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More likely, the rectifier/regulator will sacrifice itself to protect the fuse; this is based the schematics for my Valkyrie and the Suzuki I used to have. My old CB450 has no fuse between the r/r and battery, so the rectifier will just smoke. Some bikes may survive, but I don't think many will. I think one should try testing the r/r before connecting the battery the right way around, as you may just do more damage.
 
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