The "Bird's Nest" of wires is the place that intimidates people most when doing electrical work on a vintage Honda motorcycle. Whether it is inside the headlight bucket or under the gas tank, every Honda motorcycle from the late '60s to the late '70s has a major junction where the majority of wires connect to the main wiring harness. Parts like handlebar switches, front turn signals, gauges, brake light switches, and more converge at these two spots to carry current all around the motorcycle. It may seem intimidating but in reality, Honda has actually kept things very simple. By peeling back the layers and removing the headlight bucket, there are actually only a few bundles of wires that can be simply traced and identified. Follow along with the video above to demystify the mass of wires to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the "Bird's Nest" on your motorcycle. Do note that this video covers the commonalities between all the models which are about 90% similar. There will be some other wires you may find in your bucket that are not listed here. Refer to your factory service manual for identifying any variations you may find.
Refer to the list below to learn the major wiring colors
Honda used from the late 1960's to late 1970's and what they are used for:
Solid Black → 12v positive wire after the key switch
Green → Ground
Green / Yellow Stripe - Brake light switch
Light Green → Horn
Brown / White Stripe → Gauge lights
Light Blue → Right side turn signals
Orange → Left side turn signals
Brown → Taillight running light / parking light
Black / White Stripe → 12v positive from kill switch to coils
Gray → Flasher relay
Yellow / Red Stripe → Starter button
Light Green / Red Stripe → Neutral light
White → Headlight low beam
Blue → Headlight high beam / high beam indicator
White / Yellow Stripe & White with Half Yellow Tube → AC Power from the stator coils
Yellow → AC power from the stator coils
Pink → Stator coil common wire
We highly recommend modifying the charging system by performing the "White / Yellow Wire mod". Learn how to do that here.
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