Trailer Electrical Wiring


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:18 am



I have a 1995 GL1500 SE that I purchased a few years ago with 5,900 miles on it and was prewired for a trailer. It has 6 wires coming out of it..
White - Common Ground
Brown- Running Lights
Yellow - Left Directional
Green- Right Directional
Red- Brake Lights
Black- Running Lights which is not hooked up

I tried to hook up a 1991 trailer which originally came with 1 set or rear lights ( Running, Bake and Turn) added another set of lights for Running and Turn, the original set are now Running and Brake. I have everything rewired, hooked up to a 5 pin, the problem is, when the trailer is disconnected from the bike hitch, everything works fine, once I hook it to the ball on the bike, the left directional works as it should with the 2 directionals on the trunk and saddlebag but once I try the right directional, the right trunk and saddlebag directionals go out and the brake lights flash on the bike, the directional on the trailer does not work and the running lights on the trailer fluctuate dimly.

i have spent my Memorial day weekend racking what little brains I have left at my age trying to figure this out, Makes no sense why when the trailer is disconnected from the ball hitch, everything works perfect but once it connects to the ball hitch, everything on the right side goes crazy once the right directional is turned on. I have the White - Common Wire also grounded on the trailer to the trailer frame. Seems almost like somewhere the right directional is crossing into the running or brake lights but if that was the case it would do it even when disconnected from the ball on the bike. only thing I did not check is the wiring going back up into the bike to see where that is hooked up.

Any help, advice or wiring diagrams would be surely appreciated.
Thank You all in advance



grybrd
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:08 am
Location: Anoka, Minnesota
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing 1500SE with a DFT Trike Kit

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by grybrd » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:57 am

You need to purchase a 5 to 4 wire isolated module if you want to hook up a trailer with a
4 wire plug. They come with instructions on wiring it up. You will use just 5 wires on the
GW. Best to buy one that provides independent power to the trailer. This helps protect the
GW from an electrical problem. The unit mounts on the bike. Be sure when splicing the
wires to use waterproof connectors. The units are available on Amazon, Ebay and trailer
stores.

inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:51 pm

i have 5 wire going into the trailer also. I eliminated the 4 wire system. One set of lights are running and brake, another set of lights are running and turn on the trailer.

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CrystalPistol
Posts: 669
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A
1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by CrystalPistol » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:35 pm

inanyminet wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:18 am
I have a 1995 GL1500 SE that I purchased a few years ago with 5,900 miles on it and was prewired for a trailer. It has 6 wires coming out of it..
White - Common Ground
Brown- Running Lights
Yellow - Left Directional
Green- Right Directional
Red- Brake Lights
Black- Running Lights which is not hooked up

I tried to hook up a 1991 trailer which originally came with 1 set or rear lights ( Running, Bake and Turn) added another set of lights for Running and Turn, …
inanyminet wrote: i have 5 wire going into the trailer also. I eliminated the 4 wire system. One set of lights are running and brake, another set of lights are running and turn on the trailer.
You don't need that last black wire at all, and chances are it was just accessory anyway. The first 5 are your answer.

Your second post makes no sense to me.

Your trailer side should have
White - Common Ground,
Brown- Running Lights,
Yellow - Left Directional,
Green- Right Directional,
Red- Brake Lights
just the same as they come off the bike. if you have 5 wires and if have dedicated turn signal lamps on trailer too.

If you don't have dedicated signal lamps …. either add some or rewire to 4 pin plug and get a converter to put in bike rear. A converter has a logic circuit in it to flash what would be a left or right brake bulb when a flash is detected on bike side of connection and yet, it still works opposite side as a steady brake light. The converter will take the 5 wires from bike wiring and give you 4 to go to trailer. You only need one running lamp circuit.

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inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:50 pm

The trailer now is a 5 wire system as well with separate running/directional lights. The problem is when the trailer is plugged in but disconnect from ball hitch everything works as it should, problem arises when I hook it to the ball hitch, the left directional works on the bike and trailer, once you turn on the right directional, the bike directional and trailer directional doesn't work and brake lights on bike flash and running lights on trailer fluctuates lightly.

inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:58 pm

The trailer now is a 5 wire system as well with separate running/directional lights. The problem is when the trailer is plugged in but disconnect from ball hitch everything works as it should, problem arises when I hook it to the ball hitch, the left directional works on the bike and trailer, once you turn on the right directional, the bike directional and trailer directional doesn't work and brake lights on bike flash and running lights on trailer fluctuates lightly.

