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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Little guy runs great- did my inaugural lap around the neighborhood on it yesterday evening before blowing a fuse hooking my battery tender up.

Anyone have experience with them? I have a few rubber parts on order. I need to hunt down a clutch lever as it was dumped hard on its left side.

Also, I appreciate any restoration tips. I has a fist-sized (somewhat shallow) dent in the tank on the left and a couple square inches of paint damage, and I wasn't sure which way to go with that. The paint and petina are beautiful, but the damage is pretty blatant. I have images of the damage in the imgur album below.

Oil and gas tank look clean and will be swapped shortly. Will check the valve clearances one of these weekends here in lockdown. Anything else particular with these little 250's I should keep an eye out for? (Besides the horror stories of young folks in the 60/70's keeping them wound up to awful results.)

Thanks!

It's my first post, so I can't post a link but the URL to the damage photos is here:
 

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Hi,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum. :)

Anyone have experience with them?
Recent thread.

need to hunt down a clutch lever
If you don't have one already, online copy of the parts book here. Be aware that, while the chromed steel clutch lever is common to the entire contemporary Triumph and BSA ranges, modern spares retailers are supplied and sell them in pairs with the front brake lever. :(

fist-sized (somewhat shallow) dent in the tank on the left and a couple square inches of paint damage,
Another recent thread.

any restoration tips.
Afaik, the Rupert Ratio books have long been acknowledged as the best.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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A recent post on here showed a pointless dent repair that a guy did. It looked pretty good.
Not cheap but neither is paint.
They did have a bad rep as teenagers rode like stink and did no maintenance but a bit of sensibility will help.
They're badge engineered BSA's so many of the engine parts and frame bits are the same
 

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Neat. A mate had one just like that when we were apprentii ~45 years ago. It is the same engine that BSA used in the B25 Starfire / Victor etc. It was notorious for a weak bottom end - it has 'plain' main bearings instead of ball / roller bearings. Keep the oil changed and don't thrash it. I notice a US company selling a couple including shipping to the UK, and they didn't seem 'too' expensive - tempted....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Neat. A mate had one just like that when we were apprentii ~45 years ago. It is the same engine that BSA used in the B25 Starfire / Victor etc. It was notorious for a weak bottom end - it has 'plain' main bearings instead of ball / roller bearings. Keep the oil changed and don't thrash it. I notice a US company selling a couple including shipping to the UK, and they didn't seem 'too' expensive - tempted....
I may have overpaid a bit, but I haven't seen many old Triumphs this way. Runs well, has a new ignition system, but just about all original. Speedo was swapped with one identical to the original, (I have the original in pieces as well). Paid $2800 for it. The previous owner just had it in his garage for a year (the in the garage part according to him, the 'a year' part according to the title). He put a whole 12 miles on it according to the new speedo. Original had 40k miles on it, but I'd imagine it wouldn't be running great if there hadn't been some rebuilding done? Have decided to have the damage repaired on the tank and front fender, and have the factory scheme applied back to it. Has a nice petina, but the damage will drive me nuts..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, haven't quite gotten the hang of the controls on posting here. No ability to delete my comments after making a dupe?
 

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Hi,

Sorry, haven't quite gotten the hang of the controls on posting here. No ability to delete my comments after making a dupe?
Done. If the controls are the same, you should find "Edit" and "Delete" by clicking on the three vertical dots top right of a post.

It is the same engine that BSA used in the B25 Starfire / Victor etc. It was notorious for a weak bottom end - it has 'plain' main bearings instead of ball / roller bearings.
This is confused and confusing. None of the BSA/Triumph unit singles have plain main bearings (in the crankcase halves on the ends of the crankshaft), all have balls and/or rollers. What Dave is probably thinking of is the big-end bearing - plain on the B25/C25, roller on the bigger BSA singles.

Nothing basically wrong with plain big-ends, they're common-as, all bigger Triumphs and BSA's have 'em. The abuse they'll tolerate does depend very much on oil pressure and flow - both the higher the better - but, 'til Japanese bikes came along, Triumph and BSA twins were raced successfully even at the top levels in many countries, with what's now regarded as pretty feeble oil pressure and flow.

