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That's the situation I was in. Even if a used harness could be found, it is probably in similar shape to the one you currently have. First step is to visit some of the sites that deal in vintage motorcycle electrical connectors and read all you can about their hints and tips. You will need a special crimping tool and connector terminal release tools as well.

Start by taking lots of photos of the harness as you remove it from the bike. The routing is critical as connectors won't reach if you don't route it exactly as the factory did.

With the harness removed, I started by laying the entire harness down on a large sheet of paper. I used that brown kraft paper that you can buy in a 3 foot wide roll. Lay out a large sheet on a table and then spread the harness out in its natural shape. Don't force it or put any new bends into the harness. Now sketch the outline of the harness as accurately as possible. Label the various connectors on the paper and on the harness and take photos of your artwork because this will be your working surface and the grime from the harness and your hands will quickly start to blur or erase the lines you have drawn. This drawing is your guarantee that when you are done the harness will be as close as possible to the original and will fit like the original. There is no worse feeling than having that masterfully beautifully installed 8 pin connector be too short to reach its mating plug. You only discover this AFTER you have spent an hour carefully reinstalling the harness, so don't skip the drawing step.

With the drawing now completed you can start to unwrap the tape from the harness and this can get messy as the glue from the tape stays on the wires. I kept some wipes and alcohol on hand to keep the mess to a minimum.

It helps to work on one section of the harness at a time and use velcro tape to keep the unwrapped sections of harness together.

Always, always, always only remove and replace one wire at a time. When determining the length of the wire, slip it under the velcro while the old harness is lying on the drawing following its natural shape from one connector to the next. The rest is just swapping wire after wire after wire and making your crimped connections.

A couple of notes. Buy lots of extra connector terminals. You will need these for practice with the crimping tool.
In an ideal world, you would source proper, colour coded motorcycle wire. It may be hard to find and I did not find any until after I had started with automotive wire. What is the difference between automotive and motorcycle wire?

Motorcycle wire has a lot more individual strands and the strands are much smaller in diameter. This provides two key benefits. It makes the wire more easily flexible for sharp turns and it provides a greater current capacity in a smaller diameter.

However, I made do with automotive wire which meant the harness was stiffer, harder to handle and harder to install.
For wire colour coding, (as an example) where Kawi used Black wire with a yellow stripe, I used solid black wire, but at each connector, I used a short length of yellow heat shrink so troubleshooting later on would not become a nightmare.

Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Man I appreciate the detail you put into this, I may actually give this a shot. MikesXS has a sister company, Z1 interprises, that sells motorcycle wire by the 13ft roll, as well as all of the tools.
I tried them because they made a harness for the XS650, apparently there isn't a demand for the GPZ. I want to make this as simple as possible, I already managed to wire up the ignitor box and coils, and got spark that way using a rocker switch. There are a lot of electronics I do not want included on the bike, but starting like that could be my best bet
 

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No worries. I wish I had looked a little harder for motorcycle wire as it would have made the job easier and better. But I had a huge stock of automotive wire that was just hanging around... I did eventually discover Z1 Enterprises and have ordered from them for other things. They are great. You also may want to check out cycleterminal.com as they have a huge selection of hard to find items.
 

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No worries. I wish I had looked a little harder for motorcycle wire as it would have made the job easier and better. But I had a huge stock of automotive wire that was just hanging around... I did eventually discover Z1 Enterprises and have ordered from them for other things. They are great. You also may want to check out cycleterminal.com as they have a huge selection of hard to find items.
So how many wire colors should I need?
Did you start from the fuse box end, or somewhere else.
 

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That depends on how many wires you plan on replacing. When you say you don't have a "functional" harness does that mean you have one that is in bad shape? On my harness I replaced about 50% of it. I started with removing the harness and inspecting the wires and connectors for obvious signs of damage like melting, burning, cracking etc. Also test the wire for flexibility. Some wires were not flexible because the insulation had hardened to the point that if you flexed it, you could make it crack. But about 1/2 of the harness was ok. Typically this is stuff that is inside the headlight or under the gas tank where it is well protected.

If you don't have a harness your job just got a lot harder as you will have to work from a wiring diagram. I would stick to the factory colour coding of wires. You will need a lot of black with yellow stripe wire. I was buying 100 foot rolls of wire for $12 so it is a lot cheaper but it was not motorcycle wire. I would try to find a place that sells 50 or 100 foot rolls of motorcycle wire if I was ever doing another harness.

I started my re-wiring from the alternator up to the regulator and then spread out from there. These were the locations that showed the greatest amount of heat damage.
 

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Man I appreciate the detail you put into this, I may actually give this a shot. MikesXS has a sister company, Z1 interprises, that sells motorcycle wire by the 13ft roll, as well as all of the tools.
I tried them because they made a harness for the XS650, apparently there isn't a demand for the GPZ. I want to make this as simple as possible, I already managed to wire up the ignitor box and coils, and got spark that way using a rocker switch. There are a lot of electronics I do not want included on the bike, but starting like that could be my best bet
His instructions are great but might I suggest another way of tracing the loom. I used to make very complicated looms and we used to put tacks into the board along the outline of the looms. The will ensure that the length is absolutely correct and keep the loom in place while you are working
 

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That's a great idea MichaelZZR. Just don't do this on the dining room table. The wife might object.
 
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