640 LC4 headlight relay

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by gen, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. gen

    gen Been here awhile

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    I wanted to add more light to my 640 LC4 Supermoto but didn't want to pay for HID or add aux lights. I remembered reading about a headlight relay kit at WebBikeReview and rode down to Eastern Beaver to get a kit for my KTM.

    Jim Davis of Eastern Beaver was kind enough to help me get the H4 Weatherproof kit installed and it made a significant difference. I don't have before/after photos unfortunately, but it is by far the cheapest and best way to get more light out from the KTM.

    Jim showed me that the stock KTM wiring is pretty thin, plus the fact that the original headlight current is traveling throughout the whole electrical system means that the light is not as bright as it could be. The headlight relay kit uses a larger gauge wire to bring power directly from the battery to the headlight. This means that the headlight is optimized for light output. I chose to stay with the stock 55/60 watt bulb as I didn't want to take any chances with a higher output bulb.

    For those of you who want more light but don't want to go HID, or don't want to add aux lights, a headlight relay kit is a great way to optimize the existing headlight for maximum light output. Jim's a great guy and his kit works as advertised. Highly recommended.

    If I get a chance later this week, I'll take a few photos of the install so you can see how I have it set up. I need a permanent place for the relays (not as small as I'd like, or rather the KTM is rather spartan with little room for extras) so the install is not quite finished.
    #1
  2. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Thank you for sharing Eastern Beaver's opinion of the stock KTM wiring, which seconds what I have heard from others.

    BTW, are you doing a ride report on your trip from your location to Eastern Beaver? :D
    #2
  3. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Yup, we've discussed this before: most motorcycles have poor factory headlight wiring but the KTM is particularly bad. Between the power and ground wiring I think I measured almost 3V of lost capacity on my Adventure.

    The big thing for most people is not knowing where to buy such a kit. Thanks for sharing. :thumb
    #3
  4. KTMax m AL

    KTMax m AL Fagarwe tribal member AL

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    The 640 wiring from the battery and switch to the 3 connector plug at the Head light is pretty lame:kurt but from that 3 connector plug to the bulb looks like to be about a 14 guage wire. :doh Now that don't make a whole lot of sense.:confused

    It is very easy add a heaver (fused) wire:thumb from the battery and use the existing lamp wiring to just trip a relay for that heavier wire that will drive the 55 watt or bigger bulb at the correct voltage and tie the relay in at the HL plug. You can easly do this yourself for about $10.00 if you know your way around electrical circuits at all. You will have to add a heaver wire from the HL to ground also.

    I just did this on my 06/640 and the light maybe a bit brighter but not bright enough so I'm adding a pair of small 15 watt - switchable HID's - to the low/beam side in about a week. I may even put in a 30 watt H1 - HID conversion in the existing low beam side if that is not enough. There is a thread in the 640 index on how to use a relay to keep your low beam on all the time so check that out too.

    This was after having a way to close incounter with a deer the other night - thank god:bow for the duel disks on the 06/640 with a lesser front brake I would have had that deer for sure.:grim This is twice they have saved my butt.:D

    Don't just try to run a higher wattage halogen with the existing circuit as it would more than likely fail.:deal
    #4
  5. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    That's the magical if. Most people don't know their way around electrical circuits and even installing a product like this will intimidate many. I agree that it's just a couple of Bosch relays, a fused wire and some soldering or crimping but most will buy a product like this and think, "I don't know how it works...it must be effin' magic!"
    #5
  6. gen

    gen Been here awhile

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    Lol, I should have written up a report because the weather report said all sun, so I didn't pack any raingear, but of course it pissed on me on the way down from Tokyo to Shimizu. It was warm enough that it was actually somewhat pleasant. On the way back, I stopped at a camping store and picked up a cheap raingear set which I used for the way home, as it rained on me again going home.

    This was actually the first time I had the LC4 on the highway for any extended time and it was fine up to about 120 kph. It didn't have too much left after that, although I'm sure I could adjust that a bit with gearing but I'm hoping not to have it on the highway too often actually.

    Next time I'll take photos.
    #6
  7. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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  8. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Hey Guys,
    Not so fast.
    Trust me to want more light than anyone but the real problem is the overall system output.
    If it was me I think I would add aux lights and forget the heavy wiring. It's there for a purpose.
    Here's my concern.
    I am running a heated vest and heated grips.
    If I beef up the regular lighting system it will suck more juice and in the USA the lights have to be on at all times.

    The marginal system is gonna go into overload when using the other accessories, actually I think it does already.

    With aux lights you can pick and choose when to burn the extra watts so less chance for a flat battery.

    For more light you could run heavy wire to the brights side only and have switched control and some choice that way.

    I run an on/off switch on my low beam ground so I can turn it off off road or cruise on the two lane with just the running bulb lit.
    Watts are the issue.

