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Arkansas Ridgerunner
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a dilemma that I could use some insight with.

My bike is a 2008 GL1800 that I purchased new in August, 2009. So, I have been riding it for just over 4 1/2 years. It still has over 2 years of extended warranty.

The bike has 130,000 miles and I don't see the accumulation of miles slowing down any.

When researching about the Alternator I find several posts where guys have replaced theirs due to failure. From what I can gather from all this, it is highly recommended that the Alternator be replaced at some point over 100,000 miles. But I keep thinking about that extended warranty!!??

I guess I'm trying to decide how much or how far to gamble with this issue.

I know there have been several alternator replacements ... but my question ... how many out there have more miles than I do and are still going strong with the original alternator?

Any help with making this decision will be appreciated...

Thanks
 

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IronMan
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Personaly wouldnt worry about if i had warr. When real close to running out mite want to rebuild/replace for peace of mind if it dont quit in meantime .
 

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Depends on what trip you are going to ruin do to break down. How far off the beaten path will you be at that time? Will you have cell coverage to call for a tow?

Personally I changed mine out at about 125,000 because my riding time is limited and don't want to spoil it. My friends alternator died at 175,000 while on the road. No Honda dealer within 100 miles had one in stock. This was day 1 of a 10 day trip. But as luck would have it we found a trike shop 10 miles down the road that had one and was willing to reopen to get us back on the road. Warranty did not help there either.

So, what are you comfortable with?
 

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I had 2 alternators replaced under warranty, the warranty on my 02 also covered trip interruption expenses like motels and food, after the warranty ran out I bought a brand new Honda alternator and hauled it around wrapped in a towel in saddlebag, last year with 175,000 miles the alternator started making noise but was still working so I installed the new alternator and had the old one rebuilt for a spare. Alternator failure is the only issue that has ever stopped my wing.
 

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Are there any obvious symptoms that are noticeable before it goes bad?
Not usually. They just stop charging most of the time. Bearing failure at least lets you know there is a problem because of the noise.
 

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IronMan
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Warr. Wont fix till it goes bad !!! Go ride it !! Aint worth worrying about.
 

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Depends on what trip you are going to ruin do to break down. How far off the beaten path will you be at that time? Will you have cell coverage to call for a tow?

Personally I changed mine out at about 125,000 because my riding time is limited and don't want to spoil it. My friends alternator died at 175,000 while on the road. No Honda dealer within 100 miles had one in stock. This was day 1 of a 10 day trip. But as luck would have it we found a trike shop 10 miles down the road that had one and was willing to reopen to get us back on the road. Warranty did not help there either.

So, what are you comfortable with?
Just about every decent sized town has an auto-electrical repair shop why not use them?There's nothing mystical about Wing alternators(Mother Honda doesn't build her own)they're basically a cs-144 alt used in a lot of GM cars with a different drive system.Any repair shop would have the most common problem parts in stock(brushes,brgs etc...)and would probably do it for you the same day if they know you're stuck.Had my 1500 alt done on a trip in southern PA a few years ago.Dropped it off at 10:00 am and had it back by 4:00 pm.Cost me $80.
 

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Outta Here by M2
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I did a fly-and-ride when I bought my '08 last fall. Rode 875 miles home with no problems. The next day, 5 miles from home, the alternator quit charging. I'm glad it didn't happen half way home. Mileage was 154,000. You never know when.

john
 

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128k in the middle of a trip mine decided to puke on a Friday evening. No shops open, no alternators in a 300 mile radius that we could find. Ended up having one overnighted but that meant we didn't have it til Monday almost noon. Cost us two days of an eight day trip, over $300 for the alternator (which in a non emergency situation would have been $200) over a hundred for the overnight shipping, two extra days in the hotel a towing company who damaged the wing and wouldn't haul the trailer and a horrific frustration level.

A rebuilt alternator lives in my left saddlebag, and every 50k miles it gets changed out and the old one rebuilt. If it were mine, warranty or no warranty, find a used one on eBay and have it built for a spare. Carry it on every trip if you can make the space.

BTW, mine has been used twice as a rescue part for friends or fellow travelers. Cheap peace of mind.

just my opinion. YMMV

:thumbup:
 

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Question

We do a lot of touring. many trips to the west coast, Alaska in 2012. Going back to Alaska this summer in June. Pulled the alternator this winter and had it cleaned, new brushes, and bearings. No sign of trouble, but I don't need a problem on the road. We also carry a spare alternator with us when we travel. It was inexpensive to have rebuilt and the peace of mind is priceless. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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Just got a new bike. Made the deal on Saturday and had to wait a few days to pick it up because I needed a CB added and a trunk spoiler. On the way down to the dealer the next week, the alternator went out. Made a heck of a racket. So the numbers had to be adjusted. Bike had 92,600 miles. I will change this one before 90K for sure.
 

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My 2007 alternator gave up the ghost at 54,000 miles (under extended warranty) during Wing-Ding in Greenville, SC while leaving the hotel parking lot. The Honda dealership was less than 1-½ mile from the hotel so I got a ride down to buy a new battery (the OEM was 7 years old) and pulled the fuse for headlights to ride the wing back to the dealer on a Friday afternoon. They swapped out the new alternator in less than an hour before I could walk back from lunch at the Red Lobster!

I thought my alternator died awfully early in it's life but I have a fair amount of lights and use my heated gear to ride all winter long. I think the more amperage load on the charging system while at low speed is especially hard on the unit. But I don't worry about such things. I just make sure I have good road insurance for breakdowns and plenty of room on my credit card.
 

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Arkansas Ridgerunner
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions!!

I guess it is time to gamble some. The plan is to keep riding and hope for the best.

May try to do something with it next winter ???

Thanks!!
 

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Do you guy's replace the alternator on your car just in case?:shrug:
 

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Do you guy's replace the alternator on your car just in case?:shrug:
Good question but it's usually very easy to buy an alternator for most cars almost anywhere in the country, GL1800 alternator not so easy to get quick.
 

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Good question but it's usually very easy to buy an alternator for most cars almost anywhere in the country, GL1800 alternator not so easy to get quick.
You have a valid point, but when I think of all the trips I took with my old 1200 with known stator problems, I never worried about it.
 

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Good question but it's usually very easy to buy an alternator for most cars almost anywhere in the country, GL1800 alternator not so easy to get quick.
Hard to get one ready to go off the shelf,but like I said earlier just about anyone can repair/rebuild one the same day.I had mine done by a Mennonite out in the middle of a corn field.Dropped it off at 10:00 am and had it back on the bike by 4:00 pm.Nothing special about these alts. except the drive.Even having had one fail on me I'm still in the I'll take my chances camp.Ya pays your money and ya takes your chances.

PS The wife and I did a lot of trips on our 2 1200's and never gave the stator a second thought.
 

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bob,

i have the ext warranty also.

my plan: if alt goes out while on a trip, i will post on this board asking someone to overnight an alt to me.

i will call rick mays and ask him to walk me through changing that sucker. i will then put the old one back on when i get home and have honda buy me a new one:)


not a perfect plan....but it is a plan:)
 
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