TOPELECTRI­C TIPS

Real Classic - - Letters - Gor­don Mil­burn

I’m in the process of con­vert­ing my 1964 Venom to 12V. I read Stu­art Fran­cis’ elec­tri­cal ar­ti­cle in RC186 which was a great help. I have fit­ted an al­ter­na­tor and elec­tronic ig­ni­tion. Is it safe to fit a stan­dard 30 amp fuse, or should I fit a fuse­box? How many con­nec­tions and to what wiring? Ron Sav­age

Most sim­ple mo­tor­cy­cles cope very well with just a sin­gle fuse in the bat­tery lead. The main haz­ard is from the bat­tery and the pos­si­bil­ity of fire from dam­aged wiring. Once the bat­tery is iso­lated, any short on the wiring will soon kill the ig­ni­tion and the en­gine will stop. As for fuse rating, 30A will al­low a con­sid­er­able fault cur­rent. The ac­tual load in nor­mal use is un­likely to reach even 10A (120watts). A 20A fuse is more than enough. Dee Jack­son

Fit a multi-fuse box. Avail­able from Ve­hi­cle Wiring Sup­plies for peanuts and makes fault­find­ing a dod­dle. I also still fit a main fuse on the non-earth side of the bat­tery and agree with Dee, 20 amps is more than suf­fi­cient. Lawrence Howes

The pri­mary pur­pose of the fuse is pro­tect the bat­tery from an over­load /short cir­cuit in the wiring or elec­tri­cal loads. 30 amps is way too much; you could eas­ily melt the wiring with that cur­rent as you would be dis­si­pat­ing 420W – 30 amps x 14V of a fully charged bat­tery. A 10 amp fuse should be more than enough. I would keep it sim­ple with a sin­gle in­line blade fuse from the bat­tery on the sup­ply side. I would only add ad­di­tional fuses if you were con­nect­ing mod­ern high cur­rent ac­ces­sories like heated grips. Stu­art Fran­cis

My 1960 big head Bul­let came with a Boyer ig­ni­tion and an al­ter­na­tor. I added a six-fuse spade fuse­box from eBay, with sep­a­rate fuses for main feed to the am­me­ter, ig­ni­tion, in­di­ca­tors, lights and brake light. I also fit­ted heated grips as I’m a wus, and I fit­ted in­di­ca­tors as I don’t trust car driv­ers to un­der­stand hand sig­nals.

All wires, con­nec­tors and in­di­ca­tors came from Ve­hi­cle Wiring Prod­ucts, with rub­ber stemmed in­di­ca­tors at £12 per pair.

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