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Thunderbird Twin - Technical Talk Technical talk for the big Thunderbird twin

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Old 09-19-2011, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Installing Aux Motolights Tutorial - Easy!

I received my Motolights and installed them this past weekend. I have no electrical experience, and was a bit intimidated by the prospect but found it really easy to hook them up to my aux light switch.

Total time - 2.5 hours (including a run to the store to get some heat shrink tubing)

First I installed the lights on the top caliper bolts. I removed the existing bolts and attached the lights. Note: If the silicone plug slips out of the lights, a bit of spit on the silicone helps it slip right back in ... I spent 15 minutes messing around before figuring that out.

Installation of the actual lights was no problem. At first the replacement caliper bolts were a bit loose, and since I don't have a torque wrench I just used an allan key to tighten them by hand. I called the dealership, and they told me that just using an allan key to get them snug would be fine, since you don't have too much leverage on such a little tool to overtorque. The good thing is that if they loosen, the light will get floppy, and I'll notice it right away. So far they are nice and tight after a few rides - no problem there. I'll have the dealer torque them right at my next service.

I started with this picture of the wiring harness in the headlamp assembly, which can be accessed by removing the two screws from the side of the headlamp. I then simply disconnected the bulb harness, and the two little wires that attach to the bottom of the headlamp assembly just to get that out of the way.

This picture wasn't actually what I saw in the housing - in this pic (from another tutorial I found on another site) it looks like the blue/orange (switch) wire just appears magically out of the harness. Mine had all three wires entering the black connector harness, blue/orange (switch), purple (power), black (ground), so I just cut the harness off and proceeded from there with the three bare wires.



I disconnected the power lead off the battery, and peeled back some of the tape securing the three wires I was going to work with. Using wire strippers, I peeled back an inch or so of cover off each wire.

Here is how I wired it up:



At first I just twisted the three wires to the appropriate o-connectors to see if I had it right. I reconnected the battery, and it all worked! I disconnected the battery and then got to work cutting, splicing and heat-shrinking.

The assembly comes with a very long, plastic covered set of wires that connects the actual light harnesses to the rest of the assembly. The most work was cutting off that plastic sheath and shortening the whole assembly. I did it one wire at a time to make sure I spliced the correct wires together again!

I then carefully connected all the appropriate wires, heat shrunk the connections and fit everything (including the relay and the fuse assembly) into the headlight body. Lots of room in there for it all.

Connected the battery, and again, it all worked perfectly. Accessory light switch controls it all, and when I turn off the bike, the Motolights turn off as well, even if the switch is on.

I adjusted the beam on the outside wall of my garage at night and went for a ride ... and got madly high-beamed by oncoming cars. I stopped at a gas station, moved the lights both a bit lower, checked it on the gas station wall ... and rode on. Oncoming cars seemed to appreciate that!

Just to note: I got the high output 50w halogen kit, and have upgraded to a PIAA H4 bulb in my main assembly, so I was nervous about blowing a fuse with the increased load. I kept flicking to high beam, turning the Motolights on and off, trying to overload something but have had absolutely no problems.

If you are thinking of installing aux lights off your stock switch, its really not that difficult, even if you're a complete novice like myself. Save yourself a couple hundred bucks at the dealership - you can do this yourself.




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Last edited by Draeger; 09-19-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Draeger - Outstanding! and nicely done! Looks good. I appreciate the detailed illustrations. I may have to use your instructions soon.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Draeger - Outstanding! and nicely done! Looks good. I appreciate the detailed illustrations. I may have to use your instructions soon.
Thanks! If a noob like myself can do it, anyone can.

The only thing I'm thinking I might have done better is perhaps solder the connections, but none of the wire connections in the headlight seem to be soldered, so it will probably be fine.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks! If a noob like myself can do it, anyone can.

The only thing I'm thinking I might have done better is perhaps solder the connections, but none of the wire connections in the headlight seem to be soldered, so it will probably be fine.
Better to use actual connectors in the wiring, though I guess it would be better to solder the wires to the connectors.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Update: I visited the dealership today and they torqued up the caliper bolts I had replaced when installing the Motolights. They told me they were 'very' undertorqued. I just used a regular sized allan key, and moderately tightened them ... I should have cranked a bit harder I guess. No harm done - all good now!
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