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Bike electrical problem - Royal Enfield
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David_W
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September 23, 2018 - 12:09 pm
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Hi,

This relates to a brand new Royal Enfield Bullet Pegasus Edition. The bike is a retro limited edition WW2 tribute, so I'm changing the cheap plastic indicators to better looking metal retro ones.

Each indicator has two wires, one of which is black, and is shown on the wiring diagram as the earth. It connects to various other earth points and the negative battery terminal. On the new metal indicators, this wire goes to the side of the bulb and thereby connects electrically to the indicators casing.

The strange thing is, if I connect the indicators so they are earthed to the frame, the indicators blink really dim and the other lights also flicker.  However, If I make the indicators 'float' by using a rubber spacer to isolate them from the frame, they work fine.  This is a bit fiddly and hard to make it a permanent way to mount them.

Does anyone understand whats going on?  What's the difference between an earth delivered by the black wire and the earth delivered through the frame?

Cheers

David

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Urbanghost
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September 23, 2018 - 12:49 pm
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Frame earth is used so you dont have earth wires running from everything that needs an earth.  Flickering of the lights with indicators is normally a bad earth connection, if you haven't got clean metal to metal contact, which will make the current go to the shortest route to earth which has the least path of resistance, which happens to be your lights and will cause them to flicker.  Also corrosion will stop your wire from taking the full current so lights will be dim as the current leaks back to earth instead of your bulbs.

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David_W
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September 23, 2018 - 1:18 pm
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Thanks, that makes sense.  So in my case, I have a very good earth through the black wire, and a less perfect earth via the casing.  I just took another look, and I think the reflector bowl may be metalic coated glass rather than tin, hence it not being a clean earth. However, I'm surprised the direct wired earth doesn't take precedence over the poor earth through the indicator casing to the frame.

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Urbanghost
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September 23, 2018 - 1:26 pm
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If the mating surfaces are flat instead of the rubber spacer could you put a bit of insulation tape over it to isolate it from frame?

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Urbanghost
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September 23, 2018 - 1:32 pm
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David_W said
However, I'm surprised the direct wired earth doesn't take precedence over the poor earth through the indicator casing to the frame.  

Current will always take shortest route even in the best earth systems

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David_W
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September 23, 2018 - 1:43 pm
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Thanks again. Yes, I can find a way to insulate them. Rubber grommets of the right size will work and also give some flexibility if the indicators get knocked.  Just trying to make sense of it, as in my mind, as long as you have one good earth, it should be fine.  Also, this would happen to everyone installing them, which from the reviews, isn't the case. I thought a new bike would be easy compared with my D1!!

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Urbanghost
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September 23, 2018 - 1:50 pm
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I know that the EFI Electra has some problems with after market parts that cause earth problems, maybe same fault on pegasus?  They also have a problem with rear taillight letting in water which gets into the wiring and causes similar problem.

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Urbanghost
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September 23, 2018 - 1:56 pm
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David_W said
Just trying to make sense of it, as in my mind, as long as you have one good earth, it should be fine.  Also, this would happen to everyone installing them, which from the reviews, isn't the case. I thought a new bike would be easy compared with my D1!!  

They are dimming when used as some of the 12v will get through but the rest has to go to the shortest route back to the battery via other electricals, your other lights which are connected on the same part of your loom.

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David_W
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September 23, 2018 - 2:04 pm
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Got it.  I'll stop worrying and just isolate them. 

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