Electrickery part 1 – 12 Apr 2015

I said after the Clocks Forward Rally that I’d have to change the switches on The-Big-Red-One as I’ve found it hurts my hand to operate its right hand indicator switch. Also the tail lamp is dull. Before I could do anything I had to clean the bike which made it run on one cylinder. I decided to check for a spark on the “cold” side and immediately got a shock off the plug cap! Having replaced it with my preferred type made by NGK it ran much better. On closer inspection I also found that the distributor cap is cracked. I’ve ordered a new cap, rotor arm and a set of points and will change the lot along with the plug leads.

Here’s old and new plug caps. I think the Bosch metal shielded one is an original.


I checked for voltage drop at the tail light and all seemed OK so I just changed the bulb. It’s definitely brighter but still not great. I think I’ll paint the inside of the lamp white to see if that has any effect.

Now for the handlebar switches. I would rather not compromise originality again but I need to be able to ride the bike. Of course, I’ll keep anything I take off. The indicator switch was my addition anyway and the unit on the left has a faulty dip switch. Dip beam is fine but when switching to main beam it can sometimes go too far and the headlamp goes out! It looks to me that the damage has been done by a previous owner running the 80/100W bulb I found without relays in the headlamp circuits. Things have then got a bit hot.

I have a switch cluster from an 80s Guzzi. I had fitted the same switches on my old S3. I worked out a wiring diagram and offered the unit up to the bike.


The problem is that the switch cluster prevents the clutch lever from being pulled in completely.


Now, I’m not sure if this is going to be a real problem. The clutch seems to fully disengage even with this limited travel. I’ve not gone any further with wiring the switch in until I have sought advice. I’m sure I saw the same cluster on a V7 at the rally.


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