motogadget wiring, thinking outside the box & problem solving at mono motorcycles


Motorcycle wiring & electrics are not every motorcycle enthusiast or motorcycle technicians cup of tea.

But for Daniel Morris at mono motorcycles transforming & future proofing older motorcycles with new technologies such as motogadget are what drives him forward; always seeking new & innovative ways to uprate & upgrade custom bikes.

However, some weeks can be a bit testing & this has week has certainly been a challenging one. Lots of thinking outside the box & problem solving.

Written by Daniel Morris – Motorcycle Wiring Specialist & Motorcycle Technician, mono motorcycles

“Conundrum One: BMW K1100

The BMW K1100 has had me thinking outside the box quite literally this week. We fitted a motoscope pro dash last week & a Breakout box B. The Breakout box B cuts down on the wires going into the dash. On the box you can add inputs for coolant, oil, indicators, high beam & neutral.

Most older bikes which we fit motogadget units to have a neutral switch. This is basically a sprung switch which earths when the gearbox is in neutral.

However, the BMW K1100 has a rotating switch with 3 wires & should send a switched earth to each wire in turn to indicate which gear you are in on the standard BMW dash.

Inside the dash is a module which when the combination of earths is supplied, the module supplies 12v to the neutral light. Still with me? Good. Therefore, the problem is that without the module, we just some switching earths.

Well, that should be ok I hear you cry! Well no! The switch was giving me an intermittent earth & when I finally working out which wire changed to an earth in neutral, the neutral light would come back on when the bike hit 4th gear.

So, I had to come up with an alternative solution. Time to think outside the box.

First challenge was the location of the switch. Yep, right behind the swing arm! I tried jacking the bike up, removing the wheel, removing the shock but it was no good the whole lot needed removing.

To be fair it all came apart quite quickly, once on the switch I was able to get to the 7mm bolts to remove the switch. Switch in hand the plan was to open up the original switch & remove the guts & just leave in the wires required when in neutral.

Unfortunately, the switch had been repaired before & sealed with silicone. Then I noticed that the shaft coming out of the gearbox had a flat on it that pointed up when in neutral. I made up a template from the old switch from a flat piece of steel & mounted a brake light switch to the steel plate. Once the switch was in place, I tested the switch with my multimeter to confirm it was only on when the gearbox was in neutral.

Once I fired up the bike & the motoscope pro dash flashed into life, there it was, a little green light indicating the bike was indeed in neutral. Phew! job done.

Conundrum two: Yamaha RD400

My next challenge this week was the RD400 we had just finished installing a motogadget system to.

The RD400 would run perfectly well until increasing the RPM & then the m.unit would switch off. Having installed dozens of motogadgets over the years, it is well known that the motogadget unit will automatically shut itself down if there is a fault.

So, the question was, why was the bike all of a sudden shutting down? So began the process of elimination.

First, I started checking the power & earths which were all ok. Secondly it was time to check the “lock” on the m.unit. The lock is the power from the ignition switch or in this case the m.lock module. I bypassed the module & kicked the bike over. Result! the RD400 ran perfectly & I managed a few laps of the farm.

Therefore, the question was, what was causing the original issue?

The only thing I could see was the coil was very close to the m.lock receiver. Therefore, I made a temporary bracket to mount the coil under the seat. I then had to move the wiring & tidy everything up. Sounds simple but just doing this took most of a day.

Our customer had provided us with a tuning ignition box & until now I had left it off as the ignition was being taken care of via the VAPE stator & coil set up.

Reading through the poorly translated instructions for the ignition box, I wired the bike as per the instructions. I started the bike again & it ticked over fine until I revved it up & it cut out again.

I then checked the air gap on the crank sensor & that was fine. Then I tested the output from the crank sensor with the multimeter. All good.

Next, I tested the ignition coil & I got an open circuit, proving that the coil had blown.  This was very strange for one of these to fail, as the VAPE products is really good quality.

I unplugged the ignition box & got one hell of a belting electric shock which left a physical burn on my hand.

The box the company had supplied was a CDI unit! This is completely wrong for the ignition system the VAPE uses. The VAPE coil relies on a switched earth, but a CDI is a Capacitor Discharge Ignition, hence the electric shock & blown coil!

I contacted the customer who is going to speak with the supplier who sold him the “compatible” ignition box, while I try & source a new coil.

One saving grace is the motogadget m.unit has a surge protection so at least that’s not damaged.

Is it the weekend yet?”

Written by Daniel Morris – Motorcycle Wiring Specialist & Motorcycle Technician, mono motorcycles

If you are interested in the motogadget system for your custom bike, then please do email Daniel Morris in the first instance with information about your project E: or contact us through our contact page



Category: motogadget, Wiring