The 250's poor reputation stemmed from a combination of a number of basic problems. BSA (that built them all, including the "Triumphs") couldn't build them to a consistently-high quality. 250 was the British learner-legal maximum and, to extract more power to 'compete' with the contemporary Japanese 250's, BSA used high compression and high max.-bhp rpm. With the poor build quality, they wouldn't tolerate the average teenager's lack of mechanical knowledge and sympathy for any length of time ... :(

The other owner type that bought 'em plodded 'em around like the older pre-unit BSA singles, which could also knock out the bottom end in fairly short order ... :rolleyes:

Afaict, the 250 singles can be reliable - cycle parts and electrics are basically the same as the bigger bikes, so can be made just as usable and reliable as bigger bikes'. I know the engine can be made reliable because there was a guy raced 'em successfully in classic racing in the 1980's; however, to amplify something I posted earlier, for the latter, follow the Rupert Ratio books, not internet forums. ;)

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Welcome to the forum. I recently picked up a barn find 68 trophy 250. I just cleaned the tank, rebuilt the carbs, replaced the clutch plates, and rewired it. It actually runs pretty good, the gearbox is a little noisy, but other than that it seems fine. Everyone I know ask, why I bought that POS? I told them, like it. I'm going to just ride it around town, until the neighbors complain about how loud it is, then I might have to install the longer muffler. The baffles are gone on the muffler. I've been looking for a new shorty. I'll probably have to make some calls to find one.
 

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Hi, Our local Triumph/Honda dealer Pittsburg CA USA, refused to sell both Cubs & TR25 to teenagers. I wanted to upgrade my Honda 90 a Cub in the worst way. Ended up with Honda 305. Then TR25 came out. The 305 could run circles around it & we ran them 70mph all day long day after day. But I still have a place in my heart for TR25 & Cubs.

I finally got a '64 Mountain Cub. Mostly restored now, but went to back burner for 40 years & still is.

I'm member of BSA owners club (they allow all bikes). Several BSA singles. I've ridden with many 250 & 441 owners. We kick this around all the time. 441 is visually similar to TR25 type motor, however is very different internals. Powerful, fast, fairly durable. My best friend road the 500cc B50 version across USA without a single break down.

On the club rides TR25,C15 don't break down. Oil leaks is mostly dependent on assembly. Modern sealants don't leak.

Regarding C15 motor with push rod tube they look all the same to me (I far from knowledgeable on these), but have many interal differences along the way. The ones with roller bearing rods & needle bearing trans are reported to be durable as they got. They will cruise 60 mph for miles even though spinning quite fast.

When they changed to motor that looks like B44, meaning no push rod tube, the plain bearing rod came in. This was end of Tiger Cub production, which finally got the big fin cylinder & roller rod bearing. Go figure!

The late 250 was successful at racing. My local hero Butch Corder beat Bultacos on one. However a normal street TR25 proved quite fragile with many rod bearing failures. A guy I sold another Honda 90 to had one. Was awful in ever way. Brand new. He gave up & sold it after 60 months. The shop mechanics couldn't seem to keep electrics or rod bearing in it. He was conservative rider.

But the guys in BSA club have learned how to make them last good & be reliable. Modern oils may be a factor also.

On an aside when heat soaked, these motors can be very hard to start on modern USA fuel. The trick is a good tickle with fuel flowing right out tickler. Hold full throttle & a swift kick. We do this on twins also.

Congratulations on your purchase. You have a nice bike. I don't think price was out of line. A complete bike that runs is not that easy to find. The dent repair guys do a great job. Send some photos or take it to some for estimates. Depends on what you want. You could always have dents fixed, then decide.

I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with this bike.

That book sure looks good. Would be nice addition to my library.
Don
 

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Hi RW,

Looks like someone's applied a lot of TLC to that bike, and if they've done that to the outside I'd suspect the inside is just as good. I'd be very pleased with that to run around on. Well done. And it makes a change from the more usual 500/650/750 machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi, Our local Triumph/Honda dealer Pittsburg CA USA, refused to sell both Cubs & TR25 to teenagers. I wanted to upgrade my Honda 90 a Cub in the worst way. Ended up with Honda 305. Then TR25 came out. The 305 could run circles around it & we ran them 70mph all day long day after day. But I still have a place in my heart for TR25 & Cubs.

