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Louie
Louie, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 11454
Experience:  25+ yrs. experience
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I'm having charging problems. With the bike running at

Customer Question

I'm having charging problems. With the bike running at 2000rpms the battery test at 12.3v. With the regulator/rectifier unplugged while running it sits at 11.9v. I've done the current leakage test and I sit at .5ma with/without the regulator/rectifier plugged in. I've tested the diodes and the resistance on the regulator/rectifier and all seem ok. Stator to ground is open, from terminal to terminal is less the .1
Bike running at 2000rpm and the regulator/rectifier unplugged I get 23 ac volts on one terminal and 20 ac volts on the other two. With the regulator/rec. plugged in it reads 20ac v on one and the other two are at 7ac v. Any ideas or suggestions? Could the current draw have anything to do with the stator? I've checked the service manual and it said that it could be a bad ground or a faulty ignition switch. What are my next steps?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

Unplug the stator yellow wires. Start the engine and check the ac voltage across each pair of yellow wires, a total of three tests. While checking the voltage raise the engine rpm. The ac voltage across each pair of yellow wires should exceed 50 volts ac when the engine rpm is above 2,000.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
should I test from a to b, b to c, and a to c? Also what's your thoughts on the current leakage of .5 ma?
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

Yes across each pair of yellow wires. that current leakage is normal.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Okay so if the stator doesn't exceed 50 v ac on any of the three checks then replace the stator? If the stator test okay what would be the next step?
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

What is the ac output across each pair of yellow wires at idle and when the engine is reved up?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
At idle (1300) rpm it reads 27-28v at 2500 it reads 44-46 v
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

Does it ever exceed 59 volts the higher you rev it?

Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

Sorry, I misclicked. Does it ever exceed 50 volts ac when you rev the engine.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My kids are in bed and I can't rev higher then 2500rpm at this point in time.
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 4 months ago.

It should go above 50 volts ac when you rev the engine higher and I believe it will based on the numbers you are getting now. Most likely the regulator portion of the regulator/rectifier is bad. I saw one of those a couple of years ago that had the regulator/rectifier replaced twice on it and the customer kept coming back saying the battery went low after a long ride. We ordered another new regulator/rectifier from Honda and when it arrived it was a different part number that was superceeded. After installing it the battery charging voltage was higher than it had ever been and the bike never came back. So I suspect replacing the regulator/rectifier will fix the problem.

Please leave a positive rating so that I can get credit for assisting you. After rating you can always add a reply if you need more help with this problem.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I replaced the regulator/ rectifier and it didn't fix my problem. I still sit at 11.7v at idle. There is no change in voltage up to 4000 rpm. So I just spent $100 bucks on something that didn't fix my problem.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Expert:  Louie replied 3 months ago.

Hi Colby and welcome to JustAnswer,

Thank you for the relisted question and your patience. Should you still need assistance for information purposes only...

Initially, appear to be several potential issues.

Still, let's review what we know and compare with the basics of this model. Then, proposed preliminary tries (if have not been done):

  • regulator/rectifier unplugged while running it sits at 11.9v - expecting more than 12.3V - have the battery externally charged and then load tested;
  • 2000rpms the battery test at 12.3v - expecting at least 12.7V - (temporarily) hardwire the regulator's green and red/white wires directly to the battery's - and + terminals respectively;
  • current leakage test and I sit at .5ma - was expecting 0.1mA
  • regulator/rectifier unplugged I get 23 ac volts on one terminal and 20 ac volts on the other two - low and indicates unevenness of the 3 stator winding outputs;
  • regulator/rec. plugged in it reads 20ac v on one and the other two are at 7ac v - confirms the unevenness of the 3 stator outputs;
  • • but possibly a diode issue even if "...tested the diodes and the resistance on the regulator/rectifier and all seem ok..."
  • Any ideas or suggestions? - try the above load test, direct wire and scrape clean the connectors of the three (3) stator wires.
  • current draw...bad ground - least likely;
  • current draw...faulty ignition switch - possible or any of the loads fed by the ignition switch;
  • What are my next steps? - temporarily disconnect the wires from the ignition switch 1 at a time except the red wire while observing the current draw;
  • • strongly consider hardwiring secondary ground lines from the battery's - terminal to the frame, engine and to the harness' green wires.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Okay so just to add. The last tech on hear told me to replace the regulator/rectifier. I did and no change. He also said that the current draw I have of .5ma is normal. Which goes again the service manual for the bike. Also you said to add ground wires to the engine, frame, and harness. Do you happen to no how many grounds there are in the harness? Or at least which one I should replace/ add on to?
Expert:  Louie replied 3 months ago.

If the AC output of the stator is uneven, then the stator would be suspect including its wiring and connectors.

For Hondas, normally harness green wire to chassis ground starting with the headlight, brakelight and to include regulator.

Then a ground strap from the engine to the frame then to the battery's - terminal.

The additional ground line would serve as both an attempt of a fix and as a test by process of elimination.

IF with good ground, wires & cables, connections, loadtest passed battery and known to be good regulator, there is still a charging issue, THEN the stator would be the only suspect left.

Also, hardwiring a secondary ground line is the easiest to implement not only good practice considering the age of the Honda.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I should add an additional ground from battery to frame, and frame to engine? Or both to battery? What gauge wire would you recommend for any additional ground?
Expert:  Louie replied 3 months ago.

From the battery's - terminal to the frame and then another from the battery's - terminal to the engine.

The bigger the better but even a #14 would do the job since it is meant to be secondary.