Clearwater Erica Install on a R1200GSW

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by ironklad, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    I recently installed a set of Clearwater Erica's on my R1200GSW and wanted to post up an overview of the install. I have a stock LED headlight and opted for the CAN-opener to get full integration with the stock high beam switch and engine-running trigger. I did make a few deviations from the included instructions and will point them out below as I step through the install.

    This turned into a rather long post so freshen up your coffee and let's get on with it.

    Note: Edited this post on 4/9/2014 to reflect that the CAN-opener triggers the lights to go to 100% on pressing the high beam switch and/or the horn switch. No additional wiring is required to enable the horn to trigger the lights to go to 100%.

    Unboxing the kit everything looks well protected, I added the crash bar mounts and light covers to my order and found everything included in one box.
    [​IMG]

    Removing the accessories we get to the core of the kit, each light is well protected and surrounded by foam.
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    And finally a shot of everything laid out. The crash bar mounts, black light covers, and CAN-opener were add-ons, everything else is as included in the basic kit.
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    Battery terminals are crimped and soldered, as well Posi-Lock screw together wire connectors are included. I opted to solder the few required connections however I will be adding the included Posi-Locks to my on-bike tool kit.
    [​IMG]

    All wires are labeled, a nice touch that makes it much easier to keep track of when trying to decide where to run wires.
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    I first installed the CAN-opener, you do not have to remove anything to install it, I did only to save as much under-seat storage as possible. Here we see the bike's stock wiring, I have tire pressure monitoring so have the module shown mid-picture. To install the CAN-opener you un-plug the plug going into the tire pressure monitor module and plug the CAN-opener inline, completely plug and play.
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    You can see where I mounted the CAN-opener (I saw someone else do this which prompted me to go down this route). It comes with self-stick velcro already applied, just clean the bike's plastic, peel and stick.
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    And a closeup with the wires secured.
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    With the plastics installed it looks stock and you preserve all under seat storage.
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    You can see where I ran the CAN-opener wire on the left side of the bike. I followed stock wiring under the front seat mount and came out just under the gas tank where in a later step the CAN-opener wires connect to the main relay module.
    [​IMG]

    Next I installed the adjustment knob, instructions have you mount it with the L bracket flipped forward. Since I was mounting to my barkbusters I found I had clearance to mount this way and set the knob back further. If mounting to the mirror mount you may not have clearance to mount this way.
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    This is another place where I deviated from the instructions. The stock kit comes with a switch you mouth to the bike's plastics. I didn't want to drill into the plastics and wanted easier access. This is a PIAA waterproof switch I mounted with double sided tape. It has a three wire lead and includes a led indicator light (green=off, red=on). It doesn't get in the way and I just need to extend a finger if I need to turn the lights on or off. I've been running them on low all the time so haven't yet had much use to turn them off but if needed I don't have to remove my hand from the bars.
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    And a view of the left grip, I think this makes for a pretty clean install. All wires are zip-tied to the stock control wires.
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    This is a picture during test-fitting. The instructions have you zip-tie the module in the center of the bike behind the forks. I found this void on the left side that seemed to perfectly fit the relay module.
    [​IMG]

    The relay module has three small trigger wires, the red and one white wire (either one, doesn't matter) connect to the output wires of the CAN-opener, the second white wire is an optional 12v trigger and should remain unconnected unless you have another 12v source you want to trigger the lights to go high. The other white wire you connect to the CAN-opener is the 12v high beam and horn trigger. I didn't realize this at first but the single white wire coming out of the CAN-opener goes to 12v when the high beam button is pressed and/or when the horn is pressed. The red wire only gets power when the engine is running and it triggers the Clearwater relay. Keep in mind that the red wire only gets voltage when the engine is running, so if the engine isn't running the lights are not powered. I thought there was a problem with my wiring until I realized this.
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    I wanted to add some protection to the trigger wires and had some Cat5 network wire laying around, I ripped out the Cat5, slipped in the three trigger wires and sealed the ends with waterproof shrink tube I picked up at harbor freight on the cheap. Adds protection, looks great and was cheap.
    [​IMG]

