Poor Man's street legal kit..... WR426

26 replies to this topic
  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 11:34 AM


I'm sure there have been threads regarding this in the past for this bike.... I also wouldn't be surprised if many of the things listed below would also apply to the WR250, WR400, and the WR450.

This is how I accomplished getting my bike street legal --- my way. I ride my 426 mainly in the Michigan woods and probably won't ever actually ride it to work. (though, a plate is a plate..... do what you wish with it - dirt, sumo, dualsport) Any money spent towards expensive stuff --- is just going to get scraped, crushed, or possibly destroyed doing single track. So, why not get it street legal the cheapest way possible.

In Michigan, you can ride single track with an ORV sticker --- but, 2 tracks and snowmobile trails are off-limits. So, if you are ever in a situation where you need to get back to the trail head, you are risking getting a ticket by taking the quicker routes. If you have a plate.... the sky is the limit.

The other variable to this thread is this..... This is what I did to make my WR426 street legal in Michigan. Your state will probably have different things that your state will be more picky about..... or maybe more relaxed on. I've also had friends simply call the local sheriff and ask for an inspection with even less things than I did.

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  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 11:43 AM


For starters..... I went down to the local Secretary of State and asked for a motorcycle inspection form/check-list.

At the back of this form there is a check-list for motorcycle inspections.... this checklist tells the inspecting officer what to look for.... and also gives you an idea what to do before you call in for the inspection.

Below are the main things on the checklist.

- Headlight w/ Hi-Lo Beam
- DOT approved tires
- Left hand mirror
- brake light switch
- license plate light
- horn
- brakes that can stop the vehicle while moving

I do want to point out.......if you have a DB killer insert for the exhaust....you may want to put it in for the inspection. (it helps with their perception of it being 'on the street') I also pre-warmed the bike.... so I wouldn't have to start the bike with the choke on and a high idle.

Those are the big ones..... other than that..... just make sure your engine and frame VIN numbers can be found. The officer will check your bike to make sure it hasn't been stolen. Also, have your title sitting there ready to be checked. At this point you DO NOT NEED INSURANCE.


When I had the bike ready to go for inspection.... I was very surprised......

I called the local sheriff's office --- and they simply took down my address and said....."We'll send someone right over". 15 minutes later a sheriff in an SUV rolled up....got out.
I could tell this guy had NEVER done a motorcycle inspection. He was reading line by line off the check-list. I did have 2 close calls....... I didn't have DOT approved tires on my bike (I let my knobs wear down to nothing by riding around my neighborhood.....), and I decided to push the limits with my 'horn'. He hesitated for both ---- but let both pass. (he did see the 'Not for Highway Use' marked on the tires....but said, you better keep off the highway then..... though, they wouldn't be on the bike if they weren't DOT approved.... I could hardly keep from laughing --- I quickly agreed with him :busted: )

I would say...... try it, if it doesn't pass..... you can always call again the next day and change what they didn't like.

  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 12:03 PM


First things first...... The High/Low Beam.... As you can see I have the stock WR426 headlight and H4 OEM bulb.

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One day while playing around and cleaning the bike..... I noticed something. The H4 bulbs in the Yami's are standard car DUAL ELEMENT bulbs.... take a look at the OEM socket in the right of the picture below.....

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Its a standard H4 socket...... missing 1 connector for the high-beam.

On the left I have a $5.00 car H4 socket that you can get from your local auto-parts store (I got mine at Advance Auto Parts)........ I clipped the wires going to the old socket and plugged in the new H4 3 wire socket.

The piece to the puzzle is buying a HI-LO-Off-KILL switch...... there are 2 nice ones out there.... one from Trailtech, and one from K&S. I chose to buy the Trailtech for $19.

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To connect everything.... I used electrical male/female crimp connectors --- and when crimped on I took my soldering gun and soldered in the crimps to have better contact.

If you look at the trail tech.....(you will get a wiring diagram with the switch) There are 2 wires to replace your OEM kill switch, a wire that goes to the high beam of your new H4 socket, another wire that connections to your low beam wire.....and another wire that says its for ---- 'heated grips'? Its basically a wire that is always on whenever the switch is either in the high or low position. You will find.... that when you disconnect and reconnect all the wires up front..... you will have one left over ---- this is the wire that connects to the blue wire..... which runs back to your tail light to supply its power. You will have to do a little experimenting.....or figure out the color codes in the 426 service manual. (like always.... I just went for it....and figured it out....)

Either way --- the trailtech is clearly labeled...and comes with a nice diagram.

