Back to Basic Wiring


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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fordor328
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Back to Basic Wiring

Postby fordor328 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:41 pm



I have a 2008 GL1800 bike with Motor Trike conversion, with a pull behind trailer I want to add some accessories that require power.
Here is a preliminary wish list:
LED fairing lights, upper trunk lights, fog lights, front bumper lighting, some kind of lighting for the sides ( passenger armrests or footrest etc.), marker lights for the sides of the trailer, maybe ring of fire.

I know the fog lights utilize the plug and play. All other lighting will need a source.

I'm thinking I should get one of those chrome switch blocks that mount on the brake handle, and run these accessories to those switches. Does power get to these switches directly from the battery, or from the accessory ports on the fuse block?
Is there another way to wire for these lights?

In general, how does one go about learning to do all this stuff - I'm not an idiot - just inexperienced? I have no one locally whose knowledge I can tap.

Thanks for any suggestions



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themainviking
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby themainviking » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:04 pm

I would suggest that you buy plug and play wiring harness from Kuryakyn. They probably have all the different ones to add lights to just about every area of a two wheel bike, so it would only be a matter of adding to it.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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wjnfirearms
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby wjnfirearms » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:43 am

With vehicle electrics, you are correct in that there are two ways to go, battery direct or ignition. The main drawback to battery direct is that the circuit(s) are constantly energized when the vehicle is down. If a circuit becomes shorted or damaged, it can cause a parasitic drain on the battery, or worse, a fire. With motorcycle electrics, there are limited sources to attach to ignition sources, unless you attach a main wire to the solenoid where it energizes when the bike is turned on.

Here's an idea that may work for you as I have experience on electrics. Wire one main feed wire to a weather resistant fuse block and install it in an accessible place, but hidden, wherever you decide. You can run the feed from either place, battery hot or solenoid, that makes you comfortable. Use heavy gauge primary wire, 10 or even 8 gauge. The heavier gauge the main feed wire, the better. You can get these type of blocks at any place that sells RV accessories and parts along with some automotive speed shops for hot rods and the like. They are available with multiple individually fused circuit positions, so you can run several accessories off of one block. Having each new accessory fused is important. Then, you can wire each accessory off of each fused position with only having one power feed which will eliminate having a rat's nest of wires all over the bike which can spell potential future problems in of itself. You will have to ground each accessory individually, which is more desirable to do. Use wire that is at least the same gauge as it is intended to have for any given accessory. Electricity creates heat traveling in wire. The lighter gauge the wire, the more heat it creates due to voltage draw. You don't feel warm wires in a properly wired circuit because the wire can handle the draw and no resistance above what is normal is created.

Make sure that any switches are weather resistant also. All connections and connectors should be insulated wherever they are. Electrical tape won't do. I'd recommend using liquid electrical tape which is available at Radio Shack, Auto Zone, and a lot of other places. This stuff is one great invention. Make sure all wires are secured and protected using wire ties, wire loom, whatever keeps them secured and out of harm's way. Do not allow wires to chafe on metal edges. Insulate them on any corner contact. Allow for at least a minimum of slack to remain during installation so the wires don't become stressed. You don't want real tight wired circuits, but you don't want the wires flopping around either.

Anything else, don't hesitate to ask.
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WingAdmin
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:14 am

I would highly recommend an Electrical Connection Power Plate. I put one on my GL1500 (Read the review I wrote here). It provides 6 individually fused terminals, all of which are switched through a large 30 amp relay. I wired mine in so that my original accessory terminal is used to energize my relay, and then wired all of my accessories off the individually fused terminals. It centralizes your wiring, makes it easy to identify & replace blown fuses (rather than having in-line fuses scattered all over the bike), and makes the wiring SO much neater. Instead of having a bunch of wires running to your battery or accessory terminal, with individual relays and fuses etc., I have a single split loom encasing all of the wiring going to the power plate, leading to wherever the wires need to go. Very neat, tidy, and organized, and easy to maintain.

