Electric output on LC4?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Airhead, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. Airhead

    Airhead More human than human

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    I'm more interested right now in increasing the heat output of the sun in the Northern Latitiudes...but yes, I'm still interested in boosting the output of my LC4...

    Tell us how...
    #21
  2. Odysseus

    Odysseus Stoic Philosopher

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    Thanks for posting that correspondence Meat. I have copied and pasted that and filed it with my LC4 owners manual. Really useful info!
    #22
  3. Earthscape

    Earthscape Have ya got a helmut?

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    A word of warning about this before I get started. The weather here has been miserable and cold, so I haven't been able to put this modification to the torture test yet. Initial results look real good, but I will post an update here when I'm able to do more thorough testing.

    That said, I originally started this because the headlights left a lot to be desired. I located and installed a pair of 70 watt bulbs to replace the 55 watt stock bulbs, and this helped, but was barely adequate. Riding with the increased headlight output, heated grips and heated vest really pushed the charging system to the limit, if not beyond it. It's reassuring that the 640 has both electric and kick start.

    My LC4 is a 1999 model. I don't think much has changed on the LC4 that would impact what I have here, but I don't know that for sure.

    Now, on to the good stuff. I contacted several companies looking for stator rewind services to increase the output of the stock stator, and most answers that I got were along the lines of "we won't rewind it, but the 640 already has one of the most powerful stators for a dirt bike, so why do you need more?". Maybe true, but it's mighty weak for a street bike, so they were of no help. Then I contacted Electrosport, www.electrosport.com (used to be Electrex USA), and they told me they do indeed have a more powerful stator for the 640, although it is not listed anywhere on their web site. Their part number for this stator is now ESG950. It now lists for $154.00 on their web site, including shipping, which is a good bit cheaper than when I bought it. I was originally told the ESG950 made more power and at lower RPM than the stock stator, and that the output was 250 watts, which was 50 to 70 watts more than the stock stator. However, in later conversations, they said the maximum output of the stator was 350 watts. I have an email out to them to clarify what the output is across the RPM range. It is important to note that the ESG950 was not originally designed for the LC4 engine, and so does not have the correct connectors on it. The stator comes with connectors for a Yamaha Raptor, which the KTM obviously isn't. So the only way to connect it is to cut the connector it comes with off, and cut the connector from the KTM stator off and connect the two together. To find it on their web site, look under Yamaha ATVs, or go here


    [​IMG]

    The new stator wires aren't long enough to reach all the way to the stock connector anyway. The new stator also comes with a new pulser coil, which is not compatible with the Adventure, nor is it needed. You'll need some Locktite, preferrably removable type that can set in the presence of oil. It's probably also a good idea to have a spare gasket on hand in case you tear the original getting it off.

    The old stator comes out pretty easily. Tank and fairing need to come off because the connector for the stator is under the tank. The oil must be drained (or leaned over to the let), and the right engine side cover removed. I also had to remove the starter to get the old stator wire out and the new wire in. You could do it without removing the starter if you cut the old connector off (leave yourself plenty of wire!) and pulled the wires through without the connector on (you'd also have to feed the new stator wire under the starter before putting the stock connector back on if you did that). But removing the starter is very, very easy. Just two visible bolts, and pull horizontally (toward you). The starter slides right out piece of cake, and goes back in just as easy.

    [​IMG]

    Just rest the starter out of the way temporarily.

    [​IMG]

    The clutch actuation arm is a tight fit above the stator wires and the oil lines. Loosening the bolt and raising the arm on the shaft makes getting the wire out and back in much easier.

    [​IMG]

    The stator is attached to the inside of the cover with hex-head bolts that are secured with removable lock-tite. I was expecting to need an impact wrench to remove it, but it was not necessary. The bolts came out pretty easy.

