Don’t be a fool. Keep your electronics cool. (ha ha ha)
Noticed this today while admiring another MT-10. The regulator/rectifier is underneath the seat. Well exposed to moving air. Great decision I say. But I sure hope they sealed the connectors well!
If you have an old bike or even a modern bike, it’s often a good idea to look at relocating the R/R to a spot which allows plenty of airflow over the fins. Electronics can go forever and ever if they are not exposed to high temperatures.This small unit on all our bikes is no different. The unit dissipates a lot of heat while maintaining the 12v supply our bikes need in order for the electronics to work. The heat is what causes the premature death of many R/Rs So what are you waiting for?
For those of you who want a brief run-down on what the regulator/rectifier system does, read on…
Basically a bunch of magnets rotate around a set of copper windings as your engine turns and creates an Alternating Current. This bunch of windings is called a stator. Seen below.
As you may know, the bike only deals with current going one way, between positive and negative. The “rectifier” “rectifies” (fixes) this situation by allowing the current to flow only one way. You have a voltage of around 14.4V created as a result and this is what charges your battery. As your engine rotates faster, the stator output also increases, as in it creates more voltage and more current. If we let this increase, it would fry your electronics and battery. That’s where the “regulator” part comes in. The regulator ensures that the voltage doesn’t go above 14.4V. To do this, the excess energy has to go elsewhere and it is dissipated by the regulator/rectifier unit as heat. That’s where all the heat comes from! Which is why it is important to have good airflow to get rid of the heat and prevent the electrical components inside the unit from degrading.
The above is a very simple explanation of what goes on. The system doesn’t really get much more complicated however and troubleshooting it is quite easy if you have a multimeter.