Thursday, January 21, 2016

Electrical Redo Concours 14

I decided since it is winter in Wisconsin and I literally have nothing better to do I would finally rewire my accessories on the Concours.

I wanted to pull the bike apart anyway as I need to do a valve check on it anyway (insert terrified sobbing here) so I figured what the hell, might as well get all my accessories off the battery. The reasons I want them off the battery is A. each connection has its own fuse holder so I have all this packed into the battery compartment and it doesn't fit very well at all. B. I have so many wires connected to the battery that it seems like a fire hazard, it is really hard to get the connections secured to the battery, and it makes it a huge pain to pull the battery out if service is needed. And C. if I am having an issue with any of my accessories it is not easy to access the fuses to check if one is blown or not.

First thing I had to do is decide where I wanted to place the fuse block. I first wanted to place it where the toolbox resides under the seat but then started leaning towards under the front right panel.

I see on different motorcycle forums a lot of people are using Fuze Blocks. The fuse block itself is $85.00 and the optional wiring harness is another $35.00. The only advantage I personally saw to those is that they have a built in relay. The items I am wiring in already have relays built in or I want on constant power.

I decided to head over to my local auto parts store and see what they had to offer. For $25.00 I walked out with a 6 panel fuse block, 12 feet of 12 gauge wire, 12 gauge fuse holder, and 5 fuses. I figured this was enough to get me started.

Next I needed to decide what I wanted to move to the fuse block and what I wanted to stay on the battery. On the bike I currently have:

  • GPS
  • Heated Grips
  • 12v Accessory
  • PIAA Lights
  • Heated Gear / Battery Tender

Along with these items I am also adding a second set of lighting.

I decided to keep the Heated Gear / Battery Tender direct connected to the battery because of the battery tending I didn't see any reason to run it through the fuse block first. And I decided to keep the PIAA lights on the battery only because it would be a lot more work for me to move them that it is worth because of the design of the wiring harness. The rest would go to the new fuse block.

I played around with different mounting areas for the fuse block but in the end determined that the toolbox under the seat would be the most secure, weather protected, and easiest to access when needed. That and the fact that the fuse block fit like a glove in the toolbox.



I mounted the fuse block with a couple pieces of two sided tape and also drilled a hole on each side of the toolbox for wire entry. I ran a 12 gauge yellow wire from the battery to the fuse block including a 30 amp fuse at the battery. I put 10 amp fuses in all the slots on the fuse block for testing but will be calculating what each item should need in the future.

After that it was just a matter of extending the wires for my accessories to reach the fuse block. It was all pretty straightforward because everything except the new lights I wanted on constant power. I like the GPS not to turn off everytime  I stop and shut off the bike, the 12v accessory runs the power to my tank bag which I use for charging my phone, camera, and tablet, and my heated grips have a self turn off option. For the new lights I just added a switch and took power off the rear accessory power wire that Kawasaki includes on the bike. This way I can turn them on and off as necessary but don't have to worry about leaving them on when I shut off the bike.

Here is a few pics of my bike severely torn apart.




A rough draft of where I plan to mount the lights.



They are a bit brighter in person.


I got these lights from amazon.com for under $18.00. I don't know how long they will last but for $18.00 they are super bright and I won't be crying if they go out.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

It is this time of year that I get most excited about motorcycling because it is the time of year I can do it the least. This is the time of year that I get all my great ideas.

I have already signed up for the Bonzai rally as usual. This will be my 3rd year attending.

I have also signed up for the Minnesota 1000 which is a 24 hour rally. This will be a new experience for me but I am looking forward to it.

The only other thing on my agenda for the year is to pick up a few more Rustic Road signs.

As far as the what I would like to complete before the riding season begins, I would like to finally add a fuel cell to the Concours. I don't know how much I need one but I think it would be a fun endeavor to take on.

I also need to do a valve check on the poor Connie finally now that it has 30,000 miles. I will be covering that more in another post

Add some sort of Farkle bar to it. I was looking at purchasing one but I think I have enough Ram mounts from a different project that I could make one kind of easily if I think it will work for me.

Add two more lights which I ordered from Amazon, we'll see what they are like in a future post.