Author Topic: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options  (Read 8377 times)

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Offline virtualdev

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Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« on: June 14, 2012, 03:34:51 pm »
So that moment comes when you realize that your bike is finally reliable and you don't HAVE to buy parts anymore.  Of course you keep looking at parts, they just happen to be farkles.  Guess where I'm at?

Yesterday I saw a Connie riding around Hillsboro, OR and it had a driving light set up below the headlight, similar to this but in a solid bar of light instead of two pods: http://www.electricalconnection.com/driving-lights/dl_concours.htm

I know the usual light mounting options are the mirror mount, the Buck solid light bar, the forks and tip over bars.

Without putting a huge investment in to mounts and other bits before even buying the lights, I'm liking this option to tuck something right in under the main headlight.

Who has tried this option out, and with what success?

I was considering that I could make my own mount setup for under there and get some kind of LED driving light to keep power consumption down.  Such as: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FU0KPK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theborkeduniv-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005FU0KPK (only use one of the two)

Granted, I'm sure that the LED light bar won't put out nearly enough light to change the overall landscape.  But in a pinch if the main headlight went out I could limp somewhere quick.  Plus it would help in overall visibility.

Thoughts?  Jokes?  Criticisms? :)

Thanks,
--ben
Portland, OR - '86 Concours "Big Bertha" - '13 Vulcan 900 Custom - '72 Lido 14' - COG #10224 - CDA #0421 - C10 Repair log

Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 04:22:00 pm »
I mounted a single light from a pair I bought at a auto parts store.  It is very narrow, but wide.  It works fairly well.  It is mounted to the acsess plate for the headlight on the underside of the fairing with the bracket that was supplied with it.  I had to replace it this year due to the lense getting broken sometime late last year.  (That's why we have headlight protectors)  About $30-40 for the pair.

Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 04:32:36 pm »
My previous Connie I mounted a set under the headlight. Got longer bolts for the headlight access panel, 1 inch X 1/16 or 1/4 wide aluminum stock from the Home Depot or similar, nylon spacers to go between the stock and the fairing. Had to cut the spacers at an angle to match the curve of the fairing under there. Drilled mounting holes for the light brackets accordingly and wired away. A word of caution, even though I had Progressive springs in, the bottom of the lights would kiss the fender under harrrrd braking. I could have cut the spacers in half and made it work, but never got there. so consider getting the lights as close to the body work, low profile lights or mount them outside of the fairing.

HTH
Vic Salisbury
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Stupid Hurts! Wearing protective gear is much more comfortable.

Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 04:36:55 pm »
Like Vic I have after market springs. 
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline virtualdev

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 05:12:00 pm »
Thanks for the input.  I may end up doing something similar.

Were these lights used more as just awareness/visibility lighting or were they actually helpful for seeing the road as well?
Portland, OR - '86 Concours "Big Bertha" - '13 Vulcan 900 Custom - '72 Lido 14' - COG #10224 - CDA #0421 - C10 Repair log

Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 05:49:57 pm »
The set I had, looked like the electrical connection version but they weren't as powerful due to, I think, the quality of the optics/reflectors. I got them for $20 or so at the local auto store, 10 years ago?  So initial goal was visibility, not as much for seeing further down the road.   And thats how the lights performed even though I upgraded the H-3 35w bulbs to 55w.  I upgraded the headlight with the headlight harness similar to the one Murph sells, that made a big difference for me.    There was one aspect where the driving lights did allow you to see better, and that was at night in the curves, they would fill in the area to the inside of a turn which I liked.  Todays lights might be more improved, I haven't had a chance to try yet..
Vic Salisbury
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Stupid Hurts! Wearing protective gear is much more comfortable.

Offline virtualdev

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 06:24:45 pm »
Good points.  I might look into getting the headlight wiring upgrade as well, however I can' see springing the $475 for the dual headlight conversion.  Way more than I can swallow.

My only concern with going 55w on the aux light is overall system power consumption.  I'm not sure what the stock bike draws of the 400w that the alternator puts out.  I'd hope there is at least a 150w in slush but I just don't know.
Portland, OR - '86 Concours "Big Bertha" - '13 Vulcan 900 Custom - '72 Lido 14' - COG #10224 - CDA #0421 - C10 Repair log

Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 10:11:04 pm »
I don't think Vic was talking about the dual conversion.  Murph sells a replacement harnes that bypasses the J-box and provides more "juice" to the stock light socket.  Well worth the $$.
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 02:12:32 pm »
I don't think Vic was talking about the dual conversion.  Murph sells a replacement harnes that bypasses the J-box and provides more "juice" to the stock light socket.  Well worth the $$.

