Gearing up

I’ve got the main switch panel finished, as in the photo on the right. All I’ve got to do for the wiring now is to connect to those connectors that you can see sticking into space. The ones that aren’t connected to anything.

First thing on that topic is a place for the master switch. On the Fury I put all the switches, including the FIA master switch, on a single panel but, in retrospect that was a bad idea because the socking great battery cables, which connect to the switch, make manoeuvring the panel dead hard. Hence, for the J15, it’s here on a little extra panel, hopefully somewhere where I won’t step on it.

The switch is on in the photo, and I’ll arrange for a cable to connect to an external pull when I’ve got the bodywork on. The other knob on the panel is the brake bias. This works OK, but to be honest it seems a little clunky. I’ll have to look and see if I’ve constricted the cable too much in the run down to the pedal box. The original plan, to be completely honest, was to put the relay for the reverser motor on the bottom of this panel. However, it dawned on my tiny mind that I could save a bit of battery cable by mounting it at the rear. Admittedly, I’d probably overload the cable if I ran the starter motor and the reverse motor at the same time, but that does seem a trifle unlikely.

Of course, no matter how you try, the wiring inevitably ends up looking a bit birds’ nest like. The master switch panel connects to one of those connectors on the main panel and it doesn’t really look as neat as I’d like, as you can see.

If you were looking carefully at one of the photos above, you’d have noticed that the gearchange was mounted on the steering column. This is now all connected up as I’ve got the cable for it. It was quite one of the longest push-pull cables I’ve ever seen, as I wanted to make sure there were no snags in the cable run. (You can actually see it at the bottom of the previous photo, although it needs to be pinned down properly yet.)

I connected the cable up to the gearchange lever on the engine using a little aluminium adapter made up on the lathe, you can just about see it in this photo.

With all that, the gearchange does actually work, although you can see that I’ve had to grind away some of the powder coating on the engine mounts, which is a pain.

The gearchange lever I’m using I bought from Andy, and is the same as many others in RGB. However, I have to admit that I’m not convinced about the ergonomics. There’s two reasons for this:

  • As the level is essentially flat, you have to press on it with the tips of your fingers (and you’re supplying the mechanical urge to change gear, as you would with your foot on the bike itself). I’m not sure this is right. On the Fury I made the device in the next photo. (Long term readers will recognise this as the version that I set fire to). Although Heath-Robinson I think the fact that you wrap your knuckles around the vertical rods is actually ergonomically better, it’s certainly always worked very well.
  • The lever pivots in the vertical axis. This means the upper portions of the J15 lever are actually much harder to use as they’re closer to the pivot axis. That is, the lever should really be a vertical rod as that’s parallel to the lever axis. Again, like the one I made for the Fury.

That is, in retrospect, I should have made the J15 lever and it would probably have worked better. Oh well…

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