Application of brake levers and lights

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Oysterville, May 8, 2010.

  1. Oysterville

    Oysterville New Member

    I'm so close to having my first motored bicycle, but I need to resolve this issue before I take it to the road.

    There's those cheap China **** brake lights available on Amazon and ebay that appear by all accounts to be utter ****, so I don't wanna throw money away like that. Then I found the brake lever with switch over at Electric Scooter Parts, and figure that is what I need along with the requisite battery, wiring, and brake/tail light at the back.

    However, electrical isn't exactly my strong suit. Therefore, I need to turn to the wiring gurus here and ask how I would wire these two items (switch and brake light) into the mix. Is it as easy as 12 volt battery-->one end of switch wiring-->other end of switch wiring-->brake light? Obviously I will in time also have a head light and signal lights in sequence in there, but is it really that easy?

    Thanks in advance for the help. The engine arrives in two days, and I wanna have this baby rolling soon.

  2. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    You pretty much have it except for one thing. You need to complete the circut by running from the light back to the battery. If you want an isolated system. If not then hook battery negative to frame and ground one leg of the light to the frame. The advantage of using the frame is that only one wire needs to run to the componant and a short wire from the componant to the frame....saves space and wiring. The disadvantage is that your negative circut is not insulated and it only takes one wire to short the system.
    Running 2 wires for positive and negative not only isolates the electrical from the engine electrical it also makes it so that 2 or more wires must short to cause problems.

    On another note. Welcome to MBc! In the future it would be more benificial to all to find the fourm most closely matching your questions or posts. This particular thread belongs in the lighting and electrical section. If you also search that section you will find mountains of info. Some guys even post schematics. Otherwise you end up with guys that know a little trying to help (Like me) while the real experts are in the other forum.
    Let me know how your bike comes are going to love it!
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  3. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Stan said it all. Just one thing to add - a fuse. Then if you do have a short-circuit for one reason or another, no fire.
    Whatever maximum current your lights use, a fuse of about double that rating should be fine.
    (I'm assuming that you're using incandescent bulbs and an SLA battery.)
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  4. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    DOH! I knew I forgot something important and simple....Thanks Steve!
  5. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    You did a pretty good job of the rest, Stan, and if the batts are only a small bank of Ni-Cd or Ni-MH, then a fuse isn't critical.
    Regarding single or double wiring, I prefer to ignore earth for lights etc and stick to two wires. To rely on an earth connection, generally you need to scrape paint etc to keep a good connection between, for example, the engine and the handlebars.
  6. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    I discovered something interesting and seems odd to me. When I was installing all the lights and turn signals on one of my bikes, I tried to use a common negative wire for all the turn signals. That didn't work, the right signal wanted to work along with the left. I grounded each light individually to the frame and Voila! Works perfectly. Now the odd thing here is that the frame is common to all the lights just a wire would be so what gives? Finally, I realized that the power follows this path: battery to fuse, to electronic flash module to 3 way switch for turn signals. From the turn signal switch I had a red wire, and a green wire going to the turn lights. I forget which wire was which. The important thing is that they all had a common connection at the switch. When I connected all the lights (negative side of bulb) I was in effect completing the circuit with the negative wire going to all the bulbs. I removed that wire and grounded each light to the frame and it works like its supposed to. Still sounds weird to me but thats how it worked out.
  7. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Woody, the electronic flash module probably switches the ground to flash. ie The positive is permanently connected and the electronic switching connects ground to negative. I think that you needed to double-check the polarity of the lights. One was wired in reverse polarity is my guess. Then, when one switches on/off, it connects both negatives to ground.
  8. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    Hi Steve, I'll take a look and see if that's the case but seriously doubt it as they are color coded. They are working correctly. It's a neater solution to use only one wire going the lights anyway. I just use the frame as a negative connection on each light. The headlight is a Harley fog light converted to a 12v 4 watt LED. It's not a focused beam but is quite bright and I use it for visibility mainly. The brake and tail light are also LED so only the turn signals are incandescent bulbs, they are 4 watts each and quite bright despite the low wattage. With this set up I can run about 20 hours on an 8ah battery before recharging. I just plug in the battery maintainer when the bike is not in use. I need to neaten up the wiring further and encase it in flexible conduit for a cleaner look.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  9. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    application of brakelevers and lights

    AND Thanks Steve!
  10. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    I was only guessing, but I've seen similar situations to the one I described.
    Interesting, but if it works fine now there's no worries.

    I'm still working on my charging system and lighting when I get a chance. The generator works well and I have a decent headlight, (twin 18/18W, 12V bulbs), I'm just working on the regulator, then I need to buy a 12V 5Ah battey and it's pretty well done.

