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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have owned a few bikes in the past and ALL - VTX, VFR, FJR, KTM have had what I consider a weak charging system...
The Triumphs are no different.

A short personal history: I spent 15 years of my life designing and building high amperage electrical systems for automotive applications. I learned that in order for a charging system to work & charge properly you not only need a good voltage generator & storage source - the connecting system has to be solid, clean and generally over sized...

So

I bought an 04 Daytona last weekend...upon arriving home, I gave the bike a good going over.
Fluids, air pressure, battery etc...
One of my checks is to alway test the charging system...so I took the seat off (HEY, that's where the owners manual is...) and broke out the trusty fluke meter.
Tested tha battery, and it read fine (12.6ish)
Fired up the bike and voltage is riding in the 13.3-.5ish area...Humph...low...
I grabbed the output wires of the regulator to test the voltage there and WHOA - they're fairly toasty...that's not good (hot wires are a dead on sign of either a bad ground or undersized wires.)

Upon further investigation, I found the same thing I found in the other bikes -the output wires from the regulator were ok size but once plugged into the actual bike wiring, it shrunk ALOT and ran the long way to the battery...

So here's the scoop (or the bad)
Triumph and other bike manufacturers down size the wiring in the bike to save on cost, size, weight or what ever thinking it should be OK but, In the real world, it isn't...
Not only is the wire gauge to small, but, although the regulator is 10 inches from the battery, the actual wires that charge the actual battery leave the regulator and go into the main harness that runs forward on the bike and aventually hooks to the starter where the main starter wire is connected and ran back to the battery.
SO - instead of a 10 inch run of proper gauge wire, they use a wire that is to small and way to long especially for its size and purpose (charging the battery).

The Good:
It's and easy fix...I had it done in under 5 minutes (I did have everything on hand)

*WARNING*WARNING*WARNING*WARNING*
Proceed with the following modification at your own risk


All you have to do is get a couple of piese of 12 gauge wire about 10 inches long - one black, one red (if you chose...you can use what ever color you want), some ring terminal connectors and a fuse holder

on the bike side of the regulator plug (a white plug), you will see (on an 04 Daytona at least) 4 wires - 2 brown, 2 black.
The brown wires are the voltage output
The black is the ground.
UNHOOK THE BATTERY

*right behind the plug (on the bike side of the wiring, not the regulator side), cut back the insulation on all 4 wires...clear your self about 1/2" area so you just have bare wire.
*take a small flat screw driver, and open up an eye in each wire (so you have a hole right through middle of the wire...this is a "button hook" connection)
*take the red wire, strip back about an inch of it and then insert it through one brown wire, then the other...then wrap it around both wires and sinch everything up tight (yes, you are connecting/wrapping the wires together). *keep tightly wrapping the wire around until it's all wrapped into one tight connection....if you chose a solder connection, go right ahead.
Now wrap the connection tight with a good dose of electrical tape.

*Now do the same with the larger black wire and the black wires in the plug.

*connect your fuse holder with fuse to the red wire and connect to the + positive terminal as you hook up the battery. (if you get a wired fuse holder with enough wire, you can directly connect the fuse holder to the reg wires and than to the batt - they are availble at car stereo shops)

*install your ring connector to the black wire and hook it up to the - (negative terminal) batt terminal as you connect the battery.

PROLOGUE>>>>>>>>
After doing this mod, I fired the bike up and there it is...14.6 +/- volts as it should be...a nice healthy charging system...wires stay cool, lights don't dim, bike runs better (better voltage) and more responsive....


When I posted this on VFRD, there was quite a discussion that ensued...if you would like to read through that thread:
http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=29975

But I can say the every bike this has been done to has shown a dramatic improvement.

This mod is safe, easy and cheap.
The only reason OEM doesn't do this is expense and it would complicate assembly.

Good luck.
 

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Thanks a lot Zam; very good info and post. I have found that my charging system isn't up to par. I am noticing that every time I start the bike the battery seems to have a little less juice (brand new battery.) The volt readings are also as you described. I definitely think this might be the fix. I'll go ahead and run the bypass this week.
 

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It would seem that my bike overheard our discussion. I went out this morning to fire it, and it turned over once and then began the old solenoid clicking. The battery was down to 12.1V.

I just finished running the bypass. I didn't have any 12 gauge wire around, nor did I have an in-line fuse; I went over to Napa auto parts and bought one spool of red and one spool of black 12g wire and a heavy duty 12g in-line fuse. In all, I spent $18. I couldn't get to the regulator plug without taking off the tail fairings. The whole thing took 40 minutes, and that's including removing/installing the fairings and soldering the connections.

