Givi LED brake/tail/signal light mod

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by GISdood, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    After several complaints from the wife about how uncomfortable she was riding with a backback when going to work, the gym, etc... we decided to pick up a Givi topcase for the rear of her DRZ400SM. I don't mind wearing a pack for short runs, but she has a couple vertebrae fused after a spinal fracture she suffered in a car accident a few years back.

    Post-op shot:
    [​IMG]

    So yeah... easy to see how a backpack might bother her. We wound up with one of these - a Givi E370:
    [​IMG]

    Amongst other modifications to her DRZ, I've also added a fender eliminator and an Edge LED taillight, as well as some aftermarket LED turn signals. They do the job for daily commuter duty, but when we're on the highway, I'd like for her to be a little more visible to following traffic. Here's the current lighting configuration:
    [​IMG]

    I started shopping around for light kits for the topcase. Givi makes a brakelight kit for the E370, but its JUST a brakelight that fills that small rectangular lens above the handle. I wanted something that utilized those huge lenses as turn indicators, as well.

    Then I stumbled across AdMore Lighting, who happen to make light kits for damn near every Givi case you can think of. Once again, what they had for the E370 wasn't really as complete a package as I'd hoped. It only had turn signal functions, no brake lights.

    Time to get creative... so I began searching around for basic LED accessory light strips and diode-equipped wiring adapters so that I could combine brake/tail and tail/signal light functions into single units.

    I had picked up some LED replacement bulbs for the turn signals on my DR650 from a local vendor, so I started checking out his site to see what they offered. I wound up picking up 4 of these LED strips:
    [​IMG]

    And in addition to those, several of these small 2-wire to 3-wire converters:
    [​IMG]

    So, with the basic necessities now in hand, time to tear apart the Givi and start laying stuff out!

    The nice thing about these strips is that they're wired for power supply from both ends. This allows you to cut them into two parts at 3" intervals. I trimmed one in half for two 6" pieces and two more got cut into 9" and 3" sections. On the the fourth strip, I just cut a 3" section of that off for the small brake light lens. Took some rubbing alcohol to the case where the LED strips would go and started laying out the strips. Once I was happy with the spacing, I used the heat gun to heat them up and really squish 'em into place to make sure the self-adhesive backing would stick.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I pulled out the drill and punched a few 1/8" holes in the case to route the wires inside the case.
    [​IMG]

    These holes have since been plugged with some silicon sealant:
    [​IMG]

    I tested each strip after pulling all the wires into the case to ensure they all worked. So far so good! The only strip that didn't look very prominent was the one under the small rectangular lens above the handle of the case.
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the plastic lens out of the case and found a roll of nice shiny aluminum tape and lined the inside of the lens surfaces with it - except the part the light shines through, of course. Getting that sticky stuff crammed in there while trying to not wrinkle the crap out of it wasn't pretty, but it certainly helped brighten up the view from the rear.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I wired everything up to my spare DRZ battery to see just how bright it would be with all the LEDs powered up. Off:
    [​IMG]

    And on.... "Can you see me now?" :
    [​IMG]

    Still sorting out the wiring and what combination I'll be running each strip as... tail/brake, tail/signal, or some other combo of dedicated functions split between the various strips. Once I get it figured out and get the bike-side connector wire up, I'll post a video. Thoughts and suggestions are certainly appreciated in the meantime. :D
    #1
  2. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Nice, looks like a spaceship and may keep the idiots from rear ending!
    #2
  3. doublen

    doublen Been here awhile

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    Good work!
    #3
  4. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Nice work...now if you can get the brake light to flicker the 1st few seconds when engaged you will Really be noticed.
    #4
  5. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    I thought about adding a brake light modulator to the install as well, but I figure I'll wait til the Givi lights are all hooked up first. If I think it needs a little more 'in yer face' visibility, I'll add the modulator a little later down the road.
    #5
  6. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    Wow. That is frickin' amazing...

