Evolution of the shape of the Lucas 169SA switches?

Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
100
Country flag
Very useful links - just ordered the "custom kit" to retrofit my old levers with the new space-age set.

QUESTION TO THE GROUP: Should the red kill button exist on the bottom of the right console, or should this button reside on the top of the left console? That is, if you flip the controls, you have either of these options. Reason I ask? Every description I read shows the single-throw paddle on the right side, and the double throw on the left side. Since my double throw paddle is on the same console as the red kill button, I must have my consoles reversed?

Can anyone share their experience with this?
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2012
Messages
625
Country flag
I believe most common set-up is double-throw for turn signal, red kill button on bottom, unused black button on top of right side switch next to the throttle. Left side has single-throw high bean switch, high-beam flash on top and horn on bottom.
There was a service note back in the day that some bikes came from the factory reversed with turn signal switch etc. on left side.
 

L.A.B.

Moderator
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Messages
16,886
Country flag
Very useful links - just ordered the "custom kit" to retrofit my old levers with the new space-age set.

QUESTION TO THE GROUP: Should the red kill button exist on the bottom of the right console, or should this button reside on the top of the left console? That is, if you flip the controls, you have either of these options. Reason I ask? Every description I read shows the single-throw paddle on the right side, and the double throw on the left side. Since my double throw paddle is on the same console as the red kill button, I must have my consoles reversed?

Can anyone share their experience with this?

_______________________________________________________
"Norton Service Release N3/3

Reversal of handlebar switch clusters.

Late 1972 Commando - all models.
Worldwide (for general distribution),
As a direct result of user requests for right hand operation of the direction
indicators, the decision has been taken to interchange the left and right hand switch clusters.
To save changing wiring colour identification at 6 connectors, the functions of kill button
and headlamp flasher and spare button and horn shown in Illustration 2 of the Riders Manual
are also reversed.
New prints of the handbook will include this modified layout but where motorcycles have been
despatched which are at variance to the handbook, the supplying dealer is requested
to acquaint the new owner with the revised layout. From the time of the changeover,
the revised control positions will be:

LEFT HAND
Top button - Headlamp flasher
Lever switch - Dipswitch
Bottom button - Horn

RIGHT HAND
Top button - Spare button
Lever switch - Direction indicators
Bottom button - Kill button

ACTION: Ensure that all new owners of modified models
are suitably briefed.

May 1972"
________________________________________________
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2003
Messages
2,106
Country flag
per lab's post it just makes sense as the left switch has the headlight switch up for high and down for low and the right switch turn signal is down for right (same way the handle bars go on the switch side) and up for left.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
4
Country flag
Hi slightly off topic but some of these rh handlebar switches were two position with two buttons and an internal brake light switch.
I have seen that Chris Knight has them listed.
Anyone know which bikes had them fitted and if they suit drum or disc or both.
 

L.A.B.

Moderator
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Messages
16,886
Country flag
Hi slightly off topic but some of these rh handlebar switches were two position with two buttons and an internal brake light switch.
I have seen that Chris Knight has them listed.
Anyone know which bikes had them fitted and if they suit drum or disc or both.

They're for disc brake Triumphs ('73-'78).
The red toggle version that is the kill switch ('75 -'78).
The upper button is the electric start button on the T160. On twins both buttons are 'spare' but the upper can be connected as a headlamp flash or second horn button. The lower button is a dummy (no switch contacts).

SDC13248.jpg
 
Last edited:

rvich

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
3,171
Country flag
The Norton Commando Gold Portfolio (page 88) lists 26 changes between the 750 and "the new big Norton" 850 includes item 5: "The latest Lucas switches are fitted, incorporating longer flashing and dipper controls. The push-button extend more prominently. A red kill button is fitted."

I don't doubt for a minute that they said the new bikes would get those switch sets. In practice maybe not. There are a lot of original 850s running around without red kill buttons. I know that the '74 850 Interstate I bought in 1977 had long paddle switches and all black buttons.

As for the double paddle switch, it might make using the throttle harder having it on the right side but for me it is a lot more normal than trying to use it while operating the clutch!
 

batrider

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Aug 9, 2008
Messages
2,210
Country flag
I went to a red button for the kill switch on my early '72 so it would be easier to remember which button it was. Found the newer buttons are longer so the new red button sticks out a bit farther. I don't think this is well known. It surprised me at the time.
 

gortnipper

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
4,582
Country flag
"If we bought a Norton we'd be tempted to replace the lot."
Well said. Unless you want to be 100% original, put some modern switchgear on that is much safer and more effective to use and.put the originals in the Future Owners bin.
 

Time Warp

.......back to the 70's.
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,997
I went to a red button for the kill switch on my early '72 so it would be easier to remember which button it was. Found the newer buttons are longer so the new red button sticks out a bit farther. I don't think this is well known. It surprised me at the time.

In the link L.A.B posted in this thread it shows two red buttons are available (long and short)
There is little wrong with the stock Lucas switch blocks, but given the age many will need some upkeep.

The Japanese did put a little more thought into the ergonomics compared to the Brits and even Italian bikes of the period .
 

Onder

VIP MEMBER
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,090
Country flag
If you clean and lube the switches every few years they will be fine. Of course, if you ride in bad weather then more often.
Remember too that the long paddle switches can break off. I think it is John in Greece who makes a switch paddle with a steel rod in it
to obviate that.
 

Craig

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
2,820
Country flag
I use only one of the Lucas switches , just brembo m/c on right handle , no switches on headlight either .... the left switch has horn on bottom button , the 3 position paddle in middle controls headlight, it is set up thus: middle off , down-low beam , up-high beam ... the top button awaits an electric starter ... like to keep things simple , eh ..... no turn indicators , they and the flasher came in a box with the Commando , I thought that was a great place for them .....
 

NickZ

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
331
Country flag
Does anyone know the significance of the different markings of these Lucas switch housings? Is one an early version? Or for different model bikes?
IMG_9297.JPG
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
822
Country flag
I don't think the long paddle style switch is all that desirable. They feel very flexible and over the years I have seen quite a few broken ones.
 

NickZ

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
331
Country flag
I was referring to the castings on either side of the paddle switch. One unit has:
LUCAS
MADE IN ENGLAND

on both sides, and the other unit has that on one side but on the other side it has the part no:
169SA

I was wondering about the significance of that difference. I was hoping this thread

"Evolution of the shape of the Lucas 169SA switches"​

could shed some light on this.
 
Top