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Old 04-26-2011, 03:34 PM   #31
jazzdrum69's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Weilerbach, Deutschland
Oddometer: 89
I finally got around to riding my bike at night...the sun goes down pretty late at this time of the year. Anyways, I paid attention to the light pattern and how well I could see the sides of the road. Here in this part of Germany, they have plenty of deer, albeit the smaller european munchkin deer variety, but also huge boar. I'm talkin ruin a truck sized boar...and they run out in the road playing frogger with motorcycles.

I noticed that I could see the edges of the tree line near the road quite well and into the distance. I noticed that with these LED lights, the high beams didn't seem to make much of a difference.

Of course, they don't compare to this:

which is what I was saving for before I tried this mod out, but they are certainly "good enough" luminance wise, with a price that is right.

Our neighborhood is well lit and I don't feel like working up a solution for taking pics on the roads, so I took some in my garage with a variety of lights so you could see at least the spread of the beam and how it mixes with the headlights.

To manipulate the lights I simply taped a trimmed piece of cardboard over the lights.

I considered adding a switch but couldn't justify the hassle as these are powered by a switched source within the headlight housing.

Here are the LED lights without the headlights:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

here are the same lights only with the housings aimed a bit more spread out:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

headlight only:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

headlight and LEDs:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

headlight, highbeams, and LEDs:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

viewing the LEDs from the front:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

viewing the LEDs and headlight:

By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

I feel it was worth it even with the extra finagling I had to do. Of course, you could just go with the lights right of of the box without worrying about switching in LED bulbs, if you aren't concerned with keeping any headroom with the stator. Also, other LED bulbs may not be as deep as the one's I purchased (5 watt, 5 LED per light).

I noticed tonite as I was riding around, that the mounting position I used was close enough that I could simply reach down and adjust the aim if I needed to.

BTW, these pics were taken with a Cannon s95 set to the "flourescent" white balance setting so the colors should be somewhat accurate or at least consistent for all of them.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #32
Joined: Nov 2010
Oddometer: 228
Very cool ! Thanks for trying this hack and posting pictures !

I have mine angled outward slightly. The weather has been terrible in Chicago so I haven't even been able to take my bike out at night to take pictures of the LED auxillary lights.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:46 AM   #33
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Oddometer: 263

would these be better? brighter?

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Old 05-19-2011, 02:48 PM   #34
Joined: Nov 2010
Oddometer: 228
They will probably work but I like the mR16 that have a flat glass sealed lens so the water cant enter.

That one looks like it doesnt have a lens
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:56 PM   #35
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Not home in Tijuana
Oddometer: 8,633
the JC whitney kit isn't available anymore. Any chance you have an updated link? or a manufacturer and part number?
Originally Posted by Boondoggle View Post
Watching Dakar is like watching people who've built their own world, and for just a couple of weeks they get to live in it.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:45 PM   #36
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: South Texas
Oddometer: 38
I'm going to post my results since the JC Whitney's are unavailable and folks may be interested. I used the 'Platinum Burners' from Wal-Mart and 2 watt X 4 LED bulbs from Ebay. $16 for the LEDs, $20 for the Wallys's. There is a 'socket' inside the housing that you need to snap off due to the LEDs being longer than the stock bulb.

The bulb plugged into the pigtail just fine. I drilled a hole in the back of the housing and put a grommet in. When you put it together, there was a slight wiggle, so I hot glued the bulb to the ring that holds it in place. I ride a KLR and nothing looks worse on a KLR (other than me) than chrome, so I painted the lights with Krylon Fusion. Actually my 7 year old painted the lights. It may not last, and in the future I may use the bed liner that comes in a spray can.

I wired them to the KLR's city lights in the fairing.

Went for a cruise...

I went for another ride after it got dark, but the screw holding the left light came loose and the light wouldnt stay where I aimed it. I pointed them out to the side a bit to light up the side of the road a little better. They work...ok. I was hoping for more, but they didnt cost $300 either and I could use a heated vest or grips if I wanted. I like them. My camera doesn't do the light output justice. I'll take some pics tomorrow night and see if they come out better. The light doesnt travel that far - these had a 45 degree pattern, more of a floodlight - but they do make an improvement by lighting up the spots my headlight missed, and spreading it around more.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:52 AM   #37
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Twin Cities, Mn
Oddometer: 282

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:53 AM   #38
Forever N00b
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 2,942
I really like the lights you folks are assembling.

I just want to warn you to look at the specifications for the specific MR-16 LEDs that you choose. Some MR-16 LEDs will handle up to 16V, but other MR-16 LEDs are designed for a maximum of 14V. (The original MR-16 standard was a halogen bulb that would burn out with only 13V.)

My bikes generate voltages that may burn out some MR-16 LEDs.
"The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world."-- Max Born, Nobel Physicist
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:13 AM   #39
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: BRC \ NYC
Oddometer: 7,928
any updates on this? Have you guys found any bulbs that may be better? I'm thinking either a 12 or 20 degree spot.

I have the same lights, and with the stock bulbs I feel they put out a massive amount of light for the money.

I also have 2 sets of FF50 lights, and went through a couple pairs of PIAA lights as well as a set of LED lights (same thing ADVmonster sells). Compared to those, for the price, you just can't beat those walmart lights.

Anyway, on the new ride I'm going to want to cut down on the wattage so I'll be upgrading the bulbs to LED.
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