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LED Indicators

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by DenholmReynholm, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. So I'm considering putting aftermarket indicators on the new ZX9, but before I start buying anything I'm curious as to what is involved in swapping out '90s bulb indicators for modern LED ones, especially as I am electrically retarded.

    Is it a straight out swap? Or is there more to it?

  2. there are some threads where others have gone down this road, have you searched? From what I have read, you need to install a 'flash contrller' I dont know what it's called to be honest, as your normal flasher can doesnt control the LED's so you'll need a new 'specific' flasher for the led's.
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  3. The flash rate for indicators on most bikes/cars is dependent on their resistance. So if you switch to LEDs you either need to fit resistors to make them use as much power as a normal globe (which kinda defeats the purpose of using LEDs), or replace the flasher unit for a solid state unit which allows the rate to be adjusted to suit the new resistance.

    Edit: Oh and replacement flasher units aren't that difficult to source (ebay/China), just a case of making sure it's the right one for your bike.
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  4. If you get indicators with around 12 LEDs each or more, dont worry about resistors.
    They'll flash faster than OEM, but perfectly acceptable.
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  5. Actually any LED globe is technically illegal (technically even globes have to be ADR compliant).

    An LED globe in a standard blinker housing however is unlikely to draw attention - unless of course it's blinking at a faster rate than OEM. Resistors (or a solid state relay) therefore makes for cheap insurance against undue attention from Police. :)

    Edit: Also not sure where you get the "more than 12 LEDs will work" from. I've used globes with 13x1W LEDs - and yet the indicators wouldn't blink at all.
  6. Might be an issue with the particular relay of your bike. No problems with mine.
    Guess the OP can give it a go and find out unless someone with that same bike can advise.
  7. The faster blinking rate is fine as long as its within the range in the ADR isn't it? The range is very very broad and allows really fast blinking.
    Usually replacing the indicators is to get rid of bulky ugly OEM housing, so I'm not sure if the OP would be keen to put LEDs in the existing housing.
  8. Think it allows up to 120 blinks per minute. Doesn't change the fact though that having a noticeably different blink rate is going to be something of a beacon to cops - so definitely not a good idea if you've got other "less than legal" mods as well.

    A solid-state relay of set of resistors only costs $5. Really can't see why you'd spend money on LEDs but skimp on getting them to function properly.
  9. I used a LED flasher can and it worked fine, need some Cree indicators.
  10. Yeah, the idea was to replace the chuncky black/orange indicators with something a bit more subtle, maybe something like http://www.bikebiz.com.au/products/Rizoma-Action-Indicator.html at some point in the next couple months.

    Will have a look at the rules and see if I can actually get away with it on road or if it's just going to cause trouble for me.
  11. Things I've learnt so far:

    1 - You definitely need a resistor (unless the indicator comes with one), most manufacturers sell resistors for their indicators though.

    2 - You also need "spacers", they fill the hole left in the fairing when you remove the old indicator and make it look better (i.e. not crap) when you fit indicators with slimmer stalks.

    3 - Noone I have found makes spacers for pre-98 ZX9Rs, so I have to work out a way to get one that fits. Given that I can't ride the bike without indicators I'm thinking I'll need to take off an old indicator, trace out the hole behind it and take the tracing to a bike shop, where I'll try it for size on various spacers.

    In saying that, once I can decide on an indicator style, it should just be a matter of ordering the new indicators + resistors + spacers, and then an afternoon of quiet reflection, tinkering and *touch wood* minimal electrocution :D
  12. There are some DOT approved LED indicators out there (as mine are) but check they're ADR compliant if you're worried. I prefer to change the flasher relay rather than putting in resistors: they take up space, heat up and on one of my bikes they failed after some time.

    Only negative is cheaper relays remove the indicator ticking.

    Edit: just don't get TINY LED indicators that can't be seen when light hits it (like day time). I'd rather be seen than be sleek and sexy.
  13. When I did both my front and rear LED conversion I bought an LED Flash Relay to directly replace my OEM one. It is basically identical in physical size, it just has a higher resistance, in turn tricking your bike into thinking the standard globes are still there. ;)

    Mine was $20+ from Ebay. I could have done it for free using some resistors for work but they are just too damn ugly. :(

    Work out which type of connector yours is. i.e. 2-pin, 4-pin, etc and just get something like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LED-Flas...rcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4603abb117
  14. You could simply just replace with smaller indicators that have globes. Keep in mind that it's not just the brightness of the lights, but also the size that determines how well others people on the road perceive them.

    With blinkers there's little real practical benefit with LED unless you want to go teensy (not a great idea) or trendy. I can't remember the last time I had to replace an indicator bulb. The overall difference in power draw for the amount of time they're on is roughly Pffft watts, and somewhat less if you use resistors to bring the flash rate into line. Fast flashing looks a bit dopey too - like the person wants people to notice they've got cool LEDs like all the bikes on the Streetfighter forums.

    I've swapped huge indicators for smaller ones before, and plan to again soon, but too tiny gets to looking not so right in terms of proportion, and are more likely to get you the wrong sort of attention, or lack of attention to the fact that I'm turning.

    If you can find a suitable setup for your bike that's not too much cost or hassle, then go for it by all means (as would/will I), but there's no real compelling reason that it HAS TO be an LED setup.
  15. LED's look trick as! I thought the only reason to go LED was for aesthetics?
  16. I'll be ditching mine soon.
    Even with heaps of LEDs they just don't stand out that much in day light. A couple of my LEDs aren't working, its easier to replace a globe than get out the soldering iron.