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XL600R won't charge

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I've been a lurker here for a few years now, anticipating the day I would have my own Thumper. It came in the form of a 1987 XL600R. I've been riding it without a battery which is fine, but today I decided to check the voltage on the battery terminals when it was running because I noticed the horn works when at idle, but not riding down the road. My meter is only showing 2 to 4 volts DC. It is more like 4 when it's idling and 2 something when I rev it up.

Where do I start?

Thanks,

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Thanks for the response. I don't have a battery to put in it. I don't see why that would make a difference when checking voltage at the battery wires when it's running.

I've read about people replacing the stators (and I'll definitely go to a Ricky stator if it's needed). I don't have any experience with a system that doesn't need a battery to run, so I am a bit perplexed.

The motor runs, the headlight and tail/brake light work fine. The turn signals don't blink (but that's probably because I am missing the rear units) but they do light steady. The horn makes noise at idle, but nothing when I rev it up. The motor starts rather easily (once I learned the tricks) and runs good, but I suspect some carburetor issues because it seems to top out around 60 or so, then sometimes all of a sudden it feels like someone kicked in an afterburner and she jumps right up. I only mention this in case I'm wrong.

I figured that the problem is the regulator or stator, but don't know what to check for or where to check for it at. I'm really puzzled by the voltage dropping when I rev it up.

Thanks again.

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I had a stator burn out on the ignition coil, and the next one cook the charging coil. I now have a Ricky and hope for the best,

My signals will not work without a battery with at least some charge in it. The signals are DC, as is the tail light and horn. If you have those without a battery, I would assume the charge coil is fine, also regulator and rectifier.

When my charge coil died, the battery would just go dead as I rode. I would eventually lose my tail light and turn signals.

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My signals will not work without a battery with at least some charge in it. The signals are DC, as is the tail light and horn. If you have those without a battery, I would assume the charge coil is fine, also regulator and rectifier.

When you say your signals won't work without a battery, do you mean they won't light, or they won't blink?

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They do neither, just a dim light. It doesn't take much reserve energy, I have downsized my battery, but it does take some.

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baroth1 said,,

Thanks for the response. I don't have a battery to put in it. I don't see why that would make a difference when checking voltage at the battery wires when it's running.

My reply,,

I'd assume if you have no battery then all you will be getting at the wires that attach to the battery is b all volts,,Regulators probably doing it's job...If you have a battery It should measure about 12.3v at the battery terminals when the bike is killied via a killswitch..When it's running it should be about 14.3 at the battery,, so your 3-4 volts is what I'd assume a trickle charge may be, possibly making up the difference between the battery no battery thing...

Your indicators won't flash if two are missing..All bulbs need to be in the indicators and be of the correct wattage to suit the OEM flasher..Having any indicator bulb in the set that is the wrong watltage will screw up the entire circuit as will missing indicators.. Replace the OEM flasher with a two pole 12 volt electronic one from the local car parts store, then you can run any wattage bulb in any indicator and also have them still flash should one bulb blow or one/two indicators be missing....The stock XL600 OEM flasher unit will not allow you to do that..

Davek,,Your problem sounds similar..Wrong wattage bulbs or to high a wattage bulbs,,Same again,,Replace the OEM flasher with the two pole electronic job and see how it goes..

Forgot to say ,,Earths,,Check them..Poor earths lead to issues with indicators..That means the indi body connection itself and where it plugs into the loom and any other earths related to the bike..ie all..Sorry no short cuts..any dodgy connection to do with earth on an indicator will cause a problem..

Edited by Horri

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Thanks for the response. I don't have a battery to put in it. I don't see why that would make a difference when checking voltage at the battery wires when it's running.

I've read about people replacing the stators (and I'll definitely go to a Ricky stator if it's needed). I don't have any experience with a system that doesn't need a battery to run, so I am a bit perplexed.

The motor runs, the headlight and tail/brake light work fine. The turn signals don't blink (but that's probably because I am missing the rear units) but they do light steady. The horn makes noise at idle, but nothing when I rev it up. The motor starts rather easily (once I learned the tricks) and runs good, but I suspect some carburetor issues because it seems to top out around 60 or so, then sometimes all of a sudden it feels like someone kicked in an afterburner and she jumps right up. I only mention this in case I'm wrong.

