How to make a dual sport kit

Summer is upon us, gas prices are rumored to hit 5 dollars a gallon this summer, and besides who doesn't want to dual sport their bike.

So I decided that I would post a how to guide for making your own kit and saving some money over other kits. I already had a kit installed on my bike but frankly it was was too messy and I didn't like how the rear end looked on my bike. The kit that I had was the tusk kit, an excellent kit for the money and certainly a good way to save money if you don't want to make your own. But on the older bikes (like my 86') the rear portion of the harness had to be extended and just got worst. Plus the connections were not that great. So I made my own.

The cool thing about the baja designs kits is that everything is contained behind the head light in a module of some kind. This is space savings and just plain cool :thumbsup: So to mimic this in a much less expensive way I used some plexi glass and some terminal blocks. The plexi glass cost about 3 bucks to have a small piece cut at the local ACE Hardware store. The terminal blocks were frankly a real pain to find. Found some at a farm supply for 6 bucks a pop for some that had only 4 terminals, wasn't pleased about this but got three anyway. Then after I used them pep boys had the same thing for 3 bucks. Pep boys has a lot of the stuff that you will need for a pretty good price so I recommend checking them out first. So here is what you will need to build just the harness first: #8 ring terminal crimp connections, male bullet connectors, female bullet connectors, 5ft minimum of 14-16 gauge wire in black and red (this is for running power to the terminal as it is a bit heavier and better for larger current as it won't be split yet), 10ft minimum of 18 gauge wire in some other colors but red and black are required for sure (I used yellow, blue, black, and red and that was enough for me but one more might not hurt if it is cheap, also 10ft each color), line fuse(pep boys will have some, don't go too large so that it trips with the smaller currents and voltages that we will be using), between 3 and 4 terminal blocks depending on the size, and about 8 ft large diameter shrink wrap that is in a roll.

First things first. A quick lesson on electricity. In all of my pictures none of the connections are covered yet. This is not safe and should not be left this way but as I am still testing my system so haven't messed with it and it is better for instuction. To make a harness like this you need to understand that all you are doing is completing loops. So if you take one loop at a time then you will be just fine :smirk: You will need to have a wiring diagram of the switch you will be using as well, and one of the bike couldn't hurt. Always draw pictures of what you are thinking first so you don't forget and second so that you can test the path with your finger. Some things need to be parallel and some series. If a device has 1 wire on either end then it is series, if there are two coming in or out or more than that then it is parallel.

The method of using terminals for building your kit will make two methods of charging your battery very simple. The first method is using a battery tender to charge your battery when not in use. The exposed terminals make charging simple and you don't have to disconnect anything at all. The second, and one that I used, is a regulator/rectifier to charge your battery. I used a trail tech RR and it worked awesome. Though they did use aluminum wire and not copper which is not as good as a conductor but if I remember correctly it does bend better and certainly doesn't corrode. You'll need to look up how to hook this up to verify how I did it just to be sure for your own.

Start with the battery and where you want to put it, the most common place is going to be the air box as there is the most room in there.


This is how I wired mine. The red and black terminals from the battery have obviously got their own spots on the block. Then depending on what is required for your system the next step might change. I used the Reg/Rec. So the blue wire from the RR goes to the black, this one is done and should not be touch again. Now the red is a bit different, the Red from the battery and the RR connect but this terminal is still the out for positive (or red). The black wire from the RR then connects to the block and becomes the out for negative (or black). I then drilled into the air box so that I screw it down inside the air box which was unbelievable difficult as there isn't as much room in there as you might think. So after your battery and first block are placed you are done with step one. One thing that I have not done for my system yet is the fuse is not attached. This is because my power out of the air box was way to long so I have to cut it down anyway.

Step two is running the two 14 or 16 gauge red and black wires from the battery to the front end of the bike. This should be simple enough. I drilled a hole into the front portion of the air box and ran the power out that way. No picture of that. You'll want to shrink wrap it to protect it from damage, pull the shrink wrap onto the wire before you insert into the air box and connect it. I used some galvanized hanging wire and wrapped it around the wire and then pushed that through and pulled wire though after the galvanized wire came through. Here is a picture of the setup that I used, I suggest it so that you don't hurt your hands. I just used some screws that I literally found outside haha.



Because of pinching and whatnot you will have to cut the end that you wrapped off, but don't go easy on it to save it. If the wire comes off then you will have to start over. Don't shrink it yet, you don't know if you will need to cut it or not. Also don't add the connectors quite yet. Also another thing is that this NOT a picture of the two power wires, this is the rear tail light and turn signal wrap. Works the same way.

Step three: Design a wiring diagram for the front end. Here is a picture of mine almost done, you are free to design it as you want but I will be drawing up a diagram once I finish mine. I just have to disconnect the flasher relay and mine will work fine.