    I'm going to look at my Givi V46 very closely tomorrow and see if I can do the same thing...
    #6
  7. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    #7
  8. Stratlanta

    Stratlanta Flabby Adventurer

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    Cool, so how do I get my Givi's to you to get this done... bwahahah. :1drink
    #8
  9. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Those LED strips are very low profile. If the lenses on your Givi come off (pretty much a given, there) then you can fit them underneath them no problem. You just can't be afraid to punch a few holes here and there. :evil

    If I go that route, the same vendor that I bought the LED strips and wiring accessories has a brake light modulator that I'll likely go with (mainly because he's local to me). I've seen it in action on his VTX1800, and its pretty slick. It pulses rapidly 5 times when you first actuate the brakes, then flashes slowly 3 more times, then goes solid. If you release the brakes and then re-apply them again within 3 seconds, it cancels the pulsing, as well. To me, this seems like a nice feature for anyone in stop-and-go traffic. I can imagine the constant pulsing/flashing of lights could get rather annoying or even distracting to following drivers and riders - especially at night.

    If only I had that much spare time! I'm still trying to find the time to put my DR650 back together after a complete off-season tear-down. (lucky for me the wife is out of town, so I've been poaching her DRZ400SM in the meantime) :ricky
    #9
  10. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Long timer

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    You have done a very nice job :deal
    #10
  11. BigWhiteD

    BigWhiteD Adventurer

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    How many of the 2-3 wire connectors did you end up using for that set up? Do you need one for each strip?

    Thanks,

    Dan
    #11
  12. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Not quite done yet, but thanks! :thumb


    One for each strip that I will be using for dual functions. I only have two right now, but I think I'll need a third. Right now, I'm thinking of using the center lens and the outermost short strips as tail/brake lights. Those will require the connectors. The middle strip in each lens will be strictly a signal light, and the innermost strips (the longest ones) will be dedicated brake lights.

    But... that's just "right now". I'll be playing around with it once the connector is wired to the bike (hopefully tomorrow), so that may change a bit. In any event, I don't foresee needing more than three connectors.
    #12
  13. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    You might want to blur out your SO's name, age and birthday on her films
    especially if your worried about the bike's license plate that you blur it...
    #13
  14. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Hmmm... hadn't even noticed that. Damn fine print, anyway. :huh

    >cropped original<

    Thanks!
    #14
  15. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I wish this were true. I have an E35 Traffic top case and would like to make use of the high lens built into the case. I wonder if the V46 kit would work.
    #15
  16. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Well... I finally got around to splicing into the bike's wiring so I could just temporarily hook up the Givi's LED lights and see how everything was working. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, but I'm going to pick up a few various resistors and see if I can produce more contrast between the basic running light and brake/signal light brightness on the strips that I've combined functions on.

    Here's a couple video clips showing how things are working.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/a1xjjF0sCdY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="560"></iframe>

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/aqrM9mQWO_E" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="560"></iframe>
    #16
  17. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    I'm still trying to find a single-connection solution (5-pin) that's nice and compact. Something small enough to tuck away on the bike without having to remove the seat on the DR or the DRZ (I'm wiring both bikes so the LED's will work on either one). Anyone have any suggestions?
    #17
  18. dirt donkey

    dirt donkey Adventurer

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    the different lighting scenarios - might it be confusing for a driver, which might distract them and cause them to not pay attention to the bike, while they figure out what all the lights are doing. If you put two on each side, could you have the lights dim on both upper and lower - brighter when you apply brake(s) and have upper and lower flash when you signal. so if you braked and signaled the one side gets brighter and the other side flashes and gets brighter. might be easier to make an electronic circuit board for two leads on each side. Also are the LEDs white or red? or a combination white/red. The lens cover is very red, so it would be nice if there was a clear section for the turn indicator? but that's another issue....
    very nice implementation so far!!!!
    #18
  19. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    My feeling is that if they're seeing the lights, they're paying attention to the bike. At the very least, I'm hoping their first assumption upon seeing the Givi light up like a Christmas tree is that the bike is slowing down and that they do the same.

    Circuit boards? Might not be a bad idea, but I don't really have the knowledge or skillset to tackle something like that. I think I'll just keep it simple and rely on the sheer visibility of the added LEDs. :D
    #19
  20. dirt donkey

    dirt donkey Adventurer

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    #20