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Regardless of the model year--'99 to present--the Road Star is designed as a no-apologies, big, bad, boulevard cruiser. As such, the electrical charging system is made for the K.I.S.S. principle--Keep It Simple, Stupid. But this can conflict with our bike's ability to transform its character.
The installation of passing lamps, a highly popular add-on, can tax the generator to near max if your Roadie is a model year 2004 or earlier. And many owners don't stop there: GPS, radio, accent lighting, heated gloves and clothing, intercoms, and other power-hungry accessories. Let's face it. We love transforming our bikes to suit us.
The electrical draw these options demand can quickly exceed the capacity of many stock systems. If you reject the notion that "less is more," when it comes to your Road Star, a charging-system upgrade may be a necessity.
There are three, primary, options for upgrading the charging-system:
- Yamaha O.E.M. Direct replacement stator and rectifier/regulator. This upgrades earlier model bikes--1999 to 2004--to have the same capacity as the later models. It also corrects an electrical imbalance in which the rectifier/regulator can burn out, or shorten the life of some of your electrical components. Note: The above is not a misprint. The stator and rectifier capacities were not upgraded and balanced until the model-year 2005.
- ElectroSport. This option adds roughly the same capacity than those available from Yamaha.
- RM Stator. This option adds roughly the same capacity than those available from Yamaha, as near as I can tell.
In addition, there are electrics-modification companies that will rewire your stator for more capacity, and there may be some other seller of aftermarket stators and/or rec/regs I don’t know about.
I opted for the Yamaha O.E.M. direct replacement parts, as my bike is a 2003, and my electrical power needs are moderate--passing lamps, GPS, and SpeedoHealer.