After received so many good ideas from these forums, I wanted to pitch in with some experiences of my own. This is a condensed version of how I got driving lights mounted on my 2014 F. Note that this is a composite of all the “eventually-successful” steps I took, presented as succinctly as possible for anybody who wishes to mimic my setup. My actual experience installing these lights involved several false starts, mistakes and surprises, detailed in the Notes & Thoughts section at end of this post. I’ve bolded a few details that I found especially helpful - hopefully my experiences can save you some frustration and money if you’re considering a similar project. Apologies in advance for the long post. Here we go:
Anytime you plan to muck with your bike’s electrical system, disconnect the big red positive battery terminal from the battery!
1. I ordered two of these
lights from Super Bright LEDs.
I also ordered the associated wiring harness
, which includes a switch, a relay, and a separate fuse(Note: this wiring harness proved to be overkill for my installation, see Notes & Thoughts).
2. I bought two steel corner braces from Home Depot.
have performed flawlessly as mounting brackets, and cost about $3.
3. With these parts in hand, I removed the round front fender reflectors and their mounting brackets, attached the vertical half of the corner braces to the same screw that secured the reflector brackets, and attached the lights’ mounting hardware to the horizontal half of the corner brace. (You really don’t want to mount your lights directly to the reflector brackets - see Notes & Thoughts)
4. I screwed the lights into their respective mounting brackets, applying a dab of blue Loctite to both screws to prevent them from backing out. This
is the product you need.
Here's one of the lights mounted:
5. I routed the wires up along the font brake line, securing them with zip ties…
6. …past the triple clamp and along the side of the tank, between the tank and the plastic “fairings”, again secured with zip ties…
7. …under the plastic side panel (securing the wires to the frame with zip ties every 6 inches or so) , and out under the driver seat, with the extra wiring coiled up and secured with zip ties (as you can tell, zip ties are my best friend on these projects). My apologies - I forgot to photograph the panel-removal part of this operation, but the owner’s manual walks you through the proccess very clearly.
8. With the extra wiring secured (and the battery disconnected!
), it was time to attach the light wires to the bike’s electrical system. (This is where your setup may vary from mine, depending on your goals and requirements - see Notes & Thoughts). I opted to use the bike’s Option Connector, a spare circuit that is switched with the ignition, and detailed beautifully in this post by member Blackfin: http://www.cbr500riders.com/forum/el...-ignition.html
. In order to do this, I started with the capped Option Connector under the driver seat, the white plastic piece seen here:
9. Wiring: a) I found the white plastic connector difficult to use, so I clipped it off, stripped a bit of insulation off the resulting Purple (positive) and Green (ground) wires.
b) Using these
waterproof wire connectors, I twisted both lights’ positive (red) wires around the bike’s positive (purple) wire, and twisted both lights’ ground (black) wires around the bike’s ground (green) wire.
c) I twisted one wire connector down onto the exposed positive wires, and a second down on to the exposed ground wires.
d) I then carefully wrapped both connectors together with electrical tape, and then wrapped the joined connectors to the wires with more electrical tape, to keep everything in place. The end result isn’t pretty, but it*has worked flawlessly. Again, my apologies for not photographing this part of the process.
10. With all my wiring secured, and before I replaced the side panel
, I reconnect the positive battery terminal, and switched the ignition on. The lights flipped on in the same manner as the headlight, just as I had hoped. Then I started the bike, just to be sure my tinkering hadn’t somehow crippled the ignition. Only then did I replace the side panel and the driver’s seat.
Here’s the final product:
Notes & Thoughts
A. The biggest variable here was my wiring choices. First, I’ll cover that fancy wiring harness I linked to at the beginning of this post. This harness allows you to connect the lights directly to the battery, and run them through an included 30 amp fuse and a switched relay. While this seemed like a good idea when I ordered it, it proved to be cumbersome for a few reasons:
1. There was no good way to mount the switch to the handlebars - it’s a small piece of slick round plastic with no real mounting points. I’m sure I could have cooked up a solution given enough time, but there was no need because…
2. I decided my driving lights should switch on and off with the ignition, just like the headlights. This has the advantage of simplicity: if the bike is on, all your lights are on, and when you turn the bike off, you can’t inadvertently walk away with the lights on and drain your battery. Here in Brooklyn, between our crazy drivers and invisible-at-night potholes/meteorite craters, I can’t think of a time when I wouldn’t want these lights on while the bike is on.
Here’s the switch:
I ended up chopping the main length of wire off the rest of this wiring harness and running that wire directly from the lights to the bike’s electrical system, leaving me with a spare switch, 30A fuse and relay. Who knows - these may be useful some day. For this project, I could have just ordered this pair of lights, and two ~4-foot sections of plain copper positive & negative wire, and saved myself a bit of gas money in the process.
B. Wiring continued: Given that I wanted my driving lights on anytime the headlight was on, it makes abstract sense to just tap them into the headlight circuit. I chose the OPT circuit instead for a couple reasons:
1. This was my first wiring project, and if I wrecked the headlight circuit in the process of splicing the driving lights into it, I’d be left with a bike that had no lights at all - not good.
2. Redundancy: if anything goes wrong with my headlight circuit, I now have a totally separate light system backing it up.
C. Reflector brackets: when I first installed my driving lights, I actually mounted them to those short black metal brackets that hold the round reflectors on the front forks. Don’t do this!
These brackets are made of cheap, flimsy metal that is not strong enough to hold a blocky driving light at highway speeds. The right side bracket ended up snapping off during a ride around Bear Mountain, leaving one light dangling from the triple clamp as I scrambled a safe pull-off spot. The light and I survived, but it could have been ugly.
D. Loctite: this is a special glue that you can put on screws to prevent them from backing out. If you end up ordering these specific lights, learn from my mistake: the tiny allen-head screw that attaches the lights to their mounting hardware will vibrate out over many miles, until one day during a ride you realize that your right driving light is no longer actually secured to your motorcycle (I’m beginning to think my right driving light is cursed). Get a tube of blue (not red!) Loctite and save yourself the trouble.
E. Finally, a word on electrical current. I’m no electrical engineer, but as I understand DC electric systems, watts (the power consumption of your driving lights) = amps (current) x volts (force/pressure), or W=A*V. Since I wanted to know if the 7.5A fuse in the OPT circuit would be adequate for this application, I converted this formula to A=W/V. My two 10-watt lights (20 watts total), divided by 12 volts, are pulling 1.6 amps, so a 7.5 amp fuse is almost overkill for this job. While it’s unlikely that any pair of LED lights would draw too much current for a 7.5 amp fuse, remember to do this simple electrical math anytime you’re adding components to your bike.
This is my first thread on this site - comments and questions are welcome!