- Simplicity of design - otherwise known a in-extravagant or no frills. The stock wiring harness for the Suzuki Savage (as most modern motorcycles) has a lot of components that add complexity to the system without providing much value. For instance: Decompression control and solenoid - I installed a very simple manual lever for decompression on startup; Safety features such as the sidestand having to be up and the clutch activated to start the bike - completely ignored those in my harness; Handlebar switches - installed a little neat control board on the tank instead.
The current system does have: Starter (starter motor, starter solenoid), Spark (CDI, pickup, coil), Charging system (alternator, R/R unit), Lights (Front and back, Hi / Low. As opposed to the stock setup, lights can be turned off and on. Although currently not installed, I did prepare for turn signals. The break light only responds to rear brake). And that is it. You really don't need more to keep a bike on the road.
- Reliability of materials. Stock uses something like 20 or 22 gauge wire for everything. Looks like around 10 for starter and battery wires. Head honcho uses 14 gauge wire for everything, 6 gauge for the starter and battery wires. In hindsight, 16 gauge would have probably been more than enough for the harness though.
- Proven, robust assembly techniques. Except for one fix in the CDI contact that required soldering, everything is crimp connected in my new wiring harness. Then covered in heat shrink tubing for weather resistance. All contacts covered in ample volumes of dielectric grease. Harness covered in conduit and zip tied to the frame. Neat, tidy and secure.
I always fled electrical issues when working on cars, motorcycles - anything. Never really had the time or interest to get into the topic of vehicle electronics. But a few weeks back, the need to upgrade the wiring harness on my beloved thumper started to become very evident: a short to ground from one of the rear light cables, visible copper wires here and there, trouble shooting made difficult from incomprehensive wiring, sticky cables from numerous fixes with electrical tape, parasitic current drain when turned off, excessive voltage drop on startup, etc. There was no turning back, I needed a new harness.
I've stated a number of times how reliability and robustness are the noblest of engineering principles. For the new wiring harness, I would indeed use those as a guiding star. Which means that purchasing a new harness was out of the question. I needed to build one from scratch. And I'm too cheap and too much of a control freak to just leave it to a mechanic. So off I was to autozone and home depot for electrical components.
Reliability and robustness when building a wire harness are achieved following the same three main principles as when building a quality shirt:
With a new wiring harness in place, we could finally get some good miles in this weekend and test out the exhaust system properly. After confirming that the beer can gaskets were working properly, I was ready to wrap the pipes. Doesn't she look pretty?
Not for Pussies!