Redesigning the KLR electrical harness - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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This will be a thread to discuss what might be the ideal harness design and/or what are the best additions/modifications to the harness. When one sees nearly 2 volts drop in the headlight circuit, over a volt to the cooling fan and so on, it makes me think that there are so many owners out there who might undertake some improvements if these were explained and described.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-30-2014 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Well, you asked for help starting a thread!
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 02:10 PM
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First off (and most obvious) we need to have a large power wire coming up to the front, and a power distribution panel for it.

A power distribution panel at the rear would be nice, too.

Maybe five circuits to the front and three to the rear.

Tom

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post #3 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 02:21 PM
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I would:

a) set up the headlight(s) on relays, fed by the large power.
b) install a 'switch-on' Powerlet socket
c) install a 'always-on' Powerlet socket
d) install an emergency flasher system
e) install a headlight kill switch
f) modify the wiring so that the headlight is killed when the starter engages
g) install a 'headlight-off' warning LED (flashing red)
h) install right and left high intensity turn signal LEDs (green) aimed directly into my eyes even though the bug the crap out of me at night
i) install a 'fan-on' indicator LED (blue)

Tom

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post #4 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hope this doesn't appear to be an attempt to lecture Tom as that would be opposite to my intention. I'm hoping to exchange ideas and to hear expanded descriptions of intentions, reasoning, experiences.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I would:

a) set up the headlight(s) on relays, fed by the large power.

I like to install a main power relay for the bike's own loads + another for the accessories. Simple to do that way.

b) install a 'switch-on' Powerlet socket

[FONT="Arial Black"] In my installs, this comes off the accessory relay with separate fuse./FONT]

c) install a 'always-on' Powerlet socket

[FONT="Arial Black"]The always on is a favorite of mine also. I use a flat two-wire "trailer" connector through a fuse directly to the battery (starter relay) and hanging down near the side stand switch cover. This covers both hooking up battery charger and passenger plug in the rare event of a passenger./FONT]


d) install an emergency flasher system

[FONT="Arial Black"]I do a lot of these because they are so simple to install and, like the always on trailer plug, don't require modifying the existing harness. Make up a harness from an on/off switch with one wire running to the right front signal wiring area and another to the left signal wiring area. Terminate the ends of the two wires into a male and female bullet terminal to match the signal wire plugs. Unplug the "hot" or positive side signal light bullet connector, plug signal bullet connector into the female connector from the switch wire and plug the switch's male into the signal harness female. Do the same on the other side and one has a simple sinnection between the right and left signal wiring at the front. Replace the signal flasher relay with an electronic one such as a Tridon HD12 and that's the modification. To use hazards, simply select signals in one direction and turn on the hazard on/off switch. Both sides will flash together. Simple and inexpensive to do. Of course they don't work with key off but that has not been a consideration for me./FONT]


e) install a headlight kill switch

[FONT="Arial Black"]Africa switch is my favorite but simple to do bu installing a switch in the low beam circuit to either the headlight or the relay (relays are better). I like to switch only the low in case something fails as many of us have a reaction to hit the dimmer switch if the headlight goes out./FONT]


f) modify the wiring so that the headlight is killed when the starter engages

[FONT="Arial Black"]I do this on installs other than for HID. I simply ground the magnetic coil of the headlight relay (and also accessory relay) to the starter cable side of the starter relay (starter solenoid). This turns off the relays when the starter is engaged.

So many problems with higher end bikes such as ST1100 because the maker wasn't thinking and installed a double switch into the starter button. This opens the headlight relays when the starter button is pushed. Obvious problem is that the connections get bad over time and the headlight won't come on. My method is far simpler and more reliable./FONT]



g) install a 'headlight-off' warning LED (flashing red)

[FONT="Arial Black"]T Hadn't considered this one. Obviously one would have to be pretty dumb to turn off the headlight and forget. I do take your point however that I'm "getting on". Simple to do. Thanks for the idea. It's on my To Do list. I have the Africa Switch so the off is not unlikely. Would you mind expanding on your reasons and how you did the mod?

Not a tough one to do as a passive install, IMO.
/FONT]


h) install right and left high intensity turn signal LEDs (green) aimed directly into my eyes even though the bug the crap out of me at night

[FONT="Arial Black"] My LED always on lights in the original turn signals + on the hand guards seem mostly to have handled that for me. I might put a buzzer onto the signals in place of more lights as the buzzer might attract attention of other vehicles or pedestrians/ bicycles.

