Headlight fuse blows when ignition switch is turned - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-16-2016, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight fuse blows when ignition switch is turned

Hey folks,

New to my 919 and to the forum, I've done some digging around the interwebs, found some good information about the headlight circuit however I still can't track down where that gremlin lies.
Here's whats goin on:

My headlight fuse blows immediately upon me turning the ignition switch, resulting in no headlight, which means I can't legally ride it... very frustrating when the weather has been so nice!

Full disclosure: PO installed a dual headlight setup, with 2 H4 55/60W lamps, as well as some shitty aftermarket LED turn signals.

I suspected a frayed wire somewhere in the circuitry, so I began to take things apart to inspect the wires. Pulled the headlights, everything in good shape, checked out all the wires hanging out at the front of the bike, all looked pretty good, took apart both right and left hand switch housings, all good connections there as well. After going through a bunch of fuses testing out the different components, I decided to build a fuse tester, composed of an old headlight lamp connected to the fuse holder, idea being that the lamp would suck up some of the extra current that was otherwise blowing the fuse.

Here is where I stand now with everything plugged in: fuse testing lamp lights up bright immediately when I turn the key. The two headlights are very dim, the LED turn signals are all on but also dim. Turn signals have no effect on brightness of fuse testing lamp. Turning on the brights however causes the fuse tester to light up brighter.

1. When I unplug the headlights, the fuse testing lamp turns off.
2. When I unplug the right had switch controls, the testing lamp turns off.

I have a video to demonstrate what I'm talking about, however I have to go to work. Will post that up as soon as I get home!

Thanks for reading, any help is greatly appreciated, all I wanna do is get out there and ride!

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post #2 of 29 Old 04-16-2016, 02:17 PM
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Checked the grounds under the tank? Have an IR sensor/camera? Those things are gold for finding hot spots in wiring.

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post #3 of 29 Old 04-16-2016, 03:12 PM
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When you unplug the headlights, there's no draw.

When you disconnect the right hand control (assuming you are on the bike), you are disconnecting the starter switch, which the headlight circuit runs through.

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post #4 of 29 Old 04-17-2016, 09:45 AM
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If the PO did not have this problem, then look for a failure.
If the PO did the work then sold the bike before using it, then the method becomes suspect.
The twin lamps double the load.
But another curve ball is whether the twin lamps were wired in series or in parallel, plus whether a relay was used or not.
That's the best I can offer, not at all being an electrical guy.
See if Mr Tharlson pipes up, and if not, trying PM'ing him.
He is #1 here re electrical, by far.

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post #5 of 29 Old 04-17-2016, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Here is where I stand now with everything plugged in: fuse testing lamp lights up bright immediately when I turn the key. The two headlights are very dim, the LED turn signals are all on but also dim. Turn signals have no effect on brightness of fuse testing lamp. Turning on the brights however causes the fuse tester to light up brighter.
Let's start from this. If the headlights come on at all they are properly hooked up. The reason why they are dim with the test light in the circuit is drawing the majority of the voltage, the rest being shared between the two headlight bulbs.

From that it is reasonable to assume that if the test light is replaced by a fuse and one headlight is disconnected when the key is turned on the remaining headlight will come on at full brightness.

Frankly, it sounds like the whole problem is the circuit is overloaded by two bulbs. There are two solutions to this:
1 -- Use a 15 amp fuse instead of the 10 amp in use at present. It will work, but this doubles the load on the wires and more importantly the switches. Not the best path to take.

2 -- Keeping the stock 10 amp fuse in use, power the bulbs through two relays, one for both low beams, the other for both high beams. Connect them to power from the Red / Black wire coming from the ignition switch through two sealed inline fuse holders. Then connect the relay coils to the original high and low beam wires, and ground the other coil connections. The lights will be somewhat brighter and the load on the switches will be considerably reduced.

