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Old 04-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #16
Infracaninophile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
Me too
Steve:

Hope you get it back on the road. But if you want to fly home I can PayPal $3000 right now to you in Texas. I'll even eat the fees and add 3%. Just sign the title and leave it under the seat. I'll be down Tue to collect my new bike.

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infracaninophile
Steve:

Hope you get it back on the road. But if you want to fly home I can PayPal $3000 right now to you in Texas. I'll even eat the fees and add 3%. Just sign the title and leave it under the seat. I'll be down Tue to collect my new bike.

T.
+1, except I don't have a spare 3k now.. and even worse, have no way of getting it out of Texas as I am unable to enter that state again in my lifetime.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:40 AM   #18
Wirespokes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
and even worse, have no way of getting it out of Texas as I am unable to enter that state again in my lifetime.
Then use someone else's lifetime! Duh
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:28 PM   #19
dduelin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni
How do you neglect a rotor? When a winding opens up what could have been done to prevent it?
I am sorry I implied that rotors fail from neglect. They are a crap shoot and can go for 100,000 more miles or fail tomorrow.

I meant that airhead Bosch charging systems in general fail from neglect. The original system is simple but won't last forever if neglected. This means 20-40 year old wiring still in place with the original terminal fittings, corrosion in wires & fittings, never checking output to benchmark the system, failing to renew heat sink paste, leaving batteries chronically undercharged from low revs, lack of riding, add-on loads of lighting/heated gear or a combination of these.

Aside from an open rotor there are usually signs and symptoms things aren't right for a while before you are stranded.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:33 PM   #20
StephenB OP
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Strike the heatsink paste, that is ignition related for 1981-on bikes.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:13 PM   #21
Boon Booni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduelin
I am sorry I implied that rotors fail from neglect. They are a crap shoot and can go for 100,000 more miles or fail tomorrow.

I meant that airhead Bosch charging systems in general fail from neglect. The original system is simple but won't last forever if neglected. This means 20-40 year old wiring still in place with the original terminal fittings, corrosion in wires & fittings, never checking output to benchmark the system, failing to renew heat sink paste, leaving batteries chronically undercharged from low revs, lack of riding, add-on loads of lighting/heated gear or a combination of these.

Aside from an open rotor there are usually signs and symptoms things aren't right for a while before you are stranded.

Got ya. I had a rotor go bad on me last summer. Was wondering if there was more that I could have done, besides installing one of Motorrad Elektric's rotors preemptively.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:48 PM   #22
StephenB OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni
Got ya. I had a rotor go bad on me last summer. Was wondering if there was more that I could have done, besides installing one of Motorrad Elektric's rotors preemptively.
No, nothing. What I do for prevention is alternating two charging systems on a yearly basis, so I always have known good spares and check cables and connectors once a year. I don't mind the breaking down bit, it's part of the journey. What I do mind is not being prepared when it happens!
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:21 AM   #23
Joerg
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni
Was wondering if there was more that I could have done, besides installing one of Motorrad Elektric's rotors preemptively
Nope, there is no preventive maintenance for an alternator rotor ... but since this is the part that most frequently fails ("frequently" in terms of Pareto charts, not in terms of absolute numbers) I have a simple voltage indicator installed on all of my bikes, and AFAIK Stephen has also a (digital) voltmeter on his GS. These things solve at least two issues:

(1) The provide an immediate warning when the rotor fails. The GEN light will usually not do this during a ride, only after the next stop/start cycle ... and you may well have drained the battery during those 200 km you have covered in the meantime. On the voltage indicator, the red LED will light up in the same moment the rotor fails, leaving largely 'nuff time to implement "plan B" (switch off the headlight, look for buddy or dealership with spare rotor in 250 km radius, etc)

(2) Diagnostic status about the battery being charged: When I know (= visible indicator) that the battery is being drained, not charged, I know that I should switch off the heated grips . The GEN light does not do this.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:31 AM   #24
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in 17 years with my '92 PD, I've had 3 electrical failures. First was the original rotor, which went out after a long, hot day of an XC trip. A couple years later I wanted more lights so upgraded to the Motorrad Omega charging system, and about a year after that I began having charging issues and discovered the new diode board was slowly melting down, one diode at a time, for reasons I've never been able to figure out - Rick sent me a new one under warranty and I've had no further issues to this day, at least 5 yrs later.

My third failure is embarassing - my 8-yr old Westco battery slid back and was rubbing against the rear fender for some time and eventually the grit wore a hole in it and drained 2/3 of the acid. The bike was starting hard and I needed a jump once to get home from work; without investigating I just figured the battery was finally tired after a pretty good run, but when the new Odyssey arrived and I took the old one out I discovered the hole - pretty amazing how less than half of an 8-yr old battery was able to keep the bike mostly running for as long as it did. I made sure to strap the new one down better... hopefully others will learn from my stupidity.



All in all I've found the airhead electrical system, in spit of its limitations, to be pretty robust and forgiving, and in all three cases I was able to keep limping along for hundreds of miles or weeks of daily riding until the problem was fixed.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduelin
This means 20-40 year old wiring still in place with the original terminal fittings, corrosion in wires & fittings, never checking output to benchmark the system, failing to renew heat sink paste, leaving batteries chronically undercharged
My ears are burning..

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Old 04-19-2010, 08:34 AM   #26
SOLO LOBO
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With five airheads and twenty years I have had one rotor fail (I did run the bike up to redline numerous times) and one diode board go.....

I have a one complete charging system, and another spare diode board on the shelf now...

Riding in today, no accessories, I was shoing 13.6 volts at 4K rpm's... I have my GPS set to display battery voltage and just keep an eye on that.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #27
Steverino
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Mine was the rotor. Luckily some very nice Texans helped and one even had a spare air head motor in the garage to borrow a rotor from. So I lost 18 hours and got home with no more problems.

Also, there was no neglect on this bike. Every connection was spotlessly clean and protected with dielectric grease.

Roll of the dice rotor failure. Although I do ride ALL my bikes hard.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:42 PM   #28
bmwrench
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After rotor failures held up enough trips, I don't leave town without a spare. A new one is carefully wrapped in the bottom of my tank bag and the removal tool is tucked in my tool kit. Haven't had one fail since I started carrying it!
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:10 PM   #29
Boon Booni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
Mine was the rotor. Luckily some very nice Texans helped and one even had a spare air head motor in the garage to borrow a rotor from. So I lost 18 hours and got home with no more problems.

Also, there was no neglect on this bike. Every connection was spotlessly clean and protected with dielectric grease.

Roll of the dice rotor failure. Although I do ride ALL my bikes hard.

You going to test that new rotor out at Laurel Forks this weekend?
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:14 PM   #30
Steverino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni
You going to test that new rotor out at Laurel Forks this weekend?
Nope, I got a long list of "chores" to do on the bike after my little 4000 mile jaunt. I have a few issues to resolve. Nothing major, just a bunch of small things that drive me crazy.
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