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Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC - Service manual > Electrical Testing

General Information / Electrical Testing

For any electrical system to work, electricity must be able to flow in a complete circuit from the power source (the battery) via the components and back to the battery. No circuit means no electrical flow. Once the power has left the positive side of the battery and run through the component it must then return to the battery on its negative side (this is called earth or ground). To save on wiring, connections and space, the negative side of the battery is connected directly to the frame or engine.

Around the frame and engine will be various other ground points to which the wiring coming from components will be connected. In the case of the starter motor it bolts directly to the engine, which is bolted to the frame. Therefore the frame and engine also form part of the earth return path.

Ohm's Law

The relationship between voltage, current and resistance is defined by Ohm's Law.

Ohm's law, for practical work can be described as- 

Power is calculated by multiplying Volts x Amps - 

By transposing either of these formulae, the value of any unit can be calculated if the other two values are known.

For example, if a battery of 12 V is connected to a bulb of 60 W:

the current flowing in the circuit can be calculated by using -

the bulb resistance can be calculated by using -

To use either of the following triangles, put your finger over the value you want to find.

Multiply the remaining values if side by side, or divide if one is over the other.

Basic Electrical Circuits

Basic Electrical Circuits

In the above circuit an electrical reservoir (the battery) is connected via a cable to a terminal on the controlling device (the switch) whose contacts are either open or closed. The other terminal on the switch is connected via a cable to the consumer (the bulb), and the other side of the bulb filament is connected to ground (earth) by another cable. The ground point is usually a part of the frame or engine, to which the battery negative terminal is also connected.

When the switch contacts are open (as shown in the diagram), the circuit is broken and no current flows. When the switch contacts are closed, the circuit is made and current flows from the battery positive terminal through the switch contacts and bulb filament to ground. The frame completes the circuit to the battery negative terminal and the bulb illuminates.

Although some circuits on the circuit diagram may at first seem more complicated, it will generally be found that they can be broken down into sections which do not differ greatly from the basic circuit above.

Circuit Diagrams

Circuit diagrams are created to provide a 'picture' of the electrical system and to identify the route taken by each individual wire through the system, in order to identify which components it feeds and which connectors the wire runs through. Circuit diagrams are an essential tool for fault finding, as it is possible to locate start and finish points for a circuit without having to manually trace the wire through the motorcycle itself. Circuits diagrams may look confusing at first but when they are studied closely they soon become logical.

Due to the complex circuits and the number of individual wires, Triumph uses two types of circuit diagram in its Service Manuals.

Both of these circuit diagrams use similar symbols to illustrate the various system components and will be accompanied by a key indicating circuit diagram components and wiring colour codes.

Circuit diagrams also depict the inner workings of a switch housing (i.e. which wire connects to which when a switch is turned from one position to another) so that a test of that switch can be made using the wire terminals in the connector instead of disassembling the switch itself.

See also:

 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC - Service manual > Fuel Handling Precautions

General The following information provides basic precautions which must be observed if  petrol (gasoline) is to be handled safely. It also outlines other areas of risk which must not be ignored. This information is issued for basic guidance only and, if in doubt, appropriate enquiries should be made to your local Fire Officer.

 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC - Service manual > Tracing Circuits

The following is a description of two types of common electrical failures, and some of the methods which may be used to find them. Open Circuit

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