Mountains Move Slowly, But Glaciers Change the World

It’s been a sporadic couple of weeks with the bike.  Waiting for parts is always a hassle, and sometimes, despite best efforts, things go wrong.  On the other hand, sometimes, on rare occasions, everything works out for the best.

This new LED system has been driving me crazy.  The weeks I put in on figuring out the exact wiring system based on terrible information via the web was frustrating.  Add to that, the fact that Triumph, in its infinite wisdom, made most of the wires that do drastically different thing, the same damn color.  Nightmare.


I was in the middle of testing and checking my wire work, when an errant little wisp of a wire decided to go rogue and slipped out of the coupling, grazing the forks and creating a tiny little spark.  Oops.  It happens, and I didn’t see any issue, so I soldiered on.  However, when I started testing the new wires, I found the speedo and the main cluster to have gone dark.  “Great”, I thought.  “I just fried a $350 part.  Dammit!”  I turned in for the night and shut down the garage.

The weird thing about complex projects is that if you try and focus on a problem, you’ll never find a solution.  But, if you take a break and walk away for a bit, sometimes the answer punches you right in the nose.  I was terrified that I had done some sort of damage to my bike that was going to cost me, but then, days later, I had an idea.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, and dumb enough to overlook it, I simply blew a fuse when I crossed wires.  I ran out to the garage, popped the top off the fuse box and pulled the cluster fuse.  Sure enough, it had popped.

Fifty cents and a trip to the auto parts store, and it was all fixed, and I was inspired to jump right into the wiring hell that lay before me.  I don’t know if it was the chill in the air or the 6 cups of coffee I had flowing through me, but I dove in.  I rerouted everything.  I built new connections for all the lights and bells and whistles and hid all that crap in headlight shells and under the tank and when I was done I realized that I had completed phase 1 of the bike build – the major electronics.

The new headlight is a custom job from Dime City and it’s really nice.  There’s a new tach that functions great and I minimized everything else.  Lights, wiring, the whole kit and kaboodle.  The only downside is that I may have oversold myself on how much extra room is really in the speedo cup, and may have to hard wire everything to make extra room.  Shit happens.

In the end, it all works, and I’m super pleased.  But, I’m far from being done.  The next step is the bars and controls, which took the most beating in the crash.  I had already picked up a few of the important pieces from a fella in Canada for $171, including a new light switch, a new throttle with cables and a new clutch bracket.  I might have overpaid a little for shipping, and it’s looking like I’ll just be reselling the clutch piece, but custom builds like this require a few mistakes.  I also had to go buy a few new LEDs and some other electronic parts in the process, so let’s add about $40 to the total, and we come to…  roughly $710 (not counting the seat that I made).

Now, I’m going to have to fine tune a few of the bits that I just installed before it’s perfect enough to take cross-country, but such is a custom job.  Luckily, all the imperfections are all in the speedo cluster, so it’ll be just one big swoop and pull, and I bought plenty of extra parts for just such an issue.  The next step is bars and levers.

$79.24 is what I spent on new bars, grips and an OEM kill switch.  Not bad shopping.  With a little luck, I’ll drop another $40 in the morning by winning an auction for a whole new set of levers, and I’ll be done shopping for parts, with the exception of a new fender, which might require a lot more research.  Or, hell, I might just try to make one.  Who knows?

All in all, I feel really good about everything that’s been accomplished so far, and the major strides that I’ve taken.  If I’m lucky, there may just be a rear-end redesign to boot!

Total repair cost to date: $789.24

*Edit – I was able to buy the new levers for $46.40

Total repair cost to date: $835.64