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Heat Troller installation
System Category: Electrical
Activity Type: Accessory
FJR Model Year: 2003  2004  2004 ABS  All model years
Author:from fjr1300.info, used with permission
Date Submitted:May, 2003

Mounting a HeatTroller in the
Left Handlebar Switch Housing

On 5/01/03 Dean Woodward sent in this info describing how he installed a Heat-Troller in the left handlebar switch housing. You can benefit from Dean's experience.

I'm not going to get into the standard bits about installing a HeatTroller on a bike — you can read about that elsewhere. Instead, I'm going to talk about the things you need to be aware of for my particular installation — or, as it were, things I wish I knew when I did mine, so you can be aware of the issues.

To install the switch/LED in this location, you'll need to trim down the circuit board they're mounted to. This means removing the strain relieve on the wiring — so be sure to add some strain relief downstream. I used a zip-tie with a large "head" that goes just inside where the wiring will exit the housing. As a bonus for a stock looking installation, the hole that the factory wiring bundle comes out through is large enough for the HeatTroller's wiring as well, so you won't need to expand the existing cutout or add a new one. Of course, you'll want to take the back half of the housing and HT to your workbench, get it set up and holes drilled, then take it to the bike and route the wiring before installing the HT under the bodywork...

Be aware that you'll need to plan the routing of the wiring bundle to avoid the turn signal switch — one time when I put it back together I wasn't careful and the turnsignal switch wouldn't work. Run the wires all the way to the side of the housing (away from the grip) and you should be fine. (Just be sure to plan that routing when you set your strain relief...)

I centered the switch in the right side of the housing. This meant I had to do a little trimming on the inside of the housing — it'd be easier to move the switch further to the rider's right...

I was trying to arrange the switch/LED so that the LED was directly in front of the switch. To do this, you can see the switch is rotated a bit forward. While it's still possible to reach it and adjust it with a finger w/o taking your hand off the bar, it's not as visually appealing as if it would be if it were more "vertical". Next time, I'm going to separate the LED from the switch (the circuit board is scored so that you can break it apart for this purpose) and mount them separately.

LEDs are "linear" light sources — most of the light goes out along the axis*. Since the LED in my installation is pointing away from the rider, it's hard to see if it's on (or how much it's on) in daylight without holding my hand over it — meanwhile, I'm not watching the road...

Because of the location of the housing in relation to the left grip and clutch lever, it's much easier to take off the grip, do this install first, then install your heating elements, and re-install the grips. It's not impossible to do it the other way 'round, but getting the housing on/off when you have to work around the extra wiring etc. is more difficult.

There are still 2-3 one-button gizmos I want to put in the switchgear housings — one for a PTT switch, one for a cruise control*, one for a garage door opener. But those will have to wait for the '04, unless I get bored. ;-)

* After some discussion with a couple people off-list, I think a cruise control on a bike can have the majority of desired functionality reduced to one button — "set/coast". If the CC is hard-wired to turn on when the bike does, and disconnects when you squeeze the brake/clutch, then the only thing I'd really want to be able to do is "set" it — if I want to speed up, I'll do that manually, then press "set" again. But that'll be August or so...

Copyright © 2003, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.


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