Battery/RR issues - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Battery/RR issues

Hi everyone,
I recently bought a 1990 vn750 with 16000 miles. This bike is beautiful, looks well cared for, and used to be a shriners parade bike. I bought the bike before finding this sight and didn't look close enough to the battery area.
When I got it home, i decided to do basic maint., oil change etc. While waiting for the weekend, I went for several short rides around the neighborhood. On 2 occasions, the starter dragged. I took the seat off, saw the wet battery and noticed that battery acid had been spilling all over the battery box. How could anyone that took such good care of the outside of this bike neglect this important componant.
Anyway, I bought a MF battery fully charged, installed it, started the bike and checked the charging voltage, approximately 13.5 volts with no increase in voltage with increase in RPMs. i did see a 14.5 volt spike at 2000 RPMs. I tested the RR and it appears to be open on the G lead, according to the chart in Clymers. Haynes says you can't test a RR with a multimeter. Tomorrow I will be testing the stator and will post the results here.
This evening I pulled the battery box to clean and paint it. Man am I pissed. Acid has been spilling on almost all of the electronic componants and up inside the connectors. I may be replacing more than the RR. The man I bought this from works on cars. He had to know about this. If I didn't love this bike so much, I'd be paying a visit to this guy.

If there is any advice anyone can give while I work to make this bike roadworthy, I will appreciate it.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 11:23 PM
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sounds like you are on the right track all the forum for stator and R/R you will find tons of info...ohh and welcome to the madness...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 12:10 AM
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Hey Rick. It's a shame the PO didn't think to change out the stock battery for a MF one. But since you love this bike (as I do mine) you've got little choice but to clean up this mess and fix it right. Probably need to change out the junction box as well as some other components. I feel for you.

Good thing is there's some great help available here. I suggest that once you finish this up, you do what you can to reduce the load on your electrical system, it's the weakest link on our bikes. I just installed LED tail/brake lights from a company called Clear Alternatives. I tested the electrical load before and after, and they certainly do reduce it, plus they're much brighter. I highly recommend them.

Many people here have relocated their R/R next to the rear foot peg to let it air cool better. If you find you need to replace yours, maybe you can just connect a new one to the rear foot peg with a bracket available from one of our brothers, Bulldog.

If you need to replace or repair your stator, I believe it requires an engine pull. I would suggest that if you do this, consider buying a modified side cover available at which allows you to remove the stator without having to remove the engine. It's expensive though. I can't believe Kawasaki didn't do this themselves.

Anyway, take care my friend, and welcome to the forum.


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Clear Alternatives LED brake light
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Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 06:37 PM
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Just so you know, these bikes are NOT parade friendly. The slow speed combined with low RPM is death to our electrical systems. In addition, I'd recommend the Clymer's manual over the Haynes as it's VN750 specific whereas the Haynes is also for the 800 and is sometimes not clear which bike it's talking about.
Electrosport has an excellent webpage on troubleshooting the electrical system on any bike.
Good luck.

Jim W
93 VN 750 "Ursula"
Moved R/R 08Sep06
R/R rewire 17Feb07
New R/R, Installed 14Jun08
New Stator installed 10 Jun08
Maintenance Free Battery 12Jan08
21480 Miles
VROC #8542
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 06:45 PM
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I just finished a stator replacement this weekend and I seriously hope you do not have to go that far. The R/R replacement and relocation may be all you really need to do to get back on the road.

The clymers book is far better than the haynes imo for practically anything. I own the clymers book and have checked out the haynes one from the local library to try to get various reference points for major undertakings and have always found the pictures and instructions in the clymers book to be superior.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Today I put thr battery box back in and plugged all of the electronics back in and to my surprise it is now charging in the mid 14 volt range. I was following the flow chart from electrosport. The charging voltage remains the same at idle, 2500, and 5000 rpms. According to the flow chart, my charging system is fine, higher than 13.5 at 2500 rpms and lower than 14.8 at 5000 rpms. I wonder if I should replace the RR any way. At the very least, I'll relocate it. Should I test the stator just to be safe or can I assume that it is charging?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 08:15 PM
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I just had the same issue. My stator was fine, but my R/R was shot, I got some of the same issues you had (ground open) so I replaced and moved it. Worked fine since. I'd suggest moving it and replacing it. better safe then sorry.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sky Rider View Post
Just so you know, these bikes are NOT parade friendly. The slow speed combined with low RPM is death to our electrical systems.
Never were truer words spoken... The initial problem with my RR started in 2004 when I was riding in a parade for my ABATE chapter. Slow speeds with no wind flow and high electrical comsumption can lead to disaster. Three weeks later, my stator and RR took the ultimate **** while at the Gathering...

Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCUI ~ The Big Black Bitch ~ 26,000 miles.
2002 Kawasaki Nomad 1500 ~ The Red Dog ~ Traded in at 22,000 miles of smiles (purchased new 10/05 / Traded in 6/12).
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 ~ Black Betty ~ 34,999.7 miles
VROC ~v~ 485
McHenry County Road Pirates
Chicagoland, IL
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Good News, I think

I tested my stator today. I let the bike get hot then did the test. I noticed that one of the stator wires is getting hot. This may be due to the bad RR or other acid damaged parts. 1st, there is no short to ground. I do get resistance on the 200k ohm setting but this is probably normal. 2nd, resistance on any 2 wires is .7 ohms.
3rd, voltage on all 3 wires at 5000 RPM's is around 80 volts. Does this sound normal. If so i'll be ordering an RR tomorrow. I called Ricks and they won't have one for weeks. I'll be looking elsewhere for one tomorrow.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 10:18 PM
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I got about the same for volts and 0.6ohms for my stator. I ordered a r/r from About 108 with shipping for a r/r but they only seem to offer ground shipping. Good luck.
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