Rob
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dual headlight relay setup.jpg (24.8 KB, 10 views)

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post #6 of 29 Old 04-18-2016, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
If the PO did not have this problem, then look for a failure.
If the PO did the work then sold the bike before using it, then the method becomes suspect.
The twin lamps double the load.
But another curve ball is whether the twin lamps were wired in series or in parallel, plus whether a relay was used or not.
That's the best I can offer, not at all being an electrical guy.
See if Mr Tharlson pipes up, and if not, trying PM'ing him.
He is #1 here re electrical, by far.
PO reported that the light worked fine before, that this was a recent issue. The wiring is looking like it is in generally good shape, however it does not appear that he used a relay in wiring the lights up. Would the relay be placed up in the front of the bike along side the headlights? I'm going to check the battery ground connection under the tank to make sure it is clean and tight. Next step I will try to verify that there is not a short or that the circuit isn't grounding out anywhere.

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post #7 of 29 Old 04-18-2016, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
If the PO did not have this problem, then look for a failure.
If the PO did the work then sold the bike before using it, then the method becomes suspect.
The twin lamps double the load.
But another curve ball is whether the twin lamps were wired in series or in parallel, plus whether a relay was used or not.
That's the best I can offer, not at all being an electrical guy.
See if Mr Tharlson pipes up, and if not, trying PM'ing him.
He is #1 here re electrical, by far.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Let's start from this. If the headlights come on at all they are properly hooked up. The reason why they are dim with the test light in the circuit is drawing the majority of the voltage, the rest being shared between the two headlight bulbs.

From that it is reasonable to assume that if the test light is replaced by a fuse and one headlight is disconnected when the key is turned on the remaining headlight will come on at full brightness.

Frankly, it sounds like the whole problem is the circuit is overloaded by two bulbs. There are two solutions to this:
1 -- Use a 15 amp fuse instead of the 10 amp in use at present. It will work, but this doubles the load on the wires and more importantly the switches. Not the best path to take.

2 -- Keeping the stock 10 amp fuse in use, power the bulbs through two relays, one for both low beams, the other for both high beams. Connect them to power from the Red / Black wire coming from the ignition switch through two sealed inline fuse holders. Then connect the relay coils to the original high and low beam wires, and ground the other coil connections. The lights will be somewhat brighter and the load on the switches will be considerably reduced.

Rob
Thanks Rob for the diagram! I will definitely look into the second option, what kind of relay would you recommend? I'm fairly new to all this, I went to auto parts shop and asked for a relay, they said they have all sorts, I wasn't sure what to get.

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post #8 of 29 Old 04-18-2016, 08:34 PM
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First, disconnect one headlight, put in a new fuse, and see if it works. If so, do the same test on the other headlight (disconnecting the one already tested). If both work independently it is reasonable to assume that the main problem is the circuit is overloaded with both operating. Of course inspect the wiring as well. Better safe than being left in the dark at just the wrong time.

If / when it passes it's time to press on. You will need two SPST relays with contacts rated at least 30 amps and 12 volt coils, and as small as possible. Only then can you detrrmine if they will fit inside the headlight shells, or will have to be mounted elsewhere. Get one sealed fuse holder as well.

For information on where to pick up switched power go to the 599 headlight thread post #86.

Use at least 16 gauge wire, and wherever you mount the relays be sure the terminals are pointing down to prevent water from pooling around them, causing corrosion or entering the relay case. Oh, as long as the low beams shut off when high beams are on you will only need one 15 amp fuse.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
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post #9 of 29 Old 04-18-2016, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I unplugged one of the lights, turned the ignition, and fuse held fine, light turned on (just the one, other bulb was unplugged). Figured that at least makes it street legal, took it out in the driveway to go for a ride, then when I put it in gear and started revving the fuse blew once more to my dismay. Funny thing is, when I turned the bike around to park it, there was a split second where the headlight beamed up real bright then blew up, totally dead. No idea whats going on, I'm getting ready to pull the tank and take a look at the wires going underneath it and the ground connection. I'm thinking that maybe there is a wire grounding out somewhere, as I had the bike running with the headlight on (albeit a bit dim), and revving it in neutral didn't cause the fuse to blow, but as soon as I started moving it blew (maybe due to a bump in the road tweaking a frayed wire?). I am confused as to how the bulb would have burnt out if the fuse was blown, how is it possible that there was even any power going to it?

Out of fuses atm, will get more tomorrow and try the other headlight, hopefully that one doesn't burn out either...

