Mounting an ignition switch on a motorcycle is not complicated, but it does require some mechanical aptitude. Dirt bikes need a welded mount to withstand the vibration and impact of off-road riding. The mount for a road bike switch can bolt-on at a convenient location. You wire the ignition switch by referring to the electrical schematic in your motorcycle's service or repair manual. When changing the location of a switch or installing a new switch, the first order of business is the mount. Obtain the switch and compile the tools needed to mount an ignition switch on your motorcycle.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Service or repair manual for your motorcycle
- Dirt bike ignition switch
- Motorcycle tools
- Steel tubing
- Electric grinder and fine grinding wheel
- Welding equipment
- Epoxy paint
- Key switch relocator kit
Consider a location for the ignition switch that affords protection when the bike goes down. Ignition switches on most production dirt bikes are mounted on the front frame tube below the handlebars. Make sure the location you select allows the mount to be welded to the frame.
Disconnect the fuel line from the carburettor and remove the gas tank. Remove the rider's seat and gas tank if you plan to install the switch near the seat. Secure any cables or wires away from the frame tube with random pieces of electrical wire.
Cut a piece of steel tubing or steel pipe as the mount. The diameter of the tubing or pipe must accommodate the switch. The length of the piece must provide protection for the electrical connections at the back of the switch.
Remove the paint from the small section of the frame where the steel mount attaches using an electric grinder with a fine grinding wheel.
Position the mount on the frame at an angle that affords convenient access to the ignition switch. Secure the steel tubing to the frame with a C-clamp.
Protect the front wheel, engine and surrounding areas with welding blankets. Weld the mount to the frame and allow the weld to cool completely. Remove the C-clamp.
Paint the inside and outside of the mount with epoxy paint. Allow the paint to dry and install the ignition switch in the mount.
Select a location for the ignition switch. This can be at one side of the engine, between the V-twin cylinders or at the handlebars. The location is a matter of personal preference.
Obtain a key switch relocator kit and ignition switch for your road bike at a motorcycle accessory shop or through and online accessory outlet.
Position the ignition switch wire connectors at the location of the switch. Disconnect the negative battery lead from the battery. Install the ignition switch into the relocator mount. Refer to your service manual and connect the ignition wiring to the switch.
Bolt the relocator mount to the motorcycle using the provided bolts, lock washers and nuts. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery.
Tips and warnings
- Coat the inside of the dirt bike mount with silicone sealer before installing the ignition switch.
- Always disconnect the negative battery cable before doing any electrical wiring.
- Retrofit a rubber cap at the back of the switch for moisture protection.
- Avoid using hose clamps to mount an ignition switch on a motorcycle.
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