DIY: ABS motorcycle switch – with relay (VAR II) – V-Strom 650DL

The installation, mounting and getting the first ABS switch to work was pretty easy. However, was impossible to turn the ABS off on the go and was an absolute pain to turn it off after getting throw overs on the bike, during a trip.

As such, I decided to mount a handlebar one and resolve the above problems. I had only one problem: 15 amp switch. Someone from Facebook told be about relays and, after understanding what are those, I decided to go ahead with it.

Would have been pretty easy just to have it installed on the dash board with a 15A switch mounted and a fuse on the side. However, the 15A switches are pretty massive and I wouldn’t like the end result, so, I went to make one myself, small, pretty and with a relay attached.

I went to Bunnings to get some inspiration through their shelves. In the General Hardware Section I found 20 x 20 brackets. I purchased the 1mm one for $0.88. There are all kinds of brackets there, including angled ones if you want.

From Altronics I’ve purchased mini mini switches and covers for them.

Carinya 20 x 200 x 1mm Flat Make-a-Bracket

Carinya 20 x 200 x 1mm Flat Make-a-Bracket

I decided I would need 3 of those holes for 2 switches and 1 light. So I went ahead and made the holes bigger with my electric screwdriver.

Testing the bracket with swiches.

Testing the bracket with swiches.

Testing the bracket with swiches.

Testing the bracket with swiches.

Bracket cut and holes enlarged.

Bracket cut and holes enlarged.

After that, I’ve spray painted the bracket in a black colour so it will match the bike, and voilà.

Painted bracket

Painted bracket

I had to learn a little bit about how relays work and after doing that and a bit of Facebook consultation, I decided to buy a 30A SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) relay switch for my momentary ABS swich and a cradle.

This is the setup before anything.

Getting everything ready.

Getting everything ready.

Here is my circuit that I drew after understanding how everything should work. It’s pretty simple once you understand the basics. My teaching videos: Video 1 and Video 2.


ABS relay switch circuit

ABS relay switch circuit

Because I didn’t use the 87 pole, I’ve cut it off. I’ve also cut a fuse in half and stripped the wiring so I can insert it into the fuse cradle. See the first ABS post to see how I’ve done that.

This is how my bike's setup was before the ABS switch.

This is how my bike’s setup was before the ABS switch.

Fuse rods prepared.

Fuse rods prepared.

Cutting the 87 Pole

Relay and fuse mounted.

Relay and fuse mounted.

From this point, there were only 2 more cables, to the handlebar, for the switch.

Here is the end result.

Final result

Final result

Mind you, the ABS switch its the one on the left, and always sitting in the down position as it is a momentary on/off which disables my ABS until I turn the bike back on.

The second switch its a normal switch which cuts off all my 7 USB charges from the bike. The green light bulb its connected to the USB charges as the ABS has one of its own, OEM.

The switches, on the back side were insulated with shrinking tube and silicone on top and on the edges and inside the tube itself.

Total cost for this: ~$12

DIY: Stop light for top box

Ok, so the option was for me to purchase a top box stop light at a price of about $70 (or a little less depending on promotions). I thought I could do it a bit cheaper or if not, at least is made by my hands and I’ll be proud of the results.

Disclaimer: I never remove my top box from the bike. I don’t see why one would, but I understand that different people have different needs. The below setup is VERY easy to adapt to someone who removes top box on a regular basis or occasionally. Just cut the cable where the top box meets the bike and fix two metal brackets to meet each other. Should be simple enough and should cost you another $1 to do it at most.

Although I made this for my top case, a Givi E470, it can be made for just about any top case.

I started by purchasing a $1 COB led light bar from eBay, white in colour. Just like this one.

COB light bar from eBay


Drill a small hole to fit the cable through it.


You don’t need any special other holes, just get the cable between the top and the bottom parts of the box.


I’ve connected the positive and negative to the break light cable. Without any hassles, you can mount it directly to the cable end, near the break light bulb. I chose to fit the cables in that cable, after checking carefully which is which. If you can’t find this one or you think you might break something, just join them near the light bulb.