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AZgl1800
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:38 am

I modified my trailer so that it has the same light setup as the bike.

then I wired direct from bike lights to trailer lights.

no adapters needed.
the trailer lights are LEDs.
~John

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M61A1MECH
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:38 pm
Location: Edgewater, Florida
Motorcycle: 2013 Goldwing

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by M61A1MECH » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:55 am

This sounds like a grounding problem, because the only thing you are changing when you connect the trailer to the bike hitch is the ground path.
Verify that there are no grounded power wires on the trailer.
Remove the bulbs and check the power side of all 4 lighting circuits to ground to verify that they are not shorted or do not have some resistance reading to ground, you should have an infinity (open) circuit reading both to the ball hitch and the ground wire in the trailer harness.
Then check the resistance of the ground circuit to the trailer ball, this should be zero or very low Ohms.

With the trailer not physically connected to the bike the only ground path available for the lights is the ground circuit in the harness, when the trailer is in physical contact with the bike you have provided an alternate ground path and maybe the right side has a short on the power circuit.

If you do not find any issues with the grounds, and have not done this, swap the left and right turn signal bulbs to see if the problem follows the bulb or stays on the right side, could simply (unlikely) be a bogus bulb. I had a front turn signal on a Yamaha that lost the turn filament, the running light worked and the front turn signal continued to function but the flash rate was higher than normal, turned out it was using the running light filament and the resistance was significantly different from the turn signal filament to cause the flash rate to change.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Steve K
Edgewater, FL

And the Lord said. "Thou shalt have dominion over all of the animals, except of course the cat."

inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:15 pm

Thank You for your responses, I appreciate all the help. I will tackle this problem this weekend and let everyone know how it turned out.

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CrystalPistol
Posts: 669
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A
1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by CrystalPistol » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:12 pm

inanyminet wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:58 pm
The trailer now is a 5 wire system as well with separate running/directional lights. The problem is when the trailer is plugged in but disconnect from ball hitch everything works as it should, problem arises when I hook it to the ball hitch, the left directional works on the bike and trailer, once you turn on the right directional, the bike directional and trailer directional doesn't work and brake lights on bike flash and running lights on trailer fluctuates lightly.
So then, you have left and right red tail / brake lamp combos (lights use dual filament bulbs, they light red as running lights, then get brighter with brakes) … and a left and a right amber signal lamp (totally separate from each other and the red lights) on your trailer rear?

White - Common Ground wire to each lamp's ground side
Brown- Running lights all together, hot side
Yellow - Left Directional lamp hot side
Green- Right Directional lamp hot side
Red- Brake Light part of red running / brake lights, wire all brake lamps together.
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Joe Jones
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Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:52 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 2018 GL1800 DCT

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by Joe Jones » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:44 pm

Just for the record, it is a three wire to two wire converter. It combines the bike's independent turn and brake circuit for each side into ONE wire that acts as both the turn signal and brake light on each side of the trailer. The other two wires are the running lights and the ground. They pass through without any conversion.

Joe

.

inanyminet
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:27 pm
Location: Battleboro, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by inanyminet » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:52 am

Turn Signal/Running Lights combination with separate Brake Light/Running Lights combination

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DenverWinger
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Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Trailer Electrical Wiring

Post by DenverWinger » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:19 am

When I first set up my 1100 for towing the new-to-me camper back in 2010 I set the Camper trailer wiring up with a "flat-four" plug which matched the wiring on my car and jeep. Then set about wiring the motorcycle to be same. This meant I had to use a turn signal / brake light combiner-converter on the bike.

Well, it worked, sure enough, but the voltage drops in the solid state brake/turn converter were such that the brake lights or turn signals on the trailer weren't all that much brighter than the running lights.

I decided this was unacceptable, got rid of the converter and found the narrow amber fixtures seen below with 1156 bulbs and added them to the trailer. Rewired the bike's Flat-Four connector to feed brake light power to both left and right Brake/Turn filaments of the red fixtures on the bike (leaving the flat-four on the trailer unmodified so it would still work with the car or Jeep) and then added a second Flat-Three connector to the bike and trailer feeding left and right turn signal to the Amber fixtures. The Amber fixtures simply aren't used on the car or Jeep.

Now the Brake lights and Turn Signals shine brightly!




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