I finally got a '64 Mountain Cub. Mostly restored now, but went to back burner for 40 years & still is.

I'm member of BSA owners club (they allow all bikes). Several BSA singles. I've ridden with many 250 & 441 owners. We kick this around all the time. 441 is visually similar to TR25 type motor, however is very different internals. Powerful, fast, fairly durable. My best friend road the 500cc B50 version across USA without a single break down.

On the club rides TR25,C15 don't break down. Oil leaks is mostly dependent on assembly. Modern sealants don't leak.

Regarding C15 motor with push rod tube they look all the same to me (I far from knowledgeable on these), but have many interal differences along the way. The ones with roller bearing rods & needle bearing trans are reported to be durable as they got. They will cruise 60 mph for miles even though spinning quite fast.

When they changed to motor that looks like B44, meaning no push rod tube, the plain bearing rod came in. This was end of Tiger Cub production, which finally got the big fin cylinder & roller rod bearing. Go figure!

The late 250 was successful at racing. My local hero Butch Corder beat Bultacos on one. However a normal street TR25 proved quite fragile with many rod bearing failures. A guy I sold another Honda 90 to had one. Was awful in ever way. Brand new. He gave up & sold it after 60 months. The shop mechanics couldn't seem to keep electrics or rod bearing in it. He was conservative rider.

But the guys in BSA club have learned how to make them last good & be reliable. Modern oils may be a factor also.

On an aside when heat soaked, these motors can be very hard to start on modern USA fuel. The trick is a good tickle with fuel flowing right out tickler. Hold full throttle & a swift kick. We do this on twins also.

Congratulations on your purchase. You have a nice bike. I don't think price was out of line. A complete bike that runs is not that easy to find. The dent repair guys do a great job. Send some photos or take it to some for estimates. Depends on what you want. You could always have dents fixed, then decide.

I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with this bike.

That book sure looks good. Would be nice addition to my library.
Don
Thanks for the great info! I've seen some contradicting information on the proper oil for these. What would you recommend Don? Also, I posted another question a little while ago- any idea on this? Thank you very much!:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Welcome to the forum. I recently picked up a barn find 68 trophy 250. I just cleaned the tank, rebuilt the carbs, replaced the clutch plates, and rewired it. It actually runs pretty good, the gearbox is a little noisy, but other than that it seems fine. Everyone I know ask, why I bought that POS? I told them, like it. I'm going to just ride it around town, until the neighbors complain about how loud it is, then I might have to install the longer muffler. The baffles are gone on the muffler. I've been looking for a new shorty. I'll probably have to make some calls to find one.
Thanks for the great reply! Do you have recommendations on the oil to go in these? I've seen some conflicting discussions on it. Am in Central Texas so it stays pretty darn warm most of the year. Also, are you able to chime in on this? : '69 TR25W- Switches and headlight don't match the manual. Did I buy a frankenbike?
 

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Hi rhinowalrus, I don't know what oil is best. I read something about that several years ago, but can't seem to find the book. I would study the Rupert Ratio books & see what they say.

I don't know what switch is correct for your bike. Looks like the one you have may be aftermarket?? See eBay. I don't know. Also could be original were problematic & was replaced or it got broken.

Handlebar Switch, Cafe Racer, Vintage, British, Bobber, Chopper, Harley, Custom | eBay

I think the original switch looks like this one on YouTube. It will show it briefly.


I've seen that headlight on photos of TR25. I found it different than some in that the warning lights are far apart. Is the black plastic from switch lever broken off??

This web photo looks like might be same as yours??



Of course you'll need reproduction (or original) shop manual & parts book.
Keep in mind lots of mistakes in both, but those you'll have to learn as you go. Beyond my knowledge.

