This all started innocent enough, all I wanted was running lights using the existing turn signals....
So, I start by trying to fit 1157 sockets in the stock turn signal housings. Made brackets, which will work well, but can't for the life of me find the small male end bullet connectors. I didn't want to hack something in either.
Then two things came to mind. When I bust a signal, I'll have to convert it over to match the rest. No good.
Secondly, I realized that I'd be pulling too many amps with it set up this way.
So, after searching I settled on a Kisan signalMinder, model SM-2. This is a pretty cool item, first and foremost it replaces the factory flasher, a real plug and play part. After that, there is a ground to connect, and three other wires that tap into the L/R signals and the brake light. Very easy to install. No wires are cut either.
These are the cool functions:
1. Auto cancels the turn signals in either 10, 20, or 30 flashes, DIP switch settable.
2. Turns all signals into running lights at about 1/3 the standard intensity, or off, DIP switch settable.
3. Turns the rear signals into brake lights that flash 4 times, starting fast, then slowing to solid on.
4. While the brakes are on (waiting for a light) it suspends the self cancel signal timer.
5. Four way (emergency) flasher mode
6. Escort flasher mode (left, right, left, right....parades, wide loads and funerals?)
7. Handles led lamps or a combo of incand./leds.
These are the not so cool things:
1. When you hook up the running lights, it makes the two indicators on the cluster light up also. No way around this, as they are wired with the signals (parallel). Not really a big deal.
2. When you hook up the brake light wire and hit the brakes, the front signals flash with the rears. Again, no way around this, it's the way they're wired (parallel) with the rears. Oh, and the indicators flash too.
90 bucks later, it's installed and performing as advertised. But then I notice the headlight is dimming more than usual when I'm on the brakes, or when the signal is on. OK, now I decide to lighten the load......
LED bulb replacement
My plan is to use led's in every position except the headlight, so here's what I've done so far:
(Everything is from the same site, poke around you'll find 'em.)
1. Front turn signals-http://www.superbrightleds.com/tail-brake-turn.html
24 led amber wide pattern, #1156-A24 cluster. These will just fit in the reflector. Just a bit dimmer than the std bulb.
Stock bulbs are 23 watts x 2 (F/R), 3.83 amps total. LED's are 90mA each, 180mA total, using 4.7% of what the stock bulbs use. Substantial savings here.
2. Tag bulb-#67 15 led bulb, white, #67-W15. Very pleased with this one, very bright. Very very *slight* blue tinge,
looks really good.
3. Instrument cluster illumination- 194/168 6 led wedge based bulb, warm white, #WLED-WWHP6. These were a tough fit but worth it. I messed up and forgot to measure the opening where the bulb fits in the housing. OOPS! Too wide!!
Not to hard of a work around, but you have to open the gauge cluster up and bend some thin metal bulb shrouds around. Then you can install the bulbs from the inside of the housing with the sockets in place. Then bend the metal shrouds kinda back in place. Not a big deal really. WELL WORTH IT!!! The gauges are really lit now, I don't have to study them at night anymore to read them. Much safer IMHO.
OK, now I hear you saying why bother with the gauge lights, or the tag light for that matter. They're little. Well, there are four gauge illumination lights. Each are 1.7 watts. That's 6.8 watts (.566 amps @ 12v) drawing when the bike is on, you can't turn them off. In comparison, the tail light is 5 watts (.416 amps). The replacement led bulbs draw 24mA each, for a total of 96mA. That's only 17% of stock bulb draw, plus they are way brighter.
Tag light is about the same, stock is 5 watts (.416 amps). Led bulb is 42mA, only 10% of stock.
Indicator lamps-4 led bulbs, white, #WLED-W4. These would probably work OK as gauge illumination lamps, they fit in the housing just fine. These suckers are VERY BRIGHT as indicators. Almost too bright. Fortunately, most are off during normal operation. You will definitely know when you're in neutral. With the running light option wired as mentioned above, the turn signal indicators are on at a reduced level. These were way too bright at night. I ended up cutting up some 26% trans amber gels (stage light filters, I have a 200pc sample pack) to dim them (I'm inside the gauge cluster again to do this) and they are borderline bright. Still have some tweaking to do on this....maybe several layers of scotch tape over the led's will do the trick.
Still to do
Rear turn signals-I've ordered another set of the ambers to match the fronts.
Tail/Brake-I've ordered a red 3W Luxeon 1157.
I've done a bunch of number crunching and came up with this:
Under normal running conditions with the brakes on and the turn signals on, stock bulbs draw 15.38 amps.
Same conditions as above, but with all leds (except headlamp), the draw is 5.79 amps, only 37.6% of stock, or a savings of 9.59 amps. That's a bunch considering the stator's output is only about 10 amps (and that's at 8k, who rides at 8K?)
FWIW, after installing what I have so far, I can barely see the headlight dim with the brakes or turn signals now. Much, much better than it was.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I know running amber lights in the rear is frowned upon by the DOT. I'm taking a chance of getting a ticket. But, as someone else has said, if and when I get a ticket, at least I know I was visible.
Hope this long winded post helps if you are thinking of doing something like this. I would have taken pics, but as you all know the camera doesn't necessarily capture what the eye sees....
All I wanted was running lights....