Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How To:V Star Tach Install

This is for entertainment purposes.Consult a professional mechanic before modifying your motorcycle.

Click pics for larger image.

This modification should apply to most all V twin cruisers made by most manufactures.The specific motorcycle I am working on is a 2001 Yamaha XVS650A, AKA V Star 650 Classic.I am adding an aftermarket tachometer I bought from ebay.It's made by Dynamic Biking Innovations.It's a knock off of Drag Specialties tach.The tach only goes to 8000 rpm.Most V twin cruisers do not rev that high.A few do,refer to an owner's manual or a factory service manual, if you're interested in knowing your max rpm.This paticular write up will pertain to all V Star 650 models and they are  rev limited to 7200rpm, if I'm not mistaken.This mod should take about 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on knowledge of motorcycle systems and mechainics.

Parts and Supply List

DBI tachometer from Ebay
Radio Shack Quick Disconnects Adapter Set Item # 6403064<----Get this specific item #.
Shrink Tubing
Wire ties-small black
3x .250 female spade terminals-I used uninsulated for soldering.
1x .250 ring terminal-I used uninsulated for soldering.

I had everything except the tach and Radio Shack disconnects.I have $70 in them.

Tool List

Metric wrench set 8mm,10mm,12mm,14mm
Small adjustable wrench-8 inch is what I used.
Metric Allen key set
Pliars or Channel lock pliars
Wire stripper/crimper/cutter
Soldering iron with solder
BBQ lighter for shrink tubing
Flat head/end/blade screw driver
JIS screw driver-Japanese Industrial Standard screw driver-Looks like a philips head but it isn't.Using a philips screw driver makes the screw heads more prone to stripping out. These  can be found cheap on the internet from $3 and up.All Japanese motorcycles use JIS screws,not philips screws.
3 feet of 1/4 inch gas hose
5 Gallon fuel container/jug
Couple rags would be nice.

Removing Seats

Lets get this started.First thing is to remove the seats.On stock V Star the rear seat is removed first and then the front seat.There is a 14mm acorn nut behind the rear seat holding it on.Remove the nut and washer.Lift the back of the seat up and slide it back and up.It should come right off.Make sure not to loose the metal spacer bushing,for the lack of a better term.I put the bushing,washer,and nut back on the bike to keep from getting caught on the seat stud. If the seat stud unscrewd,don't worry about it.It'll go back together just the same.Now move onto the front seat.There's one 14mm bolt holding the back down on the front seat,remove it.To remover the seat lift up while pulling back.It may help to gently wiggle the  seat while lifting and pulling back.Put the bolt back in the fender to keep from loosing it and set the seats in a place they won't be in the way and get damaged.

Disconnecting the Battery

Now disconnect the battery negative cable.Open the right side frame cover by removing the 10mm bolt and pulling it straight out  and up.If the bike still has the plastic battery cover, pull the front edge back enough to get the 10mm bolt off the negative battery cable,and pull the battery cable away from the battery terminal.Ignore my fat finger in this pic.The big black negative battery cable is to the  right  of my finger.


