Super Tenere (Gen 2) Electrical Upgrades

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by GSequoia, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,505
    Location:
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    Hello all,

    Back in February of 2019 I bought a very low mile 2019 Super Tenere halfway on impulse. I had been meaning to pick up a big Adv bike to supplement my 1990 DR350 for some time and a deal came up at the right time for me. The bike was shiny, had clearly hardly left the garage, and had just 2900 miles on it. Of course that would not do.

    I armored it, played with the electrical system, and had it in the dirt at the 2019 Death Valley Noobs Rally inside of a month. I'm finally now getting to sharing my electrical modifications with the group.

    My goals here were to provide neat wiring using OEM-style connectors, supply circuits for dedicated USB charging (in addition to the OEM low wattage cig lighter outlet), provide a circuit for an amateur radio, install my Baja Designs S2 pro spot lamps, and wire in a plug for my MicroStart in case I screw up and kill the battery. All of these goals would be accomplished in a completely reversible fashion in case I decide to sell the bike down the road (fat chance).

    As with any well-executed project the first step is research. Luckily running IT for a commercial real estate firm gives me free access to a large format printer so I grabbed the wiring diagram images from the service manual and printed them out.
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    Next because what you see on paper doesn't always match reality it was time to dig into my new bike.

    Behind the RH cowling lies the heart of the bike's brains and volts.
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    Buried under the loom you will find these two capped connectors. The four pin connector on the left is to be ignored. The three pin connector on the right is the factory accessory light wiring loom and where the meat of this project will start.
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    This connector pinout is as follows:
    Black: Ground
    Blue with Black: Constant +12VDC on dedicated 20A circuit
    Brown: Ignition Power feed unknown capacity (used for relay trigger)
    The next part of the investigation has to do with my spot lamps. I like to run spot lamps on a double throw switch (on - off - on). This gives me the option of having one side deliver light at all times and the other side be my auto side where it is tied to the operation of the high beam.

    The Super Tenere has single filament bulbs. High/low is operated by a physical gate inside the headlamp housing that blocks off light. This gate it controlled by a solenoid (that is the click you hear when you flip from low to high). My first plan was to grab a trigger wire from the high beam switch for the spot lamp relay. This did not work as the high beam on and the flash to pass wires are electrically isolated so I had to go hunting.

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    My solution was to find the wire in the loom that operates the solenoid for the high beam gate. This is located in the look on the right side of the stem.

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    The red wire from the side of the connector toward the front of the bike leads directly to the solenoid. This is the wire that I will intercept for my spot lamps.

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    Suffice to say I really had to tear into the bike to plan everything out. For the curious here are a couple photos:
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    Now that the investigative work is done it was time to start planning and executing the project. Lots of boring stuff drawing shitty electrical diagrams on my iPad, researching the proper connectors, and trying to think of any additional items I might want to add down the line (no provision for heated gear at this time, SoCal, baby!).
    #1
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  2. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Now it was time to execute. On a previous project I discovered Cycle Terminal a small business that offers OEM-style connectors on a small scale. Typically you need to buy these in bulk from suppliers but if you're not building products it makes much more sense to just get what you need.

    I needed the connector to interface with the factory accessory lights loom, the pins needed to intercept the high beam solenoid, and various connectors, fuse and relay boxes, and distribution busses. I also had to source needed Double Pole, Double Throw (DPDT) switches, the previously mentioned USB outlet/voltmeter and to either buy or build a dashboard fill panel to mount everything.

    Once all the gear is gathered it's time to start with the wiring. Over an afternoon I sat down and put the job together keeping my trust iPad close to record notes.

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    I started with the OEM accessory lights connector. You will need a three pin Sumitomo MT .090 connector set available from this page. You can just see the white connector up against the crash bar in this photo. The black wire leads to my negative distribution buss bar, blue/black wire (now changed to red on this side of the connector) leads to my +12VDC distribution buss bar then to pin #30 (source power) on my ignition power relay as well as pin #30 of my spot lamp relay and the brown wire (yellow on this side) leads to pin #86 the trigger wire for my ignition power relay. More on the relays below. When doing this project remember that you only have 20 amps total to play with from the +12VDC wire and an undetermined amount from the ignition power wire so I would only advise using that to trigger a relay (negligible draw).

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    Now that that's out of the way a word on my distribution buss bars. These are available from Cycle Terminal for this purpose or as fuse boxes for up to three micro fuses on this page.

    The connector and the buss bar. Of course you could trim the buss bar down if you need and use this to join up to four wires and have one fuse.

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    Capped. These are nominally water proof as it sits but I would still keep them in a semi-protected area. Note the red paint pen strip I put over my positive buss.

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    The next part of my plan is the fuses and relays. Relays are force multipliers for electric circuits. They serve a few different purposes, you can use them to run your switches with very little load (allowing you to use smaller wire to the switches as well as have less risk of burning them up, I always use relays to switch high load items) and you can use them to take a feed from another circuit (such as the factory ignition power circuit) and build another circuit that follows the same rules. There are a lot of other fun things you can do with relays but that falls outside of the scope of this post and I'm lazy.

