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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 23:11

The Monkey Report - May 11th, 2017

columnist bad uncle monkeyAs I go over each bike getting them ready for another riding season there always seems to be little gremlins that nestled in over the winter.

For the most part everything goes smoothly, the result of properly storing the bike the fall before. But that isn't always the case. This year I'm left scratching my head wonder why the headlight on the Electra Glide isn't working. It worked fine when the bike was wrapped up for the winter, and yet on a warm spring day months later it is no longer lighting the way. A quick check shows that the bulb is good. A full 12 volts is going to the bars and back but nothing is reaching the headlight. It is now the pain staking process of tracing down the problem in the hundreds of feet of wires concealed behind the fairing. I had replaced the spotlight switch last summer when it had gave up the ghost and while I had used a genuine OEM part it will be high on my list of possible culprits. It also means I have to be aware that there may be a deeper problem that contributed to the failure of two switches if that is the case.

Wiring was never a strong suit of mine until I bought a well used Shovelhead. The previous owner had broken the key off in the ignition and instead of getting it fixed he wired the bike to a complex set of relays and cross wires in order for it to start. If memory serves me correct I had to turn on the high beam, turn off the spot lights, flip another toggle switch, signal left, hold the rear brake and then push the starter button. Missing one meant the bike would never start. It forced me to learn how to follow a wiring diagram and the flow of power through a motorcycle.

For now my next several nights will be spent tracing wires searching for the gremlin that wintered in my bike.

-bad Uncle Monkey

 

 

Last modified on Sunday, 14 May 2017 05:12

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