    Final fitment. I trimmed a plastic tab to the right of the Clearwater relay and used double sided tape to affix the relay to the plastic. If you do the same use high quality double sided tape or velcro, I only had some crap tape and it quickly came off so I need to finish it up with proper tape later. The tape just keeps it from moving around, it is held captive by the inner and outer plastic in addition to wire ties so no fear of it falling off.
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    Re-installing the beak
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    Closeup of the wires running away from the relay module. The green quick disconnect in the middle is the adjustment knob connector, plug and play.
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    From the inside of the fork area looking out you can see where the relay fits.
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    The white (trigger wires) and power wire run under the air intake and to the left side of the bike. The adjustment knob wire and switch wire run up to the left handgrip.
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    The white (trigger wires) and power wires follow the clutch hose.
    [​IMG]

    The white housing contains the trigger wires from the main relay and the black housing contains the trigger wires from the CAN-opener. Connect red to red and one white wire to the single white wire from the CAN-opener. I soldered them and covered them in waterproof shrink tube. The wire length was perfect when running wires in the way I did, make sure to test fit everything as some install locations and wire routing didn't leave enough wire.
    [​IMG]

    Testing the PIAA switch wiring. I wired black to black and found that it didn't seem to matter which way I wired up the red/white and red/yellow wires. I currently have it wired as pictured and it works. I couldn't find details on how the PIAA switch is supposed to be wired.
    [​IMG]

    I passed the power wires from the left side to the right of the bike over the top of the battery. Attached ground directly to the battery post and hot to the aux post to the right of the battery. After zip tying the wires I tucked them above the battery. If I need to check the fuse there is easy access. I'm holding out on craftycoder to release the Motobrain after which I'll work on removing the spiderweb of fuses.
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    This is what the final wire routing looks like with the plastics in place. I'll eventually throw some tape on these wires so it looks cleaner.
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    A top down view showing the final wiring.
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    This shows the main relay mounting location with all plastics in place (and after my crap double sided tap gave out).
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    I mounted the lights to the AltRider upper crash bars using the universal crash bar mounts from Clearwater.
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    I zip tied excess wire above the upper crash bar mount.
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    View of lights from below
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    Right side view
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    Left side view
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    Close up
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    Full on view
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    These lights put out an insane amount of light, as others have said the difference between stock high beam and the Erica's on high is night and day. It is pretty amazing what happens now with the flick of the high beam switch. I'm going to play around with some HD Hero video footage in hopes of trying to capture a comparison. Realizing how pictures/video of lights at night is a tricky business we'll see if I can come up with something and get it posted up here.

    Overall I am very pleased with my decision to go with these lights. I was on the fence reviewing all the options and eventually made my decision on features over cost. My priorities were as much light as possible for better deer spotting on back roads and second was a clean/integrated install. The CAN-opener and integrated adjustment knob make for a very clean/easy/well integrated install and the light output gives me a substantial increase in visible area at night.
    #1
    roadchick likes this.
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Very nice, and clean install!:deal

    You going to make the tech day?
    #2
  3. OzOldrider

    OzOldrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that info, going to install a set of lights shortly and that's just what I needed to see. Interesting howthe Can Opener operates the high beam. :clap
    #3
  4. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    Hi Jim, yes I will be attending the tech day, with all the farkling I have been up to you probably won't recognize the bike. Hope your driveway can support the extra weight I've managed to bolt on!
    #4
  5. Jarvis

    Jarvis DC GSer Administrator

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    :ear When is it?
    #5
  6. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Excellent write-up, Ironklad! Really nice job on the install, too. :thumb
    #6
  7. gtrfan

    gtrfan Adventurer

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    Nice choice. I am looking at getting a set for my 1150 adventure.
    Saw a you tube video and could not believe they could put out so much light.

    Can I ask does the adjustment knob also turn them off on the lowest adjustment? I don't want them running all the time and would like to avoid an extra switch if possible.
    #7
  8. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    The knob does not turn them off, you have to use the switch to turn them all the way off. I think I remember hearing that the lowest setting of the knob is 10-15% light output.
    #8
  9. Beecher Snipes

    Beecher Snipes Fool

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    If you hook up both white wires from the relay box to the can opener do you then get the full power light action with high beam and the horn button?
    #9
  10. Hubbman

    Hubbman Been here awhile

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    Really clean, solid install!

