The intended purpose of this book is to provide enough information in clear terms, to enable the average rider to correctly approach charging system problems and to correctly diagnose and repair them.
While an understanding of electronic theory would certainly be of benefit, hands-on practical knowledge of components, testing and removal will be of far greater value when trying to revive a faulty charging system by the road side. The information and procedures presented here have been accumulated over the past 25 years in real-world experiences, both on the road and in the repair shop. Use this information along with the facts presented in the service manual (if needed) and there should be no reason to dread charging system maintenance and repair. Alternators behave very predictably, according to the same laws of physics on which the rest of the universe operates. Most of the time, problems arise as some mechanical fault that includes the electrical component failure.
No matter how effectively or simply done, trying to convey this kind of information in printed media cannot always be entirely successful.
Readers who may not already have a good working knowledge of component locations, removal, and testing procedures for their particular machine, should consider spending time practicing these procedures in the comfort of the home shop as opposed to learning in the side of the road! At the very least, you must learn the difference between a volt and an ohm, as well as how to use a multi-meter to measure them. Basic terms such as insulation, resistance, open circuit and short circuit must be understood. Have a riding friend with more experience with this sort of problems serve as "Tour guide." The owners manual from your bike should also be used as a source of information pertinent to the year and model machine being worked on.