Alastair’s Yamaha XV1600 chop
Alastair had spent years planning this bike, and more still building it. The motor is from a big old US cruiser, the XV1600 Road Star. The back end is more or less standard; the front very highly modified as you can see.
We had a rotten run of luck with this bike. The wiring isn’t too tricky, but the installation and details became quite a headache. The original ignition unit just fitted in the space, but the plugs it needed had no room. So we had to resort to a smaller Ignitech unit, which came with some special programming to get it to operate the solenoids that lift the valves on cranking. (This is a must with a big twin, to save the battery.)
The Wannabe Chopper handlebar switches ran through-the-bars wires. They also used momentary push-button switches, so Alastair had to get separate transistorised relays to interpret the signals to operate the hi/lo beam, and left/right. These products are nothing special, but tend to be sold with imprecise descriptions which makes it very hard to get the right thing first time.
The regulator rectifier is a special one to handle the 280W alternator output. But you can’t get the Furukawa pins for the plug, so we ended up getting a whole new rectifier from ElectrexWorld.
The Ignitech can do a push-button kill switch, but unfortunately we had already used the same pins to run the start-up decompressor solenoids, so we had to cobble up a conventional relay to achieve the same effect.
Such are the agonies of building a custom bike. On top of this came the usual brain fry of fitting all the electricals into the space under the sidepanels: fuse box, relays, coils, ignition, battery, solenoid, ignition switch and all their various plugs and connectors. We had a long chat about colours for the cable sleeving and ended up with pale grey, as with vintage Japanese and 1970s BSA/Triumph.
Getting the ignition to work properly was a final headache, but it finally fired up like a baby, and ticked over happily once warm. Alastair now has a few snag list jobs to complete before it gets its first run out.