You might consider joining Brit Bike Forum. See both BSA & Triumph sections. A different audience to a degree, many are members of this group also. Please post what you find. Certainly a learning time for me!
Don
 

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I bought a 1970 TR25W in the same scheme from a guy in Florida and had it shipped to me in Oregon. It was a runner upon arrival, but on the 3rd ride around the block, the wiring harness shorted out and I discovered there was a lot of haphazard electrical work. As others have mentioned, beware of the parts books, they do indeed list incorrect information. I'm learning this the hard way, because the replacement parts catalog lists part #54955718, which I received from Classic British Spares. However, this harness is missing the oil light and capacitor, without an ammeter - which my original harness did include. I see the T100C and TR6C of the same year (1970) call for #54955719, which does include those oil light and capacitor, without an ammeter. On the pre-1970 models TR25W models, they did not utilize the oil light, so it makes sense that the #54955718 was suited for those, but not the 1970 model. I'm out $150 due to this misinformation in the 1970 parts manual. So definitely do a lot of investigating before ordering parts! The wiring harness is the toughest to really verify.

Looking forward to your continued posts and progress!
 

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Hi Ronnie,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum. :)

beware of the parts books, they do indeed list incorrect information. I'm learning this the hard way, because the replacement parts catalog lists part #54955718, which I received from Classic British Spares. However, this harness is missing the oil light and capacitor, without an ammeter - which my original harness did include.
Uh-uh. I wouldn't disagree that parts books have mistakes; however, afaict here it's more likely both the guy who is CBS and you are confused:-

. Firstly, bear in mind, although the TR25W had Triumph badges and a Triumph model code, it's otherwise basically the same as a BSA B25. However, note "basically"; there were several B25 versions, but only one TR25W.

. The TR25W was never fitted with an Ammeter; all years' styling was 'street scrambler' so they were fitted with the smaller 5-1/2" headlamp/shell, the latter doesn't have space for an Ammeter. The Ammeter only fits in the larger 7" shell; there might be BSA B25 versions with this, a TR25W might've been fitted with the parts; however, it isn't a standard TR25W.

On the pre-1970 models TR25W models, they did not utilize the oil light,
(y) Correct.

so it makes sense that the #54955718 was suited for those, but not the 1970 model.
(n) Not correct.

'68 was the last year planned without the oil pressure switch/warning lamp. The '68 250 wiring harness Lucas part number is #54953550, not #54955718.

Given there's a Lucas part number for a TR25W harness without the o.p. switch/lamp (#54953550 - '68) and another Lucas part number for a TR25W harness with the o.p. switch/lamp (#54955718 - '70) but the relevant CBS webpage says:-

Replaces Lucas part number 54955718 as fitted to 1968-1970 Triumph TR25W Trophy 250 models.
... one harness cannot fit all three years.

To amplify a little:-

. The oil pressure switch/warning lamp should have been introduced on all ranges/models in '69 but Smiths/BSA/Triumph encountered some sort of problem and the '69 250's weren't fitted with the switch. But they have the hole for the switch, with a special taper-thread plug.

. So it's the '69 TR25W parts book that's more-likely to have the wrong harness part number ... Parts books went for typesetting long before the start of the relevant model year, so books'd be printed in time. Many of the 'mistakes' in parts book arise because of changes made between the books going for typesetting/printing and the actual start of model year production. Because of this lead time, 'back in the day', parts books were both supplied with typed corrections sheets and updated with more throughout the 'year'. If you could find copies of the typed corrections sheets for the '69 TR25W parts book, you could well find one changes #54955718 in the '69 parts book to, say, the '68 #54953550 harness without the o.p. switch/lamp wiring. Sadly, very few of any corrections sheets have survived. :(

I'm out $150 due to this misinformation in the 1970 parts manual.
On the contrary, I don't see anything in what you've posted that says it's the '70 TR25W parts book that's wrong. '70 and '68 TR25W wiring harnesses are different because, respectively, they definitely do and don't have the o.p. switch/lamp.

