NOTICE:  These are tech pages explaining how I did these mods to my bike.  In almost every case -
I DO NOT SELL THE PARTS DESCRIBED.  I do tell you where I got them.  EXCEPTION - I do sell my custom exhaust mods. 

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Night Lights

 

    Rationale

      Just because it looks so COOL.

      You need to be careful when you turn them on - I pass cages on a four lane and they struggle to catch up so they can gawk at the light show.  Stop at a light on a warm summer night and listen for the comments coming from the sidewalk and open windows.  Cruise Main Street in Sturgis or Durango (4-corners rally) and watch the stares, hear the comments "WOW cool lights dude."  I've never seen another bike lit like this - definitely makes your scoot unique.

      This one is a work in progress, for me.  Ongoing.  Been adding lights for awhile.  Don't expect to complete this one in an afternoon.  As of 05/08 I have about 280 LED's on Deerslayer, showing on the top pics above, in front of the barn.

      These lights are legal per Colorado law.  You might want to check your state's statutes before you start this project.  Or at least be sure to switch the circuit so if the lights aren't legal you can switch them off for a grumpy LEO.  The only statute in Colorado that pertains to such lights, is blue or red can't be seen from the centerline in front of the bike. 

      BTW, LED's, for all practical purposes, don't burn out.  Their life expectancy is on the order of 100,000 hours.  And they use virtually no power.  You can go nuts with these without worrying about replacement cost or power used.  But DO fuse the circuit, and it's a good idea to use a number of disconnects, to facilitate finding any shorts that might develop - with all these wires, it's likely you will damage the wire insulation sometimes.

      I might replace some of these pics after cleaning the bike - she's still dusty from 4-corners.

     

    Cost

      Depends on how far ya go.  I have hundreds in these lights now.  You can do it a little at a time.   I used 5 types of LED arrays in 3 colors: The "step lites" are a fixture of 3 LED's in a line, with the two outer LED's set to point 45 outward from the center LED - They list around $11 or so, I paid $8.99ea.  The "Courtesy lites" are a cluster of 4 LED's aligned coaxially, I paid $7.99ea.  Both of the above styles are available in deep blue, amber, red, and green.  I used the blue and amber. The under lights were first made using "oval LED red" truck lights, p/n DDD-IT1918R - I paid $25ea. Then I went to 10-LED blue strip lights from AutoZone mounted in a sealed frame with a lexan front panel.  Also installed are 45 ft. of blue "string lights" outlining the tank, front fender, engine and luggage lids.  I used 24 LED clusters in red, mounted on 1157 sockets for the back marker/run/brake pods, written up at http://www.horseapple.com/Valkyrie/Tech_Tips/VTX_signals/vtx_signals.html
      BTW, I could have done them with the original 1156 sockets, using a minor change to the curcuit, also documented there.  I also added blue neon behind the intake runners - not documented here, and also not recommended - someone pointed out neon is high voltage, if a short happens it can throw a spark - bad place for a spark.  Now disconnected.  I'm thinking I will take them out next time I have the tank off. I noticed
      Hal was selling what looked like some of the same "step" lights for about the same price at Zanesville, though his were with a chrome finish.  I prefer black so they hide easier.

      I've noticed LED prices are dropping - your cost may be less than I paid.

      When I picked my colors, I kept in mind the order of the color spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.  Due to the differences in how light bends when it passes through a lens, together with the mechanics of how a lens focusses on different distance planes, colors on the blue end of the spectrum are "receeding" while the other end of the spectrum colors are "advancing".  Coloring foreground objects as the latter, and background objects as the former, results in an enhanced 3D appearance.  This is why it's hard to focus your eye on a series of parallel red & blue lines, why photographers often use blue for portrait backgrounds, and why I used blue behind the carbs, headers, chrome covers and luggage, and amber to reflect off the surface chrome.  I didn't care for red on the sides.  Makes a stunning effect.

Time

      I have MANY hours installing these circuits.  Plan to spend a while, the trick is to hide the light fixtures and the wires while installing LOTS of them - it looks best to have MANY point sources of light reflecting off the chrome, with the sources of the light hidden or at least not obvious.  It's also a good idea to move them around while checking the reflection, then figure out how you're going to hide them in the best positions you find.

