1996 Honda Magna VF750CD Charging Question
I have a 1996 Honda Magna VF750CD with 48,000 miles on it. I replaced the battery 6/12/09. I live in Michigan, so store the bike from November to April in a garage with the battery disconnected. Twice during the winter I charged the battery back to 100%, although it was almost completely charged to begin with.
This spring, hooked it up and the bike fired right up. I have ridden 1,500 miles so far this season. Yesterday on the way home from work, I had driven about 13 miles, rounded a corner turning from one street to another, and the bike died. Only 84 miles on the trip odometer, so it wasn't gas. The battery appeared to be very weak.
I pulled the battery from the bike (left the bike in a very good Samaritan's garage), and measured it at 11.3 volts. I put it on the charger and it read 20% capacity. After charging for 4 hours it was back up to 100%.
I put it in the bike, and everything was good. It fired right up. The bike sat for about 24 hours, and then I took it on a 30 mile test ride. When I got home, shut the bike off, and restarted it. Barely. I checked the battery voltage, and it was down to 11.7 volts.
It would appear the battery is fine, because it takes a charge and holds it, but it doesn't appear to be getting charged while riding. My ride home from work when it first died was almost completely 75 mph highway riding (4,700 rpms), so the engine should have been turning plenty fast to charge the battery. My riding habits have been the same since I have owned the bike, and have never had this problem before, so something is wrong.
I am wondering if there is an easy place to start looking for a problem, before I take it to a shop. The wires all look brand new, and there is no corrosion anywhere. I don't have the manual for the bike so I don't know if there is a fuse that could be blown that I should check.
I spoke with a Honda mechanic, and was told it could be the stator (worse case scenario @ $375 for the part and $200 labor), all the way down to something easy.
I'm fairly mechanical, and am looking for any suggestions, or responses from anyone who might have had the same problem.
Oddly enough, I also had to replace the cam chain tensioner at 45,000 miles. The mechanic said the 1994 - 2003 V4 750 Magna engine was something they almost never see for service because they are almost bullet proof. Lucky me.
Thanks in advance!