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So, Im getting ready to try firing up the GL project. All I have left of the wiring is the battery. The ground strap from the battery goes to a bolt on the back of the starter.



Is that right? Maybe Im being paranoid, but I thought it went to the frame.
 

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That's right. Since the motor is bolted to the frame the ground goes all the way through the bike.
 

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So, Im getting ready to try firing up the GL project. All I have left of the wiring is the battery. The ground strap from the battery goes to a bolt on the back of the starter.



Is that right? Maybe Im being paranoid, but I thought it went to the frame.


Larry's correct, however adding another smaller one to the frame can't hurt anything and may actually help in some situations.
 

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The absolute highest current flows when starting the bike. Its path is from the battery positive terminal, through the positive battery cable, through the solenoid, through the starter cable, through the starter, and back through the negative battery lead to the battery negative terminal.



Everything in this path is heavy duty to handle the high current.



First assume the wiring is completely stock with no modifications. If the negative battery cable connection were to fail (corrosion, loose terminal, whatever), then no current would flow. No harm, no foul.



Now suppose another wire were added from the battery negative terminal to the frame. Now if the negative battery cable connection were to fail, the return current path would be entirely through this added wire. If it is a much smaller gauge it may overheat/melt/catch fire/etc.



Things can get worse if the additional wire doesn't attach directly to the frame but goes through the wiring harness to reach the frame ground. The wiring harness may be severely damaged in this case.



So if an extra ground wire is added to the frame it should be large enough to handle the starter current.



My preference is to leave the bike ground wiring unmodified.
 

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Now suppose another wire were added from the battery negative terminal to the frame. Now if the negative battery cable connection were to fail, the return current path would be entirely through this added wire. If it is a much smaller gauge it may overheat/melt/catch fire/etc.



I certainly can't disagree with this as your logic is correct. If at all possible find another large braided cable and use that to connect to your frame or, in the very least, use a fuse in the wire from the battery to the frame. It may blow if your starter ground isn't up to the job but at least you'll know why.



Point is to maintain your electrical system as best you can. Even if not in doubt it's a good idea to clean everything and every connector then put some electrical silicone grease on everything. I have that job facing me when I get mine back on the road because, as mechanically adept as Old Okie is, he's not totally educated in the electrical part so I'll probably do it out there so he can see what's involved. Same thing goes with the painting which we'll do out there, kind of anxious to teach him how easy it is to do 2K Urethane given proper prep, mixing, dry air and the right weather. By the time we get the right weather around here most will have already plowed their fields thus the dust will be out of the air.
 
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