Having rewired many motorcyles over the years I thought I would list the two most common problems I encounted whilst rewiring a Big Bear chopper recently.
- Obviously the most common of electrical problems is connections and this bike had more than its fair share of badly soldered connections. There were numerous spade and bullet connectors which were past their sell by date. See photo 1.
- Another common problem is earthing. This bike lacked a good solid earth wire running end to end. The first thing a do when I build a loom is install a substanial earth wire. This is connected to the frame at two points and the engine. On this bike the earth for the headlight had to go through the headlight brackets and via the steering races – not good. The result is what you see in the photo 2.
In conclusion if you want your bike to be reliable and not have shares in the AA/RAC then remember these two things about wiring – good clean solid connections and a good clean solid earth. These two principles will eliminate 90% of wiring problems.
On the Big Bear Chopper a number of wiring changes had occured over the years, carried out by not so competent mechanics. In the end the whole wiring loom was cut back and repaired properly here in the workshop.
by Colin Jones