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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I am totally new to motorcycles, bought my first bike, took a safety course and going for my road test next week. I bought a 2006 Vulcan 900 with 13K miles. After a lot of reading i have come to realize that the whining i hear on my bike is not normal and a stator issue. My question is, are RM stators good ? I read Ricks are the ones to get but RM seems more easily available through Amazon, and an OEM one through the local dealer is ridiculously overpriced. Also I live in Canada so shipping here is sometimes an issue but getting better.
 

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Why do you think it's the stator?

I'm having a hard time understanding how a stator whines. It's just 3 lengths of copper wire wound into coils around a frame. No moving parts.

They usually fail by shorting out or shorting to ground or burning open. All easily checkable with a digital multimeter.
 

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Is you're bike charging properly? Whining from a stator as a reason to change it seems a bit much. You could put in a new one and still have that whine. I don't know why a stator would white, a poster above stated the reasons why they usually don't. They usually just burn out without any sound.

The oil pumps are known to whine and go bad on these bikes. If the oil pressure is low, the straight cut gears will whine. Sometimes you can take a stick (or long dowel) and put it to your ear, and the other end to the area you think is whining. It should amplify through the stick, being isolated, a couple of revs, with the bike on it's center stand, and in Neutral, then you can hear for sure if it is coming from the stator.

If not (I hope you have the Service Manual) then go to where the oil pump is and try to hear if the whining is from there. If you're determined to buy a Stator, I've had real good luck with ElectroSport products.. Their Stators usually produce 20% more voltage.

Also, depending where you are at, you may beed to run a higher oil viscosity if it's really hot. This one one hot SUmmer. You Service Manual, or Owner's Manual, will tell you the ranges of oil to use. That might quiet down the whine. Link below..

I would check out the oil pump on that bike, maybe get an oil pressure gauge installed (they look great too) and give invaluable information..

Link = 2006 KAWASAKI Vulcan 900 Classic / LT

Check out this link for Vulcan oil pressure Gauges = Oil, Temperature, Voltage gauges for your bike
 

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I use a long screwdriver as a listening device at times, never tried wood. Also have a mechanics stethoscope, but it's tight and hurts my ears, think it was KD brand. Dont get it out much. Multiple brands out there from the Horrible Fright $5.99 one and up....
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is you're bike charging properly? Whining from a stator as a reason to change it seems a bit much. You could put in a new one and still have that whine. The oil pumps are known to whine and go bad on these bikes. If the oil pressure is low, the straight cut gears will whine. Sometimes you can take a stick (or long dowel) and put it to your ear, and the other end to the areea you think is whinig. It should amplify through the stick, being isolated, a couple of revs, with the bike on it's center stand, and in Neutral, then you can hear for sure if it is coming from the stator. If not (I hope you have the Service Manual) then go to where the oil pump is and try to hear if the whining is from there. If you're determined to buy a Stator, I've had real good luck with ElectroSport products.. Their Stators usually produce 20% more voltage. Link below..

I would check out the oil pump on that bike, maybe get an oil pressure gauge installed (they look great too) and give invaluable information..

Link = 2006 KAWASAKI Vulcan 900 Classic / LT
I am going to check the charging voltages and short to grounds today, so far its just been the sound. I have only had the bike for a few days and this was a common issue that i have discovered. Thanks for the tip, i will look into the oil pump as well. A oil pressure gauge definitely a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why do you think it's the stator?

I'm having a hard time understanding how a stator whines. It's just 3 lengths of copper wire wound into coils around a frame. No moving parts.

They usually fail by shorting out or shorting to ground or burning open. All easily checkable with a digital multimeter.
When a stator shorts to ground, it puts a high load on it. Since the stator generates AC, what you hear is an AC ringing in the stator coils due to high current.
 

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Check, with your fingers, the viscosity of the oil, make sure it doesn't feel thin. As for having the bike for only 2 days, get "AAA" coverage, don't change out that stator, if you bike breaks down, they will tow it 100 miles for free. I have it for all my vehicles, including my motor home. I have used it 3 times this year, towing cost me nothing.

