Another alternator hits the dust and not under warranty

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by C5!, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Met n GS

    Met n GS Been here awhile

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    ok
    after reading about all the charging system problems it has gotten me worried quite a bit, "what if it happens to me!?" i know it will eventually go... but what can i do in the mean time for some piece of mind? its a 2010 f800gs and just got to the 40 000 km mark today. I was sick last week,so for about 5 days i never even started the bike:( just stayed in bed.Get better to ride again:happay
    Anyways, i mentioned that because... when i started the bike yesterday the normal display pre system check or whatever its called was doing what it normally does... it started off by on the display only showing the time and odo reading...as well as both needles just moving around a bit at between 1000-2000 revs if i remember as well as hearing the computer making some other type of noise... when i got it started it was idling quite high(it was about 10 degree celsius) but a bit higher than usual and cut out quite easily after i put it in to gear(perhaps just operator error after being sick:hide) so i turned it off for a reboot and did the same thing as first when i turned the key. Rode about 80 meters switched it off and did the same thing. Rode it about 10km then turned it off(once again to see if it still persisted)
    And it was gone... i have been noticing it doesnt start as quick with a press of the button. And thats what it used to be, just a quick press to get it running. Now you almost have to hold it in for a few mili-seconds longer. So i am suspecting that it is the battery. And am still contemplating which one to get... Hopefully its only that.
    I should probably ad that it has the battery it came out with( And about 2 months ago i fitted a set of spots,10watts each connected via a relay and fuse straught to the battery...and also started riding with the brights on) so im thinking that made the battery wear out quite a bit faster. Ive had no problems with the bike. And id like to keep it that way for as long as i can as im on a really tight budget. Dont know what ill do if the whole charging system goes on the fritz

    So if theres any wise in-mates here please help me out. Thanks
    ive heard about the story with volt meters, whats the teams view on that?


    1.Is there anything i can check or do to see if its anything more?
  2. nvklr

    nvklr Been here awhile

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    Cheapest way to start is to fully charge the battery if you have a charger, then take it out and take it to an auto place and have the battery load tested. That's where I would start. That and I'd check the battery voltage with a meter, which I have.
  3. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    An alternator rarely goes POOF, and you're done. You'll blow a phase, then another etc. That's where the voltage monitor comes in. First sign of trouble, start planning.

    That's how we got a Traveller from Nicaragua to my place safely where I stock replacements.

    The sooner you know.....
    NaMi likes this.
  4. Met n GS

    Met n GS Been here awhile

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    which would be the best at getting?
  5. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    I prefer the Spark Brite LED. I really don't care what my voltage is, so long as the light is green. As a test with a warm engine, throw the high beams on and the grip heat on high and whatever else. Light's still green, fine. It WILL go red at idle with the fan on. A few extra rpm's and it's green. Sometimes with the Denalis on high at a low rpm, it goes red.

    I have the latest design alt I installed myself 20K kms ago. Nearly a free upgrade if you play your cards right.

    But like oil and tires, there will be dozens of differing opinions. Our 2 bikes have never let us down in all the travels thru North and Central America.


    But now our headlight reflectors are burning..........
  6. Met n GS

    Met n GS Been here awhile

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    What is a good way to check the life of my battery? To measure it? like must the ignition be on or battery unplugged?
    ive heard of people that say theres has lasted about 10 years going! the original. Maybe mine just needs a charge then it will be fine?
  7. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    You can't check the Life of your battery, only if it's working right now. They can be good, you stop for gas then nothing. 10 years would be a rarely used bike I'd say, 5 years would be great but it seems 2-4 is normal, depending on the quality of the battery. There are many factors that shorten it's life. If you don't know why your battery needs charging, then it's telling you something. Leave your key on, fine. Sat for 2 months, sure. Wake up and the battery is low, something's up.