Prior to the bypass, I took some volt readings. At engine temp of 190F with the high beams on, the system was charging 14.2 +- at idle. As soon as I cracked the throttle open it dropped to 13.4 +-.

After the bypass, it is now charging at 14.7 +- and drops to 14.4 +- when the throttle is opened. Off the bat I noticed a difference in the way the engine ran. It is much more responsive and smoother when giving it gas. I'm going to do this to my TT600 drag bike next. Thanks again Zam!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:thumbsup: Excellent!
A great side benefit of this is how much cooler your regulator & stator will run (and last longer)

Like I said before, this mod cannot hurt...worse case, it'll do nothing but, I have never found a single bike (or car believe it or not - a car would take bigger wire) that this doesn't show at least some improvement on.

Your battery being flat @ 12.1 indicates either a tired battery or a small draw some where...watch out for that before it leaves you stranded.
 

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I have never found a single bike (or car believe it or not - a car would take bigger wire) that this doesn't show at least some improvement on.
Trust me, this mod is well known in the car world. Ask any car audio enthusiast about the 'big three' and see what he says.

Big three: Extra, or replacement heavy gauge wires from alternator to battery +ve, engine block to battery -ve, engine block to chassis. At minimum I use 8ga.

First modification to make when building a high wattage system because the OEM wiring is barely adequate at best. Of course there are benefits to the whole electrical system including smoother running, less dimming of lights etc. etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Trust me, this mod is well known in the car world. Ask any car audio enthusiast about the 'big three' and see what he says.

Big three: Extra, or replacement heavy gauge wires from alternator to battery +ve, engine block to battery -ve, engine block to chassis. At minimum I use 8ga.

First modification to make when building a high wattage system because the OEM wiring is barely adequate at best. Of course there are benefits to the whole electrical system including smoother running, less dimming of lights etc. etc.


Yep!
That's where my experience comes from, :YellowWink:
 

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.....A great side benefit of this is how much cooler your regulator & stator will run ....
I do agree that the direct connection is indeed a benefit for optimal performance at the bike's loads but not buying this quoted comment.

The regulator responds to the voltage measured directly at the regulator & dumps excess current to ground & thus crudely regulates the voltage in this manner; (increasing the load demand from the bike actually lessens the work the regulator has to do in dissipating that excess power in the regulator); adding the increased current carrying capability wires to the battery will have no effect on this situation.
Current load drawn by the bike will be whatever it requires - yes, smaller gauge wires will mean some volt drop across the wires & lower performance at the load itself, (smaller voltage, lower current & power/heat dissipation in the wiring) but will have no (or certainly indeed not a lesser) effect on the voltage / current supplied by the stator. This is a simple voltage divider situation - the current is what will be required by load (which will indeed actually be slightly lower than if a higher voltage was supplied at the load due to minimal resistance in the wiring)

Extreme example to illustrate:
let's say wiring from regulator has 1 ohm resistance; load is 11ohm. Total resiatnce of load presented to regulator is 12 ohms. If output is 12 Volts (we know this is not the actual case) then current supplied equals 12V/12ohms = 1Amp. Power required is 12w (again perfect, no losses in regulator)
Now - if 'perfect' wire from regulator to load i.e. 0 ohm, then total resistance presented to regulator is only 11 ohms. Current demanded by load is now 12V/11ohm = ~ 1.1A Power required is 13.2w
So the load will actually perform better (i.e. a light would be brighter) but the power consumed would actually be higher. This additional power has to be supplied by stator so definitely will not be running cooler!

Still a good tip, this last part of the justification (per quote) just not valid argument as to why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
technicalities not with standing...

I used the "touch" method :) .
Prior to the additional wires, my Regulator would heat up fast...
after, it didn't...at least not as quick.

Not saying your wrong, because technically, you're absolutely correct in every way.

in the end, do the mod, don't do the mod...makes no difference to me.
 

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zam70: I just want to be clear on the connections;
1st: 12 ga. jumper between brown leads, then onto the + batt. terminal with a fuse holder between? What size fuse? That which equals the main fuse rating?
2nd: 12 ga. jumper between the black leads, then onto the - batt. terminal?
It sounds like this is the result Triumph was/is looking for by directing their techs. to install the extra ground wire (see other posts). I'm gonna do it tomorrow night!
Thanks for the info.!!
 

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Same as Bombfactory, steady charging, no dimming under load, but haven't tested the smoothness or responsiveness of the bike yet. I am happy with the steady charging because I use accessories in the winter and am hoping this will help keep things at an acceptable level charge wise.
 

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My buddy smoked his connector between the stator and the regulator. His stator died and when he replaced it, he didn't adequately re-coat the plug with dielectric grease; corrosion got him.
 
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