Light bars are standard equipment on cruiser motorcycles, such as Harley Davidson, Honda and Kawasaki V-twins. Typical light bars mount below the headlight and support a pair of smaller running lights at each side. The lights are wired to the headlight circuit or a turn signal switch. In keeping with custom accessories, you can elect to finish your bar with an all-weather wrap or epoxy paint. Select the lights, universal adaptors and a short length of galvanised tubing to make a homemade light bar for your motorcycle.
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Things you need
- Shop manual for your motorcycle
- 1-inch diameter galvanised tubing
- Felt tip marker
- Tubing bender
- Bench vice
- Flat file
- Electric drill
- 1/4-inch drill bit
- Universal adaptors
- 14-gauge insulated electrical wire (green and red)
- Wiring pliers
- 14-gauge crimp connectors
- Accessory clamps
Hold a piece of 1-inch diameter galvanised tubing in place horizontally below the headlight. A 30-inch long piece should be sufficient, unless you want the bar to extend out for design purposes.
Center the piece under the headlight and mark the points for bending into the configuration you want. Typical bars bend inward under the headlight, with a straight section across the middle for attaching to the steering headset.
Secure the piece of tubing in a bench vice. Bend the tubing into the desired configuration using a tubing bender. It may be easier to bend one section at a time and reposition the bar in the vice to make the other bends.
Reposition the bar under the headlight. Make any adjustment to the configuration so it fits to your satisfaction. Mark each end of the bar to the desired length, secure it in the vice and cut it using a hacksaw. File the cuts with a flat file to remove any burrs.
Measure the diameter of the universal adaptors. Mark each end of the bar where the lights will attach. Drill holes for the adaptors using an electric drill with the appropriate size drill bit.
Look at the motorcycle's wiring schematic in your service manual. Determine where the wiring for the lights connect to a switch or an exiting circuit. Typical wiring includes a pair of wires for each light.
Hold the bar in place under the headlight. Mark one or more spots on the bar where new pairs of 14-gauge insulated wires exit the back or underside of the bar. Secure the bar in the vice and drill at your mark or marks, using an electric drill and a 1/4-inch drill bit.
Cut pairs of 14-gauge insulated red and green wires for each light using wire pliers. Twist one end of a pair together by hand. Feed the end through a drilled hole and push the wire out one end of the bar. Pull enough wire out of the end to attach crimp connectors. Repeat this with another pair of red and green wires for the opposite light.
Strip 1/4-inch of insulation at the outer ends of each wire where they exit ends of the bar using the wire pliers. Crimp 14-gauge connectors on each wire with the pliers.
Attach the lights at each end of the bar using the universal adaptors. Strip ¼ inch of insulation off the end of each light wire. Insert the ends of the light wires into the appropriate crimp connectors and crimp the connectors using the wire pliers.
Mount the light bar to the steering headset using accessory clamps. Refer to the wiring schematic for the connection points of the wires. Cut the wires to length and make the final connections.
Tips and warnings
- Moisture-proof the crimp connectors with electrical tape or heat-shrink wire shield.
- Paint the bar before attaching the lights, or wrap the bar after it is mounted.
- Insert rubber plugs in the ends of the bar for a finished appearance.
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