Yeah, what he said   ;D     Just the harness, only the harness.

As a comparison, added the harness to a buddies connie at a regional rally, stock bulb. Had another connie with stock harness and 80w or 100w?  A grass field in pitch black night. Both in decent mechanical condition, connections on both bikes visibly in fine shape. Side by side, the stock bulb with the harness upgrade was significantly brighter than the higher wattage bulb.  It was  crazy.
Vic Salisbury
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Stupid Hurts! Wearing protective gear is much more comfortable.

Offline virtualdev

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 02:15:51 pm »
Agreed, yes, I meant I would try out the harness upgrade as soon as I am able.  And maybe one of those Phillips bulbs as well.

Anyone know the standard power consumption w/o accessories on the C10?  I want to know how much wiggle room I have for the aux light...
Portland, OR - '86 Concours "Big Bertha" - '13 Vulcan 900 Custom - '72 Lido 14' - COG #10224 - CDA #0421 - C10 Repair log

Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 02:26:49 pm »
Uggghh, can't remember. Guy Young could rattle that stuff off the top of his head. And the C10 tech guy is probably heading back from the National.....

Basically, adding normal driving lights alone, your good to go. Add heated grips, a vest, power an amateur radio station, then there are issues, might be ok running at speed, but have to prioritize/shut down things if at idle for any length of time.  I'll dig around at home see if I can find anything more concrete.
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Stupid Hurts! Wearing protective gear is much more comfortable.

Offline Stasch

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 10:40:40 pm »
I was able to add driving lights and a lightbar for a total cost of about $33.

Hella lights from www.rallylights.com - HL88189 OptiLux 1500 Driving Lamp Kit    $19.95 a pair.

When you go to the sight search for the part number: HL88189 or 88189

You can run 35W bulbs rather than 55w if needed and its still plenty bright.  I ran just one light at 55w to compare, and it was still very bright. 

I put together a light bar using hardware stuff from Home Depot.



The clamps at the top of the threated rods are called 'beam clamps', and attach to round rod of the fairing bracket.



Threaded rods are 3 3/4" apart measured O.C.

The threaded rods are 4 3/16" to 4 1/4" long.  There is adjustment available in them depending how far up you thread them into the pipe clamp and how thick your washers are on the bottom. 

The bar itself is 19" long.  This could vary for you depending on the size of the lights you select.

To get the holes right for the rod, I measured and marked the exact middle of the tube at 9.5".

Then I measured half of the 3 3/4" to the left and right at 1 7/8" each way.  Used a point punch to make the holes exactly where I wanted them, centered on the tube.

Used nyloc nuts to ensure everything would stay snug and stainless hardware whenever possible due to weather exposure.

These lights have a way of attracting birds at speed - I've had 2 taken out - 1 just this week at Nat'l Rally.

Fortunately I bought 2 sets at 19.95 and have 1 more spare to fill in with.
Stan Visser - COG#: 6830 - - C10 Stuff For Sale - Parts List

He IS a racer, hence the forward lean!!  by: Mettler1

Offline Outback Jon

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 01:16:31 am »
I was considering that I could make my own mount setup for under there and get some kind of LED driving light to keep power consumption down.  Such as: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FU0KPK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theborkeduniv-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005FU0KPK (only use one of the two)

Those aren't going to do much of anything as "driving lights".  Those are DRLs and would really only make you a bit more noticeable, especially if you mounted them directly under the headlight.  Most DRL-type lights don't project much of anything down the road.

I run a set of 55W driving lights (mounted on tip-over bars) without any issues on the bike.  That's an additional 110W out of the charging system without issues.  They were $10 each from Harbor Freight.  But wouldn't be useful mounted where you want to, as they are far too large.  They're "off-road" lights, and they do a wonderful job of helping me spot deer before they run out in front of me.  But 55W low-profile driving lights are available all over the place.

