Wednesday 30 August 2014. The Widowmaker is dead.

Well, at least for now.

Over the last two weeks I had a look at the electrics on the Suzuki DR800. Depressing. The harness itself is in worse shape than I remember. This is because all I ever this was to wind on extra insulation tape previously. Had I looked more carefully, I would have seen that there were some real issues going on there. I have also checked the ignition pickup coil, CDI unit and Regulator/Recifier unit with a multimeter. The CDI seems fine but the ignition pickup coil has inifinite resistance so that means no circuit, a break in the wiring. Its possible that the break is in the wires to and from the coil and not in the coil itself. If that is the case, its just a matter of time and patience. If it is the coil, that's another new part to throw at the bike and I am not up for that.

The regulator/rectifier tested OK on all but one wire, the orange wire with black tracer. That may not be too bad as its possible that it may be fixable or replaceable with an aftermarket part from a different machine. I am also aware that a common swap for an older Honda Africa Twin is a regulator/rectifier built for aircraft engines, so fingers crossed there.

The worst part is an example of poor workshop practice. I had failed to disconnect both the positive and negative terminals on the battery. Whilst moving cables around, I shorted out the 5 amp cables for the indicator circuit. A bit disheartening, no actually, a lot disheartening. Fortunately upon closer inspection the damage is restricted to this one circuit and is easily fixed.

So what to do? I've grown tired of replacing expensive parts on this bike and really just want to ride. The answer is to get better mechanincal and electrical skills; that takes time and when you are paying registration and insurance on a bike not going, that's just more money wasting away. So I've canceled the rego and insurance and that allows me to take my time. Whilst I have sme basic hand tools, in the last few weeks some good friends and many web sites and YouTube videos have shown me that some better tools and techniques can really make a difference. Fortunately those same friends may lend to me the tools. Once I've mastered the tools and techniques I may purchase my own but its really good to be able to try different things without expense.

Fingers crossed that this situation will have some good outcomes. A better bike, with sound electrics and much better knowledge, experience and techniques for me.