I rallied cars for years and in the early '80s I got some special tyres which had such strong sidewalls that the tyre changing machine couldn't manage to get them on and off the rims. There was a guy at the shop who would do it manually with tyre levers. I watched him and understood the method, but there was no way I would do it myself, no matter how much money I could save! The only equipment I would have needed was 2 tyre levers and a rubber mallet.
There are loads of guys out there who don't want to know about simple jobs.....blimey most modern bike riders book their bikes in to have the bloody oil changed! A lot of blokes won't lace a wheel, decoke a head, re-ring an engine etc etc. Change a tyre, fit a chain, i might break a finger nail!
Yeah - I know lots of folk like that, and agree with what your saying !! Then I'd get folks knocking on my door wanting to borrow the tools to do a job because they aint got a spanner in the house !!
But you also have to remember that on top of the usual overheads of a business(parts etc.) in England we have a V.A.T. rate of 20% on parts and Labour so of £450 the V.A.T. takes £90, Then the Guy has to pay his Tax and National insurance (approximately 20-25%), Then the cost of fuel overhere (of which a large part is tax/duty & to give you an idea - for me to fill my 4 gallon tank costs me £25 or $42 - By the time you get a bill for a job, going on for half has been taken in tax !! - DON'T WANNA GET POLITICAL, BUT OVERHERE THIS IS FACT !!
But, wiring an old British bike requires a lot less than that.
But you're still missing my points:-
. In your original post, you said, "an article about a guy in the UK who comes to your house and completely wires your classic motorcycle ... the cost is L450 (~$760)".
. Apparently because the article was in The Classic Motorcycle magazine, you've developed that into "a guy in the UK who comes to your house and completely wires your classic British pre-c.1965 motorcycle ... the cost is L450 (~$760)".
. I've made several points that haven't been grasped:-
1. "Classic British pre-c.1965 motorcycles" are not Ferret's primary business. In fact, I doubt that they form any part of his business apart from the odd bonus, because of their simplicity that the rest of this thread has banged on about.
For those not familiar with the stratification of British motorcycle magazine readers, The Classic Motorcycle rarely features motorcycles later than the aforementioned c.1965. Otoh, the other magazine I mentioned in an earlier post - Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - is published by the same company but mainly features bikes (mainly Japanese) from the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's.
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
the wiring diagram in a Kawasaki Z1 manual. It is much more complex
2. I'd go further and point you at 1980's and 1990's bikes, with early EFI, turbos, etc. Even if your "complete wiring harnesses" could be found for these bikes, they're likely to cost well in excess of Ferret's fee. That's where his primary business is and - to labour this point - if the original article had been in CMM rather than TCM, I doubt this thread would exist?
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
Stuart's plumbing analogy breaks down when applied to wiring a, say, BSA A10.
3. No it doesn't. I'm not "wealthy" but I do place a value on my leisure time - if I had redone the bathrooms, not only would I have taken time away from work, I would also have taken time away from family and hobbies that I enjoy, like old British motorcycles. I do not enjoy plumbing, not even researching and selecting different showers, taps, etc., so I made the decision to pay someone else to do it.
By the same token, whether you can do it but are "wealthy" enough to pay someone else or even thinking about doing it gives you the heebie-jeebies, by focussing on that the article appeared in TCM and "wiring a, say, BSA A10", you're drawing the wrong conclusion. BSA A10's and the like aren't Ferret's primary business; where he operates most of the time, he is considerably cheaper than most (if not all) of the alternatives.
aproxamately how many feet of wire per color would you need to wire the average brit bike 5 feet 10 ?
In GB, I buy by the metre. I allow 2 metres (say 6 feet?) for anything from headlamp to underseat and 3 metres (10 feet) for anything from headlamp to taillamp. I buy more of White (switched power to individual components) and Red (components to battery +ve).
I use 9/0.3 (9 strands, each 0.3 mm dia.) between junctions and individual components - it's rated for 5.5A so that's usually more than enough. However, some colour combos. aren't available in 9/0.3 so I end up using 14/0.3 (equated to 18AWG in British Wiring's catalogue) for those.
Where a cable is part of more than one circuit (Brown/Blue, Brown/White, White from ignition switch to individual components' cables junction, Red from individual components' cables junctions to battery +ve), I use 28/0.3 'thinwall'.
There are loads of guys out there who don't want to know about simple jobs.... A lot of blokes won't lace a wheel.
The shop where I worked in the 90's was two doors down from the Jap dealer. We had a customer with some broken spokes on a dirt bike once. He had already been to the dealership. They sent him to us because none of their, "technicians," knew anything about spoked wheels. As far as rewiring goes, I'd do a classic Brit bike for a little cash and some beers if you brought an original harness (and didn't ask too many fool questions.) However, Jap wiring is a different matter entirely. They tend to change colors at every multi-pin connector, and I'm STILL wondering what the heck the Yamaha diagrams mean by, "DC Consent." Is that a poor translation for relay? Those folks do love their micro relays.
. You're also forgetting the time - when he isn't on the road - he puts into researching particular old terminals. E.g. I know that old Hondas used 3.6 mm o.d. bullet terminals; you cannot buy them retail in GB (anywhere in the world?); yes, he can buy 'em wholesale 'cos he's going to use them but it isn't just one bullet and socket, it's bullets, 2-way and 3-way sockets. 1000 at a time probably. And again for 3.9 mm bullets.
. And that's the common stuff. It was him that told me that some terminals used on old Jap bikes are only available from Japan ... minimum quantity several thousand at a time. Or, despite lengthy research (which he either has to do free or amortise into his rate), some simply aren't available.
. True, he could bodge something available off-the-shelf; but, if you were paying his rate, would you be happy with bodged terminals?
Possible source for your mate seeking old style bullet terminals for Jap bikes