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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you're in need of motorcycle electric service, I'd like to share a great find I made. About a month ago, I was riding my Concours home from Cocoa Beach early Sunday morning. It's about a 3 hour ride, and along one of the most deserted stretches of I-95 the bike died and I coasted to the shoulder. The bike acted like the battery was dead; dim lights and just a "click" sound from the starter button. I decided to get a battery and try to get the bike home, about 100 miles away. A guy in a pickup came along, and he agreed to give me a ride to the nearest parts store and back.

I put the new battery in, and the bike cranked right up. After stopping for gas I found that the bike wouldn't start again. I got some help and push started it, and it made it back to my garage, where it died completely at the front door. After doing some basic testing, I concluded the alternator had failed. I ran the service manaul tests for the regulator and rectifier, and they both passed. At that point, I started looking at my options.

First, I looked at the price to replace the unit. Best price: $500 online. Then I located Mayer's Motorcycle Electrical Service on the Web. I got a nice email from Kevin stating they'd rebuild the alternator for $200.00. It seemed like a good deal, but I'd have to ship the unit to Colorado and it would take a few weeks. I told Kevin I wanted to look for a shorter repair time. He actually offered to try to help me find a qualified tech here in my area! However, I called around town and found the local alternator re-builder. They took a week to look at it, and then declared the stator was bad and they couldn't get parts. So, I went back to Kevin.

Since the stator part itself lists for over $200, I had to check and make sure I understood what I'd get. Kevin assured me all parts and labor were included for the $200. The unit also comes with a 1 year warranty! So, I sent the unit off to Colorado. Kevin even went further to help me out at this point. Their usual turn around is about 2 weeks. When I told Kevin my son and I were hoping to take the Concours on our summer vacation and that we only had another week before my time off from work came around, he put the rush on and got my unit out the door in a week!

Here's a brief quote from an email I received from Kevin about his business:
"We've been in business for 5 years. Besides alternators, we rebuild magnetos and wire harnesses. We also do electrical system problem tracing/diagnostics. We specialize in complicated systems and rebuild to OEM specifications. One project we are proud of is rebuilding a 1959 Honda CB77 Generator back to OEM condition. We are not a large operation but try to provide a good quality service."

You can contact Kevin at:
[email protected]
303-258-0213
Motorcycle Electrical Service
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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8,715 Posts
Wow, outstanding service. I'll definately keep this place in mind if ever I need it.
 

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MODERATOR X
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5,449 Posts
Where's the alternator on a Connie? Is it on the end of the crankshaft, immersed in oil?

I'd be worried about WHY the alternator failed, as they are darn near indestructable. Did they say what the problem was?

Last time I burned out an alternator on a jap bike, it was because the crank bearing was shot, and the rotor/stator was rubbing on each other, that shorted out the windings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fun with Connie

Where's the alternator on a Connie? Is it on the end of the crankshaft, immersed in oil?

I'd be worried about WHY the alternator failed, as they are darn near indestructable. Did they say what the problem was?

Last time I burned out an alternator on a jap bike, it was because the crank bearing was shot, and the rotor/stator was rubbing on each other, that shorted out the windings.
The alternator is a self-contained unit that mounts on the left side of the engine, just behind the cylinders. The regulator and rectifier are under an end cap, then the stator and rotor are in a fairly conventional casing. It has a "paddle" drive of three vanes that slip into a "cush" drive on the crankcase. It seals with an o-ring, and mounts with three bolts.

As for the failure, this bike is, after all, 20 years old. Also, on the way to Cocoa Beach the day before, I ran into a thunderstorm that was so bad my buddy turned around and went home. Cars were pulling over, and the rest were going 10 mph. If you haven't ridden through a Florida summer thunderstorm, it's pretty hard to imagine how intense they can be. At it's peak, it's about like running the bike down the middle of a small river! Maybe it was just too much water?

At some point I guess the Conster will reach a point where it's going to be tough to justify repairs. Worse still, I spent two hours yesterday sitting on and drooling over the new Concours 14 at the dealership. It was the first they've gotten, and DAMN it's nice. I have this sentiment that "you can make payments or you can make repairs." The new Connie may push me into selling the HD and/or Kawi and financing the difference. It's head and shoulders above every other sport touring bike I've seen. I was really hoping I wouldn't like it so much.
 

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The Toad
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17,458 Posts
Yeah well....

Where's the alternator on a Connie? Is it on the end of the crankshaft, immersed in oil?

I'd be worried about WHY the alternator failed, as they are darn near indestructable. Did they say what the problem was?

Last time I burned out an alternator on a jap bike, it was because the crank bearing was shot, and the rotor/stator was rubbing on each other, that shorted out the windings.
.. you should have had fun with the 80 GS1100 stators. Those cooked left and right. Ironically some Brit company makes a voltage regulator that solves the problem. As you could guess it isn't Lucas.

G1200s blew a lot of alternators too.
 
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