Electrosport Stator Failure

My pickup coil and stator replacement that I did a while back did not go so well in the long term.  The bike worked great for 7 to 8 months and then started having problems with the battery holding a charge. If I rode in the rain for more than 10 to 15 minutes the battery would drain and become dead as a doornail and the engine would die leaving me on the side of the road in the rain and having to push start it after the rain stopped.   Several of these battery drain events occurring were enough to kill a battery.

Since the battery mostly only drained completely in wet conditions and otherwise started up and ran fine it took me a very long time to diagnose the problem.  I assumed I had a short that occurred in wet conditions and cut apart and went through the entire wiring harness more than once.  I cleaned every connection and switch with electrical cleaner and then treated every connection with dielectric grease when that didn’t work.   I did attach a digital voltage meter to the bars and noticed it was running a bit low at 12.4V at speed but not all _that_ bad and attributed it to my phantom short.

I had just changed the stator and assumed it had to be anything but that. I did check the ohms across all 3 coils just to be sure and all read in spec. After months of frustration and pulling my hair out and going through 3 dead batteries that weren’t cheap I gave up, admitted defeat and thought about trading in my bike on something else.

A tip from a friend to try before I did anything rash was to check the AC voltage straight from the stator since I had done everything else.  With nothing to loose I ran the bike off a fully charged battery and the fuel line stuck down in a small cup of gas and plugged the multimeter (on AC Voltage) test probes into the 3 wire connector from the stator in every combination.  What I found:  28V 28V and 2V !!!   Eureka!  I was only running on 2/3 of my stator.  No freaking wonder I was having problems!

FINALLY I knew what was wrong, I cracked the bike open and this was what I found. Crispy!    Sure enough the stator was toast and one of the coils was burned up completely.

Continue reading Electrosport Stator Failure

DIY Crankcase Breather Catch Can

After doing the GAK mod to my bike I have noticed that the crankcase breather likes to spit oil all over everything when doing lots of Interstate travel at 80+ MPH.  Its usually not so bad but if doing 4 or 500 miles or more it can start to drip down the side covers and generally make a mess along with building up lots of gunk under the tank and coating the outsides of the carbs.

This was my home grown attempt to fix that problem on the cheap.

Heres what I used, a few plumbing fixtures, another new filter, and a Jim Beam salt shaker can I had laying around and never threw out aka free!

Ignore those scrub pads, Do NOT USE SCRUB PADS.    Many types of scrub pads use fine embedded abrasives which could destroy your engine if they got introduced into the oil.  Since it is hard to determine which have them and which don’t its better not to take the risk.

I had to seal up the seams on my can to get it water tight.  it was able to hold a full cup of water overnight without spilling, hopefully that should do.

I did not have much room to work with so I have the air going in from the side and exiting through the top,  many of these catch can designs use a long internal tube for the line to the bike and a short internal tube for the line to the filter.  Either way will work, you mainly want to create a change in direction for the airflow inside to help separate the oil gases from the air.

I have this side connector cocked to the side for clearance under the tank.

Testing the fit, perfect.    The only problem with this location is you will eventually need to take the tank off to drain this can.  You could also use a longer line and attach your catch can where the AIS components used to be.

Instead of using scrub pads I used a lawn mower air filter.   Since this media is designed for air intakes to begin with it should be fine for the engine and help filter out the oil mist a little better.



UPDATE:    This catch can worked beautifully for over a year but one day I noticed a few drips on my floorboards on the right side and sure enough it was coming from this catch can.  I pulled the tank to check if it was full but nope it was seeping through the seams in the can!  I hadn’t sealed it good enough.   I have removed this until I can find something else to use for the container, preferably something made in one piece with no seams.

Run Turn Brake Module

A Run Turn Brake module or RTB module is an easy addition for greater visibility and allows your motorcycle’s turn signals to operate like the tail lights in some older sports cars. They’ll stay on constantly at 1/2 or 3/4 power (running lights) and go to full brightness when you hit the brakes or use the turn signals. Many chopper guys with the super wide rear tires don’t have space for a traditional dedicated brake light and only have turn signals. Together with the addition of the RTB module the two turn signals work together as the brake lights.

NOTE: By law any rear running lights have to be red. If your turn signals are amber, you’ll need to fix that with red bulbs or red lenses. Mine were already red so I didn’t have to change anything.

