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Wapiti Slayer
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12v stab tester will tell you in a few minutes if the factory wiring is in order. I believe factory turn signal wires are purple & brown. I'm sure you know how to use tester?? If all the factory wires you test function as normal, throw that POS LED in the trash. Ebay has ton's of different led tail lights, one of which I bought with integrated signals and has been working flawlessly for me for almost 5 years. You should also be able to find a wiring diagram for the tail light on line, or on this site. I can take a pic of the one in my manual if that'll help
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by, "12v stab tester," but I'm assuming you mean a multimeter set on a low voltage, which I have, along with a continuity test light. I only picked up a new, much brighter, LED strip so I could use it to see if everything worked on the bike. The original LED that burned out was, I think, 28 LEDs, so I ordered a 60 LED strip of the same length. What I received was a 1/2" shorter 54 LED strip. When I complained they refunded the $9 so it is, essentially, a throw away part. My plan, always, was to get everything working, then get a quality set of lights and wire them in correctly. My problem at that point will be figuring out how to mount them on the bike and how to mount the license plate since I'm not using the Mickey Mouse mounting the previous owner used. That got temporarily put on the back burner because I just dropped $1575 on the family vehicle for 4 new tires and new motor/trans mounts. Ouch. I did drop by a Harley custom shop, Lifestyle Cycles, to pick the brains of the techs. One tech gave me a good suggestion. He said what I really need is the, "Electrical Diagnostic Manual," which lays out steps based on each test result. Low and behold, when I got home and checked my emails, my ongoing eBay XR1200 parts search included someone selling a 2010 Electrical Diagnostic Manual, so I bought it for $58, including tax and free shipping. I don't know if that was a good price but I saw several selling for more and I believe it will help. It's supposed to arrive next Monday. I also found a continuity test light that uses a regular bulb rather than an LED bulb like the first one I bought. Hopefully, that will eliminate any possible LED problems and let me know if I'm getting good current wherever I test the bike's wiring.
 

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Disconnect all SIX ( Black, Voilet, Red/Yellow, BluE, BrowN, Orange/White ) wires going to the rear light unit and put them in a chocolate block so they are all isolated from each other. Then switch ignition ON, test with MM and you should only have power, 12V, between B and O/W, AND B and BE, if you have, then test with a lamp, this will prove that you not only have voltage but the connections are also capable of carrying current. If one or both of these have 12v with the MM but don't light the lamp then it is indicative of a bad connection somewhere. If it is one that doesn't light chances are it a bad connection on the 13v supply, if it is both then it is likely to be a bad earth.
Once you've got these correct try the same between the B and R/W whilst pressing the each of the brakes in turn.
Then between the B and V whilst selecting the LH indicator, note: you won't get a full 12v reading on the MM, more likely a varying voltage depending on MM, but the test lamp should flash. Do the same for the RH indicator between the B and BN
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by a "chocolate block" as I haven't heard that term before. I'm still leery of using the MM since it seemed as if that is what burned out the original LED when I tested R/W to B. However, I have already tested each wire with the test light, the LED test light that is. I plan to retest with the new old style non-LED test light I bought. When I tested them, the BE taillight wire lit, the V and BN turn signals did not light, and the R/W brake lit without applying either brake but would not light the LED strip. After I test with the old style bulb test light, I will test each brake switch, then each turn signal wire on each side of the TSM. The turn signals should have lit the test light since they worked on the original LED but maybe it's an issue with the LED bulb on the test lamp. Hopefully, if it is, the old style bulb test light will reveal that.
 

