stock break switch on 04 European WR450?

Hi all,

I am new to the board, new to bike maintenance, and not a native english speaker, so please be indulgent :applause:

I have bought a used European WR450 from 2004, and I am now inspecting the bike in more detail (a little too late, i know :lol: ). It seems to have break switches, at least there a electrical wires coming out of the rear master cylinder and the front brake caliper, and I can not figure what else they could be... They are not working though, not surprising for the front one as the wire from the front caliper follow the fluid line (are in a single more or less rigid plastic tubing) up to the handlebar, where they are cutted out, connected to nothing.

The rear ones seems to be plugged but do not trigger the brake light (light bulb is a two-filament variety with 3 wires though, with both filament looking OK, so it could theoretically work).

The front wire is connected very strangely: not on the end of the master cylinder or brake caliper at the hose connection like the rear switch is, but on the metal part of the front caliper itself, in a place I am not sure it can be in contact with any braking fluid...

I tested the cutted front brake switch wires with a ohmmeter, but even depressing the brake lever as hard as i can nothing happen, circuit is open all the time :applause:

So I have 3 questions:

- Do the European WR model 2004 come stock with brake switch? front? rear? both?

- Do some brake switches connect on the caliper itself, not on hose connection? how does it work then?

- Is it to be expected that 2 brake switchs are not working for a 2004 bike? I did a research in the forum and got the impression they quit working quite often and quite fast, so maybe at least my rear wiring is ok and only the switch itself is broken...Do you replace such switch often?

If needed, I can take photo of the front switch (if it is a switch) to give a better idea.

Thanks for any info on this subject,

Best regards,


European WR450F should have 2 brake switches - both as brake hose fastening bolts connected to main brake cylinders (front & rear). At least on road-legal ones. (like these

Download a manual (if you don't have one) for your bike, there is wiring diagram also. (it does not show the brake switches and turn signals, because 2004 the local dealer installed the conversion kit, if I remember correctly)

There is some sample how these switches are connected:

This is for WR400, 426, but I believe it is about the same on WR450.

You could try to download 2006 model manual, there might be the correct wiring diagram in it. Good luck.

Thanks a lot! Rear one is indeed similar, a bolt switch (except the wire are not removable, they are sinken/glued in the bolt).

The front is completely different though, no bolt or banjo switch, only this very strange wire coming from the front caliper, not the master cylinder...I may depose the caliper to have a better look, I have never seen something like that???

Not sure it was street legal at first (I think it is an imported french bike that was used for competition, and then used for leisure in switches may have been added afterwards...But I have legal documents for road use, so I guess it is OK...

I have the manual, but there is no mention of any switches, as you said...Even if the rear lamp is clearly a 2 filament model...

Thanks for the wiring diagram, very complete :applause: I plan to add blinkers too, legally I think it is not required (required only if the bike had them stock, but I think this is never the case, even for european WR...At least I have never seen picture of bikes having them in catalogs....). But even not required, I have trouble imagining myself showing direction with hands, so I may add some LED ones. Horn I do not see the need so much, bike is loud enough to be noticed :applause:

Do you have some tips about reliability of such pressure switches? do they break often?

Many thanks again for your info,

best regards,


I have installed these switches recently (October last year) so I don't know about reliability, but I think if you don’t brake them, these are going to last for years. According to EU regulations, you have to have turn indicators, horn, speedometer, mirrors and so on, if you want to pass annual technical inspection (TÜV?) at least in Estonia (EU country) and Germany.

This front wire coming from brakes - is it possible, that you have/had some trip computer installed on this bike? It might be the speed sensor of the computer (Trailtech or bicycle computer or similar). See if you have some magnets on the wheel or on the brake rotor (one of the fixing bolts might have the magnetic head).

Have fun

thanks saqu!

here in belgium there is no yearly technical inspection for bike, only for car (lucky for me!), but I would like to have turn indicator and break lights at least...I have a speedo (stock one I remounted, previous owner had it removed. Lucky for me it work :applause: ). The horn I think I can definitely go without, for the rear mirror I feel this look really strange (i.e. fugly :lol:) on a dirtbike and would break even in easy offroad with a beginner driver (i.e. me), so I would like to avoid it too....but it is so visible that I fear Police may bother me with that :applause:...So I am still hesitating. For the wire, I think you are right, probably magnetic rev counter. I will check this WE to be sure. Thanks for the info!

You can buy universal type brake switches that will do the job!

Very cheap, from any bike shop or auto shop.

Not so bad when you crash and break the switches! :applause:

I have installed three of the universal brake switchs, they are made in china, they do work for three or four months, then you have to push hard on the brake pedal for the brake light to work, the o-ring inside the switch swells from the brake fluid, making the contacts hard to move with light braking pressure. All of the major US bike shop suppliers seem to sell the same switch, I would bet the one made in Europe has the seals that will work with brake fluid

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