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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 14th January 2021
Glas482 Glas482 is offline
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Default Front brake light switch/handlebar control 1971

Hello All,

I'm in the reassembly phase of my front end rebuild. I've done the fork seals, and steering head bearings. I have new wheel bearings and front brake shoes. I've sorted the wiring on the fork terminal bar and repainted the headlight bucket. (Would like to upgrade to an LED but need to do some research on that)

My question is about a wire I have that is listed on the SM diagram as a front brake light switch. (if I remember correctly it's a red wire from the bundle that is joined to a gray wire going from the front brake lever and connecting to the #5 spot on the terminal) I see on the break lever an opening where I think it would go but I don't see anything in the parts book about the actual switch itself. Also it looks like the wire was external on the handlebars while everything else was run internal. Was this some kind of add on or accessory? I really like the idea of the function but don't want one ugly gray wire zip tied to the handlebar.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks
Matthew
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  #2  
Old 14th January 2021
The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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It's in the parts book...... look up p/n 71900-70

The switch screws into the front brake lever & the 2 wires run external to the handle bar (aka zip tied to the handle bar). That's the way it was done in 1971.
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  #3  
Old 14th January 2021
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My buckhorn handlebars have holes to run the brake switch wire into them at the hand controls and out between the riser clamps and that's the way I have my wires run on both sides. If yours don't have them you can always add the holes yourself.
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  #4  
Old 14th January 2021
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Whitewalls Whitewalls is offline
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My '71 doesn't have the front switch but I see the hole where it should be. I just considered it unnecessary. With drums the front and rear brakes are needed simultaneously for effective braking.
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  #5  
Old 14th January 2021
45Brit 45Brit is offline
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I don’t know about Sportster drum brakes, but certainly it was nothing unusual to have no front brake light on British drum brake bikes, or Japanese ones for that matter
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Old 14th January 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitewalls View Post
My '71 doesn't have the front switch but I see the hole where it should be. I just considered it unnecessary. With drums the front and rear brakes are needed simultaneously for effective braking.
The switch is not related to effective braking? Just operates the light!
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  #7  
Old 14th January 2021
Len PA Len PA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
The switch is not related to effective braking? Just operates the light!
In Pennsylvania it would be needed to pass inspection.
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Old 14th January 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
The switch is not related to effective braking? Just operates the light!
My point exactly. 😉 With drum brakes you can't stop effectively wiithout both front and rear applied simultaneously which means the brake light is on with only a switch on the rear linkage.
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