I figured that the problem is the regulator or stator, but don't know what to check for or where to check for it at. I'm really puzzled by the voltage dropping when I rev it up.

Thanks again.

Must motorcycle that have a stator they have two parts System on them a Magneto for Ignition system and Electric AC (Alternator) for lighting systems now a Generator are usely DC and only on much older bike and cars before 70s or was 60s I don't recall when the switch was done.

A voltage regulator are also part rectifier that you still see some power as for voltage drop I belive that has to do building up enough field which work better at low RPM vs High RPM if recall.

This should help unstand

http://www.electrosport.com/technical-resources/technical-articles/motorcycle-stators

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Keep in mind that car alternator work in rev of a motorcycle alternator which has do with permanent magnet alternators over regular field-wound alternators

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baroth1 said,,

I'd assume if you have no battery then all you will be getting at the wires that attach to the battery is b all volts,,Regulators probably doing it's job...If you have a battery It should measure about 12.3v at the battery terminals when the bike is killied via a killswitch..When it's running it should be about 14.3 at the battery,, so your 3-4 volts is what I'd assume a trickle charge may be, possibly making up the difference between the battery no battery thing...

Replace the OEM flasher with a two pole 12 volt electronic one from the local car parts store, then you can run any wattage bulb in any indicator and also have them still flash should one bulb blow or one/two indicators be missing.

You are correct, there is no battery in the bike and I am measuring the voltage at the terminals. I'm not sure what you mean by "b all volts".

I tried replacing the flasher with a 2 pole electronic one and when I did that the signals wouldn't even come on.

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If you are going to be using the bike on the road get yourself a battery and some back turn signals. The electrical system on these bikes where made to work with a battery. Only then can proper testing can begin. If everything works fine with a new battery then you can start checking for proper voltage at different locations.There is a very good chance that the charging side of your stator is toast. If you are just using it for the trails take the front blinkers off and forget the horn and carry on. If it were my bike I would want to know if it was the stator because if the charging side has went bad how long before the ignition side goes bad.

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Stator death is common on these bikes. I have had two of the three coils let me down on two different occasions The last stator I bought on eBay and thought it was a ricky. The newest one I have bought direct from them and the wiring colors were different and the wire grommet is much better quality than the last one. Oil leaked out of the wires around the grommet, a constant source of irritation.

I have looked on eBay since and have seen rick's stators at some sites. I bet they are different and trying to lure some poor sap (yours truly apparently) by semi similar name association.

Horri, my signals are a combination of incandescent and LED lights with a flasher unit out of a Jetta, the kind with an additional ground wire lead. Kinda like everything else on my bike that has evolved by happenstance. When some one asks me what year it is, I ask "what part are you looking at?"

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If it were my bike I would want to know if it was the stator because if the charging side has went bad how long before the ignition side goes bad.

I should have a new battery on Tuesday, and then will see what happens. I do plan on using on the road a majority of the time. I do want to make sure everything is working on it, I can deal with less than perfect cosmetics on this bike but really want everything to work the way it should. I am thinking about putting a set of bar end turn signals on it. The previous owner had taken some parts off of it and left them in a box in his cabin in the UP of Michigan. He is supposed to be bringing them back (the missing turn signal, chain guard, missing mirror, and tool box). I'm not holding my breath though...

I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge here!

Pictures of the bike: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2440812458638.146934.1201602130&l=c7414d1425&type=1

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You need a battery or a battery eliminator, without it your regulator rectifier could burn up, you can run with a dead battery( one that does not hold a charge), but you still need to complete the circuit. Your low charging voltage may be a result of not putting a battery in it, you said you would buy a ricky stator so if you will spend 130 bucks on that why not 35 on a battery

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if you will spend 130 bucks on that why not 35 on a battery

In my last post I stated that I would have a battery today. I was ignorant of the possibility of burning up my regulator rectifier with no battery; thanks for the heads up. Hopefully I'll luck out. I'm off to put the new battery in right now.

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Well, the new battery is in. The horn works at idle and when revved up. The turn signals (front only for now) work as they should with the electronic flasher. When running the voltage across the battery terminals measures 13 to 14 VDC. It appears to be good to go unless something else rears it's ugly head. I'll start putting some money aside for a possible stator replacement in the future.

A sincere thank you to each of you that took the time to respond. Today showed me that I'm never to old to learn something...

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