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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure why but some of my favorite motorcycles have weak charging systems. My 2019 Versys 650 LT is the latest addition to this list.

I just installed a voltage monitoring system consisting of only one LED. I mounted it next to the left accessory port in the factory console. Here is a pic.


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This pic shows what the LED is indicating.

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One of the best features of this particular product is that the LED is bright in the daylight and automatically dims at night.

 

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Charging system is fine. It's the shunt type regulator/rectifier that burns out the stator... LED warning lamp cannot save your stator, but a series type R/R would.
 

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I use a voltmeter that mounts in the round hole. It provides the same function except it doesn't dim at night, and that is sometimes an annoyance!

If you read the multitude of threads here on the stator, you'll see that it sometimes fails. It seems it rarely does so, and when it does it gives some warning with a lower voltage. Monitoring the charging voltage at normal rpms (something above about 3k rpms) should help you spot the problem before you get stranded on the side of the road.

Also, if you haven't read all those threads yet, the charging system runs at 100% all the time, meaning you aren't putting extra strain on it if you add loads. e.g. if you add more lighting, or heated grips, or a USB outlet, etc. The current those items draw is already being produced, but the energy is wasted as heat. So if anything you are possibly increasing the life of the charging system by adding load as long as you stay below the max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Charging system is fine. It's the shunt type regulator/rectifier that burns out the stator... LED warning lamp cannot save your stator, but a series type R/R would.
I need some clarification if you don't mind. Are you saying that monitoring voltage while riding, heated grips on high, high beams on, isn't what I should be looking out for? I'm not saying this rudimentary LED is going to solve my problem. I hope it might alert me to a problem.

I've already replaced all lights on the bike except for the turn signals with LEDs. It is my understanding that this has reduced the current load on the charging system and has provided less of a load.

Am I wrong?
 

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I need some clarification if you don't mind. Are you saying that monitoring voltage while riding, heated grips on high, high beams on, isn't what I should be looking out for? I'm not saying this rudimentary LED is going to solve my problem. I hope it might alert me to a problem.

I've already replaced all lights on the bike except for the turn signals with LEDs. It is my understanding that this has reduced the current load on the charging system and has provided less of a load.

Am I wrong?
With the stock original shunt type R/R, it doesn't make any difference at all how much or how little current is drawn to operate lights and accessories. The stator is always maxed out and shunting any unused current to ground with the stock shunt type R/R, unlike a series type R/R which draws required current ONLY.

Since running a series type R/R, my stator cover is no longer the hottest surface of my engine, under all operating conditions... Stator cover which used to remain at 205°F~219°F is now at 184°F~187°F, while left cylinder head is at 197°F~204°F. Stator cover temperature is now more stable at about 26°F cooler on average, and up to about 32°F cooler. Kinda crazy to think the stator was producing more heat than the internal combustion engine. No wonder stators are frying up when shunted out.

Charging voltage is much more stable with my Compufire series type R/R (same for Polaris series type R/R)... It varied by over 4 times as much and was also a bit excessive with stock shunt R/R at 14.65V~14.90V. It's now always between 14.38V and 14.44V (14.44V at idle).
 

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I need some clarification if you don't mind. Are you saying that monitoring voltage while riding, heated grips on high, high beams on, isn't what I should be looking out for? I'm not saying this rudimentary LED is going to solve my problem. I hope it might alert me to a problem.

I've already replaced all lights on the bike except for the turn signals with LEDs. It is my understanding that this has reduced the current load on the charging system and has provided less of a load.

Am I wrong?
Invader pretty much covered it. He is the one that started the series regulator way back in 2008?
What I will say, and has been covered many times in threads by me. Changing lighting from incandescent to all LED is a recipe for disaster. Kawasaki engineered the shunt regulator to regulate voltage between the maximum stator output and minimum load. Do the math, city lights 9 watt reduction, headlight low beam 35 watt reduction, license plate light 9 watt reduction. I only look at continuous loads.So you are asking the shunt regulator to carry a extra 53 watts it wasn't engineered to carry. Next may be ECU failure from over voltage.

