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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted to provide some insight on how to install running lights in an effort to give back to the great community here. I studied about 100 different Bonny and Thruxton bikes and determined that I liked the old meets new theme of sport bike lights on the Bonny remake. I wanted to lower the lights off of the centerline of the headlight bucket a la Thruxton and therefore purchased a Thruxton factory turnsignal mounting bracket and black aluminum cover plates from British Customs. Many of the aftermarket suppliers supply the lights I chose but believe only Bellacorse offers them in 3 lead a.k.a. dual filament turn signals and running lights so that is what I chose.

The install is very straight forward. The write up will be in two parts starting with the front:
1. Remove the old turn signals by taking apart the light. You don’t have to remove the bucket to do this but I suggest you use blue painters tape to mask off all surfaces you will have a wrench around to prevent scratching.

2. Once factory front signals are removed, I recommend you cut the connectors off and use them for your new lights…that way you don’t have to cut the harness inside the headlight more than necessary.

3. Purchase shrink tube and connectors and of course solder everything. Radio Shack has the bullet connectors I like but not the shrink tube. You can purchase shrink tubing on eBay incidentally and if you do a fair amount of wiring which I have in the past, order this in some length in different diameters.

4. Have a look at the front light with connectors attached:


5. It is easy to make a mistake on wiring and I had to disassemble the light to figure this out. The black and white stripe lead is ground. The solid black is for the running light and the other lead is for the turn signal. Bellacorse does not ID these wires so this should help you if you choose his lights.

6. OK…this is the biggest help I can provide as I studied the wiring diagram in the service manual in detail. Most know that just about all of the harness runs into the headlight. The ignition switch does as well of course and is 6 lead which is about two more leads than normal…lol. I wanted to find a switching hot to power the front running lights. Note…the low beam headlight lead will not work as it shuts off when the high beam is deployed. I didn’t want to tap into the ignition harness but didn’t have a choice as I did not find an accessory hot that would power the running lights up front. The proper wire is the Brown in no. 2 position in the ignition serial connector. See pics of the tap. You want to create two leads with female connectors on the end as shown below and tap into the Brown wire…one to each turn signal running light which will now be in parallel with the circuit shared with the rear running light which all factory Bonnies have.
Here is a picture and the wiring diagram:


 

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Discussion Starter #2
Below shows the contrast with running light and turn signals deployed. These lights are terrific and bright.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lastly some perspective on how they look. Again, I like the sport or café look however maintaining the classic Bonneville shape of the bike:




Take note how radically different the stock front lights look by comparison:


Changing the lights on these bikes as many know is one of the biggest visual changes you can make. Introducing running lights also adds a small measure of safety so if changing your lights, this is worth considering.

Stay tuned for the rear of the bike which will include a Lucas style rear tail light and shock mounted turn signals and running lights.
George
 

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Thanks George. I really like how they clean up the look of the front of the bike. Now I want to see the rear when you get it done!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Now will move to part II of this DIY which covers the rear of the bike.
I like the decoupled look of rear lights separated from the rear tail light which is derivative of how the early bikes were. The exception in this case is I prefer the more discrete look of sport style lights versus the larger retro lights and wanted running lights in back like the front. There is spotty info in the archive about how to mount the Lucas style rear light and so wanted to clarify this a bit for others as they consider changing the factory lights. I asked a lot of questions of members that went before me and thanks for everybodies help on this. Since I wanted running lights and the turn signals separate from the rear Lucas light for a clean look, I didn’t want the plug and play light set up sold by a couple of the aftermarket companies. Further, I wanted to determine where I like the rear light mounted which turns out to be about an inch higher than the plug and play Lucas light kit.
Here we go:
1. Remove the rear fender…four bolts and unplug the rear fender connector at the mid point under the seat.

2. Remove the factory light and harness from the rear fender.

3. Mock up where you want the Lucas light mounted:


As mentioned, I prefer the light about 1 inch above the plug and play design…looks better to my eye. This means the existing top fender hole isn’t used for mounting the top hole of the Lucas light. You want to start by drilling a hole above the top existing hole in the fender.

