Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Rider on the Storm
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just before reaching the 20,000 mile mark, my electrical system failed. Here’s the sad story…

At 3:00 p.m., I left a meeting near Columbus and began riding home to Cincinnati. It was a beautiful day, so I decided to take country roads. I meandered along, only using my GPS to keep me generally going in the right direction (south and west). It was a gorgeous ride through rural Ohio – the fields of corn and soybeans, the farmhouses and barns and livestock, and the occasional woods. I was one with the world, and at peace.

I had just taken Buck Run Road – a small, twisty road along a creek shaded by trees – when I came to a stop sign at the intersection of a “blue highway” (Route 380, near Caesar Creek State Park). Suddenly, without warning, my engine died. In the middle of nowhere.

It wasn’t for lack of gas. And the battery seemed to have plenty of power. But I couldn’t turn the engine over (I tried multiple times).

I decided to take the seat off and check for loose connections. Unfortunately, the only tools I had were the stock Kaw tool kit. I was able to get one seat bolt off with the awkward wrench, but not the other – the bolt just kept spinning (this had never happened before). A local walked over with a socket wrench, which I thought would solve the problem. But he tried the wrench while simultaneously pulling back my seat and basically tore it off (leaving a gaping hole in the “fibertech basepan” where the screw receptacle had been).

At this point, I called Progressive Insurance for roadside assistance. (It was covered by my policy, thankfully.) They sent a tow truck (which took over an hour to find me), which took me and the bike back to Cincinnati and my shop, Miami Cycle Works (http://www.miamicycleworks.com). Fortunately, some of the techs were still there to receive the bike, and the tow truck operator gave me a ride home. I got home at 8:15 p.m. A long, disappointing day.

After a bit of trouble-shooting, it was determined that my R/R and stator were shot. (A few years ago three or four yellow wires in there had begun to melt, and a Kaw dealer – instead of replacing them – simply cleaned them and covered them in shrink wrap. I'm wondering if this slap-dash approach eventually led to the larger failure?)

In any case, Miami Cycle Works will replace the R/R with a better unit (with a larger fan), and replace the stator along with new, higher-quality wiring. They think they can swap out the stator without entirely removing the engine. I’ve been quoted a price of $500 and change, which is less than I expected. They are committed to getting this done for me in a couple of days, knowing that my son and I are planning a ride to Pittsburgh this coming weekend (a father-son trip in advance of his mobilization to Ft. Hood, TX in December and deployment to Iraq in early 2010). They also think that they can fabricate a solution to the seat bolt so that I don’t have to ride with one or send the whole thing back to Corbin. But I’ll worry about that later.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,735 Posts
Bummer, to be sure. I thought when the r/r went, the battery would be drained because the r/r wasn't charging it anymore. Ditto the stator not producing any output. But the battery had plenty of power. Hmmm. Maybe someone with more knowledge of the electrical system can clear this up for me.

Definitely need to get that voltmeter installed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Hey EasyRector --

I comiserate with you! :mad: I know what a bummer it is to be stranded and towed home. It happened to me with my previous ride, 94 VN750.

You may want to consider doing two things to reduce heat and minimize a reoccurrence (or have your shop do it for you):

1. Relocate your new R/R (regulator/rectifier) using the instructions provided by Fergy at the end of his signature block and an R/R bracket made by Lance. It really is not difficult even for someone with limited mechanical experience.

2. Remove the goat's belly using the bypass kit (about $60) and instructions from Scootworks or more expensive (about $350) install aftermarket exhaust such as Vance/Hines.

Keep us posted on your progress! :beerchug:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
Yeah, I caught that as well. Maybe he meant "heat sink"? Charlie, sorry to hear about that. It's a bummer when you have to be towed home. That's not the worst price I can remember for all that work. Sounds like they are trying to treat you fairly well!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,505 Posts
That's not the worst price I can remember for all that work. Sounds like they are trying to treat you fairly well!
Gotta agree, especially in light of Vanessa's 55-days-and-counting in bondage... FWIW, why don't you print out a copy of that thread and show it to your mechanic? There's nearly 7000 people here, and we talk - seems like if they do treat you right, others Forum members in your area might give 'em some business! :smiley_th
 

·
Rider on the Storm
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes, 750Doug, as Cindy noted, I meant FINS! (My mechanic doesn't think that I will need to relocate the r/r with the new-and-improved unit.)

And yes, FlaRider, I'm thinking about installing V & H Cruzers, although I really don't want more volume as I'm riding around the neighborhood! (They do look sweet, though, and cooling things down around the r/r would be an extra bonus.)

Well, flightcontrol, the owner of Miami Cycle Works (Oz) told me that it took a long, long time to recharge the battery, which I thought was strange because it's a relatively new MF Yuasa, so maybe it was draining the juice and I just didn't realize it (until, of course, it was too late). I didn't have a voltage meter, and all I knew is that all the lights were still working, so I assumed that there was still enough juice in the battery. It certainly alerts me to the value of the voltmeter, as you've suggested!

Finally, Cindy, I will forward the group's kudos to Oz. You will be interested to know that on the wall of his shop is a copy of a lengthy interview with him (that appeared in a lesser-known MC mag) in which he talks eloquently about the importance of honest and qualified independent shops as an alternative to dealerships. That's been my experience with MCW.
 

·
Drive less, ride more...
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
Sorry to learn you got nailed by the infamous stator bug....:(

May I respectfully also suggest that...while the bike is in the shop for a stator and r/r replacement...that you have a voltmeter installed so you can see electrical problems with your bike's charging system before such can put you unexpectedly on foot (again)?

Ditto on the earlier suggestion above to have your r/r relocated...it's inexpensive insurance. The r/r gets very, very HOT in operation. Anything that will help keep it cooler will help it last longer and thus....ditto for your new stator.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,735 Posts
Yes, 750Doug, as Cindy noted, I meant FINS! (My mechanic doesn't think that I will need to relocate the r/r with the new-and-improved unit.)
I'm sure the larger fins will help dissipate heat better, but I'd still relocate it if the goat belly is still in place. The less heat it's exposed to, the cooler it will run. And cool seems to prolong its life.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
Well, flightcontrol, the owner of Miami Cycle Works (Oz) told me that it took a long, long time to recharge the battery, which I thought was strange because it's a relatively new MF Yuasa, so maybe it was draining the juice and I just didn't realize it (until, of course, it was too late).
Welcome to the club. Our stators & R/R are just like hard drives, it's when, not if.

MF batteries don't take well to being completely discharged. It can cause irreversible damage to them. Suggest you get the battery load tested before you bet your new stator & R/R on it.

When I rode my MF batttery down to where the bike stopped, the battery was toast.

Jon
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
100 Posts
My Sympathies!

Stuck out in the rural--happened twice to me too.
Stator both times! Not fun at all. And it took my wife a coupla hours to find me.
Really does suck!

Get that RR unit OUT from underneath the battery box!
Don't even mess with the old one--leave it hanging there as a relic. (That way nobody will mount another one there!)
Put the new one, with larger fins, out where it can get cool air.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top