I've seen some 27W LED driving lights available on Ebay that I'm going to try.  They use 9 X 3W LEDs each.  So I'd be cutting my power consumption in half.  From the pictures, they look like they project decently.  But they're about $110 a set, so not exactly frugal. 
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Offline Uglydog56

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 03:54:00 am »
If I remember correctly, you have 200watts to work with when electrically farkling.
Rick A. Cone    98 Connie  82 Yamaha Seca 900  76 Honda CB 400F

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 07:03:31 pm »
I can tell you how to get the brightest, most powerful, best 'down the road' focused beam of ANY lamps out there and do it inexpensively  AND use very little power . I have compared FF50 set up  to others  even some having very expensive set ups and none  have come close (well except for Bugnut - he has many high intensity (expensive) LEDS all over that C14!!)
 Hella's The FF50 used to be $30 off Ebay but those are long gone. I just bought a pair of FF75's for $40. Those normally go for around $100 up to $200.  I see the seller just upped the price from $40 BuY It Now to $69. Sorry I cannot help with that but you should bid and  get them for  around  $40.
Here is the link.
 http://tinyurl.com/7kaa5n3
Dont worry about it saying JEEP. They are  real Hella FF75's and they come with a full harness, relay and switch.

Once you receive your  Hellas remove the  stock 55 wall bulbs and sell them to some one who has a car or bike that can handle that much power. 2 more bulbs @ 55 watts each is too much for our stock C10's.
 
Now drill a 1/2 hole in the back of the plastic Hella housings  and order this HID kit for $29.00. 
http://tinyurl.com/d6ddrnf  (Make sure you tell him you want H7 bulbs for the Hella)
 Use  gromets to finish off the back of the holes in  Hellas where the HID wires now exit. This HID kit is water proof and comes with metal mounts you can use mount the ballasts  to the inside faring screws.

Now be prepared to instantly  vaporize insects and small mammals  that wander into your light  beam of death!!

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 07:16:12 pm by Daytona_Mike »
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Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2012, 08:39:33 pm »
Daytona
 :TPIWWP:
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2012, 10:56:42 pm »
Pics?  Pics of what?  Bright lights?  :-[   Stare into the white area  to the right of these words.
That is what bright lights look like on a computer screen.
 I already gave you pictures of the Hella lamps and of the HID kit.
What else do you want? How to drill a hole or wire the bike? Sorry . Not going to happen.
My  bikes are not home and neither am I and none of us will be for a long time.

What exactly did you want  a picture of?
Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
2000 Red C10 1052 kit
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Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2012, 11:20:01 pm »
Sorry man didn't look down through the thred far enough; :truce:
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline 6 Riders

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2012, 01:03:28 am »
Daytona,
So you're saying to mount HID's into the driving light? Can a Connie handle two 35w HID's? It would be nice to have 2 different color HID's one being a driving/fog light and the other being a headlight.

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2012, 01:26:08 am »
Daytona,
So you're saying to mount HID's into the driving light? Can a Connie handle two 35w HID's? It would be nice to have 2 different color HID's one being a driving/fog light and the other being a headlight.
I am saying to convert a pair of Hella FF70' (or FF50's) from a 55 watt incandescent bulb  (each) into a pair of  35 Watt HID's.
The Connie can handle the 2x35 watts   better than 2x55watts and you end up up  much brighter lights in a good wide  focused beam.
Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
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2008  C14 Silver Dammit Full AreaP- Flies are put back in SISF_Flash
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Offline 2linby

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2012, 01:39:09 am »
Daytona,
So you're saying to mount HID's into the driving light? Can a Connie handle two 35w HID's? It would be nice to have 2 different color HID's one being a driving/fog light and the other being a headlight.

The stock alternator output is 28.6 amps at 6000 rpm 14volts.  Translated this means you have 400 watts of power max. However we do not run at 6000 rpm all the time (well some of us  :nananana:) so in reality there is about 350 watts at cruising speed.

Your stock bike consumes
Headlamp 55/60 watts
Running lights front and rear 32 watts
Brake lights 42 watts
License plate 8 watts
Dash lights and indicator lights 48 watts
Horn 5 watts
Turn signals 84 watts
Tach, temp gauge and fuel gauge (assumption of 18 watts)

All toll with everything on all at once (a rarity) there is a 297 watt draw.  In reality there is a usual draw of approx 146 watts.