    If you only ride locally and can get a boost easily, then you can stretch it. If you ride a lot on roads less traveled, or into other countries, then it could be life or death. A friend of mine nearly lost everything when the bike failed on a lone stretch in Mexico. Robbery was just the beginning.
  8. Met n GS

    Met n GS Been here awhile

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    like i said at 08:34 the story of the battery..... It still works but i was thinking its on its way out since it stood for about 4 or so days without being started. It runs. and like i said in the message about how it runs. Im going to bmw to hear from them. The battery is about 6 years old. thats why i was wondering if it was that...or something else like the stator. im not to technical with how to check those type of things so forgive me if what im saying sounds dumb.
    I tested the battery with a voltmeter and it is perfect. Tested while off, while ignition on and while running. it falls in the line of a healthy battery(to my surprise)
    Maybe this is something the techs at bmw need to take a look at
  9. yaycep

    yaycep Been here awhile

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    That doesn't give you any clue about the cranking performance. It might look all right but still fail to provide enough current for cranking. It'd be pretty difficult to measure that.
  10. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv Super Moderator Supporter

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    your battery is 6 years old. I bet you a can of ravioli that it's the battery, even if I'm wrong ffs it's 6 years old. change it and have peace of mind. your time reference ie 08:34 doesn't make sense on this forums since those guys live on the other end of the world ie different time zone. might be time to invest in a GS911 if you want to continue to do maintenance like this and dunno how to wrench. at least for relatively cheap money you'll be able to troubleshoot.
  11. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

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    I will repeat this as I have done several times before. The alternator/stator is too close to the exhaust and the heat is destroying the stator. My stator fried at 35,000 miles. I installed new stator, wrapped the pipes with heat tape (like you see on race cars). I now have over 90,000 miles and no problems. don't complicate things - it's a simple fix.
  12. RBMann

    RBMann Been here awhile

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    Have your measured the temperature of the stator cover vs the clutch cover since you wrapped the exhaust? Might be interesting to check after a ride.
  13. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    Cowboy: You have said that before, and I am sure that wrapping the pipes helps, esp. if you are running with proper bash plate that further impedes air flow....

    What would be reallyinteresting is to get measurements on a bike without the wrapped exhaust and with it .... :hmmmmm
    I put in a series R/R so I could be a third test point ... but not really apples-to-apples...
  14. Met n GS

    Met n GS Been here awhile

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    Was it a stator from bmw that you installed, or like a generic?
    Could you post some pictures of how you rapped the exhaust?
  15. zaggnutt

    zaggnutt Adventurer

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    I am restoring an '78 suzuki GS750 and the problem with burning out stators is as old as my bike (at least). I just happened across this thread and thought I was having deja vu. The gsresources website has a long link dedicated to understanding, testing and repairing the suzuki gs charging system.
    http://www.thegsresources.com/statorpapers.php
    There may be some testing info in there that is helpful to those interested in testing their stator health.

    The consensus there is the SERIES type Reg/recs will keep the stator cool enough to prevent further failures. We use the Compufires and the cheaper alternative is the SH-775 Shindengen which is common in Polaris ATVs. Here is another link to pursue if interested....
    http://www.thegsresources.com/_forum/showthread.php?152769-GS-Charging-System-Health

    The difference being the amount of electricity being used by the bikes. Obviously the 70's bikes didn't have as many draws so may not exactly be apples to apples but you may be interested to know that the stator from a 70's bike looks identical to what you have on the Beemers so it appears that some of the technology hasn't changed much even though the tech in the engine, ECM, frames, has evolved quite a bit.

    Hope this is useful.
    shuswap1 likes this.
  16. dpike

    dpike BeeKeeper Supporter

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    there's magic deep down in this thread.
  17. NaMi

    NaMi Mirko

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    After 63Kkm (at112Kkm) almost the same picture.
    DSC02965.JPG
    A new alternator is installed and running...
    DSC02974.JPG
  18. GETTHUMPER2

    GETTHUMPER2 Been here awhile

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    Do yourself a favor and switch out the OEM shunt style Reg/Rect. for a series style and this will most likely be the last stator that you cook.
    All the best,
    THUMPER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    NaMi and mtnmaniac like this.
  19. RuffnReadyXJ

    RuffnReadyXJ Just thumping along...

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    Looking at purchasing an F8GS so I've been thumbing through this thread. I take it the general consensus is '13+ are pretty reliable? Or is there a pretty damn decent fix for under 500 bucks where using a non vented flywheel isn't needed? Just thinking this alone in parts cost might be worth getting a '13+.

    Thanks
  20. dpike

    dpike BeeKeeper Supporter

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    this is part of what makes the pre '12 bikes so special. you won't have this issue from '12 up.
    you can get a vented flywheel from ebay for a pretty good deal if you keep your eyes open or switch the rectifier to a shunt type and not mess with the flywheel at all. if you just swap the rectifier it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to swap the stator as well since chances are it's begun the road to a crispy death already.