Evan Fell Motorcycle Works

My name is Evan Fell and my hobby is motorcycle restoration, customization, and riding. This is a blog about my bikes.

Simple Motorcycle Wiring Diagram for Choppers and Cafe Racers

Posted on March 30, 2010 | Posted by | 153 Comments

I get a lot of questions about wiring motorcycles. Sometimes people are just trying to fix their blinkers and aren’t familiar with how motorcycle electrics work – but more often than not I get requests about trimming down electronics for custom riders.

An essential part of building any sort of chopper, bobber, cafe racer, brat bike, or rat rod is getting rid of all the unnecessary items. These days I just grab my wire snips and start trimming away with no regard for common sense and caution – but if you are working with your first wiring loom I’m going to try and give you some guidance right now.

You might have checked the wiring diagram for your bike already and seen something like this:

The above diagram is from a Honda CB750 Custom dual cam bike. Lots of 70’s and 80’s bikes will look the same, especially the four cylinders.

If you are trying to build a stripped down bike there is a lot going on that you don’t need. A lot of the controls can be removed, blinkers, gauges and indicators, relays and switches. It doesn’t take a whole lot of wiring to keep a bike on the road, especially if you don’t want to cater to the law word for word. By trimming down the wiring you’ll be saving complexity, saving weight, and cleaning up the look of your bike.

Below is a generic wiring diagram I whipped up that can be used as a guideline. I tried not to tailor it specifically to any particular model of bike, and I tried to make it as easy to understand as possible – but really any 70’s and early 80’s model bike with carbs will adapt to this diagram quite well. This diagram is setup to run a headlight and brake light, keep your battery charged, and have a keyed ignition. Personally, I sometimes strip my bikes even further, but I’ll mention that further down the page.

When working on your existing wiring loom it is best not to just start cutting wildly (like I do!) but to be very careful. Inside your headlight is where much of the wiring converges, so is a good place to start. Remove your headlight and start trimming back the sheaths. Slice back the sheaths of the wiring loom as far as possible to expose the wires inside.

If this is your first electronics exploration, start with something easier. Pick a fixed item you’d like to remove and trace the wires. An easy starting point is the blinkers. To remove your blinkers, unbolt them one at a time, then trace the wires through the cut open sheath. The grounding wire will most likely be shared with your headlight and gauges depending on the bike, so don’t trace the black wire, just unplug it. But, you should be able to follow the positive lead from each blinker all the way to the flasher relay which will be near the battery and rectifier under the seat. You can remove all of this wiring, the relay, and of course the blinkers.

Keep going one item at a time. You should DEFINITELY be using a volt meter. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A VOLT METER GO BUY ONE NOW! You can buy a cheap volt meter from Harbor Freight or Northern Tool for around $10 that will look something like this:

It will do everything you need. Or if you are a stickler for high quality tools like I am you can spring for something like a Craftsman Multimeter for around $50-60. This is what I use – though I must state, I only use 10% of what this device is capable of.

It should be noted that my diagram caters to my desires – I generally remove the switch controls on the left side of the handlebars, and the ones on the right if possible (often times the throttle housing and switches are a single unit). I replace my controls with simple switches picked up from radio-shack, and mount them where ever pleases me at the time. Sometimes I’ll make a little plate to mount them on the dash:

Or sometimes I’ll just stick them to the headstock, or under the seat so they are out of the way completely. The above KZ440 I didn’t remove a lot from. In this picture I had one switch overriding the keyed ignition, and another activating the starter. It was kind of a weird setup, but the only photo I have handy.

But anyway…..

When removing things you always want to make sure they are either not being utilized or serve no essential purpose. If you have the bike running and you’re watching voltage on a particular item (for example: a neutral switch), you’ll understand when it’s being used and when it isn’t and this will help you make a decision of whether or not it should be cut out.

I will usually ditch the:

  • Gauges
  • Ignition
  • Blinkers and Flasher relay
  • Left controls (right side depending on throttle setup)
  • Side stand switch
  • Oil pressure switch
  • Neutral switch
  • Maybe a front brake switch depending on the type
  • License plate light

My general goal isn’t to be legal. You know what I’m after.

There is a lot more involved with doing a clean wiring trim than what I’ve mentioned here, but hopefully this helps push you in the right direction. If you have questions, please ask them either here in the comments or on my new Motorcycle Repair Forums. I do my best to help out everyone who posts.

Also – for some of you who are more adventurous and are looking for a hardcore diagram for modifying a kickstart only bike to run sans battery – have a looky:

I won’t explain the above right here right now – but if you’re looking to go as low profile as possible and have questions, please let me know. On many bikes you’ll need to introduce a capacitor or two and possibly a particular regulator unit.




A reader recently had a very note worthy comment. My diagrams above have the brake light controlled by the same switchable power source as the headlight. This means that you must turn on the headlight for the brake light to be active. While I tend to like this setup – it isn’t necessarily the safest. If you forget to turn on your lights, your brake light won’t work. Hans graciously sent me an edited version of my diagram with the adjustment on it. Have a look:


153 Responses to “Simple Motorcycle Wiring Diagram for Choppers and Cafe Racers”

  1. Mike Gillikin
    March 30th, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    I’m looking for a copy of some of the early wiring diagrams from “the good old days”– 60s, 70s & 80s— preferably the Santee or Ron Finch but other wiring diagrams specific to the KZ1000.
    I just got a very clean 78 model but the harness was junk.
    Can anybody help with this
    Mike G.


  2. Wiring Diagram for Amen Chassisworks Choppers » Evan Fell Motorcycle Works
    March 30th, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    [...] this wiring diagram than in the one I put together as a guide in my Simple Motorcycle Wiring post: http://cycles.evanfell.com/2010/03/simple-motorcycle-wiring-diagram-for-choppers-and-cafe-racers Bookmark This [...]