Hopefully the additional lighting from the rear will make me a little more visible, especially when loaded down with a tour pack and all the luggage we’ll have during our up coming trip.

Continue reading Run Turn Brake Module

V Star 650 AIS Removal

The AIS or Air Induction System on the Yamaha V Star 650 is designed to dilute the exhaust stream with fresh air to help burn unburned or incompletely burned fuel so the bike can pass emissions tests. Many cars have similar systems to get oxygen to the catalytic converters so the breakdown can happen. As far as I know the AIS has been on these bikes from the beginning and predate the later years where catalytic converters were put in the pipes and indeed other types of motorcycles had AIS or Pulse Air systems as BMW called it back into the late 70’s.

It seems to be the first thing people do with these systems when customizing their motorcycle is ripping them off and throwing them in the trash. Some of the reasons for this are simply to clean up the looks, and get rid of excess parts that could potentially fail and introduce air leaks. More importantly for people who install aftermarket pipes removing the AIS helps stop that annoying backfiring on deceleration, however, if it was tuned properly it wouldnt do that. If it was optimally tuned for your riding conditions from the factory it also wouldn’t need it, but bikes get shipped all over the world to many climates and altitudes so they have to use general settings that will work anywhere.

UPDATE: I have been reading some of the forum threads that have linked to this page and it appears to be possible to get better than stock emissions tests after the AIS is removed as long as the idle mix screws are adjusted and fine tuned.   Like I said, If the bikes were better tuned it wouldnt need AIS to begin with.

There is also the theory that removing the AIS causes the bike to run cooler because it is burning extra unburnt fuel and generating more heat that it otherwise wouldn’t have. I can confirm by closely monitoring my crankcase temperature gauge that my motorcycle does seem to run about 5-7C cooler with the AIS gone, on the other hand, I also had been doing lots of carb tweaks that week and cant entirely attribute it to only the AIS.

Continue reading V Star 650 AIS Removal


Dyna Beads

Dyna Beads

I had heard about these Dynabeads on the CC&D and ADV forums and supposedly they were very good with no real complaints against them. I understand the physics behind them. If your tire is out of balance and say the weight moves it up then the beads will stay in place causing them to move down and counteract it, Newtons laws of motion. The videos are convincing also. I decided to try them with my new set of tires and got some more for my dad’s Father’s Day present.

Continue reading DynaBeads

1959 Austin Mini stone guard mod

Latest mod: Wire headlight stone guards off a 1959 Austin Mini.

I got this idea after my first trial run to try out the new pipes and check my overheating problem. Bike was doing well so my short trip down to Madrid turned into a longer trip down to the Greenside Cafe (highly recommended if you’re ever in the Cedar Crest area) where I parked next to an old Packard and the famous Bentley thats there regularly.

Classic Bentley in Cedar Crest

Classic Bentley in Cedar Crest

With the 2 into 1 pipes with flexible covers that remind me of the supercharged Duesenbergs, tri-bar headlight, the old school Goodson air cleaner and the ’39 Lincoln Zephyr tail lights, my bike is starting to develop its own style from that era. I love the way the headlights look on the Bentley, I thought wire guards just might work.

New headlight rim
Continue reading 1959 Austin Mini stone guard mod

Goodson Air Cleaner

Got in my Goodson Air Cleaner from Rich at Shamrock Fabrication, it looks fantastic! I guess Dennis had been waiting on the polishers and these had been back ordered for a while.

There are some little casting marks and imperfections on the top half that could not be polished out, the bottom half is perfect. I would have preferred it to be reveresed so it wouldnt be as noticable but from a pace or two away I dont think its visable and gives it that hand done look. Maybe I should mount it upside down on the other side and keep the GAK air kit so it looks like an old Indian and really throw people off.

The faux vents on mine were polished out also and not blackened like in the pictures, possibly from them having to do extra polishing on this one. You can see how shiny the vents were in this pic, I forgot to take one before I started masking stuff off.

Masking for paint

Masking for paint

Continue reading Goodson Air Cleaner

My Shiny Hiney – V Star Tail Lights

New Lights

New Lights

Bikes a little over a year old now, up to this point I’ve only done mostly bolt on parts with little modification to the stock bike. This was my first new vehicle I bought myself, I havent had the courage to start cutting her up. Its true what they say, once you start modding you never stop.

Continue reading My Shiny Hiney – V Star Tail Lights