Electrical Wiring For Motorcycles
Engine vibration, exposure to the elements, and poor quality wiring all play a part in old motorcycle electrical problems. Components such as spark plug wires and coils go bad with time. Regular inspection of your wiring and electrical components can keep you from breaking down on the roadside.
read Basic Motorcycle Wiring
Motorcycle Battery Care and Maintenance
Getting tired of buying a new motorcycle battery every couple years? Seems we neglect them until there's a problem, unnecessary damage is done, and we're spending money for a new one.
A motorcycle battery has a harder life than a car battery. Not only are the plates inside them more fragile, but they are subject to much greater vibration.
Motorcycle Charging System
To check your charging system voltage, with the engine off, check the voltage across your battery with a voltmeter. Next, start the bike and check it again, with the lights off and engine running about 1500 rpm. The charging voltage while running should be higher than the basic battery voltage. 13.8v is ideal, but anything over 12.8v is good.
If your readings are lower than 12.8v, the battery is not getting completely charged. For a final test, turn the lights on, and check the voltage again. If it drops below 12 volts, your battery's going to be in a state of discharge when you're running with lights on.
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Your classic bike's generator or alternator really doesn't charge the battery until engine rpm is considerably higher than idle. Trips that are less than 15-20 miles are typically not enough to recharge the battery's losses from starting. Consider upgrading to a trouble-free aftermarket generator like Cycle-Electric. It is a complete charging system with a built-in regulator, simple two-wire hookup, higher output, and longer service life. It's the last generator you will have to buy for your bike!
Amp Gauge vs Volt Gauge
An amp gauge will tell you the amount of amps passing into or being drawn out of the battery. A voltmeter will tell you the "pressure" behind the amps.
Handlebars are one of the first things riders change. If you're thinking of installing taller handlebars, you'll need to extend the switch wiring harness. Many wire extension kits are available that have the right colors and terminals for your year and model. Or you can be creative and make your own.