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How to install brake lights on a mechanical back brake?

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So I have a 1984 Kawasaki KDX 200 and I am working on getting it street legal. It already has the headlight and taillight, so I am just working on the wiring as of now. The turn signals and computer run off of a 12v battery while the headlight and taillight run off of the stator. The front brakes are hydraulic, but the back brakes are just mechanical; you press down the brake lever and it pulls a piece of steel. All the brake lights I've seen work off the banjo bolt on hydraulic brakes. I don't know if this is even possible, but is there anyway to wire up a pressure switch for when i press on the brake to turn on the brake lights?

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Look up something old school, like a 1994 XR250L. It has the set up you are looking for. Also google dual sport parts and you'll find the generic switch and spring you need.

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Theres a mechanical switch that can attach to the brake pedal, maybe one that attaches at the drum too.  Its kind of a pain and may take some tweaking to work right or keep functional.  There was one on my KLX300 when I bought it and I just took it off and used a hydraulic switch because it got ripped off in my first crash and I didnt want to fuss with fixing it.

If your front is hydraulic - just use that.  WAY easier and less failure.  If you arent using your front brake you should be.  If your state requires a switch on both brakes well poo poo on them.

This unit looks way better then the one I had... but I'd still go hydro.

https://www.denniskirk.com/210119.sku?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&gclid=CjwKCAjw0qLOBRBUEiwAMG5xMHs6P9aBmgQBLfh7_eK4ukBerVcc7viiWUMfnNEPV0P0p-colxzwSxoCBwMQAvD_BwE&ad=45713342917

Edited by Thump_Stump
added a link for a univeresal

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10 minutes ago, Thump_Stump said:

Theres a mechanical switch that can attach to the brake pedal, maybe one that attaches at the drum too.  Its kind of a pain and may take some tweaking to work right or keep functional.  There was one on my KLX300 when I bought it and I just took it off and used a hydraulic switch because it got ripped off in my first crash and I didnt want to fuss with fixing it.

If your front is hydraulic - just use that.  WAY easier and less failure.  If you arent using your front brake you should be.  If your state requires a switch on both brakes well poo poo on them.

This unit looks way better then the one I had... but I'd still go hydro.

https://www.denniskirk.com/210119.sku?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&gclid=CjwKCAjw0qLOBRBUEiwAMG5xMHs6P9aBmgQBLfh7_eK4ukBerVcc7viiWUMfnNEPV0P0p-colxzwSxoCBwMQAvD_BwE&ad=45713342917

Is this one good? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00230D6KQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 

Where would it connect to?

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29 minutes ago, Eman936 said:

That switch would work IF...you had a mounting tab to hold the body of the switch in approximately the correct position.   The spring would connect to the brake pedal/arm somewhere and the spring greatly simplifies adjustment along with the threaded body.  Nothing wrong with connecting it directly to the battery.  Not the way it's normally done but it will work.   The tail AND brake light should be both on during braking if your state requires lights all the time.  EDIT - After reading some reviews on this switch, it sounds like a piece of junk.  See if you can find the same style but a name brand.

Edited by motoxvet
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This may have been covered in above but just get a replacement banjo bolt hydraulic rear brake light switch.

http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-brake-parts-universal-hydraulic-brake-switch.html

imageproxy_php.thumb.jpg.f96c264c7010eaecd9c3df240b553612.jpg

I did this on my drz and and also bought a LED rear brake light/indicator, then a indicator switch, relay and LED front indicators.

59c9c1669614e_20170520_1501091.thumb.jpg.632fa6369d50408bbacd9a39f90ad7f1.jpg59c9c1688e250_20170520_1501301.thumb.jpg.602f7fd431210a59c08644471267294c.jpg5595e7a04c9ed4e034fd8165717e2072.jpg.9652f99859ed767e24fdc7591cd50c15.jpg

I think everything cost me about $100 BUT getting everything wired in and working with the existing battery, head light etc was a bit of a challenge and to give you an idea, this is my half ass wiring diagram :)

59c9c169c8342_20170520_1451121.jpg.a219d191f5f597192edfaaae5d2e2d76.jpg

 

Edited by filterx

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3 minutes ago, filterx said:

This may have been covered in above but just get a replacement banjo bolt hydraulic rear brake light switch.

http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-brake-parts-universal-hydraulic-brake-switch.html

 

I did this on my drz and and also bought a LED rear brake light/indicator, then a indicator switch, relay and LED front indicators.

