How to fix common regulator/Stator failures

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by Rubo, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    So what are we looking at here? A R1 R/R from sometime in the past 10 years or so?

    Does this mean that if it is a SH 689DA , it is OK?

    Extending the wires and mounting it up front shouldn't bee that hard. There is plenty of room. In fact, there should easily be enough room to also put another heatsink on the back of it.
     
  2. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    A matter of opinion. Mine, if it is still working fine, on a running bike you are getting the proper DCV volts at the battery, then it is OK. Others will disagree and say you have to go to the Mosfet design. As with anything bike related a lot of it is personal choice. My bike has 45 K miles and is still working fine. A location in the airflow would definitely help the situation.

    Today I was looking at a brand new 2019 Honda 1000 streetfighter type ( don't know the model number ) at the local Honda dealer, and it had the RR located in the air on its own mount, directly behind the rear shock and above the chain guard. The bike had a factory short sub fender to keep dirt out of this area. I was actually surprised to see it there, but air could certainly get all around it.
     
  3. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    I'll stick the old multimeter on it tomorrow and see.
    Got LED headlights, rear/brake and indicators on the way, which should also help the electrical system. Have a new lithium battery sitting on the workbench, as well.
     
  4. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    The load on the electrical system is not really the problem with the RR. When you add LED stuff you take away wattage that is used up, so the RR has to short more to ground, which creates the heat. If you where using up all the wattage the stator was putting out, then you would have less to short to ground, creating less heat. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's just the way it is.

    Do your research on the Lithium battery? They really are designed for a specific charging system that is not really compatable with most, if not all older charging/RR systems on motorcycles. The charging system on your bike is designed for a lead acid battery and over the years the AGM type have stood up the best.

    If you are racing then there might be some advantage with a lighter battery but otherwise no advantage. As I said do your research.
     
  5. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    I have been using them for years, on about a dozen different bikes. Never had an issue. They supply more CCAs for the same size and that's about it.
    On some bikes I have seen HUGE improvements (mostly Yamaha), but generally they have just been a very reliable option.
     
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  6. jhon

    jhon New Member

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    There are 325 posts on this forum and seems to be inactive since 2016.
    I would like to keep the VFR that I just purchased... and riding back home the day I purchased it died because of the stator. Is making me think twice about keeping her, even though I love the bike. Could someone tell me a definite solution? I just bought a stator and not sure if my RR is good or not. I performed the same test that I could find on youtube, BUT... the stators on the videos only have 5 cables (3 yellow, 1 black 1 red) my 2003 RR has 2 green 2 red 1 black and 3 yellow for a total of 8 cables. SO... the wires seem to be not original. The plastic booth covers that goes over the connectors have the unmistakable brownish marks telling me that this already happened before. The bike is 15K miles. SO.... at this point I dont know what to do. I paid 2K for the bike and not sure that I want to keep her if she will continue to do this over and over again like I have seen on this thread. Is there any newer years 6 gen that dont have the same issue?
    THANKS in advance for the help. Hope someone reply. not sure if this thread still active.
     
  7. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Dude - plz go to post #9 - it tells you waht to do, mbe read the first page. - (if anything this forum is hyperactive)
     
  8. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Hi Jhon

    Welcome to the Madhouse :Welcome:- when you get a chance please swing by the "introductions" part of the forum and tell us a bit about you and perhaps add a photo or two of your VFR.

    The short answer to your question is the fix has been known by Honda for ages and they finally got around to installing it as standard on the 8th Gen VFRs - so 800 models from 2014 onwards and 7th Gen 1200 models from 2010 onwards. As for sorting your own bike please contact Roadstercycle.com the guys there can provide what you need to sort out your bike and allow you to ride confident the electrics are not going to fail - just like they did for me.

    From your description it sounds very much like someone installed a "VFRness" (essentially a replacement for the stock charging system wiring using heavier gauge wiring). This sort of modification only made sense for earlier VFR generations which had stupidly thin cables. By the time they got to the 6th gens the wiring was not really the issue the RR/stator and connector tended to have issues - all of which the folks at Roadster will be happy to help you sort out.

    The reason this thread is soooo long is that Honda have not been entirely unhappy with the situation even if it means owners have suffered issues for way too long - its not just VFRs who have crap charging systems.. check out other Honda motorbike forums..

