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Motorcycle Repair: How to Check a 3 Phase Bridge Rectifier on a 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650

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Published on Aug 20, 2011

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**Always follow the instructions in your repair manual when doing repair or maintenance work on a motorcycle. Manuals can be found at the dealer and online.**

Motorcycle alternators produce alternating current (AC) and voltage, and this type of electrical signal can't be used to charge a battery. A rectifier is the part largely responsible for changing the AC signal to direct current, which can be used to charge the battery and run other components of the motorcycle. There are several different rectifier designs, but the rectifier circuit used on most modern motorcycles and automobiles is call a 3 phase bridge rectifier. The circuit is made up of 6 diodes and the diodes are responsible for flipping the negative portion of a AC signal to positive.

The diodes in the rectifier can be checked using a multimeter with a diode function. The meter I use in this video is a Cen-Tech, and can be purchased at Harbor Freight for under $10. When the positive lead of the multimeter is placed on the diode anode, and the negative lead is placed on the cathode, the meter should display the amount of voltage dropped across the diode in millivolts. When the negative lead is placed on the anode and the positive is placed on the cathode, than a 1 should be displaced on the meter, and it means the diode is open and won't allow current to flow. If you get the same response from the diode no matter how the leads are placed on the diode, than the diode is defective and a new regulator/rectifier needs to be purchased for the motorcycle. We are not looking for a specific voltage drop value when the positive meter lead is on the anode and the negative lead is on the cathode, we are only concerned that there is a voltage drop.

Thank you for watching!

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