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I have a 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim that I restored and plan on doing a cafe build with it. I want to go minimalistic with the electrics to clear up as much space around the engine. I want a sleek look in which you cannot see any sort of storage box for the electronics and definitely no loose wires. I like the look of an engine and carburetors and nothing else under the seat. The electrics the bike currently has are blinkers, brake light, headlight, horn, oil level sensor, high beam indicator, turn signal indicator, and a neutral indicator. I want to maintain all this if possible but with all new brake lights, blinkers, headlight, speedo (I want a speedo that has a light in it for night riding), and indicator cluster. The bike's old electrical system utilizes the headlight housing to store all of the wire plugs, could I possibly splice new wires directly to the harness to bypass the old plugs? (this would save a lot of space) Would I have to buy a new wiring harness to support new lights or could I just strip and connect each of my old wires to its new corresponding item, e.g. put on a new headlight and splice the new wire to the wiring harness? (Also I don't know if I buy a new headlight if it would have the same plug as my old one) I know that the indicator lights are a simple bulb so replacing the indicator cluster will be a breeze, but I don't know about compatibility with headlights, brake lights, and blinkers. Also, the bike has a regulator and a rectifier that are pretty bulky, but they work fine. Should I just try to find a place to tuck them away or upgrade to a modern single module and how will that work with compatibility? The wires leading to the regulator have plugs, how would I know if a new module would have the same plugs? The system also has many relays, is there any way to upgrade to newer, more reliable, and more compact relays? Thank you for any help, I know this is a lot and probably confusing.
 

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Lets see if I have this right, you have zero experience with electricity or electrical wiring, no idea how electrics on a motorcycle work, you don't know a relay from a Triac but you figure that it is important to completely conceal all that nasty wire stuff because it is ugly and not solid state so it must be unreliable. You putting fenders on this thing?

imho If you are not planning to build a decent motorcycle to ride you are just making a stationary art project so why not just power the whole thing up with 120 volt AC and plug it into a wall outlet to make it light up.

Apologies if that sounds harsh or whatever, but CafeRacer.net has always been about motorcycles that ride good, not motorcycles that have a special look. You know why there are plugs on so many things on your bike? That's so you can take it apart to service it, you plan on mostly just looking at your bike you won't need to service it very much so go for it, replace all the push together connectors with heat shrink tubing and solder connections, it won't make one bit of difference.
 

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"imho If you are not planning to build a decent motorcycle to ride you are just making a stationary art project so why not just power the whole thing up with 120 volt AC and plug it into a wall outlet to make it light up." That's funny.

You have restored the bike, forks rebuilt, something done with the old dead shock, bearings, bushings, calipers rebuilt, new brake lines, proper tires, engine/tranny up to snuff and running?

"More reliable" electrics? The system that is on the bike probably works fine even after 38 years and provided some home hacker hasn't touched it will likely run another 38. That is the definition of reliable. I would bet that whatever you intend to replace it with won't have that kind of longevity.

This XJ is an old baby buggy and throwing money at it won't change that. To us it sounds like you are taking a bike that serves a purpose and turning it into an ugly wall hanging. Get it running and ride it. Sell, buy something else, repeat until you can buy something that captures your heart.
 

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Paragraphs are cool. Just saying. But to answer your questions. Yes you could. I haven't seen a 1982 Yamaha wiring harness and don't know if you are capable of slicing wires but in theory it can be done. Some old stuff is compatible with some new stuff. You'd buy it and compare. It likely won't so you'll change it around to work. Yes.

Anywhos...

No one can see inside the head light shell. Connectors are your friend. What's the advantage of them not being there?

Of course you can rewire the entire bike to eliminate all of the connectors. Well, let me restate that. Of course the bike can be wired to elimnate all connectors. Can YOU rewire the bike to do that? The fact you're asking about it isn't a good sign.

My guess is at some point you'll discover how small and light lithium batteries are, and you'll want to use one. That decision willl dictate you replace the regulator with a modern one so that question is answered.

New lights typically have common connectors but this is trivial to someone who is capable of eliminating connectors. New lights do not require new wiring harnesses unless you're going with an HID set up maybe? But who does that on a 1982 Yamaha?

I'm guessing you're going to have to have LED lights where possible because that's what all the cool kids use now? Ok, LEDs are cool but they are not plug and play. Do the research, the info is out there. I have zero idea what lights you are talkign abtou so any info I'd offer would be based on a guess.

How many relays does a 1982 yamaha have? Yes you can go modern with them. If you put some time into researching it on your own you're going to find something like this:

So basically to do what you're envisioning will cost you about a grand and take a lot of hours of figuring out how it works and how to apply it to your bike. Which is a 1982 Yamaha Maxim... which I know absolutely nothing about so I googled it.

The Yamaha XJ650 Maxim is a mid-size motorcycle by the Yamaha Motor Company introduced in 1980 as the Maxim I and produced through 1983. Yamaha designed the high-performance XJ650 as a brand-new four-cylinder with shaft drive, and built it specifically as a special cruiser.
Ok, so you're starting with a Maxim, you want to make a cafe racer out of it, and you're worried about electrical connectors in the headlight shell? Hmm. I want to go vintage racing. I've got a 1982 Toyota Cressida. Can I replace the radio with something that's Apple CarPlay compatible?

