Airhead LED pr0n

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by ignatz72, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Hey all,

    Been a while since I posted last, but figured I owed the inmates an update on what I think to be one of the best finds for my 93 R100GS -- LED replacement bulbs for the turn signals.

    The closing of Eurotech had me itching for the LED bulbs that were already sold out at clearance prices, so... several Google searches later led me to superbrightleds.com and what turned out to be choice LED 1156 bulb replacements.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\
    Let it be known that I do have a Kisan Signal Minder (SM-6) turn signal relay, so if you have a stock unit, YMMV! Apparently load-dependent flashers don't play well with LEDs since they don't draw enough juice!
    /////////////

    So, the product I'm talking about is the 1156-A45-T, a 45 LED bulb that throws light rearward and sideways. Found them here:
    http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-...tion=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/115x-x45-T.htm

    Looked like the type of LED that Eurotech was selling, so I figured what the heck! Got several Amber and Red to give them a run. They are ~$25 each, so this is not a cheap alternative, but I figured that the Kisan wasn't a load-dependent relay, and if these work I might not have to change another signal bulb for 10 years or more. If you're wondering why I thought the Kisan wasn't load dependent, it's because during the install of the Kisan, I had a signal bulb removed at one point and fired up the turn signals. The Kisan did not give a "fast-flash" to indicate that a bulb was out like the stock flasher. So I put 2+1 together to think that the Kisan is a non-load-dependent, electronic flasher relay (unlike the stock flasher relay).

    I have yet to test these bulbs with the stock flasher unit, which I left in place after the Kisan install. But I think the worst case scenario is that the stock flasher will give a "fast-flash" turn indicator when using these LED bulbs, because of their low power draw compared to the expected incandescents.

    If you want to run LEDs with a load-dependent flasher, you can install resistors for each signal using LEDs, and superbrightleds.com sells those too.

    A few quick picts, then some video links to follow.

    ***Let me add that I do not work for superbrightleds.com, kisantech.com or run-n-lites.com in whole or in part. I purchased the aforementioned products and like the results.***

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    1156 size comparison shot:

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/B9Rw1TM_Y2A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bMzxMI5ldWo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vSUGcvZVCQk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Enjoy! Next up, I'll be looking into dash lights and idiot light replacements (except for the GEN light). Suggestions welcome from anyone who has already ventured into this realm...

    Winter sucks for riding, but damned if the bike doesn't come out of the season with more farkles! ;)
    #3
  4. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Don't Text Me Bro

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    Looks like you are planning on landing aircraft with those lights.

    Cant say I'll look forward to riding behind you with all that, I might have a seizure.

    That being said, I'll be getting some myself. Nice addition

    http://youtu.be/lcWVL4B-4pI
    #4
  5. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    I've been Manfred Rolled!

    ROFL!

    Seriously, though, these LEDs are the shit.
    #5
  6. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    ...those are bitchin' ignatz! Thanks for the info.
    Any odd situations with your Kisan using them? I read the comments on the Youtube vid.
    #6
  7. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Nope, seems as if the Kisan was made for them. The Kisan is an electronic relay, and I'm pretty sure it is load-independent, unlike the stock relay. So far all functions of the Kisan have worked fine with the low power LEDs in place. My thinking is that the stock flasher might give me an immediate "fast flash" operation due to the low draw by the LEDs, since the stock flasher "checks" for burned bulbs by the amperage present to indicate a bulb is out. The Kisan SM-6 is tops with the LEDs so far.

    Can't say as much for my Hazard flasher Switch - it broke tonight. No more clicky, no more turning on running lights until it gets replaced. I heard somewhere MaxBMW has a 1 year warranty on BMW parts? With my luck it probably excludes "electronics" like switches.

    ***EDIT: Fixed the switch!!***
    ***EDIT: Switch flaked again! New one ordered***
    ***MaxBMW will initiate a warranty claim on ANY BMW part but you have to pull it and send it to them, and you can't dick with it to try to fix it like I did already***

    I was planning on giving the stock relay flasher a test this weekend since I left it mounted in place on the frame for a backup in case the Kisan ever went south. I suppose I can still test the turn signals, but can't test the stock Hazard flash now. Grrr.

    I'll update when I can on the stock flasher behavior and what I find for the instrument and idiot light (not GEN light!) replacements.
    #7
  8. Floridafeeger

    Floridafeeger n00b

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    I am on a 1982 BMW R100RT - and I am looking for what you posted - fantastic and the videos made it all real for me !
    One of our airhead members posted on our website http://www.flairheads.org about your posting and I am getting my credit card ready for ordering - Thanks a Bunch IGNATZ72.:norton
    #8
  9. coastranger

    coastranger Been here awhile

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    I am running the run-n-lights in my 85 RT adn would be interested to see a write up or something on installing the resistors so you can use the stock flasher set up

    however the brand you are using seems pretty spendy when compared to very like ones at fleabay, but at least you have a real report on quality from your testimonial and video


    ( would also like to see a writeup and parts list for installing a 4 way flasher system in my 85)
    #9
  10. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Good deal, Floridafeeger. That's why I posted it, to help everyone else out. Even after a few days' research, I think I got really lucky finding these bulbs - they are terrific.

