12VDC POSITIVE Ground
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  1. #1
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    12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    I own a 2014 Honda CBR600F (crotch rocket) motorcycle. The battery is dead so I purchased a set of leads to connect to the battery so that I can charge it with my brothers battery tender that he uses for his sportscars.

    During installation of the leads I noticed the + side of the wiring was connected to the - side of the battery. So we grabbed a multimeter and did some testing.

    First the battery
    Red lead on +, black lead on -, resulted in 11.66V
    Black lead on +, red lead on -, resulted in -11.65V

    So the battery is definitely “wired” (for lack of a better term) correctly.

    Then we check for continuity, without the battery hooked up. The lead that would connect to the POSITIVE side of the battery showed continuity to the frame, where as the negative side showed nothing. Ok, no big deal, I get all of that, it’s a foreign vehicle and they do things differently.

    Here’s my question.........

    I was going to install an outlet so I could supply constant power to a GoPro (for recording long rides like Tail of the Dragon in Maryville, Tennessee). How in the heck do I wire it? Red to red and black to black, or red to black and black to red?

    I don’t want to fry a GoPro, but I also don’t want to short circuit a motorcycle wiring harness either.

    Any of y’all dealt with something like this before???
    Last edited by HoustonJames; 03-16-2019 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Somebody buggered your wiring. Honda's are negative ground from the factory just like everything else.

    Red batt wire should Trace to the starter and fuse box.

    Black should go to engine or frame.

    Trace them...
    Last edited by Boostinjdm; 03-16-2019 at 07:34 PM.
    My name's not Jim....

  3. #3
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    Feb 2019
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    The wire going to the relays is definitely hooked to the battery negative.

  4. #4
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Side note, I am the first owner of this motorcycle and know with absolute certainty that the wiring has not been altered in any way.

  5. #5
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Your confidence does not guarantee correctness.

    Every Honda I've ever touched has been negative ground. Google seems to agree.

    You need to track down a wiring diagram and figure this out before you damage something expensive.
    My name's not Jim....

  6. #6
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Wiring the gopro is easy you say the multimeter has a black lead and a red lead? first lets make sure the black and red leads on the meter are plugged in correctly... black lead goes to meter port usually labeled COM or ground, red lead goes to port with a 'V' on it unless your meter leads are hard wired now that that's settled take your 12v port for the gopro and hook it's red lead to wherever you're actually finding +voltage and hook the black wire to the place you find negative voltage... simple right

  7. #7
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonJames View Post
    I own a 2014 Honda CBR600F (crotch rocket) motorcycle. The battery is dead so I purchased a set of leads to connect to the battery so that I can charge it with my brothers battery tender that he uses for his sportscars.

    During installation of the leads I noticed the + side of the wiring was connected to the - side of the battery. So we grabbed a multimeter and did some testing.

    First the battery
    Red lead on +, black lead on -, resulted in 11.66V
    Black lead on +, red lead on -, resulted in -11.65V

    So the battery is definitely “wired” (for lack of a better term) correctly.

    Then we check for continuity, without the battery hooked up. The lead that would connect to the POSITIVE side of the battery showed continuity to the frame, where as the negative side showed nothing. Ok, no big deal, I get all of that, it’s a foreign vehicle and they do things differently.

    Here’s my question.........

    I was going to install an outlet so I could supply constant power to a GoPro (for recording long rides like Tail of the Dragon in Maryville, Tennessee). How in the heck do I wire it? Red to red and black to black, or red to black and black to red?

    I don’t want to fry a GoPro, but I also don’t want to short circuit a motorcycle wiring harness either.

    Any of y’all dealt with something like this before???
    I think you are coRnfused... OR you got the wrong pigtail connector (SAE)

    Coming from the battery tender, The exposed pin is POS +

    On the pigtail lead going to the bike, The exposed pin is NEG -

    Dig?
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  8. #8
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    a quick search online, I found this example...

    Name:  Duh....jpg
Views: 398
Size:  30.6 KB

    If you want to run a go pro or anything else off that battery pigtail, just wire the other end accordingly.

    I do the same thing for my heated gloves on my C14
    Miller 211
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    True Wisdom only comes from Pain.


  9. #9
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Your confidence does not guarantee correctness.

    Every Honda I've ever touched has been negative ground. Google seems to agree.

    You need to track down a wiring diagram and figure this out before you damage something expensive.
    This is true, and I’m well aware of that. I also found a diagram that shows negative ground, which makes all of this confusing.