Otoh, based on what you posted and what I know, afaict it appears more likely you're "out $150" because CBS supplied you a '68 TR25W harness - without the o.p. switch/lamp wiring - under the wrong part number?

investigating before ordering parts! The wiring harness is the toughest to really verify.
Not really; if you'd posted the inconsistencies earlier, you might not be "out $150". Also, I know of a way of verifying the Lucas part numbers for certain; I'll check Monday and PM you.

capacitor
You're also confused about this. Afaik, certainly by '70, connections for the 2MC capacitor were included in all harnesses, because they're simple bullet snap connectors - one in the Brown/Blue wire, the other in a Red wire - because many owners of 'road' versions wanted the capacitor back-up in case of a flat battery. Off-road versions like the T100C and TR6C simply had the capacitor fitted as standard.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Hello Stuart,

Thanks very much for the welcome and helping me demystify the issue I'm having with my wiring harness. You're absolutely right, I was confused/misunderstanding with regards to the Ammeter and capacitor. My 1970 model does not have an ammeter. I copied and pasted the note regarding the harness from the details on Baxter cycles listing for part# 54955719 - as seen here: 54955719 - Cloth Wrapped - UK

Regarding part number 54955718 (which I bought new from CBS and have in my possession) every new example I've found available for purchase with this part number does not include the oil pressure switch light, and does not have the section leading into the headlamp wrapped in additional PVC (both of which are shown on 54955719). Here is what Classic British Spares is selling for part number 54955718: 1968-70 Triumph TR25W Trophy Wiring Harness - 54955718, and here is another image of it unraveled on Klempf's site: Klempf's British Parts. HARNESS, 1969, B44VS, TR25W, and again even on the Lucas site: Lucas Classic | Motorcycle

The only one I have found with the correct part number reflecting the oil switch light and the additional PVC is the NOS one from BSA Singles: https://bsaunitsingles.com/item.wws?cpubcode=BSA&sku=19-0986, which I'm reluctant to buy due to its age.

This is my first attempt at replacing a harness on any bike, so I'm definitely green. I welcome any and all guidance, and especially a clearer understanding of the wire diagram. The version I have is a black and white photocopy, and I can't determine the color coding easily.

Cheers,

Ronnie


Hi Ronnie,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum. :)


Uh-uh. While I couldn't disagree that parts books have mistakes, afaict here it's more likely both the guy who is CBS and you are confused:-

. Firstly, bear in mind, although the TR25W had Triumph badges and a Triumph model code, it's otherwise basically the same as a BSA B25. However, note "basically"; there were several B25 versions, but only one TR25W.

. The TR25W was never fitted with an Ammeter; all years' styling was 'street scrambler' so they were fitted with the smaller 5-1/2" headlamp/shell, the latter doesn't have space for an Ammeter. The Ammeter only fits in the larger 7" shell; there might be BSA B25 versions with this, Triumph badges (and -coloured parts) might've been put on one by a dealer, or a TR25W might've been fitted with the parts. But it isn't a standard TR25W.


(y) Correct.


(n) Not correct.

'68 was the last year planned without the oil pressure switch/warning lamp. The '68 250 wiring harness Lucas part number is #54953550, not #54955718.

It's the '69 TR25W parts book that might have the wrong harness part number. The oil pressure switch/warning lamp should have been introduced on all ranges/models but Smiths/BSA/Triumph encountered some sort of problem and the '69 250's weren't fitted with the switch, although they have the hole in the crankcase.

Parts books went for typesetting long before the start of the relevant model year, so books'd be printed in time. Many of the 'mistakes' in parts book arise because of changes made between the books going for typesetting/printing and the actual start of model year production.

It's far more likely #54955718 is the correct harness for a '70 TR25W because it has the o.p. switch/lamp wiring; otoh, it's more likely #54955718 is wrong for a '69 TR25W because they don't have the o.p. switch/lamp wiring; if you could find copies of the typed corrections sheets for the '69 TR25W parts book, you could well find one changes #54955718 in the '69 parts book to, say, the '68 #54953550 harness without the o.p. switch/lamp wiring. Sadly, very few of any corrections sheets have survived. :(


Uh-uh. 1968-70 Triumph TR25W Trophy Wiring Harness - 54955718 says:-


... as I've shown above, one harness cannot fit all three years; '70 and '68 are different because, respectively, they definitely do and don't have the o.p. switch/lamp, and the '68 TR25W parts book shows a different harness part number.