The nice things about all of this is..... 1) you get rid of the on/off headlight switch & the kill switch....cleaning up your bar space.... and 2) the trailtech when in the off postion turns everything off --- including your rear taillight..... great for starting the bike.

  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 12:12 PM


Here is what the trailtech looks like......and notice the other item? The UFO left hand mirror.... it cost me $12 and flips nicely out of the way --- never to be seen again... :banana:

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You guys are going to laugh...... here is my horn...... Believe it or not..... the inspecting officer at first shook his head in disbelief.... then decided to do a test.... he had me start the bike --- while he walked back to his car....all official like.....asked to hear me ring the bell....... I HAVE NEVER RUNG A BELL SO HARD IN MY LIFE..... :thumbsup: :banana: :banana: If only I had that on video.... :busted:

He could hear the bell just fine.....and gave me the check mark I needed!

I can't f'in wait to get Sumo tires for the WR....and use my new 'horn' at Deal's Gap for passing sportbikes.

Oh yeah --- Schwinn finger bell.......$2.00 in the kids bicycle section at the local hardware store

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  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 12:19 PM


Next thing on the list..... brake light switches.....

I decided to be cheap..... I only installed the rear brake light switch. (I'm only going to be in the dirt....remember?) But, it would be easy enough to buy a front hydraulic switch and wire it in with the rear.

I got lucky..... and while digging through a local motorcycle store bargain bin, found one for $5. Baja Designs and Trailtech are good sources for these....and I'm sure many other places.

I don't have pics of this part.....all you have to do is unbolt you rear brake line from the rear master cylinder (it is behind the protective plate on the 426 by your right foot) and replace the bajo bolt with the new 'switch bolt'. Like always - when working with brake banjo bolts...... determine if the new switch is steel or aluminum. If it is aluminum DO NOT torque the switch to the service manual spec. Don't ask how I know. (.... its 15-19 ft lbs for steel, and maybe around 10 ft lbs for aluminum...) The switch I got was from K&S... was steel.... so I torqued it to factory spec --- 19 ft lbs.

Here's another trick..... the 426 has a spare wire coming from the rear tail light that is for a rear brake light switch wire.

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Take a closer look..... the blue wire is the wire that goes to the front of the bike to get power from the trailtech switch (or simply put is the wire that powers the rear brake light)....and the yellow wire should be sitting there connected to nothing. (this is the brake light wire which powers the 2nd filament in the WR's rear brake light bulb). The brake light switch has two wires......one connects to the yellow wire, and the other connects to a ground. (I connected this wire to the rear tail light ground....the black wire) Again, you will have to use some more male/female crimp connectors.

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In this pic.... you can see how I routed the rear brake light switch...

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  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 12:25 PM


The last piece of the puzzle.....was the license plate light.

Most people get away with not doing this...... I was at a local hardware store in the trailer section --- they had sealed red LED's designed to be marker lights.... for $5. Thought --- that would be easy to use!

So.... I pulled off the upper rear brake light, drilled a hole through the bottom (of which I sealed after pulling the plate light wire through) --- and soldered the wire to the back of the main tail light bulb socket.....
(***** a suggestion from below ***** you can also simply pull power from the Blue rear brake light wire.....)

Works beautifully! AND..... the inspector DID look and ask for it. (of course....again, he was merely reading off the check-list I gave him)

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  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 12:29 PM


and basically thats it......Here is the cost break down......

- H4 Socket from Advance autoparts....... $5
- Trailtech Hi-Lo-Off-Kill switch....... $19
- Rear brake light switch ......... $5 (bargain bin)
- Sealed trailer LED light........ $5
- Male/Female crimp connectors........ $6
- UFO left hand mirror $12
- Schwinn finger bell $2

Thats $54.00 !!!!!

Laughing at my friends when they crash their expensive dirt-bikes with $500 dual-sport kits?


  • djv5

Posted September 14, 2009 - 05:50 PM


Nice write-up Arctic. When are we going riding?

  • tcmII

Posted September 14, 2009 - 06:03 PM


Very nice write up. I did mine slightly cheaper. I didn't add the hi-lo switch, the oem switch broke and I just wired it on all of the time. Since oem street bikes have the lights on all of the time the inspector assumed in was normal.

There is something I don't understand though. You described grounding the yellow wire, is that correct? I ask because in the oem configuration there should not have been any power coming from the yellow wire.

On my '98 WR400 and '04 WR250 the rear lamp on the WR (like the front) is a dual filement bulb. The rear is all ready wired with ground (black), running (blue) and brake (yellow). To do this I sliced one wire from the switch to blue (before the headlamp switch) and the other to the yellow from the tail light (brake). I also run the license plate lamp off of the blue wire.

