High output verses standard alternator


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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jazzrider
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High output verses standard alternator

Postby jazzrider » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:13 pm



My alternator on my 1997 GL1500 has quit charging, be riding along the radio messes up then the bike dies.
My question is the high output alternator worth the difference in cost?
I was going to rebuild but would rather replace (don't want problems away from home)



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RoadRogue
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby RoadRogue » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:34 pm

Most people go with the hi amp alternator because they are running alot of extra lights and or heated clothing. As with car alternators most of the time its just the carbon brushes wearing down and/or hanging up in thier holders.
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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trike lady
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby trike lady » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:36 pm

To me it is the best investment I made. The OEM alternator died at some point when I was on my way home and was running on battery.
If you run a lot of lights and electronics, this unit is for you.
If you wear heated garments, you'd want one.
The Compufire produces 60 amps at idle.
I purchased the package deal alternator and battery, this way everything was good from the start.
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redial
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby redial » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:40 am

You also might like to consider Ken Hemming, as he provides excellent services for alternators on GW. Here is his contact point:
http://myplace.frontier.com/~hemi-roid/

I have only heard good things about his work and reliability.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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jazzrider
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby jazzrider » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Thanks all. Bought a 95 amp, not ready for it to come in so I can get back on the road as we have some nice days..

TXAggie87
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby TXAggie87 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:15 am

Jazz - you'll love it! Nothing worse than being stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a bike that's died and won't start/run regardless of what you do! I've got the CompuFire with a Gel Battery. Make sure, if you go with the CompuFire alternator that you get a Gel-type battery. The amps that a CompuFire puts out/inputs into the battery is slightly more than the OEM and most other aftermarket alternators . . . enough that it will boil a traditional lead-acid battery dry over a relatively short period of time. The gel-type battery solves this problem.

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redial
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby redial » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:37 pm

TXAggie87 wrote: The amps that a CompuFire puts out/inputs into the battery is slightly more than the OEM and most other aftermarket alternators . . . enough that it will boil a traditional lead-acid battery dry over a relatively short period of time. The gel-type battery solves this problem.


With reference to the above comment, I thought that the relationship between an alternator and a battery was controlled by the output of the rectifier. By balancing the output to suit the battery, then you shouldnt get the "boil over" effect. Is this correct, or am I charging down the wrong path?
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

TXAggie87
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby TXAggie87 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:36 am

Redial - in theory, you're correct. All I know is from personal experience . . . I installed the CompuFire on my 1500. I had a relatively new Yuasa battery that was just under a year old on the bike. Had it tested to make sure I didn't have any dead cells, shorts, etc. and it was just fine. The fluid in each cell was at the correct level. About 75 days later, it had been boiled out and ruined (I didn't think to check it until it was too late). Seems that, at least on the CompuFire, the rectifier has a slightly higher setting that causes the boil effect and hence the need for the gel battery. Not 100% sure about other higher amp alternators - especially if it's a rebuild/rewind unit. Might be able to get by with it. But, in my mind it's not worth the relatively low cost difference between a high quality lead-acid and a good gel-type.

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robb
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby robb » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:42 pm

It was suggested by my Honda dealer to only use the 90 amp upgrade with no more aftermarket addons than I have. A 140 amp load is nice if you need it but not good if you dont.

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redial
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby redial » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:26 pm

The Compufire produces 60 amps at idle.

Is this a good thing? The quickest way to 'destroy' a battery is to overcharge it, (as supported by a previous correspondent who boiled his battery dry). By charging it at 60 amps, at idle, is not good. Look at the capacity of the battery, and then match it to that. It is like running a 2000 hp motor in a row boat, the hull speed will stop you from using all of those horses, and would be extremely wasteful.

If you are running a lot of electrics, then sure you will need more than the 40 amps that the factory installed, but dont believe that biggest is always the best. Match the requirements of the load, to that of the battery and the alternator, and while allowing some overcapacity, dont think that you have to the biggest, meanest, alternator to have the job done successfully.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:47 pm

redial wrote:The Compufire produces 60 amps at idle.

Is this a good thing? The quickest way to 'destroy' a battery is to overcharge it, (as supported by a previous correspondent who boiled his battery dry). By charging it at 60 amps, at idle, is not good. Look at the capacity of the battery, and then match it to that. It is like running a 2000 hp motor in a row boat, the hull speed will stop you from using all of those horses, and would be extremely wasteful.

If you are running a lot of electrics, then sure you will need more than the 40 amps that the factory installed, but dont believe that biggest is always the best. Match the requirements of the load, to that of the battery and the alternator, and while allowing some overcapacity, dont think that you have to the biggest, meanest, alternator to have the job done successfully.


The Compufire CAN produce 60 amps at idle. That doesn't mean that it always does - only that it is capable of it. If the load doesn't require 60 amps (i.e. the battery is charged, other accessories are not in use), then the regulator in the alternator will not provide that much power, just like any other alternator.

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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby trike lady » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:04 pm

I went with the upgrade for many reasons, the biggest was lighting.
I have a set of operating neons with transformer, will be adding a new set of driving lights, the Voyager has a set of running/brake/turn signals, a set of side marker light on their own switch and I recently came across another relay for lights from the previous owner.

For the GL1800 owners your power upgrade is coming soon from Compufire, you can have 150 Amps to run all your electronics.
http://www.compufire.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=19
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waynedudes
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby waynedudes » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:18 am

I have replaced my alternator, twice! Did not ride much, before the second one died! I still am using a standard, 40 amp alternator. Also changed my voltage lights to a voltage digital gauge. To know exactly how much voltage I am putting out. I am showing 13.8 at present.