  3. Evan Fell
    March 30th, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    Hi Mike –

    You can follow the link above (comment #2) to a wiring diagram provided by Amen – should be very similar to anything provided by Santee. It’s also quite similar to my diagram in this very post.

    You can find a wiring diagram for you 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 here: http://cycles.evanfell.com/2010/03/wiring-diagram-for-1977-1978-kawasaki-kz1000-and-kz1000ltd/


  4. Jonesy
    April 2nd, 2010 @ 9:22 am

    Great write-up! Wish I’d had something like this years ago. Does a better job of explaining a bike’s electrics than anything I’ve seen. Instead of trying to decipher the complexity of one of those stock diagrams, you can build off of these simple diagrams. Kudos!


  5. Christopher Beaman
    April 5th, 2010 @ 9:10 am

    Wow, this looks like such a valuable resource. I am still getting into bikes and fixing them (trying to build one with my dad) but this looks really cool. Will be checking back for more info.


  6. J.D.
    April 11th, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

    I need a wiring diagram for a HondaCBR600F2. Can you help me find one.


  7. waid repik
    April 14th, 2010 @ 11:51 am

    like your web page.
    i’m building a vintage street tracker out of an old sportster. i want to run just the min. i am running a magneto and was wondering if i could run my headlight and taillight with just the mag and eliminate the gen.?
    i want a high-lo, rear brake light, kill button,i have a toggle switch on the mag for on-off, oil pressure indicator light, and a high beam indicator light. is this possible?


  8. lloyd blair
    April 19th, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    hello finally a wiring diagram but i need to know will it work for a cb650 1980 honda bobber it needs to be ca state legal


  9. Evan Fell
    April 19th, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

    Hi Lloyd,

    California requires blinkers – most states do. There are no blinkers included in my diagrams above but they can easily be added on. Personally I like to risk it without blinkers (but I don’t necessarily recommend that you do the same).


    nixy Reply:

    hi i want to do a basic wiring job on a xj900f can i ditch the tci unit and run the ign coils straight off the pickup coils?,how do i hook up the reg/rec? cheers nixy


  10. Randall
    April 20th, 2010 @ 4:46 am

    Hey, evan, great writeup,
    planning on using the diagram for a cb360 cafe build im in the middle of,

    if i recall correctly, there are only 20 states that require turn signals on the bike, i may be wrong though.

    i do have a question for you,

    i have heard conflicting sides of the story when it comes to battery elimination.

    on one side, i’ve heard that its perfectly fine to run a points bike just off the factory generator,

    and i have also heard that if it doesnt have electronic ignition, you either need a battery or magneto to make it work,

    now i can understand needing a battery or a magneto if you have a heavy electrical load, but if you only have headlight, tail and brake, and ignition, it should run fine, with just the factory generator, correct?

    also, i know you can use a radioshack rectifier, but in your diagram you have it wired as a regulator/rectifier combo unit.

    could you wire the stator directly to the rectifier, and then run a regulator in line?


  11. steve
    April 27th, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to put your wiring diagrams on the net. Very helpful indeed. As for blinkers in CA, I believe you can’t manufacture a motorcycle without the blinkers as for your garage chop you should be O.K.. You just have to use hand signals to comply with vehicle codes. I have yet to be stopped for not having blinkers on my xs650 yamabobber for quite a few years now.


  12. Evan Fell
    April 27th, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

    @steve – yes, you are right about blinkers in CA. However, if you are riding at night you are technically required to have them. I have never had any issues either.


  13. steve g.
    May 14th, 2010 @ 1:41 am

    Thanks for the wiring posts, they have inspired me on my cb350 project. I want to run sans battery to have the kick start only. I am having a problem working out the AC generator to stock regulator and rectifier to get proper output while keeping the special smoke in the rectifier. Furthermore, you mentioned the use of a capacitor, the local guys say it can’t be done properly. How can I prove em wrong?

    Thanks again


  14. Bruce
    May 19th, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    like your web page.
    i’m building a vintage street tracker out of an old sportster. i want to run just the min. i am running a magneto and was wondering if i could run my headlight and taillight with just the mag and eliminate the gen.?
    i want a high-lo, rear brake light, kill button,i have a toggle switch on the mag for on-off, oil pressure indicator light, and a high beam indicator light. is this possible?


  15. chris
    May 28th, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    hey evan, thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge. just getting into a cafe build and having wiring problems. what does the rectifier do does the battery feed to the rectefier go thru the ign. switch first. my problem is i keep blowing fuses, seems like power going thru my key switch and grounding out when the switch is bolted to the frame causing the fuse to blow. any ideas thanks


  16. yuval ben moshe
    May 29th, 2010 @ 2:27 am

    I rbuild my old kz1000 to custom bike, my wiring drove him crazy!!!
    i search long long…time for easy wiring diagram.
    today i will start work based on your direction.
    thanks again Evan.


  17. Evan Fell
    May 30th, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    @Steve – It will depend greatly on the model of bike. I’m not sure specifically about the CB350. The capacitor setups were traditionally done Triumph guys. There is a company in the UK (blanking on the name) that still makes battery eliminator setups for the old Triumph twins. The Yamaha XS guys have adapted them for duty on the 650. Anything can be made to work, but I bet you’ll need some machining on any of the SOHC Honda’s to fit the appropriate parts. The points based ignitions require a steady stream of voltage to operate properly. I would need to do more research for your particular bike.

    @Bruce – if you have a Magneto then yes it’s possible to run the setup you want on your Sportster.

    @Chris – A rectifier converts the AC current produced by your stator, to DC current to power the 12v system of your bike. The regulator ‘regulates’ the amount of DC current so that your battery doesn’t get over charged and you don’t provide spikes of voltage to the bikes electrics (which can damage them). Your problem can be caused my many things. Post over in my forums and I’ll give you a hand. http://forum.evanfell.com

    @Yuval – Good luck. The diagrams I posted are just a guideline. If you have any questions let me know.