    If you know the stator is dead then buy an OEM replacement and gasket - it is an easy install. Just remove the connectors from new and old stator cabling, then securely tape on a length of spare cable to first pull through the old stator wiring to the other side of the bike and then use that spare cable to pull the new stator cable back to the other side and re-attach the connector (or solder the yellow wires for a more secure connection).

    It is very likely the RR is also faulty and the reason that stator is now dead - so do not be tempted by cheap stuff on Tbay. Buy a decent Shindengen RR even if it does mean modifying the wiring to connect it up - again Roadster cycle will be happy to talk you through the steps.


    SkiMad
     
  9. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    It's not even just a Honda thing. All manufacturers do this crap. And it's encredibly rare that they take responsibility for it.

    Take Yamaha. The Virago line all had major problems with the starter. Like old CBR cam chain tensioners, it's not IF they go bad, but WHEN.
    They never fixed it. And when they retired the Virago line, they used the exact same engine with the exact same starter in the XVS line. But to add insult to injury, they also moved the R/R so it sits right under the exhaust with absolutely zero airflow. They WILL die, and usually take the battery and stator with them. In fact, the entire electrical system is so weak, that it is generally advised that you don't turn the headlight on until the engine is running.
    They used that design for 10 years.
    All in all, almost 30 years of ignoring a serious design flaw in continuous production.

    I sued to own a XVS1100 and had every single one of those problems in less than 1 year.
     
  10. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    Stator/RR problems in any of these bikes, no matter the manufacturer, that have a similar set ups have similar problems. You can pick any brand and over the years it has been a common complaint. In this current context we are talkling about VFR's but a lot of the Japanese manufactures, and even BMW with their F series of bikes had similar problems. None of this is new.

    Heat is the biggest enemy of the stator & RR. If you have a bad or weak battery, the stator & RR will generate more heat trying to keep the battery charged. In real terms the bikes stator & RR are really just designed to maintain the battery. They just replace what is lost and are not up to the challenge of charging dead or poor batteries, that will overtax the system and cause burnouts.

    The next big elephant in the room is the electrical connections. The three yellow wires in a lot of cases, start arcing and end up shorting out the stator. The stator continually puts out its AC voltage and its up the RR what happens to it. Lose the continuity in the three yellow wires and out goes the stator. Loss of grounds will take out the RR.

    I agree that not all RR or stators are equal and there are some different options out there for those that are having problems. I know in the case of the 5th generation VFR, Honda changed the stator between years 98/99 to 00/01 and also upgraded the RR. For the most part the 5th generation that had the upgraded RR ( more cooling fins ) worked reasonably well if you looked after the connections and kept a good battery in the bike. One odd thing is that you can still get the 98/99 stator from Honda, but not the 00/01 one, not sure what that really means.

    Your bike has a different system and I think they moved the RR to the front of the bike, so it could get more cooling. I wouldn't give up on the bike, electrical gremlins can be frustrating, but if you get it fixed right you should be fine. It wouldn't hurt to install a voltage meter of some type so you can see what's going on.

    One last piece of advice is to keep the battery on a tender if you are not riding the bike regularly.
     
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  11. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    Just playing around here, and would like some input.

    This is a old R/R from the random parts bin. And I happen to have a very beefy GPU heatsink in another, PC parts bin.
    The heatsink has a TDP of 320W which should be be WAY more than any R/R could ever produce. So lets say we attach it to the back of the R/R with Thermal adhesive and a custom bracket and place it somewhere with at least a little airflow.
    Do you guys think it would be worth it? It should keep things nice and cool.
     

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  12. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    Why bother?
    Just get a known good RR and do it properly, problem fixed.
    Easy enough to pick up an FH020 or the like for next to nothing.
     
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  13. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    Why not?
    If you can make something better, why not do it?

    And I think your definition of "easy" and "next to nothing" is slightly different than mine.

    Around here that is not a part you just pick up at the corner store. And the cheapest I have seen yet, is around $200,-
     
  14. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Sadly the search engine on here is not perfect, otherwise it would have enabled me to track down a very ancient thread (well before the forum revamp) which entailed someone doing pretty much what you propose to a 3rd? Gen VFR. What I do recall is the test did not go well and sure enough their RR also failed. Whether that failure occurred any sooner or later that would otherwise have happened without the installed fan leads into the realms of pure speculation.
    However instinct suggests that adding additional load onto a charging system which is known to be of dubious quality is probably asking for trouble.

