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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever have a motorcycle shut down on you, instantly, at 70 mph? All systems just kaput, instantly and all at once! I just did, on a mental health run to Cle Elum, Washington, and back on my clattertrap KLR 650.....

As I coasted to a stop on Hwy 97, my biker's mind was already grappling with explanations and solutions... No explosion, din or clatter -- so probably not a grenaded engine; no sputter, cough, or wheeze -- so unlikely to be fuel-related; so, the only alternative, something electrical....

But what electrical? What could collapse a sweet-running KLR all at once and without warning..... Spark plug lead, of course, but it's buried under the fuel tank, and if it somehow got vibrated off, I wasn't going to be able to fix the thing alongside the road anyways, and I had disabled the sidestand safety switch and the clutch override safety switch, which, if I still had them, would cause such an instant shutdown...... Hey.... Wait a minute!

I then remembered that the internet article showing how to cut the wires to those two switches, and then solder them together bypassing the stupid things.... and how the author strongly suggested soldering rather than the much easier twist and tape method..... I have to admit I don't know how to solder, but I do know how to twist and tape, and so I did..... do you suppose?

Yup, within seconds, I had found that one of my old school ******* twists and tapes had untwisted and almost untaped..... I pulled the remains of the rotten old tape off and retwisted, and the bloody good bike fired up again most satisfactorily! On the road again......

I love solving mechanical mysteries, especially those of my own making....

 

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Soldiering is easy, just takes some practice. Glad you found the issue so quickly and was able to motor on!
 

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Made my day Mel, made my day!!!

:ROFL:
 

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I have those dumb sidestand and clutch nanny switches bypassed on all my bikes. I just used screw on wire connectors (wire nuts) and zip tied the wires to something. Never had one fail. When I worked on A/C I used wire nuts and crimp on connectors by the thousands. Never had one I installed fail. I solder if I need a really low resistance permanent connection.

I see a bunch of those awful electric windmills in the background. On my recent trip to Portland, on I-10 and I-5 I saw thousands of those things. Someday there will be millions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have those dumb sidestand and clutch nanny switches bypassed on all my bikes. I just used screw on wire connectors (wire nuts) and zip tied the wires to something. Never had one fail. When I worked on A/C I used wire nuts and crimp on connectors by the thousands. Never had one I installed fail. I solder if I need a really low resistance permanent connection.

I see a bunch of those awful electric windmills in the background. On my recent trip to Portland, on I-10 and I-5 I saw thousands of those things. Someday there will be millions.
Yeah, wire nuts are called for.... I just never have the damn things around. Those windmills? We locally rejected them, but our erstwhile leftist governor of the time, Christine Gag-wire, overruled us and put em' up anyway.....
 

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My Valkyrie died going 55 on an Interstate in a driving thunderstorm. It pretty much sucked.
 

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1985 GL1200 A
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I've never had that experience and most surely do not want to! You pulled a McGiver and did a nice quick fix, but how was the rest of the trip sitting in soiled undies?!:ROFL:

Seriously, nice save! My soldering looks pretty nasty but it works. My welding is even worse!:wtf:
 

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Junior Grue
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Mel, if you don't want learn to solder look into using "shrink/solder connectors".

They're a length of shrink tubing with a solder ring. You twist the wires together then slide on the connector and heat to shrink the connector and melt the solder into the joint in one step. You'll have a strong and waterproof connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mel, if you don't want learn to solder look into using "shrink/solder connectors".

They're a length of shrink tubing with a solder ring. You twist the wires together then slide on the connector and heat to shrink the connector and melt the solder into the joint in one step. You'll have a strong and waterproof connection.
There ya go! Sounds like a great solution, thank you friend!
 

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Oh - THAT guy...
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The main fuse on my old '78 went on a ride, thankfully only 5 miles from the house. Suddenly started running rough (vibration making intermittent contact) and then just quit. Turns out the fuse was the original and had corroded. I could not see the crack in it until I touched it and it literally crumbled. 'Well, there's your problem...'
 

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Mel, if you don't want learn to solder look into using "shrink/solder connectors".

They're a length of shrink tubing with a solder ring. You twist the wires together then slide on the connector and heat to shrink the connector and melt the solder into the joint in one step. You'll have a strong and waterproof connection.
To be honest I've never used one of those "shrink/solder connectors" but I do know you have to heat the wires to ge them hot enough for the solder to flow through. If you don't get the solder to flow through to all the wires, it isn't a good connection and could fail just like twisted wire.

I use a butane soldering iron from Radio Shack to solder my wires. I hold the solder iron on the bottom side of the wires and touch the top of the wire with the solder. When the wires are hot enough, the solder will flow right into them. Never had a solder connection fail yet. Then I slide heat shrink tubing over and melt it to the wires.

But glad to hear you got her running without too muh consternation.
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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I don't like twist and tape, it is a temporary solution to last maybe 1 or 2 days.

Wire nuts on the other hand can be almost permanent if installed correctly.
 

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C'mon guys, soldering a connection isn't difficult and is the best way to splice to conductors. A soldering iron or gun isn't expensive, there's plenty of advice and how to's on the 'net and youtube. The only really reliable connection methods for these kind of wiring is to twist in a Western union splice after slipping a short piece of shrink tubing over the wires first. Twist, solder, slide shrink tube over the connection and shrink. That won't leave you by the side of the road scratching your head.

http://digital-diy.com/general-electronics/343-the-western-union-splice.html

Man, I'm old. I made a radio just like that one on the link above. I think I was 11 then.


You really don't need the third hand holder. The pig tail splice has no place in normal vehicle wiring. Wire nuts are not waterproof and don't work very reliably on small gauge stranded wire. Crimp splices are not reliable. I don't use crimp on wire terminals either. I always buy uninsulated wire terminals and use shrink wrap and solder to attach them to the wire. Guaranteed no future problems, no wires pulling out or corroding. If you don't know how to do it now is the time to master a simple very useful skill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't like twist and tape, it is a temporary solution to last maybe 1 or 2 days.

Wire nuts on the other hand can be almost permanent if installed correctly.
My twist and tape lasted five years....the other is still going! Ah, well, as a mechanic or technician, I make a damn good ski patroller!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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I always carry a roll of this tape, because it works the same as heat shrink, but doesn't require that you are soldering by the road side. It can be stretched and wrapped around virtually any form of connection, even hand twisted wires and will keep them from coming apart and also watertight.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Self-Amal...?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Other&hash=item230f195f4c

Brilliant stuff to use when you have soldered those wires so nicely, only to realise that you forgot to put the shrink wrap on the wire first!!!!:shock:

if you also keep a few of these on the bike in various sizes you can pretty much get yourself out of most electrical problem, when out on the road.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5A-Termin...al_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item2ec891effc

Don't forget it isn't always your own bike that you might be wanting to do a road side repair to, you might be playing good Samaritan to someone else.
 

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Not only is the self amalgamation great for making sealed joints you can also use it as a temporary hose fix on a split water hose etc
 

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Only wire twist, flux, solder, heat shrink and if necessary electrical tape for me.

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