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The only way you could've damaged anything with a MM was to have it on the 'Amps' position, that way it effectively becomes a direct short, if you were lucky it might have a fuse in it, cheap one don't always have a fuse though!
A 'chocolate block' is one of these

Natural material Art Font Fashion accessory Composite material
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I may have found the problem although it's embarrassingly simple. The Electrical Diagnostic Manual came in this weekend. As I studied it, I noted that while the headlights and taillights are on the lights fuse, the turn signals and brake lights are on the accessories fuse. Why? Who knows. I checked and that fuse was blown. It was one of the new fuses I installed so there may something blowing fuses. After I replaced it, I hooked everything up and all the lights worked. However, the brake light, which is a flashing light, was continuously flashing without applying either brake. Since rear brake switch access is easy, I tried to test it. When I tried to pull the plugs back I found a small rock wedged in, showing how vulnerable it's positioning is. I exposed enough of the switch's tabs to use the test light. They both lit which implies the switch may be stuck. I unplugged it and the brake was still flashing. I took the front brake housing apart and tried pushing the plunger in and out several times in case it was stuck. The brake kept flashing the entire time so that switch is definitely bad. I've heard it's a PITA to change but I'll pick one up tomorrow. I'll replace the front switch first and see if I also need a new rear switch. I suspect I will. Once I do that, I can begin looking for quality lights and determine how to mount them. At least I will be able to ride around in the meantime and see if it blows fuses. Had I known about the accessory fuse, I wouldn't have needed the Electrical Diagnostic Manual. But . . . I'm certain it will pay for itself over time. It's very complete and easy to follow. In a few days I'll be able to ride over to Roland Sands Designs to see if their mid-controls will bolt onto the XR. Thank you to everyone who gave advice.
 

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I may have found the problem although it's embarrassingly simple. The Electrical Diagnostic Manual came in this weekend. As I studied it, I noted that while the headlights and taillights are on the lights fuse, the turn signals and brake lights are on the accessories fuse. Why? Who knows. I checked and that fuse was blown. It was one of the new fuses I installed so there may something blowing fuses. After I replaced it, I hooked everything up and all the lights worked. However, the brake light, which is a flashing light, was continuously flashing without applying either brake. Since rear brake switch access is easy, I tried to test it. When I tried to pull the plugs back I found a small rock wedged in, showing how vulnerable it's positioning is. I exposed enough of the switch's tabs to use the test light. They both lit which implies the switch may be stuck. I unplugged it and the brake was still flashing. I took the front brake housing apart and tried pushing the plunger in and out several times in case it was stuck. The brake kept flashing the entire time so that switch is definitely bad. I've heard it's a PITA to change but I'll pick one up tomorrow. I'll replace the front switch first and see if I also need a new rear switch. I suspect I will. Once I do that, I can begin looking for quality lights and determine how to mount them. At least I will be able to ride around in the meantime and see if it blows fuses. Had I known about the accessory fuse, I wouldn't have needed the Electrical Diagnostic Manual. But . . . I'm certain it will pay for itself over time. It's very complete and easy to follow. In a few days I'll be able to ride over to Roland Sands Designs to see if their mid-controls will bolt onto the XR. Thank you to everyone who gave advice.
If I'm understanding you correctly the test lamp lit when you put it across the terminals of the brake switch whilst still connected to the bikes wiring, this would imply the switch is OPEN circuit which it should be unless you were pressing the pedal!
 

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OR.................the switch on the front lever is knackered. That is typical of a bike that has had the lever changed out and didn't protect the switch.
An all too common issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Yes, I believe I will ultimately need to replace both switches. I don't know if the levers were ever changed but they certainly could have been removed and put back on carelessly, damaging the end of the switch plunger. I watched all the YouTube videos I could find. Several were able to clean the switch and get it unstuck. I don't know if mine is sticking but I will try spraying it will electrical contact cleaner while manipulating the plunger to see if I can get it to work. I called around today and only one place had a switch in stock. Their price is $6-7 higher than the Harley dealer which is probably why they have a good stock. The hardest part is splicing the wires into the stock harness after deciding where to do that. I won't solder them inside the housing since the extra bulk can make it hard to close the housing, although one guy was able to do it successfully. Anyway, I now see a light at the end of the tunnel.
 