    Well done!
    #10
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :lol3 Just upgraded foy you!
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    April 26th. See my sigline for details.:deal
    #12
  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I got this switch from www.cyclenutz.com

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

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    Nice work and a nice write up! Thanks for the tips.
    #14
  15. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    The CAN-opener only has two outputs, the red wire sends 12v when the engine is running and the white wire sends 12v when the high beam switch on the bike is on. If you want the horn button to also trigger the Clearwater's to go High, my understanding is that you would run the second white 12v trigger wire from the relay box and tap into one of the wires plugged into the horn. That way when you press the horn button, the 12v signal that usually powers the horn will also trigger the Clearwater lights to go high.

    Another way of looking at it is that anytime you put 12v to either white trigger wire the Clearwater lights will go to 100%.
    #15
  16. mefly2

    mefly2 Long timer

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    Nice work; thanks for taking the time to photo and write ... I made a similar install using Rigids ... off road you can never have too much light!
    #16
  17. Beecher Snipes

    Beecher Snipes Fool

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    Thanks. The Clearwater sight implied that their system detected the horn like the high beam and flashed the lights on high with the horn with no other connection than the can opener.
    #17
  18. Jarvis

    Jarvis DC GSer Administrator

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    That's the way it works on mine... one wire from the canopener to the rest of the Clearwater wiring harness (and one for power unless you are using the PDM-60).
    #18
  19. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    Truth be told I didn't even test the horn as I read somewhere that you had to wire it separately from the CAN-opener. Thinking back it may have been a non GSW light install manual I was reading off the web. I will test and post back up here with my results. Sorry for any confusion, this is news to me that it may be completely integrated and just use the single trigger to cover both horn and high beam.

    Edit: My horn button just flashed the Erica's on high. The single white signal wire from the CAN-opener goes hot when the horn is pressed and/or when the high beam switch is on. I will update my original post to reflect this information.
    #19
  20. ironklad

    ironklad Been here awhile

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    Clearwater mentioned when I ordered my lights that a new bracket (MOD bracket) and heavy duty crash bar mount was in the works but to prevent delay they shipped the lights out with the current brackets and mounts so I could get them installed without delay and said they would ship the new ones when they were in. The new brackets and mounts arrived the other day and I'm very happy with the update, they give the lights a much cleaner install and are very sturdy. I had heard about their great customer service from other threads and can attest now with personal experience that they stand behind their product with excellent service.

    The new brackets that attach to each side of the light are much more streamlined and less bulky allowing for more positioning options. As well the button head bolts included with the newer crash bar mounts are much better looking than the hex bolt and nut setup on the older mounts. In addition with the threaded L bracket it's easier to position the light without having to balance two wrenches on a nut and bolt.

    Here are some comparison pics of the old vs. new style bracket and crash bar mounts:

    Front View - Old
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/FrontOld_zps2ebf76a7.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/FrontOld_zps2ebf76a7.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo FrontOld_zps2ebf76a7.jpg"/></a>

    Front View - New
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/FrontNew_zps8445b90a.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/FrontNew_zps8445b90a.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo FrontNew_zps8445b90a.jpg"/></a>

    Side View - Old
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/SideOld_zpsfbe27780.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/SideOld_zpsfbe27780.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo SideOld_zpsfbe27780.jpg"/></a>

    Side View - New
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/SideNew_zps072e26bd.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/SideNew_zps072e26bd.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo SideNew_zps072e26bd.jpg"/></a>

    Top View - Old
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/TopOld_zps1e2d3e5e.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/TopOld_zps1e2d3e5e.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo TopOld_zps1e2d3e5e.jpg"/></a>

    Top View - New
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/TopNew_zps5f280e3d.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/TopNew_zps5f280e3d.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo TopNew_zps5f280e3d.jpg"/></a>

    Front View - Old
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/Erica36_zps8cc12536.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/Erica36_zps8cc12536.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Erica36_zps8cc12536.jpg"/></a>

    Front View - New
    <a href="http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/ironkladironklad/media/NewFullFront_zpsb70219d4.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p672/ironkladironklad/NewFullFront_zpsb70219d4.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo NewFullFront_zpsb70219d4.jpg"/></a>
    #20