I’ve used a silicone glue gun that I borrowed from my children. Use this or any other glue to fix the cable inside the case so the cable sits neatly. Works like a charm


The result… it’s quite good and looks OEM.

final result
Total cost: $1

Installing SpeedoHealer on V-Strom 650, 2012+

I decided to install a SpeedoHealer on my 2014 V-Strom 650. On our roads we have lots of speed cameras, mobile cameras, point-to-point cameras, etc … For a long period of time I had (and still have) Android applications that warn me when i go over the speed limit more than 1 km/h. Yes, just one. I don’t want to comment about how the government is trying to justify speed cameras save lives when our toll road goes up every year despite record number of fines given and speed cameras on the road.

Anyway, I decided to mount a SpeedoHealer to my bike as the speedometer reading showed me doing about 7% more than I was actually doing. It’s ok at 100Km/h but when you have speed limits ranging from 40 to 110 km/h it’s hard to keep track.

I got one from eBay, new. Price wise, $136 delivered. Here is the listing.

Going through post after post on the internet on how to do it and where to find the cable, didn’t yield much information. All the posts and pictures took me to pre 2012 models only. So much so that for the first 30 minutes, I was searching for the wrong cable and on the wrong side of the bike.

All right, I hope someone will find some useful information in this post on how to install it.

First, find the speedometer cable. It’s one of those which sticks out of the gearbox. It’s not white/transparent as it was pre 2012 V-Strom, it is black, on both ends.

Find the cable on the left side of the bike.

Find the cable on the left side of the bike.


Unclip the cable. It’s not hard and should only take seconds. You also don’t need to use any special tools or screwdriver although, I think would be a bit easier. Just lift the small clip and pull them apart (on the bike) as shown below.

SpeedoHealer clip

Lift the small clip (on the one that’s clipped on the bike) and pull them apart. I used this SpeedoHealer clip to show how to undo the motorcycle clip. They are the same.


Install the harness that came with your Speedo Healer and you should end up with something that looks like this.

SpeedoHealer mounted on bike

End result with SpeedoHealer cable mounted


From there on, it’s simple. Just find a place where you want the SpeedoHealer to sit and it’s all done. I have tried different setups with mine and I have settled for this one. Don’t forget to configure it before going anywhere with the bike or it won’t have any effect on your speedometer and will be just like before.



SpeedoHealer mounted on my V-Strom after trying different positions.


The setup part was really easy (admittedly after scratching my head few times). It’s easy to use their calculator to set it up without any headaches. See the link here.

I have tried different variables on my short trips to work ranging from – 7% to – 7.7%. I’m settled now to -7.6% although it’s still 0.05% off. I think a – 7.55% (+/- 0.02%) would have been better. Anyway, at 100 KM/H on the board, the GPS shows 100 KM/H, at 110 KM/H, the GPS is undecided between 110 and 111. I might tune it down to -7.5%. Will see.

Happiness rating: Very happy !

Time spend mounting: 45 minutes (had to figure out where to find the speedometer cable and how to undo the clip)

Cost: $134

Happy days.

Volt meter to your bike

I have few things on my V-Strom 650. And because I want to do long trips, it’s good to keep an eye on the battery from time to time. As such, I decided to add a voltmeter. Here is how I did it.

I’ve purchased a voltmeter for about $5 from eBay. Just make sure it’s waterproof. I chose the color of the LED to be yellow, just to match the yellow dash. I decided to cut off the small ears from the sides. This is what I was left with.



After adding some more extension cables as seen in image above, I’ve threaded the cable through the dashboard and the plastic that’s holding it. Looks like this

threaded cable

To have the voltmeter start when the bike starts, I decided to mount it to the horn. This way, it only gets power then the I power up the bike and it’s only 0.5v off.


I have added the negative pole to a screw I found on the handlebar. Could have been any screw for that matter. It works.


And this is the final result. I used some double sided tape to fix it to the bike. How well it holds ? Well, since I’ve mounted the voltmeter, I’ve been through rain and 40+ degrees temperatures. The bike stood in rain for days and stood in bittering sun for hours. I’ve been through some rough roads and 8+ hours of continuous rides. Never had a problem, never moved, never fell since the first mount. What tape did I use ? I think it’s an ordinary double sided tape, very very thin in width and unbranded.