A couple of tips on marking and drilling holes in a fender:
Use a light colored masking tape on the fender to be easily marked. Remove a cartridge from a regular ink pen and insert into the light mounting hole to mark the hole centerline on the tape. Always use a centerpunch for the fender holes to keep the drill from walking on a radiused surface in particular. Start with a small diameter drill bit and then work up in drill size incrementally. Small dia. drills track better and why you start small. Use a countersink bit to lightly chamfer the hole on both sides of the fender. Be very careful with the metal shavings as they can easily scratch nice paint. I suggest compressed air to blow the chips away. Never remove them with a dry rag...you will scratch the paint.

Some mount their Lucas light even higher than I have but I didn’t want to encroach on a possible grab handle in the future which is tight if you mount the light higher. Plus…I like the light where it ended up from an aesthetic standpoint. You will need to oblong the newly drilled top hole and chamfer it…and paint the edge if you are particular.
You oblong it because the angle of the top bolt to seat properly is not perpendicular to the fender. Also notice the plugs in place found at Ace Hardware. These plugs aren’t easy to find but Ace carries them….thanks for the tip Don.


4. You will need to drill two holes in the base gasket…one between the two existing holes and another ½” hole for wire harness which in my case will only be three leads running to the back brake and tail light.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Here are a couple of perspectives how the light looks:




And a pic of another member’s bike with the plug and play light…note it is slightly lower on the rear of the fender:



After you have temporarily mounted the rear light with the top screw head flush and in place, mark and then drill the last two rear mounting holes as shown in the fender picture above. You will want to trial and error the best M6 screw length.
30mm up top and 25mm for the two rear worked nicely for me…I went stainless and allen for a nice factory look.

A couple of other points worth mentioning are…the light will look dead nuts factory if you use 2 face tape to hold down the base gasket. Thanks Snowy for the tip…a clever solution….so no grinding is necessary which many do because they experience gaping under the gasket without it. Plus…the farther up the fender you mount the light the better respective radii match between light and fender.

Shortly I will finish this DIY with a couple of pictures of the fabricated harness and where the wires go from the back light…running lights etc including a finished picture of the bike…even with exhausts mounted. :)
George
 

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Nice work, George, well thought-out.

I take it that the plugged holes end up behind the light and/or the license plate and therefore won't be visible unless one is looking for them?

Another question: How bright is the tail/brake light compared to the original?

Propforward, I think that this could be placed in one of the Twins reference sections.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Nice work, George, well thought-out.

I take it that the plugged holes end up behind the light and/or the license plate and therefore won't be visible unless one is looking for them?

Another question: How bright is the tail/brake light compared to the original?

Propforward, I think that this could be placed in one of the Twins reference sections.
Thanks Balto. The plugged holes end up being just in front of flange that attaches to the upper license plate holes. On a black fender in particular, one would have to really look hard for the plugs. Even on a lighter colored fender no foul. If you move the light down even further to say where the plug and play Lucas light goes...the plugs would be slightly more visible but you would really have to look to notice them. If you connect your turn signals to the rear light, this would further obscure the plugs or holes if left vacant.
As to the illumination of the rear Lucas light...don't have it connected yet but many report that it isn't as bright which is partly a function of the concave reflector inside of the large ET looking stock light. At some point...perhaps next winter I will remove the Lucas lense and install a cluster of LED's to overcome the reflector deficit. One compensation is running lights in back that I am going with. The sport style lights you see are quite bright.
As to relocating this thread into the reference section...that is the intent longer term. I would like this to be a working document and address any questions or concerns that forum members have prior to relocating it to the reference section...just a thought.
Hope that helps,
George
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Sal. I would say about $150 USD or so for everything including the factory Thruxton bracket and block off plates up front.

Lastly, to finish up the rear of the bike…one has many options for the Lucas style tail light and rear signals incorporated with running light capability for improved visibility in back. I will preface by saying this is not hard for those with just some basic wiring and soldering skills. If you don’t possess these, they are easily acquired with a bit of practice. If you don’t want to go there, one of the plug and play turn signal kits are available from our excellent aftermarket supplier companies…where I purchased these parts from ….some having shock mounting signal and running light capability. Plug and play kits are easiest of course but more expensive and you lose some flexibility to customize your wiring options. Also…separate rear harnesses are also now available for those disinclined to fabricate their own. 20 gage stranded wire and the type of bullet in socket connectors I used are available at your local Radio Shack. All considered, you can build your own harness in back however with a bit of thought and the following should help if you want to go there.

