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Relocating ignition switch

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by MexicoMike, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    I'm currently installing some items on my '73 including CNW rearset, Ikon shocks, new Amal Premiers, and Smiths E-gauges. One of the things I'm doing is installing a pair of velocity stacks on the Amals. In doing so, the OEM air filter will be leaving the scene. Unfortunately, that also removes the mounting point for the ignition switch. I'd like some opinions for relocating/mounting the switch.

    I am also considering eliminating the switch completely and installing a hidden on/off toggle switch to replace it. I would wire the headlights to come on with the switch on the headlight shell which does nothing on my bike but, on my old, original '71 (back in the day) was the headlight switch. Thoughts on this are welcome as well!

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  2. oldbeezer

    oldbeezer VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    While in the process of bringing my '74 back to life I will be relocating the switch. I am currently thinking about making a bracket and mounting it under the coil bracket.
     
  3. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    I'll be in the same boat shortly. My ideas have ranged from using a Smart Key to a code circuit similar to a remote garage door opener, both draw power continuously, however. My favorite, currently, is to use the existing ham-can backing plate, weld in a reinforcing border which would fit tight against the lip, then cut out the surface in between. You can make the reinforcing border in any shape that gives you clearance for the velocity stacks and supports the key.

    My first build simply had an on-off switch and I carried a substantial cable lock, which I do anyway, worked just fine.
     
  4. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    I'm in a similar boat. I have a '70 with the key in the side panel. I'm getting rid of the roadster side panel to use interstate panels since I have an interstate tank on the bike presently. I also have to build out the right interstate panel to mirror the left one, then sculpt it around the central oil tank. I really don't want to put the key in the face of the interstate side cover, nor do I want to extend those wires to put a key on the dashboard, but that's probably the best place to move it...

    As others have said, I probably don't even need a "keyed" switch because nobody but a norton owner could kick start my bike anyway... I'd also like to hear other creative solutions.
     
    Nater_Potater likes this.
  5. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Putting the switch in the side cover like the earlier Commandos is one thing I'm considering. It would probably be the easiest thing to do...other than just putting the OEM airbox back in! ;)
     
  6. HoveToo

    HoveToo

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    I made a crude aluminium bracket fitted in the handlebar clamp about 30 years ago and it is still going strong. The switch is right in front of me so I can easily turn it on or off. A few years ago I finally saw sense and fitted relays to the headlamp circuit to stop the ignition switch burning out the contacts.
     
    Nater_Potater likes this.
  7. olympus

    olympus

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    I'll be in this position also as i plan to be using K&N or BMC air filter
    And As I'll hopefully be mounting the Boyer Micro power coil where the air filter housing once was, re-locating the switch where the coils used to be sounds on the surface a good plan
    The loom will of course need lengthening.
     
  8. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I made a bracket that hung off the battery box and the key was just above the primary cover. Good support and out of the way.
     
  9. ntst8

    ntst8 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    I'm with HoveToo, but stainless and bloke with a laser cutter (or waterjet?) did me a favour.
    2014 Key Bracket.jpg
     
    Myford likes this.
  10. Lineslinger

    Lineslinger VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    I like the hidden toggle switch, just don’t let anyone see your ultra super secret switch location.
     
  11. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Right! If I do that, I'm going to mount it on the...

    Oh, wait a second...it wouldn't be a secret then. ;)
     
  12. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    I’ve got a secret toggle on my KTM EXC SM and I have to look around furtively every time I park/switch it and again when I return. PITA and I never feel secure; peaking out windows . . . So, a padlock goes onto the rear chain/sprocket but first I have to unlock it from the hand guard. PITA
     
  13. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    I put a similar hidden toggle on my BMW R9T so I could disable the ABS in the dirt. First time I actually wanted to disable it - probably a year later - I couldn't remember where I put it! :)
     
    oldmikew likes this.
  14. cliffa

    cliffa

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    I met a guy on the IOM in 2017 who'd removed the Indicators, and just used that switch for the ignition. Who would guess that ?
     
  15. eskasteve

    eskasteve VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    I did like swooshdave did off of the battery box. This was a number of years and bikes ago. It worked very well.
     
  16. seattle##gs

    seattle##gs

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    One problem making a new bracket is that it is not simply a round hole. There must be a flat on it so the switch doesn't turn as the key is turned.
     
  17. eskasteve

    eskasteve VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    I made my round hole with the flat with a Dremel. I didn't own a Dremel at the time so it gave me the wife logic to go buy one. It took about 10 minutes with my new wonder tool.
     
  18. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Good one! I already have a Dremel though...maybe there's a special "round hole with flat" cutting tool I could convince my wife I need! :)

    I've decided to make a small plate that will attach to the battery box bolts that held the original air cleaner back plate. The switch will be mounted to the left (as you sit on the bike) of the centerline of the batt box so it will be mounted 5-6" below the left carb velocity stack facing forward. The rear of the switch will intrude into the battery compartment but with the Shorai 18AH, there is no issue due to the batt's small size. Only issue with that placement is that it makes turning on the lights a bit of a reach, though workable. It does not require any wiring changes at all. Just need that special tool to cut the hole!

    Hey, after a rather short period with the velocity stacks I may decide to just put the OEM air filter back in place/remove the stacks. We'll see...
     
  19. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    my 73 had a round hole, even though the switch had one side flat.

    i have fabricate a replacement plate which retains the switch position but only has the bottom of the back plate. allowing any foam filter to extend a little into the battery area.
     
  20. Stephen Hill

    Stephen Hill

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    A few days ago I watched the movie Shampoo, in which Warren Beatty rode a 1975 500 Triumph. It was funny watching him get off the bike, put it on the sidestand, and then thrash around trying to find the key on the side cover so he could turn it off. Same dance, every time he parked the bike. What a stupid place for the key. If I was going to move the ignition, it would be near the top yoke. Though I appreciate this presents a bit of a challenge with the wiring. Comments from anybody who has done this?

    Stephen Hill
     
    850commando likes this.

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