Based on what you posted and what I know, afaict you're "out $150" because CBS sold you a '68 harness.


You're also confused about this. Afaik, certainly by '70, connections for the 2MC capacitor were included in all harnesses, because they're simple bullet snap connectors - one in the Brown/Blue wire, the other in a Red wire - because many owners of 'road' versions wanted the capacitor back-up in case of a flat battery. Off-road versions like the T100C and TR6C simply had the capacitor fitted as standard.


Not really; if you'd posted the inconsistencies earlier, you might not be "out $150". Also, I know of a way of verifying the Lucas part numbers for certain; I'll check Monday and PM you.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Hi Ronnie,

found further proof of the discrepancy in part numbers.
Lucas BSA Spares list published in 1977 here: https://bsaunitsingles.com/Archives/Spares/Lucas BSA spares 1969-77 x.pdf
(y) Good spot. Also, following my earlier post, it underlines that CBS isn't correct, the same harness doesn't/can't fit all three years.

The only one I have found with the correct part number reflecting the oil switch light and the additional PVC is the NOS one from BSA Singles: https://bsaunitsingles.com/item.wws?cpubcode=BSA&sku=19-0986,
Following the link, the page on Peter's site says it's a '68 or '69 harness, so without the o.p. lamp/switch wiring?

reluctant to buy due to its age.
Fwiw, my T150 (restored in the early naughties) has a NOS harness that hasn't given any problems, and I used some original wires when rewiring my T160's in the 1980's, again no problems; ime, harnesses don't deteriorate unless either stored badly indoors or fitted to a bike that's used or stored outside in all weathers. The Mitch Klempf harness is also NOS. I'd avoid anything from new/"Genuine Lucas" (aka Wassell) unless there really isn't any alternative.

If you can't buy a good-quality harness including the o.p. lamp/switch wiring, it's easy to add:-

. White wire with a bullet terminal into the snap connector with other White wires, this new White wire to one/the Red idiot lamp White wire;

. the other/Red idiot lamp White/Brown wire to the oil pressure switch;

. check for a harness Red wire attached to an engine component (one of the cylinder studs protruding through a rocker-box?); check for good continuity from the cylinder head to the battery +ve terminal;

. if you don't have them already, correct-colour wires, correct bullet terminals and crimping tool, correct female spade or flag terminals from British Wiring.

clearer understanding of the wire diagram. The version I have is a black and white photocopy, and I can't determine the color coding easily.
All originals were b&w. Each black line should have one or two letters beside it, these are the colour codes. Some are obvious (e.g. "W" is White), some (e.g. "N" is Brown and "U" is Blue) less so ... :cool: Fwiw, in the days before free online wiring diagram drawing packages, I used to have the local copyshop blow up a b&w wiring diagram to, say, A3, go over the black lines with colour felt pens or similar, then hang that on the garage wall by the bike. If it helps, tick off lines on the diagram as you connect and test them?

Be aware your bike doesn't have "ground" nor are Red wire connections to the frame and other bits of bike essential; the Red wires themselves are the main connection between any electrical component and battery +ve. Hence why I suggested above checking for a Red wire connected to an engine component. ;)

One electrical component that likely won't have a Red wire is the rear lamp. If so, I strongly advise against scraping paint off the fender and similar old wives' electrical advice. Instead, thread a Red wire beside the (originally) Brown and Brown/Green wires, from a/the existing Red wires' snap connector somewhere under the seat, to the rear lamp. Ideally, thread the new Red wire beside the other two into the lamp itself and solder the bared end to the outside of the bulb holder. If threading into the lamp isn't possible, terminate the Red wire with a 3/16" ID ring terminal and secure that under one of the 2BA bolts that mount the rear lamp. Check for continuity from the lamp to the Red wire and to battery +ve. (y)

If you're unlucky enough that your bike has a pattern rear lamp, be aware the wire colours could be anything - if there are only two wires and one is Red, it isn't the "ground"/return wire, it'll be brake or tail; there's only a "ground"/return wire already if there are three individual wires.

Hth.

Regards,
 
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