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I owned a 92I for several years...and I replaced the alternator about 5 times! Four times it stranded my on the road...not fun. I finally began carrying a spare, and actually used it the last time I was stuck on the side of the road. I never got to the bottom of why that bike seemed to burn up alternators, I sold it last summer and bought a 96SE with only 60,000 miles. Had the carbs rebuilt, it is a beauty!
On my first big trip on this bike the first of this month I was about 400 miles from home when guess what...yep, the alternator took a dive.
My son got a trailer, drove the 400 miles, picked us up and we went back home. Not a great start to traveling with my "new" bike.
Question; Is it just me or are these bikes prone to alternator problems?
PS. I added nothing except usb ports to charge our phones. Same is true on the 92...no extra lights or anything.

I'm wondering if I should try a different brand (Harley, Yamaha), or move to an 1800.

What do you think?
 

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On the '92 were you using OEM replacements or aftermarket alternators....??

If OEM were the replacements purchased after around 1996...??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think I've used both OEM and aftermarket replacements. Mostly aftermarket I imagine. I'm having this one rebuilt locally, hopefully it will do better.
 

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Did you do Regular Service on these alternators? (eg Inspect/Clean Brushes every 20k)


Personally, I got tired of the maintenance on the stock Honda Alternators, and went with Compfire... Which has lasted a lot longer so far (although I've had 1 fail)
 

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Mine's had a Comp-u-Fire about 20 years now. Had it fail once with a broken winding, local shop fixed it with new off the shelf rotor & brushes, etc. Buddy with me loaned me his spare to get home. Now, I have a spare CuF (Ebay steal of a deal) and OEM both.
 

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As for your old bike I have to say that is very unusual and I'm guessing you are very unlucky.
The weak spot in new bikes alternators is the connection between the field winding and commutator. That connection can be a crimp connection or soldered. Soldered would be preferred but of course Hitachi did the cheaper way and just crimped it. That connection is subject to a lot of heating and cooling. That means expansion and contraction. Eventually the connection loosens and the connection gets hot and fails. Believe it or not the benchmark for failure is about 60,000 miles.
Rebuilders try to repair the connection but it is tight spot to get to and they don't get it right many times. Save yourself some grief and buy new.
I bought this new alternator 40,000 miles ago and it is still working just fine.

https://www.dbelectrical.com/products/honda-goldwing-alternator-gl1500-gl-1500.html
 

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Something I never see are comments about the differences between the "exciter wire configuration connection" on the DB Electric alternator compared to the OEM alternator.

On the DB electric alternator the exciter wire is "hard wired' at the back of the alternator with a wire harness and connector. That connection is made behind the left fairing inner panel to the exciter wire coming from the ignition relay. Can you say remove the inner panel to make the connection....!! Unless you want to do some splicing of wires etc.

On the OEM alternator the exciter wire from the ignition relay plugs into the rear of the OEM alternator.

We installed a DB Electric alternator on my friends 1997 Gold Wing SE and I know this to be accurate......:grin3:

I would suppose DB Electric made the change to prevent infringing on a possible copy right issue (maybe not).
 

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Had 4 alternators in my 96 when I sold with 225k. The last was a compufire but never got to 14 volts. I also had a big car battery (1200 CCA)(dual)as my cranking speed as I got tired of needing a jump if bike didn't fire right away.
 

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I owned a 92I for several years...and I replaced the alternator about 5 times! Four times it stranded my on the road...not fun. I finally began carrying a spare, and actually used it the last time I was stuck on the side of the road. I never got to the bottom of why that bike seemed to burn up alternators, I sold it last summer and bought a 96SE with only 60,000 miles. Had the carbs rebuilt, it is a beauty!
On my first big trip on this bike the first of this month I was about 400 miles from home when guess what...yep, the alternator took a dive.
My son got a trailer, drove the 400 miles, picked us up and we went back home. Not a great start to traveling with my "new" bike.
Question; Is it just me or are these bikes prone to alternator problems?
PS. I added nothing except usb ports to charge our phones. Same is true on the 92...no extra lights or anything.

I'm wondering if I should try a different brand (Harley, Yamaha), or move to an 1800.

What do you think?
I have a 97 goldwing trike, same problem. gone thru 5 altenators since the trike kit. about 5k to 7k miles.
 

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I put about 400K miles on the 1500 Gold Wing series bikes. I had good service out of a older 1500 alternator from the late 80s. When it got to not being reliable I got myself a Compufire.alternator. No more problems after that.
gumbyred
 

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Had 4 alternators in my 96 when I sold with 225k. The last was a compufire but never got to 14 volts. I also had a big car battery (1200 CCA)(dual)as my cranking speed as I got tired of needing a jump if bike didn't fire right away.
Never got to 14? Mine has almost always gotten up into the fourteens, but after warmed up, after the battery is recharged, backs down to 13.6 as it is supposed to, sounds like yours had a bad regulator maybe?

I also got by just grand with just one Odyssey PC680 AGM battery for 12 years, then I replaced it, and just recently added a second because I had it … by accident (forgot where I had it, was bought for another wing I sold, then I just found it moving stuff on a bench one day), figured it would do more good with me if needed than at home on a shelf?

Love my Comp-u-Fire & Odysseys.
 
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