  10. #10
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Very occasionally, someone will manage to charge a battery up with the polarity reversed.

  11. #11
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Are the leads on your meter plugged into the right terminals?
    Eventual master of the obvious, practitioner of "stream of consciousness fabrication". P.S. I edit almost every post because because I'm posting from my phone and my fingers sometimes move faster than my brain.

  12. #12
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluewelders View Post
    Very occasionally, someone will manage to charge a battery up with the polarity reversed.
    Saw that once, a guy had a riding mower the batt totally dead on. By accident he hooked the charger up backward and the starter spun the wrong way.
    Mike
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  13. #13
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    I would take this Honda back to were you got it new and have them look at it. If it is this way they did it and they should fix it. Unless the bats terms are in the center then it would be hard to put the bat in wrong.

  14. #14
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Doug View Post
    I would take this Honda back to were you got it new and have them look at it. If it is this way they did it and they should fix it. Unless the bats terms are in the center then it would be hard to put the bat in wrong.
    Not too hard to screw up. You can get the same battery with the terminals reversed. That's what the R stands for on the end of the battery part #.
    My name's not Jim....

  15. #15
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Something is screwed up! Nothing has been sold in the U.S. that is positive ground since 1953!

  16. #16
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE MOTORCYCLE.

    The pigtail wire he is using to connect from the battery tender TO the battery is either mis-labeled or he is hooking it up wrong.

    He didn't say WHERE he bought the SAE pigtail connector ..... It could be wired opposite from what battery tender uses.
    those type connectors are used for many things... not only battery tenders.

    I posted the diagram above.

    The bike is NOT positive ground !!!!!
    Miller 211
    Hypertherm PM 45
    1961 Lincoln Idealarc 250
    HTP 221


    True Wisdom only comes from Pain.


  17. #17
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Read it again John. He hasn't hooked up the pigtail yet. That means any leads discussed are the factory leads.
    My name's not Jim....

  18. #18
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Read it again John. He hasn't hooked up the pigtail yet. That means any leads discussed are the factory leads.
    Paragraph two he says he installed the leads he bought... which is what I mean by pigtail

    But who knows...

    He hasn’t been back to explain anything further.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  19. #19
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Read paragraph two again. If he noticed the leads he installed seconds before were backwards and had to ask how to correct it, I'm afraid he's needing help none of us are going to be able to provide.
    My name's not Jim....

  20. #20
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    I didn’t connect the tender leads st the point when I asked the question.

    It ended up being a bad battery. Somehow it shorted itself out and caused the positive charge to show on the negative side of the battery. That’s why I thought it was positive grounded.

    A trip to Walmart and $51 later, all is good. Red is on red, black is on black, tender lead is installed, and this summer I’ll install an outlet for the GoPro.

    Thanks to everyone who commented.

  21. #21
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    I know nothing about Hondas. British, and older American stuff seems more commonly to have positive ground. Everything I've seen manufactured in the last fifty years is negative ground. Your Go Pro doesn't care whether your bike is positive ground or negative. It wants correct polarity.

    Many years ago I ordered a snowmobile battery from True Value Hardware. It was mismarked. It used bolt on terminals, so testing before install, I only had to reverse cables.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  22. #22

    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    My 1965 SUNBEAM ALPINE is positive ground. Plus to frame & minus tp starter solenoid.

  23. #23
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    When I bought my house the old guy threw in a Craftsman riding lawn mower. First time the battery died and I went to charge it I noticed it was set up positive ground. WTF? Then I noticed most of the light switches in the house were flip down to turn off and all the 3 prong outlets were ground up, so I think he just did it to be contrary.
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  24. #24
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    I thought light switches flip down = off was standard??? so all these years I been doing it contrarian.... DOH!!!!

  25. #25
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    Re: 12VDC POSITIVE Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    I thought light switches flip down = off was standard??? so all these years I been doing it contrarian.... DOH!!!!
    A single pole switch is printed off when it is in the down position. Three way is all about where the other switch is. Outlets can be mounted ground up, or down. When I was very young a VT State Electrical Inspector insisted they had to be ground up. He wasn't able to show me where the code specified. To me they just look upside down ground up. I try to match the rest of the building.

    I always threaten to turn light switches upside down. It seems my family is only able to push the switch up. They can't push them down.

    Training hasn't worked, I now have mostly occupancy sensors.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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