new volt meter installed today - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 13 Old 05-26-2018, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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new volt meter installed today

Don't get me wrong. I really like this bike, but having to disassemble half the bike to get at anything is a real pain. Today I installed a handy volt meter from Amazon that clamps to the handllebars. Works great, but finding a suitable place to tap into a switched hot wire without doing any cutting wasn't easy. Do these bikes have any aux assy wires for addons? I never did find the fuse box, only found the small one under the seat with the fan and lamp fuses in it. Is there another one hidden away in there somewhere?

I ended up soldering the end of the hot wire, then pinching it with grips into a flat spade shape and slid it into the 15 amp light fuse home alongside the mini fuse. Not my idea of a great way to get juice, but better than cutting on a new harness.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-26-2018, 09:39 PM
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Coulda . . . tapped a BROWN (switched + 12 VDC) and a ground . . . your bike!
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-26-2018, 09:47 PM
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Bwahahahahaha! Come on over to my place and I'll put you to work taking the 35 screws out of the Tupperware on my RT. The KLR is still one of the easiest bikes to work on.

There are no aux circuits to use, unfortunately. The least destructive thing you can do, and you might want to consider this as an improvement over your current situation, is to tap off of the horn circuit right at the horn, which is behind the coolant overflow tank. You can use a 1/4" spade tap


or cut the existing connector off and crimp a new one in place with the tap wire coming out of it.

Better still is to build an aux fuse box (the one you found under the seat is all there is, save for the main fuse down by the starter relay). This is one of the slickest fuse boxes I have found and Joe is a great person to deal with: ATC/ATO 5 Circuit Bussed Fuse Box

Cycle Terminal (Joe) has all the connectors, tools, and accessories you could ever need, too. I've been doing business with him for a long time and have never been disappointed.

If you build an accessory fuse box, a good location is under the left side cover near where the vapor recovery canister was (after you take it off and carefully store it away in case fascists come to political power and insist on motorcycle emissions inspections) and a good source of power is the starter relay, as it is nearby and easier than coming off the battery positive post.

There are other options, such as the FuzeBlocks FZ-1, Centech AP-2, or Eastern Beaver's PC8 (I have one of those on my RT, quite satisfactory).

If you are interested in pictures of the Suzuki box installed on the KLR, say the word and I take a couple of pictures.

Tom [email protected]

“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” -Philip Marlowe

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

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-26-2018 at 11:00 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
There are no aux circuits to use, unfortunately
For Generation 2s, I think a valid statement.

Don't know the vintage of PaddyD's bike.

For Generation 1s, another matter. These models have unused, "City Lights" terminals, switched + and constant =, beneath the headlight cowling.

The circuit is used on European-compliant KLR650s, not on the American ones. Otherwise, available for a voltmeter, powering a GPS receiver, etc. (low-amperage accessory).

Again, BROWN wire, coursing through the wiring harness, is switched + 12 VDC, available for tapping (BLACK/YELLOW ground).
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. At first I considered just tapping into a switched hot wire, but didn't want to do any cutting if I could avoid it. Every time I've tapped wires in the past they oxidized and I had issues. As this is a new machine with a 7 year wheel to wheel warranty, I didn't want to risk future elec issues and the warranty company denying a claim because I had buggered up the harness. My current power source seems to be working just fine and required zero cutting. I ran the wires through some cheap Harbor Freight plastic wire loom under the tank and seat back to the light fuse and tapped that as a source. Wish they had the plastic zip ties when I was doing similar things 40 yrs ago.. They sure make for tidy wiring.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 12:13 PM
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Your call, certainly, PaddyD; I've tapped wires without cutting (metal plates within plastic housings penetrate insulation, making electrical contact without cutting any wires), but congratulations on your successful method.

Just a point: A warranty cannot be invalidated by any modification, unless the modification be PROVEN to have caused the malfunction/failure. Won't bother with a link to the Federal law, but . . . dat's da name o' dat tune; playable from Google if you're interested!

Congratulations again.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 12:18 PM
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When I use the word 'tap' I mean to insert a wire into the wiring harness and attach it in a proper manner. To tap into the horn circuit, for example, I would remove the female spade connector on the brown wire going to the horn and, using a new connector, crimp the brown wire, and whatever additional wire I cared to use, into that connector. There are also crimp connectors for splicing, the same as OEM uses in the wiring harness, where there is no convenient point to tap off of as there is with the horn wire.

I am certainly not referring to those plastic-covered closed barrel splices and connectors, nor am I talking about those squeeze connectors or Posi-Taps. Those sorts of things will work fine until 9pm, in the rain on a dark and lonely back road with an ambient temperature of ~40°F after you've already been riding since 6am.

To Damocles' point, the Gen 1 had the city light circuit. On the Gen 2 the horn circuit is the analog to that due to its convenient location, ease of use, and it is switched power. The horn button completes the ground circuit rather than providing the power to the horn; power is always present at the horn if the key is on.

I used to be a soldering guy by have relegated soldering to printed circuit and electronic applications. For motorcycle and automotive applications, I find crimping to be superior, so long as you are using proper open-barrel connectors and the appropriate crimping tools. For anyone contemplating doing even a modest amount of wiring, I'd recommend dropping a Benjie on a proper crimping tool and an assortment of quality open-barrel connectors from Cycle Terminal.

Tom [email protected]

“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” -Philip Marlowe

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

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 01:17 PM
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"Better Practice," to be sure!

I only suggested clip-on taps to address the OP's fear of wire-cutting, and convenience in finding suitable circuitry to tap.

I added the, "Fear not harmless modifications" comment as a public service.

------------------------------

As to, "better practice," I've suffered much grief from the dreaded, COLD SOLDER JOINTS!

Regarding CRIMPING; certainly not the performance nor precision of the elite tools you mention, but . . . the Harbor Freight RATCHETING CRIMPER remains far, far superior to the sheet-metal construction crimpers in the cheap-o tool kits. The Harbor Freight automatic wire stripper muddles through (although not as precisely as a DECENT one might). Better than the notched hinged sheet metal pieces called wire strippers, though.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-27-2018, 03:57 PM
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Posi-lock and Posi-tap connectors are the best Ive found for use in no-cut applications. Mine have been trouble free for almost 8 years and 30,000 miles. AFAIK, sold only via internet, but also from Webbikeworld.

https://www.posi-products.com


Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

"Chet from Chattanooga"
2009 KLR, blue
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-28-2018, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyD View Post
Thanks for all the replies. At first I considered just tapping into a switched hot wire, but didn't want to do any cutting if I could avoid it....
Get over it and cut it. Just learn how to do it right. I solder my connections and cover them with heat shrink tubing. I put sealer in the tubing before shrinking it and fuse everything.

I had a boat once that I really wanted rod holders and a downrigger on but I didn't want the holes. After 4 years I decided to mount what I wanted on it. It was really nice to have the boat the way I wanted it.

A couple of years later I bought a new boat. I drilled holes in it before the first payment was due.

It's your bike, do what you want to it. Well,,,,, unless you bought it as in investment and are putting it in storage for 50 years.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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