  18. kevin lenart
    June 21st, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    hey on my kawasaki 440 ltd there is another switch right above the turn signal switch tht has an A on 1 end and a M on the other end idk what it means does anyone know


  19. Evan Fell
    June 21st, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

    @Kevin – There are two vertical switches above the turn signal switch. The one on the left is for High and Low beam. The one on the right (marked A and M) stands for Automatic and Manual. This is to turn on and off the blinker auto-cancellation feature of the LTD model. In Manual mode you control the blinkers as normal. In Automatic mode the blinkers will shut themselves off after a certain amount of time.


  20. Joel
    July 10th, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    I have a 1959 Cushman Eagle with a late model Briggs v twin in it. I moved to New Zealand about two years ago and they insist on me having a bright light indicator. Here’s the problem. I assumed like on your simple wiring diagram that in the headlight the three wires were high, low and negative. Problem is this. I got a 12v led to use and when I use the negative or ground to the chasis the other two wires are hot on both bright and dim even though the light obviously swithes between them. Any ideas on the problem or a fix would be most helpful. Thanks in advance.


  21. Nick
    July 11th, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    I am trying to resurrect an old honda cb360 for a cafe project

    the wiring on this thing is shit, so I am thinking about just starting from scratch

    related to this I have a few questions:

    1) Neither of you diagrams shows a condenser, but the stock cb360 has one. Is this no longer needed with this setup?

    2) I am thinking about getting pretty much all new stuff. I already have a replacement set of points and condenser for the cb360. Now I need a solenoid and a couple ignition coils for sure, and I may require a new rectifier. If I am unable to find cb360 specific parts, can I use other kinds? For instance I saw on some other forums accounts of people using yamaha xs650 coils successfully on a cb360. The thing that is bugging me is the lack of concrete electrical data for use with in my ground up custom design(i.e. resistance, capacitance, current, and voltage data). Without knowing things like how much juice I am getting from my alternator, the specs of stock cb360 coils and the solenoid and starter and so on, I am hesitant to slap too much stuff on there that was not intended for this bike.

    Any general guidance in this area would be much appreciated.


  22. Evan Fell
    July 17th, 2010 @ 8:49 pm


    Sounds like an issue with whatever switch you are using for hi/lo. I’m not quite sure I understand your problem, but the hi/lo switch should only send current down one hot lead at a time.


    1. There are many different ignition setups on bikes. My diagrams are broad in this area because each bike will need their own setup. Do not remove your condenser, it is needed to prevent arching on the points.

    2. Agreed. I would not swap out your existing coils with coils from another bike unless you know the electrical requirements of each part and determine them to be comparable. Running coils that demand too high of a current can burn up your ignition, and conversely, running coils that demand too low of a current won’t produce adequate spark for your motor. Every bike is different.

    I don’t have the specs for the parts in question, but I’m sure you can find them if you dig around online.


  23. brad
    August 9th, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    Evan, finding your blog is a godsend. Thanks for sharing your insight. I’m building a ground up street tracker from an 82 dohc cb750. Your amended diagram has everything except blinkers which are required for an 82 in Texas, I’m doing bar end single filaments. Can you give me a clue as to the addition of that circuit to the addendum diagram above? cheers, brad


  24. Jim
    August 16th, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    Evan, I`m tickeled pink that I found your website I have an 1982 KZ1000 police that runs at constant loss. I have replaced the stator, regulator & battery the regulator that I got is a regulator/rectifier its what they called for so I bought it haven`t taken the old rectifier out as the lights & blinkers are plug`ed into it can you give me a diagram that will show me how to wire this beast so I can ride without worry about getting home it does have a breaker`less ingition. short rides are not what this bike was made for.
    please help me :P
    thanks jim


  25. bryan ellis
    August 26th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    thanks for the info, it will be helpful when i put my cb 360 bobber back together. if you have any inco for a 74 honda cb360 only i would like to have a look at it. i am only running speedo, head light and tail light. any info would be great. thanks bryan


    steve Reply:

    hey just came across your comment in this blog. i too have a cb360 bobber. it’s a ‘75. i am pretty sure i have a custom wiring setup as i only have a headlight and tailight, i bought it with the setup it has. so i’m riding a couple days ago, headlight burns out, and the whole bike starts running horrible, like it’s starved for power, any ideas? do i need this complete circut just for the bike to run properly?


    Kyle Reply:

    i have a 73 honda cb350,and a few other older hondas,ive found out that the older bikes do need a fully charged battery to fire properly,i found this out after replaceing almost everything on the bike,but then again i cant say every older bike i have a honda xl175 and it will run without a battery


    Evan Fell Reply:

    Yes, this is very true of the Honda CB’s – they require a good battery to fire up and run strong. However, there are aftermarket stators and ignitions that can be installed which will allow for removal of the battery.

  26. Daniel
    November 18th, 2010 @ 2:45 am

    Hello, your site has what I need¡¡¡ I have a honda cb 750 1981 custom, my problem is all the wire conection, I buy the bike whit the hope to ride her some day, but i can’t do her start. My cuestion is: Can i use te “Custom Motorcycle Wiring Diagram” to wire my bike?
    Can I “delete” some components like the sparks units and/or others?
    please please help me I am a desperate and something disillusioned 19 years old guy, I only want to ride my bike¡

    Thanks in advance.

    Sorry for the grammar, i dont speak-write very well english.


    Evan Fell Reply:

    What is the problem you are having? If the bike won’t start it could be caused by all sorts of things? Are you sure it is a wiring problem?


  27. omar barcelo
    November 26th, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    me, and my brother want to make from a Honda CB 750 a nice Bobber but we don’t know too much about electric connections in the motorcycle and we would like to make the motor run and we don’t know what to do to make the motor run. Is there any way to connect the simple thing to make the engine start? I would appreciate your response. Thanks.


