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We had to "flash the generator" on my buddy's '68 XLCH chopper, but that is a DC generator on a bike that has no battery, and uses a magneto for ignition and the power from the generator for lights and horn only.

I'm fairly sure that "flashing" to create polarized residual magnetism in the field core windings is not needed for alternators on bikes with batteries. The regulator will power the field from the battery, and because the power generated is AC, the stator doesn't care what polarity the magnetic field is. Pretty sure flashing is not needed for bikes that use permanent magnetic rotors either. In this case there's no field coil and the magnet field is created with the permanent magnets, and I don't think that the stator needs to be magnetically active to generate power. This is my understanding, but I could be wrong, I'm a mechanical engineer, not electrical.

Still a bad idea to connect your battery backwards, though, something to be avoided.
 
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