Removing the Fuel Tank

Now move on to removing the fuel tank.If the tank is full, it can easily be drained into  a 5  gallon fuel container.Locate the fuel valve (AKA petcock) on the left side of the tank,and turn it to off.Slide the hose clamp up the hose using pliars.Now twist and pull the hose off the fuel valve.To drain the tank,put one end of the 3 foot piece of 1/4 inch tubing on the fuel valve and slide the other end of the tubing into the spout of the 5 gallon fuel container.Now open the fuel valve to the reserve setting, so all the fuel can drain out into the fuel container.Pay attention to the fuel level in the container.Make sure it doesn't over flow and run every where.If  the 5 gallon fuel container is empty,it should hold a full tank of fuel.Once the tank has drained,turn the fuel valve to off,cap the fuel container,move it out and away from the work area.Electricity and fuel do not mix well.Move up to the top of the tank, and remove the three allen screws holding on the dash.They are 4mm if I remember correctly.Be careful not to loose the washers and metal spacers.I put them in a ziploc bag.Once all the screws are out,lift the dash straight  up a couple inches,and reach under it and disconnect the two electrical connectors.Use channel lock pliars to unscrew the speedometer cable nut.It's the long round rough nut on the speedometer cable.It shouldn't be on very tight.Once it's loose,romove the dash and put it in a safe place where it won't get damaged or knocked over.The connectors and speedometer cable need to be pushed just below the cut out in the tank to make it easier to remove the tank.Look under the rear of the tank, on both sides.There are two 12mm bolts,pne on each side, holding the tank on,remove them.The left bolt holds down the choke cable and knob.I just let it hang down the side of the engine, with a rag wrapped around it to prevent scratching the chrome.Lift the rear of the tank while pulling it back.It helps to wiggle it from side to side to loosen the tank from the rubber grommets, that hold the front of the tank to the frame.If the rubber grommets come off,they simply slide back on the frame mounts.Set the tank up some where safe to protect the paint and keep it from getting dinged up.Sorry I don't have pics of this, but it's pretty simple to do this, and most have probably already done it.

Removing the Airbox

The air box has to be removed to gain access to the front coil.Locate the hose on the back of the airbox,squeeze the clamp with your fingers,and slide it back down the hose.Pull the hose off the airbox barb.One the right side of the air box is the airfilter housing duct.Loosen the JIS screw holding the clamping band.No need to remove the screw.Wiggle the duct off the air box port.Under the frame on the left side,there are to band clamps holding the airbox to the carbs,loosen,do not remove,the JIS screws.Grab the airbox at the front and back,wiggle it while pulling up.Cover the carbs with a rag so nothing can get into the carbs.

Installing the Tachometer

Remove the tach and  hardware from the box and get an idea where to mount the tach. Anywhere around the handle bar mounts is the best place.The tach should have enough wiring to reach the front ignition coil for hook up.The way I set my tach up requires no fuse, because the ignition circuit is already fuse protected.

I decided to mount my tach right of center, between my handle bar clamps.The space to the left of the tach is reserved for my charging station and GPS mount.

This is how the tach should be mounted in the clamp to isolate as much vibration as possible.It's better to let it move a little than for it to take all the hard impacts the front end gets on rough roads.

Now it's time to wire the tach.I used uninsulated crimp connectors and soldered them on.Then I covered them with shrink wrap.I did the tach connectors on the work bench and didn't get any pics.I have included the wiring diagram, and I will explain why I wired the tach this way,other than being cheap.The tach needs power and the backlight needs power,so I wired the blue  and red wire together.Since the dash lights are on while the bike is on,so will the tach light.The green wire is the tach pick up, and connects to the coil negative wire.The black tach ground wire must be a direct chassis ground, and it gets grounded with the coil to the frame.

This is how I ran my wires.I wanted the tach to appear as close to factory as possible, or at least  look like something Yamaha would have sold as an accessory for the V Star.I ran the wiring down the right side of the frame folowing the cables and other wiring,to the front cylinder ignition coil.

The front ignition coil has the wires connected to it with the clear covers over the terminals.Make a note of where the wires are connected or take a picture.

Now remove both wires by pulling the connectors straight back.Do not pull by the wires.It's ok to grip the connectors using the clear covers.I used pliars  to grab the connectors, and not the clear covers.I also,remove the JIS screw between the connectors.

Now it's time to get to work.The negative wiring terminal (gray wire) on the V Star presents a small problem.The connector is .190 and all of the new connectors and adapters are .250.I  must remedy that by changing the V Star's negative coil connector to a .250 connector.Cut off the .190 connector as close as possible to the connector.Then I soldered and shrink wrapped a .250 onto the negative (gray) wire.Carefully snip the clear cover close to the wire on both sides,it can be slid up the wire and reused to protect the connectors.Don't worry about the .250 connector fitting the .190 coil terminal.They will connect tightly and work well.The positive side of the coil is already a .250 connector.
Finished negative coil wire connector.

