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

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 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.