BMW reassembly, part 5

Ah, the electrical work. What I need to do is fairly simple, just replace the switches for the abs disable and the 4-way flashers so that the new ones will mount in the Highway Dirt Bikes top clamp.

Actually, those were the easy ones, but a problem with the turn signals caused quite a delay.

I couldn’t get the turn signals to work properly. The right signal was fine, the left one wouldn’t flash at all and the indicator flashed quickly. I swapped bulbs from right to left as they looked fine, but the left side was still inop. I noticed that the dash illumination bulbs were flashing when the left signal should have been flashing, so I began to suspect a diode. Of course the diodes on the F650 are hidden inside the crankcase – not really but they are still tricky to get a hand on. Replacement diodes from BMW are $17 each, and that was just ridiculous. I had some 3W diodes that should work fine, so I soldered 1/4″ spade fittings and then shrink-wrapped them. I replaced the original diodes and unfortunately the left signal was still inop. OK, this is becoming annoying. I took the left rear signal apart, and it was fine. The left front however was not. One of the wires was not attached to anything. We are talking 12v here so it wasn’t likely to spark across space. I crimped the connector together with pliers to make a better mechanical and electrical connection and like magic the turn signals (and the flashers) are working. At least I have better diodes that aren’t working at their maximum capacity in place now.

I removed the oem heated grip switch because it simply wasn’t possible to use it with the aftermarket heaters. All I needed was a DPST center off switch, but I spent a good hour with the ohmmeter trying to work out a set of contacts that would give that result. Not to be found. So, I ordered a switch blank to cover the oem switch and a new mini rocker switch. Both arrived fairly promptly and the wiring was simple enough.

The grip heater elements are held onto the throttle tube and the shrink wrap with 3M adhesive and then the grips are glued on with JB Weld. Not bad, all assembled and working properly with my brand new switch.

You might think we’re ready to go now, but you’d be wrong. With the addition of the risers, the front brake line from the handlebars to the ABS block on the headstock is now too short to allow full-lock turns. I took the oem line off and went to the local custom bike shop to order a replacement 2″ longer. When it came back the fittings weren’t exactly the same angles, so the line had to be routed slightly different to the original. That difference was enough that the 2″ should have been 3″, but it wasn’t. Crap. I ordered a new line (the fittings are OK) and now I get to wait another 2 days before I can put the brake line back in and bleed the front brakes.

Such are the joys of customizing bikes. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion…

BMW reassembly, part 4

Now that the suspension is sorted out, the final hurdle is the handlebars and the hand guards. I ordered a set of Ultimate hand guards from Highway Dirt Bikes, including mirrors and switches. I had also ordered a set of Protaper SE alloy handlebars in the CR high bend. After some disassembly and some trial fitting, it was obvious that some risers were necessary to give the handguards the clearance needed for full-lock turns. I got a set of Rox risers that seemed to fit the bill and swapped the top clamp for the BMW for one that would fit the Rox riser bolt pattern. Now the clearance was OK. I turned some 1″ extensions to make the bars longer so that the switch housings could be placed in their (roughly) original positions. Mechanically, everything fits.

Stay tuned for the electrical work. My favorite.