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Ok....I'm helping raildog with rewiring his triumph. I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread about basic wiring for most any motorcycle. This will be about kicker bikes....no electric starter. I will start off discussing how I set up my triumphs.

First thing is decide what to keep and what to throw away. I keep the factory alternator if it is good, and also the lucas points. I usually keep the stock headlight and maybe go with an aftermarket tail light. A key switch is nice, along with some sort of a dimmer switch. I don't like a battery, so that gets eliminated.

My shopping list will include a HD points type coil, a tympanium (solid state regulator), and a big capacitor to eliminate the battery. About a hundred bucks covers all this stuff.

Your choices may be different...possibly an electronic ignition, which means a battery get added to the system.

I'll stop here for now, and open this up for discussion and questions....or suggestions about options. Then I will continue with the plan for raildogs bike.
 

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Good thread starter. I'm running points and a Mity Max on my '66 Trump. Currently, it just has a toggle switch for on/off and another for the lights (no dimmer). I have a 3 position HD switch picked up at a swap meet (with key). It has three terminals on the bottom. Will something like this work on my setup? I'd love to have a key vs just a toggle switch.
 

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Yes, a key switch will work. I highly recommend purchasing a simple volt/ohm, digital tester. I got mine at radio shack for about 15 bucks. I never travel without one. I'm sure no electrical genius, but this tool has helped me a bunch in the last few years. With one, you can test the swap meet switch and determine which terminals are "hot" for each key position. It can also test your charging system after everything is hooked up....just a great tool for the garage builder.
 

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I have one, just not real adept at using it..yet. My buddy used his a good bit setting up the bike - checked all the ignition points, etc. He said a key switch might add too much resistance to the system, but I think maybe he just is getting tired of wrenching on this thing. I'll try and add the switch to the system after I get the bike home. I have to come up with a place to mount it as well.
Yes, a key switch will work. I highly recommend purchasing a simple volt/ohm, digital tester. I got mine at radio shack for about 15 bucks. I never travel without one. I'm sure no electrical genius, but this tool has helped me a bunch in the last few years. With one, you can test the swap meet switch and determine which terminals are "hot" for each key position. It can also test your charging system after everything is hooked up....just a great tool for the garage builder.
 

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As for switches, I just use a toggle. The only key I use when riding the '69 Triumph is for my beefy lock. The switch is down where the passenger pegs would mount on a stock bike, on the rh side. I can get to it with my toe before kicking and with the heel when I wanna shut down. Note that I found it necessary to insulate it with a rubber washer b/c it would break from vibes before.
Accel dual coil, MityMax, Lucas Rita, no battery, LED tail lite. No turns. Dimmer for the headlite.
I keep hearing about needing a battery with electronic ign. but this has worked for me for many years. I sometimes wonder if the PO put in a high output stator. The HL dims at idle, but thats the only thing. Starts on first or second kick.
Anyway, the simpler the setup the better. Less can be more. Hatch, I like where you're going with the wiring.
+1 on the meter. Helps diagnose problems twice as fast.
 

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Yes, a key switch will work. I highly recommend purchasing a simple volt/ohm, digital tester. I got mine at radio shack for about 15 bucks. I never travel without one. I'm sure no electrical genius, but this tool has helped me a bunch in the last few years. With one, you can test the swap meet switch and determine which terminals are "hot" for each key position. It can also test your charging system after everything is hooked up....just a great tool for the garage builder.
I'm downright stupid!:confused: How does a simple tester work? Thanks, 'b'
 

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my question is when you elimiate the battery say on a 73 ironhead setup thats kickstart only and only needs power to headlight and tail/brake light, how long does a capacitator last?
 

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I'm downright stupid!:confused: How does a simple tester work? Thanks, 'b'
the most useful setting on a multimeter for bike purposes is the resistance check represented by the ohm symbol "Ώ". while this will tell you how much resistance there is between the terminals it's most basic function is to tell you if a circuit is open or closed. need to know if a ground connection is good? put the red terminal on the ground connection of a component, but the black terminal on your frame (provided you are grounded to the frame). the meter should read 0.00. this means there is no resistance between the two terminals, i.e. electricity is flowing freely between the two points. if it reads "inf" that means there is infinite resistance, i.e. electricity can not flow at all.

need to know how much juice is flowing from your regulator? set your meter to the DCV setting (DC volts). put the red terminal on the hot (positive, red) lead from the regulator, and the black one on the ground (black). you will see the voltage displayed.
 

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Hatch,

Your recipe is pretty similar to mine for brit bikes.

* if the timing weight assembly is not total garbage and I want run without a battery, I keep points and use a condensor. New rotor (stronger magnets) almost always to support batteryless operation.

