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Old 06-05-2010, 12:43 PM   #16
ashrubbery OP
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Ya, one of the brushes was sticking a little so I think we got that fixed. That and a working battery. I just hope the voltmeter is broken, because it hovers at 11v and doesnt change much no matter what the rpm is!
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #17
Frank06
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Mine is inaccurate as well, reading ~11 volts at idle and *maybe* 12.5 max once charged up. The key as mentioned before is to check the battery itself with a known meter then use the gauge as a guide to see if anything has changed.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:54 AM   #18
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hey will something like a solid state high output regulator by motorrad elektrik (http://www.motoelekt.com/charging.htm) help for better charging? The whole package looks great but I dont have that kind of money, but wouldnt mind spending $32 or roundabouts if it makes a difference.

I know a guy who was having troubles charging his bike and I cant remember if they found a problem with his regulator or he just decided to change it for better charging. Anyways he was able to get a car regulator for next to nothing and make it work for his BMW (i think a /80 or something). He mainly uses his BMW for around town trips and doesnt always use his bike every week either. He definately doesnt charge it up overnight or go on really long trips, but hes having no problems with charging or his battery anymore.

Im thinking maybe I should do something similiar even though nothings wrong with my regulator.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #19
ashrubbery OP
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Hey everyone, just an update on my situation.

After thinking I fixed the problem, it turns out in fact that I have not. The generator light shines half dim now. After checking the brushes again we decided to replace one that may get stuck, but to no avail the bike still will not charge properly.

When we put the voltmeter on the battery, it does eventually climb up to 13.2 volts but it takes an awfully long time.

Also, with the lights on, the headlamp will not get brighter with increasing revs.

So this is what we have checked done so far:

-The thing with the little class connection (connects battery with the charger, forgot the name! sorry!) near the battery was cleaned of corrosion.

-The battery is a new working battery

-The brushes have been checked and one that may have given trouble has been replaced.

-The coils of the alternator have all been checked and they are fine.

-The diode box has been checked and is in working order.

-The regulator is an old one, the origional!

So we think its the regulator. can this be? Is there anything else that can explain the above mentioned symptoms?

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:13 PM   #20
mcma111
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A bad rotor?
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:16 AM   #21
boxerboy81
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Has the spring at the new brush been wound on adequately? If not, the brush won't contact the rotor properly.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:45 AM   #22
ashrubbery OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerboy81
Has the spring at the new brush been wound on adequately? If not, the brush won't contact the rotor properly.
yes the spring is fine. We even used a small screwdriver to make sure the brushes were making contact but it still was not charging properly.

Anyways, ive a trip to go on and shouldve left today. Its probably something stupidly simple but since I dont have the time to fiddle for weeks, Ive decided to spend some money and take into a motorcycle electrical expert tomorrow. That should sort it out.

Will tell you what he finds.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:05 PM   #23
bushyb
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So what was the problem at the end of the day?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:13 AM   #24
ashrubbery OP
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Sorry for such a late response. This problem actually took two years to get mostly sorted.

What I did from June 2010 to the present.

-Got the diode box completely checked and re-soldered by a motorcycle electrical business. (didnt help)

-Brushes rechecked. (didnt help)

-Wiring checked, changed some connections to brass if i can remember correctly?

-Changed brake light to a smaller globe

-Initially changed regulator to a car regulator, then it was found that this wasnt working (faulty?) changed to BMW regulator this was found to be faulty (really?), then changed to another car regulator (cant remember what type but can check if someone is interested). This seemed to do it, the bike charges much better now.

-Replaced motorcycle battery with a full sized car battery (again i forget which type, but can check). The battery takes up all the space underneath the seat (no space for the little compartment thing that goes there).

-Fixed starter motor (bike does not struggle to start now, usually starts with one or two flicks unlike before. Means it drains the battery less at each start up).

Now im not convinced the bike is charging 100% of what it should, because the Generator light can still be seen dimly in the dark indicating a minor problem, but the bike works fine for me. It charges well in the day, charges at night with the lights on, and has no problem with doing lots of short trips in traffic (~5km).

The three main things that helped for me where
1) A regulator that seems to work properly
2) A larger battery
3) A fixed starter motor

Cheers,
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #25
ignatz72
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You still haven't mentioned testing or replacing the rotor. This very well could be a rotor issue.

Also, you did some work with the brushes, but did you de-burnish the slip rings with emory cloth or fine sandpaper?

Have you given thought to buying Rick Jones' book? If you had this book your problem would likely be solved by now. Apparently he offers an electronic version now...
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #26
supershaft
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Replace the battery? Go to Radio Shack and get a cheap multimeter. Check batt voltage at the battery. Hit the starter. If the batt voltage drops very much below ten volts THEN you need a new battery. Static battery voltage is almost a useless test. Most bad batteries will charge up to 13 volts but can't deal with any load. More expensive multimeters have an amp gauge but in a lot of cases a test light will do the job of an amp meter. That or a voltage drop test which in many ways is the same thing as a amp draw test.

Check and clean your connectors? Don't forget to check the wires too! Worn insulation. Just that tiny nick right were it happens to be rubbing on something? If it's a hot wire that IS at least part of the trouble. Are the wires hard right by the connectors for an inch or two or even further up the wire? The wire has been over loaded and needs replacing. Wires that have been too hot don't carry an electrical load like they should. Your bike has a few electrical wires that get over heated regularly. Namely the B+and auxiliary diode board ground wires. Typically, they need replaced every 25K to 50k miles if you want to maintain optimum charging.

Static testing rotors? If it tested open it's open but they are very often bad and still test good. How? The centrifugal force of spinning moves things! A good connection can open up when it is spinning or some of the wires can rub together and cause a coil to coil short thusly taking part of the winding out of the equation. Some people advise that if the charge light is coming on it can't be the rotor. Wrong!