    [​IMG]

    The new stator bolts right in place, but you need to be careful about routing the wires inside the cover. If they stick out too much, the flywheel will rub on them and cut through. I cut one of the zip ties off the new stator to better align the wire to the grommet. The stock stator has a metal tab that keeps the wires away, the new stator does not. You can see the stock stator tab sticking out in the photo below. In the photo at the top you can see the ESG950 does not have anything like this.

    [​IMG]

    The stock rubber grommet does work, although the new wires have a bit thicker of a jacket so the grommet sticks out a bit before getting squashed by putting the cover back on. Perhaps this will make for an even better seal around the wires, I'll see. The grommets that come with the ESG950 do not work on the LC4.

    [​IMG]

    Don't forget to put the wires through the grommet before putting any connectors on them, or you won't get them through the grommet. I used plain old bullet connectors to make the connection from the new stator to the old stator wire and connector because I wasn't able to find a good quality 3-wire waterproof connector. You can solder them, but that's not a good idea until you know for sure which wire is which.

    [​IMG]

    Once the engine side cover is bolted back in place, run the wire along where the original wire was, under the starter and up along the back of the cylinder head.

    [​IMG]

    The documentation from Electrex says that the 3 stator wires are all the same, and can be connected in any order. I found that this is not true, at least on an LC4. The stator is 3-phase AC, so all three leads do produce the same power pulses, just at different times (or so it seems). The stock stator connector has two of the 3 stator wires coming back out of the connector and going into a second connector. Looking at the wiring diagram, those two wires go to the CDI. You can see the stator connector in the photo below, and it's hard to see, but two of the wires that go into the connector come back out and go to the connector that feeds the CDI.

    [​IMG]

    Naturally, my first try did not result in the correct 2 wires going to the CDI and the bike would not run. A couple more tries changing the 3 wires around and it fired right up. I don't know of any other way to find the correct wires than trial and error since the new stator wires are all the same color. You may be able to compare the coils on the new and old stators and figure out which wires are in the same position on the stator, but I didn't feel like draining the oil back out to check, and the stock wires are difficult to follow in the stator. I tried all 6 possible combinations of connecting the 3 stator wires for fun, and 2 of them worked, the other 4 did not. So you have roughly a 33% chance of getting it right the first time.

    At this point I thought I was done, but since I was the gunea pig on this one, I was wrong.. After a ride or two, I noticed that the battery was not charging. I was originally told the stock regulator/rectifier could handle the increased output of the ESG950, but this was the only culprit after some extensive testing. So, some UPS business and a few months later, the news was that the testing Electrosport performed on my stock regulator/rectifier revealed that it indeed was not capable of handling the increased output. Apparently, it works for a short period, and then the voltage drops as it becomes overloaded. Not wanting to throw in the towel being so close to the goal, I ordered an Electrosport regulator/rectifier, part number ESR100 which they said would handle the output of the ESG950. They currently list the ESR100 at $127.50 shipped (but I also see it as $99.00 in a list, so best to check with them; their prices seem to have gone down lately). You can find it here


    Just as with the stator, the ESR100 was not originally designed for the LC4, so the connectors on it do not bold right into the LC4 electrical system. So, once again, you'll need to cut the connectors off the original regulator, with plenty of wire, and connect the connector to the ESR100.


    [​IMG]

    The wires get run under the right side panel along the same path as the originals. You'll have to cut a few of the zip ties that hold the wires, and put some new ones on.

    [​IMG]

    At this point it's worth noting that one of the regulator connectors connects to the stator connector. If you wanted to, you could use your own wire and spare your original components wires from hacking. However, you would still have to figure out a way to connect the correct stator wires to the CDI connector. Since I didn't know I needed a new regulator when I put the stator in, I didn't have an opportunity to try it this way.

    There is one last problem to solve. Again, since the ESR100 was not designed specifically for the LC4, the bolt holes on it are too deep for the studs on the battery hold-down plate. The stock regulator has recessed panels that allow the bolts to fit down on the studs.