But, since I am now reluctant to take any long trips, I am thinking about getting a 95 amp Hitachi Alternator? I ride a 94 Gold Wing with CSC Trike conversion, with lights every where! 40 amps just might not be enough....

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:04 pm

I believe the more accurate description of the battery needed is an AGM, or absorbed glass mat. Gel batteries are a very expensive, limited application, customized charging required, battery. AGMs are very common in the powersports market these days. More powerful, higher capacity, vibration resistant, spill proof, and longer lasting....in general.
Also, there are other, less expensive, high output alternators out there. In the range of $150 for 85-95 amps. Check for Lactrical alternators on Amazon. Be sure to get the unit FROM Lactrical, to avoid any warranty dispute. There are also others, but I have a feeling they are all sourcing from the same suppliers in China. Unfortunately, that's the state of our world right now. I know Compufire is using some sort of Delco based alternator, but that doesn't mean it isn't Chinese based, given the state of corporate outsourcing. When I researched it 3 years ago, I came up with many dissatisfied Compufire owners, and I'm sure many satisfied as well. I went the Lactrical route. After an initial issue, and a swapped out unit, I've had no problems since. Generally a 13.3 - 14 volt output, dependent on charge requirements. Great product. A side note. It would appear that all the higher output alternators are a bit noisier than the stock OEM unit. Has to do with the additional workload that is handled by the higher output. You'll be surprised at the difference in output, and the effect on bike lighting, and battery state of charge. It's clearly noticeable.

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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby waynedudes » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:21 am

I now believe that purchasing a new alternator, is like gambling in Vegas! Just a roll of the dice.
I have looked at several brands, and sellers of alternators for GL 1500. Prices are from a little over $100 to over $400! Not much difference in the warranties. Most will give you a one year warranty, except some on ebay. Only 90 days? So here is what I have found: DB Electric around $130 for OEM . Walmart, $102. Compufire $470! I found a Lactrical, 85 amp for $129, Total power, 90 amp for $139.
I will not pay $470 for an alternator, that might not last any longer than a $139 alternator! I think I will purchase the Lactrical or find a new Hitachi. Replace the 40 amp I am currently using, with a 85 or 95 amp. But I will keep the 40 amp in the trunk, just in case the 85 or 95 amp fails on the road! I also have a spare battery as well! Battery charger, tester.... Will soon have to get that trailer, that I will need to haul alternator, battery , battery charger, tools.....

waynedudes
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby waynedudes » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:47 am

Since I have replaced two OEM Alternators, I am considering purchasing a high output alternator. I ride a 94 GL1500, with CSC Trike conversion. With plenty of lights. I am looking at the Lalectric 95 amp alternator? I have seen many good reviews, with a couple of bad ones. I have also looked an many other brands, that cost a lot more. Do not appear to be any better? I already have a AGM Battery, with 350 CCA. It will crank the bike for days. Unless alternator fails again!
So I think my best bet is to replace with 95 amp, and haul the OEM with me on any trip. I have a spare AGM battery as well....... battery charger.....

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Mh434
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:21 pm

You can add me to the list of positive results for the 95-amp LActrical alternator. I couldn't be happier - and I can turn everything on & still apply the brakes without the headlights dimming! The only downside I've come across is a slight whine in my headsets - a bit of spurious electrical noise, which varies with RPM. Of course, it might not be the alternator - I've also added some LED lights which, I understand, can throw electrical noise...

Nonetheless, the LActrical lends great peace of mind, and the ability to go crazy with electrical bits & bobs if you wish!

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RoadRogue
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby RoadRogue » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:54 pm

I am using a 90 amp alternator from these guys, it's been a number of years now and it's working just fine. 8-)
http://stores.ebay.com/emsglobaldirect_ ... nkw=gl1500
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:51 pm

RoadRogue wrote:I am using a 90 amp alternator from these guys, it's been a number of years now and it's working just fine. 8-)
http://stores.ebay.com/emsglobaldirect_ ... nkw=gl1500


You might want to be careful - if you need warranty service on the alternator, you might want to buy it from LActrical themselves: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing ... ingdocs-20

waynedudes
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby waynedudes » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:34 am

The alternator, I ordered, is lactrical, ordered from Amazon.

waynedudes
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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby waynedudes » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:50 am

So now that I have ordered a 95 amp latrical alternator I am looking for a phone number and address for them? If I needed to warranty the alternator. Does anyone have any info for Latrical? Thanks

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Re: High output verses standard alternator

Postby CrystalPistol » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:39 am

When we bought our '97 GL1500 Trike in 2004 it had a Comp-u-fire and Odyssey PC 680 battery. One day on a group ride as we pulled off to get gas, I noticed my newly installed voltmeter was showing 11 something. Through a series of quick recharges every few miles I was able to make the motel that evening. Swapped in a fellow's spare alt that next AM and Odyssey restarted the trike.
Found out my C-u-f had suffered a fractured solder joint someplace, new rotor on the shelf at gen/electric shop and brushes fixed it. Put it back in, all was well.
Later years it developed a seal leak soswapped in a C-u-f that I had picked up off ebay used from a wreck with low miles, had much higher serial no. ( had bought it as bid was just under $100 so I waited to last few secs and threw in a slightly higher bid and won it.) Anyway, it works great and my orig C-u-f is in a box, now my spare.

Don't have a lot on extra lights ... just a few.


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