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Hi all,

Hopefully someone can help me out with this.

I am planning on redoing and adding some accessories on my Wee. These include a Voltmeter, USB sockets, Cig. Type socket and LED aux. lights.

My question is regarding to what type of wire to use for each accessory. Does it have to be some special automotive cable or will a 2 wire cable I pickup in a hardware store (say for an internal desk light, etc.) do the job? Is there anything I should be watching out for in terms of wire grade, insulation levels, Wattage ratting, etc.?

Finally, all the cables will be going from the fuse panel under the seat towards the front of the bike. I have noticed that the existing bike wiring going this route are grouped together and have a loose protective sheath around them. Should I be doing the same with my new wiring or is the wire insulation enough? If I need a sheath, are there difference in grade / type and if so what should I be getting.

Thanks for any help.
 

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You'll want to use stranded wire (as opposed to a single solid conductor) for auto/motorcycle uses. In America, we use "AWG" (American Wire Gauge) as a measuring standard - the higher the number, the thinner the wire. 18 AWG wire is thicker than 24 AWG wire. I'm sure there's a metric standard as well, but I'm afraid I don't know what it is.
Here are a couple of specs I borrowed from a handy online chart:


10 AWG wire – max 55 amps
12 AWG wire – max 41 amps
18 AWG wire – max 16 amps
24 AWG wire – max 3.5 amps

The two-conductor wire you can pick up in a hardware store is probably thicker than you'll need for most motorcycle applications. Plus it can be hard to differentiate the two conductors if they're molded together (like an extension cord). For AC household work this generally isn't a problem, but motorcycles are DC, and bad things can happen if you mix up positive and negative.
If it was me, I'd go to an auto parts store and get a couple of spools of 18 or 20 gauge stranded wire – one red, one black. That should handle most accessories up to about 200 watts. You could go smaller if you're not hooking up anything that big.
Conduits are nice to keep things organized and tucked away, but I've usually just used tie-wraps and followed the routing of the other cables. Happy wiring!
 
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