All values can be found in threads by me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Invader pretty much covered it. He is the one that started the series regulator way back in 2008?
What I will say, and has been covered many times in threads by me. Changing lighting from incandescent to all LED is a recipe for disaster. Kawasaki engineered the shunt regulator to regulate voltage between the maximum stator output and minimum load. Do the math, city lights 9 watt reduction, headlight low beam 35 watt reduction, license plate light 9 watt reduction. I only look at continuous loads.So you are asking the shunt regulator to carry a extra 53 watts it wasn't engineered to carry. Next may be ECU failure from over voltage.

All values can be found in threads by me.
Now that I've already done that, what's the solution? Do I need a different shunt regulator?
 

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I've never heard of this. Where might I find one of these?
I think he meant 3 phase -- four choices ---polaris 4012941 / sh775BA =Polaris 4016868 ( large footprint and 50 amp) -tied for first place for the MK-1 & 2 is the Compufire #Compu-Fire 55402 ( be aware you need to do something with the headlight relay and the cooling fins are 90' from stock regulator [I ran this in my 07 and my 2015] - one other choice from Roadster cycle but it has the same footprint as the 4016868

The original [email protected] Burnt Stator/ Stator Testing
 

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I need some clarification if you don't mind. Are you saying that monitoring voltage while riding, heated grips on high, high beams on, isn't what I should be looking out for? I'm not saying this rudimentary LED is going to solve my problem. I hope it might alert me to a problem.

I've already replaced all lights on the bike except for the turn signals with LEDs. It is my understanding that this has reduced the current load on the charging system and has provided less of a load.

Am I wrong?
In my opinion fwiw, I believe you are doing fine by monitoring the voltage. You should get some warning before the stator fails, and I don't believe stator failures are all that common. Yes, you can put the money and hours into converting to the other type of regulator. Yes, you might prevent a sudden failure in a location where you cannot make it back to civilization. The question is whether it is worth it to you to make the change.

I have opted to monitor voltage rather than change the regulator. If I were going to ride across desolate 3rd world countries my choice might be different.

As to electrical load, yes you are wrong. The alternator runs at full bore. Once you get to about 3000 rpms it can develop full power. Any power you don't use up with lights, heated grips, etc will be wasted as heat within the charging system. That heat is bad.

Having said that, I am experimenting with LED headlights. The ones I have say they dissipate 20W, which compares to 55W for the factory lamps. So not a huge difference. I may end up with the LED for the high beam only, which doesn't get used all that often. Or I may add some aux lights which will improve visibility plus sink a bit of power. Or maybe some other creative rewiring.

Some LED lights may burn pretty close to the original 55W but put out much more light than the oems. And these may not be legal...

If you've installed resistors to the LEDs (such as turn signals) they are burning the full amount of power as the originals.

There isn't a tremendous amount of spare power on the V650. If you ride with heated clothing, heated grips, USB powering stuff, etc, you might be better off with the LED lighting to free up electrons.
 

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In my opinion fwiw, I believe you are doing fine by monitoring the voltage. You should get some warning before the stator fails...
I have to disagree. One will not be warned of impending failure, one will observe the failure in progress. The rate of failure will also increase with time. Not an issue if close to home, but if in a remote area walking may be required.

I consider upgrading the regulator to be one of the best modifications I’ve done to my V. Followed closely by all LED lighting, which freed enough watts to allow for heated grips and clothing.
 

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I had a promising plug and play option, it is on hold indefinitely or possibly this winter.
I have made 2, and the issue is the header plug is meant for printed circuit boards, I have all the special soldering equipment. I am considering soldering in water.
 

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I have to disagree. One will not be warned of impending failure, one will observe the failure in progress. The rate of failure will also increase with time. Not an issue if close to home, but if in a remote area walking may be required.
That's really the situation, where the failure can be seen before being stranded if the voltage is monitored. The drop in voltage may or may not allow some power to be provided by the alternator depending on how rapidly the stator is failing.

For commuting to/from work the risk is minimal. But if way out in the wilderness it could be impossible to get back home before the battery is depleted.

The rate of failure doesn't seem to be high, and the risk to a low mileage bike would be lower than high mileage.

For me, other risks are much higher when out adventuring. Flat tire beyond repair, tipped over in soft sand and can't lift the bike myself, etc. A plug and play replacement at a reasonable cost would be attractive to me. Though my first career was an Electrical Engineer, the mess of converting it myself is not worth my time at this point.
 

