What Are the Basics of Electrical Wiring for a Motorcycle?

The basics of wiring a motorcycle involve ensuring that electrical power travels from the battery to components through a wiring harness. Coils and wires create electrical circuits that carry current to the equipment. Wiring a motorcycle involves repairing connections, replacing individual wires or even installing a new wiring harness.

In order to rewire a motorcycle, first purchase a wiring harness or create one from a schematic or a wiring diagram. The majority of motorcycles use either 18 or 20 standard wire gauge plastic-insulated copper wire for the majority of their wiring. Insulation is available in different colors, which helps to ensure that the mechanic can correctly identify each wire. A variety of methods, such as crimping and soldering, form the connection between different wires and electrical components.

When wiring a motorcycle, the negative battery terminal connects to the frame while the positive terminal connects to an in-line fuse holder, which attaches to the ignition switch. Installation of a main wire makes wiring components and equipment much simpler. The mechanic then wires lights, coils and other electrical components to the battery through the main wire. Mechanics typically secure wires and connections with either electrical tape, heatshrink tubing or plastic wiring looms.