  28. Evan Fell
    February 3rd, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    The motor needs several items connected and operational to run properly. A battery, the stator, regulator, rectifier, and the points or electronic ignition depending on the year of your bike. You need to diagnose the issue you are having. I would recommend connecting up everything to the bike as shown in the factory wiring diagram, the go from there.


  29. Lina
    March 14th, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    Hey there. I just bought a 72 cl350 that was an abandoned stock cafe racing project. The starter and battery have been pulled and replaced with a battery eliminator. The previous owner told me that it wasn’t wired correctly and he hasn’t been able to get it figured out. Would you possibly have some advice, schematics, or anything to help me know where to get started? Thanks!


  30. shannon
    March 27th, 2011 @ 12:02 am

    hi i have a 1977 cb750a , as i was cranking it over all the lights went out and the starter button quit working all at once. i checked all the fuses theyre good.if i cant figure this out and decide to wire it simply like in your diagram how do i wire the rectifier/regulator / there are 8 wires,3 yellows,2greens,1red,1white,and 1 black where do they all go?


    maynard myers Reply:

    just about the same promblem as shannon . I put a combanation reg-rec , on my 1975 cb 750. As far as i can tell the only wires you use are three yellow one white @ black. I want to use a 12v battery off my drill to power it . will it work ?


  31. tertius
    March 31st, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    hi there is it posible for u to send me a diagram i have a engine no idea what it is want to put it on a go kart i got a bunch of wiring and stuff with it like cdi igniter box coil i think it is a 750 4 cylinder honda hurricane motor i just want it to start and charge the batery


  32. RAMON
    March 31st, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    gracias por compartir tus experiencias ya que apenas me compre una moto y eas curiosidad de saver como funciona gracias de antemano


  33. kris hellgever
    April 21st, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    good diagrams im a jry lineman its funny how a simple DC series circuit can be such a pain on a chopper ha


  34. fangy boyle
    April 24th, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    Hi,could you give me some advice about wiring,I’ve got a 83 z750 chop,It’s got one off wiring with a gpz600r solonoid.One of the wires from the ignition barrel goes through a 30amp fuse to the battery the other from the barrel goes through a 10amp fuse to the starter button and from the starter button to the large terminal that holds the starter motor cable on the solonoid.I conected a 14Ah battery to it to try turn it over and the main (30amp) fuse blew. Is it ok to have the starter button wire going to this terminal?
    Thanks for any help you can give me.


  35. kris hellgever
    April 25th, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

    to F Boyle are you using a volt meter when making connections? theres only three types of elec faults: open,grounded,circuit to circuit the use of atest light or bulb to determine proper connection is useful before something exspensive burns up


  36. danielb sr.
    April 26th, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    evan you are the perfect person for me to getsome advise from . I perchased a 260 china scooter it ran 324 miles then stopped have replaced the starter , 2 newcoils CDI and right now I have the whole body off I checked the wiring found it almost all fried. here is my question I went to a scooter dealer who ordered me a 300 atv coil after putting it on it ran find for about 10 just long enough to burn most of the wires. I want to rewire this thing, it has a CDI< RECTIFIER< an internal magneto can IU rewire this scooter eleminate alarm system ,kill switch. would appreceate any help might have to send me to danielb1941@gmail.com or call me 407-350-3569 thanks


  37. john
    April 28th, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    Evan, as I was searching for parts I ran across your sight. so I decided to read for a bit. I must say you did a good job. this will help a lot of poor boys. keep up the good work. John


  38. Brody
    May 17th, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    Nice diagrams Evan, I’m working on bobbing out a 1982 KZ750, i’d like to use one of the above diagrams, but I’m having trouble finding electrical parts and resources, any suggestions?


  39. Todd
    May 30th, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    hello Evan, I have just stumbled upon your site and would like to say that it is great to see someone share their knowledge so freely. I have an XS650 chop which until last night had a wiring loom in it that worked but was waiting to catch fire due to some pretty rough mods, i have removed it and want to renew the whole thing. As expected the bike runs very little in the way of indicators etc.I have every thing I need but am just trying to paln my attack on making a new loom. Am i best to do it on the bike or on my work bench and then fit it to the bike? Can you give me any tips in the best way to approach this. Thanks in advance, Todd


  40. tim
    June 20th, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    was wondering if this bobber wiring dig.will work on any honda


  41. Kyle
    June 21st, 2011 @ 3:26 am

    hello i have a honda cm400 i made it a hardtail bobber,i recentlky had a fire to my wireing and when i was fixing it i found that it has been cut and basicly rigged to hell and back,so i removed the harness and just pluged the maqin wires from the engine straight to the coils,i need to no were to start with the regulator so i can have a headlight and taillight with out running my battery dead


  42. Kyle
    June 21st, 2011 @ 3:30 am

    i basicly need to start from scratch i have removed the old wireing and all the unnecesery items,all i want is a headlkight ,tailight/brake light and maybe a light in my speedometer. i have the old wireing,fuse box and all that,i have some inline fuses i got from my local hardware store so i want to use them,im looking at your diagrams on herr and they help alot but im still not sure how to have ju8ust a vopl,tage regulator for my lights.were do i start? what does the voltage reg. hook to?


  43. Zach
    July 7th, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    I have a 1978 CB750 that I just bought and from someone who was halfway through a battery elimination process. All I need to run is headlight,and taillight, and throw spark to the pluggs because it is kick start. There is a 3 was switch for the power, start, on, and off. A 3 way switch for the headligh, high, low, off. I am very nervous about finishing up the wiring on this… Any help would be greatly appreciated. He did switch the alternator/magnetos so that it would actually work for this bike as the stock alternator used electro magents.


  44. Matt G
    July 9th, 2011 @ 12:38 am

    Hey Evan,

    Quick question. Above you mentioned that you got your switches from radio shack. I’m rebuilding my wiring harness and am a little confused as to how much amperage i need per switch. Any insight. One thing i particularly want to do is integrate starter switch into the handlebars. I purchased a 3-amp momentary just for grins. Will this do the job? Thanks!


