Question about Honda VT 1100 C Shadow Spirit Motorcycles

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Charging system problems

How many volts should put out

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12 to 14 volts. Less if lights are running. So anywhere from 10 to 14 should be ok. If less it should be replaced

Posted on Jun 17, 2013

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The battery is 12 volts. Anything under that will result in battery being discharged and ultimatly your bike will cutout. You should have between 13.00v and 14.50 max even with lights on. If you have less than this, you need to have your charging system checked.

Posted on Aug 04, 2013

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So you had the battery tested? Possibly the alternator or charging system is not up to par? Before you assume there is a drain, first make sure both battery and charging system are working good.

Best to buy a cheap voltmeter (or multifunction meter) to do any testing. Put a voltmeter on the battery, with key off, volt reading should be at least 12.4 volts-any less, like below 12 volts, then battery is not taking full charge OR the charging system is at fault. Now start the car and put voltmeter on the battery again: the reading should be at least 13.5 volts- somewhere between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. If it is, then charging system is good. If both battery and charging system check out, then you start looking for an unintended drain. YouTube has lots of videos on how to find an unintended drain.

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unfortunately the alternator is only a part of the charging system and it should be tested by an auto electrician not a parts shop
replace the alternator and then take the vehicle to an accredited auto electrician for a charging system check charge rate should be 14.5-14.8 volts DC at around 1500rpm
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Next, check the output of your alternator. To do this, you'll need a DVOM, digital volt ohm meter. Unplug the voltage regular at the front of your engine case close to the oil filter. Now, put your DVOM into "Voltage", "AC", Range 50 volts or better. Now, with the engine running, put one lead from the meter to one of the pins in the plug in the engine case. Put the other lead in the other pin. Rev the engine up to about 2000-2500 RPM. You should read at least 30 Volts AC. You must have the meter in the AC positon because an alternator puts out alternating current. Your regulator converts it to Direct Current voltage for the charging the battery and reduces the voltage. If you are reading thirty volts or better, I would suspect the Voltage Regulator is your problem.

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On the brake light system, have you added additional lights or changed the type of bulbs in the lights. If so, you may have exceed the output of your charging system. I've seen people put so many lights on the back of their bikes that they've burned up alternator stators on a regular basis.

To check your charging system, put a battery charger on your battery and bring it to full charge. Then connect a digital multimeter to your battery, red lead to positive, black to negative, 50 volt scale. Start the engine and bring the idle speed up just a bit. After about a minute or so, the meter should read about 14.5 volts to 15.5 volts. Any higher or lower could indicate problems. If you find this, repost with that problem and I'll tell you how to check the alternator with your meter.

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