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I have a 96 vulcan 750 and the battery runs down after about 300 - 400 miles. The auto parts store tester says the voltage regulator failed, and the technician suggested that may mean the whole alternator needs to be replaced. I looked in my manual, and that looks like way too involved of a process for my time and expertise level. I also don't currently have the $ for the shop to fix it. If I simply take out the battery and recharge it with my trickle charger every few days to keep the battery high enough, I can keep riding without getting stranded. I have two questions.

1) Will doing that cause any residual damage or problems to other parts or systems?

2) My charger came with "ring connectors" to permanently install a cord to the battery, which could then be connected to the charger easily any time. However, my manual says to always remove the battery before charging it. How important is it to remove the battery, and what risks would I be taking if I installed the ring connectors? I know I've seen similar set ups in new bikes, but I don't know if there are other safety features that make them feasible.

Regards,
Tim
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
Tim,

First off, I'm going to just say no to a band-aid fix. Charging systems on these bikes are very simple, so it's best to address the issue itself and not try to baby it along. You'll end up stranded that way.

The first tool you need is a multimeter. Even Harbor Freight gives them away every now and then. If you have one of them, you can check both the Regulator AND the Stator's functionality.

Stator: Generates AC power based on engine RPM, sends AC voltage to Regulator. Located behind the left side engine cover.
Regulator: Takes AC voltage from Stator and turns it into DC voltage that the bike uses. Stock location under the battery box.

Once you have a multi-meter, google/youtube the basics. How to read AC and DC voltages. How to measure resistance. An hour spent here is going to save you a ton at the shop, and keep you from getting stranded.

Good, you can use the multi-meter! Now let's test the components.




If you're lucky, it's just the regulator. Pretty quick and easy replacement, and you can relocate it to a better location so it doesn't get so hot, and will last longer.

If it's the stator, it is kind of a bear, but if you have a metric socket set and the help of a friend, it can be done in a day easily (and that's without doing the tuxedo mod, which is something for another day.. just figure out what's bad first!). You can't just try to ride it out, it will fail completely, unexpectedly, if it's already starting to go out.
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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2,501 Posts
I have a 96 vulcan 750 and the battery runs down after about 300 - 400 miles. The auto parts store tester says the voltage regulator failed, and the technician suggested that may mean the whole alternator needs to be replaced. I looked in my manual, and that looks like way too involved of a process for my time and expertise level. I also don't currently have the $ for the shop to fix it. If I simply take out the battery and recharge it with my trickle charger every few days to keep the battery high enough, I can keep riding without getting stranded. I have two questions.

1) Will doing that cause any residual damage or problems to other parts or systems?

2) My charger came with "ring connectors" to permanently install a cord to the battery, which could then be connected to the charger easily any time. However, my manual says to always remove the battery before charging it. How important is it to remove the battery, and what risks would I be taking if I installed the ring connectors? I know I've seen similar set ups in new bikes, but I don't know if there are other safety features that make them feasible.

Regards,
Tim
thtanner is right in that not correcting the problem the proper way will only lead to more problems in the near future. You say the tech at the auto store talked about an alternator then you should forget about anything he says as our bikes do not have an alternator in the normal stock configuration. Listen to what is offered here as excellent advice backed by pure experience. Please go to the Newbie Check-In section and do a short introduction with your riding/wrenching experience and your location. There may be a fellow member close by that is willing to give a hand with your situation so you can ride without a concern as to the possibility of making it home under your own power. Also if we know you wrenching experience we can suggest how to proceed on your own with details that will match up with your abilities.
 
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