Monday, September 6, 2010

So close to street legal!

So the bike wasn't exactly street legal when the previous owner turned it over to me. Namely it was missing turn signals, had no mirror, and I didn't find out until I took it for a test drive, a non-working brake light. So I swung by a local parts shop specializing in vintage japanese bikes (convenient huh?), and picked up two sets of these fine turn signals.

I tore off the side cover, and amongst a nasty mess of wiring, found the wire harness that controlled the rear blinkers. I plugged one in as a quick test, and who woulda thought? It didn't work. Probing around with the DMM led me to discover that the signal from the actual switch on the handlebars wasn't getting to the rear harness. Unfortunately this meant I had to remove the headlight and deal with this rats nest of wires...
First thing I noticed was that the gray wire, which originated from the turn signal switch, was just dangling there. After tracing around, I found connector it belonged to and reconnected it. I tried the test blinker again, hoping it was as simple as that disconnected wire, and sure enough, it was! At this point, it was just matching up wire colors, orange to the left signal, and blue to the right signal. The blinkers mounted nicely onto the fork, and after much less work than I originally intended, I had functional front blinkers!The back blinkers were a completely different animal. With the switch reconnected, the electrical side of things was a breeze. The issue now was how to mount it. Since the bike had been modified into a "bobber", the back most part of the frame that would of housed the taillight and the turn signals, was hacked off. In it's place was this arc shaped piece of metal that the taillight hung from. After a quick failure with duct tape (had to try!), I decided to go ahead and drill holes into the extra piece of metal.Sadly the area I drilled into was as vertical as I would of liked, and the signals point slightly upward, but hey, it's an ugly project bike, so I'm happy with it! And really, whatever it takes to get it completely street legal.

The only thing left to do if get a different taillight and a mirror. The issue with the taillight is that it's a 2-wire light, so it can either be a riding light (on all the time), or a brake light, which is clearly pretty important. For the time being I have it set up as a brake light and will have to only take it out during the day, but thankfully the wiring is in tact, and it should be a fairly simple install.