Equipment - Prior to commencing any test procedure on the motorcycle ensure that the relevant test equipment is working correctly and any harness or connectors are in good condition, in particular mains leads and plugs.
- The ignition system produces extremely high voltages. Do not touch any part of the ignition system or any cables while the engine is running.
- An electric shock caused by contact with the ignition system may lead to illness, injury or death.
- Wearers of surgically implanted heart pacemaker devices should not be in close proximity to ignition circuits and/or diagnostic equipment.
- The ignition system and any diagnostic equipment may interrupt the normal operation of such devices causing illness or death.
- The battery contains harmful materials. Always keep children away from the battery whether or not it is fitted in the motorcycle.
- Do not jump start the battery, touch the battery cables together or reverse the polarity of the cables as any of these actions may cause a spark which would ignite battery gases causing a risk of personal injury.
High Voltage Circuits - Whenever disconnecting live H.T. circuits always use insulated pliers. Exercise caution when measuring the voltage on the coil terminals while the engine is running. High voltage spikes can occur on these terminals.
Connectors and Harness - The engine of a motorcycle is a particularly hostile environment for electrical components and connectors. Always ensure these items are dry and oil-free before disconnecting and connecting test equipment. Never force connectors apart either by using tools or by pulling on the wiring itself. Always ensure locking mechanisms are disengaged before removal and note the orientation to enable correct reconnection. Ensure that any protective covers and substances are replaced if disturbed.
Having confirmed a component to be faulty, switch off the ignition and disconnect the battery negative (black) lead first. Remove the component and support the disconnected harness. When replacing the component keep oily hands away from electrical connection areas and push connectors home until any locking mechanism becomes fully engaged.
Before disconnecting the battery, switch off all electrical equipment.
- To prevent the risk of a battery exploding and to prevent damage to electrical components ALWAYS disconnect the battery negative (black) lead first. When reconnecting the battery, always connect the positive (red) lead first, then the negative (black) lead. Always disconnect the battery when working on any part of the electrical system.
- Failure to observe the above warnings may lead to electrical damage and a fire hazard which could cause personal injury.
Always ensure that battery leads are routed correctly and are not close to any potential chafing points.
Switch off the ignition prior to making any connection or disconnection in the system. An electrical surge can be caused by disconnecting 'live' connections which can damage electronic components.
Ensure hands and work surfaces are clean and free of grease, swarf, etc. as grease collects dirt which can cause tracking or high-resistance contacts.
Prior to commencing any test, and periodically during any test, touch a good earth to discharge body static. This is because some electronic components are vulnerable to static electricity.
All the electrical wires are either single-colour or two-colour and, with only a few exceptions, must be connected to wires of the same colour. On any of the two-colour wires there is a greater amount of one colour and a lesser amount of a second colour. A two-colour wire is identified by first the primary colour and then the secondary colour. For example, a yellow wire with thin red stripes is referred to as a 'yellow/red' wire; it would be a 'red/yellow' wire if the colours were reversed to make red the main colour.