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Featured LED Tail/Brake & Headlights Retrofit?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Nicholai_Chev, May 4, 2015.

  1. Hi guys,

    After a string of globe failures, and some touring in a couple of months planned I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with using aftermarket LED lights. My main aim is to shave off some watts and increase the brightness but not at the expense of safety.

    I've already ordered some indicators (w flasher) and wedge lights for the dash and am down to the headlight and taillight.

    My research has told me that the cheap $5 brake lights are dim, have poor distinction between park/brake which is a concern to me. Are there any decent brands that fit into the regular 15D socket, I am happy to pay upto $50 for a good globe.

    Secondly, Has anyone had experience with the Cree 30w H4 headlights? Reviews seem to indicate its the real deal.

  2. You don't say which bike you're working on. At least I don't think so (still getting used to navigating around here) I purchased a complete replacement tail light for my GSX1250FA on Ebay out of China.


    About $40 with free shipping, they had wired the whole thing up so it had the standard bayonet fitting that just went onto the standard wiring plug. Really simple, nice and bright with around 60 or more bright LED's and with indicators built in as well if I could put links or photos I would but I'm too new. (Just discoverd I can put links) As for LED headlights I'm still out on that one to be honest the previous owner of my ride fitted H.I.D Low and High beams and they are awesomely bright and give great light at night. I would recommend looking at the newer technology in these that don't take as long to warm up and so high beam would come on a little quicker. After dipping the lights then coming back to high depending on how long you're on low beam it can take 20 seconds or so for the light to return to full brightness on the older style HID. I have replaced all the lights that stay on when you put the parkers on and as an experiment left them on overnight about 10 hours, turned the key to on hit the starter and she burbled to life as if it was a normal start. Hope this helps.
  3. Thank you for getting back to me and for your advice.
    I never thought of replacing the whole cluster, at the moment I am riding a GSX-750f (97 old design).

    Did you replace the reflector for the HID?
  4. No it looks like the original owner just fitted the HID bulbs in the standard headlight assembly to me. I do have to say that the bike is now over 4 years old he did a lot of touring on it and the inside of the perspex outer lens is starting to show some minor foggy blistering from the heat of the bulb but only minor and it certainly doesn't affect the way the light works. This is the place I got my tail light from


    I think I've got the model right. With LED lights using them for tail lights and indicators is one thing but they still are in their infancy as far as headlights go and the power saving is really secondary when they only burn when the bike is running. But that is just a personal opinion I'm no authority on them.
  5. I just re-read your post and realised I missed an important piece of info. If you're blowing bulbs frequently I would strongly urge you to trace all of your earthing points for the electricals that can be a strong contributing factor to bulb burnout and other gremlins in the system.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Are you running standard globes? The globes which chuck out extra light seem to die with monotonous regularity.
  7. The funny thing is I've never blown the same bulb twice and the voltages throughout the loom are within limits.
    At the moment I've just associated it with being an old bike with 18 year old bulbs.
  8. That may very well be the case (old bulbs) switching to LED does give you a lot more voltage tolerance than regular bulbs that's for sure. Mmmm "Voltages throughout the loom are within limits" me thinks I may be out of my depth here. :watching:
  9. In other words, I have measured the voltage at the battery and at the end of various connectors to ensure the voltage isn't too high.
    Overvoltage was my initial thought however I believe I've ruled that out.
  10. Sorry if I sounded a smart arse. Was trying to be humorous but it didn't quite come off that way. Electrical issues are always the most difficult to fix at least that has been my luck with them. Hopefully you can get things sorted soon. Sincere apologies if I offended.
  11. You have tested with the engine at cruise revs as well as idling also when the regulator is hot after a ride. Regulators can develop intermittent heat faults and the alternator will put our higher voltages at cruise revs. If you have tested this then disregard my comments.
  12. Overvoltage is an absolute rarity in most systems. It generally only happens when there's a failure happening in the regulator.
    More common is poor earth, which will result in higher than normal current, which blows the globes.
    It can also happen with lower voltages.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. True, regs are generally shunt regulators now days so a total failure of the power stage can lead to overvoltage but I agree spikes in voltage through poor earths are more likely. The one thing incandescent globes don't like is thermal shock from off/on type behavior. The Centennial light in a fire station in California has been running for 113 years. But it is never switched off so is not subject to thermal shock except during power outages, Vibration of course is another issue in automotive lights.
  14. I have just fitted a Cree 40W? (from memory) LED globe bought from Jaycar. Works very well with no issues with installation as there is a small box that is the driver tucked in behind the headlight itself. One reason I did do it was because I believe that a motorcycle is seen easier with a different colored headlight. One thing that catches my attention when im driving is a bike coming up behind me with either HID or LED headlights.
    Cheap filament headlight globes do burn out quicker than they used to as China now manufactures many globes. Gone are the days of getting 000's of hours now I think they are in the 00's. I've also installed a volt meter to keep an eye on the volts while riding as I recently had a reg failure and now I like to keep an eye on the volts. Always hangs around the 14.1 range. One thing with bike regs, any excess power that isnt used, gets radiated away as heat so converting to LED may just make more heat at the reg end. I made an extra heatsink for my reg when I installed it. I have noticed more drivers getting out of my way when filtering/ riding now.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1