Welcome to this week’s tech talk at Venom Motor Sports!
Ok...with Valentine’s Day just around the corner perhaps I am focused on connections. However, in this week’s blog I am not talking about a romantic connection. This week we are going to focus on making electrical connections.
This week’s blog is part of an ongoing series on “electrical systems”. I hope you enjoy them.
The electrical systems on our bikes look very complicated. However, if we break electrical problems down using a step by step process, we can solve any electrical problem that comes up.
Today, we are going to spend some time chatting about electrical systems and a very important aspect of troubleshooting...electrical connections.
To help with your understanding of electrical connections please click on the various “electrical connection” videos links below. These will help you understand the different types of electrical connections used on our bikes and how they are serviced.
Thank you “youtube”!
Keep in mind that this information applies to all of our bikes!
Onto this week’s topic!
Tim...What is the typical power source used on my bike?
All of our “gas” powered bikes use a 12 Volt direct current battery.
The 12 VDC batteries used in bikes are small in size and light weight. The battery’s job on your bike is to simply start the bike. Once the bike is running the bikes alternator will produce enough electrical power to drive all of the bikes auxiliaries and charge the battery up as well.
Most of the batteries found in our bikes feature a 5 amp.hr rating as well. This means that the battery is able to produce a current flow of up to 5 amperes for one full hour before dying out...in a perfect world....under very controlled lap conditions. Just saying!
The unit ampere is the term used in electrical systems to describe and measure the rate of electrical charge flow.
So, if your charging system is operating properly your bikes battery will always have a full charge. Now keep in mind that even with a full charge your bike will only roll over about 30 times....before the battery is dead and will need to be recharged.
Tim...What makes “current flow” and the ampere unit so important when chatting about our bikes electrical system?
Power = Voltage x Amperage, this equation describes how electrical power measured in Watts, is produced.
If the Voltage available in our bikes is always 12 VDC, then we can only change the power to an electrical load by increasing or decreasing the current flow “amperage” to it.
You may have noticed on your bike that some of the wires are very thin...and some of the wires are much thicker. The very skinny wires supply electrical energy to very light loads, like your headlights. The thicker wires supply electrical energy to very large loads, like the starter motor.
The thickness of the wires is referred to as the “gauge of the wire”. Typically on bikes you will find anywhere from very thin wire 22 gauge wire, to thick 14 or 12 gauge wire.
I know it sounds kinda funny but the thicker the wire the lower its gauge number.
It’s also important to note the some wire is solid...and some wire is stranded. Stranded wire is much more flexible and is the type of wire most commonly used in our bikes.
You will also notice that the wire on your bike is of different colours. Typically the colour of the wire indicates its size;
Yellow wire is 12-10 gauge. This is the thickest wire size on your bike.
Blue wire is 16- 14 gauge. This is a mid range size on your bike.
Pink/Red wire is 22- 18 gauge. This is a thin wire size on your bike, except for the red power wire running to your starting relay from the battery. It is 12 gauge wire. I know this is like French verbs tenses...there is always an exception to the general rule.
Tim...Why is the colour code so important?
Yellow wire is 12-10 gauge.
Blue wire is 16- 14 gauge.
Pink/Red wire is 22- 18 gauge.
The colour coding system for the wire is also used for the “solderless” electrical connectors that we use on our bikes wiring system.
As the name implies these “crimp” connectors require no soldering and the wire is simply inserted into the connector and “crimped” or squeezed tightly around the wire to form the electrical connection.
Typically the crimping multi tool and various connectors are sold as a kit. You can find them in any hardware store, usually in the $20 range. These are one of the handiest kits you can have around the home as the connectors can also be used for other electrical devices...not just your bike.
Tim...What does a solderless kit typically come with?
Well...they typically come with an assortment of “solderless” wire connectors and the magical crimping multipurpose tool.
The crimping tool is really just sooooo handy. You can cut wire with it, strip wire with it and determine the size of wire with it. Also it crimps wire connections for you using the above colour coding system. It even has a sizing system for small bolts. Amazing!
So please run out and buy a kit today! This will be the best $20 you have ever spent. Please check out site...we have a great kit listed there for you at a super price for our Venom Family.
Tim...Have you found any good video’s on “solderless” connection kits.
Yes! gotta love “youtube”, thank you fellow youtubers for sharing your videos.
The video’s listed below are some of my favorites. Just click on the link below!
Wire Stripping and Connector Crimping 101
How to Crimp Wires – Basic tips on crimping wire.
Soldering or Crimping with Butt Connectors.
Check out our blog next week as we look battery sizing.
If you have any tech questions about our bikes, please feel free to email them to...
Have a great day!
Technical Support Specialist
Venom Motor Sports Canada
1-855-984-1612 hit “2” for “Tim”