As with the others, I'd like to hear more of your thinking.
/FONT]


i) install a 'fan-on' indicator LED (blue)

[FONT="Arial Black"] My PO installed one is red. It's in the place of the dummy indicator light. I did one on my previous KLR which was installed to match the other indicators but can't recall how it was done. I might have Dremeled the blank lens and installed a Bingo chip or other piece of plastic. I don't really see the need but like the idea so much that I will offer all sorts of wild assertions to support it. ;-)/FONT]


Tom
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Oops! Far bigger font than intended but too late now. (Red face)
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I would:

a) set up the headlight(s) on relays, fed by the large power.

I like to install a main power relay for the bike's own loads + another for the accessories. Simple to do that way.

b) install a 'switch-on' Powerlet socket

In my installs, this comes off the accessory relay with separate fuse.

c) install a 'always-on' Powerlet socket

The always on is a favorite of mine also. I use a flat two-wire "trailer" connector through a fuse directly to the battery (starter relay) and hanging down near the side stand switch cover. This covers both hooking up battery charger and passenger plug in the rare event of a passenger.


d) install an emergency flasher system

I do a lot of these because they are so simple to install and, like the always on trailer plug, don't require modifying the existing harness. Make up a harness from an on/off switch with one wire running to the right front signal wiring area and another to the left signal wiring area. Terminate the ends of the two wires into a male and female bullet terminal to match the signal wire plugs. Unplug the "hot" or positive side signal light bullet connector, plug signal bullet connector into the female connector from the switch wire and plug the switch's male into the signal harness female. Do the same on the other side and one has a simple sinnection between the right and left signal wiring at the front. Replace the signal flasher relay with an electronic one such as a Tridon HD12 and that's the modification. To use hazards, simply select signals in one direction and turn on the hazard on/off switch. Both sides will flash together. Simple and inexpensive to do. Of course they don't work with key off but that has not been a consideration for me.

You must escort funerals or something. An emergency flasher that doesn't work with the key off is like boobs on a boar. Mine has a flasher and switch wired into the circuit as you would find in any OEM installation and works with key on or off, rolling or not. Thus, I can wantonly abandon my bike on the roadway and not have to leave the key in the ignition and on.


e) install a headlight kill switch

Africa switch is my favorite but simple to do bu installing a switch in the low beam circuit to either the headlight or the relay (relays are better). I like to switch only the low in case something fails as many of us have a reaction to hit the dimmer switch if the headlight goes out.


f) modify the wiring so that the headlight is killed when the starter engages

I do this on installs other than for HID. I simply ground the magnetic coil of the headlight relay (and also accessory relay) to the starter cable side of the starter relay (starter solenoid). This turns off the relays when the starter is engaged.

So many problems with higher end bikes such as ST1100 because the maker wasn't thinking and installed a double switch into the starter button. This opens the headlight relays when the starter button is pushed. Obvious problem is that the connections get bad over time and the headlight won't come on. My method is far simpler and more reliable.


g) install a 'headlight-off' warning LED (flashing red)

Hadn't considered this one. Obviously one would have to be pretty dumb to turn off the headlight and forget. I do take your point however that I'm "getting on". Simple to do. Thanks for the idea. It's on my To Do list. I have the Africa Switch so the off is not unlikely. Would you mind expanding on your reasons and how you did the mod?

Not a tough one to do as a passive install, IMO.


Eh, well, my headlight kill is done with a 5-pin relay. In its non-energized state it powers the headlights, so if it fails the headlights work. When energized (either by the switch or by the power to the starter) the coil pulls the armature to the "off" position and the power to the coil lights the LED. And yes, I'm as dumb as they come. Exceptionally handsome people are often dumb. When riding off-road I usually turn off the headlight so as to conserve power in the inevitable event that I fall over, the bike dies and I am struck unconscious by a blow to the head. When I awake from my coma I will likely find that the headlight has not drained the battery if the headlight was not on in the first place. Dazed and confused, I return to the pavement to wend my way to the hospital and am reminded that the headlight is not on by the flashing red LED.


h) install right and left high intensity turn signal LEDs (green) aimed directly into my eyes even though the bug the crap out of me at night

My LED always on lights in the original turn signals + on the hand guards seem mostly to have handled that for me. I might put a buzzer onto the signals in place of more lights as the buzzer might attract attention of other vehicles or pedestrians/ bicycles.

