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-   -   Which alternator is better ? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/which-alternator-is-better-61950)

Samy 16 Feb 2012 12:57

Which alternator is better ?
Going to change the alternator on my R80 GS Basic 1996. Have these choices I found on net:


Which one is better ?
More output and longevity is the issues.

electric_monk 16 Feb 2012 23:53

Hey Samy

I moved the thread into the BMW Tech section as it will probabaly get a better response.

Beemerboff 18 Feb 2012 12:27

I have done the best part of 700,000 km on my airheads without the OEM alternators giving me any problems, so you will have to explain what problem it is you are trying to fix.

AliBaba 18 Feb 2012 13:10

IMHO the main problem with the stock system is that it's old and probably it should be serviced (clean connections, check/replace wires etc).

It might be worthwhile to upgrade the diodeboard and do some upgrade on the earth-leads but other than that it's fine.
Unlike the other systems you can get parts for the stock system almost everywhere. I bought a new rotor from the police in Zambia without problems.

I have not seen any reports that shows that the new systems are better, but I've read that people have had problems getting parts for the newer systems.

Why do you need higher output?

Samy 18 Feb 2012 16:42

My bike stop sometimes and doesn't start again. Did it after changing the battery with new one too. Once stopped in the traffic light and needed to carry it with a pick-up to home. Also having serious starting problems. I made starter cleaned and rebuild a bit (Valeo), still having the problem.

I am not good at electrics. I don't need higher voltage output. I think problem is with the alternator. That is the main idea. I don't feel good about this problem. And can't find a trustable/good electrician. I can try to fix myself with Clymer and service manual but afraid to make it unrepairable )))

I am away from my bike, living in another country now and will be away at least one more year. Wanted to buy and store the alternator to change it when I am back.

That's the story.

IanJ 19 Feb 2012 04:59

Greetings Samy

The Motorrad alternator is basically the same type of alternator as the stock system you have in your bike now but a lot beefier so has more output. The advantage of doing this upgrade is that it's a drop in replacement but has the disadvantages of that system, wearing brushes, heat generation in the stator/rotor. One other trap in this type of system is that if the generator lamp in the dash fails the system won't charge. Motorrad supplies a bypass for this reason but they recommend a voltmeter on the bike.

The Endurolast alternator is a brushless alternator system with a permanent magnet. Installation is slightly different as the rectifier and regulator is one unit so it needs to be mounted in a different place on the bike. Having no brushes to wear out is a good thing.

They both put out around the same output at high RPM but I don't know which type of alternator has the better current output at lower RPM's and this could be part of your problem if you are riding in city stop/start traffic a lot.

As mentioned earlier the stock system should be adequate providing it's working correctly and you have no additional equipment you are trying to power (extra lights, heated vests, etc) but as I found out the official output may not match reality.

We use heated vests in winter on our bike and I did have charging problems with the stock system so about 4 years ago I fitted a Motorrad alternator and found it to be very good. I also fitted a voltmeter as well. I would recommend putting a voltmeter on your bike before spending the money on a new alternator as it will show up any existing problems you might have. It took me about 8 hours to fit the new alternator and you need a fairly hefty soldering iron. The instructions were quite good and if I did it again it wouldn't take nearly as long.

There are some stock faults on the original charging system including cracked earth leads, faulty board mounts, loose connections and dead rectifiers that could be the cause of your problem.

One problem with both systems is that they make the bike non standard so if it dies while you're in the middle of nowhere you have the problem of parts etc.

Finally, have a look at this link (and other from Bob's site) about problem solving the charging system

BMW Airhead Motorcycle Alternator Repair

And this one for some comparisons between the charging systems

Enduralast or Omega Charging upgrade revisted - ADVrider

Hope this helps

Good Luck

Ian J

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