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A new Kawasaki voltage regulator for my KLE500 was very expensive, so I had a substitute installed to replace the factory one.

The symptom that lead to the factory regulator's replacement was some random and sporadic brief failure while accelerating, like the bike had momentarily run out of fuel. The mechanic said the regulator was overcharging (+18v), which caused the CDI to go crazy at the point where the regulator delivered the highest voltage.

Replacing the regulator cured the problem. The bike ran perfectly (almost too perfectly) for a couple of weeks, till one day, after using it a lot during the morning, I parked it for a couple of hours, and when I hopped on again, the battery was DEAD (no neutral light).

I know this can happen to batteries, so I bought a new one. When I was going to install it, I noticed the job that the mechanic had done when replacing the regulator.

It turns out that the new regulator has no "sense wire". The factory regulator was wired like this:

Three yellow wires to the alternator
Brown wire (sense) to the ignition key, to monitor voltage in the system
White wire to the battery (+) through the starter relay
Black/yellow wire to the battery (-) (the black/yellow wire feeds the negative to several other components)

The new regulator has the three yellow wires, plus 2 green and 2 red ones, which should be connected, apparently, to the battery's (+) and (-). The mechanic confirms that this regulator has no sense wire.

On top of this, the mechanic conected the red and green wires DIRECTLY to the battery. He didn't use the white and black/yellow wires that the original regulator used.

Question 1: I know some regulators have no sense wire, and supposedly they should work fine, otherwise no one would manufacture them. But are these regulators as good as the ones with sense? Do they ACTUALLY work fine? How do these regs know when to stop charging, if they aren't monitoring the system voltage?

Question 2: Why connect the regulator directly to the battery instead of using the original cabling???? This freaks the hell out of me. When I saw that connection, I thought I was gonna die from horror. The mechanic says that this regulator requires that the connection be direct, because the original cabling adds too much resistance before getting to the battery, and this affects the ability of the regulator to decide when to charge and when to stop charging. IS THIS PLAUSIBLE???

Remember: I had never had a battery die on me like this one did, and coincidentally, this happened a couple of weeks after replacing the regulator. It COULD have been that the new regulator should have a sense wire, or that it shouldn't be connected directly to the battery. Or it could have been a coincidence (the battery was 2 or three years old).

Please, I need someone who will answer this questions, the whole issue is eating me up inside.

One thing I will never understand of mechanics is how they DARE try to modify or, worse, "enhance", a Japanese design.

Thank you.
 

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Voltage regulator

My understanding of the wireing is "liability"
the factory wires would/should be ok, but they are probably afraid of the diy guy trying to wire to the factory wireing, so they suggest right to the battery....
This should not be a problem in itself, but should your regulator be bad, or your stator bad, then this could account for the dead battery,

I suggest you check your battery voltage when running and reved up at normal highway rpm (stopped in neutral) it should be between 13-15 volts, less than 13, not charging!! have it checked out.

hope this helps
 

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Re: Voltage regulator

My understanding of the wireing is "liability"


I suggest you check your battery voltage when running and reved up at normal highway rpm (stopped in neutral) it should be between 13-15 volts, less than 13, not charging!! have it checked out.

hope this helps
Thanks, this is the info I was seeking. 8 month old battery died. During the week before I had noticed that, at idle, the indicator lights wavered. After 24 hours of trickle charge the battery tested (with multimeter) 12.7v. After sitting another 24 hours the voltage dropped to 12.4. My Vulcan started fine and I increased the idle to stop the wavering lights. I tested again at the battery and read 14.7v with engine speed at about normal driving rpm. 14.7 seemed high, but your post tells me it is about right. Thanks again.
 
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