As with the others, I'd like to hear more of your thinking.


Two exceptionally bright LEDs mounted as high as possible on the fairing work quite well and, being just below the normal field of view, they grab your attention easily. A buzzer or beeper would be useless at anything other than idle. A vibrator perhaps, but that digresses from the normal standards of this family-oriented forum. I do like the idea of the always-on turn signals, with flashing being done by turning them off. I have always thought that Kwasaki should have set the turn signals up as dual filament so we would have the added visibility.


i) install a 'fan-on' indicator LED (blue)

My PO installed one is red. It's in the place of the dummy indicator light. I did one on my previous KLR which was installed to match the other indicators but can't recall how it was done. I might have Dremeled the blank lens and installed a Bingo chip or other piece of plastic. I don't really see the need but like the idea so much that I will offer all sorts of wild assertions to support it. ;-)


My reasoning was that I would simply like to be assured that the fan is on when it should be.

Tom
What I would like to do someday is incorporate all this neatly into the harness. Each item was done as neatly as possible, but they weren't all done at the same time and some of them were done once and then re-done when a better idea came along.

The one that I haven't done is setting the headlights up on a dedicated power line with the original wires doing the relay triggering. I'm not sure how critical this is on the Gen2s, as their headlights don't seem to be as dismal as the Gen1s.

Tom

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“On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn't do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-30-2014 at 03:43 PM.
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 03:47 PM
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I gotta say that I really, REALLY wish I wasn't such an idiot when it comes things mechanical or electrical wiring, because you both have thrown out some really good ideas I'd like to try / do on my own bike.

Keep 'em coming, because someday, I just might learn a little bit and be able to do a few modifications.

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post #8 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 04:56 PM
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I really like some of these ideas. Might have to dig into the electrical system come winter time. After all, I gotta have something to do when I can't go riding!
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I would:

a) set up the headlight(s) on relays, fed by the large power.
b) install a 'switch-on' Powerlet socket
c) install a 'always-on' Powerlet socket
d) install an emergency flasher system
e) install a headlight kill switch
f) modify the wiring so that the headlight is killed when the starter engages
g) install a 'headlight-off' warning LED (flashing red)
h) install right and left high intensity turn signal LEDs (green) aimed directly into my eyes even though the bug the crap out of me at night
i) install a 'fan-on' indicator LED (blue)

Tom
For the most parts I agree. But I don't see a need for a "Fan on" LED. My fan never comes on! I've thought about adding a headlight kill switch since I ride with heated clothing. The turn signal indicator does suck. Should be moved up and have one on each side. On the mirrors would be great. You just need a Goldwing

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post #10 of 28 Old 08-30-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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I've not taken the time to Vd a Gen2 headlight (face palm) but only excuse has been that we've been flat out doing other work/service/mods. I've been on one Gen2 for two, two day sessions and still not gotten all he wanted finished. Next time one comes.....

If memory serves, Gen1 usually have around one volt+ drop in the headlight ground circuit which I used to address by running a shunt wire to the 6 mm bolt near the right side of the steering head. Headlight relays solved the almost 2 volts drop in the "power" side of the wiring. I like to run separate leads with own fuse for high and for low beam to try to reduce the chance of losing both. A normally closed relay has some attraction because this would deal with loss of power from the dimmer switch since it would only require power to the magnetic coil for high beam.

My previous KLR's headlight was as bright with the engine not running as were stock ones with engine running. Either headlight relays + ground improvement or HID are very worth the trouble, IMO.

My wiring looks like a dropped bowl of pasta with plans to rip it out and do all at once as you suggest. One day for me also.

Norm




Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
What I would like to do someday is incorporate all this neatly into the harness. Each item was done as neatly as possible, but they weren't all done at the same time and some of them were done once and then re-done when a better idea came along.

The one that I haven't done is setting the headlights up on a dedicated power line with the original wires doing the relay triggering. I'm not sure how critical this is on the Gen2s, as their headlights don't seem to be as dismal as the Gen1s.

Tom
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