    The bike's looking pretty good. Those turn signals remind me of the ones on my old XL175 Honda, hundreds of years ago.
    Did you make that jacksaft yourself?
  11. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    application of brake lever and lights

    Yes Steve, I did make the jackshaft. it's separate from the motor mount. It uses a 5/8" shaft, sealed bearings set in a 1 1/4" pipe welded to a sliding mount which has jack screws on the rear end for chain tension adjustments. The gearing is 10t on the engine, 22t freewheel (not needed to freewheel) to a 10t sprocket on the right side that directly drives a 5 speed freewheel on the wheel. The gearing there is (high gear to low) 14t, 17t, 21t,26t, 28t. It has good hill climbing but is quite slow in low gear, about 14 mph. 31 mph in highest gear. Speed is calculated with no load so are a bit higher that actual.Bike rides nicely, steering is tricky with the ape hangers and front raked wheel. The freewheel going to the pedals is a 20t and I can barely move the bike pedaling. A smaller freewheel there would help a bit. With the seat set back like it is I found it a bit tricky to find the pedals from a dead stop at times, feet dangled til I found one of them. So far I have not tried to do a wheelie.
    The turn signals are scooter lights and I want to convert them to led but the bulbs to do so are about 17$ each so forget it! This bike was not an easy build.
  12. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Well done. I don't have much equipment, so took the easy way out and bought a SBP shift kit.
    Our 1st gear ratios are similar, I get about 12mph, but my 6th is much higher than yours, about 50mph. (52mph measured on a slight downgrade.) Don't want to go that fast, but it makes a good overdrive. Accelerate in 2nd to 4th, then into 6th to cruise at near idle.
    My ratios are 10T engine to 17T jackshaft, then 10T jackshaft to 44T chainring, then 36T to 14T-34T rear cluster.
    To help with kick-starting, I'm changing to 10T>17T, 11T>36T, 24T>14T-34T rear cluster. Lower start ratio, higher gearing to the chainring then low gearing to the rear to compensate. The downside is that the chainring will spin faster and I couldn't keep up by pedalling if I tried. (I never try.)
  13. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    I don't try to pedal either but could if necessary. The pedals keep it legal as a motorized bike, remove the pedals and it becomes a motorcycle and then must be registered and licensed etc, plus it would then require a motorcycle operators license.
    I use a pull starter and a centrifugal clutch on mine, works great with the c-clutch, just ease the throttle a bit and shift, a bit touchy on shifting back down, which I forget to do sometimes, but do most of my riding in 4th gear and it will start from a dead stop with the c-clutch. Just wont work on a hill.
    I ran into chain alignment issues if I used the SBP kit, that was because of the engine mount and that mount wouldn't allow the standard shift kit anyway. I'm now putting a shift kit on one of my cruisers with a similar set up. On that one I'm going 10t-17t-8t-44-36 then 14t-18t-21t-26t-32t giving me about the same speed range as the chopper but with a 26" wheel I need more torque for the steep hills here.
    I have not been able to kick start any of my engines, they're all 80cc slant head PowerKings and have quite high compression. It sounds like your plan will work for that so I may steal the idea.
  14. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    I can still pedal mine, but only if the engine isn't revving too high, otherwise I can't keep up. when I see a cop I turn the pedals a bit, but it's only simulated pedalling.

    My 66cc has a billet head and very high compression, but it's not hard to kick-start on the centrestand. 2 kicks cold, (one with choke, then one without), or one when warm.
    I set the RHS pedal at 2-3 o' clock then one good push to 6 o' clock does the job.

    The new ratios will make it about 1/3 easier to kick-start and the overall final ratios will be a little lower than they are now, with a top speed in 1st of about 10mph and 45mph in 6th.

    The gear cluster I fitted is a 6-speed Shimano MegaRange 'SuperLow' 14-34. Like you, I want heaps of torque in 1st.
  15. arkives1

    arkives1 Member

    What max engine rpm are you calculating from? Powerking engines have a max rpm of 6000 rpm. Given the 4.1:1 gearing that gives me a max speed of 1463 rpm on the 10t power out sprocket. It may be possible to rev these engines faster than 6000 but it would be screaming. With that 34t sprocket you should be able to climb trees or poles!
  16. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    My engine revs to 7500, Woody, in the lower gears at least. It needs a downhill to rev that high in the higher gears. About 6000 rpm until I fitted the billet head and SBP air filter, jetted down to 0.72mm, port-matched etc.

    I calculate RPM from an accurate speed reading using JPilot's gear ratio calculator.
    More info, calculations etc, is in this thread:- SBP Shift Kit - Ratios, Speeds and Pedal-starting
    N.B. The MegaRange SuperLow gears came after I started this thread.

    Yep, I could climb a wall with my gearing, especially when I change to a 24T chainring driving the rear cluster.

    Correction, my engine revs to 7400, not 7500.
    Also, my cluster is 13-34, not 14-34 as I said. (Failing memory)
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  17. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Ok, here is what's happening in Mildura,

    A kid was on his motored bicycle, riding down the road; not pedaling.
    Have a guess what's happening now?

    The Mildura police are seeking clarification from Vicroads as to the legality of his motorised bicycle, as they've already given him a ticket for driving an unregistered vehicle and unlicensed driving.

    This one kid may very well have f*&ked it up for all of us in Victoria, as once the police have clarification, they'll be slapping fines and confiscating petrol powered motored bikes, left, right and centre.

    If the idiot only pedalled his motored bike at all times, things may have stayed under the radar.

  18. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Now you're just being silly. Do you pedal at all times?
    I certainly don't and couldn't if I wanted to. I think that the majority of people here don't pedal all the time.
    For health reasons, I can't pedal all of the time. If I could, I wouldn't need an engine.
  19. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Yes Steve, i pedal at "ALL" times.
    On longer journeys, i get leg cramps because it's a lot harder to pretend pedal, than to apply load pressure through the pedals.

    Murphy's law states: the moment your not pedalling, there will be a police officer behind you to issue a ticket for a non compliant motor vehicle.

    Pedalling at all times, Steve.