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The Short Cut

Jan 26, 2014

We ended the previous chapter with ‘maybe even go for a ride’ – Not so fast. Or at lease ‘not too far’ I should say.

While the bike ran perfectly when I test rode it back in November, after getting it home in the back of my truck, it’s given me a fair bit of trouble since then. First it became harder to start, then it wouldn’t run at all. Bad gas, then a vacuum leak where the carbs mount to the engine. One by one these problems were resolved. It was suggested that instead of running the stock set up of anti pollution hoses and all the carbs pulling from one central air filter (air box) that I swap that arrangement out for little individual air filters for each carburetor or ‘pods’.  This will make the bike easier to work on and give a slight performance boost as well. They’re inexpensive, so I ordered some. This switch-a-roo requires bigger jets inside the carbs, so I ordered and installed those too.

Now the bike runs great again – for about a day… then I began to have electrical problems. A fuse would burn out. Run for a minute or two and then pop. I tried several people’s suggestions of how to trouble shoot this issue. Disconnect one item at a time and try it again. Install a sealed beam headlight where the fuse should be and watch it go dim when you disconnect the offending component.  Eureka! The leads to the breaker points were crossed up – both into one socket!

Thought I had it fixed by putting the points leads in their proper sockets and all seemed well with a long warm-up around the neighbor hood, so I went for a longer ride (with a spare fuse in my pocket and my cell phone…) It was 7:30 and dark and 38 degrees when I took off – Bike was flyin’! New tires, handling great – such a joy to ride and then… pop! No power. Coast to a stop. Sure enough the 20amp fuse is blown again. Put in my spare, turned the key and… pop. No more fuses and no problem solved.

Instead of waiting for a tow truck, I pushed the 400+ pound motorcycle home. Mile and a half. In the cold. In the dark. Not so easy once you’re in your 60s.

I gave a lot of thought what to do next – trouble shooting a short in that enormous wiring harness was getting to be a pain in the foot and since I was tried of trying and completely inspired by sbruton’s post on simple wiring – I decided “F’ it… I’ll just carefully re-wire the little jewel from scratch”.

Here’s a pic of the faulty harness on it’s way to the parts bin, followed by my super-simple diagram to just see if I could get the bike running (It worked… I added head light and tail light circuit to the second fuse and went for a longer, sweet ride. No more troubles *famous last words).




Later this week I’ll add circuits for the brake light, turn signals, horn and all that – it takes a lot of solder and heat-shrink tubing – not to mention head scratching and time, but I have the official wiring diagram to work from and there are all the individual connectors from the dead harness to harvest – this is actually really fun for me.

Can’t wait until it’s all done and wrapped up in some fancy (I did it myself) cloth loom – more on this as we go.

Until next time…

Update Feb, 14, 2014
I’ve added more circuits as mentioned above – through some trial and error, got all the things working to go out on the road – still left to do are the things that will need to be adjusted when I bring the handlebars to the lowered position using the clipons – For now the power for all items goes on with the flick of a toggle switch – This will change so I can use the key switch – I want to have one circuit on the ‘parking’ position that lights up only the ignition so I can trouble shoot without having the headlight, etc. draining the battery.
Here’s the wiring to date:

Next chapter we’ll re-position the foot pegs using the rear-sets I bought two months ago.

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