How to Wire Motorcycle Turn Signalsby Chris Gilliland
Although they serve their purpose, most motorcycle turn signals are large, bulbous appendages that stick out like sore thumbs. Even on the bulkiest of bikes, these amber monstrosities can appear enormous. Some replacement turn signals come with two or three wires and no connector, so you'll need to wire them into the harness on your bike.
Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. Remove the stock turn signal assembly, but do not disconnect it from the wiring harness at this time.
Examine the wiring, taking note of the positive and ground wiring and how many wires are present. Ground wires are typically black or brown. Three wire setups allow the turn signal to operate as a running light when not active. The third wire is not crucial to the operation of your new turn signals if the original only has two wires.
Remove the factory wiring connector. If you will not be using the third wire, seal it with electrical tape. Remove 1/4 inch of shielding from the remaining wires, using a wire-stripping tool.
Attach the positive and negative wires to the turn signal's corresponding wires -- each with its own butt connector. If available, attach the running light wire to the turn signal's corresponding wire with a butt connector. Securely crimp the connectors with a crimping tool. Install the new turn signal on the motorcycle.
Repeat this process on the opposite side.
Reconnect the battery's negative terminal and test the turn signals for proper operation.
Things You'll Need
- Turn signals
- Phillips screwdriver
- Allen or Torx keys
- Electrical tape
- Butt connectors
- Wire stripper and crimper tool
- To prevent damage to the bike and possibly injury to yourself, be sure to disconnect your battery before working on your motorcycle's electrical system.
- If you doubt your ability to complete this project, have the work done by a qualified technician.
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.