How to know if my motorcycle's regulator is damaged

The regulator of the motorcycle is one of the key pieces for its correct operation. And is that if this piece is not right, failures occur that make us can be thrown with the bike anywhere because it does not start or does not work again after having made a stop. These are frequent situations that are not only due to the failure of the regulator, but also may occur due to other problems on the motorcycle. If it has ever happened to you or the bike is not working well, surely you have asked yourself how to know if my motorcycle's regulator is damaged?

From, we will explain how you can find out in order to solve it and also put in practice some preventive measures so that you do not have to call the tow truck to go find you and take the bike.

What is the motorcycle's regulator

To know if the motorcycle's regulator is damaged, the first thing to do is to know what it is and its importance. And the fact that having a motorcycle does not mean being an expert in mechanics. The regulator can be defined as a small piece that has a square and finned shape, which is usually located in the front under the chassis.

Its operation is totally key for the motorcycle to circulate, since it is the responsible part in the motorcycle to convert the current produced by the alternator into an alternating current . This is the one that is sent to the battery so that the motorcycle starts and runs.

How to know if a motorcycle's regulator fails

Although the regulator is a fundamental part of the bike, it is not always easy to detect possible failures. And the fact that it does not start, may be due to different problems such as lack of gasoline, battery failures or related to the alternator itself. In addition, it is also the case that the bike can work sometimes and sometimes not, being behind a possible overheating of this piece, which is very common, although it is not the only cause that would explain it.

Symptoms of motorcycle controller failure

However, there are a number of signs or indications that may suggest that the motorcycle's regulator is damaged, especially when several of them occur at the same time:

  • The bike does not start suddenly : although you have circulated with it a few minutes ago, it is impossible to start despite the push to generate inertia.
  • The motorcycle circulates but stops : although it circulates, it is noticeable that small stops are produced continuously and they are heard as strange noises that indicate that something is not right. These sounds are similar to those produced by firecrackers.
  • The lights of the motorcycle stop lighting : this is because it does not have enough energy to work.
  • The whole electrical panel of the motorcycle fails: so the odometer, the speedometer is not working ...
  • The part of the regulator is hot when touched : checking its temperature is important because overheating, as we have said, makes it not work well.
  • The battery is overcharged : because the regulator does not transform well the current coming from the alternator. This can even cause the battery to explode or some of its plugs.

You may also be interested in this other article on Why my bike makes a lot of noise.

How to check that the regulator is failing

If you notice one or more signals that we mentioned in the previous section, it is important to check if the regulator is failing or damaged. For this, there is a system that is quite effective and accurate and that is to look at its components .

The regulator consists of two circuits, as well as a rectifier or diode bridge and a voltage regulator. But, mainly, to know if it is damaged, what you have to pay attention to is the bridge and use a multimeter . This, in fact, can seem very difficult if you do not have knowledge of mechanics, although really it is not so much.

1. Check the motorcycle's regulator: the diodes of the high part

The first thing to keep in mind is that two wires (one is positive and the other negative) come out of the regulator, while three wires come from the generator or alternator, which are identified as L1, L2 and L3 . However, the diodes have the peculiarity that they are only conductors in one direction, registering a drop of 0.6V to 1V.

Once you have identified all the cables and connections, it is time to perform the step-by-step verification with the help of the multimeter :

  1. Check the diodes that are on the top. To do this, you have to put the negative tip on the positive output of the regulator.
  2. Next, put the positive tip on each of the wires coming from the generator.
  3. In each of them, the multimeter should mark the drop we have indicated above. That is, give a result between 0.6V and 1V .

This result is already indicative to know if the regulator of the motorcycle is damaged, since whether the value is greater or less is a sign that something is going wrong or is damaged .

2. Check the motorcycle's regulator: the low-end diodes

Anyway, it is not enough and it is also convenient to check the diodes that are located in the lower part, using the multimeter again:

  1. Put the positive tip on the negative cable of the regulator.
  2. Then put the negative tip on each of the wires coming from the generator.
  3. It has to reflect values between 0.6V and 1V .

Again, if this measurement reflects higher or lower values, it is because there is a fault. But the whole process is convenient that you complete it by doing a check of the voltage regulator . You just have to make a measurement in which if the value is higher than 14V is because there is a problem. In any case, if the value indicated is lower, it is most likely that the fault is not in the regulator, but in the generator.

Tips to avoid damage to the motorcycle's regulator

The truth is that the regulator is a piece that usually has a long duration, unless it comes with a manufacturing failure or misuse of the bike. In this way, it is important to follow a series of tips to prevent the regulator from failing:

  • Periodically check the condition of the battery : if it is checked that it is completely discharged or partially, you should not use it until you have solved the problem of the load to avoid worse consequences.
  • Do a good maintenance of the motorcycle : especially of the lamps that must be changed quickly when they do not work or burn to avoid increasing the current in the voltage regulator, since you will have to assume the part of energy that is not using the lamp.
  • Do not alter or modify the electrical installation .

They are tips and guidelines that we tell you from to answer your question of how to know if the regulator of my motorcycle is damaged? It is always advisable to make an adequate maintenance of the motorcycle and take it to the workshop periodically for revisions in order to detect possible failures, in addition to consulting with experts any doubt about its operation before acting.