Possible Ground Loop

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Possible Ground Loop

Bud Izen
I was in the process of converting more of my lighting to leds. I could not find led replacements for the rear turn signals, so I left those alone. Then I could not find replacements for the front signals (which are NOT the original Triumph ones), so I left those alone too.

 I did change the rear brake light and tail light bulbs to leds, and they work great.

 Then I found out that my Back-Off device (which flashes the brake lights when either brake pedal or lever is engaged) does not work with leds, so I pulled it out.

 Then the fun began. When I put it all back together, the right side rear turn signal stopped working entirely, and when the right side turn signals were engaged, the front one was dim, the flash rate changed, and the brake light would flash instead of the turn signal. The change in flash rate means that the load on the flasher changed, so there is so clear fault in the right side wiring, perhaps some type of ground loop.

 In the hope of chasing it down, I removed ALL of my custom wiring - extra fuse panel, and extra relays used to drive horns and turn off the feeds to my GPS and music player power source when the engine is off. Didn't make a bit of difference. I checked all the wiring at the rear of the bike and it looks ok.

 After 17 years, I guess the connectors that allow you to disconnect the tail piece from the bike that provide power to the turn signals have a right to wear out, so I am replacing both sides with spade lug connectors.

 If anyone has seen this symptom before, I wouldn't mind hearing from you. I have a LOT of experience working with electronics and electrical systems so troubleshooting doesn't phase me, but this sure is a weird problem to occur for a reason that is far from apparent.

 I'll post up after I fix it to let you know what I found.

 Bud Izen
 '99 Platinum 900
 Springfield Oregon
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Re: Possible Ground Loop

Hi Bud, I haven't read your posts in awhile. I've acquired a few extra wiring harnesses over the years. My brother's attempt to turn a Trophy into a naked bike didn't work out so I received a couple of harnesses he didn't use. I turned a 1200 Trophy into a Trident and that required another wiring harness. So I've got some extra harnesses, some complete, some missing some connectors. If you want to stay with the stock connectors let me know what you need. I'll cut them off leaving some extra wire to work with. All I ask for in return in the cost of postage.
 Glad to see you're still here. I still have my first Trophy from 2002. My '96 900 BRG still runs great with 109,000 miles.
 Greg Andrews
 Apple Valley, CA
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Re: Possible Ground Loop

Bud Izen
In reply to this post by Bud Izen
Yeah, Greg, for the last few years life has really put me through some
changes. I was just able to go on my first long ride since 2012. In
2013, I started having even more severe back problems, requiring fusion
surgery. Took about nine months to recover from that. I then had almost
a year of no pain before herniating a disk in the same vicinity as the
surgery. So, outpatient surgery in 2015. In 2016, after I got divorced
and moved, somehow the fusion didn't take, a pin got bent and I had to
undergo a similar procedure in June of 2016, so it was quite a while
between rides. Finally, this past July I finally got a chance to do a
ride I had been wanting to do for over a decade. I took three days to
get to Colorado and climbed Mt. Evans, the nation's highest paved
highway with the road summit at a bit over 14K feet! Spectacular is an
understatement. My timing was perfect - the day before I climbed was
awful weather and so was the day after. I got great video and stills,
taping the ride up and down with a go-pro-like video camera stuck to the

This year, more health problems. A bone that anchors my thumb in my
throttle hand wore out, so cortisone now, and operation in a few months.
Plus the arthritis and disk deterioration in my neck continues unabated,
so that's a lot of fun too.

Anyway, I think I am, at least for now, back in the saddle as it were,
and on Friday I plan to leave for Yosemite, stopping in the Bay Area to
see an old friend and also a former student of mine who I have not seen
in over 30 years! I am looking forward to all of that, even though the
ride down I-5 is not on my top 1000 list. Yosemite is my favorite place
on earth, and in April the waterfalls should be booming. Looking forward
to that.

Regarding the wiring. Thanks for your offer, but Triumph did not go
overboard on the quality of its connections. The ones in the back for
the turn signals and brake/tail light were a joke. I went to my local
electronics part store and bought two two-conductor plug/socket combos,
one for each turn signal, and one three-conductor for the brake/tail. If
the original ones lasted 18 years, then these out to way outlast me! Due
to my neck, I can only work bent over for so long, so that was it for today.

Because I ripped out all my custom wiring, I will need to reinstall the
extra relays and aux. fuse panel, but I don't want to rush it, so I will
do that upon my return. What I will need to do is temporarily hook up a
horn relay (so I have a horn).

I had rigged up a Johnson Jolt a while back (RIP Ed) but disconnected
that too. It might make a difference on some bikes, but I never noticed
it being of any use on mine. I doubt I will restore that until I get
some symptoms indicating it would serve some useful purpose.

All of my mods have left the stock wiring in place - I have a built-in
aversion to modifying stock wiring, preferring to add additional
circuitry so my stock loom is still 100% o.k. I do appreciate the offer
though. What was interesting, as an aside, was that the wiring schematic
in the factory manual that was supposed to be for my bike was inaccurate
but the older schematic did have the color code used on my bike. Weird.

Anyway, I am still around, and the Trophy is still, overall, the best
bike I have ever owned, and also the longest. I got it almost new back
in the fall of 2001. Then as now, I feel that if you gave me back all
the money I put into it, and told me to buy a replacement, I am pretty
sure I would just go out and buy a newer Trophy with perhaps lower miles
on it, and then do every mod I made to mine. For the kind of riding I
do, I just don't think there is another bike that will do what my Trophy
does. Plus, like Triumph, I am only interested in twins and triples.

A few years ago, when my current gf indicated she wouldn't mind riding
two-up, I considered buying a different bike. The new Thunderbird
sounded interesting until, that is, I actually sat on one. I don't think
I could get used to a bike that wide. Ditto for the Rocket. None of the
variations on the new Bonnie appeal to me either, except I like the
looks of the Scrambler, but can't imagine trying to tour on one. So,
instead, I am going to get my solo seat changed to a two-up one. There's
a guy in nearby Albany Oregon who is supposed to do great work. It seems
funny to contemplate spending the better part of $1000 on a bike that
might be worth $2500 if I am lucky, but still - I never buy motor
vehicles as "investments" so since I can't find another bike I like even
as much, let alone better, the $1000 expense seems justified, especially
since my gf absolutely hates the seat that is on there now.

I think that pretty much brings you up to date. I will report back in
after the Yosemite trip. Leaving this Friday, back a week from this
coming Sunday.

Bud Izen

'99 Platinum 900

Springfield Oregon

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Re: Possible Ground Loop

Hi Bud, Sorry to hear about your bad back and divorce, been there and done that. I turned a 1200 Trophy into a Trident. Now I understand why guys who ride two up go for the bigger engine. My other bikes are 900's and they are pretty quick, but to stay with the 1200 I need to keep the revs up. Not so much shifting is necessary with the 1200 Trident. But if I were to go on a long trip not doubt I'd take my 900 BRG, that Clearview windshield is a life saver.
 My brother and I were on top of Pikes Peak a few years ago. Like the WHO song, I can see for miles and miles.
 Yosemite is a wonderful place. I went there a couple of times for a week stay when I was a kid. I wish I could join you there. There are a few seats on Ebay. The lower the seat the better.