    For this project I chose two different types of relays dictated by where I was mounting them. My first relay is my ignition power relay. This takes the factory ignition power circuit (energized when key is on) as a trigger and builds a 20A circuit that is also hot with the key on. Because this relay was hanging out by itself I chose the Panasonic Nais 20A relay as well as its past available on this page as it is a sealed unit that has a mounting tab. You can just see the relay above my middle finger in the above buss bar photo.

    For the two other relays (spot lamp and radio power) I used the 12 volt ultra micro relay also available on this page as these were mounting in my two small fuse and relay boxes detailed below.

    All of these relays have four pins using standardize relay pin numbers:
    30: Incoming load for resulting circuit.
    87: Outgoing wire to the new circuit.
    85: Ground
    86: Relay trigger wire - when this is energized it closes a switch and connect 30 to 87.
    Fuses and the two micro relays live in Metri-Pack four circuit fuse boxes available on this page. These boxes will hold four isolated fuses (independent source and load wires) or two fuses and one micro relay. To use relays you need to get the high-top caps.

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    Please note that details on the individual circuits will follow in further posts.

    I wired all the components in place using a minimal amount of wire to meet my needs.

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    Yeah it looks like hell, doesn't it? Well I'm not done yet. You can see my Micro Start connector hanging down with the blue connector and yellow warning cable. This is wired directly to the battery and plugs into my Micro Start jump start boxes so I can jump the bike without trying to get clips on the battery.

    I removed the factory (useless) tool case and relocated it to under the seat, now I had the perfect spot to stash my components. I was even able to utilize the factory rubber band strip for the tool kit to keep everything tucked away neater than Buffalo Bill with a camcorder. The Micro Start lead is tucked in next to the wiring and can be pulled out easily in case I need to jump start the bike.

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    That's it for this part of the post. Coming up next is dashboard, switches, and USB outlets.
    #2
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  3. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,505
    Location:
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    I wanted to either make or get a dashboard infill panel for the bike. I was on a tight schedule so spent a few days trying to get a pre-made one before I gave up and made my own. I chose 1/8" aluminum plate for the project, I wanted the thicker material so that the snap-in switches would sit solidly in place instead of moving around a bit.

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    The resulting product. Yes that little rise on the left side of the lower half arc bugs the hell out of me. No I haven't gotten around to taking a file and knocking it off. The notched circular hole at the top right is for the factory power outlet (pathetic 3A fuse, don't use this for anything high-draw, kiddos).

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    Back side of panel showing switches, etc.

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    And in place. Since I didn't have time to wait for painting I took some fine 200 grit sandpaper and sanded straight horizontally to knock the glare off in the sun. That gives it a ghetto brushed aluminum look. It's been in place for most of the year and about 9,000 miles and hasn't bothered me yet although I keep saying I'll paint it.

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    The switches are genuine Carling marine-grade switches with LED indicator lamps. My ultimate goal is to replace the switch actuators with custom printed ones. The left switch is for spots (top is auto, middle off, bottom always on) and the right is for my radio (top tied to ignition power, middle off, bottom always on). The USB outlet/voltmeter is powered by my ignition power circuit detailed above. Switches and USB outlet sourced from Amazon.

    A deviation from my OEM-style connectors theme is the switches. I bought Carling connectors on Amazon but they were not OEM and did not work to my expectation leaving me to use these stupid spade connectors. The USB outlet also lacks a connector so uses insulated spades.

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    Now for a note on wiring these switches. Previously you may note that I specified Double Pole, Double Throw (DPDT) switches for this project. In reality for each of my loads I only need to use Single Pole, Double Throw (SPDT) switches but as I wanted functional indicator lamps I needed to improvise.

    To simplify the normal way to wire in a double throw switch is to take your input power to the middle pin then put your two different load items on, one on top one on bottom. This is if you had one power wire and wanted to sometimes run one item, sometimes another. My goal is to take two distinct power sources and be able to chose which one I'm using to power the load, therefore the load goes on the center pin and the power sources on the top and bottom pins. The issue here is that the indicator lamps are wired with the assumption that you've got +12VDC on the center pin and bring ground to the dedicated lamp ground pin. End result is you end up with two indicator lamps burning anytime the power sources are energized (so in this example the bottom lamps would always be on and the tops on if the ignition power or high beams were on).

    This won't do. Time to get a DPDT switch. This is really two switches in one set side by side in the same housing. The part that saves the project, though, is the indicator lamps only operate on one side of that switch. So I wired my devices in on the side without the indicator lamp feed then brought an ignition power wire to the middle terminal on the indicator lamp side of the switch. This gamed the internal switch wiring such that I had my cake and could eat it too.

