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I'm considering an 09 900 custom but all these threads on stator problems has me thinking twice. Is this an issue with the older model 900s or all? I dont want to buy a bike I know Im going to have issues with later on.
 

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From what I have read and experienced first hand, I do not believe that the 900 has more or worse stator issues than other bikes. I think the biggest issue is that most folks don't realize that the stator is only rated for 70 watts of additional load above stock. I'm not really sure, but I feel like 70 watts is pretty low compared to say your average Hog. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that many of your driving light kits are 70-100w by themselves.

Of the threads I have read on a couple different forum sites, it seems like some of the earliest stators (2006) did have issues. But Kawasaki seems to have fixed that problem pretty early on. After that, most of the burned up stators you read about seem to be where people have overloaded the system by adding to much extra wattage. I did this myself by adding the NAPA headlight and Wallyworld driving light. This added 140w to my system. After about a year or so, the stator was toast. If I were buying a 900 now, I would try to get a 2007 or later model and then make sure not to install more than 70w of accessories.

One other thing of note is that in 2009/10 (I think) they fixed the grease fitting issue that you can read about in the sticky above the 900 page. So, if you want a used bike, you may want to aim for a 2010 or so. You can see if the grease fitting is there or not just by looking under the bike.
 

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From what I have read and experienced first hand, I do not believe that the 900 has more or worse stator issues than other bikes. I think the biggest issue is that most folks don't realize that the stator is only rated for 70 watts of additional load above stock. I'm not really sure, but I feel like 70 watts is pretty low compared to say your average Hog. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that many of your driving light kits are 70-100w by themselves.

Of the threads I have read on a couple different forum sites, it seems like some of the earliest stators (2006) did have issues. But Kawasaki seems to have fixed that problem pretty early on. After that, most of the burned up stators you read about seem to be where people have overloaded the system by adding to much extra wattage. I did this myself by adding the NAPA headlight and Wallyworld driving light. This added 140w to my system. After about a year or so, the stator was toast. If I were buying a 900 now, I would try to get a 2007 or later model and then make sure not to install more than 70w of accessories.

One other thing of note is that in 2009/10 (I think) they fixed the grease fitting issue that you can read about in the sticky above the 900 page. So, if you want a used bike, you may want to aim for a 2010 or so. You can see if the grease fitting is there or not just by looking under the bike.
Just as a confirmation, I have a 2010 and it does not have the greasefittings. Also, to remain under the 70w cap, I installed a 35w HID kit so I can add a lightbar. Should be able to remain under the stator load requirements. I have had the bike for almost a year, and love it.
 

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I have an '06 Classic (#735 produced) and have zero problems with the stator. I have not added any electrical extras except for a 70/65 headlight bulb in place of the stock 60/55 and to compensate for this slight electrical load, I'm going to replace the tail lamp and both end turn signal bulbs with LED.

I've replaced one zerk fitting (the one that hangs lowest; it was gone when I purchased the bike and EZ outs become your friend), but there are work arounds. Either replace the zerk with a bolt after greasing (less head height) or be very careful around speed bumps.

Beyond these two issues, I have done nothing except change the oil, replace the stock tires, replace the stock battery (preventative), and replace the stock coolant and thermostat (preventative). I've been two up in 105F heat at 90+ mph (two up is 80% of her miles), over 9,700 ft mountain passes, cold starts at 20F without hiccup one out of her, enjoying a lot of miles with lots of smiles.
 

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25k on my '08 and no issues...
 

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31,000 on my 08 Custom. No problems yet. I do have a Cobra light bar installed. It has 2 -35 watt bulbs and it's always on. I do a lot of my miles on the highway so maybe that helps. I really don't know. Just thinking out loud.
 

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Mine went out at 23000 miles.Replaced it with a ricks stator.Ricks stator looks a little different it looks like a little heavier wire and has a different coating on the wire.
 

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judging from this forum, the problem seems to be mostly 06 and 07 models. My 07 Custom had 21k miles on it when the stator went. That's the only problem I've had and I was able to do the repair myself for less than a third of the dealer price. The bike is a great all-rounder and I've never regretted my choice. I've been riding since '81; I'm 57 yrs old and I don't see a different bike in my future. This one does it all and I love it!
 

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First and foremost:

Load does not and will not affect your stator. Your stator is always at 100%, with the regulator/rectifier dumping the rest to ground. If you overload it, your battery will die from there not being enough juice to charge it long before you damage the stator.

That said, it's easy to do, only take a couple of hours with some hand tools, and is a $150 part. Compare it to the 'common problems' with other bikes in it's class, the differences in features and performance, and the fact that other than a Stator going out these things last for hundreds of thousands of miles problem free, it's still, in my opinion, the best bike in it's class.

The issue with the stator is often vibration causing wear causing a short to ground scenario. People who ride on the highway alot (higher speed / higher vibration) will likely experience the stator issue sooner.

It appears to affect the '06 and '07 models most but that is probably more to do with their age, and the fact that the stator windings have had a chance to wear down, I wouldn't rule it out on a '10.

Read the stator info thread, that's all info taken from sfair who is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to this stuff.

Finally, they aren't rated for 70 watts, they are rated for 70 watts OVER OEM draw, so you actually can put quite an accessory load on it and still be within Kawasaki's recommended spec.

-John

P.S., mine is an '06, went at 15k, took me a couple of hours and I was going slow and cleaning parts as I took them off, and being cautious because it was the first time I did it. Followed the instructions in the service manual. I AM NOT mechanical, I didn't have a problem. Total cost was around $200, including a new gasket and shipping. A little more if you include oil but I was almost due for a change anyway when mine went. I also went with a Rick's. I wouldn't go OEM as they seem to not be able to handle the vibrations of the 900 (Which is often the cause of the demise, vibration wearing down the windings, wires, etc., it shorts out on the wall of the engine or on the rotor, and burns up)

Maybe use it as a bargaining chip? I did. I was looking at a couple of bikes but was concerned about the stator cost. The dealer shaved a few hundred bucks off the cost of the bike to ease my concerns. So, in actuality, I came out ahead by the time I actually DID end up replacing the stator.
 

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Another thing,

As earlier pointed out, stators do not last on motorcycles. Any motorcycles. It's almost a common wear item. The OEM 900 stator goes earlier than most, but don't expect 200k out of a stator!

A 90's Harley rolled over 1 million miles a couple years ago, it had the engine replaced three times and overhauled 9 times in between. He went through 17 stators. That works out to be just under 60k per. That doesn't figure in the 'head start' he got when he replaced the engine 3 times! They just don't last forever, and it's not just a 900 thing, it just happens to happen a little 'quicker' on the 900's, aftermarket/rebuilt stators will hopefully bring it up to the 50-60k mark that most modern bikes seem to be able to handle.
 

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About to break 29k on my 09 classic lt and no problem with the stator and still running the original battery. But I'm gonna change the battery by june because of a long trip, and my luck that when it will decide to crap out on me.
 
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