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The point is, that if both switches are OPEN circuit then the brake light shouldn't be ON unless the loom wires are damaged. Before buying new switches I think you need to disconnect both and see if the brake light is still ON, if it is it's not a problem with the switches but a problem with the wires. If it goes OUT then connect one switch and see if it comes ON, if not disconnect it and connect the other switch and see if it comes ON. That way you'll determine which switch is at fault, you'd be unlucky for both to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yes, I agree. However, while the rear switch is easy to disconnect, there doesn't appear to be an easy way to disconnect the front switch. I carefully examined the brake lever to ensure the pivot pin is good and it is fully extending. The end of the plunger where the brake lever extension contacts it shows no damage and it appears to extend enough to break the circuit. Any damage must be inside the switch. I will pick up some new contact cleaner on the way home tonight try to work it in. I haven't picked up the new switch yet. I also want to either find a temp way to connect the LED wires or set up the harness wires so I can split the connections for adding 3 in 1 brake/turn/tail lights once I've found a quality set I like.
 

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Wapiti Slayer
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I believe someone suggested checking your fuses, but...ALWAYS check the simplest, most obvious things first. The front brake switch can be open if the brake perch is a few millimeters too far away from the switch housing. I've had to add a dap of The Right Stuff to mine because of the cheap Chinese aftermarket levers I install that are a millimeter or 2 under HD spec's, thus the brake light would flash because the switch wasn't depressed fully constantly. Do you have a load equalizer installed for those LEDs?? That will make your lights do weird things if you don't have one. Like I said in the past, you can buy a genuine HD taillight plug and connectors ($10+/-) and wire the aftermarket light into the plug so it'll just be plug n play with the factory wiring. Especially now that you have a schematic, as it'll tell you what factory color wires perform what function. As messed up as it sounds like your wiring is, more bullshit connectors/splices/solder joints won't do you any favors.
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Yes, the odd accessory fused turn signals/brake light was part of the problem but now the continuous flashing brake light is all that remains. I don't think an equalizer is the problem. The LED's brake function is flashing at the same steady rate as it does when I tested it with a battery. Ditto with the turn signals, which are sequential. I bought a new front switch but I haven't removed it from the package yet. Although I did spray the old switch with electrical cleaner while working the plunger in and out, I am going to do one more test with the test light to ensure the switch is the problem. The brake lever isn't the problem since it has no play and is presently off the handlebar. My task now is to find a clean way to install the new switch and to connect the LED in a way that allows me to add 3 in 1 turn signals later. HD plugs might work if I can find some that allow that. I needed a way to solder the wires since I have no electrical source where I park the bike and thus, most soldering guns won't work. I stopped by Orvaks, an electrical supply store near me, today, to look for connectors, plugs, etc. They have a butane powered solder gun kit, that can also be a torch, on sale for $40. I can use that to solder in the new switch, along with the wires to the LED, and heat the shrink wrap with the torch. My thought for the LED, because it appears to be approximately 22 ga wire, while the HD wires look to be 16-18 ga, is to step up the wire with several short wires of increasing size so the final connection matches sizes. On the HD harness side, my thought is to solder 2 or 3 wires to to each, as needed, with barrel plug connections at the end to allow powering the LED and the 3 in 1 LED turn signals I will install later. I'm leaning toward the ones sold by Speed Motor Co at speedmotorco.com. They're reasonable at $70-80/pair but hopefully not cheap chinese junk. I still need a clean way to mount the license plate but I'm stoked because I think I can get this thing on the road inside of a week. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Update. Brake lights working. I may not have needed the new front brake switch. I discovered that I accidentally had the orange and red wires reversed. The old wires in the harness are a bit faded and my old eyes couldn't tell the difference. However, when I got the old switch out, the rubber boot was all torn up and the plunger underneath is angled as if the end broke off. The new switch has a much better design and has no rubber boot covering it. I managed to pull about an 1"-1.5" of wire out of the bar and pull back the plastic shroud so the solder joints will be up in the bars and well covered. I haven't soldered since shop class 50 years ago and it was sheet metal, not wire, using old school soldering irons that we heated in a small furnace. Since I have no electrical connection in the carport where I keep the bikes, I bought a butane powered soldering iron and learned I shouldn't use it if there's much wind, because it's hard to heat up the wires enough. Thus, my solder joints were ugly. The heat shrink wouldn't shrink as much as I wanted but it'll be covered by the harness shroud and the bars/housing. I tested it and it works fine. I'll apply the lessons learned when I wire up the back. I ordered some inexpensive 3-in-1 turn signals, but the seller lied. They were 2-in-1, they were dim, and the bullet connectors were too small to fit the #16-#22 bullet connectors I got at an electrical store. I got my money back and bought some better ones. They are 3-in-1, they're bright, and the bullet connectors fit. Once it's wired, I'll post pics and/or a short video. I did notice that when I turned the throttle full, I noticed a gritty feeling at the end and it stuck. I'll pull it back apart and try to see what it is.
 