    Here is the backside of the switch:
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    Pinout:
    1: Normally load #1 terminal for non-indicator lamp side of switch. Input power for my application.
    2: Normally input terminal for non-indicator lamp side of switch. Load terminal for my application.
    3: Normally load #2 terminal for non-indicator lamp side of switch. Input power for my application.
    4: Normally load #1 terminal for indicator lamp side of switch. Not used for my application.
    5: Normally input terminal for indicator lamp side of switch. Ignition power feed for switch in this application.
    6: Normally load #2 terminal for indicator lamp side of switch. Not used for my application.
    7: Ground for indicator lamp.
    All of the wiring for these switches and the USB power outlet run to an OEM-style six pin connector.

    That's about it for the base part of this project. Next up will be the spot lamps.
    #3
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  4. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,505
    Location:
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    For auxiliary lighting I chose a pair of Baja Designs S2 Pro spot lamps mounted to a Denali light bracket from Twisted Throttle. For those who aren't aware Baja Designs makes fantastic lights. They're not the cheapest out there but they seriously rock. An added benefit is they are a long time support of the ADVRider Death Valley Noobs Rally, one of my favorite events of the year. These lights are rated at 2,450 lumens each with just 1.7 amp draw for a total of 8,900 lumens and 3.4 amps. I have no problem burning these with my high beams.

    On a whim I added the amber colored rock guards to the lamps to protect from the occasional sand storms of Death Valley. I'd been thinking of going amber for added oomph when running in day while commuting but man I'm a true believer now. These amber lights work fantastically and add great definition even while driving up mountain roads at night.

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    The wiring for these comes off of the work I did on my previous post. The negative wire comes from my negative distribution buss bar and is run straight to the lights.

    Positive starts out with the positive buss bar (powered by the factory 20A accessory light circuit). From here it feeds to the spot lamp relay input power pin #30. The output power pin #87 leads to a five amp fuse in the same fuse/relay holder before continuing to the lights.

    These two wires then lead near the factory wiring to the area underneath the headlamps where I soldered in a splice to turn the two wires into four.

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    I then terminated these wires to the OEM-style connectors on the lamps (black connectors that you see in front of the RH fork in the below photo).

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    Now back to switching. As previously mentioned I wanted to have these lamps have two modes. The first and most commonly used position is auto. They are tied to the high beam output so that I can flash them with my Flash to Pass or have them steady on when on high. When commuting in the daytime I run these lamps full time. I also use the flash to pass to flash them when coming up on a blind area or when I need to get somebody's attention.

    Auto switching is picked up by the high beam gate solenoid trigger wire seen here.

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    I gently removed the contact from the body side of the connector (yellow on that side) and fed it into a similar HM .090 two contact connector available here from Cycle Terminal. This uses the same type of contacts as the OEM headlamp connector so I could slip the OEM wiring into one end, double terminate my feed wire in with the other side, then loop the wire back around and into the OEM connector.

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    Now that I had my auto trigger wire I fed that to pin #3 on my switch. Pin #1 got a wire from my positive distribution buss bar. Pin #2 leads to the relay trigger wire pin #86 finally leaving the relay pin #85 to go to my ground distribution buss bar.

    After that it's just a matter of tucking wiring, aiming lamps, and hitting the road. I've had them in place for about 9,000 miles now and aside from one of the lamp connectors being broken by an errant rock I've had no problems at all with them.

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    #4
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  5. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,505
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    Radio installation thread is here.

    As an added bonus I realized after putting the radio in that I could game its wiring to add one more USB charger in when needed. I quickly put together a conversation cable from my wiring to an SAE connector and sourced this outlet from Amazon. This allowed me to have additional USB charging capability under the seat when riding or with the bike off (my other outlets are ignition power only). One note if you do something like this USB outlets draw power at all times they're energized so you never want to wire them to constant power at all times or you'll wind up having to jumpstart your bike.

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    This really helped me out earlier this year when I took the bike on a week-long camping trip in the Sequoia National Forest (all backcountry dispersed sites). I used the charger when parked at night to brig my phone and such back up to snuff then during the days switched it to ignition power and charged my USB pickup batteries.
    #5
  6. GSequoia

    GSequoia I know a few things about radios... Supporter

    Joined:
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    And the last point for now is my camera system. I added this to the game later on than the rest. This gives me front and rear CCTV on the bike in case somebody does something truly stupid.

    See this thread.
    #6
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  7. 240sxorty

    240sxorty n00b

    Joined:
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    Masterful writeup. I am grateful. I'm also amazed at how stripped down you got your bike. I wish I'd found this earlier. I ordered an eastern beaver harness for the factory connector and I am still waiting. I have no idea how long it will be.
    #7
  8. MCGMB

    MCGMB Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good lord how did I not see this thread earlier -- magnificent! Super informative.

    Fine writing too!
    #8
  9. Kruzzin5

    Kruzzin5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    10
    Very thoughtful and your attention to detail is outstanding. excellent!
    #9