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Miller D6 generators


Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Can anyone tell me what was the original finish on the case of Miller generators? Nickel, Cadmium, Satin chrome or something else ?
Thanks, Howie.

dave g6xnc

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member

These are dynamos not generators, as they generate DC, save any confusion. All the dynamos miller and lucas I have seen have looked like just a plain steel body and the end cap painted black gloss, these were knocked out as cheaply as possible with no luxuries like paint, not very reliable either, british bikes leaked so much oil they never went rusty.
Joe Lucas- "Prince of Darkness"!.
dave gs.

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I think the Miller dynamo bodies were plated-rather thinly,but with what?
It might be dull chrome. Lucas ones appear to be cadmium plated. Apart from the cartridge regulator, the Miller instrument is the better one- waits to be shot down in flames!


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi Len, not trying to shoot you down but I had 2 Millers rebuilt by Levensons (Wood St. or Hoe St. Walthamstow in 1972 for £7.00 each, neither worked, so I had a E3L Lucas rebuilt by lucas at Woodford for £10- 2 weeks wages! it worked for 120 miles, they wouldnt repair it because I had used it! desperation sent me to Pride & Clarkes at Stockwell for a 30 shilling-£1.50 exchange unit, that worked for 35 years with no maintainance until it had a major stomach upset last year, it threw its guts everywhere! so I bit the bullet & spent £xxx on a Alton, Im still trying to make it work and be oiltight at the same time)

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Despite my preference for the Miller, I have to admit that I had similar experiences with reconditioned dynamos. Every journey after dark was a lottery so now my outfit has a belt driven alternator; not a very neat arrangement but it was cheap and very reliable. Good luck with the Alton-there seems to be varying opinions about those.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Miller D6 Dynamo

For what its worth, I've ridden my Vins a few hundred thousand miles over the past 40 years; and never used anything other than Miller D6 dynamos in the charging department. So I'm with Len on this one.

It wouldn't be true to say that I've never had problems, but its never been enough for me to want to change my dynamo preference. PROPERLY restored, and not overloaded electrically, the Miller D6 is quite a robust instrument. Although there have been some bad batches of replacement armatures around over the years. Caveat Emptor.

My trick is to do winter maintenance. Year 1 is the dynamo; strip, clean and rebuild carefully. Year 2 is the magneto - same thing. Then repeat for the next 40 years. It seems to work for me...

Peter Barker
Bristol, UK


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member

To see the above two postings from such experienced men in Vincent lore as Peter and Len is heartening. As a Rudge enthusiast also, I am used to Miller Dynos and have not had too much trouble from them on that make, which does not travel as far or fast as my Stevenage ware.
I converted the VIN dyno to 12v by following the KTB instructions re fitting a Series D type AVC , but instead fitting the AO solid state jobbie in the miller box. BTW, AO designed bespoke to fit in these, and so far mine has not 'cooked'.
I attempted to run a 45w headlamp bulb but the dyno would not have it. Having as I thought fried the armature, I was loaned a Lucas unit from the very kind Dick Sherwin for a few months ( or as long as I wanted) to stay lit up. Meanwhile, I put out a plea for any dyno bits and two members again kindly responded, one having gone the Alton route and also having a Velo ( Miller electrics again) and had a box of Miller donor bits similar to the ice cream tub I had containing odd Rudge Miller dyno bits,( Funny how everyone keeps Dyno Gear in an ice cream tub.)
Eventually I was able to assemble two Dynos. I used the two pin plug F & D as per the Rudge having drilled an extra hole in the cover. The bearings are inexpensive. I bought sealed ones and removed one side of the seal so I could regrease, replacing to the outside of course.
With one of Mr Goffs nice LED stop/ tail replacements, and using the Honda reflector( from M&P) in the std Miller h/lamp from a CN250, plus one of Mr Goff's 35/35 Halogens, the lights, plus 23w indicators, are now far better than standard and acceptable at the sort of speeds I would safely contemplate on todays roads. It has been fine for the last 4000 miles, charges well and balances nicely, using two 6v 5ah dry batteries in series crammed in std battery box.
Sadly, I have to use my modern bike to get my own back on the drivers who don't so much have headlights, as have a laser weapon to blind oncoming traffic. see thread on HD lights.
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