Way back when, I thought an alarm on my motorbike was a good idea. My bike had just been vandalised by a drunk and I had become a bit paranoid. And, in fairness, since having it, my bike was never stolen. Admittedly, I’m not certain there were actually any attempts to steal it. The times that the alarm did get triggered was always me, or an ant looking at it and setting off the motion detector, and even on those occasions, any passers-by in the vicinity barely gave it a glance before moving on and ignoring the apparent attempted theft of my bike. Had I been trying to steal my bike, then I doubt the alarm would have done much to prevent it. Seems to me that alarms are pretty ineffective nowadays. Moreover, I can think of at least one easy way to completely disable it with very little fuss.
So when I recently had to replace my battery again due to its inability to maintain a charge – no doubt caused by the permanent drain that the alarm system puts on it – enough was enough, the thing was coming out. It was surprisingly easy to do, which made me wonder about its status as Thatcham approved and all that. It took the installer quite a few hours to put in – he did do a proper job – but I’d say it took me around 20 minutes to get it out. Not something you’d do on the side of a road in order to nick it, but still, surprisingly easy. And to think I paid around £400 at the time.
This isn’t supposed to be step by step instructions and I won’t describe how to dismantle your bike or get at the particular pieces – if you can’t work out that much on your own, you probably shouldn’t be doing this. And needless to say, but it needs to be said, this is what I had to do to my own CBR600… no guarantees it’ll work for your bike or be the same or anything. And I’m by no means an electrician. So if you permanently immobilise your bike – it ain’t my fault! And note that my alarm was functional but I had taken a rather unconventional route to completely disable the bike before I did this (took out the main fuse for the bike) – so the alarm actually wasn’t alive.
You’ll need: stanley knife, screwdrivers, soldering iron, solder, electrical tape, optionally heat shrink/heatgun
- If your alarm is still functional, put it in service mode (ignition on, press and hold small button for 2 seconds, ignition off). (Or do as I did and cripple the bike’s electrical system completely.)
- Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
- Take off the rear seat cowling
- You should see the main siren unit cable tied to the subframe
- Pull out the rear LED from the light unit
- Pull out the blanked indicator wires that don’t appear to do anything
- You should be able to follow the unit’s main wiring loom in to the bike’s wiring loom. It’ll probably be taped up to hell.
- Remove as much tape as you need to expose the whole of the alarm’s wiring loom
- You should see two obvious halves of wiring, and about 10 thin black wires in total
- Most of these are just “drop-ins” – that is, they just join the existing wire so the alarm can trigger the e.g., indicators – the join should be covered in electrical tape, and the wire it is connecting to should be in tact
- Two of the wires will be set differently (one in each half of the loom) – ignition and power – the original wire will have been cut and then soldered on to thin black wires, and the other half of the original wire will also be soldered, the join is probably covered in heat shrink
- For each of the “drop-ins”, snip the black wire out of the join, and then wrap the join with electrical tape – be careful that you just snip the black wire – not the original wire!
- For the other two wires, you’ll need to rejoin them – they should be coloured in such a way so as to be obvious which one needs to be soldered where
- Locate the two ends of the original wire(s), and work out how you’ll rejoin them. I left the soldered join in place, and cut the black wire so that it would be long enough to rejoin to the original wire
- When you’ve cut the wires out, you can remove the whole alarm unit
- Then solder the original wires back together. Cover the join in heat shrink or electrical tape.
At this point, the job is done – and you can reattach the battery and test to see if all is good. If it is – cover the various wiring looms in electrical tape until they’re well insulated then replace all the removed bits. If it’s not, well, it’s time to worry.
That’s all there is to it – frighteningly simple.
Now to try and flog the unit on eBay.
I found this information about the System 3. It might be helpful in some way, if you’re trying to install the system (quite why you’d want to do this is beyond me…): Datatool System 3 installation guide (9841)
If you can’t sell it, you may consider this form of “maintenance”!