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Discussion Starter #1
Clear LED brake/tail light assemblies.... There's heaps on ebay - at varying prices, but Is one better then the other? Obviously needs to be bright enough to be seen for both brake AND tail light functionality
Also clear indicator lenses for the mirrors?
I'm looking to do the switchback style of front indicator that has the DRL turn off when I activate the indicator for the direction I wish to turn...
 

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In a side note. The more you unload the system the more you need to upgrade the charging systems R/R. You'll want to start looking at MOSFET styles. If your state side I'd highly recommend Jack's SH20 at Roadstercycle.com
 

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Also clear indicator lenses for the mirrors? I'm looking to do the switchback style of front indicator that has the DRL turn off when I activate the indicator for the direction I wish to turn...
I really like the style of these DRLs. I have the smoked lens version but they come in clear too.
A few points:
1) Type A or Type B: on this particular item the DRLs don't switch off by default (type B) when you use the indicator so you'd have to wire that up for yourself (minor on/ off relay job on the external wiring at a guess). I'm happy as is… doesn't seem to clash with the DRL so functionality of the indicator not impaired.
129417


2) Colour of the white light: I tend to go for the crisp white light (colour temp 6,000 I think) so all my white lights match (headlight, hi beam, parking light and DRLs). So watch out what you get if this is a factor for you.

3) Ease of maintenanc/ replacement: this unit is sealed so tinkering with anything internally (led bulbs) will be harder unless you are happy and competent enough to break the seal/ reseal should any work/ replacement be needed. I had this during a minor prang which cracked the lens (piece fell out and was lost) so not only the whole unit needed replacing but a pair had to be bought. Going clear lens plus switchback led bulb is a more flexible, cost effective option.

Now that I have spare innerds I'll tinker with making them fit any lens I chose so no longer a factor for me.

4) Power supply and wiring: I have my DRL function wired into my parking light as it needs a separate live which in the UK can be switched on/ off. First point here is some kits come with pigtails long enough to do this already. Some don't. Minor wiring tweak if not, but it depends upon how "plug n play" you want your purchase to be. Think about your prefered means of splicing into your power source. Plus think about the times you may wish to remove your mirrors (so allow for the extra luve feed to have a bullet or spade connector at the same point as the flasher wiring does).

5) Hardwired or Switched: Another consideration is I think in the States for example your parking light is hardwired to be always on or headlight always on etc. UK is switchable. The point being, in different countries there are different rules re lights. So for example in Europe I think you can only have a max of two parking lights being displayed when parked. Technically I now have three (though I could just remove the headlight original). So consider your set up re your local rules and annual tests re road worthiness (MoT here in the UK) and ensure whatever you buy you know how it'll fit into those requirements (even regarding kite marks for the lenses re lens impact strength/ resistance). Also do you wish to have a switch to isolate your DRLs independently or not? Personally I'm happy that's wired up re headlight and parking switch. Your call there.

6) Flasher relay or Load Resistor: if you are replacing old filament bulds with leds the chances are the indicator leds won't draw sufficient current to operate the old relay properly (not at all or flashing way too fast). The kit I bought included an upgraded relay so was a direct replacement. Some kits will not include it so factor in the extra cost of replacing one and get the spec right (some are adjustable to be able to get the right flash rate though obvs tend to be more expensive). In theory the one included with my purchase was at an RRP of £20/$25.

Other kits may include resistors instead of replacing the relay which may need wiring up or purchasing seperately too. Careful re resistors re space to house them (there's not much room in the mirror cowling) and the heat they need to dissipate re any potential effect on plastic work, mirror silvering, mirror glue backing etc. Hence my pref was for replacement relay.

So overall I think the easiest for what you want to achieve is separate clear lenses, add switchback bulbs (i.e. with both white and amber within the same bulb such that the indicator "on", DRL "off" function is built in and the white colour temp of your choice as opposed to two separate bulbs… white and amber wired appropriately), new flasher/ indicator relay plus DRL on/off dedicated switch should you so wish (or need re being road legal). Connectors/ crimper, extra wiring, solder and iron if not crimping, shrink wrap, pvc tape etc and wiring diagram if you're unsure which wires are which re pulling an extra 12v feed from. LEDs draw less power (hence Beestoys ref to weather eye on your R/R), however the upside is you don't need to worry too much about wattage re circuit overload and fuses.