    Materials

    • LED fixtures as discussed above.  As of Jan '06 I've installed 6 amber step lites, 6 amber courtesy lites, 18 blue step lites, 4 blue courtesy lites, and 3 red oval arrays totalling 280 LED's.  I removed my Highlighter when I solo'd the bike.  Later I added step and courtesy lights for the front wheel, step lites for the radiator grill, blue strip lights in a panel underneath instead of the red oval LED arrays, red LED arrays inside the rear marker light pods, and blue neon tubes behind the intake runners. Black lights - not effective unless you put something photoluminescent for them to illuminate.
    • silicon glue (Goop)
    • 3M Weatherstrip adhesive
    • spool of black 20GA wire 
    • assorted sizes heat shrink tubing
    • assorted wire ties
    • 2 sizes ring connectors
    • male and female spade connectors
    • fuse holder
    • dpst switch
    • tptt switch
    • self tapping sheet metal screws
    • small machine screws with nuts
    • safety wire
    • universal relay
    • 3 or 4 pin trailer connector
    • 4 inch black light from Pep Boys

    Tools

    • soldering equipment
    • heat gun
    • needlenose pliar
    • side cutter
    • wire stripper
    • screwdriver
    • test light or meter
    • tig & mig welder with stainless and flux wire
    • safety wire pliar
    • drill with bits

Process

      I won't go into detail on the process - if you don't already have basic electrical wiring skills you probably shouldn't make this project your first.  Just some highlights:

      Of course this is a seperate circuit from existing circuits on the bike.  I recommend tapping off the brown running light circuit, through the dpst switch, to the trigger of the relay, so the ignition and nitelight switch must be on for the lights to be powered.

      Be careful routing the wires so they don't get cut on a sharp edge. Or protect them where sharp edges occur with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape.

      The courtesy lights on the handlebar have 3/8" segments of large flat black heat shrink tubing as shrouds over the LEDs so they aren't visible, and are pointed to shine on the back half of the valve cover area.

      The step lights on the Baker wings were mounted by welding a small piece of sheet metal about in the middle of the upper wing brace, then drilling a hole in that piece for a machine screw through the step light.  The 2nd steplight was then attached to the first by passing a machine screw (secured by a nut) through one hole on the 2nd light, and through the hole on the free end of the 1st light which was attached to the sheet metal.  You will probably have to enlarge the holes with the drill.

      I mounted blue step lites under the edge of the vinyl of the Mustang seat, shining down - in one of the pics above.  Of course I was careful on the length of the wire, installed disconnects, and am careful not to pinch the wires when placing the seat.

      The red light array underneath the engine was made by constructing a frame out of steel and painted black, in the shape of a cross, with ears for pins to pass through into the 12mm holes in the sides of the bottom of the oil pan casing.  The pins are secured with safety wire.  You want the array easily removable so you can raise the bike on a lift.  The arrays are attached to the frame using the 3M adhesive, augmented by safety wire.  Leave the rubber around the arrays as it protects the lights from rocks thrown by the front tire.  The wire feed is disconnectable using a 4-pin trailer connector.  These light arrays support running and brake lights, so if you use the tptt switch to power the two hot wires you can select between the running circuit or the brighter brake light circuit, or off.

      The blue LED array was made by welding together a frame of 1" box tubing with a sheet of aluminum closing off the back, and Lexan on the front.  Two "ears" with 12mm holes protrude upward to be pinned in the holes on the oil pan of the engine.  The whole panel is sealed with silicon caulk, just like "Goop".  I used trailer wiring plugs for quick-connects same as the red LED panel.  Inside the panel are eight 10-LED blue strips with beam splitter lenses to spread the light out.

      Oh, this last pic is a black light.  Supposed to make my clock glow really cool.  As soon as I get a photoluminescent clock.

All technical mods described here are merely reports of what I've done.  You may attempt to replicate them at your own discretion and risk if you choose.  Horseapple Ranch, LLC and Mark Tobias will in no way be responsible for the results of your attempting to perform these mods on any motorcycle, regardless of the outcome.

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