My bike is approximately four months old. Therefore, the ignition switch has been in use for four months. Yeah, I was annoyed with the position that Triumph placed it. Sure, isn’t everyone with sense? So, three months ago, I moved the ignition switch to the downtube using Joker Machine‘s Relocater Bracket (see this mod and this update).
For three months, I’ve been enjoying easy access to the ignition switch. Unfortunately, that came to an abrupt halt last week. After work, the bike wouldn’t start. I assumed that it was a dead battery since the temperature was in the teens. By luck, I jiggled the key at one point and the electrics fired up. Okay…
The next morning, the bike started up fine and ran fine. After work, it also started but then quickly cut out 1/4 mile into the journey and it continued to continuously (redundancy?) cut in and out. I noticed that any slight turn of the handlebar (thus flexing the ignition wires) would cause a disruption. At this point it was obvious that I had a loose connection. I took a wadded up paper towel and seated it to force the connection to stay connected. Fingers crossed and I made it home.
Once home, I grabbed my tools and pulled off the Joker Machine bracket and removed the ignition switch. From here, it was a pair of Philips screws that needed to be removed to access the inside of the switch.
With the Philips screws undone from the ignition switch assembly, the black cap can be removed to expose the contact plate.
If you look closely at the above photo, you can see how the wire leading to one of the “ON” contacts has separated. In the below photo showing the front of the contact plate, you can see how the contact has completely disappeared. There is no copper nub contact. (Did it melt away? Fall out?)
The inside of the switch assembly was full of gunk. I was amazed. Looking at the assembly, it’s easy to see why. There is a gaping hole where the leads run and this allows for all kinds of dirt, water, and gunk to come in and collect. Furthermore, there is no drainage so everything just sits in there and ferments. (Full disclosure: I have ridden the bike in all sorts of inclement weather. If you don’t, you probably won’t suffer the same consequences.)
So, what are my options?
1. Buy a new OEM assembly.
2. Buy a used assembly.
3. Fabricate some sort of copper nub.
4. Buy a third party ignition switch.
The easiest would probably be #2 and pull the contact plate out of it to replace mine, but after a lot of googling and reading forums at triumphrat.net, I opted for #4. I ordered the motogadget m-lock. It is an RFID keyless ignition switch. It’s coming from Germany so it’ll take a few weeks to arrive. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ve hot-wired the bike in order to ride. (I’m carrying the ignition switch with me in case I get pulled over by the cops. 🙂 )