I had a customer once that was on a ride from Canada to Vegas. He ended up spending his Las Vegas weekend in Butte, MT while his buddies rode on without him. His vacation was ruined all because of a bad battery.
It started with a call from a traveler on the road asking if we stocked a battery for his bike. We did have a battery for his bike but I suspected that he had bigger issues. He had to jump start the bike when he left on his trip but thought his battery would charge on the road. After several hundred miles of riding his battery was still not charged. So he stopped and bought a new battery. Now with the new battery, he said he was having to stop and recharge the battery because it wouldn’t stay charged. I advised him that we would run some test and determine the issue if he could get his bike to our shop.
He did make it to the shop, but without his bike. He did have his new battery but it was completely drained. It needed to be charged before we could really do any tests on it. We ended up sending out a truck and trailer to pick the bike up. By the time the bike was back to the shop, we had charged and test his battery. It had good voltage and could hold a good load.
With the bike in the shop, we started testing the electrical system. The first thing we did was perform an Ohm’s test on the stator. One leg was open, indicating the stator would need to be replaced.
This is what the stator we removed looked like.
Serval hundred miles of trying to charge a battery that was no good had completely charred the stator. We didn’t have a replacement stator in stock. Since it was Friday afternoon, there was no chance of getting a new stator until early the next week. There was also a chance his regulator/rectifier was also damaged. This couldn’t be tested with a good stator. We order both and a new gasket. The guys he was riding with rode on, already a day behind schedule. They would be back the following Tuesday so he could ride home with them.
This is what the new stator looked like.
We got the parts in and had him back up and running before his buddies made it back. His regulator/rectifier turned out to be working fine. It was better to have it then waiting a couple more days if we did need it. He was ready for the ride home by the time his crew arrived.
Keeping a good battery in your bike will save you money and hassle, especially if you’re out on the road!