A bridge under non-troubled water. Classic.
Heated Grips on a Svartpilen
Or Vitpilen, I guess. Here’s a few things that would have helped me to know ahead of time. You may have a smarter way of doing some or all of this, but maybe this will help guide your solution. Read the whole thing before following any of the advice, and use your best judgment.
“What grips” is also a good question; those Oxford grips are ubiquitous but the controller is kinda fugly. I’d gone with Koso Apollos, since the controller is integrated into the left grip. They have a pretty simple means of routing where the wires from both sides lead to a little box, which goes to power. The downside is that the switch itself takes up a little bit of hand room.
Both the Oxfords and the Kosos are available in 120mm, which is what you want for the Huskys.
Routing and Plastics
The Kosos have a decent length of cabling. There’s enough length on them so that you can run them down inside the harness cover behind the headlight, then out on the left side alongside the bike’s main harness. My priority was concealing as much added wire as possible. I think you could probably run the right grip out the right side along the headlight wire, if you wanted.
You have to make two cuts to do so:
Aside from being the deepest, the first cut is to the plastic harness cover on the top “bike-left” side. The Koso’s left grip wiring is super thick, so this cut allows space for it to accompany the stock left-side switch wiring down behind the harness cover. I did this with a Dremel sanding wheel and a little file to clean it up — nothing fancy. Smoothing the edges is key, though, since the plastic Bajaj uses on these bikes (feels like PA6, although I forgot to look at the markings) can take on a remarkably sharp edge.
Here’s what that looks like once the wires have been run. Pardon the messy harness tape! Make sure not to pinch the wiring when reinstalling the harness cover or the headlight itself.
The second cut is to the leading left edge of the V-shaped cover. This cut will allow the grip wiring room to enter the cover. You can ignore that to the trailing left edge, which was to clear something else.
Here’s what that looks like when they’re installed. Hat tip to Bajaj for not welding my frame’s mounting tabs for the cover on straight; it sat like this off the dealer lot. These bikes remain so hard to find that I was not of a mind to complain about it and go back to looking.
The Koso Brain-Box Thing
The main issue with the Kosos is the big “brain-box thing”. There is basically no wire length on the downstream side of it which connects to the grips, which means that you need to install it very close to the bike’s headtube. This is kind of a problem since that area on the Husky is packed with stuff already.
My solution was to use fancy hi-temp Velcro to stick the thing to the inside of the cover plate for the passenger seat lock, which you get to by first removing the ignition coil cover then poking a 10mm socket forwards behind the cover plate. In this location, the Koso’s brain-box wiring sticks right up to meet the incoming grip wiring under the V-cover. Not ideal, but it works. The Koso has a ton of wire length on the power side of the brain-box, but I just wish the box itself sat close to power and they gave the grip side a ton more length.
You could get fancy with this part, but I wanted something that a future owner (or me, I guess) could pull off very easily. With that in mind – and because the Husky has a fuse for an ignition-switched power source – I just used a fuse tap into slot 10. It has to be properly wired to the ignition since I work at a university, which means that on occasion people will mess with the bike’s switches while it’s parked, and I did not want to come back to a dead battery.
I admit that it’s kind of weird to want an easy return to stock wiring when we’ve been cutting plastics. Two things:
a) I am a weirdo and I’ve bought and squirreled away duplicates of the harness cover and V-cover, so the bike can be returned to stock.
b) Cuts to plastics are one thing, but I hate buying anything with cut-up wiring because you never know what some moron did, and what’ll short when you’re 100 miles from home. This solution keeps me, a moron, away from the stock wiring.
Longer-term, the right move will be to find a proper KTM/Husky accessory power connecter to splice onto the Koso wiring and plug it properly into the bike’s switched ACC plug. I couldn’t find one and didn’t want to put this job off; what I might do, actually, is buy the OEM USB port addition, then just clip its connector off and re-use that. Fuse taps are kinda hokey, but it got the thing working “properly”, at the very least.
There we go! Heated grips that are only powered when the bike is, easily-removable, and with a minimum of added visible clutter. Aside from what’s covered here, it’s quite a standard heated grip installation job, which means that it’s pretty easy but smoothing down the throttle tube is majorly annoying.
They don’t transform the bike into a touring machine – and at speed, wind chill on the outside of your hand is always going to be the real heat-robber – but that extra little margin of comfort is nice. If I didn’t have bar-end mirrors I’d probably try finding a way to make the Norden’s handguards fit for some extra wind protection. It’d be cool if Husky made some to match the brushed aluminum flyscreen, too.
