Swapping Handlebar Switch Functions - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Swapping Handlebar Switch Functions

Iím struggling with the button layout of the Lucas switchgear on my bike. Everything works as it should but I canít reach the RH buttons with my thumb without loosening my grip on the throttle, the cable twist mechanism gets in the way. RH functions are top/hooter and bottom/main beam flasher both of which Iím more likely to need whilst riding. The LH functions are top/engine kill and bottom/redundant, my thumb reaches them easily on the move but I never need to use them.

How easy would it be to swap the LH & RH button functions by re-arranging bullet connections under the tank and perhaps within the headlight? I donít want to alter the indicator and main/dip beam levers.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:48 PM
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Quite simple I expect.
I can't see any issues with doing what you suggest but haven't tried it
Mind you - I only use the horn to test the battery.
My pipes are loud and if I was ever in need of the horn in anger my fingers would be busy doing other stuff.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 05:38 AM
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Hi Rusty,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty1 View Post
struggling with the button layout of the Lucas switchgear on my bike.
can’t reach the RH buttons with my thumb without loosening my grip on the throttle, the cable twist mechanism gets in the way.
Something not solved 'til the black switch clusters (first fitted to the '75 electric-start Commando but not fitted to Triumph twins 'til '79 ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty1 View Post
RH functions are top/hooter and bottom/main beam flasher both of which I’m more likely to need whilst riding. The LH functions are top/engine kill and bottom/redundant, my thumb reaches them easily on the move but I never need to use them.
Ironically the functions you want were how the switches were originally fitted in '71 - except the stupid up-down indicators switch was then by the twistgrip ...

The one you can't change (easily) is engine kill - it's a push-to-break button while the other three are push-to-make. If you really want to change this, you need two relays (the relays could be fitted inside the headlamp shell depending if the standard wiring in there needs tidying and you're prepared to do it); I can go into the relay requirement in more detail if you wish?

If you didn't want to get into relays, you could still swap one of hooter/main beam flasher to LH "bottom/redundant":-

. LH "bottom/redundant" is the White/Red wire, supplied by a White wire;

. hooter is the Purple/Black wire, main beam flasher is the Blue/White wire (not confused with dipswitch Blue/White), both supplied by White wires;

. simply disconnecting and insulating the desired function's button wire/terminal from the main harness and connecting the White/Red to the main harness in its place will transfer the function to the LH "bottom/redundant" button.

Alternatives:-

. On my T100, I fitted the T160/'76-78 twin LH switch cluster (dipswitch, left-to-right indicators switch, horn and headlamp flash) and, when I get around to it, a Hinckley kill switch on the RH; on your bike, you'd also need to swap to the pre-'71 chromed steel clutch and front brake levers that clamp on the 'bars.

. With the chromed steel levers, another potential alternative is a Hinckley LH switch cluster, it has the same functions as the T160/'76-78 twin switch cluster, is mainly black but has a couple of red bits.

. Or, keeping the existing levers, yet another potential alternative - if you could live with RH indicators switch and LH dipswitch - is to swap the clusters side-for-side, fitting at least the indicators switch with a later longer black lever that's reachable from the twistgrip with the standard human thumb. You'd have to put up with the dipswitch working the 'wrong' way (up-for-dip) unless you could source the earlier '71-to-mid-'72 cluster (the one not patterned by Sparx ...).

Hth.

Regards,

Stuart

Last edited by StuartMac; 05-15-2019 at 07:05 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Stuart, for now I'll just swap the hooter button. That'll be the most useful one to have within easy reach.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 02:39 PM
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Hi Stuart, I've never taken the internals out of these type switch clusters.

Is it possible to take the guts out & swap them side to side such that it would be possible to get what Rusty wants?

On my '73 Tiger horn is also on right side. My kill & turn buttons are on left. I have a do nothing button on lower left. I'd love that to be horn button.

On paper looks like it's possible even if you have to move the wire harness also??

On my bike I might be able to just move left lower button wire to horn?? But I think Rusty's is different.

On a side note I painted a red dot next to my kill button for quick reminder.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TR7RVMan View Post
On my bike I might be able to just move left lower button wire to horn?? But I think Rusty's is different.

On a side note I painted a red dot next to my kill button for quick reminder. Don
I don't think your configuration is different Don. If I understood correctly we can swap either the headlamp flasher or the hooter function from the RH switch cluster to the LH cluster lower button easily. Swapping both functions requires relays and a bit of electrical savvy, neither of which I have. Should be simple so I'll try it this weekend and let you know how it goes.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 04:17 PM
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DO NOT disassemble the switches in the garage on a whim
Get a really big clear plastic bag and only disassemble the switch when everything is inside. Bits can fly anywhere/everywhere and I am still looking for a bit that flew over my shoulder in the late 80's .

A decent sized bag allows for slipping it over the bars and if it's sturdy enough, a couple of tools can be dropped in to aid assemble
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:25 AM
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Hi Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR7RVMan View Post
On my '73 Tiger horn is also on right side. My kill & turn buttons are on left. I have a do nothing button on lower left. I'd love that to be horn button.
The switch clusters on your bike are exactly the same as those on Rusty's bike. So, just for the horn, you can do:-

. either exactly as Rusty's doing - disconnect the Purple/Black switch cluster wire from the harness Purple/Black wire, connect the White/Red switch cluster wire to the harness Purple/Black wire (insulate the Purple/Black switch cluster wire terminal);

. or connect the White/Red switch cluster wire to the harness Purple/Black wire in the same place as the Purple/Black switch cluster wire connects, then you have a horn button in both switch clusters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR7RVMan View Post
Is it possible to take the guts out & swap them side to side such that it would be possible to get what Rusty wants?
Mmmm ... like most things, it isn't impossible ... however ...

Really, it'd be nice to swap the clusters side-to-side - so horn and headlamp flash are on the left 'bar and engine kill remains on its push-to-break button - then put the indicators/turn signals lever in what's now the left switch cluster?

As I say, not impossible ... but the wire colours (moulded into the grey switch cluster cables' insulation) are different and the lever internals are a different shape (so you get three positions on the indicators/turn signals lever but only two positions on the dipswitch). You'd have to unsolder the wires from both switches, swap 'em, resolder the wires, terminate the unused indicators/turn signals wire now by the dipswitch, run a new third wire to the new indicators/turn signals switch position, remember the different wire colours when reconnecting to the main harness ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE M View Post
Get a really big clear plastic bag and only disassemble the switch when everything is inside.
A decent sized bag allows for slipping it over the bars and if it's sturdy enough, a couple of tools can be dropped in to aid assemble
basically, I just wouldn't do it on the bike (unless absolutely unavoidable), the little springs and balls can roll just as well as fly. I put the cluster (or ignition or toggle switch) in the bag on a towel on a tray, so anything rolling is caught in the towel or by the edge of the tray.

Hth.

Regards,

Stuart
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE M View Post
DO NOT disassemble the switches in the garage on a whim
Get a really big clear plastic bag and only disassemble the switch when everything is inside. Bits can fly anywhere/everywhere and I am still looking for a bit that flew over my shoulder in the late 80's .

A decent sized bag allows for slipping it over the bars and if it's sturdy enough, a couple of tools can be dropped in to aid assemble
...umm...I think I found it... was it a very small spring about 1/8 long?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:42 PM
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its amazing just how far a small spring can go !!
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