    Evan Fell Reply:

    For a starter switch direct to the starter itself – definitely not, the starter takes a LOT of juice. But if you are still using the starter solenoid, which I imagine you are, then a 3-amp will be fine as there is very little draw to the solenoid.

    For other switches: 10amp is plenty for a headlight. A 55 watt bulb at 13 volts has a current of only 4.2 amps (55w/13v=4.2a).


  45. Tom
    August 14th, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    This page was a godsend!!! I just bought an 82 Yamaha Maxim XJ650 minus the wiring for 200. someone else had bought the bike just for the harness and gave it to me for a steal. I am a noob when it comes to all of this stuff and this page gave me everything I needed to know. I followed the diagram exactly as it was shown and it started right up. Now to finish the bike out and have some fun. Thanks for the diagram!


  46. Fernando
    August 18th, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    Excellent diagrams! I am working on a 1983 Kawasaki gpz 1100 and I will definitely use your diagram. I have one question though: where would I place the CDI? I just bought a new DYNA 2000 and would like to use it.
    Thanks for your invaluable information.


  47. CRUZ
    August 22nd, 2011 @ 10:21 am



  48. mongo 3tmf
    August 23rd, 2011 @ 1:03 am

    hey whats up i need some info . im rebuilding a 69 benelli its a total rebuild no harness at all all that is on the bike is points,coils, genie,battery,regulatory,headlight,tail light and brake switch. this is kick only i plan on using switches for points and accessories so any help or ideas would be great


  49. B lootzs
    August 24th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    Hey Evan,

    I was wondering where you got that cargo rack or where you think I could find one for the 74 Honda CB 350 F. Please let me know if you can help me out. I want to be able to carry a passenger and cargo at the same time.




  50. kevo
    September 1st, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    got a 80 xs1100 bobbing it will only run with starter engaged any ideas?


  51. kevo
    September 1st, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    got a 80 xs1100 will only run with starter engaged any ideas?


  52. Chuck
    September 4th, 2011 @ 1:48 pm


    Amazing site, definitely got me in the right direction.
    I’ve got an 82 Honda CM450 that I’m trying to bob out and make as minimal as possible. Looking for a wiring diagram (and parts required) to get started. I’m looking to do a kickstart only with just a head light and tail/brake light and no battery, plus kill switch.
    Your motorycle with no battery diagram above seems like what I’m going for, but I’ve been told I need to do a magneto/generator and capicitor setup. Any advice/diagram for this setup?
    Again, just looking to go as simple as possible.


  53. jeff
    October 10th, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    will this wiring diagram work on my 1980 Honda 650.. thanks


  54. MattGinOK
    November 23rd, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    What gauge wiring is used where? (or how do i determine that) I’m having a real problem attempting to find this info. As u can guess, I’m not an EE.



  55. paul
    November 26th, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    nice site i understand the diagrams, but being a plumber my one question is what size wire. i have and old 69 softtail harley i am tring to save from the grave andi want to chop a ;ittle here and there. just need a little help. THANKS


  56. J Mitchell
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:15 am

    Hi, this is great work, thank you very much. I would like to ask some more questions about the battery free diagram if you have the time.

    I have a bobbed ‘86 450 Rebel that I love, and I would very much like to go kickstart + battery free on her.

    Do you have advice for that year and model?


    - J


    ghafeez Reply:

    Hey I just bought a cmx450 and im redoing the wiring, i know your comment was from a few years ago but I was wondering if you ever acheived what you wanted and how? if not what way did you do it and with what diagram? A replie would be greatly appreciated.


  57. chad
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 2:41 am

    do i need the pulse generator


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  59. Chuck
    February 24th, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    I have a 1978 CB750 that was running great. I I Rinsed off the lower half of the frame and wheels with light spray and will not start since. I have checked all of the fuses and seems there is no spark from the coils. Any suggestions, has really become a challenge.


    Les Reply:

    All your answers are here.



  60. Les
    February 27th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    That last wiring diagram. Remove the break light switch and rename brakelight to taillight and it works.


  61. Frank
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 3:38 am

    hey evan, please help me out. im 19 and just got into bikes and was blessed with a 1975 honda cl360, and iv just been wrenching at this bike day and night and finally hit a wall. to break this down i completely cut all the wiring from the right control handle bar (on/off,electric start,light on/off) out and disconnected all the wiring from the main harness. and left the control housing connected for throttle and brake still. but my problem is my engine wont run..? all els electricals work and battery fully charged…obviously i cant elctric start but kick start isnt working for me either. does any of the electricals from the right controls need to be plugged in in order for the engine to run or is there any other way around this. say maybe jumping the wires as i was advised ? or would i have to buy and plug in a complete right control side for my bike ? i really just want run the bike without the right side controls/wiring/ect period. i just dont know how….please help me man. thankyou !


  62. Brandon
    March 9th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    WOW, great write-up!! I’m currently hollow-modding a 1989 TW200 and your explanation and bare-bones wiring diagram will help me thin the herd of wires running up into the headlamp area.


  63. ken
    March 10th, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    i have a 75 yamaha dt250 no lights,blinkers or battery just want kick start on/off toggle have 4 wires coming out of engine looks like only one wire to cdi where do i go with other wires what do i need and where do i get it. thanks


  64. Dom
    March 11th, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    can i run my 1980 cm400 with a capacitor instead of the battery,was looking at a battery eleminator system like the ones for triumph’s,my bike as a kickstarter,thanks


    paully Reply:

    check out my reply it should help you. i bought a sparky on ebay its for triumph but it will work as long as you have a magnetized system i believe. but anyways search battery eliminator on ebay and its called sparky it has all you need in one unit. hope that helps


  65. rick
    March 17th, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    i am chopping a1981 cm 400 honda ineed to know how to make it ron with electronie ignition looks like if you anser all these other peopel you are dedaketed.


