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Motorcycle Alternators & Charging Systems

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Alternators & Charging Systems

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Go to Garage to select a motorcycle to ensure the best fitment.

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It ain’t magic, but boy is it close. The electricity generated by motorcycle alternators and managed by the entire charging system is what allows your bike to crank, run and carry on uninterrupted. We’d even argue these are among the most critical components of a motorcycle; you’ve pretty much got a bicycle without spark. If it’s time to upgrade to a more reliable motorcycle alternator or generator — and you know your bike’s charging system is up to the job — J&P Cycles can help. In fact, we’ve got a helpful tutorial right here on testing said system so give it a read then get back to stocking up on those necessary electrical goodies.

The Motorcycle Alternator: Electrical Current Creation

It’s not just cars and trucks that use an alternator to create electrical current. A motorcycle alternator generally consists of the flywheel rotor that encapsulates, and rotates around, the stator. The two parts utilize magnetism to generate alternating current (AC) electricity, which is pumped out to a regulator/rectifier. The alternating current is then regulated and rectified into direct current (DC) — as the names of these products so clearly suggest. The DC current is then channeled to the various lights, radios, turn signals and ignition components on your bike, allowing the motorcycle generator to keep cranking out power to feed these systems. Many an electricity expert have equated the current created by motorcycle charging systems to the flow of water; understand where the flow is headed and you’ll have an easier time tracking down which part of your motorcycle charging system is acting up. 

While it’s possible for your old and undercharged battery to be a partial culprit here, our Common Tread crew has a bit of sage insight there: “Batteries do not create electricity. At least no more than a refrigerator creates food.” If you’ve still got questions on which motorcycle alternator is right for your ride, give us a call at 1-800-318-4823 or click here to reach Customer Service.