On the '98 when started I have running lamp on and when braking I have both.
On the '04 (which still has the oem headlamp switch) when started switch off when braking just the brake light is on. With the switch on I have running lamp on and when braking I have both.

This would follow normal (automotive) practice.

Otherwise our methods are very similar.

  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 06:30 PM


Yeah --- my wording on that is bad...... I'll go back up and re-write it......(***** the above HAS been corrected *******)

I have what you state --- blue wire is power (in my case I have that power coming from the trailtech switch), yellow wire is the brake light wire (which is not connected from the factory), black wire is ground.

The brake light switch has 2 wires..... one connects to ground, and the other connects to the yellow.

Now --- don't even get me started with the color codes between the from head-light and the trail-tech!!!!! notice I said ---- "experiment" :busted:

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  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 06:41 PM


BTW ---- good to see some other Michigan riders here........

Usually ride with a few friends from the Holland area --- Cedar Creek is the closest trail..... and is around 30 minutes from where we live.

On occasion we get up to the Baldwin area.....

Can't wait for the next ride ----- have been on some pretty bad tires all summer...... have a new set of S12's spooned up and ready to rock!

  • thatraptorguy

Posted September 14, 2009 - 06:46 PM


good wright up.....im about to be doing the same thing other than mines a 07 wr450 and i gotta have turn sigs

  • arctic954

Posted September 14, 2009 - 07:11 PM


The K&S website....has some really nice stuff for that purpose....


I've also been a huge fan of the TARGA accessories web-site. They make mini-stalk, clear lens, turns signals ---- for $15 a pair.

http://www.targa-acc...1= TARGA&page=1

I had one variation of the mini-stalks on my XR650R. They were simply mounted to the front headlight shroud.

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  • whatttup_g

Posted September 14, 2009 - 07:40 PM


OMG... bicycle finger bell????

BWAHAHAHHAAHAHHAHAHAAA... i award you 1000 internets :banana: :banana: :thumbsup: :busted: :D :banana: :banana: :banana:

  • tcmII

Posted September 16, 2009 - 06:02 PM


I used a Schwinn bulb horn. My inspector went by the list. There was no specification for the horn db level. I also worked with the SOS in advance. The regular people at the counter rarely see the forms used.

The first person I talked to wanted recipts for all of the items I added, an affidavid that they were all purchased leagaly and a description of the work. All of these are required if you built the bike from scratch.

I talked to the Manager and he set me up. Here in Michigan, because all bikes get a title it already was registered to me with an OEM vin. All I needed to do was turn the form over a complete the back side. When I completed everything the desk person started asking the same questions and when I explained that I had not built the bike, only modified it to meet the street legal rules, everything when smoothly.

By the way, I am on the East side of the state in Macomb Township. We normally ride in and around Rose City, and are part of the CCC. I had planned on going to the Vintage Ride this weekend, but other family events come first. I will be at the Color Tour on Oct 3-4 in Rose City.

  • arctic954

Posted September 17, 2009 - 06:37 PM


You know..... what you said above is worth stating....

I got screwed in this respect when I went in to Secetary of State.

They asked me if I had receipts to show the equipment I added to the bike to make it street legal ---- we'll I didn't. So, the lady gave me a form and told me to write down what I had added to the bike..... and what each part cost.

I 'thought' I was proving that I put money into the bike to make it street legal....

NOPE! They MADE ME PAY 6% sales tax on everything I had purchased! Because it ADDED to the purchase value of the motorcycle.

what the f?@#$#@$

At that point......wasn't going to argue the extra $20 --- paid the lady my total, and walked out with my new plate.

  • arctic954

Posted September 17, 2009 - 06:40 PM


BTW --- TCMII......are you friends with Gino and PolarPC?

Both guys are in your area....

  • 2Yamahas

Posted September 18, 2009 - 05:50 PM


Thanks for the detailed how-to & photos. Is the high beam much of an improvement over the stock light?

  • arctic954

Posted September 18, 2009 - 07:51 PM


oh yes.....very much so ---- it is a VERY noticeable difference. (the high beam is a higher wattage beam)

You can always go to the autoparts store and still buy the H4 connector socket for $5.00 ---- and simply use the extra wire to connect up the high-beam instead of the OEM low-beam setup.

What I don't know --- is if the stator would be able to power both at the same time.... High and Low. Probably wouldn't be a good idea......

  • byggd

Posted September 19, 2009 - 07:59 AM


That kit wont fly in CA but nice job!! That horn is a classic!


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