Grounded Vehicles
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Thread: Grounded Vehicles

  1. #1
    Chief Rocka Array JaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Shawnigan Lake
    SV 650S

    Grounded Vehicles

    My apologies for this stupid question, but how do I determine whether a motor vehicle or bike is negatively or positively grounded?

    The reason I'm asking is because in the "instructions" of the battery tender it mentions a particular order to connecting the alligator clamps or eyelets when charging the battery while it's in the bike.

    I'm thinking of installing the "eyelets" from my Battery Tender to my bike so that when it's parked, I can have my battery charging. I realize it's not necessary, but there will be periods when I won't be on my ride for a couple weeks at a time due to travel and work. I'm not familiar with this as I usually remove the battery from my bike to charge it over the winter. But I hear that some folks keep the battery at a charge even after a ride during season.

    Is this normally a good practice in general though?

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  3. #2
    this is my...boomstick! Array CrotchetyRocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    click, click
    The last positively grounded vehicle I saw was a POS British sports car from the early 60s. Neg ground has been the standard in all vehicle systems, and the rest of the electrical world, other than the aforementioned crap, for generations.

    If you run wires off the batt, you need some sort of dry break, like a cigarette lighter plug or trailer plug, so, you don't short out the batt an set fire to your bike.


  4. #3
    rain? whats that! Array REVELATIONS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    SV 1000s
    Keeping a battery topped up is always a good practice given that you use a proper device that wont overcharge.

    Metallic vehicles are negatively grounded.

  5. #4
    Moderator Array TeeTee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Out to pasture in the 'Wack
    04 Kawi Z1000,
    If you ride more than perhaps 3 hours a week there's no need for a tender during the riding season. If it's less then you may well benifit from it. Especially if the riding that you can get in is often stuck in town with lots of idling at lights.

    A better alternative to the eyelets or whatever you're thinking of is to get one of the two wire trailer plug sets and splice one end to the battery and the other to the leads from the battery tender using the crimp style connectors. Then you can hook up your battery whenever you wish easily and the connector can also be used for an electric vest when riding.

    And as long as you're under the saddle anyway do a little homework. Identify the plus and negative terminals and trace out part of the wires harness. You should find that the negative side goes into the harness and gets lost but there should be a secondary wire that connects to the frame fairly close by. Similarly if you trace out the main lead off the positive you should find that it runs to the starter solenoid. A solenoid is just another name for a high current relay. It's this that your thumb button energizes through a couple of smaller wires to it and a second heavier guage wire runs to the starter motor.
    A backyard mechanic without a service manual is just like a hooker without a lamp pole.... they are both in the dark.

  6. #5
    red to +, black to -.

    if you want to be extra cautious, disconnect the battery leads first.

    not much else to it. positive ground systems went out with 6 volt batteries.

  7. #6
    Gear Driven Cams Array Spike's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Langley, BC
    None right now...
    I've always left a pigtail on the battery in my bike. Apart from being handy for connecting to a battery tender, you can use it to plug in your heated vest if you use a pigtail with the same connector on it. Or a GPS. Or anything else you want to power with 12V while you're riding.
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