  66. rick
    March 18th, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    i am chopping acm400 honda.ineed to know how to wire it useing theelectronic ignition on the bike rick


  67. Jay
    March 23rd, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    I need a simplified diagram for an 81 yamaha xj 650, electronic ignition


  68. paully
    April 20th, 2012 @ 3:11 am

    I bought a sparky battery eliminator(they say its for triumph) but i installed it on my honda cl350 per this diagram and it works. so i want to say a big thanks to evan fell. you are a God send! and to all the guys on here wondering what to use to connect directly from your stator. its called a sparky and i got it on ebay for 60 bucks. it does everything you need to not have a battery, rectifier/capasitor ect.. again many thanks i had no idea how to hook it up before i saw this site. and most sites told me to just run a battery and give up. i had already bought the sparky and was determined to make it work. you rock!!


  69. Yale
    April 26th, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    Love the wiring diagrams. just stripped down a Yamaha XS650 and getting ready to re-wire. I wanted to cut down on the size of the battery to conserve space, weight, etc. I am using a headlight and one rear running/brake light. Its a kick start bike with points ignition. How small of a battery can i go with ??


  70. Allan
    May 8th, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    Oh mate, what a bloody lifesaver you are!!! I live on Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, and have a chopped Honda super four. I am no electrician, and the bike’s wiring is a nightmare that I have been struggling with for months. With your info I can now scrap the whole mess and start from scratch.. bloody brilliant! Thank you Evan.
    Just one question… my ignition/key start is from a car, and so also does away with the seperate starter button. So how would the wiring look for that?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience Evan… Alan


  71. tony schneider
    May 10th, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    I have a 1980 suzuki 550. The starter has a brown black and green wire comeing from it. What do these mean and how do I wire a momentary switch to it?


  72. mike sweeney
    May 29th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    Hi there i used this wirring diagram on my cb360t chopper and workd great than slowly fell apart. So i put new coils in by mikexs and new boots but my bike will only run without the condencer?????????????? Weard And it has weak spark on left side untill around 3000 rpm than spark jumps up and clears up. Forgot to mention one hell of a time trying to start. Any ideas im stumped Talked to atleast 50 or so people and no idea. Thanks man


    jason Reply:

    had almost same issue sounds like your points are either off a bit or a bad condenser i changed mine and it works way better will it bog or pop or spit any thing like that and did you feel the muffs to see if same heat from both


    jason Reply:

    sorry didnt read properly condenser is probally bad put new ones on should solve it also set gap and timing


  73. Paul
    June 6th, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    What gage wire should I use for the rewiring?


  74. Donnie Turner
    June 14th, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    man thank you,got a 1983 HONDA ngt/hwk in carport that only got to ride few times n quit, been there two months or more.finely got it to turn over,fuse box got hot,back to square one,I think it,s got to be wire,s.anyways while I was looking for parts found a 1983 HONDA 500/550 German metric,look,s like W.W.II bike. it has cafe seat,it is complete,rough but complete!my question is what its worth,I am thinking about going back after it,thought it was cool,n can get it dirt cheap.cannot find any info anywhere on it.THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!


  75. Jason
    July 4th, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    Hey i would really like to learn how to do the kickstart only wiring on my bike in a bit more detail i have a 75 cb360t any help would be great thank you.


  76. Gerritt Bott
    July 19th, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Hello, this is a great site. I am looking for the most basic wiring diagram I can find specific to a 78 gs 550 (toggle switch for bike, toggle switch for lights). I am also a little concerned with the wiring to the coils… I wasn’t sure if the cb750 schematic would work as this bike has a seperate regulator and rectifier. Is the regulator and rectifier on this system designed to be set up only one way? Or can I adapt these parts to a schematic above. I have removed the electronic start. I have a little electrical experience as I repair wind turbines. Thanks.


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  78. Brad
    August 7th, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Like everyone else, I would like to thank you, great site. Now, don’t the spark units on these bikes act in place of a vacuum advance? Should I expect to have to adjust the timing a degree or two?


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  81. Brynr
    November 1st, 2012 @ 1:29 am

    Building my second bike and decided to do the wiring myself. I want to keep blinkers. Think i could get a version of this with the blinkers added. I Think i might could do it but i don’t wanted to make sure i had something to look at.


  82. joe price
    November 3rd, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    hi im running a 82gs 1100g i have the cdi ignitor box i was wonderi g could this adapt to my bike my wiring was shot and i to like the naked look only the essentials i am having a hard time with this one for some reason


  83. brian moran
    November 4th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

    Thank you so much for the website and info, i just cut most of the wiring out of my ‘82 450 nighthawk to attempt a brat bike. after cutting 95% out and walking away a few time your diagram gave me the ah ha moment i needed to get it to turn over. thanks again.


  84. Tom
    November 4th, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

    Thank you very much for your schematic. I just picked up an 81 xs1100 sans wiring, but seeing as how it is a bobber project that is fine. I am brand new to fixing up bikes and electrical in general though. On your diagram it shows the wires running from the coils to the points or pickup and then to a ground. What exactly are points/pickups? Other than that it looks very simple. I am also not sure if the rectifier plugs directly into the stator, or will I need to splice the wires together?


  85. rick
    November 11th, 2012 @ 2:47 am

    can any one help me i picked up a honda cm400 realy cheap and am doing a odlschool bobber and i want to get rid of all the crap under the seat i was told by 2 shops that it cant be done and keep it running its a 1980 model is this true?


  86. Harris
    November 11th, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    So I a redoing an xs1100 and I am not an expert with wiring. I have all the main stuff wired up, but I am not sure if that is everything I need to do based off your diagram. You mentioned I might need some resistors added, do you know which ones/where?


  87. Alan
    November 23rd, 2012 @ 1:51 am

    This is as simple as it gets


    Alan Reply:

    Well I’m not to sure on pickup coils for my 81 750 I took the harness a little thinner than your normal rider .but it doesn’t look like the diagram at all still too many wires. How do I know what is what


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  89. jord
    January 24th, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

    hey there i followed your wiring diagram with no battery and im not getting any spark to my bike when i kick it over was wondering if you could give me any input.. i have a 81 xs400 heritage special. thanks!


