Any Clearwater LED Customers Switch to Denali 2.0 System?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AdamChandler, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    I'm looking for someone with experience with this:
    [​IMG]


    And this:

    [​IMG]

    ======

    Neither solution will be a slouch.

    • Denali has a 5 year warranty. Can't find Clearwater's..assuming 1 year?
    • Denali claims 8760 Raw Lumens w/ D4 and 2190 with the DM
    • Is that combined or each?
    • Clearwater is 6,000 each for Erica and 2,000 each for Darla
    • Both companies appear to stand by their products
    • Both work with Wonderwheel on the R1200 and integrated with CanBus
    • But Denali's CanSmart system is a derivative of EZCAN which has a computer interface for programming versus Clearwater which seems to only program via the bike's handlebar controls. CanSmart is definitely superior to CanOpener in that regard.
    • Both integrate with LED Brake lights, $95 from Denali and $129 from Clearwater
    • Denali has the added integration with their horn that is plug & play with their system
    • Amber Covers for all 4 lights are $60 from Denali and $70 from Clearwater
    • Clearwater shipping to NH is $33.74 and Twisted Throttle (maker of Denali) is Free shipping

    Since the Denali 2.0 D4 / DM are so new (released Fall 2017), I'm finding very little reviews on them. There is a lot written out there on Clearwater but I want any reason (other than the cost savings) to go Denali over Clearwater so if you've personally owned or at least seen both in action or maybe installed both, what's your opinion?

    I will say that IF Denali's Lumen claims (note they add RAW not actual or real world numbers) are for both housings combined and not each, then clearwater is the clear winner as their setup (erica + Darla) would equal 16K lumens and Denli's D4 + DM would be only 10.95K...

    If Denali's Lumens claim are each, that means Denali's Lumen (raw, not actual) would be 21,900 far more than 16K from Clearwater.

    Thanks in advance.


    PS: If @twistedthrottle wants to answer some of these questions, I'd love to hear from them here. Not sure if they are positioned their 2.0 system as a direct competitor to Clearwater from a marketing standpoint but I see them as pretty close.
    #1
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  2. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    I have version one of the D4's and find them to be great all around lights,perfect for twisty mountain roads and wide open spaces in the west.
    The version 2.0 are that much better,with improved LED technology/output.
    I also have Clearwater Darla's mounted on front forks for visibility and near distance vision.
    D4's are wired thru PDM 60 and Darla's thru Canopener.
    Had planned to wire my D4's thru EzCan,but have heard varying results with that setup.
    Unfortunately Cansmart not backward compatible to D4 1.0
    This jumble of products is a result of shopping the FM,online deals and Black Friday sales,was not planned this way,it just sort of came together over a year or two.

    I'm pretty certain you will be happy with the D4 2.0 and DM setup.

    Both companies products seem to be top notch as far as build quality.
    Clearwater is known to stand behind it's products even after the "warranty period"expires.

    I like my setup,but If I were starting again,I would go the way you are planning with the full Denali setup.
    Get the Denali brake light and get the amber lense covers,I have the Billie brake light and amber Darla covers,consider these both to be valuable safety additions.

    Webbikeworld has a good report on the version 1 D4's

    JR356
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  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Thank you. I am leaning 75% toward Denali. I'm trying to find any reason that this would be a bad idea but everything really adds up. Price, configurability, more modern Canbus system, integration with their Soundbomb and a mix of spot & flood (clearwater's Erica + Darla combo is just flood).
    #3
  4. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    I’m going to update my Gus thread shortly but for a spoiler alert.

    I just ordered the same setup as your looking at from twisted throttle except I dropped the DM’s.

    If your patient I’ll let you know how I like them.
    #4
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  5. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    Well. I suppose that’s your call to make. The way I look at it... it’s more money for used lights. So I probably wouldn’t. However I’m sure many folks will be along shortly to extol the virtues of Clearwater. I’ve never had them so I can’t say how awesome they are. Anyway I think it depends how bad you want the Clearwater name.
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  6. marco polo

    marco polo Long timer

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    Denali seem butt ugly to me, so if design/looks don't matter, go for it.
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  7. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    And there it is... knew it wouldn’t take long.
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  8. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Eye of the beholder comes to mind.
    They all serve a purpose,I’m looking for function at a reasonable price and we are not installing these on the Ferrari Lusso of the motorcycle world.

