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Just got my first bike the other day. Honda cb125, nice little bike! Has a couple of other minor fixes to be made, so I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again. :p

Bought it with the battery flat. Went to switch out the new one, and when I hooked it up the wires near the battery started smoking and then melting. :frown: :frown: I'm guessing this is a short? How do I figure out what's causing it?

How much of a problem are the melted wires? Is soldering them a decent option, or will I have to replace the whole harness?

Any help appreciated!!
 

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It sounds like you might have hooked the leads to the battery in an incorrect manner. On the CB's that I have, there is ONE ground wire to the negative post that grounds to the frame or engine. The positive post goes to the solenoid via a very short heavy wire. the positive post also goes to the ignition switch in some manner,[varies by bike] and then from the switch goes through the main fuse. On CBs with more than one fuse, the main fuse feeds the others in the fuse panel. My best guess is that you somehow grounded the ignition wire resulting in a dead short.

When I hook a battery to a newly bought bike, I use a set of jumper wires. I also wire an inline fuse holder into one of the jumpers. By placing a 5 or ten amp fuse in the fuse holder, you can power up the bike and blow the fuse rather than melting any wires. If the fuse holds, then I replace it with a bigger one [15-20 amps] and try to start the bike.
 

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As for the melted wires, if they go into the wrapped harness, you may have to strip the wrapping to see how much damage there is. In a bundle, melting wires can also melt the wires next to them, causing more shorts. You can pull new replacement wires into the bundle, and attach them to the original terminations. Some of the bullet tip contacts are soldered onto the end of the wires, but some contacts are crimped, and soldering the replacement can be difficult, and the new wire may break off from vibration. There are kits available for harness repair; I got one at vintageconnections.com.
 
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