If you go toward the beginning of this thread, I show the wiring diagram for the front and rear. There is a 6 pin connector at the mid point under the seat. You want to remove the stock harness from the rear of the bike and do the following.

Even though there are six pins…only five are occupied:
- 2 leads…one to each turn signal hot. (Orange LH, Brown RH) Cut the connectors off at the end of the harness near the factory rear tail light and leave these two leads long so they can easily run to the shock mounted turn signals.
- 1 lead (Red) goes to the rear running light (tail light) Cut this lead short about 4 inches or so from the 6 pin connector
- 1 lead (Blue) goes to the rear brake light. Cut this lead short about 4 inches from the big connector
- 1 factory ground (Black) lead turns into 3 leads which run to the rear of the bike to support the ground for the tail light and each turn signal. Cut this lead also about 4 inches from the big connector….cutting off all 3 black ground wires. Note: Triumph does something that is rather bizarre. If I worked in their engineering department, I would only run one ground to the tail light and separate it in back. Instead, Triumph runs a thicker collection of 3 ground leads under the rear fender to the back light…lol…adds weight, complexity and cost. No need. Also, if you decouple your turn signals and mount them behind the shocks as I did, you now need only 3 leads total running to the rear tail light…one Red, one Blue and one Black.

OK…you are ready to make your new harness. Here is a pic how it looks: I have made more elegant harnesses in the past but this one is decent and works very nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Rear Harness Summary:
- 3 leads run to the tail light under the rear fender.
- 3 leads run to each turn signal for a total of 6 leads which do NOT run under the fender. 1 hot for each turn signal, 1 hot for each running light and 1 ground wire X each side = 6 leads.

The 3 grounds, 2 turn signal hots…one for each side and 1 brake light lead are straight forward. For the running lights…all you do is tap into the Red tail light lead which is a running light on factory bikes.

You will need to purchase 3 small spools of stranded 18-20 gage wire…different colors preferred for ID purposes…and some shrink tube which makes the installation cleaner but not imperative.

Some more pics of the wire routing with and without tail light installed:





 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also I wanted to include a close up of the rear tail light as some have wondered about the location of the rubber plugged rear holes. If you install the light where I did…about 1 inch above the top most hole, then the plugs are virtually underneath the license mounting flange…can’t really see them on the bike:



And lastly, the wiring routing on the bike:



Note: You always want to debug a harness before installing it as a precaution because you don’t want to end up pulling it all back apart. So always test the lights with the harness without the fender and lights installed to make sure you have the wiring correct. Also, before you attach permanently to the Lucas rear tail light and pulling the lead to the running hot for the turn signals…double check the running light versus brake lead hot with a multimeter. Mine appeared to be reversed versus the service manual schematic. No foul in this…just double check power with a multimeter when you mock up the harness before installation.

And the finished result which I am very pleased with:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Also…as a contrast…where the journey began with the factory lights:


Note the contrast in the factory lights to the much improved Lucas and shock mounted lights…not to mention ridding the bike of plastic lights which belies its classic nature IMHO. These turn signal/running lights are brighter than the factory lights and the running lights both front and back add a modest element of safety which we all think about.

Final pictures:




Hope this helps others inclined to change the lighting on their bikes.
Ride Safe,
George
 

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Another excellent "how to". Good stuff. This will be referenced in the sticky as well. I do like those Lucas style rear lights, I think I would like to put one of those on my own bike at some point this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I suspected that is why you wanted me to finish this DIY ;)
Thanks for all you do for the community here Prop including your excellent DIY on the airbox removal. I am only giving back part of what I learn here from other members that go the extra mile to share information about the bikes we like.
Best,
George
 

