LED lights have become more and more affordable and available to public in these past five years. This new technology uses less energy while increasing depth and brightness of our motorcycles’ headlights.
In the past, riders used to add some extra lights to the original equipment to increase visibility and range when riding at night or even during the day.
With the new LED type light bulbs, it is possible to achieve the same results by simply replacing the old halogen bulbs with LEDs. The tricky part comes when your bike is equipped with an ECU, which regulates and also checks the status of light bulbs on your bike. It is however possible to trick the system and perform the desired upgrade without spending a fortune.
This is how to convert your old halogen based system to a new and improved LED bulbs system, applied to a2014 KTM 1190 Adventure model.
First things first: the purchase of the LED bulbs. Picking the right ones is quite complicated if you are not familiar with the specifications; the options online are numerous and the quality is sometimes questionable.
If you are not sure about which one to pick, just ask to a specialist, since this is the most important part of your asset.
For KTM low and high beam lights, the required bulbs are the H11 type. I picked 2 12V 30w 6000K LED bulbs.
Then you will need to buy a resistor, which will be fitted between the motorcycle’s electrical system and each LED bulb to trick the ECU into thinking that you are still running on halogen lights. This resistor can also be purchased online and it could vary (in terms of Ohm rating); in my case a 50W 6Ohm resistor was sufficient to make the bike work, without having ECU errors.
You may need to try different types of resistance, to make your specific bike work.
The issue is now more or less resolved. These resistors tend to heat up quite a bit, and need to be attached to the bike as well. It’s recommended that you attach the resistors far away from plastic parts. More details can be found in this thread, here on ADV rider.