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Thread: A Treatise on the Importance of Smoke in Motorcycle Electrical Systems

  1. #1
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    A Treatise on the Importance of Smoke in Motorcycle Electrical Systems

    http://www.britcycle.com/Manuals/LucasSmoke001.htm

    Purportedly take from the 1959 Triumph Bonneville Owner's Manual!

    A Treatise on the Importance of Smoke
    by Joseph Lucas

    Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke". Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!

    The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.

    Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of
    smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.

    It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defence secrets. Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.

    In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components - especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.

    "A gentleman does not motor about after dark."

    Joseph Lucas (1842 - 1903)
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Thanks for the laugh this morning and not so fond memories of being of being stuck in the middle of nowhere in the sixties and seventies, a victim of "Electrics by Lucas".

  3. #3
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Yes, the old 'Prince of Darkness'..
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Fortunately, replacement is available...

    Smoke.jpg

    Curiously, my TR6R was a LOT more reliable than my TR7RV...

  5. #5
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

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    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Fortunately, replacement is available...

    Smoke.jpg

    Curiously, my TR6R was a LOT more reliable than my TR7RV...
    This replacement also came with a "kit" to help the process!

    http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    This would be a very funny thread if it was not so true. The smoke escaped from my 1975 Norton years ago and it sat it the basement until I could find a Norton guru that knew how to put the smoke back in. He said the key was to pay big dollars for the original smoke.
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

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    Registered User Subman's Avatar
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    I had to sell my Triumph GT6+ 35 years ago or so because living in Hawaii at the time, I could not buy OEM smoke. Aftermarket smoke just didn't work.
    Dave K.
    1971 R75/5

  9. #9
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    "ooops, I let the smoke out" has had the universal distinction of being the defining factor in troubleshooting any electrical component.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

  10. #10
    Registered User rogerc60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    "ooops, I let the smoke out" has had the universal distinction of being the defining factor in troubleshooting any electrical component.
    Indeed. And sometimes the escape of the smoke can be quite violent. One time I accidentally hit a 5V integrated circuit with 24 VDC. The smoke came out along with a 1/4" diameter chunk of the epoxy top of the IC, resulting in a small dent in the ceiling. Wear safety glasses.

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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    With the advent of CAN bus this is now just quaint ancient history, right?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    We will find a way!

  13. #13
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerc60 View Post
    Indeed. And sometimes the escape of the smoke can be quite violent. One time I accidentally hit a 5V integrated circuit with 24 VDC. The smoke came out along with a 1/4" diameter chunk of the epoxy top of the IC, resulting in a small dent in the ceiling. Wear safety glasses.
    Didn't the Platters sign a song in 1958 "Smoke gets in your eyes"?
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

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