With this in mind many of us have heated grips, aux lights and other electrical devices including heated clothing and have successfully run all these things with the stock alternator, but have done so with an intelligent approach. That is to say turn off your heated clothing and aux lights at stops or when rpms are less than highway running speeds.

Others, including myself have swapped out the stock alternator for a ZZR1200 alternator, rewired it to avoid running 40 amps through the J-box and have an approximate output of 40 amps instead of the stock 28.6 amps. In this case I can run two sets of aux lights, heated grips, electric liner, radio, gps, RD and a few other electrical draw items without fear of draining down my battery.

You can get more power without swapping out the alternator by swapping out all indicator lights and the license plate and the 1156 and 1157 bulbs with LED bulbs and gain about 50 watts back for reserve. Some also use LED daytime running lights instead of the 55w hellas or similar that draw much less power. Some even swap out their headlamp for a HID 35w bulb and further increase their reserve.

Here is a picture of my aux lighting



So to give you the short answer after the long one.   "Your mileage may vary.........."  ;)       
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 02:05:15 pm by 2linby »
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Offline 2linby

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2012, 02:19:30 pm »
Pics?  Pics of what?  Bright lights?  :-[   Stare into the white area  to the right of these words.
That is what bright lights look like on a computer screen.
 I already gave you pictures of the Hella lamps and of the HID kit.
What else do you want? How to drill a hole or wire the bike? Sorry . Not going to happen.
My  bikes are not home and neither am I and none of us will be for a long time.

What exactly did you want  a picture of?

I for one didn't want a picture of an abrupt, perhaps bordering rude response  ::)     Personally I think adapting HID's into the FF50 or FF75 housing is a great idea so, how about this.

"As soon as I am home, (which might be a while, sorry.....) I'll post pictures of my lights on my bike so I can share my idea with everyone".

See?  Doesn't this make for a much happier picture.  ;)
"2linby" Get it? "Tooling by" "Everything is simple, but nothing is easy".
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Offline virtualdev

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2012, 03:12:50 pm »

The stock alternator output is 28.6 amps at 6000 rpm 14volts.  Translated this means you have 400 watts of power max. However we do not run at 6000 rpm all the time (well some of us  :nananana:) so in reality there is about 350 watts at cruising speed.

Your stock bike consumes
Headlamp 55/60 watts
Running lights front and rear 32 watts
Brake lights 42 watts
License plate 8 watts
Dash lights and indicator lights 48 watts
Horn 5 watts
Turn signals 84 watts
Tach, temp gauge and fuel gauge (assumption of 18 watts)

All toll with everything on all at once (a rarity) there is a 297 watt draw.  In reality there is a usual draw of approx 146 watts.

This is great information.  Thanks!

I have already replaced all the dash and indicator lights with SuperbrightLEDs, hadn't thought about the license plate bulb, which is interesting.

I also like the thought of riding down the road with EVERYTHING on...including the horn...at 6000 RPMs  ;)
Portland, OR - '86 Concours "Big Bertha" - '13 Vulcan 900 Custom - '72 Lido 14' - COG #10224 - CDA #0421 - C10 Repair log

Offline 6 Riders

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2012, 04:14:20 pm »
OK, I was looking at the E-Bay store that sells the hid kit, and he also sells h-7 LED driving light bulbs (http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-Car-Bulbs-H7-80-LED-SMD-Xenon-White-Fog-Day-Light-411-/190682953488?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item2c6596f710)
Think those would be any good in a set of driving lights?

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Auxiliary driving lights - frugal options
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 07:40:30 pm »
A volt meter is your friend. I have no issues running 2 55w Hella FF200 driving lights along with grip heaters. Heated gear get's things borderline. Again, a volt meter is your friend.

The Hellas only fire on high beam, controlled by a relay. This way, I can aim them up far enough to see quite a ways down the road, I have some cheapo fog type lights that fire on low beam for ditch fill in. It all works great for me, and this system has fared well at the Talladega  Creekside Resort night time light-o-thon. I commute in the dark on a two lane rural road, so I want to see.  With this system I can.

The HID aux lights will not work for me as it takes them a while to warm up. Good daytime idea, though. Or in a location that you aren't having to dim your high beams very often.

Have fun. Lotsa different ways of doing this, and of course everyone else has their opinion, even iff'n it's wrong. >:D >:D
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