Brushes usually last well over 100,000 miles from what I have seen. I have never seen a rotor's slip rings that need cleaning if the brushes were good. I guess if it sat for a long time or was hardly ever ridden?

Good luck!

supershaft screwed with this post 01-17-2013 at 03:49 PM
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:57 AM   #27
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Hi, I run a 1978 R100S, a 1983 K100RS and am building a R100GS twinshock. I'm a retired mech and elec eng and make parts such as diode plates, voltage regulators, ignition systems and mechanical parts. My R100S charges through my diode plate and I use the car type voltage regulators and modify the slip ring brush holder to suit. Folks have told you to replace the battery, quite right, that's the starting point. Do you have the old mechanical regulator or the newer electronic one ? Either way, put a voltmeter between the battery positive and the blue wire on the regulator which is the +13.5V output of the diode plate to the regulator. The charge light is connected between this wire and the battery positive when the ignition is on and so the light goes off when its charging because there is ( almost ) no voltage between them. If everything's OK the voltmeter will show about 0.1 to 0.3 volts with the blue wire positive. This is so for ALL alternators. If you don't get this voltage but get a voltage with the blue negative then check the diodes on the diode plate ( for conducting one way, blocking the other ) and the rotor ( for being open circuit, I've popped many rotors over the years, Guzzis do the same ). If you have a popped diode, generally the charge light goes dim, in daylight you can hardly see it. At this point, I need some more feedback from you to continue.

I also need something. There's an Italian chap on this forum who built a Twinshock GS from an R65, EXACTLY what I'm doing. I need his contact details to find out what rear shocks he used from the swing arm / bevel drive to the main frame. Thanx.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #28
ashrubbery OP
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Hey!
So Im back with another issue
After my last post I must admit I havent really touched my bikes electrics. Im sure my bikes charging is not perfect but it has pretty much worked for my needs and thats fine by me.

Now something else has happened that I have not seen before. On a trip this past week, about a 150 km journey in the dark (had the headlight on), and wet, i noticed from my voltmeter that my bike wasnt charging. But the weird thing was my GEN light hadn't gone on. WEIRD i thought!

So i took the cover off and checked the wiring, everything seems to be in place, brushes look good, they are making contact even at high revs. I have enough info from this post alone and from the rest of Airheads to know how to check the alternator, diode box, regulator, battery to see if any of those are faulty. I havent done this yet, decided to do it later, but thought I may as well replace that bum GEN light bulb. Put a new light in (checked it with the voltmeter, it checked out). The GEN light is still OUT when NOT charging.

So after reading through the forum am I correct to say that the bike will NOT charge if the bulb is not working properly????
Also, someone said that it must be replaced with a BMW light. Seriously?

Anyone have any info on the GEN light issue?

Cheers,
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #29
Warin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashrubbery View Post
On a trip this past week, about a 150 km journey in the dark (had the headlight on), and wet, i noticed from my voltmeter that my bike wasnt charging. But the weird thing was my GEN light hadn't gone on. WEIRD i thought!
The problem is you have no idea of what you are doing! Or how the alternator system works!

------------------------------
I would assume that the GEN light does not come on when you first switch the bike on (motor not running)? The FIRST thing I would do is remove the front cover and put a short across the rotor slip rings (what the brushes connect to). If the GEN light now comes on (ignition switched on) then the rotor is open circuit and faulty. This is a common failure! Well known. Regular problem.

---------------------
In the long term READ all of http://www.batteryfaq.org/

In particular http://jgdarden.com/batteryfaq/carfaq5.htm

-----------------------
Understand that the bike (car/truck/bus) electrical system does NOT run off the battery when the motor is running! It 'runs' off the alternator!!! A larger battery does NOT help the running condition of the electrical system.

=======================
Anyone who tells you you need a BMW light for the GEN light should not be seen again, unhelpful bastard is the term to be used. While it may have been said in jest for the beginner it is not funny. Ostracize them.

Warin screwed with this post 07-03-2013 at 05:28 PM
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #30
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashrubbery View Post
Hey!
So Im back with another issue
After my last post I must admit I havent really touched my bikes electrics. Im sure my bikes charging is not perfect but it has pretty much worked for my needs and thats fine by me.

Now something else has happened that I have not seen before. On a trip this past week, about a 150 km journey in the dark (had the headlight on), and wet, i noticed from my voltmeter that my bike wasnt charging. But the weird thing was my GEN light hadn't gone on. WEIRD i thought!

So i took the cover off and checked the wiring, everything seems to be in place, brushes look good, they are making contact even at high revs. I have enough info from this post alone and from the rest of Airheads to know how to check the alternator, diode box, regulator, battery to see if any of those are faulty. I havent done this yet, decided to do it later, but thought I may as well replace that bum GEN light bulb. Put a new light in (checked it with the voltmeter, it checked out). The GEN light is still OUT when NOT charging.

So after reading through the forum am I correct to say that the bike will NOT charge if the bulb is not working properly????
Also, someone said that it must be replaced with a BMW light. Seriously?

Anyone have any info on the GEN light issue?

Cheers,
Gotta have the bulb, it's gotta be good and more or less the correct resistance. Mottorad Electric has an inexpensive kit that puts a resistor in parallel with the bulb to keep the circuit going if the bulb burns out. Cheap CYA.

The gen light should come on with the key on and the bike not running. If this is not happening, fix it.

I don't know the circuit. All I've ever had is open rotors. Get the charging system book from Mottorad Electric too. I don't have it but If I know Rick it will be money well spent. Next time I have some cash I'm getting it just to add to the library.

I would scour Snowbums site on this topic too.
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