Motorcycle electrical systems are becoming increasingly complicated as more and more features are being added to new models. Several years ago, low displacement scooters and commuter motorcycles were relatively simple. These days, however, motorcycles like the Yamaha NMAX feature high and electronic components such as LED lights, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, and even traction control.
While all of these features make the motorcycle more premium and elevate the riding experience by a substantial margin, they also increase the risk of malfunction. That’s just the way it is, the more techie features, the more likely something is bound to go wrong. When it comes to your bike's electrical system, the stator, or alternator, is undoubtedly one of the most important components. It is, in fact, responsible for providing electricity to the various components of your motorcycle such as the lights, instrument panel, and riding aids. In this regard, let’s take a look at a few telltale signs that your stator is on its way out.
Low battery voltage
Apart from generating alternating current to power your bikes electronic components, the stator is also in charge of charging the battery. As such, a telltale sign that your alternator is malfunctioning is if your battery consistently displays low voltage, especially if your bike has been running for some time now. If your motorcycle does not come with a built-in voltmeter, you can use a multimeter or purchase an aftermarket voltmeter and wire it properly into your electrical system.
If your motorcycle has been running for a few minutes, your battery voltage should read somewhere between 13.7 to 14.5V. If the voltage continues to drop even while the engine is running, then chances are you have a stator problem. Do note, however, that a low battery voltage issue is not a guaranteed diagnosis for a stator problem, but rather, a way to guide you to find the root of the issue.
Various electrical issues
Various intermittent electrical gremlins can also be a sign of a failing alternator. These can manifest themselves in many, small, and annoying ways. For instance, you may find that your instrument cluster just suddenly switches itself off, and you are riding with what appears to be a dead instrument panel. When you stop to address the issue and restart your motorcycle, your instrument panel suddenly Springs back to life. Other issues can come in the form of lights flickering intermittently, various warning lights such as check engine lights and other sensor issues popping up, or the worst, your engine just dying out of nowhere.
Changing the battery doesn’t fix it
Of course, The easiest way to check electrical issues would be to inspect the battery. Oftentimes, the symptoms of a failed stator can be mistaken as a faulty battery. That said, if you have already replaced your battery and find that your electrical issues persist, then chances are you have an issue with another part of your electrical system. It could be that the regulator/rectifier is malfunctioning. If your voltage is consistently low, and other errors persist, then chances are there’s an issue with your stator.
Luckily, replacing your stator is a relatively straightforward job, but one we recommend to be done by a professional mechanic. This is because the stator is housed inside your motorcycle’s crankcase, and requires the removal of your engine casing, the draining of oil, and the replacement of gaskets once installed. If you think your motorcycle’s stator, or any other vital electrical component, is on its way out, we suggest not riding your bike until the issue has been resolved, as this can result in you being stranded, or worse, an accident due to sudden failure of your vehicle.