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Trying to understand the charging system for R11S

I have an 04 that has a bad battery and I think a weak charging system. I have 13.9v at 4500 rpms. Looking at parts fiche it shows and altenator (40a) or a generator (50a)? I get the different sizes if you have lots of acc you want the 50 amp but what confuses me is the alt/gen option. Why? And then there’s the price, holy smokes over $1k for either. Are they interchangeable?

Thanks
Ed
Old 06-22-2019, 09:24 AM
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They are both alternators... nomeclature gets weird sometimes.

Interchangeable? Physically yes, however BMW thinks you need the 50A if you have the additional equipment mentioned so functionally no.
Old 06-22-2019, 09:42 AM
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Brent
 
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the smaller lighter ones were on bcr models without abs.
interchangeable but they are fairly reliable,
check the voltage at the output stud on the alt if it is much higher than 13.9 then
you have a poor connection
Old 06-22-2019, 05:50 PM
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On eBay, used about 100 bucks, aftermarket new $200, pages of them, they very seldom fail
Old 06-22-2019, 06:00 PM
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I saw some on Amazon in the $140 range as well.
Old 06-22-2019, 07:51 PM
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Mine has shown 13.8-13.9v for all of its 100k miles. Why do you think the charging system is weak?
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:32 PM
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Not really sure it’s bad, just started looking at possible solutions as to why the battery died a lot of info saying it should be over 14v.
Old 06-23-2019, 12:14 AM
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The difference in alternator is/was heated grips or not I retro fitted grips on the lower spec alternator and with the smaller battery(big tank) and it works fine in fact of the bikes I have probably the best charging system of the lot.

Re the battery although I have had years out of my Odyssey ones any other option lead acid have been changed at 2 years and currently they will be then swapped to lithium.
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Last edited by Chris Canning; 06-23-2019 at 04:02 AM..
Old 06-23-2019, 03:59 AM
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The 50 amp is spec'd for:

Old 06-23-2019, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Canning View Post
smaller battery(big tank)
Would anyone know the sizes or difference between the large tank and the small tank ?
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:40 AM
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Mine nearly is 25 litres but i’ve Seen modded tanks with all sorts of different capacities on non ABS bikes ,unless you are thinking that tank size was a factory option!!!
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:49 AM
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yeah heated grips dont actually use much power it is the larger battery and power surge from
the abs cycling that make the larger power system required.
the difference between the two systems is 130 W
that would be a very warm heated grip.
Old 06-23-2019, 08:16 AM
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ValpoFZ-

Batteries come and go 1-7 years seems to be the range. How old was your's? No iron clad rule on how long they last. If your bike shows voltage in the upper 13s , at the battery, while running then I would not worry about the charging system and just get a new battery. So many problems are caused by bad batteries. I just hate to see someone spend money on parts they don't need.

The last post on this thread has a lot of good info if you do need to replace things-

all of a sudden the charging light illuminates

Groceryrun-

Only one size tank came from the factory. Some of us have added on to get more capacity. Stock is 4.8 US Gal. mine is 6.1.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentw1 View Post
yeah heated grips dont actually use much power it is the larger battery and power surge from
the abs cycling that make the larger power system required.
the difference between the two systems is 130 W
that would be a very warm heated grip.
The small battery and lower spec alternator came way before ABS option.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:26 AM
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Thanks, the link in the one post was really helpful. I removed the ABS, and the bike had factory heated grips so it must have the larger generator. I am going to replace the battery and see how it runs the rest of the summer. Thanks guys for all the info.
Old 06-24-2019, 06:41 AM
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