For now, though, this’ll do.
Decided that the bow of the Floatocompo needed a rebrand. I may be poor in money, but I’m rich in dumb nonsense. There’s no way those two facts are related.
Also, it was really annoying finding a vinyl shop that could cut the outline font (Outline Sans JNL) properly. Weird.
A couple folks on Pixelfed asked me what camera I preferred, so I thought I’d do a thing here which may be linked to easily. The most important thing to note is that even a $100 Fuji X-E1 is a great camera which I could use happily for the rest of my life and not approach the “limits” of. None of this is necessary and always buy used.
I use a Fuji X-Pro2 like 85% of the time. It’s dependable, has an electronic viewfinder to the left rather than in a hump, and it has a proper shutter speed dial to pair with the aperture ring on almost all Fuji lenses. I’d like an articulating screen, but otherwise it’s perfect for me. I use the Fuji 16-55 zoom most of the time, the 35 f/1.4 some of the time, and a 55-200 and a variety of adapted old Soviet lenses rarely.
My Luxurious Nonsense Purchase this year was a Ricoh GR III. I mostly got it so that I’d have a camera with a big sensor which fits in an actual pocket. I don’t love it as much as I’d hoped,* but I use it more than I thought, so. For very specific uses, it is excellent.
*Spoiled by the Fuji.
My Luxurious Nonsense Purchase last year was this DJI Mini 2. I use it pretty sparingly because I am completely petrified of annoying anyone with whizzing noises, so it’s basically “only when I can be 100% sure I’m the only person for miles around”. It’s alright. Picture-wise it’s like a flying iPhone 12, which means it does pretty well for sunny landscapes when used to take pictures in Raw format.
Any film pictures are usually from this little Canonet. I’d mostly picked it up since they are (were?) pretty affordable and durable; my other film cameras are the ones I started on when I was little, which are all weird SLRs from long-gone brands with no light meter and limited-to-nonexistant parts availability.
LED Svartpilen Turn Signals: Stuff
I wanted to add Rizoma Vision LED turn signals to my 2020 Svartpilen 401 because the North American incandescent signals ruin the look of the thing, but I couldn’t find good answers to a few questions.
Most of the Rizoma sources indicate that resistors are not required, and that the signals won’t hyperflash. I assume this was true on the ’18-’19 bikes, but it’s definitely not accurate on the 2020s.
Rizoma includes an assortment of resistors with the indicators (and some nice plans of how to use them), but doing it per-corner is exhausting and (particularly at the front) there’s no room to incorporate them.
Rather than doing that, you can just pick up a flasher relay and replace the stock relay under the V-shaped plastic cover. There are two relays under that cover, and the flasher is the one to a rider’s left. You’ll just need to make two modifications to the new generic relay: (a) Cutting off the useless plastic tab, and (b) Changing the pins so that when viewing the connector from the top, clip up, the black wire is on the left, the middle position is empty, and the red wire is to the right.
I couldn’t find any resources on how to get into the wiring for the back. I’m guessing that’s because, having tried it, it’s super-easy. You just undo a single Philips screw to remove the cover, and then undo the two bolts (I belieeeeve 8mm Allen?) and the whole thing drops out and exposes the connector. If you’re using the Rizoma EE114H wiring adapters, you can just bundle all those up and shove them up in the tail section.
If you shove a throw pillow between the forks, it’ll support the headlight and gauge assembly so that you don’t need to remove the whole thing entirely. A little tight, but meh. Since the electrical system of these bikes is, by reputation, persnickety, I didn’t want to unplug anything I didn’t have to.
This was probably a poor choice, relative to a Honda CB300R or Kawasaki Z400, but it is a thematically-appropriate poor choice.
I really need to get new mirrors, though; those lollipops are both useless and ugly. For the time being I’ll just do crash bars, a radiator guard, and a plain black plate frame and bolts. I actually like the hugger fender, so the only other thing I really want to do is new turn signals… but that can wait a couple months.
I give you my magnum opus: the suppressed toolbox.
I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea, but it *does* work pretty well. At first it was going to be a new first aid kit for my car, then it dawned on me that the Trusco Y-280 is too small for that. Now I don’t know what to do with it.
The Iomega Clik! Drive: Always was relevant, always will be.™
A big toolbox made all the difference. I should have done this years ago. I blame Milosz.