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2019 T120 Diamond
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some night time riding recently I am considering fitting some extra firepower up front. My question is about wiring it into the loom. I know nothing about electrical stuff so I need help here. My thoughts are either something like the 'Free Spirits' side mount spot:


or maybe a short light bar under the headlight (which may require shifting the rectifier);

2x 7inch CREE LED Light Bar Spot Flood Combo Work Driving Lights OffRoad 4WD 6" 725704267046 | eBay

My first thought would be to simply splice the cables from the light into the main beam wiring in the headlight shell so that it comes on when I go to high beam; I'd put a fuse in line. But looking at the 'Free Spirits' option, that looks way too complicated for me to do.

Question is, is all that necessary or will the simple approach work without frying the ECU, headlight, or throwing up multiple error messages, or, worse still, smoke?馃槷
 

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Automotive tire Alloy wheel Rim Steering wheel Carbon

After some night time riding recently I am considering fitting some extra firepower up front. My question is about wiring it into the loom. I know nothing about electrical stuff so I need help here. My thoughts are either something like the 'Free Spirits' side mount spot:


or maybe a short light bar under the headlight (which may require shifting the rectifier);

2x 7inch CREE LED Light Bar Spot Flood Combo Work Driving Lights OffRoad 4WD 6" 725704267046 | eBay

My first thought would be to simply splice the cables from the light into the main beam wiring in the headlight shell so that it comes on when I go to high beam; I'd put a fuse in line. But looking at the 'Free Spirits' option, that looks way too complicated for me to do.

Question is, is all that necessary or will the simple approach work without frying the ECU, headlight, or throwing up multiple error messages, or, worse still, smoke?馃槷
I understand your concern. Cutting into the wiring loom is just asking for trouble. I get a bank of 6 small but bright leds and mounted it just under my cafe fairing. Then a separate switch with a built in in line fuse. They are readily found on amazon. Mounted the switch inside my fairing. You get the idea. If you mount the switch exposed, get a waterproof one. Here are some pics so that you get the idea. The led,s are really bright. Ideal for day or night time riding.
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I must say I have some trouble following the instructions provided on their website, but at least there's a schematic in it.

This is a halogen light, which will draw a lot of current. In contrast to LED lights (especially small ones like DRLs), this means a relay will be necessary to switch them. The relay seems to be included, one per filament (high/low beam). They seem to use the OEM headlight wires to actuate those relays, then a single fuse for both high/low beam. Electrically, this is the standard solution and a very good one.
If you want to modify that approach and not splice the wires in the headlight connector, you need to do so elsewhere as you need the OEM high/low beam signals to control those relays. One approach I've used was to get the headlight connector and socket to make a Y-Adapter, that's a very clean solution. Another one would be to splice the wires not at the headlight, but closer to the middle of the bike. You'd have to check if that's easier to access.

Also there's mixed opinions on soldering stuff in vehicles. I generally advice against it and recommend crimping, but if that's not an option it should still be safe when done correctly. Just make sure you cover all the splices with shrinking tube, electrical tape or similar.

If you rather want to go with LED lights, check their power rating. You can omit the relay and go right into the high/low/parking light wires if the current drawn is low enough. If it's too high, you'd blow the fuse for that connection.
 

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Why not consider a pair of Denali auxiliary driving lights? All the work is already done for a safe installation. Very easy, just connect direct to battery and they have various mount options. This way you really do need to know nothing on how-to wiring, you just follow the excellent instructions. I've used them for years.
I believe several online and retail stores carry them. Revzilla, Cycle Gear, etc.
There's lots of horror stories from people who tap into the headlight bucket.
 

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Hi...
nattering nabob of negativity here...

If you do not know how to splice in, use meters, add and place inline fuses, assess circuit loading, trace circuits, understand the difference between positive and negative... then "abandon ship". Don't do it.

Realize too, if the sad day ever arrives and you for some imponderable reason want to trade in your well loved beauty... then... well...put yourself in the place of future buyer: Buyer sees some kind of extra hokey looking light obviously not O.E. then hears you blabbing about how um, yeah, wires are great, no, it does not cause overtaxing of the charging system, no I'm not selling it because of electrical problems etc etc. (furthermore, you might actually screw it up, ya know? You might!)