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...In my opinion fwiw, I believe you are doing fine by monitoring the voltage. You should get some warning before the stator fails, and I don't believe stator failures are all that common. Yes, you can put the money and hours into converting to the other type of regulator. Yes, you might prevent a sudden failure in a location where you cannot make it back to civilization. The question is whether it is worth it to you to make the change....
Here's a link to the write-up I did on the stator failure on my '08 back on 20 Jan '17.


P1180370 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Go to post #474, and NOTE how little time I had between getting the first info that the R/R was "cratering", and when the voltage became low enough that I would NOT be able to continue VERY SHORTLY!

ONLY ABOUT eight or nine miles, and I had the ability to turn OFF my headlights thru a 'mod' I'd done on the advice of onewizard. It is NOT long till you're going to be walking.
 

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I am curious to know the rate of stator failures in the Kawasaki 650 engine, and how many miles are typically on them. Many of us don't ride many miles per year, which reduces our exposure to failure.
 

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If we're taking votes here - my vote is on using a voltage meter and chance it. I had two stator failures in my life: first one on a 2009 F800GS, got me stranded three times because BMW didn't diagnose the issue correctly. They first replaced the battery, then the rectifier, then the stator which fixed the issue. Second stator failed on a 2009 Ninja 650, about 50+ miles away from home. A friend rode it, I followed on my ZRX1200. We swapped batteries, bump started the ZRX (nothing beats a proper analog system :) ) and rode home. The fully charged ZRX battery provided enough juice for the 50+ miles ride home. At the time, the Ninja had approximately 30K miles on the clock.

I have a cig lighter installed in my 2019 V650 with a cheap voltage meter with two USB ports. At 32K miles, no issues. If the stator fails, I got extended warranty. :)
 

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I had stator failures on my vulcan 750. The oem lasted about 10 years and 50000 miles. The replacements, only a couple of years and less than 5000 miles. I have a voltage ⚡ monitor and have done the series regulator mod. Cutting a ride short and just making it home sucks.

Wish I had known about the regulator mod when I owned the vulcan.
 

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I am curious to know the rate of stator failures in the Kawasaki 650 engine, and how many miles are typically on them. Many of us don't ride many miles per year, which reduces our exposure to failure.
Using my rewind experience and understanding of magnet wire insulation/shunt regulator action. The early MK-1 and MK-2 had higher failure rates due to the cross-connections being on the same side as the delta connection. Early 2014 Kawaki had their stator vendors switch to having the delta connection on the opposite side of the cross-connections, also class H magnet wire and better " varnish was being introduced. I left the motor shop in 1981, after 9 years, during the time in the motor shop, late 1979 we were using a epoxy type varnish requiring baking to cure, on all large stator rewinds ( anything over 60 HP-in fact, in 1979, it wasn't practical to rewind anything under 60 HP unless it was a special application) .
So all failures are shorted connections or shorted turns or a combination, expansion, and contraction or single-phase conditions also are related directly with the shunt regulator, where one of the 3 phase spade connections has failed, are causes. of single-phase burnt stator ( a series regulator cannot help you when a single-phase condition exists)
We have members here with 2016 stator failures, my guess is it has more to do with oil level and stop and go, short highway speeds than below 60 KM/HR for 10 minutes or more. The cost to me to change over to a series regulator was 3 tanks of fuel. My stator runs at about 60% output all the time except when the fan runs.

My view as to monitoring, say for whatever reason, a single-phase condition happens, say you did the stator test it didn't push the connector from the stator in far enough, chances are pretty good that after 30 minutes you have a burnt stator-shunt or series regulator-so in that case if you noticed it and corrected it you may be good for a while. Shorted turns, mimick a bad battery, doing my battery test may point you in the right direction. Shorted turns in many cases lead to short to ground, once that happens you have roughly less than 60 KM to get home.

I fully believe that anything that runs at 60% load will last longer than one that runs at 100% load-- The Versys motor is almost bulletproof, I am on 39,400 KM on my 2015, 14,400 of those on my Compu-Fire, and the last 25,000 of those on my Polaris 4016868 ( the Compu-Fire had 25,000 on the 07 )
 
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