  90. Ian
    January 28th, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    I need a little help with wiring. I am a first timer trying to build a cafe racer. I re-located the regulator/rectifier , the starter relay solenoid and the battery under the seat cowel. It turns out that my starter is no good. I was told that you didn’t need the starter solenoid if you didn’t have a starter. Do you have a diagram for wiring my cb360t with keeping the battery and all signals and ditching the starter and starter solenoid? I tried wiring it on my own with no success. Do I need in line fuses? If you can send any info or recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks



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  92. dan quinn
    February 6th, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    so with this simple wiring dia i dont the spark units right go from the pulse unit to the coils?
    tks dan


  93. Dart
    February 16th, 2013 @ 1:19 am

    I have a 95 1400cc Suzuki intruder someone put apehangers on it and changed the wireing on it instead of having the stock push button it had a radio shack button in the hole, the old button must have burned out.Anyway the one from radio shack burned out shortly after I bought the bike so I dicided to put an old harly push button on it.It worked three times one right after another I must have over heated something because I lost all power. So I pulled the seat off to check the fuses which I really dont have a clue look like & found a burned wire going into the black igniter box. I pulled the book out and read about auto compresion releases & still dont know what or why I dont have power to anything or what the igniter box does could you please help me Im not as stupid as I sound maybe? but when it comes to electricity pretty ignorant.Thanks for any help at all. Dart


  94. Jeremy
    February 27th, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    Im looking for any help on my wiring on my 1982 Suzuki GSL550. I would like to ditch everything except speedo, headlight, brake/plate light


  95. blivy
    April 24th, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    Hey Evan,
    thanks for posting this. Do you have any ideas how this might work with a ‘79 CX500 Custom?

    Stock it has a CDI unit, but I changed out the Stator from a G47 Stator to a G8 stator and got an Ignitech to replace the CDI.

    Thanks in advance for the help,


  96. scott
    April 25th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    I have a 1966-ish CB160 I am trying to get started. It is in decent shape, however it is not starting or spark. There are a few wires that seem to be loose and no battery. There is no stater on the bike eitther. I was wondering what wires I need to connect to get spark and begin trouble shooting. Needless to say I am new to the vintage bike scene but very excited.

    Thank you -


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  98. Shane
    May 10th, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

    I have kz440 custom hardtail. Has headlight break light key ignition that’s it , but keeps draining batt. Even when key is off. I can’t find a short n wires. What do I do? Very irritating.


  99. Shane
    May 11th, 2013 @ 12:42 am

    Please help


  100. Isaiah heffernan
    May 13th, 2013 @ 1:12 am

    I have a 1980 kz1000b4 and want to make kickstart only and run only the lights. What do i need to do to remove the battery system and basically all the wireing like the simple wire diagram


  101. john shearer
    May 24th, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    i would like to find a simplified wiring diagram for 1981 cb650 custom. would like to keep blinkers, horn, lights…have done a chopper in the past, but would like a schematic to follow…


  102. Jay Seaberg
    July 28th, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    Looking for a simple wire diagram to build a wire harness for a 1982 virago xv750 that is going to be cafe’d any and all will help.


  103. Moto Mccor
    August 9th, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    I am bobbing my suzuki gs850gt. I have to reworded. All I want is headlight, brake light, turn signals, hi lo beam switch. Could you maybe do up wiring diagram that I could use as a guideline. Thank you.


  104. Josh Hester
    August 9th, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    These diagrams are super helpful!! Quick question though. I have a 75 CB360 that I want as small of a battery as possible on and my goal is to make it so I have only a key ignition with no start button (just kick start) with only front and rear lights with LEDs for turn signals. Is this even possible? Do I need a start switch with a key ignition? Thanks!


  105. Mikael
    August 24th, 2013 @ 11:48 am

    Hi Evan,

    Thank you for this very helpful information. One item that I don’t seem to see anything about on this forum is changing to a smaller battery. I’ve seen a lot of stripped down bikes on the net that presumably still have a battery, but I can not find it in pics. Is there a way of replacing standard batteries with a much smaller battery? I’m rebuilding a 1981 CB900 custom based on a couple of CRD and Deus rebuilds. I want to simplify everything yet retain my electric starter. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,



  106. Jorge
    August 25th, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    Hello Evan,
    I am working on a Yamaha XS250 1977. I am not so into the electrical stuff, so I need some help here?

    I am building a cafe racer, but want to leave out as much as possible. So no turn signals, no battery (only using Kick starter). So it is just head and taillight. Do you have some sort of a wiring diagram for this? I heard that by removing the battery you will need a capacitor? But how does this work? And do I still need a starter switch? Please can you help me out?

    Kind regards,
    The Netherlands (Europe)


  107. Jacob
    August 31st, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    Hey Evan,

    I have a 1981 Yamaha 850xs Special(triple piston >.<) that I'm trying to bring back to life and customize!

    Honestly, the number of pistons intimidated me just because I'm used to seeing either 2, or 4.

    Can you please help me by showing me a diagram describing/illustrating how to wire 3 ignition coils on a motorcycle with three pistons so that it will run like it's supposed to?
    My first motorcycle project!!!
    I'm excited about getting it to run again! Thank you for showing the diagrams that you already have! It's inspiring for me.

    Plano, Texas


    Jacob Reply:

    Wait! Never mind! I figured it out! Thanks!


