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