Work in progress. All the electrical components, and the cable bundles, had to find new homes around the air filter

Nick’s Harley V-Rod

Every now and then something comes along that fries my brain. Nick’s Harley is one such job.

He’d bought a body kit for the V-Rod which meant evicting all the electrics from under the seat – including the ECU and the security module. This module contains the alarm/immobiliser and the indicator flasher. It also has a sticker explicitly warning you not to reposition or tilt it. This is because it has a tilt sensor inside, which cuts the engine and fuel injection if the bike falls over. (So if the sensor thinks you’re at 70 degrees of lean when you’re actually at 25 degrees, you could find yourself in a ticklish situation.) With Nick’s go-ahead we repositioned it anyway, in a very similar position to stock. The ECU could only fit in the bellypan!

Martin Eggington at ME Motorcycles had done a lot of work on the bike improving the fit of the glass fibre. Although he is very capable on the wiring harness front, he generously offered me the job of finding homes for all the bits and pieces, and reconnecting them. He’d labelled most of the cables but reorganising a fuel-injection loom at this level of complexity is still a serious head-scratcher. On top of that, Harley’s security system is infernally complicated. Their wiring diagram isn’t great either.

Eventually everything was hooked up and triple-checked. Time to start the bike. But all it would do was set off the alarm (fortunately without the siren, which I had removed along with any other optional parts). I tried all kinds of strategies to get the bike to return to normal. None of them worked. I even joined the US V-Rod forum. Then Nick’s wife suggested changing the battery in the key fob. That fixed it. Doh!


I didn’t take many pics of the job but this is the final result. I left some cables unwrapped to keep enough flexibility to fit them under the bodywork