How to Install an Alarm System on a Motorcycle

by Contributor

A motorcycle is a fun but expensive investment. If you spend a little money on a good alarm system for your motorcycle, you will never have to worry. Even the finest alarm system is useless if it's not installed properly. Follow these steps to learn how to install an alarm system on a motorcycle.

Do your research. Gather all of the documents you will need for the installation, including the alarm system instructions and wiring diagrams. You can get wiring diagrams from the dealership, from your motorcycle's original manual or online. Know the wiring colors, locations and polarities before you start.

Plan the installation to save time in the long run. Examine your motorcycle side-by-side with the diagrams.

Get all of the necessary equipment together. The type of equipment you'll need will depend on the system you buy.

Prepare the wiring. Find the motorcycle's battery, and disconnect the negative (-) terminal to avoid electrical shorts and battery drain.

Twist the wires of the same plug together and tape them with electrical tape. Once you finish wrapping these smaller bundles, tape them all together. Find the wires you will be connecting to on your bike.

Locate any additional wiring. Most of the wires will be running from the ignition of your motorcycle back toward the center of motorcycle to the fuse box. Open the ignition switch to test the wires to make sure they are the right ones. You will not be connecting to a wire near the ignition. You will need to follow the wire back towards the fuse box, closer to the mounted alarm system.

Remove the panels where your wires are located. Remember where all the screws and clips go.

Pick a location for installation. Find a spot that is not visible.

Strap or adhere the system to a support brace or flat surface. If you use the adhesive pad that came with the system, make sure to prepare the surface with rubbing alcohol or a degreaser before mounting.

Test wire polarity first and then start connecting the wires to the correct locations. The best way to do this is by soldering or heat-shrinking the connections. You can also splice the wires and then tape them with electrical tape.

Know the wires. The ACC/Interface wire connects to the IGN/ACC wire located in the motorcycle's ignition switch harness. The wire you are looking for in the ignition switch harness should be 12 volts when the ignition is on, and should not show any voltage when the ignition switch is off.

Find the engine immobilizer wires. Cut the side of the wire that leads back to the main power of the bike. Connect one end of the cut wire to the first immobilizer wire and the other end of the cut wire to the second immobilizer wire.

Connect the power and ground wires directly to the battery terminals. You will need wrap-around clamps or terminals taps.

Refer to the manual and make sure all of the system's functions are working properly. If you have any problems, read the troubleshooting section of the manual and check all of your connections.

Put all of the panels back on.

Tips

  • check Decide which features you will be using. You may not have to do all of steps if you don't want all of the features included in your system. For example, maybe your system has a remote start feature that you don't need. Just bypass the installation instructions for this feature. Set aside all wires that pertain to this feature.
  • check You can use t-tap connectors to temporarily connect the wires for testing, but these connectors are not designed for long-term use. After the wires test out, go back and solder them.

Warnings

  • close Do not mount the main alarm system closer than 12 inches to the engine.
  • close Motorcycle wiring is very sensitive and prone to shorts and bad connections.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.