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Old 10-07-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
indr OP
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Wire gauge from battery

Trying to redo the whole wiring on bike. Standard 12volt motorcycle battery. What should the gauge of the wire connected to the leads of the battery be?
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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depends on what it's going to feed
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Don't know the specific size for your battery/starter size. Not all that standard, my old GS sure has much bigger cables than smaller Japanese bikes.

12V you can always go bigger, won't hurt a thing. Did that on my other BMW, premade cables are cheap at Wal-Mart,or I should say much cheaper than buying cable by the foot somewhere and you can get the right size eye connectors at Battery Direct, then just a matter of soldering them on the cables.

Sears may even still have their small jumper cables in the cheap tools bin, they were about $10.00 and 7(?) feet long, again much cheaper than buying cable by the foot somewhere and you get red and black.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by indr View Post
Trying to redo the whole wiring on bike. Standard 12volt motorcycle battery. What should the gauge of the wire connected to the leads of the battery be?

Should be 6 AWG
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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On old Suzukis, the stock battery cable size seems to be somewhere between 6 and 8 AWG.

When necessary, I make new cables with 6 AWG wire. When I bought the crimper, wire, and lugs, the gent at the electrical supply shoppe commented that he sells to a lot of custom builders who use the same.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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All of my Suzukis have used 8g from the battery to the starter relay to the starter,and also for the negative to engine case ground.The rest of the wiring is 14g-16g.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:25 PM   #7
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I used 4 gauge on my Airhead when I recently did a complete rewire. It's what http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/EME-Battery-s/79.htm uses in their battery cable kits (I didn't use one of their kits, though). It's a pain to work with, but my starter is happier than ever.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chollo9 View Post
I used 4 gauge on my Airhead when I recently did a complete rewire. It's what http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/EME-Battery-s/79.htm uses in their battery cable kits (I didn't use one of their kits, though). It's a pain to work with, but my starter is happier than ever.
Increasing wire size would probably help over the long haul seeing how larger wire can flow more electrons.It just makes for a little more bulk in the harness.Plus it's stiffer also and helps keep vibration from breaking connections.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:21 AM   #9
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8-Gauge welding leed cable works well. Will pass as much current as 6ga standard wire and is very flexible. Some welding supply houses will sell this by the foot.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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8-Gauge welding leed cable works well. Will pass as much current as 6ga standard wire and is very flexible. Some welding supply houses will sell this by the foot.
Thats what I was going to recommend. Tractor Supply sells it in bulk by the foot. McMasterCarr.com?
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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Thats what I was going to recommend. Tractor Supply sells it in bulk by the foot. McMasterCarr.com?
McMaster will also sell the lugs and crimping tool
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
Plus it's stiffer also and helps keep vibration from breaking connections.
Stiffer may be better for you but flexible is the way I want to go (I use braided strap for ground when I can find an appropriate gauge). Flexible absorbs the vibration but stiff works battery bolts loose, loosens connections and causes shorts. 'Course, my Wide Glide eats batteries for breakfast.

As for what gauge to use, I want 4 gauge or heavier from battery to starter and for the ground strap. Even then the ground strap can get uncomfortably warm if it takes more than about 4 revolutions to start (and it takes 3 for the electronic ignition to fire).

You can probably get by with less; Harley starters want lots of amperage.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:52 AM   #13
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Get good flexible cable, like good welding cable, it's much more flexible than that old-fashioned braided stuff. good lord, that stuff is from cars of 40-50 years ago.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #14
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Cables are thicker on European bikes/ vehicles and most have a larger cca battery ( cold cranking amps) this is because it's colder over there and it takes more amps to turn an engine over when cold.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #15
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Cables are thicker on European bikes/ vehicles and most have a larger cca battery ( cold cranking amps) this is because it's colder over there and it takes more amps to turn an engine over when cold.
Er, you HAVE spent a winter North of St. Louis, yes?
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