* if the weight assembly is trashed (and most of them I've dealt with are), I use a Boyer and a battery with a NEW three-phase charging system. More bucks up-front, but ZERO bullshit down the road. And as anyone who actually leaves their zipcode on an old motorcycle knows, the bullshit route costs more in the end anyway.

* If I'm keeping stock Lucas, or other questionable switches and gear I generally put them on a branch circuit using a $12 auto relay. That way the main wiring harness stays very simple and secure but you can keep the stock look. Stock switches seem to be prone to shorting, particularly the old ones. It's not too involved really, I usually put the horn, tri/duo switch, and the ignition cylinder (if stock and sloppy) on this circuit all behind one relay.

* I've used the same wiring color scheme forever on all my bikes so I don't have to remember down the road. . .
- RED for unswitched hot
- BLK for grounds
- BLU for lighting
- GRN for ignition (and anything that makes it "go")
- BRN for brake switch(es) and lamp
- Other, depending on what I have around, for all accessories

* changing batteries in and out is a hassle when you've got more than one or two leads to the terminals. I either use a central terminal row under the seat for all connections (one spot for each of the colors above) or make a plug-in style pigtail for the battery so I can unplug it by hand to remove/install.

* I know many are in favor of multilple circuits with as many fuses. I'm not of that school. I've done just fine with one main fuse that is easily accessible. This works fine if you've done the wiring from scratch and don't have a bunch of wires and shady connections. If you have some expensive electronic bit you'd like to protect, by all means use another inline fuse to that part.

* Put everything you MIGHT need to get to on the road where you can ACTUALLY get to it easily.

* Put parts that are heat sensitive in areas that get airflow and aren't likely to run hot.

* Rubber or foam mount vibration sensitive parts

That's about all that comes to mind.

Jason
 

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+1 on the simpler the better. Running Boyer CDI with dual 3ohm coils, tiny 12v battery. Toggle switch on/off and toggle lights. Sticking with positive "earth."

My best advice to anyone doing a 650 unit rebuild or custom is to completely remove the wiring harness and start from scratch. Only leave the two leads from the points cavity and the two coming from the alternator side.

Use common colors for wire replacement, like red, black and white. I like to maintain the color theme coming from the points case and alternator case, but since I can't find green/white or green/yellow, I just use green or yellow.

I also like to have the ability to plug and unplug stuff for troubleshooting purposes and use quality automotive connectors for the task. Don't be cheap and use crimp on connectors, solder and use heat shrink tubing wherever possible. Having a number of plugs allows you to not only isolate different parts of the system, but to also easily test voltage, resistance and such at the plug.

Other than soldered joints, I do my best to use plastic armor to protect exposed wiring, especially coming from the points cavity to the battery box. On wiring runs inside the frame, I make it a point to use a rubber grommet or piece of tubing over the wire to protect it from abrading on the edge of the hole.
 

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For what its worth..when I wire up a triumph unit twin....(using a batt)

I use a two wire (actually three wire, one wire is the "charging" wire) harley shovelhead regulator, A dual harley coil..and set my points at about .020, instead of the stock points gap to keep from over saturating the dual harley coil..

seams the stock points gap, "sometimes" tends to over saturate the coil, and cause it to cut out..


biker
 

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A timely discussion... I was working on wiring my '67 BSA A65L last night till about 12:30..

New points, condenser, dual lead 12v coil, capacitor, podtronics... Also installed a new rotor, my old one was beat. I am actually about to run up the road to Interstate battery and talk to them about a small 12v battery I can run inline as well.

Should run fine w/o a battery, once I wire it back up and get it running, I need to test the voltage coming from the rectifier, should be 13.8 - 14v. With that voltage no problem w/o a battery, if it is less than I need to check out my stator. I say this because I had it running when I wired it up quick and dirty but it wouldn't start w/o a battery. It very well could have been the quick connections and a sketchy ground, so I will test it out and see with the nice finish wiring I am doing now.

I may switch to a Pazon electronic ignition down the road, the startup voltage is only 8v on a Pazon, while it is something like 11.8v on a Boyer. So even with a weak battery or not as much juice coming from the stator you can start the bike..

Tyler
 

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Have inline fuses for the ignition and main power, much better to pop a fuse than having a fire. Someone on here was running push-button reset breakers, another nifty idea. Also, cut those fucking plastic "insulators" off the wire terminals and do it right: solder it and shrink wrap it.
 

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This is the start of a good thread... Hatch, where's part 2?
 

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I ended up trimming off all the stuff from the stock harness on my KZ and kept the stuff I needed. I also used in-line blade fuses where I needed them.

Oh yea, the previoius owner had a CB and a regular radio mounted on the bike too.

Here's most of the stuff that I cut out:

 
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