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post #10 of 29 Old 04-18-2016, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Found some slightly exposed wires, directly next to the headlight connector. Could this be my issue? If so, would it be as easy as slapping on some electrical tape over it to fix it?
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File Type: jpg IMG_20160418_220542.jpg (83.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160418_220442.jpg (102.9 KB, 22 views)

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post #11 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 01:45 AM
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First thing first, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GROUNDS. It is the easiest to do and normally leads to your problem. Second from the pictures you provided, no electrician likes to see bare wire so cover them up with some electrical tape. Replacing it would be ideal but if it is not practical then the tape should be okay. And cover each bare spot with tape.

Can you undo what he has done? How hard would it be to go back to stock? I'm sure he spliced some wires into it so how hard is it going to be to get it out of there?

He doubled the load on the harness so I don't think sticking with a 10a fuse would cut it but you don't want to put too high of a fuse in there or you'll fry your harness.

Do you have a multimeter? Can you use one to check the load of the connectors while on and before the fuse blows? Compare that number with the max load the stock harness is suppose to take. Try to get both volts and amps.

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post #12 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Twocoats View Post
there was a split second where the headlight beamed up real bright then blew up
Check for overvoltage from the charging system just to make sure you don't blow anything important.

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post #13 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 08:00 AM
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Well, at least you found one problem. There are obviously more.

How knowledgeable are you with electrical systems and splicing wires? Something tells me you are going to be learning quite a bit. To properly troubleshoot the issues you will need a digital multimeter such as the type harbor freight sells in order to get a better idea of what's going on. One particularly good one is automotive specific: LCD Automotive Multimeter with Tachometer Kit pretty cool for only $36!

Time to roll up your sleeves and do a complete inspection of the entire wiring harness. Every inch of it, especially where the PO put all the wires / connectors that were originally inside the stock headlight shell. The biggest problem with installing dual headlights is where to put all those wires and connectors, and often they end up wrapping it all with electrical tape and stuffing it somewhere "out of the way" with little regard for protecting it against abrading against frame tabs or anything else that can gouge through or pinch insulation and cause an intermittent short circuit, particularly when the forks are turned. From the pictures I'd say wire dress and protection wasn't considered at all, and where the problems undoubtedly arose.

As to the blown bulb, that is a particularly troubling symptom that as carotman said can only be caused by a serious overvoltage from the charging system. One possible cause is a poor connection at the battery, either the positive or ground, or a defect inside the battery. Not only does the battery supply power, it also absorbs fluxuations from the charging system. Without a proper connection the voltage can go very high and blow anything not "hardened" against it, which fortunately the ECU is.

I would strongly recommend against running the bike until this problem is addressed!!!!

More later.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
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post #14 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 10:42 AM
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I agree with Rob. In addition there might be rectifier issues (part of the charging system). This is part of why I don't like buying bikes/cars that have been modified in this manner. You never know what you'll find.

This isn't too bad compared to what some other members found on theirs. Electrical issues are a pain to sort so take your time and focus on one thing as you progress. Learn the basics of electrics and dive in. Rob has given you a good start. Just remember, you will be doing a "rule out" of possible causes which will take time.

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post #15 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Well, at least you found one problem. There are obviously more.

How knowledgeable are you with electrical systems and splicing wires? Something tells me you are going to be learning quite a bit. To properly troubleshoot the issues you will need a digital multimeter such as the type harbor freight sells in order to get a better idea of what's going on. One particularly good one is automotive specific: LCD Automotive Multimeter with Tachometer Kit pretty cool for only $36!

Time to roll up your sleeves and do a complete inspection of the entire wiring harness. Every inch of it, especially where the PO put all the wires / connectors that were originally inside the stock headlight shell. The biggest problem with installing dual headlights is where to put all those wires and connectors, and often they end up wrapping it all with electrical tape and stuffing it somewhere "out of the way" with little regard for protecting it against abrading against frame tabs or anything else that can gouge through or pinch insulation and cause an intermittent short circuit, particularly when the forks are turned. From the pictures I'd say wire dress and protection wasn't considered at all, and where the problems undoubtedly arose.

As to the blown bulb, that is a particularly troubling symptom that as carotman said can only be caused by a serious overvoltage from the charging system. One possible cause is a poor connection at the battery, either the positive or ground, or a defect inside the battery. Not only does the battery supply power, it also absorbs fluxuations from the charging system. Without a proper connection the voltage can go very high and blow anything not "hardened" against it, which fortunately the ECU is.

