Author Topic: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights  (Read 1849 times)

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Offline Apeman

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Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« on: October 02, 2011, 12:32:39 am »
I picked up an inexpensive set of small auxiliary driving lights (clear rectangular lens, about 1.2" X 2.0", 55 watt halogen), which I intend to mount on my '93.  I figure if I don't like the auxiliary lights so much, I am not out that much; and if I do like them, I can always install a higher quality fixture later.  This is an experiment.

My intent is not so much to increase my forward light driving down the road, but rather to increase my night time visibility to other drivers.  (I commute between Berkeley and San Francisco across the Bay Bridge, often riding well after dark during the fall and winter months.  The roads are generally lighted somewhat, and there is always some traffic.) 

I have looked through the old tech pages, and see some ideas on mounting, but I have an idea of my own.  These lights are nice and small, so I could mount them nearly anywhere.  I am thinking about mounting them on top of the dash, behind the windshield.  Yes, the light will scatter somewhat going through the plastic, but I don't think that would defeat my purpose.  In fact, it may better increase my visibility. 

Has anyone tried this?  Anyone have any thoughts? 
I have learned so much from the mistakes I have made.  1993 Concours, and three 1980-81 KZ750s.

Offline 2fast

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 01:23:41 am »
The light splash will really affect your ability to see at night.
Brian in Minnesota

Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 01:54:53 am »
Plus 1 on 2fast.  Any moisture on the shield will be really bad.  For being more noticeable the bigger the space between the new lights and the head light the better.
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 12:49:36 pm »
BAD idea. First the light scatter will seriously degrade your ability to see. Secondly, to make the bike the most visible you need to establish a triangle of lights. Mounting in that position won't provide sufficient separation of the light sources (particularly at a distance).  If you've tip-over bars, mount the lights on them.
JIM CULP
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If you can't be a good example; be a WARNING!

Offline John_Atkinson

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 03:07:30 pm »
+1...+2...+3....+4...etc.

Do NOT mount the lights behind the windshield. Bad, bad, bad. You will end up half-blinding yourself and the quality of light will be seriously degraded.

Highway pegs / crash bars OR something like murph's bug-eye light mounts are best.

John Atkinson
Windsor, ON
CANADA
COG #5921
'91 Concours "Zeke" - 225,000 km and counting........

Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 05:11:23 pm »
I don't know your age, but if it's on the other side of 40, your night vision as well as depth perception will start to decline.
If you will consider some serious driving lights, you not only will be more visible, but you will really light up your path of travel.

I've had the bug eye mounts and can tell you that oncoming drivers will constantly flash you because the light height will be in their eyes. They also shake with the upper fairing.

Spam - take a look at the mount I manufacture. It's legal everywhere.
Larry Buck - COG 3451, Retired SE-AD, now SE-AAD, Ex - Concourier C-10 Tech Editor, COG National Safety Officer, IBA 5581, MSF-Rider Coach, Forum moderator.

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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 05:15:03 pm »
I don't know your age, but if it's on the other side of 40, your night vision as well as depth perception will start to decline.
If you will consider some serious driving lights, you not only will be more visible, but you will really light up your path of travel.

I've had the bug eye mounts and can tell you that oncoming drivers will constantly flash you because the light height will be in their eyes. They also shake with the upper fairing.

Spam - take a look at the mount I manufacture. It's legal everywhere.

 :rotflmao:

Offline John_Atkinson

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Re: Mounting small auxiliary driving lights
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 07:28:09 pm »
Larry is right.....some states, as I understand it, DO have restrictions regarding mounting any light above a certain height, or above the level of the headlight.

Even if your state doesn't, the aiming of the lights when using a mirror-based mount is crucial.....it took me a little bit of fine-tuning to get my PIAA910s aimed just right, and they are a pencil-type beam. With a fog- or flood-type lamp, the aiming becomes even more important.

The mounts I have are one-off customs made of heavy aluminum, and shaking has never been a problem except on extremely bumpy sections of road. I would also suggest that a larger, heavier lamp like the 910s will exacerbate this problem. I have a set of Hella FF-200 HID lamps waiting to be installed - they are much lighter and I expect that the shaking will cease to be a problem at all.

Spam redux: I have seen Larry's light bar close-up and it is one kick-a$$ piece of work. I have heard from a number of folks who have it and are very happy with it. Hard to go wrong with it.
John Atkinson
Windsor, ON
CANADA
COG #5921
'91 Concours "Zeke" - 225,000 km and counting........