Now it's time to wire in the new tach to the coil.First thing is to attach the black ground wire, and make the coil soild enough to install the spade adapters and wires.Bolt down the black ground wire with the coil JIS screw.Make sure the wire is pointing straight back.


Get these two adapters out of the Radio Shack pack.


Plug the red and black wire connector onto the long straight adapter terminal and plug the red and blue wire connector onto the short angled adapter terminal.

Now plug the adapter wiring on to the lower positive coil terminal.It will be close to the head cover but shouldn't touch.If it does,flip the adapter over.No need to remove the wires from it.

Now do the same thing on the other side.Plug the gray negative wire connector onto the long straight adapter terminal.Then plug the green wire connector onto the short angled adapter terminal.Now plug the adapter onto the coil upper negative terminal.You should have something that looks similar to this when done.

Wire tie the wires to the harness.Don't crank down on them, just enough to keep the wiring from flopping around.Reassemble the motorcycle in reverse order,and connect the battery last.Reinstall the frame side cover and fill the gas tank.If all goes well,it looks like this.

Reassembly is the reverse order of disassembly.Take care to make sure the airbox is completely seated onto the carbs.Do not over tighten the airbox band clamps.Over tightening may cause the box to slide off the carbs.

I checked my tach with a timing light that had a built in digital tach.This tach was almost spot on.It was 25 rpm +/- from being spot on.More than close enough for my needs.

One thing to note:Wiring the tach light to the coil makes the back light flicker a little at idle.As soon as the rpm comes up the flicker goes away.To eliminate this,you can trace down the wire for  the front marker lights, headlight,or tail light, and connect the tach light wire there.It will require cutting the motorcycle wiring and adding in the tach light wire,unless you know how to unpin connectors, and install new wire terminal on the wires.I know how to do it and I have done it.I prefer not to do it and it's difficult to explain through page text.I did it this way to make things simple for the new people to wrenching and riding.

On a scale of 1 to 5,I rate this a 1.5.

1 for me would be changing spark plugs,air filter, and doing a full oil change.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2001 Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS650A-The Newest Ride.

This is a list of motorcycles I currently own.In the order they were purchased.
1989 Suzuki GS500R
1990 Suzuki GS500E
1992 Suzuki GS500E
1992 Suzuki GS500E
1993 Suzuki GS500E
2005 Suzuki GS500F converted to E model

And now I intro the newest and I will be sharing updates of all the farkles I do to it.

May 2013,I bought myself an unexpected birthday present,a 2001 Yamaha V Star 650 Classic aka XVS650A as known in other countries.A couple needed money due to an unexpected job loss.They put their motorcycle up for sale on a local Facebook community group sales page.I made a serious, but low offer on the motorcycle.They happily accepted my offer.Money and title changed hands and it was time to get to work.The bike came with a few accessories.It had an aftermarket knock off passenger back rest,cheap o decent saddle bags,and a National Cycle windshield.It even had the original tool pack in the side box.The bike had been neglected and needed full maintenance and some other work.First thing I did was change the engine oil,change the final drive oil,new spark plugs,new stock replacement air filter,adjusted the valves,new fuel filter,rebuilt the carbs,adjusted the carbs,and sync the carbs.After getting the motorcycle running perfectly,I felt the clutch was off.After doing some research,I found out the clutch has a super small friction area at the lever and it's at the end of the lever travel.I have small hands for a man,well short fingers for a man.So I needed the friction zone to be closer to the grip.I found the Clutch Adjustment Spring Mod on the home page of 650 VStar Custom, Classic, & Drag Star homepage.I also rejetted the carbs to #95 Mikuni main jets and 3 turns on the pilot mixture screws.It's great for my area and summer time riding.It does make the bike hard to start in temps below 60 degrees.

