Removing a Motorcycle Ignition Switch

Taking your motorcycle to a shop to have the motorcycle ignition switch removed can be costly, especially considering that you can do it yourself in your own garage. Motorcycle owners sometimes become victims of theft and the ignition switches are often destroyed in the process as the thief tries to hotwire the motorcycle. When these bikes are recovered, the ignition switch can be badly damaged and needs replacement. With the right tools, you can easily remove your motorcycles ignition switch. These steps are for the Yamaha R-1, but can apply to other bikes as well. Always check your owners manual first.

and Materials Needed

  • Allen wrench
  • Bolt extractor tool

Step 1 – Position the Motorcycle

Position your motorcycle in a flat, level surface with a lot of lighting. Either outdoors if the weather is clear or indoors with a lot of lighting. Set your tools close by.

Step 2 – Disconnect the Battery

Remove your rider’s seat to access the ignition area of your motorcycle and set aside. Disconnect your battery. Always start removing with the negative terminal wire lead and then the positive terminal wire lead. Never positive before negative. You do not want to result into burnout anything nor short circuit.

Step 3 – Loosen the Bolts

Loosen the two Allen head pinch bolts that hold the upper triple tree to the front forks. This is also the large bracket directly above the handlebars.

Step 4 – Remove the Damper

Remove steering damper if your motorcycle has one. Unscrew its bolts that hold it up on the upper triple tree. Leave the opposite end of the steering damper attached to the frame. Simply just pivot it opposite the triple tree.

Step 5 – Remove the Nut                  

Remove the 32 mm nut and washer that hold up the upper triple tree to the steering stem then pull the upper triple tree and off the stem and fork.

Step 6 – Trace the Wiring                

Trace the original wiring until you locate the connector in your motorcycle. Disconnect the connector but separating the ignition with from its wiring harness.

Step 7 – Remove the Switch

Remove the entire upper triple tree and ignition switch from your motorcycle and lay down on a wide table. Make sure this area is free of clutter so you do not lose any small parts.

Step 8 – Set the Switch

Set ignition switch facing down and locate the two bolts that hold the ignition switch to the underside of the triple tree. The ignition switch may be secured with either one-time use bolts or hex head bolts but either way, it must be removed with a bolt extractor tool.

Step 9 – Remove the Switch

Gently remove the ignition switch from the upper triple clamp. Now you can replace your old ignition switch with a new set.
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