    Anyway just my $.02.
    b.
    #8
  9. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Inadequate amperage will damage electrical motors, and I would guess that it damages other electrical components as well. Luke? :ear I am guessing starving electrical components is never a good idea - it makes them wear out quicker, and if lacking enough it can make them fail.

    If you need more headroom in the charging system then you should look into HIDs.

    PS - here is a source on the Osram Night Breaker H1 halogen bulbs:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...STRK:MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=110244126954&rd=1

    I will also be getting the Easter Beaver kit and try to do some before/after shots with stock bulbs and stock wiring. Just got to fit it into the queue...
    #9
  10. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    You called?

    Here's a little reading: http://members.misty.com/don/bulb1.html

    The summary:
    Bulbs do last longer if they get a lower voltage.
    They also produce a lot less light.

    According to their numbers, running the bulbs at 10.5V instead of 12.5V will give you 55-60% of the light output, while still drawing 90% of the current. That's lame. That's less light than a 35W headlight should put out, while still using 50W of power.

    Yes, the bulb should last forever (unless vibration gets to it) but what's the point if it's hardly putting out any light?
    #10
  11. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Thanks,

    your a handy fella. How you liking Oregon? I have tried for years to get setup in Astoria, but... :cry

    Hey, maybe I should ask if you'd recommend the Eastern Beaver kit that attaches to the fusebox or the one that has an inline fuse and connects to the battery? I am probably going to go with his kit rather than figure everything out myself.
    #11
  12. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    Oregon's going pretty well. Still trying to work up the nerve to take the XR in to the DMV. :amazon

    There's not much in the way of jobs outside Portland, unfortunately. There's a reason half my HS classmates moved up here.



    Couldn't say about which kit. I hooked up to the battery directly, but my '02 doesn't have a fusebox. Either way, the kit will be a huge timesaver.
    #12
  13. Groundhog

    Groundhog Been here awhile

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    #13
  14. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    It took me some ponderin' before I figured out your joke... maybe I should move up there pronto? :lol3
    #14
  15. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    I did the relay/direct feed trick on my Triumph and that certainly made a big difference. Haven't considered doing it on the 640A as I find the lights bright enough (straight-line performance is fine) running some "Plus 50" bulbs at the standard wattage and the low-with-high mod.

    The biggest problem with the lights on the 640A are that they don't shine around corners! :evil My plan is to make up a helmet-mounted spotlight (probably HID) a-la an mtb light, running the power feed down the inside of the sleeve of the jacket. This would plug into a socket on the dash that is wired into the high-beam circuit, so it would be "hands free" operation. Light will always be where you are looking: on the road ahead, not necessarily where the bike is currently pointed.

    I don't think LED headlights are that far away... say 5 years till they are available aftermarket like HIDs are now?? Recently I compared a prototype LED mtb light with my 21W HID; the 3x LED was better (narrower beam) for less wattage. The production unit will have better LEDs again. Available at a fraction of the cost of my HID setup, too.
    #15
  16. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    You can get some Hella LED stuff now, in their Marine division. The fella that sold me the Odyssey Battery had LED fog lamps on his truck (big array of LEDs) and said they were almost bright enough to run without the headlamps, and that was a few years ago.

    HID aftermarket kits, where you plug an HID into a halogen fixture are questionable. The price is right but the talk is mixed... and unfortunately HID fixtures are expensive: Hella Micro DE HIDs are $600-800 USD each! I think those are about the right size to fit where the ADV's headlights are, if you have $1500-2000 burning a hole in your pocket.

    I had a friend who was an avid MTB guy, and he swore by these:
    http://www.niterider.com/
    They have ATV models too I see:
    http://www.niterideroffroad.com/hm.shtml
    #16
  17. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    I didn't know I'd made a joke, so I won't spoil it by telling you what I meant.



    :hide
    #17
  18. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    :uhoh

    I thought you were trying to say half your HS classmates moved up there because there was no work to be found... I think they call that The Dole across the pond.

    My bad.
    #18
  19. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    In the antipodeans, yep, hence the term "dole bludgers".

    My bro-in-law moved up to the central coast (north of Sydney) because there were no jobs and the surf was good. He lived in a caravan by the beach. Welfare even gave him extra payments to cover the gas for his barbecue.
    #19
  20. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Aftermarket kits are relatively cheap, around NZ$200.

    By "HID fixtures" do you mean complete replacement lamp assemblies: lens, reflector etc rather than just the bulb?

    Mtb lighting is changing all the time, the stuff I saw at Easter was pre-production and well ahead of anything else I'd seen. The problem with my 21W HID for the mtb is the 24 degree spread. It lights up the stuff to the side of you so much it makes the distant forward light appear darker. A 10 degree would be better when there is that much overflow to the sides, but I was advised that 10 degree was too much of a spot (in halogen, it is). The 35W HID for the motorbike is a 12 degree, but also spills a lot of light to the side.
    #20