    If you are worried about your flasher, the Kisan SM-1 would eliminate that worry for you and offer a bunch of other goodies.

    Coastranger - I initially thought you might have a K bike, but saw that you have a monolever R80RT... not sure on the flasher relay situation on that era bike (I skipped Monolever and went from twin-shock to Paralever). Check your stock flasher to see how many pins it has, and match that up with what Kisan offers since they will be your best bet for 4-way flasher action. Or give them a call, they are really helpful. If you have a 3-pin flasher, you can use the SM-1 as quoted above.

    Superbrightleds.com also has 1157 bulbs that you would need with the Run-N-Lites conversion sockets that you have. Or, if you decide to use a Signal Minder, you could strip the Run-N-Lites sockets and just use the 1156 bulbs.

    ***Info below is provided PRIOR to my testing of the stock BMW flasher w/o resistors, so I am assuming resistors would be called for on a stock flasher for my bike - YMMV depending on model and year, and modifications. The Run-N-Lites sockets may pull enough juice to fool a stock flasher***

    If you want to stick with the stock flasher, the resistors that superbrightleds.com offers come with Scotchlock style wire taps that don't require splicing or soldering. You just wire the resistor inline with each bulb's circuit (across the hot and ground wire). More info here http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-...tion=DispPage&Page2Disp=/pt/loadresistor.html and here http://www.superbrightleds.com/pdfs/load_resistor_info.pdf. Mind the note that these resistors get hot (like the incandescent bulb normally would), so you have to mount these resistors away from plastic. That might be tough on a motorcycle. Plus, once you install the resistors, most of the benefit of using the LEDs in the first place is gone. Resistors emulate the power draw of an incandescent bulb, so you won't be saving any amps. You will get more light, and *hopefully* longer life, but if the charging system is your worry then resistors won't help.

    As far as the price, from what I've gathered, with LEDs you gets what you pays for. I liked the fact that the ones I found were very similar to the ones Eurotech offered since they offered a 2 year warranty on them. If they offered that kind of warranty, who was I to question? Other types of LED bulbs (urethane coated round types) don't seem to cast as much light as this style (LED experts - what is this type of flat LED called? ***EDIT: These are called SMD, or Surface Mount Device, more specifically, High Output SMD***). And from others I've spoken to about them, $25 each is a real good compromise on price vs. performance. Remember, you may never have to replace this bulb again!
    #10
  11. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    One of the first items in getting my r100r back in shape is taking care of the corrosion.

    Wire wheel wonder
    [​IMG]

    Bedliner works wonders. ADVmonster Model 30 LED lights 17 watts@13.8v for the pair:clap. Now to get the corrsion off the rotors.
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    I never would have thought bedliner. What brand did you use? I thought it would be too thick?
    #12
  13. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I have wanted to do this for a year or so on my 1970 R60/5 since they draw so much less current. Every little bit helps on that thing. I'll eventually upgrade the system to a /6 statior but till then I want to do what ever I can that takes load off the charging system.
    #13
  14. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

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    Rustoleum spray, takes a bit of practice to get it right. Very durable with a couple of light coats. Found that primer isn't needed.
    #14
  15. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Well, as expected, the stock flasher operates in a "fast flash" mode as if a bulb or filament were out. You could certainly run a bike like this if the flash-flash-flash-flash didn't drive you nuts - but I imagine it would be hell on the flasher relay.

    Best bet is an electronic one (like the Kisan or those offered at superbrightleds.com). I've also read (not tested) that a relay marked as "Heavy Duty" will also be immune from the fast-flash symptom.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dBwblSJUx18" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    If the embedding didn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBwblSJUx18
    #15
  16. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    Hey,
    Nice post. You're right about LEDs, you get what you pay for engineering wise. The prices are dropping and the engineering is getting better and that's a good thing!

    I have a '92 100RT to S conversion and am looking at lights.

    I don't want to run resistors, because it just chews thru electricity and burns it off as heat.

    I am not really interested in the signal minder or running lights necessarily.

    But I would like to combine these bulbs with a tailight modulator. Ideally a tailight modulator that modulated the turn signals as part of the brake lights. Might want to change the rear turn signal lenses red?

    No resistors, obviously I need some time of load independent relay.

