One of the bikes at Brands, in the traditional team colours

The grey plugs are Deutsch DTM – the lightweight version of the Deutsch connector system

The Domino kill switch turns the whole bike on and off, so I rewired it to handle the amount of current flowing through it

New loom #1 taking shape above; old HRC loom below

Photoluminescent numbers (as pioneered by Yamaha in the 1980s) need their own power supply. They are so cool that soon everyone will have them

Team Bike Honda RC30

Bit of an honour this one. I first read about Team Bike in Bike magazine in 1981, and loved the wild stories of racing at tracks such as Ricard and Jarama. So many people have been involved as crew and riders over the years, including my old friend Mat Oxley. And when I was working with team Classic Suzuki before the pandemic, Team Bike were formidable rivals.

Ian Martin, who’s run Team Bike for years, wanted two or three identical looms to use on a couple of recently acquired RC30s. He sent over an HRC harness that was still intact, but modern endurance rules mean it’s not an awful lot of use any more.

The lights have to be on three independent fused circuits – front and rear left, front and rear right, and rain. On top of that, Ian runs photoluminescent numbers on the bodywork, and uses modern switchgear. And of course, these days the bikes run LED lights, which use less electrical current, so we can do away with the relays that worked the original bulbs.

Ian reckoned I could make the looms without needing the bikes in the shop. So after a bit of discussion we agreed on a design that used all the same branches and layout as the original, but with the new stuff plumbed in. To make the looms easier to use in a race situation, we went for Deutsch DTM connectors where possible. These are very easy to separate and join – handy if you’re trying to replace a crash-damaged handlebar in 40 seconds.

I don’t build many replica looms and I now know why. It’s quite difficult! But I am very pleased with the results. All we need now is an endurance race.

The finished looms (below) use less cable than the original (above), saving valuable grammes

Alongside the looms are the light switches and fuse boxes

The team at their most recent race. That’s Ian behind the left bike