Winterize your bike!
Hey people, I just finished up rewiring my '93 900rr and installing a bunch of new electrical components. Some of you may remember my frantical rants about an electrical "brown out" that I was experiencing shortly after rolling out of my driveway on my bike... Well, it turns out the problem was much more complex than anyone could have predicted without looking at the problem with extreme detail.
What happened to my bike was a certain kind of debauchery reserved only for those American made motorcycles of mediocrity. I thought back really hard to try and remember the last time my bike was really, truly serviced and not just "kept running". It was a while. Ive owned my bike for about 4 years and I had never really had her serviced. I have changed the oil and charged/ replaced the battery but the cost of treating my bike that way was almost unbearable. After inspecting the electrical system I almost sold her for parts.
The stator was fried, wiring burned, several electrical components were melted, the connectors that plugged into them were melted/ fused to their components. It was a nightmare.
To say the least, my initial reaction was overblown. I took some time last weekend to install the new stator and after a period of time soldering/ repairing many connections yesterday the electrical system is back to spec.
What happened to my bike is an example of bad maintenance and the "behind the scenes" problems that can happen as a result of this abuse. Unfortunately, my bike's stator sustained chemical damage to the epoxy that protects the windings. This cracked and flaked the epoxy off of the windings with no apparent evidence of overheating but rather a yellowing oxidation. This was sulfur buildup from leaving old oil in the bike for long periods of time. From there, even though I kept the battery charged, the electrical components were straining to keep up with the bike's need for juice at high rpm's. That is what melted everthing and it all could have been avoided by properly winterizing my bike from day one.