Pros/cons are listed at the bottom, more pics coming soon
Why I decided to re-wire
One of the items on my todo list for my 1981 Yamaha Virago 750 classic restoration is re-wiring the bike from scratch. I’ll admit that re-wiring was not a necessity, the existing wiring harness was intact. The only non-working components of the OEM harness was that the turn signals didn’t work, and the headlight wasn’t working (the former was likely a relay issue, the latter I narrowed down to a wiring issue). However, I do enjoy working on electrical projects, so I decided it would be a fun challenge to remove all of the existing wiring and most of the components, and replace them with some more modern features and a brand new DIY wiring harness.
First Contact and Purchasing
I heard about the Morty unit through an Instagram post, and I saw some of the cool features on their Instagram feed. I had considered re-wiring in the past, was put off by the high price of a wiring system (the most commonly used one being the M-Unit by Motogadget), so I was happy to find a budget-friendly wiring system unit. When first found them, they were still working on the 2nd gen redesign of their Morty unit.
I sent them an email asking about some of their features, and recommendations for my specific build. They were very helpful and got back to me the same day, providing information about what exactly their unit does, and what would still need to be provided. They gave several package options and prices, I went with their handlebar switch sets + Morty unit, which came out at about $270 USD.
Since Nuut is based in Canada, it did take just under two weeks to arrive (not bad for Covid time period shipping).
The unit itself has a 3D printed PLA plastic shell. Despite being 3D printed, the quality feels pretty nice, and I’m not worried about it cracking along layer lines or falling apart. I’m not entirely sure how it will hold up to California heat. I plan on placing it underneath the seat, since that’s where I have the most space (there used to be six large relay blocks from the OEM harness), so temperatures will probably be around 105F on hot days). Theoretically I shouldn’t have an issue with heat, since PLA starts to soften at around 140F.
There are ten screw terminals on one side of the unit, all of which go to the different components (lights, starter, engine power). The connection feels nice and solid, make sure to solder the tips of the wires when inserting them to make sure they don’t come loose.
The other side of the unit has three small connectors, two for the handlebar controls and one for the gauge light output and motorcycle sensor inputs (neutral, oil, brakes).
The first issue I encountered was with the three small connectors. I had multiple wire pins (male side) come out when plugging the connectors into the unit, which were a pain to re-insert. The plastic connector doesn’t do a very good job of catching the pin and preventing it from sliding out. One of the pins I had to press in while plugging in the connector to keep it from just popping out.
Wiring up the bike was very easy to do. They provided a PDF guide showing the pinout, and it had some helpful diagrams for showing how to wire specific components. Even if you don’t have any electrical experience, with the Morty unit wiring is a breeze and fun to do.
I had everything working with the first turn of the key. The Morty unit has some modern convenience features, like hazard lights, adjustable flashing brake lights, and pattern-adjustable turn signals. They also have a nice “Flash to pass” feature, which when used when making a lane change will flash your high beams rapidly while turning on your turn signal (for that extra visibility). The unit also allows you to turn off some or all of your lights, which might be helpful if you have a small battery and are in stop-and-go traffic a lot.
One annoyance I found with the Morty unit is that the sub connector (dash gauge) wires are a very high gauge (tiny), which made them difficult to work with when using them with some connectors I purchased, which were made for a more “standard” gauge of 18-22.
If you’re planning on re-wiring your classic project motorcycle, but are intimidated by electrical wiring, 100% go for the Morty wiring system by Nuut. Not only does it make your motorcycle easy to wire from scratch, they’re also very helpful in answering questions you might have. At nearly half the price, they’re also a great alternative the M-Unit.
Pros & Cons
- Budget-friendly ($187 for the standalone unit, $270 for the unit + handlebar switches)
- Extremely easy to install regardless of previous experience
- Relatively small profile
- Has all of the features you would need for restoring “classic” motorcycles (< 1999)
- Has many modern convenience features to bring the electrical part of your bike from the 1980s to the 21st century
- They offer minimal button switch sets for those trying to go for a minimalist build
- Has a plastic body which may not hold up to high temperatures or medium impacts
- The wires used in the connectors either aren’t the best quality or may not have been installed correctly, and can slide out during installation