    [​IMG]

    A large portion of the ESR100 is aluminum casing. The electronics are confined to a small square visible on the underside. So, I used a 5 flute, 5/8" countersink bit and a drill to remove enough of the aluminum around the bolt holes to allow the stock nuts to fit down onto the studs. A regular drill bit does not work because it tries to grab too much material from the bolt slots.

    [​IMG]

    After the stud slots are enlarged, the stock nuts can be used to secure the regulator.

    [​IMG]

    When you're done, the final product should look pretty much like it did before you started. If it looks significantly different, you may have done something wrong.

    [​IMG]

    So, after all this, how does it work? Like I said before, I haven't been able to put miles on it yet because of the ridiculous weather here. But from a standstill, with the new stator powering the 70 watt bulbs, it cuts a large, very bright white hole in the dark. Very nice and noticeable improvement. Things don't dim as much as they did at idle any more, and it doesn't take as much RPM to bring everything to full brightness either - just off idle and everything seems to be at full brightness. Of course, these are all subjective measurements; I didn't take any flux measurements for before and after comparisons, and I didn't carefully note stock electrical output at any particular RPM.

    Overall, my opinion is that it is a worth-while upgrade if you are, or want to run higher wattage bulbs, additional lighting, heated accessories, or everything. I like knowing that I'm not going to push the electrical system to its limit constantly now. For anyone doing this after me, it's an under $300 upgrade, along with some time. Not the cheapest upgrade, but then the Adventure isn't the cheapest bike either. Around $300 for a minimum increase of 50 watts was good enough for me to try it, and I think it's going to accomplish what I set out to do. I hope someone finds this helpful. I will post some updates as the weather gets better and I have some time to evaluate the upgrade further.

    One last disclaimer, I don't work for Electrosport and have no interest in them, financial or otherwise. I was just happy there was someone out there willing to work with me to do what I wanted. Everything here is my experience with these products, and as I said, I have not done extensive testing yet, so it goes without saying that you'll be attempting this at your own risk.

    Justin
    #23
  4. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    WOW, what a great post and what awesome slething on your part. How the heck did anybody figure out that the Yammie stator fit?

    And regarding phase on the CDI: as you figured out, the system is designed to provide a pulse of juice at the correct point in engine rotation so you can kickstart the bike without a battery. Choose the wrong wire and the CDI won't have juice at the right time. I think you knew that but just explaining it for those who might not have figured it out.
    #24
  5. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    earthscape,

    persistence is the mutha of all invention - it seems you have proved that. i hope that congratulations are in order. amazing how hard some things are when you own one of the 'red-headed stepchildren' of the M/C world eh?

    awating testing... but isn't there some way you can measure the new charging system's output? Fluke on the battery leads?

    :lurk

    ps - nice oil temp dipstick. have you ever written down the temps that your dipstick showed vs. the IMO scale? not that the IMOs are reliable... :lol3

    pps - nice rallye skidplate too. is that the expensive one? worth the scratch?

    EDIT: your link to the ESR100 was a duplicate of the stator link; here is the correct one:
    http://www.electrosport.com/shopping_regulator_rectifiers/prod_esr100.html

    And their website does indeed say the ESG950 is a 250W output stator; perhaps that changes when used on the LC4? :dunno but an extra 100W is a big jump!
    #25
  6. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    Good job. This in my view was (WAS) the achilles heel of the LC4...It looks like that is a thing of the past!

    Excellent!:clap

    It could be the KTM flywheel magnets that makes the difference.

    Another thing to go even further would be to consider sending the flywheel here...

    http://www.trailtech.net/

    They can balance flywheels and install "super magnets" that can increase stator output by 50% depending on application.

    It would be worth a call to them to see what they think...
    #26
  7. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    Great report, looking forward to the final test's outcome.

    If it fails to live up to expectations, maybe we could downsize one of these...

    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    They didn't list the LC4 flywheel on their site; did you contact them in the past Flanny? If the pricing stays the same it would only run about another $150 to do the flywheel.

