64 Tiger Cub Motorcycle

FRS 106, Michael Littman – Spring 2012


Erick Chen, David Dohan, Mason Soun, Adam Suczewski

As the electrical team, it is our job to disassemble the electrical system on the motorcycle.  The previous owner of the motorcycle changed the electrical system, so we need determine the original components and modified components.  Our goal is to understand how the electrical system functions and to reconstruct it to the original specifications.

We began by removing all of the electrical components from the motorcycle and carefully documenting (via pictures and diagrams) where each component came from and how it was connected to other parts.

A look at the original state of the electrical system

After this, we matched components to the original manual and carefully labeled each part.  With this finished, we began to learn more about circuits using a circuit simulator.  We then reconstructed the circuit on the simulator (focusing on the spark plug and stator system).  We experimented with how different values of capacitance, resistance, and inductance in the circuit affected the sparking system.  Once we had an adequate understanding of the system, we measured the actual capacitance, resistance, and inductance of the components that we had removed from the motorcycle.

As the semester moved along, we began to understand each of the components of the electrical system of the bike: the alternator, the points, the coil, and the wire harness.  (For more information, follow the subheading key components).  We spent a great deal of time constructing the wire harness.  In the history of the class, the electrical team had never built the actual wire harness for their bike.  Fortunately, we were able to build a working wire harness for our bike from scratch. (See the subheading wire harness under the key components for more details about the wire harness).

As we worked on the wire harness, we began to learn about the theory behind the electrical system.  In the theory/physics review part of our website, we first explain how a spinning magnet and a coil (which essentially is an alternator) produce a voltage.  Next, we explain the energy transfer system, drawing comparisons to a battery ignition system.

We conclude our part of the website with our actual power point presentation that we provided in class.