    JR356
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  9. twistedthrottle

    twistedthrottle Been here awhile

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    @AdamChandler - Without a long story, I think these videos may be of interest if you haven't found them already. I'm happy to entertain questions that aren't clarified after those - I think the middle video is the most comprehensive, and of course the CANsmart info is awesome too.





    One thing I do want to speak to is that I see a lot of people reference lumens as a benchmark or even a deciding factor, but there's a lot more to something than a lumens rating. Theoretically, you can have a light with a bazillion lumens (don't stare directly into the light!!) but if the optics, heat sinks, and all supporting systems aren't capable of supporting that in the ways they need to, you'll never get optimal performance from your bazillion lumens.

    I think it's similar to comparing horsepower and torque numbers; without knowing the curves and gear ratios, it's impossible to make solid judgement of a vehicles actual performance. Another one is when you look at stereo speakers; a lot of people see a 150 watt speaker and a 1,000 watt speaker and think the 1,000 watt speaker is better. There are a lot of other factors that go into making the system work as a whole.
    #9
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  10. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    I was hoping you'd address this because I have looked at 50 different auxiliary lights that would look decent on a GS and lumens are all over the place and most don't seem to match up with watts meaning 1 watt = 20 lumens (making that up) as a compounding factor...20 watts doesn't guarantee 400 lumens...and yeah, in watching videos where two lights have similar lumen counts, the throw, beam pattern, temperature and clarity are all over the place.

    So one thing I'm still confused on is not on paper but in reality, how does Denali compare against the current 'standard' for GS lighting, Clearwater? I don't think you guys are the ones that have to answer that since your'e competitors but I've been looking up and down for a video from a GS w/ Denali 2.0 D4 + DM and Clearwater Erica + Darla each mounted in the same place on the same road the same time and each cycle through their lights side by side. That's the only way to identify the competitive advantages of each and that isn't anywhere to be found.

    ---

    Finally, is your stated lumen figure per pair or per housing? That's one thing that wasn't clear and keeping in mind yes that lumens are not 1:1 between hardware.
    #10
  11. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    I think Twisted Throttle (Denali) have put out a product that is well integrated, well designed, looks great and very well thought out with an integration (Cansmart) and bracket system that rivals what clearwater has done with CanOpener and their pricing is $500 less. But there's is still so little information out there that directly compares the two that it's hard to make an informed decision. While Denali is $900 instead of $1450, there is still a fear of buyer's remorse of spending $900 on a system and feeling like you didn't get the best.

    does price = best? No. Rarely does it but I'm hoping someone out there with a GS setup like this: Erica upper crash bar, Darla Fork
    [​IMG]

    Has owned or at least experienced a bike with a Denali 2.0 setup like this:
    [​IMG]

    ...we need someone wealthier than me to buy both and test :)
    #11
  12. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Final thought, if Twisted Throttle didn't position Denali 2.0 to compete against Clearwater, who is their competition? I want to make sure I'm not wrong in comparing these two...maybe they aren't in the same field? I feel Clearwater is expensive for what it is and Denali's option is competitively priced.
    #12
  13. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    I pulled the trigger on the twisted throttle Denali kit. I’ll have it installed in a couple weeks and will report back.
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  14. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    One thing I’m curious about. I didn’t order the dm lights as the GSA has factory fog lights already.

    @twistedthrottle can you explain if the dm lights are worthwhile on a GSA that has factory fog/driving lights?
    #14
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Do I come to IL and we do a side-by-side? I have a set of Clearwaters coming with the intention of selling them if they don't work out or if Denali appears to out perform.

    Note my setup is Erica + Darla

    I was goin to buy the D4 and DM from Denali for an identical placement.
    #15
  16. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    Come on out!
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  17. twistedthrottle

    twistedthrottle Been here awhile

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    I want to be clear that I'm trying to post what I know about our lights and the general technology for lighting systems and not attack or discredit any competitive brand. In general, I'm trying to describe challenges and considerations or factors with the technologies and provide some definitions and clarity at the same time.