Rgds Mallow1

PS one extra point, DRLs can be quite bright (given daytime use by definition). Some therefore can be "dazzel" hazards at night so check your local rules if unsure.
 

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I used these /www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-switchback-led-bulb-dual-function-60-smd-led-tower-a-type-bay15d-retrofit-car/1915/ with clear lenses at the front. Did not need any relays or special wiring. Burns white all the time, then amber flashing, then white again, they call it type A, type B is when white burns during the flash sequence. Just need an LED flasher unit.
Used LED bulbs at the rear also, with original lenses, using appropriate colored LED bulbs. Big improvement, everything was very bright and colors vivid.

Correction, I had to provide solid 12v for the DRL to replace the switched wire (US bike). Yours may be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fizzy something like this was what i was thinking for the Front mirrors.
I currently don't have any DRL lighting anywhere on the bike, just the main headlight being on automatically when the bike is running. 1157 needs third wire (earth, indicator and DRL)? So I assume i need an adaptorso i can get power to each of the 3 terminals? Then I was going to run an LED flasher relay to avoid needing the resistor
Tim
I used these /www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-switchback-led-bulb-dual-function-60-smd-led-tower-a-type-bay15d-retrofit-car/1915/ with clear lenses at the front. Did not need any relays or special wiring. Burns white all the time, then amber flashing, then white again, they call it type A, type B is when white burns during the flash sequence. Just need an LED flasher unit.
Used LED bulbs at the rear also, with original lenses, using appropriate colored LED bulbs. Big improvement, everything was very bright and colors vivid.

Correction, I had to provide solid 12v for the DRL to replace the switched wire (US bike). Yours may be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paul,

This is why I was prefering to go with a complete LED assembly. Swap the rear tail light assembly out for one with everything in place already. Theres so many on ebay with big price differences. Are the more expensive ones better and more visible with quality LED's installed?


Tim

I have clear on one Bb
Takes 10yrsoff the bike but you need coloured bulbs ...
 

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As I said, yours may be different. My bike (US) already has 3 wires to the front flashers in the mirrors and took the 2 filament 1157 bulbs. Using the bulb I mentioned or the complete assembly, either way the power requirements are the same, ground + 12v + flasher. The amount of electrical work involved is the same + the whole mirror has to come apart.
I did not buy any LEDs from eBay/amazon. Went to a large established domestic supplier to get warranty/back up service. Couple of bulbs did blow over time and they replaced them.
 

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Are the more expensive ones better and more visible with quality LED's installed?
Flat6, I'm considering upgrading my rear lights too. My observations re price diff are based on trying to gauge quality and functionality so I look to eBay customer feedback.
- quality:
a) is the item kite marked/ safety marked to be road legal (as opposed to say "track/ race only"). Just because it's marked as such doesn't nec mean it is truly such. Some non-OEM replacements just copy such markings as opposed to conforming to such.
b) durability… of the plastic components, mounts, seals, bulbs, electrics/ PCBs, wiring and connectors
- Fit & Functionality: I've seen widely ranging features
a) break light(s) only
b) integrated turn/ indicator feature
c) integrated number/ licence/ index plate illumination
d) how well fitting is it?
- P&P plus Sales Tax/ VAT and Import Duty/ Tax: whether these are all included or are hidden extras only fully disclosed at checkout

Bar free market forces re price, all the above have an influence.

I too would love any recommendations from the group re any set up they've been pleased with and any best avoided.

If I settle on one withoit additional feedback, I'll let you know what I git, why and what I think of it.

Rgds Mallow1
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For rear brake/tail unit, I don't really need integrated indicators. I'm pretty sure the Aussie ruling is that the indicators must be at least 30cm (1 foot) apart so they can be seen clearly by traffic following you. If they come integrated, i guess i dont have to wire them up anyway.
I just want/need decent quality LED unit with bright and clear lighting for Brake, Tail, and number plate , that isn't going to let me down
 

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Ok investigation so far:

Flashing brake Led Tail Lights (ITU)
2nd Generation LED tail light models which flash 3-6 times when a brake activates. Will continue to show a solid red color after the initial flashes.

Flashing brake lights I think are illegal in UK so I'm avoiding these units.