Total costs: $6

DIY: ABS switch for motorcycle

Tonight, contemplating on the 8th of March 2016 events, I decided to make myself an ABS switch. Although I made it for my 650 V-Strom, same principle can be applied to any.

I love my ABS so I will not switch it on/off pretty often. I will do it only when going off road / fire trails / gravel / etc. Because of that, I wanted a solution that would be temporary, not to be fiddled with by mistake whilst on the road, and that can leave the ABS off even after turning off/on the engine.

I decided to mount a on/off (not toggle) switch under the seat as this would make it easy  to install and not easily accessible or tempered with.

It took me around 30 minutes to make it. If I would do it again, I think I can cut it down to 10.

Items needed:

  • strip pliers
  • any large (normal) fuse
  • a switch
  • fuse holder
  • shrinking tube (not shown here)
    • you can also add as I did, insulated wire terminal (crimp)

Items needed


Remove the plastic from the fuse. You’ll end up something like this:


removed plastic


Add the fuse ends to the wire and insulate it withe the shrinking tube. Be careful don’t make the tube to long or you will have problems later when mounting on the bike. Do this process for both wires.

adding the fuse ends


Seal the other ends to the switch and you should be ready to go.

It should look like the image below. Unfortunately the image below is an image from the first trial so the ends don’t look like they are now on the bike, but it should look very similar.


final mount


Add the switch to the bike and tie it up with a zip tie or whatever works for you.


added to the bike

ABS Switch mounted

ABS Switch mounted


I’ve tested the setup, works flawlessly.

Total cost: $2

DIY V-Strom soft pannier rack (left)

As I had a bit of success with the soft pannier rack on the right hand side, I decided to make one for the left. Initially I thought to try and make it symmetric to the right side but at a better look I think it would have been a fail.

From the same 16 mm steel tube that I purchased for $15 from Bunnings (well what was left of it), I took eye measurements (again) and started bending.

Bended pipe

I’ve cut the pipe to size after eye measuring some more and testing on the bike how might look like and how would it fit. I’ve cut it, again, with the rotary tool. Best tool yet !

using the rotary tool

cut the pipe to size

With the hammer I’ve flattened the ends of the bar, making sure that the smooth end is the one that will be against the bike (well bike|washer|pipe).

sides flattened

Below is the raw end result with of the rack, mounted. Still has to be spray painted.

result without tool pipe

Of course, a soft rack would have been incomplete without a tool pipe … As such, from Bunnings I’ve also purchased a  1 meter long 90 mm pipe (this one) with the price tag of only $6. Here it is, cut to the size I wanted. The size is sufficient so I can reach the bottom end with my arm and short enough so I can open the lid.

90 mm pipe

For the tool pipe I’ve also purchased:

The gutter plug is very thick. So I’ve cut it in half using a kitchen knife.

gutter plug cut in half

fitted in the pipe

I didn’t like how the threaded cap fitted on the

pipe so I’ve cut the bit that was in excess to me. Here is the result:

threaded cap cut to fit my needs

end cap

I’ve used silicone to seal and the end cap and the threaded cap to the pipe. A bit rudimentary but it’s the best I had.


Open up the hose clamps all the way and fit the pipe with them. Don’t over tighten the clamps or you will break the pipe. End result without the paint job:

pipe fitted


Here is the result with the paint job done.


end result

I must say, it moves a bit to the sides if you push the pipe but I experienced no problems what so ever with the bags over it. It gets pushed out of the way.

Total cost: $14

UPDATE after a big trip:

The newly crafted and mounted tube kept sliding towards the wheel after mounting the throw over soft panniers.

Solution: 4 zip ties to the frame of the bike, at each end. No more problems.

DIY V-Strom soft pannier rack (right)

I had the option of purchasing a rack for around $300 and was determined to do just that. But decided to give it ago and try to make one of my own V-Strom soft pannier rack.

I don’t have a pipe bender or a welding machine but I decided to give it a go anyway.

So… I asked around for a pipe bender and one of my good friends happened to have one.

I formulated a raw plan in my head about what should I do and how to do it. I thought that for $300 might as well buy a welding machine and stick with it after the project is over.