I would strongly recommend against running the bike until this problem is addressed!!!!

More later.

Rob
I am relatively new to electrical, I've got a multimeter, unsure of how to use it to diagnose issues. To test the voltage coming into the headlight, do I just connect the red positive lead to the hi or lo beam wire, and the black to ground on the connector going into the headlight? I'm assuming that I should be seeing a voltage similar to the battery voltage by doing so. If it is higher, is that indicative of a charging issue? Should I test the voltage with the motor off or running, or both? I know if its a charging issue I won't see it with the engine off, but I don't want to risk blowing anything else up.

I did a pretty thorough visual inspection of the bike front to back, it doesn't look like there the headlight and turn signal install was too intrusive, there are a crap ton of wires hanging out in the front behind the headlights and some iffy splicing of the turn signals, but in general not horrible and in pretty decent shape. Does not look like any of the wires are getting pinched. I pulled the tank up and took the battery out as recommended, the ground connection on it was loose! This is a new battery, I think no older than a month according to PO, however I was able to remove the ground screw with my fingers. Considering it is so new I don't think the battery is defective, I'm really hoping the loose ground connection is why the headlight blew out, I have the other bulb that I will test out soon.
Underneath the tank I noticed two wires going into that were in bad shape, lots of crust on one connection specifically, however this would appear to be unrelated to my headlight issues. Also noticed a connector towards the rear of the bike next to the relays that wasn't connected to anything, with a green and an orange/silver wire which I'm assuming were for the old OEM turn signals, not sure if this would affect anything. Either way, pics included of everything. Buying more fuses today, see if tightening the ground will help. Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it!
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_20160418_220542.jpg (83.0 KB, 9 views)

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post #16 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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My new enormous wiring diagram! The perks of having a SO with access to the giant architecture printer from her college hehe. Nice to have it all laid out and huge!
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post #17 of 29 Old 04-19-2016, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Good news: after tightening the ground on the battery, I popped in a new fuse and headlight (still only one plugged in), and turned the ignition switch. Fuse held once again, didn't seem to have any issues. Turned the bike on, no problems there. I took it out for a nice 30 minute ride through town, bringing it up to speed and revving to see if anything happened. Nothing irregular, seems that the ground fix worked! Super stoked to be street legal finally. Now to get the two relays installed...

In regards to properly stowing away all the wires in the front end, I find I have very little room inside the dual bulb holder setup. Any recommendations for how to properly stash all the electrical?

Thanks for all of the input, I'm happy that it was an easy fix.

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post #18 of 29 Old 04-20-2016, 02:40 PM
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Once again checking ground wins. Solves 9/10 electrical issues.

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post #19 of 29 Old 04-20-2016, 06:38 PM
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Hope you got it sorted. The plug at the rear of the bike is for diagnosing the ecm.

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post #20 of 29 Old 04-20-2016, 07:03 PM
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The next to last photo in post #15 is the connector to the fuel pump and low fuel sensor, and looks pretty bad! Unless you don't mind being stranded somewhere I strongly recommend an inspection and clean up / directly spliced together. The Green ground wire already broke off the plug and looks like it was recently repaired, but as for the other two ... not good. If it will disconnect and the wires are in good shape clean it up, fill the female side with dielectric grease, and put it back into service.

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post #21 of 29 Old 04-21-2016, 07:28 AM
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At that point, I would get new pins for the connector and replace any that has corroded.

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post #22 of 29 Old 04-21-2016, 09:26 AM
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Hey Tommy,

I'm also new to electrical stuff.. i hate it.. every time i touch the battery i think i'm gonna get zapped.. it's on the "things to learn more better" list. This article helped me understand how the multimeter works in case you're still figuring that out.

Sorry to hear you got a niner with some gremlins, it'll be solid bike in the end. Welcome to the forum though.

