Electrical Symbols

The wiring diagrams in vintage manuals were often just “one-line diagrams” using a single line and graphic symbols to indicate the path of current and the components of the electrical circuit.  The electrical symbols can look like cryptic squiggles to the DIY mechanic.

As you can see in the 1964 Triumph TR6 {6 volt system} diagram below, they did not help to locate the rectifier on the bike itself.

The Triumph diagram is a pretty simple example.  The wire colors are clearly identified and there is even a key showing the symbols used for each connector type.

However the more electrical items on the machine, the more complicated the schematic gets.  Also if you don’t know what all those symbols mean, it is just a bunch of little squiggles.

Use the chart below to differential your potentiometer from a ground as well as switch types.

Modern Electrical Symbols

Most modern bike wiring diagrams use one line per wire to indicate the path of the wires and labeled graphic symbols to show the components and connections of the electrical circuit while giving you the basic idea of where on the bike these components are located.

Electrical symbols used in current schematics most often are drawn to look like the components they represent. 

If you are interested in more types of wiring diagrams and their electrical symbols here is a link to a University of Florida document that is very informative.

There are many wiring schematics located within WeeksMotorcycle.com, for both current and vintage machines.  Use our Search feature or browse below.

Honda Motorcycle Wiring Diagrams

Suzuki Motorcycle Wiring Diagrams

Yamaha Motorcycle Wiring Diagrams

The Need to Know pages are filled with reference material of this type.  They can be helpful to the do it yourself mechanic during projects ranging from a "bike in a box" to upgrading a vintage 6 volt system to a modern 12 volt to enable the use of LED lighting or the addition of accessories.