    What is your take on their claim that a heavier flywheel makes the engine harder to stall and even pull harder in the bottom end - inertia I guess - without sacrificing top end. Back when I was moddifying my 75 RD350 there were folks who lightened flywheels (and balanced I bet) so the engine could rev higher (14,000rpm! :eek1) but I never heard the claims that Trail Tech is making for a heavier one.
    #28
  9. fire_strom

    fire_strom Long timer

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    that post seems pretty (bleeping) index worthy,no?
    scott
    #29
  10. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    No.

    I have too many oil threads to review before I get to such impressive examples of investigative and applied research!

    :rofl
    #30
  11. Earthscape

    Earthscape Have ya got a helmut?

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    Thanks for pointing out the incorrect link - I'll fix it tonight.

    When I say testing, I'm referring to the reliability of the whole system when subjected to vibration, weather, electrical loads, etc., not about the actual current output of the components.

    I can't take all the credit for figuring this stuff out, Electrosport was an immense help. They where the ones to suggest that the ESG950 would fit on the LC4. They provided what I consider excellent support. Top-notch company in my opinion.

    As for the discrepancy in output, I do know their web site lists the ESG950 as having an output of 250 watts, but in my correspondence with their tech support during testing of the components, their tech said:

    "When pushing max output of the ESG950 (25A@14.2Vdc = 350W) I found the KTM OEM regulator/rectifier unable to handle the power (should be about twice as much as stock). Output on the DC bus drops after a few minutes."

    Hence my confusion over the actual output. I don't know if that max output is at 7,000 RPM or 18,000 RPM, which is why I have a follow-up question in to them about it. I don't know of any way I can measure the output myself since if my regulator is doing it's job, I'll only ever measure around 13.5 volts across the battery. Any extra current from the stator will be dissipated as heat. I would need a device that can generate a load and measure the voltage drop of the system as load increases (Fluke?).

    As for the oil temp dipstick, the '97 through (I think) 2001 640 Adventures came with the older style Touratech IMO Tripmaster (bit harder to read, but more adjustable and displays more info at one time), which doesn't have a temperature gauge, so I don't have anything to compare to. That was really the reason I picked up the dipstick, to keep an eye on engine temp.

    The skid plate was expensive - if I remember right it was about $550 back in 2000 (a bunch of us did a group buy direct from Germany). I think it was worth it. We had the option of 2 tool boxes or 1 tool box and 1 2-liter water tank. I went with the water tank. The one tool box is big enough to hold all the tools I need, and I added a drain valve on the back side of the lower part of the tank to attach a small hose to for easy access to the water. This way the valve is very well protected in case of a fall or large stick.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The skid plate itself is very thick and strong enough to stop just about anything.

    My last mod (at least planned right now) is to fit a corbin LC4 seat. Should only require a few small modifications to fit, and the comfort difference is like night and day.
    #31
  12. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    They don't make a new flywheel for the LC4, but I read on an older web-page of theirs (the page seems to be gone now) that they can retrofit and ballance stock flywheels too. You'd have to call them and confirm.

    Yup, flywheel weight makes a big difference in the power delivery characteristics of a bike. The thing is, the LC4 already has a pretty heavy flywheel (that's one of the reasons why it is such a tractor)...I don't think it would need to be any heavier. The reason why heavier flywheels are a big deal these days is because many people like to convert motocross bikes to enduro use. Motocross machines tend to have ligh flywheels for snappier response. In the case of enduro use, a heavier flywheel makes power delivery less abrupt and makes the bike more manageable in the woods.

    Cheers!
    #32
  13. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Fluke is just a brand of electrical multimeter (tester), albeit a very good one. Ah the rectifier, yeah, obviously my electrical knowledge is not so good. Maybe you could test the output going into the rectifier?

