Full ATV Stator Guide: Determine Bad Stator & Best Replacements


Every off-road rider knows that taking care of an ATV is as much of an art as it is a science. When it comes to faulty parts, the stator is often a silent killer that people forget about. If you think your stator has gone bad, keep on reading to correctly diagnose your issue.

An ATV stator replacement needs to match in specifications with your old part. Stators come with 6 up to 18 magnetic poles and a varying number of wires. Therefore, you need to check your service manual before purchasing a new one. In most cases, stators suited for one brand will not work for another model. Stator replacements usually suit two to three models of ATVs, which is why you need to make sure you get the right one for your quad. That being said, there is such a thing as a universal stator for youth ATVs, which can fit most 4-wheelers from 50cc up to 180cc.

Before taking the plunge to buy a new stator, it is important to make sure that is what causes your ATV issues. This article will explain all that you need to know about ATV stators before you buy a replacement.

What does a Stator do on an ATV?

The purpose of a stator is to charge your battery while you are riding your ATV. Newer quad models have generator stators, which is only used for battery charging. Older ATV stators often have an additional function of charging the CDI unit as well through a specific coil. Regardless of the type of stator you have, this small part is important to keep your ATV running by providing power to your engine.

A stator works in tandem with a rotor, which is more commonly known as a flywheel. The magnets on the rotor spin past the coils on the stator, producing electricity and sending it through the wires attached to the stator. Before this current goes to your battery, it goes through a voltage regulator rectifier, that has the sole purpose of regulating the voltage received from the stator and rotor system. If everything is working properly, your battery will be charged at the appropriate voltage and your engine will receive power for the whole duration of your ATV ride.

If you want to learn more about how electricity works with ATVs, you should check out this full ATV battery voltage beginner guide that I recently published. It highlights the most common reasons why ATVs have battery problems.

Where is the Stator Located on a Four Wheeler?

The stator is located on the inside of the engine of your quad. While the position of your engine can vary a bit based on your model, this part is often times located under the seat, behind the engine cover. If you have the service manual of your ATV, then you will find detailed information both about the location of your engine and stator.

You will recognize the stator as an iron core surrounded by coils wrapped in wire. These are known as single-phase or three-phase stators, depending on the amount of electricity they can produce. Your quad may also be equipped with a bar coil stator that looks a bit different. You will still notice an iron core, but only one or two coils wrapped in wire. All stators will have a cable attached to it that connects to the voltage regulator.

Symptoms of Bad Stators on ATV

Can-Am Outlander Max XT 850

The main symptom of bad stators on ATVs is that the battery does not charge during your ride. If your battery charges perfectly well with a separate charger but not during usage, then the problem most probably comes from the stator. The voltage regulator can be at fault in this case too, but this is why we test our parts before making a purchase. Stay tuned to read my guide on testing an ATV stator.

Another sign that your stator might be broken or damaged is having weak or no spark when powering up your ATV. This is either because the power in your battery is drained, or you are running with the type of ATV stator that connects to the CDI too. However, this can be a misleading symptom. The root cause of getting no spark can also be the spark plug, the spark plug coil, or even the CDI.

If you have not yet experienced loss of power on the road, you either do not have a problem with your stator or you have not ridden long enough for the battery to drain out completely. In this case, I recommend you check out the state of your spark plug before you perform a stator test. Lastly, if there is no problem with the spark plug or the stator, then the issue might lie with your CDI. You can exclude the battery as a potential cause by charging it separately.

How to Test a Stator for Spark

If you suspect your stator to be bad, then you have to perform a simple test with a multimeter. In my years of experience off-roading, I have needed a multimeter more than a dozen times. It is honestly a lifesaver. If you do not have one on hand, you can invest in one or borrow from a friend.

Once you have your multimeter and have identified the location of your stator, then you can follow the steps below to test its functionality. Start this test with your engine off, then go through it once again by running it at the suggested RPM value in your service manual.

#1 Set the multimeter to measure resistance

In order to check how your stator is working, you need to verify the resistance or ohms it is producing. Since these parts are often times unique to their make and model, you will need to verify the service manual for the correct range of ohms generated.

This way, you can compare the numbers you are getting on your multimeter with the appropriate amount needed for the stator to work properly. If you do not have your service manual, you can search online or try getting information from your ATV brand’s dealership.

#2 Detach the pins from the ATV stator

Disconnect the pins to prepare for the test. You can write down each pin on a piece of paper and keep it close to write down the readings that you get. This way, you will not get confused comparing the readings to the suggested values in the service manual.

