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Hey Gurus,

I am starting to think about custom wiring my CB500T build, however, I have never done it before and I am wondering how big of a sh*tshow I would be getting myself into if I try it ... as part of this "ambition" I am also thinking about running the wire inside the frame (you know ... to make it harder on myself!)

I am wondering who may have done this ... not necessarily on the CB500 but just in general and if you could comment of the level of expertise needed to pull this off. I realize that there are some decisions that I would need to be made in advance like;

  • 12 volt or lithium?
  • starter motor or not?
  • what gauges / lighting do i want to run?
  • electronic ignition or points? (likely electronic)
  • other ???

Also ... where and how do I drill the frame to accommodate wiring without compromising the integrity of the frame?

If anyone has some advise and/or wiring diagrams to offer up I would sure appreciate it!

Thanks Bill
 

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My thoughts.

1. Custom wiring. Possible to do yourself but it would mean spending A LOT of time rewiring everything and basically rebuilding the entire wire loom.
Why reinvent the wheel? Is it not working now?

Also keep in mind that by customizing your wiring, you no longer will be able to use the wiring diagrams for the bike when the needs arise.
Basically if you have a short somewhere, no one will be able to help you out because no one will know what was done on the wiring.


2. Running the wiring inside the frame. Nope, this sounds like a really really bad idea to me.
Not only are you over complicating things for yourself but you are risking potentially weakening the frame - re safety issue here. Also imagine trying to troubleshoot a short with the wiring inside the frame. Why???

3. Lithium battery. Can they work? Yes but with caveats. Lithium batteries are extremely sensitive to over/under charging as well as voltage surges so if you're really wanting to use one you better make sure your charging system is upgraded and working properly. When these batteries fail they often fail catastrophically - think explosion and fire. Again ask yourself why do you need this? Is it to save couple pounds in weight? That little weight saving would have negligible effect on performance if any at all.

Also I think you're a little confused on this part "12 volt or lithium" Even if you decide to use a Lithium type battery, it MUST be 12V as your bike uses a 12V system.

4. Electronic ignition. Again, ask yourself why you need this?
A bike that runs poorly on points will also run poorly on EI as well.

5. Starter motor. Not required but definitely nice to have. Imagine the bike stalling out at a stop light and you need to get it started quickly so you can get out of the way of traffic.
Nothing is necessary until you need it and don't have it :)
 

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Running wire inside frames also makes for more rubbing points to wear on the wiring, since it will not be restrained with clamps and loom. Yes you can cover the wires with something but it will still wear through over time. If something rubs through to wire, there could be a decent spark and then no power with no way to easily find it as 76 said. Or you could end up with a nice fire inside your frame.

I think when you see it done to a bike its meant to look clean, for show. I would never ride something that did not have some way to restrain wires.

However, I am all for cleaning up the current wiring, replacing bad stuff and removing unneeded stuff, like the yellow and white wire that goes from the stator to the headlight switch. I am also a fan of upgrading the charging to a combo reg/rec unit which can do a better job of keeping things working.

Battery, if you are trying to go for a clean look, get an AGM and mount it under the swing arm in a rock proof box. That way you can have that electric starter if you want and it puts that battery weight down closer to the ground where it can do some good for the center of gravity.
 

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I have rewired several bikes due to wiring missing, torn out or burned. Study the dia , think about how want to do it and KISS. I use different color wires and and connectors and once laid out put everything in a loom. and run it the same way Honda did in the original.

I log every wire as to color ,where it starts and where it goes and what its for. I make two copies . One goes in a file and one goes with the bike.

Bill H
 

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I think you have some good advice here. I made my own harness and it works very well. My lights are brighter than my friend's 2004 SV650. There are some skills required. You will need to be able to correctly crimp wire terminals, solder and source the correct wire and components. You will get lots of advice, some good and some down right discouraging. There are different approaches to doing this. If you want to see how I did it it is documented on my build log, starting with post #53. The thread is linked in my signature.
 
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