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Street-Rod Cool Twin-Plug Three-Valve Cylinder Heads Five-Speed Constant-Mesh Transmission Offset-Dual-Pin-Crankshaft Shaft Final Drive

Look Ma! No Wires!

by "RCAWILLIS"

The following steps are for running wires through stock handle bars. This task is not difficult, but it is time consuming. With trial and error, it took me four week nights to finish the task. Following these steps, I think that it will take about two evenings to accomplish the task. The finished product looks very nice.

If you don't know the proper methods for soldering wires, do some research and practice before starting. You don't want a lousy solder joint to cause you problems down the road.

Needed Supplies: Equipment Needed:
  1. 18 gauge wire (stranded, good quality)
  2. 16 gauge wire (stranded, good quality)
  3. Shrink tube for wire (get the dull black kind. If it is shiny, it is lousy.)
  4. Grommets: 1/4" id & 3/8" id (home improvement store)
  5. Electrical Tape
  6. Rosin-Core Solder
  7. Wire marking stickers (Radio Shack)
  8. Small black plastic ties.
  1. Drill
  2. Drill bits (5/64", 3/8" & 1/2")
  3. Soldering Iron (If you cannot solder well, find someone that does or don't attempt this project!)
  4. Wire Strippers
  5. Rat tail file

Hand tools

Step 1:

Starting on the left hand side, follow the wiring harness from the switch housing to the steering knuckle/frame covers. Remove the frame covers and don't lose the plastic screws because they cost $12 or so. At some point under the cover, the wires for head light branch off. Trim back some of the rubber covering to expose the wires around the area of the branch. Using the wire marking stickers, mark the individual wires below the point that you plan to cut. Each wire should have a different identifying letter or number. The half that goes to the switches will be marked later. Your cut should be above the point that the head light wires branch off.

Step 2:

Disconnect the positive cable from the battery! Then cut the wires between the marking stickers and the switch housing. The cut should be far enough away from the markers to allow wire stripping and soldering.

Step 3:

Loosen the clutch & mirror mount and move it down past the bend in the handle bar. Tighten it back down so that it will not move around and hit against something. Remove the switch housing from the handle bar by unscrewing the two phillips head screws in the bottom of the housing. To remove the top half of the switch move the choke lever all the way to the open position. The top half should lift off. With the bottom half still in place mark the point that needs to be drilled. The hole will be 1/2" in diameter. Be sure that the mark is far enough away from the choke knob and up far enough for the bottom of the hole to be level with the top of the bottom half of the switch housing. This is necessary to have enough room to run the wires. Using a center punch and hammer, mark the spot for the hole. Drill a pilot hole using the 5/64" bit. Use a good, high quality bits or the chrome may flake. After the pilot hole is drilled verify the location is proper. If everything is fine, drill the hole out to 1/2".

Step 4:

Determine where you want the wires to exit the handle bars. Remember that there will be two holes: 1/2" for the left & 3/8" for the right. I put mine on the opposite side of the drivers point of view. This hid the exit point from me when I am driving. The exit point is between the speedometer bracket. I wanted to run the wires behind the bracket to keep them out of sight on the front of the bike.

Once you have determined the location for the holes, loosen the handle bar clamps and roll the handle bars down to provide access to the marks with a drill. You will need to remove the speedometer by taking out the bolt that runs through the bracket and the base of the speedometer. Since the speedometer is still tied to the bike, be sure to place it in a location that it will not scratch or ding the bike or itself. Once you have access to the marks, center punch each location. Drill a 5/64" pilot hole at the point of exit for the left side wires. Then drill a 1/2" hole through the pilot hole. Using a rat tail file, smooth all the edges of the hole. The drill leaves sharp edges that will cut the insulation on the wires when pulling them through he handle bars.

Step 5:

Pull the rubber covering off of the wires that are still attached to the switch housing. This takes some effort but is necessary. Don't destroy the covering, you will need it later. At this point, you will need to determine the length of wire necessary to reconnect the switch housing to the main wiring harness. Solder a length of wire longer than necessary to one of the switch wires. Then run the wire through the hole in by the switch housing. Fish the wire out of the hole by the speedometer and route it through the speedometer bracket, behind the headlight and into the space behind the steering knuckle. Determine how long the wire will need to be to reach the point where the wires were cut. Be sure to give yourself a few extra inches. Mistakes will happen and you will be glad you did. Cut the wire to length.

