Making your own high quality battery cables is simple to do. I like to use car audio power cable in either 4 or 8 gauge size. Car audio wire has hundreds of strands of wire that will flow more current vs. a standard cable with just a few strands. See, current flows on the outside of each strand of wire in a cable, not through the center of it like you might think. There for, the more strands in a cable, the better the current flow. This makes a car audio power cable a great choice; it’s also very flexible which makes it easy to route.
On a final note, most car audio places have scraps of this stuff lying around that are big enough to make your battery cables with, and that can save you some dough. So for this month we are going to make a set of custom battery cables for Chris’ “Ticket To Ride” Panhead. You can see more of this build in the book Custom Motorcycle Building Basics that will be on newsstands shortly. Let’s get started!
Things You'll Need: Audio Cable, Cable Ends,Flux, Razor, Heat Shrink Tube, Butane Propane Torch and Solder.
Strip the wire sheath back with your razor, be careful not to cut too deep or you can cut the fine wire stands.
Apply flux to your wire end; this will help the solder flow.
Place your cable end in a vice and secure.
Heat the cable end with your torch and add solder till it's about half way full.
Quickly insert your cable and then remove your heat. Be careful on this step, the solder may splatter some.
Let it cool to touch, and then test your soldered joint for strength by pulling on it firmly while it's still in the vise.
Measure and cut your heat shrink tube.
Apply a light heat to shrink the tube; don't get carried away here or you will burn the shrink tube.
Here is the "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride" bike with the new custom wire installed. Like I said before, most of the time you can hit up your local car audio shop for some scrap left over pieces of power cable on the cheap, if not FREE! As far as the other supplies for this job, you can get them at your local auto parts store; I get mine from NAPA. So there you have it; garage made battery cables the length you really need, more flexible and you can even pick custom colors!
Keep in mind it is vital to be sure you drive your bike with safety. Make certain you use real carbon fiber helmets.