Friday 15 September 2023

One day one photo - 15: Motorbike problem rectified with a rectifier

Regulator rectifier - the solution to my Monkey woes 

This little component is called a regulator rectifier. Before today I had no idea what it was, but I think it may be the answer to the issues I have been having with my motorcycle - thanks to the people at FWR Motorcycles in Kennington, South London. I had been phoning around different outlets to see if they had in stock a good quality battery for my Honda Monkey - according to many it should have been the Yuasa YTZ5S. The guy took the time to get more details about the problems I'd been having and said that they would certainly be able to supply the battery, but they would make sure to check the bike over to see if there wasn't any underlying problem. It's true that a tracker drains the battery on a vehicle, but it doesn't drain it that much. Also if I kept on changing battery, it is hard to say that I keep being supplied with dud batteries. 

So I arranged to take the bike in to be looked at. Unsurprisingly, I was late arriving at the workshop because the bike wouldn't start - despite having been plugged into the trickle charger that morning. The only thing I could think to do was to start the bike while the trickle charger was plugged in! It gave a very tentative start, but at least the engine was running enough for me to be able to ride the Monkey the 7 miles to get to FWR. After checking the bike, within minutes they managed to pinpoint the problem. The Regulator rectifier was faulty. I don't know much about the mechanics of a bike, but this little device serves to stop the battery from being overcharged while the engine is running. Normally the voltage would be between 13 and 14 volts, and the regulator rectifier serves to keep it within those parameters. 

But if the rectifier goes the voltage goes up and up and just burns out the battery. So you end up with a weakened, even dead battery. Apparently, when the engine of the Monkey was running the voltage was going to 16V. That would explain why the battery was just getting flatter and flatter every time I was using it. 

I think that if I had gone to some other mechanics they would have just changed the battery, sent me on my way, and I would still be having Monkey issues that would just be so disruptive to my everyday schedule. So I really appreciate the guys at FWR identifying the underlying problem. Hopefully, life with my Monkey will be back to normal from now on.

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