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Premium Member
888 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For some of you this is common knowledge so bear with me. I know there are those who are terrified of getting shorts when doing the internal bar wiring and may find this helpful to, if nothing else, ease their fears.

There is nothing worse than getting everything wired up and put together only to find something is not working because of a short. As an electrician, even as careful as I am in pulling wire and making up terminations, there is still a great moment of relief when you're powering up something and everything works as it should.

Okay, so here we go...

First off, you'll need a multimeter. It does not have to be fancy or anything. There are a lot of cheap ones out there. If you don't already have one, they are good to have if you plan on doing a lot of work to your bike yourself. You'll see in the pic, I have it set to "continuity" which will let you know if there is an electrical path present by making an audible beep and showing the resistance in numerical form. As you can see, right now it shows "OL" for open line meaning there is not an electrical path. That is what we are hoping to get when testing.
Okay, so I pulled a piece of wire through my bars.
Next, I stripped back some some of the insulation and separated one of the strands from rest.
Then I cut off all the strands but one.
I wrapped the ends in tape so the only exposed copper will be the one strand simulating a nick in the wire.
Okay, now I fed the exposed copper length through the bars. Now I check for a short.

To do this, place one lead on the end of the wire that you fished through. The other lead I am sticking in the bars to touch the inside of the pipe. The reason I did not just touch it to the outside of the bars is because the nickel in chrome is a bad conductor and it may or may not give me the correct reading. The inside of the pipe is bare steel and will conduct well to let me know I have the short.
It read "OL" meaning there is no conductivity between the bars and the wire end. We are still good!

Next, I feed the wire through a little more until right about where the 90 is on the bars where I know that strand will be most likely to be shorting against the inside of the bars.

Again, I test...
This time, I get the beep and the meter reads "0" which means we have a short and the wire is grounding out to the bars and will fail if we terminate it.

So, when pulling your wire, it is smart to run this test on each wire end after it is pulled to be sure you are in the clear. Shake the bars a little or bounce the wire bundles around at each end while testing (Not TOO hard, just jiggle them.) That way, if there is a small nick that was made while pulling, it may brush against the inside of the bar and read short. Better now, than have it happen from the vibration of riding to work on Monday.

I would recommend using pulling lube, which you can find at any hardware store. Looks something like this:
This will make the pull a lot easier and help the wires glide past any rough spots in the bars. You're main worry will be making that 90. The lube will help your bundle slide over that edge without catching and tearing the insulation off the wires. At the very least spray some silicone grease or WD-40 in there and on the wire before pulling.

Also, when feeding the wires, you will want to feed just a little bit at a time. Push a little in so you have some bunched up in the bars at the 90

and then pull that little bit of slack out from the other end like so
pull (1).jpg

It should not be a fluid pulling motion! That is how you WILL get shorts. The push-pull method does not have as much tension on the bundle possibly causing the insulation to catch and the direct contact with that sharp 90 will be minimal. Just a series of push-pulls until you slowly work your way through the bars and past the 90.

There is, of course, no guarantee that there was not a nick that will become evident over time as the wires vibrate and shift around but this is as thorough as you can be without doing a mega-ohm test which is beyond a DIY'er.

Anyway, I hope this helps somebody. I tried to explain it in as lay terms as possible so even those with no electrical background or confidence could follow with successful results.

805 Posts
Great write-up, and good info!

Thanks Dave, those ideas and tips will go a long way to help me internally wire my new CP1120b's !!!

Premium Member
888 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm probably going to link this to the end of my blog on wiring. Good job.
Thanks! That is quite a compliment! You, RedHorse, arizonwarrior, Church and lot of other regulars have put out some great quality info.

I have gotten so much useful info from this forum, I thought it was my turn to contribute a little!
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