Integrated turn signals (INT)
1st Gen tech LED tail light included with integrated turn signals.

Check whether resistors or new relay is required and/ or included in kit.

My other concern here (esp if original indicators are removed) is if hazard light function is present/ needed then the two indicators merge together and result in one flashing amber light not two.

Also some countries require a set minimum distance between indicators to be road legal.

Blackbirds don't come with hazard lights (some alarms add that feature for when left at road side (key out of ignition) and I've got one (Datatool S4 Red) plus I've added hazard lilght function for when I'm riding too. Easy soln: don't wire up that feature and leave original indicators in place.

Integrated Index/ Number/ Licence pkate illumination (white light).
This is integrated into the iriginal light. So check whether it's present or not. Some descriptions state it explicitly, others don't. Likewise some photos show it as present, some don't show that area in a picture so you can't tell.

Led Brake Light only (L)
Contains only red led brake lights. So best avoided else you'll incur added expense and work to purchase a separate aftermarket white light to stay road legal.

DoT/ MoT E-marked
I think the E mark is showing the lens is safety approved re shatter resistance etc.

I'm obvs preferring such a unit.

Number of LEDs
Generally the more the merrier (smoother light distribution and generally brighter but not guaranteed as spec of the led dictates that). In an ideal world I'd like access to replace/ upgrade LEDs at my discretion. Old glass LEDs seem to be in the cheaper units ( needing internal reflectors). Newer designs seem to be the flat LEDs on PBCs. I'm not sure which is better e.g. re heat, vibration durability, brightness and life. It's looking like by the time I filter on all the other feature the LED set up will be what it'll be.

There's always the hybrid solutions (new light unit but designed for old filament bulbs where you'd need to replace the filament bulb with an LED bulb. Here you'd have greater control over brightness of light by choosing your LED bulb accordingly plus ease of replacing a failed bulb.

Bolts
Original and older units (at least on my carb BB) have bolts through the lens (holding the lens to the unit) and allow the light body to be accessible from the outside. Some replacement units appear to be sealled for life or rear access only (which may be harder to maintain but possibly be more secure).

Personally I think all are rear mounted but those without lens bolts will give not only added security but a sleeker look. I'm forever digging out trapped wax/ polish from the bolt recess on my original unit.

I'm also assuming that the downside is that these units are sealed so if an led blows or is faulty that'll be harder to resolve (bar sending back if still under warranty).

Lens
Some are smooth on both sides others are textured on the inside to help diffuse the light into one glowing unit.

My pref is for the textured versions although I'm aiming for a smoked unit so it'll limit the downside of smooth ones re seeing the ugly innards.

Summary
The combo of the above has knocked out most cheapo units and, for me, most expensive units too ( as they're the ones with unwanted features).

I'm close to my final selection (which is for a smoked textured led unit for a carb BB (not EFI) with tail, brake and index plate functions. No flashing brake nor indicators. Kite marked E for safety. Rear access bolts).

Will post pic/ link once final unit found.
 

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Project R fulfills my criteria so (bugger me) I've come full circle as I have their mirror indicators/ DRLs (NB I don't work for them honest!). At least their front product I not only like very much but can attest to the quality, functionality and durability. Here's hoping the same is true of the rear units:

Carb smoked version:

EFI clear version (though they do it in smoked too):

Now can anyone vouch for their brightness? I'm gonna order anyway (so can update once fitted). In the meantime someone else pls shout out if you've used either of these units. Thanks.

Cheers Mallow1
 

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Demo of the EFI Project-R taillight

Bright enough? Seems so to me though I'm not sure I like the oblong look. I guess no satisfying Mallow1! That said, I'm carb so going for the smaller unit anyway… I just haven't found that one demo'd yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ARRRRRGH!!
Just after payday so i thought id have another look.
There's no more available in the Project R store.
The LED EFI tail lights are getting hard to find unless you go through a chinese EBay store
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nah, thats not my style. Thanks anyway.
I found another on E-Bay claiming it was coming from Germany.
There were only 3 photos of the unit, none of which showed in running. I messaged the seller and asked for photos of it running to show brightness etc, and they said they couldn't as they only had the 3 photos displayed on ebay. I'm a little concerned over the quality in this case
 
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