    Some electrical nerd will show up soon enough and straighten us out. :lol3 probably just the relationship between amps, volts, and watts and the difference between the Raptor and the LC4 or some such sillyness - or Flanny could be correct about the flywheel magnets.
    #33
  14. Earthscape

    Earthscape Have ya got a helmut?

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    Went for a ride yesterday, and was out later than I had planned. When I headed home, temps were down into the 40s, so it was on with the vest and grips.

    I'm happy to report that, in addition to the 70 watt headlight bulb, both the grips and vest got hot enough to start to burn my skin, which never even came close to happening with the stock stator, even with only one of the two on. (For the record, I was wearing Tour Master heavyweight leather gloves - bare hands would easily be burned to a crisp.) I was also quite surprised at how quickly the vest heated up after I first turned it on. I rode for over an hour with both on (vest on about 2/3 to 3/4 of max, grips on high), with the engine between 3k and 4k RPM about 95% of the time. I did have to stop at several long lights, and could feel the heat decrease slightly after idling. But once under way again, the heat quickly returned to where it was. When I got home, I connected the Battery Tender to see how much juice the battery would take (very un-scientific, I know), and I was glad to see that the light turned green after only a minute or two - which tells me the battery remained pretty much fully charged the entire ride.

    So far I've put about 110 miles on the setup, and it seems to be rigorous enough to handle the LC4 vibration. That's not a lot of miles yet though, so I'll post more updates as the miles increase.

    So, I would call the operation a success. :clap The electrical system now has the power to keep me completely warm, and keep the road illuminated, both at the same time. I'm quite happy with the output.
    #34
  15. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Glad to hear it! Good thoughts on your reservation to see how the new stuff holds up to the LC4 and the type of riding. :thumb
    #35
  16. 98rxcmi

    98rxcmi Chrome+Paint=Garage bike

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    I'm thinking aboout heated grips. It looks like Dual-Star has on that uses dual heat element. The grips that they sell at Lansing Cycle AKA Enduro Eng. uses a resistor to make the grips run in a "LOW" setting. It would seem like a better idea to use a dual element becuase, I think (this is where I may be wrong) wastes power in the "low" setting by turning the 12v power into heat at the resistor. At 29.99 it seems like a good price too.

    Anyone use that brand?
    #36
  17. KenR

    KenR Long timer Supporter

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    I just bought a set of the Dual Stars with the Heattroller control. Haven't had a chance to put them on the bike yet, but it looks like quality stuff.
    #37
  18. Earthscape

    Earthscape Have ya got a helmut?

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    I originally had the type of heaters with the resistor, and recently switched to ones with dual elements instead of the resistor. Yes, the resistor does waste watts when the grips are on low. Another problem with that design is that you have to find a place to put the resistor so that it doesn't melt anything as it gets quite hot. The dual element version I got was Moose not Dual Star, but they are very similar, and work better than the resistor type.

    On another note, I have another 150 miles on the new stator setup, and all is well with it. It's very nice to have warm hands and a hot vest on those cold morning rides into work.
    #38
  19. PJRogers

    PJRogers Scoots

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    I have the Dual Star grip heaters with the Dual Star Rheostat-type controller, and it works fine, from the heat-to-the-hands standpoint. The little indicator light is very sano. However, something is strange. The indicator light blinks on and off when the grips are turned on, so I assumed that the variable controller is really a bi-metallic strip. Hi-tech. Unfortunately the controller light keeps blinking a little bit when the knob is turned off - leading me to think that the switch is leaking electricity. Other than that, it is much better than the exposed resister wire from the older type cheapie heated grips.

    The best heated grip controller is the fancy heated vest actual rheostat controller - but it's $70+

    Good luck. Pics available.

    Jeff Rogers
    #39
  20. Earthscape

    Earthscape Have ya got a helmut?

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    Just a quick update - weather for the past 6 weeks here has been ridiculous (what is gong on?). Anyway, 600 miles on the new stator and regulator now, and it's still going strong.
    #40