Pull the wire back out of the handle bar. You now have a wire the length necessary to reconnect your switches. Cut one length of wire for each wire in the harness the same length as this piece of wire. Some of the wires are 16 gauge and some are 18 gauge. Be sure that you use the proper size wire for each wire to avoid problems in the future. Solder the extension wires to the switch wires. Be sure to cover the soldered joints with good quality shrink tube.

Once each wire has been extended, they will need to be marked to identify which wire they need to be soldered with on the main wiring harness. This is done by matching the color code wires on the wiring harness with the wires on the switch. The marking stickers should be put on the end of the extensions. Once they have been pulled through the handle bars, it is very difficult to determine which extension goes to which wire on the switch end.

Step 6:

Run a single piece of wire through the handle bars. This wire will be used to pull the switch wiring through the handle bars. Put one of the 3/8" grommets over the wires and run it down to the switch housing. Don't forget or you will have to do this all over again! Tightly tape the ends of the switch wires together. Then tape them to the pull wire sticking out of the hole in the handle bars by the switch housing. Pulling the wires is tight, but patients will get it done. Gently pull the pull wire from the speedometer end and feed the switch wires through the hole. Be sure they don't hang on the edge of the hole and tear the insulation. This will cause you to replace the damaged wire.

Once all the wires have been pulled through the hole by the speedometer, continue pulling the wires until there is very little remaining out of the hole by the switch housing. Fit the bottom housing against the handle bar to decide how much wire to leave out. Remember to leave enough out for the two wires to go to the clutch switch. Check the fit of the top piece. There are two brackets in the left switch housing. One originally held wires down at the point they exited the switch housing, held the turn signal switch down, and held the headlight wires against the side of the bottom half of the housing. Reinstall this bracket with the wires running behind the bracket when traveling to the top of the switch housing. This will keep them out of the turn signal switch's moving parts. The bracket in the top half needs to be removed to make room for the wires to enter the hole.

With the bottom half of the switch housing in place, gently push the rubber grommet into the hole and around the wires. This will be a tight fit but that is good because it will keep the wires from moving around. Once the rubber grommet is in, check for fit on the switch housing. Adjust the amount of wire out of the handle bar as needed to make the switch housings fit properly. When satisfied with the fit, leave the switch housing hanging until later.

Step 7:

Put a 3/8" rubber grommet on the wires and push it down to the handle bars. Feed the wire extensions back through the rubber covering that you removed earlier. This will be difficult and a pull wire will make it a little easier. Once the cosmetic cover is back on the wires, route the wire extensions through the planned path. Based on the marking stickers, solder the extensions to the cut wires on the wiring harness by the steering knuckle. Be sure to put the shrink tube on the wire before soldering the wires. Use the shrink tube to cover each joint completely. Once all wires are reconnected, hook the batter cable back up and test the functionality of each switch. If everything works properly, tape all wires from the rubber covering to the rubber covering on the wiring harness. Leave no wires uncovered. Then push the rubber grommet into the hole in the handle bars to protect the wires. Using a black plastic tie, secure the rubber covering closely to the rubber grommet.

Step 8:

Repeat the prior steps for the right side. use the 1/4" rubber grommets and drill 3/8" holes. There are not as many wires. The soldering by the steering knuckle can be done through the left side cover. It is much easier to remove than the right side.


This is the left side switch with the wires run through the hole and the rubber grommet in place.

This is the exit point by the speedometer for the wires.


This is the route of the right and left wiring harnesses behind the speedometer.

This is the left side of the steering knuckle, the cover that needs to be removed and the path of the wiring. The one with all the tape is the left side extended wires.

The clutch switch and brake light wires will still exit from the original hole in the switch housing.

Here is the exit point of the wires. From the seat, you cannot see them.


Feel free to e-mail me with comments or questions. rca_willis@earthlink.net

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Disclaimer: Any person who decides to perform any of the above listed modifications, does so at their own risk.
The Sabre Group does not claim any responsibility for damage to your motorcycle or individual.