 

I think everything cost me about $100 BUT getting everything wired in and working with the existing battery, head light etc was a bit of a challenge and to give you an idea, this is my half ass wiring diagram :)

 

 

Try re-reading the first post.  It would be quite difficult for him to attach a banjo bolt to his MECHANICAL rear brake... :bonk:

 

1 hour ago, Eman936 said:

I honestly would stay far far away from any mechanical switch, but at least with that one its cheap enough to stock up on for when they break.  Keep a spring or two on hand as well.  Why the aversion to a hydraulic front switch?  Is it a requirement to have both in your state?

Like motoxvet mentioned that I didnt - You will need a bracket of some sort.  Due to the age of the bike, it could be a luck of the draw finding a bike specific piece.  Ebay, bike swap, or talking to others on here would be about the only way.  You could easily fab something up.  It just needs to attach to the rear brake (Ether at the pedal or the drum) and have enough range of motion to active when using the brakes (Its a very small amount usually).  Other then that you just need to send power from somewhere to it and then to the tail light and you're golden!

Heres a good video showing one being mounted and everything - skip to the 5 min mark.

 

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5 minutes ago, Thump_Stump said:

Try re-reading the first post.  It would be quite difficult for him to attach a banjo bolt to his MECHANICAL rear brake... :bonk:

 

I honestly would stay far far away from any mechanical switch, but at least with that one its cheap enough to stock up on for when they break.  Keep a spring or two on hand as well.  Why the aversion to a hydraulic front switch?  Is it a requirement to have both in your state?

Like motoxvet mentioned that I didnt - You will need a bracket of some sort.  Due to the age of the bike, it could be a luck of the draw finding a bike specific piece.  Ebay, bike swap, or talking to others on here would be about the only way.  You could easily fab something up.  It just needs to attach to the rear brake (Ether at the pedal or the drum) and have enough range of motion to active when using the brakes (Its a very small amount usually).  Other then that you just need to send power from somewhere to it and then to the tail light and you're golden!

Heres a good video showing one being mounted and everything - skip to the 5 min mark.

 

Thanks for all the help! I’ll just hook up the hydraulic switch to my front brakes, I don’t think it’s required by my state (I live in MD) to have both, I just thought it be nice to have both 

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15 minutes ago, Thump_Stump said:

Try re-reading the first post.  It would be quite difficult for him to attach a banjo bolt to his MECHANICAL rear brake... :bonk:

 

I honestly would stay far far away from any mechanical switch, but at least with that one its cheap enough to stock up on for when they break.  Keep a spring or two on hand as well.  Why the aversion to a hydraulic front switch?  Is it a requirement to have both in your state?

Like motoxvet mentioned that I didnt - You will need a bracket of some sort.  Due to the age of the bike, it could be a luck of the draw finding a bike specific piece.  Ebay, bike swap, or talking to others on here would be about the only way.  You could easily fab something up.  It just needs to attach to the rear brake (Ether at the pedal or the drum) and have enough range of motion to active when using the brakes (Its a very small amount usually).  Other then that you just need to send power from somewhere to it and then to the tail light and you're golden!

Heres a good video showing one being mounted and everything - skip to the 5 min mark.

 

Ya sorry mis-read.

Otherwise its finding a switch you could fab/mount and I'll now ignore this topic.

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Nothing wrong with mechanical switches, they have been used for decades with mechanical motorcycle brakes. All brake switches in cars are mechanical, and reliable.  I've plated several dirt bikes with rear drum brakes and never had a problem with the mechanical switches.
Another switch option is this Rocky Mountain unit that clamps to a frame tube.  https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/1195/27229/Bikers-Choice-Custom-Brake-Light-Switch

 

On edit: brake switch requirements vary by state so best to check your laws. My friend opted for a rear switch because it always seems to be the first brake to be applied in a panic, and that will provide the earliest warning to a following vehicle.  Installing the hydraulic switch does require bleeding the system, but I back bleed by prying the pads apart because the caliper holds enough fluid to push the air at the banjo into the reservoir.

Edited by Chuck.
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