The fact that Ryan Burke now builds ultra-trick motorcycle wiring harnesses has a wonderfully logical balance: When his team updated from Yamaha’s YEC electronics package to a MoTeC M130 on their R1 at the beginning of this season, the wiring harness was so custom that it had to be built per customer. Ryan, a journeyman electrician, didn’t hire it out; he built it himself.
He was hooked—and good at it. Ryan quit his electrician job and hung out a shingle. His Colorado-based The Collective Ltd. immediately picked up work from teams like Team Hammer M4 Suzuki, thanks to his friendship with Team Hammer M4 Suzuki supported rider Ben Fox. Fox mentored Burke through the first harness and then Burke whipped out three custom harnesses for M4, including the unit that fired Alex Dumas to the MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship on his Suzuki SV650. The electrons running around that bike were put in place by Ryan Burke, and he wants to build a harness for your racebike too; contact him at (720) 297-4001.
Meanwhile, he piloted his own self-wired Yamaha R1 to his fifth consecutive MRA number 1 plate. This championship, one in which he was such a player on the bike and in the shop, could count as his most precious. In many ways, building wiring harnesses and winning roadraces are extremely similar because thousands of things can go wrong, and the working combination must be precise.
I love this kind of stuff, men and women with huge motorcycle passion who find a niche in the industry and then kick ass in it. And Burke makes it look easy, even though we all know electricity is magic and it’s an act of Merlin that anything works when the key turns. (Hmm, I might be a bit too self-revealing in that last sentence.)
Who Needs Wire?
Ryan’s customers come from a variety of motorcycling tangents, but the majority are racers looking to simplify the wiring of a motorcycle that does permanent track duty, or racers who are moving to high-end engine-management and data-acquisition systems like Burke’s MoTeC.
Ryan estimates a weight loss of about 5 pounds on a typical production bike that gets rewired for track use. With that weight reduction comes the ability to improve everything from the quality of the wire and connectors, to the opportunity to add connectors to make servicing simpler. Burke’s knowledge as a racer and tuner gives him hands-on experience when assembling a custom harness, knowing that ease of use is almost as important as function.
My AHRMA racing friends are learning about Burke and The Collective Ltd too. Decades-old wiring and connectors are not always eager to work, so upgrading all electron-carrying systems makes sense when you know the work will be top-shelf. Even vintage bike owners who want the exact look with upgraded function find that Burke can almost always track down the old connectors and has had good luck reusing the stock hardware. “I’ve got some trick tools,” Burke claims.