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Do you have a photo of what the "front relocation bracket" looks like? I alreday have the lights and could buy it from NB but I'm going to cut mine from a baking tray, file, bend, paint and apply instead (and spend the savings on beer).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't Craig other than in the installed position shown earlier in the thread. You should be able to easily create something by that picture and with your bike available. Mock it up in cardboard...goes right behind the rectifier. You know the drill ;)
Good Luck,
George
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Update:
Wanted to let the forum know how these lights have been working. I have been having a high burn out rate in front with both the running light filaments and turn signal filaments. I have a lot of wiring experience and sometimes there is an interaction between competing elements. Some of the contributors are:
- Vibration...what kind of roads you ride.
- Mounting position...I mounted the front lights on a Thruxton bracket...pretty traditional position.
- EMF ie. running voltage...my bike checked out...13.7 VDC max.
- Recepticle design. Some know why the factory lights have rubber isolators between the stalk and hard mount to the bike. This isn't as much for bumping them as it is to attenuate the vibration (harsh acceleration) of the lights that contribute to premature filament breakage if riding bumpy roads.

As mentioned, the lights I have are Bellacorse Emgo sport light style. They have no such isolator and therefore that particular rigid recepticle design is a harsher environment for incadescent filaments. Mike at Bellacorse did state these lights have a low incidence of filament failure...if he is to be believed...but perhaps that is specific to headlight mounting which is likely a friendlier mounting position. The Thruxton mounting position maybe in part the root cause....but could also be a confluence of issues.

It is further possible the di-electric paste I used is a major contributor. But one note, I have had no filament failures in the rear of the bike with the same di-electric paste used...but it could be a variation in quantity issue. I am currently testing without paste in front.
The biggest departure front to back is vibration of course...forks are a rougher environment for incadescent filaments.

I will close by stating my blatant dissatisfaction with Bellacorse working through this whole debacle. He sent me an initial bulb because of my first failure but after that I was on my own. This didn't bother me if I could get bulbs but I couldn't find them anywhere in the world. Lights really aren't much good without bulbs. I spent copious hours emailing suppliers both in the US and Europe including Emgo. Bellacorse's statement on his website stating that the bulbs are availalble at local autoparts stores is complete BS. I went to all of them. Further, I couldn't even find the bulbs available throughout the world. I have since found two sources and therefore after riding my new Bonneville for a month or so with no running or turn signal lights in front, I am now able to continue root causing premature filament failure. Bellacorse through this entire ordeal since I was completely stymied with finding these obscure bulbs for these lights would not take his lights back so I could purchase lights that I could at least find bulbs for.
If anybody wants the spec's for these bulbs which I also provided Bellacorse who had none available, you can PM me and I can help.
Bellacorse is still clueless about these bulbs or where to get them.

I have wired probably 100 motorcycles in my life with all different kind of lighting scenarios including run/brake/turn modules, modulators etc and purchased lights from many suppliers and have never run across a supplier like Bellacorse. I will never purchase another single item from him and ironically I created this thread to not only share this DIY with the community here but promote a fellow Michigander. At this point I want others to be aware of my experience and perhaps not to suffer the same fate.
Caveat Emptor.
Ride safe and loving my new Bonny,
George
 

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New Bonneville has a plug in and go running lite kit, their rear tail light install requires no drilling as it uses the stock holes, and they carry replacement bulbs in stock ...:rolleyes: after seeing what you went through, I am glad I went with Brent's system ... even if it was a bit more expensive ...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
You are right Paul....Brent is a fantastic guy and New Bonneville's customer support is second to none in my experience. I have spoken to Brent and yes, they do sell replacement bulbs for the lights they sell. I mentioned the irony in my last post. I wanted to spread the business around throughout suppliers that support Triumph enthusiasts like us. Live and learn. I won't elaborate any further on Bellacorse pubically. Suffice to say I was and am pretty insulted by what happened and I don't insult easily btw...long fuse.
As to plug and play kits Paul, I like building my own stuff so individual parts, building my own harness is the way to go for me but not for everybody. I like wiring and enjoy the challenge in fact and will be updating the DIY on LED cluster lights in the future in fact. I don't like to be disrespected when working in good faith...especially while giving a plug to the company I was then snubbed by. What we have here. I just want others to know what happened.
Cheers,
George
 
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