Being familiar with your bike wires, especially the brake light, tail light and signal wires is very important, especially if you are an avid biker. The wires may become loose and lights stop working or you may just want to add an auxiliary light or some bike accessories, you should know where to fix it. This article intends to help you befriend your bike’s brake light, tail light and turn signal wires.
Which are the colours used in motorcycle wiring and why?
Various brands use different colours for each type of wire. Colours used in this respect are usually black, brown, blue, yellow, red, green, orange, etc., even stripes of yellow on black or red on black are used. Also, note that the companies vary in the colour combinations they use for different types of wires.
This is done, obviously, to denote the function that each wire performs. A live wire carries electric current from the battery to the light, a ground wire acts as a safety device and absorbs extra electricity which could damage the apparatus, etc.
It is essential to know the colour code of wires used in a bike. Each wire is coated with a particular colour to denote the type of wire it is. It also varies with brands. For example, in Yamaha bikes, tail lights are connected with a blue coloured wire, brake with a yellow one, left signal with a brown one, right signal with a green one and ground wire with a black coloured coating.
Now, getting into how to explore the world of wires in your bike, the following are some of the important tips.
#1 Take a look at the wires
Start from the rear end of your bike. You may have to disassemble the rear cowling of the bike to find the wires. An easier way is to just take off the passenger seat, you will find the wires right there. Carefully observe the wires. Surely you shall find some pattern. For example, there will be a wire of one particular colour will be connected to every hub, one may just be connected between hubs and so on. Just note that each company will have its own colour code. The colour code adopted by Honda bikes may not be the same as that adopted by KTM.
#2 Confirm the Ground wire colour
This is the single basic step which if correct means half the work is done. You may observe that one single wire is connected to every light. This is the ground wire. The colours usually used for grounding are black, brown, solid green and some also have black/yellow stripes. Once you figure this out, things will become a little easier. You will have to only figure out remaining wires.
#3 Recognise Tail Light Positive Wire
To make out the positive wire, first look to the license plate wire. The wire attached to it other than the ground wire (already determined) is the Positive wire. This will surely be the same colour as the tail light positive wire.
#4 Brake Light and Turn Signal Positive
Now that the ground wire and the tail light positive colour is determined, the remaining in the tail light is the brake light positive colour. Similarly, the wire other than the ground wire in the turn signals is the turn signal positive.
#5 Find out which wire is the turn right and turn left positive
This is a bit confusing. But things should get easy once you figure out the wire harness exiting the individual turn signals. Note that many motorcycles don’t differentiate between the right and the left touch signal wires, they change colour once into the main harness, not into the short harness. So, make sure you trace the wire back to its origin in the main harness.
#6 Plug and Check
Once you have determined the live wires, you need to cross verify. Just disconnect each wire from its component and connect it into your battery, the corresponding light will light up. This way you can determine for sure as to what wires connect which part.
These were a few tips as to how to figure out the wires of the brake, turn lights and tail light. Here are a few advantages of knowing these.
1. It is very easy to figure out where the problem lies when one of these parts don’t work properly. You may as well correct any loose connections yourself without having the need to go to a mechanic every time this happens.
2. While considering motorcycle accessories to your bike, you will know where to connect them with what kind of wires and if any support to them is required. If you are considering adding auxiliary lights, you may want to include Auxiliary light brackets in your shopping list.
These were few tips to become more familiar with the interiors of your motorbike’s lighting which will help keep it in good condition for a longer time, also save money and time spent on repairing them.