Now before you freak out about this part because I haven't explained much understand that it is up to you in how you design it. I will explain the loops as best that I can but am always open for PM's to help out. Had considered making these kits and selling them but decided that it help people out more if it was free :busted: A very important part is going to be an on off switch. This is why I didn't run power from the battery to the tail and to the front and save some wire. The tusk kit didn't have an on off for the head lights, they operated separate from the system and I didn't like that. So when you run the + and - into terminals connect a switch to the positive and run it to another terminal. Only use this new terminal for + or the on/off won't do its job.

Now the equipment that you need is pretty simple but important. And the most important is the switch. Most of the cheap switches are basically the same, plastic with pretty crummy contacts. But they work. I used the one from my tusk kit as well as the rest of the parts. But for my next kit on my next bike I will be using pieces off of ebay. Without the Trail Tech Regulator/Rectifier you can save 40 bucks from the total but look to spend around $15 for the flasher relay, $20 for cheap LED stalk turn signals from ebay, $20 or so on a cheap switch, $10 or so on a horn, $15 on terminal blocks, $10 on bolts to attach the terminal blocks, $5 plexi glass, $15 on wire (if you can buy it in the lengths you need like you can from ace, but spools of 25 ft cost about $6 each), $35 TT RR. This brings the total to $145. If you have any of this stuff laying around then you can save some money and you might even be able to find them for cheaper than I did. I did leave a few things out. This includes the battery because you make your own and the tail light because I made my own from LED trailer clearance lights and the crimp connectors because they can be cheap or expensive but get nice ones and buy in bulk to save some and then you can charge your friends to help them out. I also rounded up. I spent $40 on my kit because I had a lot of this stuff laying around.

I'm going to continue the next portion of this write up down below so that this is not too overwhelming. I will be coming back and cutting useless info out later, just need some time to edit it.

Now I realize that this is not complete right now by any means but I need to do a few things and then come back and edit it. I want all the feed back that you guys can give me.

Edited by jostith

Just an FYI- my baja designs kit doesn't have a "module" behind the headlight... just a spaghetti of wires... My laziness, I know I should clean them up.

maybe BD has a newer kit?

I'll be following this thread... thanks!(for posting this up)

Just an FYI- my baja designs kit doesn't have a "module" behind the headlight... just a spaghetti of wires... My laziness, I know I should clean them up.

maybe BD has a newer kit?

I'll be following this thread... thanks!(for posting this up)

I'll probably be updating the above so that all the info is in one place for everyone that wants to look.

I might be wrong, I know that I have seen the module but it might not have been the baja designs. Mine was absolutely awful. Here is a picture.



This doesn't show even half of the mess that my kit was in the front but especially the front and rear. The back was the worst but I don't seem to have any pictures. But the old harness that I pulled off would be good. I was able to improve the rear end a lot too.

Here are some before and afters the change in the back.


You can see some of the wires poking out from underneath.


Here you can see what the right signal and tail light now look like and also there is some of the extended harness sticking out. It is quite and improvement.

Ok lets take a look at building the important part of the whole set up. That would be the front that includes just about everything except for the brake light.

Here is a picture of my basic setup with a slight error that I will explain. This picture is also shown above.


Now lets start with a very simple part first. Mount the terminal blocks to the plexi. Make sure that they are not too close to each other so that the connections don't bump into each other. When drilling into the plexi be careful because it can easily crack so take your time and drill slow as well. I used the tusk flasher relay because it was tiny and flat. So make sure you allow room on the board for that. This is essentially a crude circuit board.

To help you identify the correct wire use your wiring diagram from your switch and attach a piece of take to each wire and write what it is. This will make it all a lot easier.

The first loop that I suggest completing is the horn. Run a -(black) wire to the horn, from the horn run into the switch (make sure you verify the color). Now there is probably going to be two wires for the switch rather than a single positive wire coming into the switch. Take the second horn switch and run it to the +(red after the switch for on/off). You have completed your first loop. Assuming power is hooked up you can test it but be careful not to shock yourself, won't kill you but can hurt.

The second loop is going to be the headlight. There will be three wires coming from the headlight a hi, lo, and power wire. Connect the power wire to the -(black). Then run the hi and lo wires from the switch to the headlight and their appropriate connections. Then take the power wire for the headlights and plug it into the + (red after the switch for on/off). The head light should now work, don't play too much here as you will drain the battery real fast before you can test the other parts.

The next loop is going to be the turn signals which is also going to be the toughest part and the one that worried me the most when I made mine. My switch has got a wire for left, right, and turn signal +. Run the + to the flasher relay. DO NOT USE THE TERMINALS FOR THIS ONE. That was my mistake. I used the positive terminal. This allows the current to flow to the turn signals and just bypass the relay completely, as it adds resistance the electrons will so you will get no flash (opps). Now take the other connection from the flasher relay and run it to the turn signal +. This completes one leg of the loop. You will need three terminals for the front signals and same for the rear. Take the - (black) to the middle of the three terminals. Then take the appropriate left and right from the switch to the other terminals. The signals have probably got black another color (mine was yellow). Take right signal and run the other color to the right switch terminal, then do the same for the left. Then take the black of both and run it to the - (black) center terminal. You have just completed the front circuit for the turn signals and they should work.

