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
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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

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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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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trike lady
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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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