The Relay

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985 kilometers on the bike’s trip meter.

Some 5 kilometers from home during the return from a 985-kilometer solo ride to Kuantan and Kuala Terengganu, I had a need to honk a car straying into my path.

But then nothing happened when I pressed the horn switch. No sound came out of the twin Bosch BM horns that I had put in place of the wimpy-sounding stock single horn.

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One of the two Bosch horns on the bike.

Thinking that I might had, by mistake, pressed the turn indicator kill switch which was next to the horn switch, I furtively glanced at the left handlebar and pressed the horn switch again. Nothing.

For the 4 days that I had been on the road, the horn must have not been functioning. Phew.

Once I knew the horn was not working, I did not dare ride the bike, even though it was only 17 kilometers to office. One never knows when the horn is needed, to alert a car or motorcycle wanting to do close encounters of the third kind, huhu.

Thinking that it might be the horn that was the problem, I bought a replacement. I liked the sound, so I asked for the same model. While at the car parts shop, I also got myself a relay. Just in case.

At home, before replacing the horns I thought it might be a good idea to check the relay first, by replacing it with the new one I bought. That was easier to do compared to replacing the horns.

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A jungle of wires and relays.

So I dismantled the bike’s side fairings and exposed the jungle of wires and relays connecting the horns as well as the spotlights. After pulling out the horn relay’s two trigger wires and two power wires, I slipped them onto the new relay’s terminals. Turned on the ignition switch. Pressed the horn switch. And surprise! A loud horn sound broke the morning’s quiet air.

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Left – the faulty Hella relay. Right – a new Bosch relay. Same specifications – 12 Volts, 30 Amperes.

So it was not the horns that was the problem after all. The relay was the real culprit. Must remember to bring one as spare on long trips after this. It can be used as spare for the horn as well as for the spotlight relays.

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The Hella relay I originally installed with the Bosch horns.

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