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  #11  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
nychopper nychopper is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: ironhead
Sportster/Buell Year: 77
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Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
This is a mistake
That's just how it was wired up when I first got it, just a barebones bike with no dash. Wanted to keep the wiring as minimal as possible for this first run!
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  #12  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
nychopper nychopper is offline
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Originally Posted by Yellowstone Kelly View Post
Whether or not the lights are on when you're starting the bike will depend on your ignition switch and how it's wired up. If the lights come on when the ignition switch is turned on, the high/low switch will only determine if the high beam or low beam is on when you're starting the bike. I have a separate On/Off switch for the lights wired in before the high/low switch on my short chop.




You have to choose the wire gauge so the wire is able to carry the expected current draw, and be protected by the circuit breakers or fuses in each circuit. In the diagram you posted, at least two circuits have a 20-amp fuse (?) protecting them. So you'd want wire that can carry more than 20 amps. You'd probably want a 12-gauge wire for those two wires, as 12-gauge can carry 25 amps for distances between 0 and 6 feet.

See the chart on this website for more info:

http://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...on_chartlg.jpg

Otherwise, most of the circuits on a motorcycle can be 16 gauge, which can carry 10 amps for distances that will be on a bike.

Generally speaking, it's better for the wire to be a little bigger than needed instead of a little too small, within reason. You don't want too-small wires getting too hot and melting the insulation or catching on fire.
Appreciate all this - super helpful.
I misspoke - the headlight switch I have currently is 3 way low / off/ high. So i'll be able to turn it off until charging system kicks in.
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  #13  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by nychopper View Post
I misspoke - the headlight switch I have currently is 3 way low / off/ high. So i'll be able to turn it off until charging system kicks in.

Yep, that should work.

.
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  #14  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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That's my wiring diagram.

I used 16awg GXL (125C insulation) for all of it. Since you're running an alternator, I'd suggest going up some sizes for the charging wire as 16 gauge for my generator is fine as far as current carrying capability goes. It wouldn't hold up to higher output from an alternator, though.

The ampacity chart YellowstoneKelly posted is useful, but I find it far far too conservative for vehicle wiring (it's quite a bit more conservative than what is used OEM). But for boats, which is what that chart is for, it's quite a bit more important to be conservative.
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Last edited by Scuba10jdl; 4 Weeks Ago at 14:09..
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  #15  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
nychopper nychopper is offline
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Originally Posted by Scuba10jdl View Post
That's my wiring diagram.

I used 16awg GXL (125C insulation) for all of it. Since you're running an alternator, I'd suggest going up some sizes for the charging wire as 16 gauge for my generator is fine as far as current carrying capability goes. It wouldn't hold up to higher output from an alternator, though.

The ampacity chart YellowstoneKelly posted is useful, but I find it far far too conservative for vehicle wiring (it's quite a bit more conservative than what is used OEM). But for boats, which is what that chart is for, it's quite a bit more important to be conservative.
By conservative do you mean it's saying I should use a heavier gauge wire than it's recommending in the chart?
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  #16  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by nychopper View Post
By conservative do you mean it's saying I should use a heavier gauge wire than it's recommending in the chart?
I think the chart that was posted uses heavier gauge wire than necessary. The amount of current a wire can carry is also highly variable with the heat rating of the insulation and whether it's bundled or open and in a group or alone.

Following it is better safe than sorry if you don't know what you're looking for.
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  #17  
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nychopper nychopper is offline
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Originally Posted by Scuba10jdl View Post
I think the chart that was posted uses heavier gauge wire than necessary. The amount of current a wire can carry is also highly variable with the heat rating of the insulation and whether it's bundled or open and in a group or alone.

Following it is better safe than sorry if you don't know what you're looking for.
Gotcha thanks - Think I could get away with using 16awg GXL for the entire harness as well? Would save some headache
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  #18  
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Gotcha thanks - Think I could get away with using 16awg GXL for the entire harness as well? Would save some headache
Except for the alternator, yeah. It safely maxes out around 20-25amps depending on scenario, and an alternator is usually pushing more than that out at peak. Everything else would be fine. You can even use smaller wire for handlebar stuff and things that don't take a lot of current.

I also just did it all the same to make it easier since it's pretty bare bones and there's plenty of room.
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