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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I buys up this shiny 97 Blackbird. Test drove twice - 2 different days - starts fine cold / warm. No worries except a burned out headlamp (low beam) and one front turn signal / marker bulb (both filaments). Drive it home picking up some lamps on the way. It's daylight, so I figure the high beams won't offend. Well I get back to the stable and using the shop manual that was thoughtfully supplied, I go to changing the lamps out and notice that the high beam is now no longer. Again no worries, the "improved" headlamps I bought came in a 2 pack. I install the lamps, flip the key, toggle some switches and all is as it should be! I start the bike and things remain just fine. I notice that the cap on the maintenance free battery is popped up a bit - I didn't even know they could do that. I push it back into place and think nothing of it. The next day I go out to start the bike and it just doesn't have the juice. Hmmm, I thinks, did I leave the key in the on position last night? I bump start it down the driveway and all is good as the the road winds by. I arrive at the store, see the reflection of the bike in the window WITH A BURNED OUT HEADLAMP! I drive the bike home (it started fine) Pull out the offensive headlamp to see that the filament is indeed broken. The battery cap is loose again (didn't I just push that down?). Now I am thinking the failure is deeper and more catastrophic than some burned out lamps.
- Too much voltage pops lamps
- Too much voltage will build up gas in a battery.
- Regulator / rectifiers govern voltage
- Attached is a photo of mine - It doesn't even look like the one that belongs on the bike - and it was possibly bought at a fire sale (did it cause the fire sale?).

Sorry for the long lead in, but it may be helpful to others since I saw no other r/r post with these symptoms.

Questions for the Blackbird gurus.

Reading other r/r posts I see the toasted r/r may affect other components (battery etc) which - if I understand correctly - may damage any new rectifier that I put in. Is this true? Should I look for another part that could have caused the r/r to go bad in the first place?

I notice folks recommending R-1 rectifiers. Anyone have comments?

Thanks in advance.
 

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The R/R is certainly toast and needs replacement. I don't know if thats an original R/R as mine is a later finned unit.

You need to download the Shop Manual and follow the stator test procedure to see if its damaged as well.

I would not be surprised if you end up replacing the R/R Stator and Battery. Check the wiring and connectors between the stator and R/R as it will probably be burnt and damaged.

This will probably get moved to the Electrical area so don't be surprised if it vanishes.

JohnS
 

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I've had mine go out 2 times on my '97 in the same manner you described (headlights, etc.) and it never affected any other components with 66k miles or so on the clock. I would recommend using the one jaws sells, looks like $130 shipped. They sell an upgraded aftermarket unit which was the last one I used and that was 26K miles ago and no problems. Electrical issues can be weird of course, this is just based on my experience so take it for what it's worth.

Jaws Motorcycles and Motorcycle parts supplys for the Blackbird
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Taetor, thanks, Jaws sounds great. Wow! loads of parts - but U.K.? Is there no one closer? How long do they take to ship?
Remember - this is torture - something akin to a virgin bride - new machine I have sampled but cannot ride yet!

JohnS thank you also, I have a shop manual and will check the stator and battery condition.
 

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Hi there...
I had my R/R changed... It was a litle sad when I had it burned... I had just bought the bike, and the day after, she went down.. didn´t start as well. I had no lights problem. My brother has a XX as well.. Both are '98. My R/R went first. No problems with battery... I replaced the R/R for the CB 400. It was about 5000 km ago or 1 year.
I hope you can get your bike OK again asap.

Thiago Daher

check out some pics...
www.motofotografia.com.br
orkut -
 

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Resident Eh?hole.
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This will probably get moved to the Electrical area so don't be surprised if it vanishes.
Very precognitive of you, John.

Taetor, thanks, Jaws sounds great. Wow! loads of parts - but U.K.? Is there no one closer? How long do they take to ship?
Remember - this is torture - something akin to a virgin bride - new machine I have sampled but cannot ride yet!
You could just buy a late model replacement unit from Honda if you're in a hurry. They are much more reliable than the early parts.
 

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Taetor, thanks, Jaws sounds great. Wow! loads of parts - but U.K.? Is there no one closer? How long do they take to ship?
I think he ships pretty quickly, for the quality of the part you're getting it's probably worth waiting a possible extra couple days or whatever it might take. but he ships over here regularly and lots of our guys order stuff from him all the time. It's been a while for me, don't recall how long it took, sorry.
 

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Flyin' Lo and Free
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I had mine go out on my '98 and I replaced it with the upgraded (finned) one from Honda, a little pricey I must say...but no probs since...just a little connector issues but all good now...I have seen some OEM (finned) r/r's on ebay recently...may check there...as mentioned before, I would check the stator and make sure you have a good battery or you're gonna have the same issues right away...good luck and get her goin' again...cheers.
 

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A Rainbird Warrior
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Check out the resource forum thread on r/r dying some pics and info in there. The later Honda r/r is good. The battery should also be replaced by the sounds of it, should be a sealed unit and could have initiated the r/r problem in the first place.
 

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what year did they upgrade the rectifier on the blackbird
 

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El Cheapo
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AFAIK, fitment for the connecting sockets were different between 97-98 Blackbirds (5-pin) vs 99-onward Blackbirds (two seperate connectors).. I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Problem resolved! I went to the local salvage yard (No wait and only $35) picked up a r/r from a newer 1000 rr which had the same wire setup (3 yellow, 1 green, 1 red), but was a finned unit with heavier guage wires and as onoff said, two separate plugs. No worries there as I had no idea how I was going to get the melted plastic off the old female connector to insure a solid connection anyway. I soldered the wires solid and shrink wrapped them. The unit bolted right into the same two holes as the old unit. I then had the battery tested and although it was reading 12.4 volts at rest it only had 40 c.c. amps. - I replaced the battery. I tested the resistance at the stator wires as per the shop manual and all was ok there. Started the bike up and I am getting good charge to the battery so all seems good.

Now if the rain will stop it will be happy trails.

Thanks for the input!
 

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....has any one thought to check for a bad ground? as this will mess thinks up quicker than you can say, lois is a snappy dresser.....




Lois

ok...I fixed that one myself....
 

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El Cheapo
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Well, I replced the fried OEM R/R with a new unit, the battery voltage reads 14.4v at 3000 rpm, I took the Bird out for a short ride, 6 miles. i check the battery voltage again, it reads 12.3v at 3000 rpm... the new R/R is pretty hot to the touch.. what gives?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
According to the shop manual the voltage at the battery should be tested with the engine warm and running at 5,000 rpm and the high beam on. Standard: 14.7 - 15.5 volts at 5,000 rpm.
Did you check the stator and battery before you proceeded with the new regulator? My battery was toast from getting over-charged. It read 12.4 volts at rest, but had only 50 cranking amps. If the battery is bad, it will cook your new regulator (especially the OEM ones) as it tries to charge it. My stator was fine (check the resistance between the yellow wires while the bike is at rest), so I don't know what that would be like, but I guess that can start damaging the other two parts as well.
Also take heed to Lois' comment about your ground cables. If ground is weak to the battery then all the components have to work that much harder to keep it charged. Restricted flow or an abundance of flow will cause heat.
If all the other components check out and your voltage at the battery while running is to spec, the heat may be normal (assuming the thing doesn't melt like mine did). That is why newer ones have cooling fins.
 

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I replaced the Regulator/Rectifier and Stator on my 2001 only because I wanted to change them before they had a chance to fail. I ordered both units from Service Honda and thought that they had a fairly decent price for the genuine Honda parts
 

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I went with an OEM from Mr. Cycle, it's plug and play. No problems since on my "99. Ton's of info, just search here.
 
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