So I thought I was being crafty and saving myself some coin by buying a greybike 1988 GPZ400r for my first motorcycle (It only had 11K so I reckoned I wouldn't see any issues for a while at least). Don't get me wrong, I still love her (You always remember your first right?) but the little lady has been giving me some trouble lately and I think she might require a new alternator. Before I go down that route I'm hoping some of you fine folks could provide some guidance!
Trouble started a few weeks ago, rode to work fine, got home, turned off the bike to open the garage gate and when I went to start her again there wasn't enough juice left to fire her up.
Bought a new battery, charged it up and put it in. Bike starts fine, runs well for about 20 minutes until it starts cutting out and eventually dies (Thankfully only two blocks from a friends house, so after a short UPHILL push she was in a safe spot). Recharged the battery at the friends house and was able to ride home.
So I really don't know a lot about motorcycle mechanics, but from what friends and my father have told me it's likely the alternator. I purchased a multimeter to test things out, and with the bike off the meter read 12.14 volts across the battery, with it on about 12.10 and when revved about 12.08. Does this confirm my suspicions about the alternator?
Basically, what I'm hoping someone can tell me is:
A) What can I do to figure out if it's actually my alternator that's the problem? I'd take it to the shop for diagnostics but I live downtown(ish) and Imperial or Burnaby Kawasaki are both in well, Burnaby, and from past experience I wouldn't have enough charge in the batter to make it all the way out there. I could pay $100 to have it towed out there, but would rather try and figure things out a bit myself first so I can be sure it needs to go into the shop.
B) How difficult a job is replacing an alternator? Despite the bikes grey origins, the electrical system parts are the same from a GPZ600 of the same era, so i can get an alternator from Ebay UK for a $50-$60, which is a helluva lot better then the $500 Burnaby Kawasaki wanted. I probably don't know enough to do it myself, but have a friend who could probably help. other wise I might just buy the part and get the bike towed to Imperial to have it serviced there.
C) Anyone know of any good local sources for used Kawasaki parts?
Sorry for the long post. This good weather + a broken bike is killing me so hopefully the community here can help me figure this out.