Time and again, I’ve had people tell me that they are afraid to modify their bike’s wiring harness to install a new accessory. Upon a little digging, the bugaboo is usually fear of splicing wires into the bike’s harness. While cutting your motorcycle’s wiring harness is not to be taken lightly and should only be attempted when you are certain as to which wires should be cut – by, say, obtaining the factory service manual – the process isn’t really that scary.
Wire splicing is the process of physically connecting two or more wires to make a mechanically strong, electrically sound path. This can be done a couple of different ways. Mechanical connectors which physically clamp the wires together or to a common conductor are the easiest, but they take up more room and particular kinds are prone to failure. Soldering uses a hot iron to heat the wires to a temperature that will melt the solder, which when it cools takes care of the sturdy physical connection and the electrical conductivity. However, soldering is also a great source of distress amongst novices. Never fear, it is perfectly acceptable to splice wires if done correctly.
The source of the splicing fear usually is ignorance about soldering, which apparently many feel should only be done at midnight, during the full moon by a practitioner of the dark arts. Fortunately, that idea is bunk. Anyone, even someone whose hands shake as much as mine do, can learn to solder with a minimum expenditure of blood and treasure.