Charge at idle


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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oldmopars
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Charge at idle

Post by oldmopars » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:05 pm



I have done some searching on this forum and from what I can see it looks like the Alternator is not supposed to charge while at idle? I have a volt gauge and I never get any charge till I rev it up. I thought that it would not charge till it reached 2000 or so RPM and then it would charge even at idle. Is this not the case?
While I am running down the road I get 13.5-13.7, but if I let the RPM get down to idle, it starts to discharge.
I know that on most Bosch alternators once you rev it up, it will keep the windings "excited" and will charge not matter the RPM, I guess this is not true of the stock alternator?



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DenverWinger
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Re: Charge at idle

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:17 pm

Stock alternator is only 40 Amps max output at full revs. Even fully excited at idle RPM bike consumes slightly more than the alt can put out at low speed. It's not that it isn't putting anything out at all. Doesn't take much of an RPM increase off-idle for the voltage output to come up. Just don't sit in stop/go traffic idling too long.
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AZgl1800
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Re: Charge at idle

Post by AZgl1800 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:37 pm

my '94SE had the stock 40 amp Alternator.

I just set the idle at 1150 rpm and all was well.

I also made it a point to not add any extra lights.
Never had a problem with it, and I lived in Mesa, AZ at the time, lots of stop lights.
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ct1500
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Re: Charge at idle

Post by ct1500 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:08 pm

oldmopars wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:05 pm
I have done some searching on this forum and from what I can see it looks like the Alternator is not supposed to charge while at idle? I have a volt gauge and I never get any charge till I rev it up. I thought that it would not charge till it reached 2000 or so RPM and then it would charge even at idle. Is this not the case?
While I am running down the road I get 13.5-13.7, but if I let the RPM get down to idle, it starts to discharge.
I know that on most Bosch alternators once you rev it up, it will keep the windings "excited" and will charge not matter the RPM, I guess this is not true of the stock alternator?
A charging system should always output the required voltage to keep the battery charged and most alternators regulator set point will produce 14.2V if the alternator is properly sized. The 1500 40A is way undersized.

13.7V running down the road is a joke. What do you have for non-standard electrical devices?
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ct1500
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Re: Charge at idle

Post by ct1500 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:19 pm

DenverWinger wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:17 pm
Stock alternator is only 40 Amps max output at full revs. Even fully excited at idle RPM bike consumes slightly more than the alt can put out at low speed. It's not that it isn't putting anything out at all. Doesn't take much of an RPM increase off-idle for the voltage output to come up. Just don't sit in stop/go traffic idling too long.
Early models without constant on cornering lights can show 14.2V constantly.
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please click contact
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Mh434
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Re: Charge at idle

Post by Mh434 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:48 am

This is the reason so many of us have upgraded to aftermarket alternators. My LActrical unit will make up to 95 amps...at idle....if required.

The GL1500 in stock form uses a LOT of juice, and the later stock alternators were, I believe, made in China, & not up to the quality of the earlier Honda OEM alternators. Even though my bike is a later model, it still had the Japanese-built alternator, I believe because my bike is a special, Canada-only version. Nonetheless, it still topped out at 40 amps, and that only @ higher RPM's.

Once you add a few electrical farkles, the rate of consumption in your bike's electrical budget goes up very quickly, overwhelming the OEM alternator's ability to keep up. Early battery failure can be expected.

My advice to everyone who has a GL1500 is to upgrade to an aftermarket high-output alternator & an AGM-style battery. That will allow you to add on pretty much as many electrical bits you could possibly want, have current to spare, and not get left parked somewhere with a dead battery. Besides, with the cost of GoldWing-capable batteries these days, an upgraded alternator is cheap insurance.

By the way - with my LActrical alternator, my bike consistently makes 14.2V at 850 RPM.

oldmopars
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Re: Charge at idle

Post by oldmopars » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:36 pm

Thank you for the replies. I am going to leave the alternator for now. I am putting the bike up for sale and I just want to make sure that everything is good for the new owner. I have had this bike almost a year, I just came back from a ride to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, over 2000 miles. I just can't fall in love with this bike. I have gone through everything, new rear tire, full tune up, all fluids changed, Progressive 416's, fork brace, and I still just don't like it. Can't see keeping a bike I just don't like. Runs great and rides good, but the handling is just not for me. I think I ride too hard and fast and need a bike with a more sport-bike feel and I don't think there is any way to get there with a 1500 Goldwing. Its too bad, it is a really nice white 96 SE. Anybody want a really nice 96 SE?

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Mh434
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1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Charge at idle

Post by Mh434 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Well, they're not for everybody, that's for sure (otherwise, everyone would have one!). Certainly the next owner is going to get a nicely prepared & set up bike!



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