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Aftermarket Lighting Help- XR650L

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Hey guys, been a while.


I am back to working on my 650L, fixing many things still lingering from the initial "Full Throttle Engine Blowout" epic rebuild thread. Many thanks again to Horri, Wayne, and all the rest for all the help.



I have been toying with, and making worse, the entire electrical wiring for my bike. I want to do things right now, before getting a new Ricky Stator.



Where to begin, okay well like most noobs, I ditched the stock headlight and turn signals for less weight and LEDs. This was before reading up on excess voltage / power from the stator, and how lowering the average power draw from the stock setup of certain types of regulators / stators / etc on certain bikes can actually ruin the stator.



Anyways, I do not think that happened to my bike, but I do not want it to happen when I drop in the Ricky Stator.


Here is where I had previously tapped for power to run the new LED headlight, turn signal relay, and horn. Also is a somewhat older picture with the cheap LED headlight.





What I realized is that there is also the "Meter" 10 Amp power wire, which is black. My new thought is to run the horn, and turn signal relay off this black wire, and leave the new LED headlight, and LED spotlights to be run off the black and white "Lights 10A" power wire I showed above.


Here is a picture of the black 10A wire, and my poor electrical solder which we will discuss below...






Okay let's stop. Isn't that black 10 A wire aluminum and not copper?




A little while ago I learned that you should not connect copper wire to aluminum wire. Something about a bad reaction, possible arcing, voltage drop. But wait, I already made an aluminum wire to copper wire connection for my headlight a couple years ago??? Let's see how that solder joint is doing now.





Yikes. Seems to show some sort of buildup / oxidation or something going on. Okay so no copper - aluminum joints from now on.



Which brings me to my next modification, splicing into the battery frame / engine ground, and adding this to the frame ground on top of the airbox. I found out that when I was trying to test the voltage from the blue / white and all black wire above, that the ground wire with this section on the main wire harness does not actually provide a connection to ground, without the battery negative connected on the starter as usual.


I then realized (or just think) that this means the connection from frame to battery negative actually goes from the frame, to the engine, and then to this connection by the starter back to the battery negative. I do not like this, so I want to attach the battery negative directly to the frame, by doing this modification below.







Awesome! Looks great! Except, not at all. I just used 10 AWG copper THHN wire from a solar installation, and that battery negative wire seems to be freaking aluminum. What the heck?!



So here is where I stop, spend an hour writing up my first thread in a couple years, and reach out to you guys.


I want to do this right, finally, and get my 650L back ripping up Massachusetts.



Summary of questions:


1.) How is my general direction of powering LED headlight and fork mounted spotlights (think what Brian added a few years back), from the blue / white wire as shown above?


2.) What about running the horn, turn signal relay, and maybe trailtech vapor off the black "Meter 10A" wire?


3.) Why the heck is the black "Meter 10A" wire aluminum?!


4.) Why is the battery negative wire aluminum?


*** Just occured to me, is this battery negative wire aluminum because it connects to the aluminum engine, and should not be copper.


5.) I should re-do my solder on the battery negative wire, with aluminum wire right? But is it okay to terminate this at the same frame ground as stock, above the airbox? This connection has copper wire and a copper ring connector. Wouldn't the same principle of no copper on aluminum apply here as well? Should I make a new frame ground on another bolt because my new one is aluminum wire?


I know this might take some time, thanks for enduring another electrical thread.




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They are not aluminum wires, they are tinned copper. The oxidation you see is from the flux in the solder you used.

Awesome help. Does this apply to the battery negative ground wire as well?

Is oxidation from the flux normal? Should still create a voltage drop right? Are the cheapo crimp connectors actually a better option for connecting dissimilar conductors?

So I am okay connecting copper to all these connections?

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The tinned copper wire keeps the wire from oxidizing over time. Every conductor wire on our XRs are made from copper. There should be no voltage drop through your solder connection, if the solder joint is sufficient. Butt connectors and Scotch Locks have no place on a motorcycle unless you like chasing problems down the road. It is possible to solder dissimilar metals such as copper to brass, just need the right flux and solder. The flux residue should not cause an issue with the solder joint, mostly cosmetic. Flux residue on a PCB is a different story!

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I am going to keep chugging along as the suggestions and advice comes in.


Here is where I am at now, and what I have in mind.






Okay so I have the blue / white wire connected to 3 DC + wires for me to use for lights. I plan on using them as follows:


1 wire: Run new Cyclops Baha Light


2nd wire: Run Fork mounted LED spotlights



Spoke with a guy from their store on the phone and he was very helpful. On High Beam, the LEDs consume 40 Watts. The spotlights consume 10 Watts each. So, out of 100 - 120 Watts available (12 V * 10 A) I am only using 60 Watts with the high beam and two LED fork lights



On the black wire, I connected 5 wires because I have a lot of small loads to run like


1.) Trailtech vapor speedo - NEEDED

2.) USB Charger for phone - OPTIONAL

3.) Possibly connect my aftermarket Ignitech CDI here, as oppose to right off 12V + battery terminal. - OPTIONAL

4.) Horn - NEEDED

5.) Turnsignal Relay - NEEDED

6.) Heated grips - OPTIONAL


Hopefully on the right track here.




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