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We live in Auckland, New Zealand. We bought alow mileage (16,000) 1997 Aspencade 1500 to convert into a trike. The bike, whichwas very clean, straight and genuine, came from someone I ride with regularly. We took it to NZ's best known converter who has done about 60 trikes from bikes of various makes including quite a few Goldwings. He is about 250 miles away. Reputation OK but he did seem under pressure and was shifting work shop. A month later, picked up the completed trike, rode it only 25 miles (with my 86 kg husband on back) when itspluttered and died. Neither we orthe other bikers with us could get it to go despite many attempts. Absolutely dead. No flat battery noise or anything.An hour later I tried it again , and it started immediately. Took the chance, continued with our ride to Wellington, this time with me (64 kgs) on the backand there were no further problems in 300 milesdespite multiple starts etc. But when my husband and I switched places again on the way back,the bike lasted three miles before it cut out. Same syptoms, and 45 minutes later,itevenstarted although this time itran for onlyabout two minutes and then cut out. Wouldn't start again. Absolutely dead.

Don't know anything about Goldwings. After all, we'd just got the bike and previously we've been Yamaha riders. And we were 350 miles from home. Couldn't take it back to the converter who had gone on an overseas holiday, sowe took it to ANZA who are the New Zealand importers. Unfortunately, it seemed to me that the mechanic there thought we were a couple of idiots, particularly whenthere was asmall flat battery sort of "chug" when he tried to start the bike, something that hadnot happened to us at the time of either breakdown.

His verdict: the alternator is cooked, which is fair enough. But hisidea that this "just happened" seems an enormous coincidence to me. My feeling all along was that there was a short in the bike whichwas activated when David, who is much heavier than me,got on the back. Also,I noticed a couple of things that suggested the conversion might have been done more hastily that usual. For example, the rear intercom plug and external wiring to it has disappeared and the "Compliance"plate (a legal requirement) hasn't been fitted. It has also been suggested that arcing during mig welding or failure to earth the bike correctly couldhave caused the trouble.

Whatever, it'scosting a fortune. $11,250 to convert the bike. About $1000 in incidental costs to date as a result of the breakdown (cartage, accommodation and fares back to Auckland.) Between $1500 to $2000 in repairs... don't know yet, they need the bike for at least a fortnight.Then there's thecost of getting back to Palmerston North to pick it up.

Frankly, I'm terrified that theyare goingtofix the immdediate problem but miss what caused it involving us in a lot more expense.

Does anyone out there have any ideas?

:( Judy Sainsbury
 

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Well Judy, I obviously can'y predict what the trike fitters may or may not have done, but the GL1500s from 97 on did seem to have more alternator failures than previous GL1500s did. If the battery wasn't disconnected while welding then it could get damaged anyway. Other causes might be the alternator connector plug left disconnected, running the engine would then fry the alternator fairly quickly. Could be just the usual gremlins that have affected the 97 on bikes. There doesn't seem to be any way to deal with this other than leae it to the shop guys as they have the bike anyway, so you will have to believe whatever they come up with. When you get it back I hope you enjoy the trike, it's a different world! :pumpkin:
 

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welcome Judy. Sorry to hear about your trike trauma, it does seem like you need to find another repair shop after the current one fixes your alternator and relieves you of yet more cash. Jason is right about the alternator problems. My dads car got a roasted alternator years ago when in for a towbar to be fitted. Welding had to be done and the alternator blew because the battery hadn't been disconnected.
 
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