    Let's look at a few things. Lumens, watts, performance, application, etc.

    Lumens are a rating of what the diode itself emits for light, independent of the optic, the performance of the heatsink, or anything else. You can have your bazillion lumen LED but if the optic isn't designed properly and you can't keep the light at a reasonable operating temperature, it can have a negative impact on the actual performance of the LED.

    Lux is a measurement of, in layman's terms, the applicable, measurable light emitted by the light assembly itself, all things included. 1 lux is sufficient to read in the dark.
    All DENALI products include in their listing online, and printed on the box, their isolux plot which is the actual measurement of what that light pod puts out. Below is the D4 2.0:
    upload_2018-2-13_10-55-8.png

    The D4 has measurable, useful light output up to 800 feet down the road or 175 feet in width depending on the lens configuration you choose. Our DR1 will emit usable light 1,000 feet in front of you. That's over 8 seconds of visibility and reaction time at 68 miles per hour.

    Watts. If a light has 10, 10 watt LEDs (100 watts total) but it doesn't have a proper heat sink, as the light warms up, the applicable output can decrease by as much as 50%. DENALI has gone to great lengths to ensure the heat sinks are functional despite any perception of their appearance so that the lights work as intended no matter the LED count. All DENALI lights use the same 10 watt CREE LED in different optics, quantities, and housings depending on the model.

    Let's talk about golf. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime and Rory McIlroy in his prime go golfing. (They are the LED, and clearly one is much stronger than the other, see: lumens.) Both are using the driver that God/Jesus/Valentino Rossi himself would have used. (The driver is the optic.) Rory's golfing skill is far superior to Arnold's, the same difference that Arnold's strength is over Rory's. (Skill is the overall package setup and design, heat sink, basically all things considered.) Both golfers step up to drive a ball to the moon. Who's ball goes straightest and farthest?

    Let's talk about investment. Think about dollars per foot. A complete package of two DENALI lights (D4 and DM), all the mounts and the CANsmart will run you $888.99 and give you 800 feet of usable light ahead of you. ($888.99 / 800ft = $1.11 per foot). A complete package of two DENALI lights (DR1 and DM), all the mounts and the CANsmart will run you $868.99 and give you 1,000 feet of usable light ahead of you. ($868.99 / 1,000ft = $0.87 per foot). Plus, you can add an integrated brake light and 120+dB air horn at a later date, all plug and play when you're ready.
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  18. twistedthrottle

    twistedthrottle Been here awhile

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    My answer is yes, because quite simply the design and intended usage is entirely different. Not only will the little DM throw usable light 400 feet ahead of you and 50 feet to the sides, but because that 10 watt LED is in such a tiny housing, the light emitted at the source is extremely sharp and piercing; other motorists can and will detect this and identify you on the road, especially when mounted on the forks and they're jittering up and down with the suspension movement. Daytime conspicuity is a huge benefit to the DM. Swapping in the amber lenses would add a color that grabs additional attention as well.
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  19. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    @twistedthrottle - Your participation here is really valuable. Thank you. I still think each consumer will need to experience the top brands separately and make a decision based on that. It would be nice if there was a standard unit of measurement that off-road LED companies could publish with real competitive cost per X but it doesn't seem that's possible...and just adding I don't expect you to give me all of the reasons you're better than a competitor. I am mostly looking for a video with the top 3 competitors in this price range showing how these lights perform.

    Thank you for your time though.
    #19
  20. twistedthrottle

    twistedthrottle Been here awhile

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    Glad to do it. There are a lot of great products on the market so the consumer's decision point is most likely the biggest challenge on both sides of the equation.

    Ideally you'd want to compare a single LED light to another single LED light, or a triple LED light to another triple LED light. With the current offerings in the market that's not yet possible so sometimes we are comparing a light with 7, 10 watt LED's (70 watts) to a light with 4, 10 watt LED's (40 watts). Right there you know easily which will have a greater light output. That's why it's important to measure constants whenever and wherever possible until you have closer to a 1:1 comparison.

    The DR1, D2, and DM all use the same single 10 watt LED. We get 1,000ft, 525ft, and 400ft distance respectively by changing the housing and optic.
    #20