DISCOVER
×

How to wire motorcycle turn signals

Although they serve their purpose, most motorcycle turn signals are large, bulbous appendages that stick out like sore thumbs. Even on the bulkiest of bikes, these amber monstrosities can appear enormous. Luckily, the aftermarket provides a staggering assortment of turn signals that are functional and attractive, as well as easy to install.

Disconnect the positive terminal from the battery.

Remove the stock turn signal assembly and disconnect from the wiring harness.

Connect the turn signal to the wiring harness.

Install the new turn signal on the motorcycle.

Reconnect the battery's positive terminal and test the turn signal for proper operation.

Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Disconnect the positive terminal from the battery.

Remove the stock turn signal assembly, but do not disconnect from the wiring harness at this time.

Examine the wiring, taking note of the positive and ground wiring and how many wires are present. Ground wires are typically black or brown. Three wire setups allow the turn signal to operate as a running light when not active. The third wire is not crucial to the operation of your new turn signals if it only has two wires.

Remove the factory wiring connector. If you will not be using the third wire, seal it with electrical tape.

Remove 1/4 inch of shielding from the remaining wires, using a wire-stripping tool.

Attach the positive wire to the turn signal's corresponding wire with a butt connector. Securely crimp the connector with a crimping tool.

Attach the negative wire to the turn signal's corresponding wire with a butt connector. Securely crimp the connector with a crimping tool.

If available, attach the running light wire to the turn signal's corresponding wire with a butt connector. Securely crimp the connector with a crimping tool.

Install the new turn signal on the motorcycle.

Reconnect the battery's positive terminal and test the turn signal for proper operation.

Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Tip

If you are converting to an LED turn signal system, you may notice that your signals will flash faster. This can be cured by installing a load equaliser. Rush jobs will always cause more problems, so take your time.

Warning

Cutting a live wire can be painful and may even be fatal. So be sure to disconnect your battery before working on your motorcycle's electrical system. If you doubt your ability to complete this project, have the work done by a qualified technician.

Things You'll Need

  • Motorcycle
  • Turn signals
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Allen keys (depending on your motorcycle)
  • Electrical tape
  • Butt connectors
  • Wire stripper/crimper tool
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.