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Burning smell. Then volts drop from just over 12 to nothing.


Riding the R100LT last Saturday. I smelt a burning smell. Then watched over about an hour or so the voltmeter drop from just over 12 volts to nothing. No lights, no clock, no rev counter. Then rough running. Then it dies. The bike was stranded on the F3 well before the Gosford turnoff. GhostRiders responded to my phone call for help. Within an hour and a half the bike is in the back of their van. The bike was heading for my friend Debbie's place. She had been on the back of the bike when it failed to proceed. I have carried GhotsRiders card in my wallet for many years. Used them twice now and they get 2 big thumbs up from me for their service and price.

Next day I am on the different bike and BMW forums asking for advise. Lots of very knowledgeable answers can flooding in for me. It was Big Bamboo on the BOXERWORKS forums who hit the nail on the head. I had found that the GEN light on the dash was not lighting up when the ignition switch was on. Big Bamboo came back with...."If the generator brushes are intact, try shorting across the two slip rings of the rotor with a penny. If the light comes on when you do this, the rotor is faulty." Bingo that worked, I got on the phone to Munich Motorcycles and checked the diagnosis. Yep the alternator rotor had burnt out. Next day I had a reconditioned rotor on my doorstep. Munich are that good.

I rode the bike home on a semi charged battery from Debbie's place. Lost 1/2 volt on this trip.

This morning it was time to fix the bike. Old rotor out. New one in. Put it all back together again and fire up the engine. The voltmeter shows that the charging system is now working again.

Poor sick BMW waiting for some loving care.

The offending part.


Reconditioned rotor.


Rotor out of my bike


Reconditioned on the left. One from my bike on the right.



Where did the burning smell come from? I still can't find any wires that have rubbed and are arching in the wiring loom. I have sniffed over the wiring too. Nothing. The old rotor though, it smells suss.

Also a huge big tank you to all on the BIKEME forums for their offers of help in transporting my bike. HAIL BIKEME!

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