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Alternators, brakes...


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VOC Member
I realized this last weekend that I have owned my beast for nearly 22 years..and in that time I have never had a complete season of riding with a working electrical system...( thank heaven for magnetos..)
So - the question is - which alternator to fit?...Anyone have any recommendations?...I plan to keep my trusty magneto..

My beast has locked up the tires under braking only once...apart from alloy backing plates - is there another fix for poor braking performance?

Comet Rider

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VOC Member
Charging systems and brakes

If you are a full member, you can scan back through previous posts to look for other peoples solutions, but here are a few,

1/ Keep the dynamo and fit a modern solid state regulator (limits the amount of power available)
2/ Alton (keeps original style look, current version gives about 120W)
3/ Car style alternator conversion (few varieties about giving upto 360W, but has advantage of easy spares availability)

Read Know Thy Beast and others, slight oversize hole for spindle, then pull on brakes before tightening spindle will ensure that the brakes are centralised properly.

Best of luck


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VOC Member
I have had a bakers dozen of JG regulators - or its equivalent, none seem to last very long..The generator has been rebuilt by the best so its ok...My wife found out about me riding without lights/horn etc etc..and hastily approved the expenditure on an alternator...lol...and frankly I seek bulletproof, having lived long enough with my beast in "original" guise...

Thanks for the tip on the brakes - I'll give that a go next time I get to ride it..

Robert Watson

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VOC Member
Go West young man, go West. John McDougall in Vancouver does a very robust Kubota kit that ain't cheap but pumps out mega power. Also for Brakes I can't praise the Vincent Speet Brakes enough from Holland. Twin leading shoes that stop very well.

Call if you wish, I'm in the phone book, or PM for a phone #



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VOC Member
I ran a JG unit since 1974 until the Lucas E3L died last year (no problems with the JG) now using Alton, not a huge amount of miles yet, but it seems to maintain a sensible charge level under any conditions; headlight on/off, Lucas Rita since 1980, starts so easily it's embarrassing, but I will post any problems. (Even with the kvf tt it started well)


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VOC Member
If you will contact me directly at enw07@btinternet.com I will send you details of my, and Dick Sherwin's, car alternator conversion which is able to give 30 amps. There are over 40 of these out there now with all users happy as far as I know. It will not look standard but it will run all the lights you could want plus heated grips, gloves, waistcoat etc. There are kits for all postwar models of Vins. :)


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VOC Member
I can recommend timetraveller`s alternator. I have fitted three so far and have one on order for my Shadow. It comes as a complete kit with drive, alternator and regulator. I have one on the outfit and with a sidecar headlight connected to the bike headlight, it balances on tickover. Fit and forget.:D

Vincent Brake

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VOC Member

I Know its mainland and not UK made, but hé they drive it all, Those 2 x 2 Leading shoe brake conversion kits. Whatever you fettle on your original brakes they remain slopy, compared to what one needs nowadays.

I'll be happy to help you set a kit on you bike

Vincent (brake) Speet

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
vin alternators

Personally I run the Alton system. Ok,cheap it aint! It fits in the original space and provides plenty of power for a headlamp that doubles for a searchlight! The car/ kubota devices may work ok, but for my money are less than aesthetically pleasing. [they look like dogs wosname] . you must make yor own financial decision on this one. Brakes ,You do not say if you run a sidecar! there are too many options to go through without more details of your problems. As my old pal always said" you must always show it who is the master". Good luck in you quest Roy.
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