Why not try this instead. Stick with your current (pun!) setup. Try re-aiming it. Stick with the halogen bulbs. Consider maybe getting one of those 'whiter' bulbs. They actually are not that much brighter but the color of the light seems to reveal objects more clearly, even though distance penetration is scientifically not deeper.

I don't know about most 'night-riders' out there, but I have to slow down at night, on curvy rural roads else I am begging for trouble. I do not ride like I do in the daytime. Don't overdrive your lights, that is the best way to see good at night. No, I do not know how to deal with the pesky tailgaters that result from motorcyclist maintaining the speed limit at night, in order to be safe. But, I am not going to drive faster than my headlights can show me where I am going, just to please some cager, who is too F&*(%G chicken to pass but somehow comfortable blinding my mirrors.

Also, you say you want 'brighter'. Think about what you mean by that. How much brighter do you really think you are gonna get? Another... 30 feet? More light off to the sides? Original equipment is, after all, engineered for pretty good visibility. I have found that the more often I ride at night, the more I realize the lights work fine, and I realize that the 'bubble' of light in front of me is entirely sufficient to maneuver. The issue is that you must get comfortable seeing only what you need - and you don't need to see off-road to the left or right, only the bubble of light that lights your path. Get used to that and you may realize your headlight is just fine.

AND VERY IMPORTANTLY ... you might think you are a better engineer than the mfg. But, it could well be that AS YOU ARE SUCCESSFULL reliably and correctly adding a few more feet of light in all directions, you also blind oncoming (perhaps drunk?) drivers. Oncoming drivers lose track of the centerline and then squish you. Or... they mistakenly think you have your brights on so they blast you with theirs, then YOU become blinded and all the sudden your super brights have worked against you instead of for you.

Recap: Perhaps try the silverstones or equivalent, with a whiter light. It is a more familiar kind of light than the typical yellowish light. You'll get the most 'night-vision' by practicing driving at night and learning how your light bubble works for you. And do not forget to have your current light checked for headlight aiming.

Learn to change oil, brakes, lube chain, adjust valves, check tire pressure... that would be great. Hey I'm NOT SAYING you don't do that now, but... if you don't then, well, it is more realistic and productive and satisfying than attempting to become your own electrical/lighting engineer.

I am sure many on the forum will think I am all wrong about this, and there is a good chance I am. I wonder though, is that because they actually feel like they made a significant improvement, or, because they hate to tell themselves it was what the brits call a FAFF - a lot of work for a little result?

Anyway, if you do it anyway, I truly wish you good luck! Safe to say most everyone who takes the time to read the post you started, including me, wants to know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your input. Classic VW, if I were taking off across the continent then I would load my ride up with Denali gear, but it's way too spendy for what I need/want. The fleabay/amazon stuff is more what I was after, but looking at the Denali website has given me some ideas. SelfBias and 2012, you miserable bastards: you have given voice to my fears, based on years of abject failures in the electrical field.

I already have a generic Chinese LED in my headlight which has so far provided a significant increase in light out put.

Household hardware Gas Cylinder Auto part Nickel



Maybe I'll think about it for a while, but wiring anything into the OEM loom seems a bad idea. Anyway there's lots of stuff that I could cobble together on a dedicated circuit that would look ok, and wouldn't actually reduce the amount of light available.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
 

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Thank you all for your input. Classic VW, if I were taking off across the continent then I would load my ride up with Denali gear, but it's way too spendy for what I need/want. The fleabay/amazon stuff is more what I was after, but looking at the Denali website has given me some ideas. SelfBias and 2012, you miserable bastards: you have given voice to my fears, based on years of abject failures in the electrical field.
I'd still recommend Denali or something of equal quality. Don't take the cheap way, buy something quality and you only pay once. There can be good items on ebay but there's also cheap Chinese crap and its sometimes not disclosed in the auctions. With the Denali, they're easily removable and moved to another future bike, and there will be no evidence they were ever on the bike that you sell. I've moved a set of lights from one bike to another. The wiring and the connectors they use will last your lifetime. I would be very hesitant to buy a bike that someone spliced into the wiring.
 
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