So here I am, with some ideas in my head and didn’t know where to start exactly. I went to Bunnings (a local store) and after having a bit of a look around pipe isle I decided to purchase a 16mm steel tube for $15. This is the one:

First measurements

First measurements

As you can see in the picture above, I tried to take some measurements but I was hopless so I just gave it a go and did it by eye measurements.

The first 2 bends

The first 2 bends

I’ve bent the pipe twice before doing anything, just with a schematic in my head. I must admit, the fact that I purchased a steel pipe made and the fact that I was alone whilst doing this, made things pretty difficult.

This is how I took the measurements

This is how I took the measurements

In the picture above you can see how I actually measured the length of the pipe. I’ve just put some marks on the pipe with a permanent marker.

After the cut

After the cut

I used the rotary tool I purchased to build the radiator guard. Cheap and effective tool. Not the fastest but does the job.

The be able to make the holes to put the screws in, I had to made the pipe flat at the ends. Unfortunately, the only tool I had for the job was a hammer I purchased from IKEA some years ago. Again, was a bit slow but did the ob perfectly.

Where I've hit it with the hammer

Where I’ve hit it with the hammer

The part that was hit with the hammer is not as smooth as the one that was flat on the ground as you can see in the picture below.

Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame

Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame

To cut the hole, I’ve used the only tool for the just I had, an electric screwdriver, again purchased from IKEA some years ago. Not the fastest but did the job quite well. You just need to persevere with the drilling…

First hole, with the electric screwdriver

First hole, with the electric screwdriver

 After drilling the pipe, I’ve cut the excess to my needs..

After cutting off the excess

After cutting off the excess

The only screw I found in my garage was an old, rusted screw. I’ve used it for the time being just do finish the job and then purchased one for a permanent solution.

The only screw I found in my garrage

The only screw I found in my garrage

At the other end, I’ve used the same process as above. The only didfference is that I’ve used the hammer to bend the pipe at 90 degrees so I can screw it in place.

I have unbolted the pipe, added recently made rack, and bolted back using the same screws. Works awesome !

Unscrewed the heat shield.

Unscrewed the heat shield.

You can see below the final result. Looks like OEM ! So proud, I just hope it works…

Raw final result

Raw final result

Final result

This is the final result to my DYI rack. It took me about 6 hours to make it, including coffe breaks and plus the fact that outside were 40+ Celsius.

Where the rack fitsI’ve used a black spray paint to match the bike’s color. Results below.

Final result rear

Final result
Total cost to make the soft pannier rack on the right side: $16
Check the soft pannier rack (left) link. That one was for free basically, made it with what was left from this project. But I’ve also made a tool tube to attach it to the rack which pumped the price up to $14.  All in all, a good deal.

DIY Radiator guard – V-Strom 650

I had the option of either paying around $100 for a radiator guard for my V-Strom or try and build one myself. After looking under the fairings and in front of the radiator, I decided that there are enough tie points to have one tied there. I also had a look on Stromtroopers forum for others who might have done this in the past and ……. indeed there were. I guess this would apply to other kinds of bikes as well but for now I’ll stick to DL650.

Budget: as low as possible

I had no tools to do the job, but I thought that with $100 total (as a brand new rad guard) I have to build it, purchase the tools to do it.

I went to OfficeWorks and bought this mesh document tray for $4 (was on special). I wanted it black, but … for that amount, blue will do just fine.

mesh tray

I went to K-Mart and bought a pair of Impact Posters 92cm (should have bought smaller ones) for about $2 i think.


I’ve went to Bunnings and bought myself a OZITO rotary tool for $49.  I’ve cut the two sides of the mesh tray and the small handles. I also made some gross measurements with a ruler and cut the mesh accordingly.

First cut

First cut


Second cut

Second cut

Rotary tool

Rotary tool

I’ve painted the mesh black with a black spray can that I had in my garage.


I’ve cut and added the Kmart sides to the mesh. Looking back, I think I should have added this first and then sprayed the whole thing. Would have been easier.





I used black zip ties to tie the whole thing in front of my radiator.Looks like OEM, works brilliant.