    Got any suggestions how to do those tasks?
    #16
  17. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Well aside from attempting to splice/solder the turn signal circuit into a "made for Airhead" taillight replacement that offers modulation (which would be above my electrical skill level), I would recommend a 45 LED 1157 bulb (or Tail Blazer) in the stock housing and one of the following:

    http://hyperlites.com/moddf.html

    http://www.duncansbeemers.com/pimages4/litblaz.jpg
    or
    http://www.run-n-lites.com/prod-LiteBlazer.asp

    If you don't mind replacing the stock tail light reflector with an LED upgrade, Motoelek.com has the Beacon II that ought to work on your bike (I used one of these on my 83RT and loved it). If you want to keep the stock reflector, Rick also sells the Tailblazer bulb by Kisan, designed to offer stop modulation in the stock tail light bulb socket.
    http://motoelekt.com/lighting.htm

    *******************************************
    Well, shit, the other tail light replacement I'd seen was written about on Marburger's site (http://www.gunsmoke.com/motorcycling/r100gs/tail_light/index.html) but it would appear as though BMW Santa Cruz and the Brake! tail light manufacturer (gizmomill.com ?!?) are both out of business. :cry
    *******************************************

    On my GS, I run the Lite-Blazer license plate bracket, a Eurotech LED replacement tail light assembly, the Kisan SM-6 w/ running lights (half intensity) with the "Brake Flash" feature enabled. You could get something similar w/ the Beacon II, Lite-Blazer/Hyperlite, and a Kisan relay (check the Kisan models for your particular bike).

    Eurotech apparently got their GS LED replacement boards from the following website (might be good to investigate for your particular model): http://www.moto-led.com/ Achtung! Ein German!

    The nice thing about the Kisan is if you enable the Brake Flash, it modulates the turn signals briefly during deceleration. Combined w/ the Lite-Blazer, I have a lot of modulation happening with all red LED output in the rear.

    You can turn off the running light feature of the Kisan, but still retain the brake flash modulation (and vice-versa).

    >>>>>>I'll try to get a video from the rear this weekend to show the brake lights all activating.

    Best of all, none of these upgrades require permanent splices to the stock wiring!!! Everything could go back to stock in minutes.

    And as for painting or taping the rear turn signal lenses - if you get the RED 45 LED 1156 bulb (or 1157 if you have the Run-N-Lites signal replacement sockets), you will not need to do it. Check out my dark garage video again, there's no amber light hitting my back wall - it's all red!

    A few last items of note:
    ----------------------------------
    Apparently the Lite-Buddies have a spotty reputation for reliability - I had some in my RT and they were fine but I didn't like the way they looked in the stop light housing (done by the P.O.). I DO like the Lite-Blazer - it has a solid metal housing and would probably take a good beating to kill it.

    Also, LED BULB replacements have come a LONG way in the last few years, and I can vouch for the bulbs of the specific type that I have posted above - they cast a LOT of light and do so in 360 degrees. It bears repeating for others that might read this -- if you want to scrimp for a few dollars on a cheaper LED bulb, you will probably be disappointed.
    #17
  18. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    Thanx!

    Nice post, there's a lot there. I'm reading it over a few times.
    #18
  19. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    When you ordered from Superbright LEDs, you ordered colored lights.

    The white lights put out more Lumens, did you consider those?
    #19
  20. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    Yes I initially intended to buy white LED lights, but there are a few info pages and demo videos at superbrightleds.com that say you should choose a bulb that matches the lens for LED applications. This is because a white LED is not at all like a white incandescent, and lumen values are not really comparable between the two (LED lumens are nearer to one wavelength of color, incandescents are full spectrum; also lumens are apparently measured omnidirectionally). The proper usage of LEDs with a reflector and lens type will determine the overall brightness. A white LED bulb would tend to "wash out" a colored lens, while a colored LED would complement and enhance a lens of the same color. For example, an amber LED bulb in an amber lens appears brighter and richer than a white LED bulb behind the same lens. Also, a non-tower type LED bulb would only shine in the forward/rearward direction, providing no sideways light output like an incandescent, therefore seeming much dimmer.

    I suppose the point of this rambling is this - it's not necessarily the overall lumens a bulb puts out, but rather how much of the lumens are acutally usable. A white LED behind a colored lens would have LESS usable lumens for that lens' particular color (excluding white/clear as a color of lens). The type of LED bulb and the housing it will be used in impact usable lumens too.

    I took a chance with the RED bulbs in the rear, and it worked great - I am assuming because amber is closer to red than it would be to white.

    I can testify that the light coming from all turn signals is not at all washed out, and superbrightleds.com has led me to an informed purchase decision with their info pages.

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=/carbulb-notes.htm

    These videos I found during my search really brought it home for me (the diff. btwn incandescent, regular LED, and tower style SMD LED, and what color to buy):

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/si7HcWUSivg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QSKPIDJ-G5E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WXswBsQ6fbA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cowlIxtkduE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #20