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Old 11-16-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
Vintage550
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Default Alternator Motorcycle

Ok so not being a motorcycle mechanic and new to riding motorcycles, I was curious as to how the engine recharges the battery while the engine is running. Is there an Alternator, like in a car? I'm sure it's the same priciple but the wording and componets are different.

I have a 1974 Honda 550 four and was just curious, cause I have a new batttery and I seem to have not completely drained the battery but got it real low with a couple cold starts and leaving the key on a couple of times, for short periods.

Maybe, something not be working right?

I have learned how to start the thing on a cold morning with only a couple of pushes and never leave the key on. Doing those things maybe it will never drain again, until the battery is old. Will see.

Vin550
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
Morbo the Destroyer
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Yes, motorcycles have the equivalent of an alternator. The device that actually makes the electricity in modern bikes is often referred to as a "stator," which combines with a "rectifier" to produce the DC voltage.

Here's a simple test. Get a multi-meter. They are cheap these days, you can pick a decent one for $15. It will have a dial you can set to DC, and usually you can pick a range.

Put the multi-meter wires on the battery posts with the bike off. It should show about 12 volts. Start the bike and put the meter on again. It should show over 13 volts. If it does, the battery is bad. If it doesn't, the charging system is bad.

The meter is very useful for other tasks, so it's worth picking one up.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Excellent use of facts for our new mechanically disadvantaged friend there, Mr Destroyer.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:12 AM   #4
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Being helpful and friendly here is how we sucker them in for abuse in later posts.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #5
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Thanks Guys! Ready for some abuse now! You guys are cool! I have a multimeter! Will do!
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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You're welcome!

No charge! (So to speak!)
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