I don't like liquid electrical tape, as I've found that it's not tough enough to insulate against the odd sharp bit on soldered connections - which will happen from time to time. You get a stray copper strand, beefed up and supported with solder, and with a bit of pressure it pokes through the liquid electrical tape, and shorts out against whatever it happens to touch. Without question, the best way to go is heat shrink tubing. If I can't use heat shrink tubing due to the individual situation, I will use electrical tape, but I always wrap a nylon wire tie around the electrical tape after it's applied. Heat from engine and summer temperatures will melt the adhesive off electrical tape, and if it's not fastened in place, eventually the tape can just fall off - leaving unexposed connections to short out. I learned this from experience as a kid, and started wrapping my electrical tape joints with a nylon wire tie in automotive applications 20+ years ago. In that 20 years, I've never had a single one of these fail.

fixbikes
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby fixbikes » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:27 pm

Just a couple of things to add, ANY splice in the wiring should be soldered, a soldering iron big enough for most wires on a bike isn't expensive, and heat shrink is the way to go, try to find the double-wall variety (any decent electronics supply store will know what it is). And for future ease of potential repairs, pick a colour, any colour except red and black, wire and use it for the power (+) side of that circuit only. Different accessory, different colour. Reserve RED as the main power feed to the fuse block or relay, and BLACK for grounds.

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wjnfirearms
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby wjnfirearms » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:21 am

You guys are correct about two things, three actually.

WingAdmin, I will have to concede that liquid electrical tape has it's limitations and the corner thing would be right. Personally, I've had very good luck with it overall and continue to use it. I do use heat shrink fairly often and it is a very good way to go.

Fixbikes couldn't be more correct in reference to soldering. I usually recommend soldered connections much more than any other method. The only thing might be that there are a lot of people that have never used a soldering gun or own one. One caveat would be especially for the inexperienced, cold joints. For those who don't know, a cold solder joint is one that the wire and solder haven't been heated well enough and/or no flux was used and the connection is tenuous. The solder must flow within the wire strands to create a solid joint with good connectivity and low resistance. This is why when I recommend soldering to anyone, I often ask if they have any experience soldering and have the tools to do it with.
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Mag
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby Mag » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:12 am

Don't worry, Fordor, you are same as me, a bid damn newb, lol. I just bought my soldering iron, wire, solder, flux and wire stripper. Friend of mine gave me some shrink tubing. Looks like I will be experimenting on my rig, and that is what you do to get better. We all have to learn to walk sometime, and I am really doing that now. I am just glad that I have a group of peeps here that can shove me in a direction.

fixbikes
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby fixbikes » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:56 pm

Practice soldering on scraps of wire. Touch the iron to the wires, melt a little solder at the point of contact, and let it heat until the WIRE will melt the solder, but not long enough to melt the insulation on either side. Practice is the best way to learn the technique.
A joint that looks dull is NOT a good one (not enough heat, or the joint was moved before the solder cooled), also, a soldered wire joint must be a good mechanical joint before you solder (a joint that is good enough to be - UGH -taped up is what you want), twist the wires together or see below.
As motorcycles tend to be subject to vibration, my favorite tactic is to install an un-insulated crimp connecter, solder that, and cover with heat shrink.
And, yes, people that know me well accuse me of overkill.

edit: Mag, you should be using flux core solder. If you use plumbing style flux, it will ruin the wiring as it is an acid designed to clean the copper pipe so the solder will bond, but will eat the fine copper of the strands. If I misunderstood your post, Sorry!

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Mag
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1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby Mag » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:17 am

Flux core solder....ok. And practice practice practice.....got it. ;)

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Ghostman
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Re: Back to Basic Wiring

Postby Ghostman » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:43 am

When I did my lights I used a switchblock mounted on my right brake reservoir and hooked up the power to an Eastern Beaver PC-8. http://easternbeaver.com/Main/Products/ ... /pc-8.html
But when I installed the lights I went to Cyclemax and bought their plug kits http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/120/36020 and went to a computer store and got a pair of terminal crimpers and made my own harness. If Im working on the bike and have to remove a panel or panels I can just unplug the lights. Its also good if you have to replace one you just unplug and replace.




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