator.


I intend to do a set up similar to the polaris regulator, with 3 meters hooked up, along with visual aids this time, identifying what each meter does.
I will post my readings in a couple hours along with pictures.
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