Do I need to Upgrade Alternator? - Page 2 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: ireland
Year: 1989
Make: gl1500
Model: 1500 se
Posts: 15
My stock alternator started acting up this past summer while I was touring Europe with intermittent charging.. It did not become obvious until I got home and installed a voltmeter. I replaced the stock 40 amp with one of the cheaper ebay 90 amp models and it all turned out really well. I only have 1000 miles on the new alternator yet, but it seems to be operating really well. I installed a gel battery at the same time. The bike seems to start charging at really low revs in comparison to the old stock model. The only difference apart from much better charging voltage is that there is a much more notable growl from the alternator at lower revs.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fatwing chris View Post
Once upon a time,not that many years ago.Ok at least up into the 80's there were lots of car alternators that were only 35 Amp.My small block 83 Camero had one.They ran all the lights,blower fan,stereo,rear defrosters and the wipers at times(sometimes all at once).All of this off of a 35 Amp alt with no issues.Pretty sure you'll be fine with the stock alt.
No car manufacturer was installing alternators that would not cover the amperage requirements of the vehicle. So your 35A was on a stripped model with no accessories and amperage draw was not over 35A.

Car batteries were huge and no comparison to challenged MC batteries.

The more load on an alternator the more prime mover power it consumes to turn the rotor shaft. Car engines have lots of HP and spinning the alternator fast enough for full output capability at idle speeds was easily done through pulley gear ratios.

Car wiring was overkill with little to none voltage losses.

40-70A alternators were the norm in that time.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 06:58 PM
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Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
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Just a thought sparked by JD's comments that really has nothing to do with the OP. I was always able to tell when my alternator failed. The engine RPM at idle picked up about 400 RPM. So if you have no voltmeter and notice this might check the alternator.


Worked on the "big rigs" for 45 years now just riding my Wing whenever I can. Gets cold in Wisconsin.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: All Roads Lead To Yosemite, CA.
Year: 94
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I usually have to turn off the heated gear in town- traffic = far beyond toasty!
Wearing just a base layer- heated liner and jacket- no bulky multi-layering needed when you have heat at your skin
Get some wind chill factor involved and turn it back on to low
I have no idea how severe conditions would be to require use of High setting! Colder that I want to ride in!

NOTE: Ck how your gear controller works- iirc the synergy 2 runs all the time = constant amps draw
Earlier model 1, and some other makers- use a system that comes on full amps power for a short time - then turns off.
Any low battery volts needs get recharged during the Off cycle

Riding 50+ miles to winters Holiday parades where lighted up bikes are invited = Gear ON!!
In Parade line with a compufire alternator putting out 60 amps at idle- run everything you want without concern
sometimes it does get chilly waiting in line...turn on the heat!

Digital voltmeter is the way to go! cheap, and plugs right in to a 12 volt power outlet on the right handlebar
that I wired direct to the battery- per forum instructions~ It runs the GPS when desired too!
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