  108. Sam Meola
    September 6th, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    Hi. I have an ‘81 KZ440LTD. I’ve cut, chopped and bobbed it out… but now I want to do more. I’m trying to simplify the wiring. I want to eliminate the button start and key, and have the whole starting system on a typical automotive turn-key. I’m lost on exactly what to wire to which…BATTERY +, IGNITION, STARTER and ACCESSORY. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:41 am

    Thanks for your generic diagrams they have helped loads. I am in the process of building a Yamaha RD 250 air cooled cafe racer, the first of many for my retirement plan to keep me in the garage! It is kick start. I would like to run horn,headlight dipped+full beam with rear light, no indicators,rear+front brake light. It has generator/rectifier/regulator, points ignition with 2 coils, it will have a battery. Do you by any chance have a suitable diagram? Thankyou very much.


  110. pete
    February 22nd, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

    i have a kh550 and a ltd 550 inport. in boxes and i have got the wiring looms all in one box.
    con someone let me have wiring diagram of the kh550z
    ltd 550 to please


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  112. brent
    March 19th, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

    there has never been a book for the beginner.5 wires come out of the sator , where do thay go,


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  114. David
    March 24th, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

    I have an 81 cb650. At first there was no power at all, so Ireplaced the solenoid . Now there is power but the neutral light stays on all the time even with the ignition switch off or even when its not in neutral. When I hit the start button the neutral light turns off and the oil light comes on but the starter doesn’t turn unless you jump it with a screwdriver. I’m not good with wiring so I hoped you could help me troubleshoot it.


  115. Jeff Flemister
    March 26th, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    I’m trying to sort through and simplify the wiring on a 1977 KZ750(points/single coil). What would be required to be kick only, no battery? Thanx!


  116. TONE TANK
    March 29th, 2014 @ 2:58 am

    Hello, I was replacing the solenoid on my 79 Suzuki GS750, and in haste did so without disconnecting the battery, frying the main ground (black) wire as well as the ground for the solenoid. I have to replace these wires. Any suggestions or pointers? I was just going to trace the wires like you said because unfortunately the diagram in my Clymer Manual doesn’t totally make sense to me.I am new at this. Thanks


  117. Joshua
    April 16th, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

    I have a 2003 kawasaki vulcan 1300 classic need some help. can I do a bare minimum wiring job if the bike has fuel injection or do I need to consider swapping to a carburetor on the 1600


  118. David
    May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    I’m looking for a diagram for my ‘02 Honda VT1100C. I want to simplify & eliminate some items like the kickstand switch, kill switch and eliminate the Honda hand grip control blocks.
    I want the wiring to be simple like on my first bikes 1970 H-D FLH & ‘78 Bonneville.
    Please advise,


  119. tony
    May 26th, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    my bike dont have a electric starter. It will start without a battery. i need to know where to run the hot wire from the battery. I guess it runs the lights,The only lights will be head,tail and break lights.I want as little wires as possible.Its going to be a cafe racer. the man who had it before me and was doing the same thing i want to.He passed away and it was all apart in his basement when i got it.he stripped away all wires and the rest was in boxes.i havve it halfway running and together.after i get it all together i will take it apart and paint then put it back together and replace what neede replaceing.This is a long turm project because im disasbled and have very little money to do quickly. thanks for your time and any help will be great. Take & Care and thanks again!


  120. Jack cav
    June 18th, 2014 @ 5:17 am

    Woul the first wireing diagram work on a 125 off road buggy? It has all the same componets but we cant get a spark because the wireing is all over the place but it has a rectifire coil everying thats is needed could i could copy this diagaram onto there and it would work? Or would it be a different story? One more thing it has a power wire coming off the starter solinoid but it also has another wire coming from the solinoid on the same terminal as the power wire that has a 10amp inline fuse from yor diagram i can see that is for lights? On the buggy therr is a splice furter up that we can get 12v from but when i spliced into that and hooked it up to the coil the fuse blew?


  121. Dave
    July 16th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

    Ripping out every dang electrical wire off my 1983 kawasaki kz550 bobber and rewiring using this guide. Thanks!


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  123. Todd
    July 21st, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    This is an awesome write up. I am building a 84 bmw r80 chopper and need to get passed the electronic ignition set up that it has. do you happen to have any experience with these or suggestions on how to wire as simple and direct as possible. just looking for the basics to get the bike wired and on the road.

    Thanks for your help.


  124. Marvin Edmonds
    July 22nd, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

    I have a 1980 Yamaha maxim 650. My headlights come on when I turn the key but when I start it up they go off


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  126. Paul Tippett
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    wire diagram perfect but what gauge wire. THANKS


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  128. razor
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  133. Deborah
    October 3rd, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

    How can I have brake lights and not tail lights !!!??? Sooo frustrated ! Any advice appreciated !!


  134. Basic Wiring Diagram For Chopper | News Latest Update
    October 17th, 2014 @ 8:10 am

    [...] but i cant upload anyways heres a good diagram this diagram makes it look so much. Source: #, #, #, None [...]

  135. Yamaha G16e Solenoid Wiring Diagram | News Latest Update
    October 22nd, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    [...] relay harness. does not apply to older single pole single throw (spst) relays. does. Source: #, #, #, None [...]

  136. Eric mayall
    October 30th, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

    I need a basic wiring diagram to hard wire a 1979 gs850 the bike basically has no wires on it atm it’s just a motor on a rolling Frame please help!!!!!


  137. justin jenkins
    November 9th, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    Hey great stuff here I’ve got a 76 kaWI 750 twin the starter is taken out and i want to make it kickstart only can you send me a wiring diagram with a battery that you would recommend


  138. Arturo
    November 16th, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    The Information here is so clear and helpful… However, I have 2002 dyna that I’ve stripped down and left only the most essential for the bike to run, my question is, how does the map sensor get wired? Could someone please explain how the wiring on that works?


  139. chunky
    December 12th, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

    I have cb 750 sohc 1979 have problem i only have one cilender firering i have spark is it a carb problem or somthing elts


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Quick Intro

I have owned nearly every make and model of vintage Japanese motorcycle as well as a number of other Europeans and more modern bikes. I do everything from simple fixes to full restorations. I also travel and ride every chance I get.


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