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Replacement Regulator/Rectifier Mod
From this page I will try to provide technical assistance and step by step instructions on how to perform a modification to your VTR1000F.
Known as a Firestorm in the UK.
And a SuperHawk in the USA.
None of the information below is official or without error.
This modification is the way I carried out the work and should not be understood as the official or necessarily the correct way to do the work.
The reader should understand that the information contained here is not meant to endorse any product, event, person or company.
I have carried out this modification on several Honda's which include a CBR600F, Blackbird CBR1100 and of course my own VTR1000F Firestorm and recently a VFR750.
Some people may not agree that this is a helpful or good modification. I do not wish to argue the point with them. I just know from my experience that this modification was helpful to me. As stated above there are no guarantees.
As some of you may well be aware most Hondas have another well known problem - the R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) likes to die at very frequent intervals. When it does fail, sometimes other components get taken out, which can make it a very expensive repair. In most cases your battery usually gets fried. Most people will go out and buy a new Honda R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) costing between £60-£80 and plug it in. Only to have it fail again so many k's down the road. This simple step by step modification is to show you how to replace the Honda R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) with a non-Honda unit, something that won't fail. The general setup is common to all Hondas, but there are some small differences. The photos here are of the conversion done to my VTR1000F (Firestorm) or also known in other countries as the SuperHawk 996, but it should be similar for all Hondas. The photos here were taken by myself while carrying out this modification.
My R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) failed on me while on a 12 mile journey back home, at first the clocks turned on and off and then decided to die, secondly all lights ceased to work, thirdly as I was approaching a roundabout on a dual carriageway... I heard a pop and a bang from the exahusts and the engine cuts out. With the battery fried my Firestorm did not want to fire back up, even a bump start would not get it started!
As you can imagine I no longer wanted to use another Honda unit, so I decided to purchase a replacement unit and use something different. There are many options and different R/R's (Regulator or Rectifier) to replace it with. The first recommendation is not to use anything that comes from another Honda. Simply they are crap. The biggest problem being they are just not capable of producing the current required and overheat quickly as there is little means for it to cool down. You want to put on a unit that can handle the demands. I have never heard of Yamaha R1/R6 units failing and they also have a large heatsink built into them to dispurse the heat.
So i took the plunge and purchased one on eBay for only £10 including P&P (approx $20 in the USA) to use for this modification. There are plenty of them laying around in breakers yards. They have got nice big cooling fins (unlike the Honda unit, please see below) and the number of wires match. It does not matter which brand and model you use, just make sure you have at least the same current rating as the old Honda stock unit and the same amount of wires being 5.
As you can see from the pictures below I am using a 2000 Model R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) from a Yamaha R1. The R6 unit is exactly the same. And all years are more or less the same as well.
Now onto the Modification...
As you can see from the above photo, the rear subframe is exposed showing the R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) on the right hand side of the subframe. This is possible by removing the rear seat and plastics. The smaller unit on the left is the indicator flasher relay, this will have to be moved as the R1 replacement R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) is a larger unit and double the size.
From the photo above you can see the comparison between the R1 R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) unit on the left and the stock Honda unit R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) on the right. Please note the complete lack of cooling fins on the Honda stock unit, (this little unit generates a huge amount of heat as it produces somewhere around 40amps on the output!). This is the main primary contributor to the failure and the inability to keep cool, the resulting heat/cool cycles destroys the semiconductors contained inside.
Our new replacement unit looks very beefy and is far bigger than the old stock unit. I seriously doubt you will never need to replace it.
First things first, unbolt the Honda stock unit and remove the indicator flasher relay from its mounting point. If you wanted to use the plug that fits the R1 Unit, please feel free to do so, I did not want to pay any extra for a complete rear subframe wiring loom just for the plug. If you do use the R1 plug the only difference is that the R1 plug will use white wires, which correspond to the Honda yellow wires. When some R/R's fail the plug is also taken out and melts resulting in not being able to re-use the stock plug.
Cut of the stock Honda plug, strip the 5 wires and solder the ends (please solder the ends as there is a serious amount of current going through these wires and we dont want the ends to burn up). When finished crimp on female spade connectors and your now ready to fit the spade connectors directly to the unit.
The above diagram shows the corresponding coloured wires that fit directly into the bottom of the R1 unit. To fit the wires to the R/R (Regulator or Rectifier), connect the three yellow wires onto the top row (these wires originate from the stator/pulse generator so it does not matter which order you connect them). The two power wires go on the bottom row (negative being green on the left and positive being red on the right. Please note and double check that you have the unit the right way up with the outter indent sticking out on the bottom and the wires are connected in the right order!.
At last nearly there... I would recommend to use a cable tie around the wires about 3cm away from the connectors to keep the wires tight. Your now free to tape everything up so that you can't pull the individual connectors out and this will also secure them together. Your now ready to refit the replacement unit and bolt back into place. The unit is much larger so you are only able to use one mounting hole, usually the top mount. This is not a problem and the unit will be fine. At this stage you will require a new larger bolt as the new R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) is thicker and please don't forget to mount the green earth wire through this bolt. As you can see from the photo above this is the best mounting position with little fuss and the indicator flasher unit has been remounted further up the subframe to the left with the aid of a cable tie.
Finally feel free to use cable ties to tie everything into place. Start your bike up and check the voltage over the battery terminals using a multimeter. You should see between 12.5v and 14.4V depending on revs. If this checks out fine, refit the plastics and seat back onto the bike and away you go!
I hope this modification helps you as well as it helped me.
Later Honda models were shipped and included a revised R/R (Regulator or Rectifier) with cooling fins. Have not heard of any failing as of yet! Goodluck. Beast / CyberBeast.
Page Created: 10/12/05
Page Updated: 17/04/09
Goodluck with the Mod! Beast / CyberBeast.