The next step is going to be running a new set of wire down to the tail light so we'll tackle that in the next portion of this write up.

Now the next step is running some wires down to the tail as I stated above. All you need is going to be four wires. My right turn signal was blue and my left was orange from my switch. So I used blue for the right and yellow for the left. You will also need red and black because you need power back there for the tail light.

Before you do anything else run it through the stupid shrink wrap. Here is a picture that is already posted above. It is going to be a bigger pain than it was before because there is a lot more wire there.


Once your wire is run through shrink it on either end to make sure it doesn't slide much and so that if you drill through the rear fender you can get it through the hole you make. And make sure that this is longer than it should be, you can cut it up if you need to but making it longer is sloppy and who says that the lengths will stay together.

Take the red and attach it to the + (red after the on/off switch) and then take the - (black) and attach it to the - in front just like you did the red. Do not use it straight from the battery even though its closer. This will defeat your on/off switch and you will use power when you don't want to. Next take the right signal wire and connect it to the right signal terminal. Do the same for the left.

This next part can be tricky. You have to find a nice path the run the wire. The stock wiring harness uses a good path but it might not be big enough. This is up to you.

I used my rear tool pouch to hold all of my wiring for the rear end but you can be clever and figure anything out yourself. Attach the + to a positive terminal of your choice and - to the negative of your choice. Next you need to decide which is going to be the right terminal and which is going to be the left terminal. It doesn't matter so long as they don't touch. You are now done. Here is a picture of mine with the signals installed but no power yet, but we will get to that next. All this picture does is give reference.


Now the final step is setting up the rear and brake light.

You will need two more turn signals, your tail/brake light, and the brake light switch.

Connect the - (most of the time black) to the -(black) terminal. Connect the + (color varies a lot) from the tail light to the + (red) terminal. DO NOT CONNECT THE BRAKE LIGHT WIRE YET. Now after you attach the turn signals you do the same as you did for the front end. Just attach the signals to the right terminals with the -(black) to the -(black) terminal.

For the brake light you need to run a +(red) wire from the terminal to the switch. Once there you need to take the other lead and run a wire from it to the tail light wire that you have not connected to anything yet that is still in the tool bag. This should do it as it will light the tail light when the circuit is completed.

I did not go into specifics about installations of the signals because this is up to you. I like the stalk lights best but mine has the low profiles from tusk. They aren't bad but are stickers pretty much. That part is really lame.

Now the front is still going to messy so get your zip ties out that everyone ought to have and go to town. Just Don't pull too tightly on the crimped connections as they are not super strong.

Another side note is that the electronic flasher relay operates similar to a diode it seems. Mine would not work until I reversed the connections. It was very strange but I don't know how they work. Somehow it just allowed current to pass through without making it flash. So if that happens to you just experiment a little bit and you will have it, no worries.

Now that everything is hooked up make sure that you zip tie all of the harness out of the way and tight against the frame in as many places as you can. Keep the wires wrapped with whatever you can including electrical tape and keep them away from hot parts of the engine, where they can rub or get knocked loose, and also make sure make sure to keep them out of the tires. Lol.

The block terminals allow for you add extras later if you want so keep that in mind. Mine did not include a license plate light but all I have to do is tape into the tail light wires and that is good to go. I can also add a front brake switch extremely easily now. So keep all of this in mind. That is why I decided to use terminal blocks instead of connections. Another option is to use just plain bolts in plexi glass, this is cheaper and would allow you to place the bolts where ever you want and also add more as you want. Pretty simple too. I will probably on my next one try and go even more low profile and maybe to do that put the on off switch close to the air box so that there are fewer wires. If you guys have tips that you wanna post go for it.

Once again I am available to answer questions so just post on here if I made a mistake or if you have a question that everyone wants to know. Or even if you have a comment. PM's are also welcome.

Thanks for looking and I hope that I can help save you guys some money. These bikes can get expensive as it is.

Edited by jostith
just some additions

I may have missed it but how did you secure the plexi glass to the back side of the number plate?

I am looking for ideas as to how to do it with out drilling holes through the plate.

Nice post.


Just bought some L brackets. It worked great. I didn't really say how I did that part. My L brackets attached to the side of the light housing. Didn't go through the front of the number plate. Good luck.

By the way, not sure if I mentioned it but the license plate holder on the tusk kit does not fit the actual license plate. I made my own and don't know if I showed it real well. Trailer plate holders work real well.

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