This is where I'd normally ask just what the term "Cafe Racer" means to you and why on Earth you would choose to start with a Maxim, but I've been down that road enough times to realize all it will do is depress me, so, have fun with your project.
 

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I rewired a '81 yamaha XS harness and have a decent idea about the ins and outs of their system.

If you can name 5 subsystems that you can remove, then I'll help you as best I can. I usually respond to wiring simplification questions with the question- why do you think the factory would put in a whole bunch of excess wiring and unnecessary systems in a harness in the first place? Particularly if you intend to keep it road legal with working lights.

Relays, yes, the motogadget can replace relays. But the stock relays are spread all over the bike. Consolidating them in a single unit will increase wiring...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just to clarify, no, I am not qualified to be doing any of what I intend to do. That is the point of a project, I enjoy figuring out how to solve problems and creating something unique to me. I really like bikes and I really like the look of a cafe racer. So I bought a cheap old bike and have been figuring out how I am going to convert it into a cafe racer and enjoying every minute of it. I don't know any person who has any knowledge on the matter so when I have a question I go to forums like this. I don't plan on completing the project anytime soon and I intend on keeping it for a long time and working on it throughout college whenever I have spare money. I also don't care about getting a good value on the bike, I have already spent a little over a grand buying it and fixing it to run, and I am completely comfortable with sinking another grand into it over time.
Anyways, I am planning on switching to a lithium-ion battery, I wasn't aware that required me getting a new regulator/ rectifier, but that makes perfect sense and I guess that answers that question for me. I also didn't want to have so many plugs because I didn't know whether modern headlights have housing to store those plugs in or not. I guess it will come down to whether the one I get does or doesn't have one, and depending on that, I will either just plug and play or start splicing wires. I guess it would be best to just keep all the relays instead of switching to a single unit. The bike is mechanically sound, that's what I've been working on for a couple of months now in my spare time. Now I am focusing on the looks of it. I am not very concerned with keeping the bike "easy to service", I always enjoy a tough problem. This bike is not my means of transportation, it is simply a hobby for me. I also want to give the switches/buttons and gauge cluster a modern look.
 

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You found the make it work real good and go fast forum ;) we ride the shit out of out motorcycles, break em, fix em up again so you can ride em some more.

Why don't you put the batteries for the headlight inside the headlight housing, you can't get more simple wiring then that, forget turn signals, just hand signal, those stupid little led ones or signals built inside the headlight would get you killed anyway.
Where are you putting the tail light and license plate, chopper side mounted?

Maxim is a pretty easy bike to find in a scrap yard, it does have that going for it.
 

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I can help you with the electricity parts. Light Emitting Diode - works on reverse bias voltage, it's a diode, and diodes are what rectifiers are made out of so needless to say the rectifier out of an old bone motorcycle that preceded LED technology is not going to be ideal. What you have coming out of your motor right now is likely 3 wires putting out a nominal 17 volts of not very clean A.C. power each in three different phases, what you do with that is kind of limited only by your imagination, but by law the bike to be road legal is going to need a battery that powers a head and tail parking light for about 20 minutes when the bike dies on the side of the highway and the battery is maybe going to need to start the bike.
... or a second battery ;) you know there is nothing wrong with more then one battery.
 

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Babb if you have a roadworthy xj for $1000 then there may be a little profit in the bike, spend more you put yourself in the loser category. Changing all you plan on this xj is just burning money. If you enjoy motorcycles and they become part of your life then you'll have lots of chances to lose money on bikes that are worth owning. There is little to learn from those building hipster cafe racers. They make the bikes look different, ugly in my opinion, but most render them useless as motorcycles. Learn to ride and do maintenance with this bike. Save your money and study motorcycles and their value so you can spot a deal when it comes along.

Keep in mind that it is always tough for the experienced to give advice to someone on how to complete a poorly thought out project. Life has taught us that you only get to spend money once.

The $1000 you don't mind sinking into it you should invest into proper riding gear. It'll cost half that for a good full face helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Not much of a tail light. When you hit the brakes or signal a turn you want all the drivers around you to know what you are doing. Highly visible lighting is your friend because on your bike the only crumple zone is you.
 

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For the tail light I want to do something like this with an led strip Google Image Result for https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/uk4AAOSwLsBZUgVx/s-l300.jpg
For the plate I want to do side mounted but whatever ends up working best will do fine.
For the ignition I’m keeping it stock, as it works perfectly fine still.
I guess using one battery or two will come to whether everything works together or not.
The tail light will get you killed, it's not even enough square inches of illuminated area to pass DOT rules
The side mount plate is stupid for too many reasons to bring up again.
If you are keeping the stock ignition then you are compelled to keep that entire part of the existing electrics,
and to be honest you could not get a more simple LED conversion then by adding a dedicated battery and wiring system only for those items.
:) hope this helps some.
 
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