Some of these bikes had plastic oil pumps impellers which were known to break. There is an upgrade for it. I don't know how you can tell if yours is the upgraded one or not, that's why the oil pressure gauge can be a life saver. You have to get the electronic ones, it hooks right up to the sensor that's there, check on the link I posted for exact details. ;) :)
 

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Well after coffee and some research, it appears a stator might cause a whining noise if the coils are shorted to ground....

Edit: Yep, just found that same thread... If it's shorted it will be obvious with a meter.

Another sign is they tend to turn the oil black rather quickly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well after coffee and some research, it appears a stator might cause a whining noise if the coils are shorted to ground....

Edit: Yep, just found that same thread... If it's shorted it will be obvious with a meter.

Another sign is they tend to turn the oil black rather quickly.
Ya this is all new information for me, i have been reading up and watching videos all night, haven't had a chance yet to do some real world investigating, thats my goal for today.
 

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When a stator shorts to ground, it puts a high load on it. Since the stator generates AC, what you hear is an AC ringing in the stator coils due to high current.

I actually understand that, but usually they are would very tight, and have extra bands to prevent that. This may be a problem for this bike, [email protected] stators, but I have never had an CEMF induce by induction noise on any stator I have ever owned. I've had two short to ground, they just died, leaving my bike running on the battery. no noise, the tachometer going dead, letting me know I had a problem. (1st thing I did was unplug the headlight so I could make it home). This would be a new one for me. I am a Certified Electronic Technician. For a Stator to be audible, and would have to be really badly made. My Suzuki has it's Stator bathed in oil to keep it cool. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I actually understand that, but usually they are would very tight, and have extra bands to prevent that. This may be a problem for this bike, [email protected] stators, but I have never had an CEMF induce by induction noise on any stator I have ever owned. I've had two short to ground, they just died, leaving my bike running on the battery. no noise, the tachometer going dead, letting me know I had a problem. (1st thing I did was unplug the headlight so I could make it home). This would be a new one for me. I am a Certified Electronic Technician. For a Stator to be audible, and would have to be really badly made. My Suzuki has it's Stator bathed in oil to keep it cool. :)
Ya I don't what to say, Its just what came up as a notorious issue with these bikes. I am a red seal electrician although not with bikes or automotive, i do have some understanding of how these things work.
 

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Pretty sure it's not just these... Hondas and Suzukis, pretty much all brands also have stator/rectifier failures. Roadstercycle.com has some good testing videos, left side, then scroll way down.

fyi, kawasaki wants $800 for a Versys 1000 stator...

I spent 30+ years working on computer mainframe systems and peripherals and Lucent 5ESS phone switches and data circuits, a lot of that time on the tech support desks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay so I did some charging system checks, Battery voltage when off is 12V, At idle its 13.8v, with some rpms it goes up to about 14.2v, So I believe that it is good. Then I unplugged the connector going to the rectifier and tested the resistance on the 3 white wires coming from the stator, all 3 were about .4 ohms. I was looking for them to be equal which they are. And I tested each one to ground and there were no shorts to ground either.
So needless to say, it seems to be working as it should so the noise is either telling me it's on its way out, which it could be. Or it's something else.
I still need to check the oil pressure, I am just trying to figure out how to do that, get a gauge etc. The oil light is not on, so thats a good sign .
 

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The oil pressure sending unit sends an electronic signal that is read digitally. Any Oil Pressure gauge must be digital if you use the oil pressure sending unit, the kit may come with one of it.s own. I have seen these bikes with analog gauges mounted off an engine with a pipe coming out, and off to the side. I don't know the bike well enough to know where there is an oil galley that you can use for a mechanical gauge. The ones I have seen are mounted low, by and above your right foot, if your foot is on the pegs. Vague help, sorry.

Lots lots knowledgeable people in this thread. My Suzuki's oil was virtually Black when that stator burn out, as it bathes in the oil. I have read this is an issue on these bikes. The whining though, I have never come across that on any motorcycle, which doesn't mean much, empirically speaking. :)


The link below I posted earlier will tell you how to mount an oil pressure gauge specifically for your bike. ;)

link = Oil, Temperature, Voltage gauges for your bike
 
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