How-To: Black-Out Switch
Simplifying the redundant stock wiring harness on my CB500T was absolutely necessary in my mind when I started planning out my build. I ditched the stock handle bar switches and replaced them with 2 toggles to control power to the lights and coil seperately. Here’s a basic overview of the light switch… a lo/kill/hi switch. Besides being able to black-out my lights / run from the cops switch, it also comes in handy to conserve battery power while adjusting the timing or having to start the bike on a low battery.
1. Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) switch. I bought mine from McMaster-Carr. The switch has 6 poles and 3 switch positions (ON-OFF-ON). For comparison, the wired switch, pictured below, is a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) which has 3 poles and can only switch 1 circuit.
2. The DPDT switch has the functionality to switch 2 circiuts which is what I needed.
Circuit #1: low beam – OFF – high beam.
Circuit #2: tail/gauge lights – OFF – tail/gauge lights.
Here is the switch wired up. The black wire (1 to 2 wire) is hot when the ignition is on and feeds both poles. So to explain, the first ON position turns on the low beam and tail/gauge lights and the second ON position turns on the high beam and tail/gauge lights.
3. Switch mounted in my gauge bracket. The wires are heat wrapped and run into the headlight bucket.
4. My slimmed down wiring diagram so you can see how the switches connect into the rest of the wiring. (color version)
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Published - Oct 23, 2010
Many of you may know Joe as a sweet dude, sick bmxer and the filmer/director of, i love my bicycle, a documentary on FBM bike company. Joe now owns a 1975 CB550 and a wild helmet.