I finally got the last pieces of the electrical system together today, and took the bike for a shakedown ride. Everything felt good – the red light on my new voltmeter turned off when the engine started running, the heaters worked as they should, nothing looked or sounded unusual, that I could see, so basically, I think I’m pretty much done with the ride inhibiting problems with the bike, and it doesn’t seem as if I’d introduced any more of them.
I’m still waiting for the last parts for the kickstand. From what I heard, they should’ve arrived in Belgium on the fourth, so hopefully I might even get them during next week.
I forgot all about time today, but that’s kind of alright, because my Buell is getting closer and closer to being ready for riding season.
I got a phone call from XL Bygg that they had received my 1 1/8″ hex head tool, but I didn’t have the time to pick it up. On the other hand, I’ve been fretting for a while about the work I wanted to do on the electrical system up in front; installing the grip heaters, the ’08 Uly right side switch pod, and a LED volt meter. Since I don’t usually do electrical work, I was a bit nervous about getting stuck somewhere, but as usual there was no need to worry.
About the parts
The grip heaters, grips and the switch pod were bought at American Sport Bike. The heaters are twin element systems (“high and low”), which is fine since the ’08 switch pod has two heater settings. I also switched to new grips following the advice in the service manual.
The single LED volt meter is called VM2-DUO and was bought from Swiss fellow Adventure Rider and electronics wizard Joerg Hau. It’s really simple interface, just a two-color LED that lights up red if the charging system is out and lights up yellow if the voltage regulator doesn’t work properly.
Installing the heaters took some time, since the left-hand grip on my Uly was glued in place and refused to budge until I removed the left-side switch pod and used a screwdriver to pry it loose. After that, I had to spend some time removing the pieces of rubber that were stuck to the bar.
After that, I put a layer of electrician’s tape on the bar, to insulate the heater a bit, so that it won’t lose all heat down into the metal, which obviously would be kind of pointless. Then I measured where my fingers will go, and glued the heater element in place – it goes almost all the way around the bar. Next I lubed up the inside of the grip with water and some soap, and slid it in place, and finally I mounted the switch pod back in place.
The right side was almost identical, but there, I also had to mount the new switch pod, which eventually required me to remove the entire handle bar, to route the new, thicker, cable.
Up in front, behind the fly screen, I hooked up the power line from the switch pod to the aux power line that also feeds the power outlet beside the instrument cluster. Then I cut the heater cables and connected them to the proper wires from the heater elements.
Next up was the volt meter.
For a clean look, I followed the concept of what Ft_Bstrd on AdvRider did on his Uly, mounting the LED in a non-used spot, drilling out a hole for the light to shine through, and filling the hole where I routed the cable with hot glue. Then I cut the wires to the aux power outlet and connected the volt meter input there.