    Hey ho - if you fancy trying it out - it is your bike and you may have access to potentially better kit, which may work better.

    There is however no escaping the fundamental problem here - which is the stock RR fitted by Honda was not made by Honda, it was bought in and simply fabricated to comply with typical specifications - namely it needs to be as cheap as possible and work for the warranty period... and that is about it. So if it failed within that external suppliers warranty period, Honda dealerships were happy to install a replacement and behind the scenes claimed that cost back from the supplier. If, or when, it failed after that warranty expired, then Mr H was not going to be very unhappy as their dealerships worldwide could still look forward to receiving a fairly constant demand for charging system repairs or replacement bits likes RRs, Stators, batteries etc, so pretty much a win-win situation from their perspective with the only real loser being the stranded VFR owner.

    As for Yamaha - I cannot comment on the quality of their starters - but at least they ensured their bigger models they were fitted with decent charging systems. I guess they placed greater importance on the reputation of their flagship models and were keen to avoid seeing them carted around the planet on the back of recovery trucks. Hence Yamaha designers chose to spend a tiny amount more on the charging systems for their bikes, and fitted Shindengen RRs as standard which pretty much meant they were not affected by all the grief experienced by so many on this forum.

    Take care




    SkiMad
     
  15. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    I think there might be some misunderstanding here .I am not suggesting just upgrading cooling on the original R/R, but buying a new one any doing it with that. If there is any benefit to be had, from it being cooler, it seems logical to do so.

    I don't see how a heatsink would add to the load on the electrical system. The photo clearly shows a passive unit. Even without any airflow, additional surface area will provide better cooling. And with some airflow, it would be even better.
    It would only add electrical load if you fitted a fan. Most fans that would fit the task, draw about 0.1-0.5 amps. But a good heatpipe type heatsink would be more than enough without any fans (320W tdp after all)

    As for Yamaha. The R/R in the photo comes from a Yamaha. It failed in record time. I know more than a dozen people with the largest Yamaha "Star series" models. Every one with a have had tons of problems. At least 3 have had R/R failure within 10k miles. Hell, a friend with a XV1900 (2014 I believe) had to have the entire electrical system replaced after less than 6 months.
     
  16. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    As heat and loss of ground is the biggest enemy of a RR, then I would suggest the additional heat sink would help the heat problem.

    I think this was done on a VFR. One that I've seen done on a forum somewhere was where the person installed a bigger heat sink and relocated the RR up under the seat with the heat sink on the inside rear fender side and the RR face up on the top of the rear fender. He had cut a hole and then bonded the two together. The heat sink sat on the outside of the rear fender, above the rear wheel. He did some calculations on temp with and without the heat sink and the RR ran much cooler. This was on a street bike and he never had any problems with dirt etc collecting on the fins. Finding a good location would be the biggest challenge. I see one of the new 2018/19 Honda 1000 cc bikes, not sure of the particular model, but the RR sits just in front of the rear wheel between it and the shock ( there is a small hugger fender on the front of the rear tire ). So its seems that is one way to get air all around it. The VFR location of the RR under the left rear plastic is a dumb ass location as it is hard to get air flow going in that location.

    I'm a ham radio operator and heat sinks are used all the time to help cool mobile rigs that don't have fans. So the concept works well in that world so don't know why it wouldn't work on a VFR RR. So I'm in the try it camp. I've had the same idea rattling around in my head as I have some heat sinks from old radios.

    As I've said before, many manufacturers have stator & RR problems. I see by your post that is still going on.
     
  17. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    When I get a new R/R in my hands, I will look into it. I have been building custom PC cooling for years, so getting it to fit is right within my skill set.
    What sort of wires do I need for extensions? I have a bunch of 2.5mm3 (about 13 gauge) that I usually use for higher end stuff. Is that enough?
     
  18. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    You have Ebay, plenty of second hand RR's there, I've bought three that I installed on mine and friends bikes, never paid over $45.
    FJR1300 and R1's all use the FH020.
     
  19. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    There is something in the water in Europe. Has to be.
     
  20. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    We use 14 gauge for 100 watt radios with not problems, but it would depend on the wattage ratting of 13 gauge wire. No real need to go any heavier than stock, unless you have really long runs. The thicker gauge wire gets hard to work with. If you use the total wattage output of the stator as a guide for the wattage, and base your wire gauge on that you should be fine. Error on the side of thicker wire rather than thinner.
     
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