These are the pics of the bike as soon as I got it home.I promptly fixed the twisted seat and reinstalled the saddle bags properly.They were on backwards.Click images for a full view.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Harbor Freight ATV Motorcycle Lift Jack

I recently received an email flyer from Harbor Freight.I usually don't buy much from them,especially something that could be potentially holding a $30,000+ motorcycles.I am slowly building up my tools with hopes of turning Manic Motorcycles into a repair and restoration shop.Now back to the flyer.The coupon was to get there ATV motorcycle lift jack for $69.99 which goes on sale frequently for $99.99, and I believe usually sales for $119.99.It's a solid built lift jack.It weighs roughly 75lbs or so.It assembles fairly easily.It took me 15 minutes to assemble the lift jack including the few minutes it took to get the pics I'm posting.


Here it is all boxed up and new.

Open the box admire and unbox.

First thing to do is install the actual jack in the frame.Lift the frame and slide the jack in pin first.Then tighten the bolts down.Not to tight.The fasteners aren't the best quality.

Now the foot pedal can be slipped in and bolted down.Just a little snug on the bolt.

Next,locate the mounting holes for the safety stop release bar and install it.

Now the pin for the handle can be removed and the handle installed.Orientation is up to you.Just make sure the pin points away from the jacking pedal.

Now step back and admire your work.

My lift jack was missing it's jack pin capture screw.I will dig one out of my jar o bolts.No biggie.Maybe 25 cent at the local hardware store if need be.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ignition Coil Relay Mod


Symptoms-Sporadic cutting back and hesitation from idle through 3500rpm.Engine temperature has little effect on condition.

Attempts to resolve the problem.
Mulitiple carbs cleanings
Multiple electrical connection cleanings
Clean tank tank and fill with fresh fuel
Multiple valve clearance checks
Multiple carb balance/sync
Complete electrical system tear down and diagnose

Problem- 11.8 volts at the ignition coil terminals.Should be an absolute minimum of 12.0 volts.

The cure- Ignition coil relay mod.Power the coils directly from the battery and grounding the coils directly to the battery.

After reading about the ignition coil relay mod over on  The GS Resource Forum,I visited  Bass Cliff's website.Then I did the ignition relay mod.I haven't yet had a chance to ride and see if the problem resolves itself.I am positive that this mod can only help.I will hopefully be heading out in a little while to ride and see how the mod performs.I'm a wuss and have to wait for the afternoon warm up.

To do this mod you need the following.

wire stripers
soldering iron,gun,or pencil torch
wire cutters
needle nose pliers
metric socket set
JIS screw driver or philips head
long flat head/blade screw driver
BBQ or cigerette lighter
Dielectric grease
Small piece of sand paper- 40 to 200 grit

Supplies with cost break down.
$3.00 1/4 male spade terminals
$3.00 1.4 female terminals
$3.00 10 gauge uninsulated but connectors
$3.00 heat shrink kit from Harbor Freight
$4.00 14 gauge red primary wire 12'roll
$4.00 14 gauge black primary wire 12' roll
$7.00 solder
$1.00 electrical tape roll
$3.00 black wire ties
$5.00 30 amp horn/light relay
$7.00 30 amp fuse holder
$4.00 20 amp fuse-I could only get these in boxes of five.

$47.00 Total

If you can find it,use 16 gauge orange wire for the relay to ignition on wire.This will make sense later.I couldn't find orange wire locally.

Most of us have some of these supplies on hand.I did and I think my final cost was under $20.One thing I can not stress enough,DO NOT USE ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES FROM HARBOR FREIGHT.The shrink tubing is good.Their wire is copper coated aluminum and thier connectors are aluminum.The connectors I used are marine grade.They are expensive and over kill for this project.You can also use connectors with shrink wrap insulation and/or connector covers.I chose to use shrink wrap because I had uninsulated connectors.I despise the connectors with plastic on the bases.I usually pull the plastic off and use shrink wrap.

On with it.The ignition coils will be powered directly from the battery by the relay.The relay will be powered by the old ignition coil power wire.There are two.Only one will be used.The coils will also be grounded directly to the battery.This isn't complicated.Just take it one wire run at a time.All connections are coated with dielectric grease.