I've currently got the headlight, gas tank, and tail off my bike so if you need any pictures of anything shoot me a PM. my electronics should be stock essentially, the PO added LED signals but he's a member here and he did a clean job. they blink fast but i don't mind that.
Also, I replaced my headlight with a slightly higher wattage one, so i have the original bulb sitting around. If you need it as a test dummy i'd gladly send it over if you reimburse shipping.
Good luck

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post #23 of 29 Old 04-23-2016, 02:11 PM
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I was thinking about a dual headlight project on my 919, but after putting on a genuine Honda flyscreen over top the single OEM headlight, that plan has been scrapped. The screen looks good, and performs great. It keeps my gauge housings clean and keeps a good amount of wind off my torso.

I like that large wiring diagram that you have and was curious if that includes all the wiring for the tail section ? I bought a pair of custom dynamics led plate lights that are dual plate light and turn signal and need to know which wires to splice into for the turn signal part. Since I'm eliminating the stock plate light I plan to use those wires, and in an effort to do a tail tidy, want to ditch the factory turn signals.

And I'm happy for you that the ground fixed your gremlin, but after looking thru all those pics you posted a few reply's back, I had to pop a few excedrin and wanna say to not get too comfortable. You might be on the home stretch, but there might be more potholes ahead... I would more than likely look for a low mileage, un tampered with used wiring harness off eBay and rewire your bike. Imo would be the best way to get to know your electrical system and what goes where.

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post #24 of 29 Old 04-23-2016, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondatech9 View Post
I was thinking about a dual headlight project on my 919, but after putting on a genuine Honda flyscreen over top the single OEM headlight, that plan has been scrapped. The screen looks good, and performs great. It keeps my gauge housings clean and keeps a good amount of wind off my torso.

I like that large wiring diagram that you have and was curious if that includes all the wiring for the tail section ? I bought a pair of custom dynamics led plate lights that are dual plate light and turn signal and need to know which wires to splice into for the turn signal part. Since I'm eliminating the stock plate light I plan to use those wires, and in an effort to do a tail tidy, want to ditch the factory turn signals.

And I'm happy for you that the ground fixed your gremlin, but after looking thru all those pics you posted a few reply's back, I had to pop a few excedrin and wanna say to not get too comfortable. You might be on the home stretch, but there might be more potholes ahead... I would more than likely look for a low mileage, un tampered with used wiring harness off eBay and rewire your bike. Imo would be the best way to get to know your electrical system and what goes where.
The wiring diagram is from the service manual and includes the whole bike...you can download it here

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post #25 of 29 Old 04-23-2016, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
The wiring diagram is from the service manual and includes the whole bike...you can download it here
Whoa cool... That was awesome of you. Thanks, I was trying to avoid sourcing one from eBay.

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post #26 of 29 Old 04-23-2016, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondatech9 View Post
Whoa cool... That was awesome of you. Thanks, I was trying to avoid sourcing one from eBay.
The link is actually from this thread. Lots of great 919 info in there.

https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...ners-1209.html

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post #27 of 29 Old 04-24-2016, 09:09 AM
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Tried to download just the wiring diagram from the Naked bikes / Helpful topics / Wiring diagram link, but it seems to be broken. Moderators take note. Download from my Dropbox here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rx2kayf7mc...matic.jpg?dl=0
An image of Dropbox screen, and how to download it:
Dropbox download.jpg

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post #28 of 29 Old 04-24-2016, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Tried to download just the wiring diagram from the Naked bikes / Helpful topics / Wiring diagram link, but it seems to be broken. Moderators take note. Download from my Dropbox here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rx2kayf7mc...matic.jpg?dl=0 An image of Dropbox screen, and how to download it: Rob
Thanks Rob.. Since Maryland Mike shared the above link I've tried to click on several inserted links and a lot of them seem to be broken and won't show. Maybe because they are older or unavailable now ? Idk. I actually found my answer by back probing the connectors back there at my bikes derrière. I took off the stock tail section and it cleans up the bike nice. And I like how there's already mounting points to work off of.
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post #29 of 29 Old 04-24-2016, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Tried to download just the wiring diagram from the Naked bikes / Helpful topics / Wiring diagram link, but it seems to be broken. Moderators take note. Download from my Dropbox here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rx2kayf7mc...matic.jpg?dl=0
An image of Dropbox screen, and how to download it:
Attachment 127857

Rob
Thanks Rob. Update the link to the one you provided

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