Workshop Skills

To help you with fault-finding your own machine, Ferrets Custom Elecktrickery has kindly supplied three multi-meters to give away to some lucky readers. You can win one by visiting VAivw.classicmechanics.com (full terms and conditions are available online).

Switch cleaner can fix many a problem

Severed and partially melted - replacement is needed

Tape wrapping Is always a sign of issues as this wire shows

Melted insulation means a serious problem

Earthed and overheated, it needs replacing

To help you with fault-finding your own machine, Ferrets Custom Elecktrickery has kindly supplied three multi-meters to give away to some lucky readers. You can win one by visiting VAivw.classicmechanics.com (full terms and conditions are available online).

Unless you are well skilled in motorcycle electrics it's probably best to avoid taking switches apart unless they are very basic. Many ignition swtches contain springs and clips ready to fly out in all directions as soon as the securing lugs are prised open. In 95% of cases a good thorough clean with a dedicated switch cleaner is equally good if not better than a hands-on fettle (Photo 7). Rather than jemmy your way into Pandora's Box, and subsequently wreak havoc, invest in a can of cleaner and save yourself untold heartache.

This wire (Photo 8) exhibits melting of the insulation close to the terminal along with a thickened lump a little to the right. Both indicate that something is or has been wrong. Tracing the wire back into the bike we see that something (possibly a metal side panel) has pinched the wire (Photo 9) causing it to short to earth and overheat. This needs replacing without a shadow of a doubt.

Melted insulation means a serious problem

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