59 Tiger Cub Motorcycle

FRS 106, Michael Littman – Spring 2013


Shirley Yang and Margaret Spencer


 Throughout the semester, it was our responsibility to learn about and construct a working electrical system for the ’59 Tiger Cub. This bike came to us without an electrical system–there were no lights or battery, and it was missing many key electrical parts. As we worked on the bike, we gathered together all the necessary components and wired them up according to a circuit diagram. Everything worked great in the end, as we were able to successfully start the ignition of the newly assembled Tiger Cub.

This is the first year in which the bike that the class is working on has a battery ignition instead of an energy transfer system. While energy transfer is more compact, the battery system is more convenient in that the lights can be turned on without the engine running. Without previous working models and accurate diagrams, understanding and constructing the battery ignition proved to be somewhat difficult. However, with the help of Professor Littman, Jon, and Glenn, we were able to construct our own circuit diagram and build a functional battery ignition system. This webpage serves to explain how the system works. It has three parts:

  • Components — lists the necessary parts of the electrical system
  • Electromagnetism — reviews the physics behind how the system works
  • Circuit — explains how all the components work together to power the bike

We are also attaching the PowerPoint presentation we did in class below.

We hope you enjoy our work!

Our Work Station This Semester