The electrical components of your bike can seem like staring into a big pot of spaghetti and trying to make sense of the whole deal. To begin comprehending the whole ordeal think of your electrical system as three separate beasts: one system generates the electricity, on stores the power and another directs electricity to components in need of electrical energy.
The electrical energy for your motorcycle is created in either your stator or alternator. The energy created by this component is a AC voltage (alternating current), so for your bike to use the energy it must pass through a rectifier to be converted to DC voltage (direct current). This direct current will then run through your wiring harness, which is the metaphoric central nervous system of your motorcycle, either directly to the components in need of electricity or it will be stored in your battery. Electricity is used for obvious things like lights, turn signals, speedometer and internal components like temperature gauges, pressure gauges and also your motorcycle’s computers.
The electrical systems on modern bikes are extremely complex, but understanding the general role of the variables can help you make sense of it all. If you suspect your electrical is causing you mechanical problems there are a few simple things you can check. Your battery is clearly the usual suspect, if you leave your bike sitting for long periods of time a “trickle charger” may be a good investment to keep you battery fresh. Also keep an on the terminals and connectors, watch that they stay clean of sediment which could interrupt the flow of electricity. Also if you drop your bike, make sure your battery is seated correctly and not leaking. Another culprit might be a blown fuse. A fuse’s role is to blow in the event of a excessive current, this keeps your expensive electrical components safe. Find out where your fuses are and carry some extra on the road.
While completely comprehending your electrical system is real feat, knowing what the main players are is simple. Google your bike and learn about the battery placement, fuse locations and how your specific bike model generates it’s electricity, to be prepared for sticky situations that may arise further down the road.