Here is the wiring diagram that I followed.This is from Bass Cliff's website linked above.

Remove the seat,battery,all the tail plastics,and fuel tank.Don't forget to turn off the tank petcock.

First thing I did was to locate,unplug,and tape off the left coil wire that wasn't going to be used.

I wire tied this to the frame.The pic I had of it has been lost.It may be visable in other pics.

Next I mounted the relay.Try to mount it as close to the battery as possible but leave enough room for the inline fuse.This is how I did it.

Locate and remove the right side hemet hook/lock and bolt down relay.No,it isn't touching the regulator rectifier.that is getting replaced later.

Some of my pics were lost so I will walk through this using my exsisting pics.

First thing I did was run power from the starter relay to the inline fuse and plug it into the relay.

I made connections to make the inline fuse removable.I have had these go bad and wanted to make it easy to replace.I crimped and soldered my connections.Then I double shrink wraped each terminal.All of my connections will be like this or better.

Then I ran a short wire into the starter relay cover.

Pull off those two white plugs.The lower lug terminal is the one that is powered all the time.

Run the wire up through the relay cover,install a ring connector,and bolt it on.

Install a spade connector on the end of the wire that was just connected to the starter relay.Then connect the inline fuse holder to the starter relay wire and terminal 30 on the relay.

Add some shrink wrap to help secure and protect the connection.

Install fuse and admire.

Here you can also see the relay ground.It is a simple loop of wire with a ring terminal on one end and a female terminal on the other end.It connects to terminal 85 on the relay.

Powering the coils from the relay.I installed a female connector on the end of my red wire roll and connected it to terminal 87 on the relay.They I unrolled the wire and ran it along the main wiring harness on the right side of the frame.I cut it off when I made it up between the coils and installed a but connector.Then I made two short wires with female connectors to run to each coil terminal.I removed the wiring for solder and shrink wrap.

Here the wiring is connected to the coil + positive terminal.You can also see how I taped and wire tied the old connector.

Some notes here about the trigger wire for the relay.If you can find 16 gauge orange wire,use it.The original coil wire is orange with a white or green stripe.This makes it easier to know what wire is what,should a problem arise.You could also use thinner 16 gauge red primary wire or loner lengths of shring wrap to help distinguish between the two.This wire is also protected by the main wiring harness fuse so no other fuse will be needed.

The connection is super easy almost as easy as the relay ground.I installed a female terminal on the end of my red roll of primary wire and ran it along the mainwiring harness.I cut it off at the right coil + positive wire.I installed a spade terminal,pulled out the old coil + positive wire,connected them, and shrink wrapped the connection.I pushed the original coil wire cover back in place.

Now the wiring can be tucked away and the coil to battery ground can be ran.

The coils are grounded to the frame and over time the connection is lost due to corrosion and rust.This mod helps to offset that.

First thing is to make up two 8 inch wires with ring connectors like so.

Then add a but connector to the two short wires and connect the black roll of 12 gauge primary wire.Here is a pic of the but connection from eailer as a reminder.

Remove the inside coil mount bolts and connect the wires with the ring terminals like so.Be aware that the aluminum coil stand offs will drop out when the bolt is removed.Clean the metal coil end with sand paper and bolt the ring terminals on the coils.

Unroll the wire and run it along the main harness until it makes it to the battery negative terminal.Install a ring connector.

Now comes the fun part,securing the wiring.I used plastic zip ties.It looks pretty good considering it was a rush job.There is a glare or something at the top of the pic that makes it look like there is more wires thatn there actual is.

After doing the mod,I didn't have enough room for the relay under the seat,so I flipped it over.Works like a dream.

After this mod,my voltage went from 11.8 to 12.4 with a battery that has set for six months without use.I expect the voltage to be higher after I run the bike and build
the battery back up. 

Do not forget to turn that damn tank petcock back on.

Please note that I had to remove the wiring and take it into my building to solder the wiring.I left the camera outside with the bike.