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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys! Just back from getting new tires and brakes on my bike. YAY! Feels good to have tires that aren't cracked and to be able to to stop. :eek:

Anyway, while we were there we mentioned to the mechanic that we were having issues with the electrical starter and that we thought a new batter was probably in order. He tested the recharging system and said we may need a new rectifier/regulator since it wasn't completely charging during idle or while revving the engine. We think the rectifier/regulator is the original. Since I'm a new "old bike" owner (and new to having my own bike) I really wouldn't know if this is something that would "go" or not. Does it sound right that this part would start to "fail"? The bike runs fine and starts on first or second kick. But, the electric start is spotty at best.

Also, in terms of the battery, what all would you recommend -- sealed or wet? Conventional or high performance?

Thanks for your advice/opinions!
 

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ScubaMare said:
Hi Guys! Just back from getting new tires and brakes on my bike. YAY! Feels good to have tires that aren't cracked and to be able to to stop. :eek:

Anyway, while we were there we mentioned to the mechanic that we were having issues with the electrical starter and that we thought a new batter was probably in order. He tested the recharging system and said we may need a new rectifier/regulator since it wasn't completely charging during idle or while revving the engine. We think the rectifier/regulator is the original. Since I'm a new "old bike" owner (and new to having my own bike) I really wouldn't know if this is something that would "go" or not. Does it sound right that this part would start to "fail"? The bike runs fine and starts on first or second kick. But, the electric start is spotty at best.

Also, in terms of the battery, what all would you recommend -- sealed or wet? Conventional or high performance?

Thanks for your advice/opinions!
Sure, it's something that happens all the time these days.
Without knowing the specifics of how your guy "tested the recharging system", I couldn't comment on his diagnosis.

In any case you WILL need a new battery, no matter what. These batteries are pretty wimpy to the task - once they're allowed to go dead just a handful of times they're hurt bad. And the bike needs a good battery or all sorts of wacky problems ensue.

If the rectifier/regulator are bad, there are options.
Find used parts, or take your chances on EBay.
There are aftermarket combined units, like the Oregon unit people discuss here - do a Search on it.
There are also folks who just make their own rectifier from Radio Shack parts.

Steve has made a million posts here about how to check your charging system.
Just follow his directions to figure out what's going on before you hurt the new battery you're going to get.

And wise decision to get the tires - just the thought of riding on 40 year old tires makes my toes curl up, yeow.....
 

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I use the one from oregon motorcycles.com and love it and even sell some units around here. 9 out of 10 times its just the rectifier, if your bike has a seperate regulator from the rectifier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Yes, the mechanic said it probably was the rectifier and said mine definitely looked like the original. He used, what I think was, a voltmeter on the battery and tested it at idle and then with the engine revved. At idle, revving and with the engine off he got a reading of about 11.5. He said it should have been higher, leading him to believe that the rectifier was bad or going bad.

As for batteries, does anyone have an opinion on sealed vs. wet batteries or conventional vs. high performance?

Thanks! :)

As for the tires, I don't think they were the originals but I do think they were pretty old and "dry."
 

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Have him test the rectifier. If he doesn't know how...find a mechanic who does. No sense just throwing parts at it without knowing if the old ones were faulty. He should be able to determine FOR SURE if it needs replacing. There are a lot of things that can cause charging problems.
 

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Also it does no good to test a system with a battery that isn't fully charged. Start with a fresh battery and progress further, the regulator will not let the system charge if the battery is below 12.4 volts, i believe. So with all said get a new battery, and im a huge fan of spending the extra money on a sealed yuasa 12v12amp battery. I believe they are around 70 beans. Then test the system.
 

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As for batteries, does anyone have an opinion on sealed vs. wet batteries or conventional vs. high performance?
For a bike of this vintage a regular wet cell standard performance battery is fine, and it will save a bunch of money. You should be able to get one for about $30 as opposed to 80-100. With its "vintage" (read poor) charging system no matter what sort of battery you use it risks being damaged and or killed regularly. No battery likes being abused. the little pamphlet that comes with the battery will outline proper care and how to check the electrolyte level, (super easy visual check)

Couple other thoughts:
Buy a battery tender and use it. If your charging system is slowly loosing ground during a ride a tender will ensure your battery starts the ride in tip top shape. This is doubly true if you ride less than a couple times a week.

A modern solid state single phase regulator / rectifier is a lot better than the stock germanium plate rectifier that came on the bike, I use a tympanium unit, works like a champ. the oregon setup is a direct replacement though, plug and play.

No battery you can fit on your motorcycle will take a non functioning charging system for long.

If your bike does not enjoy a heated garage for winter, then part of winterizing should be to take the battery out and keep in a moderate climate (indoors). preferably on the tender, once every few weeks should do fine...

The main reason most people run other than stock batteries is in the case of heavily modified bikes, and often involves compromises (I have no electric start).
Hope this helps:)
 

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Battery Tenders are great - I know a place where you can get a Jr. for $19.99, best investment you'll ever make.

You can also connect the yellow and the yellow/white wires together in the headlight shell, where both come out of the main harness. That will throw all 3 stator coils on charging all the time. It will help a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much, guys! I'm going to pass this thread on to my husband (El Tostador from member intros), the crew chief. This is really helpful.

BTW, I love your cafe racers. Smokin' hot bikes!
 
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