#3 Pair up the pins and test them with the multimeter

Connect the leads on the multimeter to the pins to test the resistance. Test the pins in pairs to make sure the resistance is appropriate for all possible combinations. For example, if your stator has 4 pins, then you will need to perform 6 tests with all possible combinations (1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4).

#4 Compare the reading with the service manual

Now that you have written down all the resistance values recorded on your multimeter, check to see if there is any discrepancy. If any of the readings do not fit within the interval suggested by your service manual, then you are dealing with a bad stator.

This resistance test is what most off-road riders will use to check if their stator is bad. If you are getting a weak spark and your ATV is sluggish but not fully drained of power, then you can check out the voltage of your stator.

Whether you are performing a 2 wire stator test or a 3 wire stator test, the correct reading depends on the number of amps as well. Make sure to check out the service manual if you want to perform this test as well, but a resistance test should be enough to diagnose your problem.

Top 3 Easy to Install ATV Stator Replacements

yard work

Assuming that you found out your stator is bust, the easiest thing to do is to replace it. If you are a gifted mechanic that knows what they are doing, you can take a closer look at the stator and determine what component caused the issue. Changing only that component can save you some money, but it does require attention and skill to perform. Fortunately, for people less mechanically inclined, most ATV stator replacements are priced under $100 so it is not a costly repair.

Keep in mind that for adult ATVs, you will usually need a specific stator compatible with your quad. Depending on the brand and even year of your ATV, you might need a different type. Since there are so many options on the market that only suit a few models, I cannot make a proper list of the best ones out there. Be sure to have your service manual on hand to find the right stator specifications for your four-wheeler.

However, stators on youth ATVs can usually be changed with a universal part. Quads with up to 180cc often have budget-friendly options available, which is what I will go over in the next few paragraphs. If you are looking to fix up a smaller quad, then here are the top 3 ATV stator replacements, based on their functionality and user reviews:

It’s super useful to know how ATVs work. This way, you can prevent going to the mechanic every time that you have a problem. With that said, you might want to check out my Top 6 Can-Am ATV problems and how to fix them!

#1 CNCMOTOK 2 Coil Ignition Magneto Stator Plate

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This is a bar coil stator featuring two coils wrapped in wire attached to a 115mm backplate. The brand equipped this stator with 6 wires, one of which can be removed in the installation process. At the cheap price of $16.95, you are getting copper coils, enameled copper wire, and an aluminum plate disc.

When installing, take into account that the red and black are the power wires, green is the ground, and the blue and white are the pulser. This is mostly true for all types of stators, unless the wiring diagram says different.

I particularly like this stator because it is compatible with a range of brands and engine capacities. You can mount your new ATV stator replacement on quads like TaoTao, Coolsport, Kazuma, Panterra, Buyand, and BMX to name a few. If your youth quad has a 4-stroke engine with a capacity from 50cc to 125cc, then this stator will be a great fit.

#2 CNCMOTOK Ignition Stator Magneto

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This is a 3-pin stator from the same brand listed above, CNCMOTOK. You can order this in 4 different variations:

  • 4 wires and 6 poles (AC – alternating current);
  • 4 wires and 8 poles (AC);
  • 5 wires and 8 poles (AC);
  • 5 wires and 8 poles (DC – direct current).

As I have already mentioned a few times already, it is crucial to check the service manual or at least your previous stator to check that the new part is compatible. AC stators are more common and are usually attached to the voltage regulator that turns the power into direct current. Still, your ATV could be powered by a DC stator, so make sure to get the right fit for you.

Much like the first ATV stator replacement on our list, the CNCMOTOK Ignition Stator Magneto fits a variety of brands with engine capacities up to 150cc. You can purchase this product with $14.99 or $15.88, depending if you choose a 6 pole or 8 pole stator.

#3 Trkimal Ignition Stator Magneto

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This stator comes in the same four variations as the CNCMOTOK product presented above. It is a 3-pin part that can easily be installed to ATVs with up to 180cc engines. According to the manufacturer, you can hook up this stator to quads from Buyang, Kazuma, Coolster, TaoTao, Roketa, and more.

The price for this ATV stator varies between $15.57 and $15.97 depending on the version you choose to purchase.

Final Words

Once you determine that the stator is the cause of your spark and power drainage problem, then it is time to get an ATV stator replacement. This small part is vital for the proper functioning of your quad, but fortunately, it is not a pricey purchase. Before browsing for the right stator, make sure to check the service manual or the previous stator on your ATV. Take note of the number of pins, poles, and wires, so that you can get the proper replacement for it. The installation process for a stator is fairly easy to follow, therefore I am sure you will have an up-and-running 4-wheeler in no time!

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at bobtheatvguy@gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

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