Thursday, March 29, 2012

Electrical System Upgrades, Part 3

This section could also be titled, "Will I Ever Get To, You Know, RIDE This Motorcycle Again?!?!" I've been working on the Wee for over a month, now. The gas tank is sitting in a corner of my garage. The fairing trim pieces, mounting hardware and other assorted odd ends are sitting on a small table in the garage that my daughter no longer has room for in her bedroom. Tools are scattered everywhere, and the Wee looks naked with the gas tank, trim and seat removed.

Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After a month of work, almost everything is wired up. I've got both the +12V and ground terminal strips installed, the main electrical accessories relay is installed and connected, the fog light relay is installed and connected to the Autoswitch (Note: looks like Aerostich no longer sells the model I bought; the link goes to the new version of the switch) and the fog lights are connected to both the relay (for power) and to ground. The only step left is installing the Autoswitch indicator light and connecting the trigger wire.

Here's a photo of the Autoswitch, just behind the battery. Route the wires to the positive voltage source (the +12V terminal strip, in my installation), to ground, to the high-beam power lead, and route the LED indicator to the fairing.

In this photo, I am wrapping the Autoswitch trigger wire and the indicator wires to the OEM wire bundle with spiral wrap.

The trigger wire has to be connected to the high-beam power lead. However, there are three wires going to the headlights/high-beam lights on the DL650. To find out which wire I needed to tap into, I disconnected the connector from the light bulbs and used a multimeter to find the ground wire (it was the black wire with the white stripe). Then, I turned the ignition key to the on position and used the multimeter to find which of the remaining wires had power at all times (the yellow wire) and when the high-beam switch was in the "on" position (the solid black wire). The solid black wire, then, was the wire that I attached the vampire tap to.

After getting the trigger wire hooked up, and installing the indicator LED in the fairing, I reinstalled the gas tank, re-attached the front fairings and, for the first time in over a month, heard that sweet, sweet V-Twin sound again :) Okay...the bike still runs. Good! Do the heated grips work? Yep! All right...if I'm really, really careful with the multimeter, I should see 12V from the accessory outlet...yep, that works. Woohoo! So far, so good. Does the Autoswitch turn on my fog lights?


Nope. I trigger the high-beam switch for one second, but I don't get the indication that it's turning on power to the fog lights, and the fog lights are dark. Nuts...I knew things were going too well! Either I wired something up incorrectly, the Autoswitch is defective or riding last summer with fog lights hung from my crash bars broke the filaments in the bulbs. I've got LEDs coming in the mail to replace the halogen fog light bulbs; they should be here today (Edit: they arrived, I have installed them; see the review here). I'll connect them before I start ripping wiring apart, in the hopes that it's just bad bulbs.

Here's a shot of the installed SW-Motech 12V accessory outlet (and the SW-Motech flush mount mounting bracket).

Still to come: troubleshooting the fog lights, replacing the worn OEM Bridgestone Trailwing Tire with a Shinko 705 and installing the SW-Motech skid plate...after I change the oil and coolant.

EDIT: The fog lights work fine; the Autoswitch just doesn't work the way I thought it did. First, hitting the button to flash the high-beams won't trigger the Autoswitch. I don't understand why -- it would seem to me that if the high-beam bulb gets electricity, that should be sufficient to trigger the Autoswitch -- but okay, whatever. Second, the Autoswitch instructions state that you turn on the high-beams for one second, then turn them off to turn on the fog lights. Huh-uh. That doesn't work. Rock the high-beam switch on and then off. When you do that, you will see the LED start flashing. Now rock the high-beam switch on and then off again. That will turn on the fog lights. Do the same thing to turn the fog lights off again. I'm not sure why it doesn't work the way the instructions say it should, but at least it works. I'm happy :)

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