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Sonya's a pretty kitty!
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Update. Brake lights working. I may not have needed the new front brake switch. I discovered that I accidentally had the orange and red wires reversed. The old wires in the harness are a bit faded and my old eyes couldn't tell the difference. However, when I got the old switch out, the rubber boot was all torn up and the plunger underneath is angled as if the end broke off. The new switch has a much better design and has no rubber boot covering it. I managed to pull about an 1"-1.5" of wire out of the bar and pull back the plastic shroud so the solder joints will be up in the bars and well covered. I haven't soldered since shop class 50 years ago and it was sheet metal, not wire, using old school soldering irons that we heated in a small furnace. Since I have no electrical connection in the carport where I keep the bikes, I bought a butane powered soldering iron and learned I shouldn't use it if there's much wind, because it's hard to heat up the wires enough. Thus, my solder joints were ugly. The heat shrink wouldn't shrink as much as I wanted but it'll be covered by the harness shroud and the bars/housing. I tested it and it works fine. I'll apply the lessons learned when I wire up the back. I ordered some inexpensive 3-in-1 turn signals, but the seller lied. They were 2-in-1, they were dim, and the bullet connectors were too small to fit the #16-#22 bullet connectors I got at an electrical store. I got my money back and bought some better ones. They are 3-in-1, they're bright, and the bullet connectors fit. Once it's wired, I'll post pics and/or a short video. I did notice that when I turned the throttle full, I noticed a gritty feeling at the end and it stuck. I'll pull it back apart and try to see what it is.
Well done. Fortitudinis Vincimins!

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thanks Houseyhousey, I still have some solder seal butt connectors from when I tried to get the original LED working. They would have been too bulky for hardwiring the front switch. I'm not sure if they would work in the back where I plan to put three wires onto one on the harnesses' tail light, brake light, and ground wire, along with two onto one on each turn signal wire. I will make sure there is little or no wind and I will use the highest heat setting. I'll get better with practice. That's why the heat shrink was too big. I intended it to cover those 3 on 1 and 2 on 1 connections. It didn't occur to me that I would need at least the next size down for the one to one connections in the front. Because there'll be 2 or 3 wires on one side and only one on the other, I'm considering overlapping two different sizes of heat shrink.
I also bought two fork wrap LED turn signals for the front after seeing them on a guy's Dyna. They're very bright. I still have to find the wires. I suspect I'm going to have to remove the tank. I noticed that one rear tab on the cover is not hooked so I may be experiencing some tank swelling. I also need to come up with a way to attach the fender and license plate. In the meantime I'll use the side mount the previous owner used but with a better method of attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Getting closer. After seeing that a bit of wind makes soldering outside more difficult, I realized I could solder up looms and crimp on connectors inside. That way, I only have to make 6 solder connections outside on the bike. I wasn't comfortable trying to solder 3 or 4 wires onto 1 so I decided to make two looms with 2 on 1. I will solder the two looms 2 on 1 onto each wire on the stock harness. At the other end I crimped on 4 female bullet connectors. I tried to match the wire colors when I had the right wires. Where I couldn't, I used white wire and identified it with a colored marker. After I solder these onto the bike, I will crimp male bullet connectors onto the LED strip, adjusting the wire length as needed. The 3-in-1 turn signals already have them.
 

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