Cap'n Kirks Givi V46NT LED Brake Light Install - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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  #1  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:49 AM
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Default Cap'n Kirks Givi V46NT LED Brake Light Install

First, let me thank everyone for the suggestions on LED suppliers, and links to others who have done similar.


Let me start off with some finished photos.

Power off:



Running Lights:



Brakes Applied:



This is what I came up with.

I bought 2 packs of Alpena Flex LED's, RED, 24" (2 - 12" strips) for $19.99 each. I found them both at Advance Auto Parts, and Autozone. These are weather proof LEDs's sealed inside a thick layer of flexible silicone.



I drilled 3 holes for the wiring to enter the case. The center row is centered both vertically and horizontally between the center lens mounting holes. It has 3 sections (9 LED's total)



The LED strips can be cut ONLY where the scissors are shown, basically in 3 LED sections. The only cut I made and jumpered was for the turns. I use a 6 LED section, made a cut and jumpered another 3 LED section on each side. Make sure when you cut and splice that you keep the polarity (+/-) correct! The reason for the cut was the strip could not make the bend to fit the case in a single section. I covered the exposed solder pads with silicone RTV before installing the lenses. Note: when you have to expose the 2 copper pads to make your solder connections, take your time to remove the silicone so you don't damage the solder pads.

The left and right brake sections are a total of 12 LED's each side.

The LED strips come with 3M double sided tape already installed. I used masking tape to hold them in place, then put the lens in place and adjusted as needed then once a location was found I used the provided double sided tape for final placement. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the case anywhere you are sticking a row of LED's!



I centered this row of 9 LED's (that show through the 4 round lenses) both vertically and horizontally between the original center lens screw holes.



I did all my splicing under the document cover in the lid. I found a screw and a cable clamp to fit the hole already in the base of the case so I could zip tie the cable out of the way as it enters the case. You can see the cord grip installed in the lower right corner. I drilled a few holes in the lid and used zip ties for cable routing.



I use the SW Motech Alu-rack and I chose this location to drill and install the cord grip and route my cable to keep my exposed wiring to the bike minimal in length.



For extra brightness, I added two rows of 9 LEDS inside the center lens as well.





A quick check to see them working.



Here is how I wired them. I have the Backoff XP for the 5 flash-steady pattern. Here is how I installed the Backoff XP. I feel it is a great benefit for safety. If you don't have a flasher, just ignore it shown in the schematic and the blue wire continues through to the tail light. I also have an extra row of LED's at the license plate.





Radio Shack stocks several connectors. As Kimel has pointed out in post #4 below, these "Radio Shack connectors" are not weather proof connectors. I have my connector under the seat, so I have to remove the seat to take off the case. If you put your connector out in the elements, you will need to use a weatherproof connector. A 4 wire trailer connector or similar would work.



Relay I used:



This install was time consuming and more on the difficult side but the work to me was worth it and I am very pleased with the outcome. From start to finish, I probably have about 12 hours in this job, but about a third of that was design and parts finding expeditions.

Here is a parts list of the main components I used:

22AWG Wire or larger
Relay PN DS2E-S-DC12V Digikey PN 255-1063-ND
Resistor 750 Ohm Digikey PN CF14JT750RCT-ND (CAN USE ANY 750 OHM RESISTOR)
Cord Grip Digikey PN 288-1178-ND (measure your wire bundle this fits diameters .12 - .31)
Radio Shack PN's 274-224 & 274-234 (or any other 4 wire connectors including 4 wire trailer plug)

You will need soldering tools and materials as you would any other wiring project.

If you are adding up the total number of LED's used, I had 1 piece of 3 LED's left over when I finished.

This project should fall into the $60-$80 range depending on what components you may or may not have lying around.

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Last edited by Capn Kirk; 03-09-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2012, 10:05 AM
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Looks Great. Only thing i was wondering is do you have a quick disconnect for the wiring if you need to take the case off the bike.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Looks Great. Only thing i was wondering is do you have a quick disconnect for the wiring if you need to take the case off the bike.
Thanks!

I do have a connector under the seat (not shown). Any 4 pin connector will work!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:42 AM
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For those that might want the connector in the weather, those molex type connectors are decidedly not weather resistant. They actually wick up and hold moisture in my experience. There are lots of weather-resistant connectors out there.

Very nice job and write-up!!!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimel View Post
For those that might want the connector in the weather, those molex type connectors are decidedly not weather resistant.
Great advice! My connectors are under the seat and not exposed to the weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimel View Post
Very nice job and write-up!!!
Thank you sir!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kirk View Post
Thanks!

I do have a connector under the seat (not shown). Any 4 pin connector will work!


Good Deal.. I can tell you that its sure makes you feel better about driving at night when you able to be lit up like that.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:36 AM
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Awesome write up kirk bravo zulu
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Good Deal.. I can tell you that its sure makes you feel better about driving at night when you able to be lit up like that.
This all started when my boss told me he followed me in to work one day. We start work at 6:30 AM and it is dark for the ride in. I asked him if my reflective vest was bright in the dark. He said yes, what he could see but the trunk blocks most of my vest from the rear. He said "You should light up that trunk!". So I did.

He got behind me this week and gave me a big thumbs up and said I am now quite visible for the night/morning rides. It does give me great peach of mind!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:44 AM
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Awesome write up kirk bravo zulu
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:37 PM
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Awesome job! Thanks for the write up and inspiration! I am going to check out the laws here and see if I am allowed to do something similar.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:01 PM
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So, if I'm reading the diagram correctly:

- the red wire going to the tail light in the bike's harness is for the running lights.
- the blue wire going to the tail light in the bike's harness is for the brake light.

Correct?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
So, if I'm reading the diagram correctly:

- the red wire going to the tail light in the bike's harness is for the running lights.
- the blue wire going to the tail light in the bike's harness is for the brake light.

Correct?

Thanks,
Dave
Correct

Red - Always hot when bike switched on.
Blue - Hot only when brake lever or pedal is pressed.

If you add LED lights, they only burn at full brightness. You must add a resistor (or two in my case) to dim them for running lights as well. You can play with different values of resistors to make the dim different brightness. I settled on (2) 750 Ohms because that looked good to me. The relay in the circuit allows the LED's to be switched from running to full bright.
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Last edited by Capn Kirk; 03-31-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2012, 08:13 PM
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Default Cap'n Kirks Givi V46NT LED Brake Light Install

Man, Cap'n. Incredible job! Thank you for the amazing write-up, and for blazing the trail.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
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Thank you for the amazing write-up, and for blazing the trail.
Glad to participate with our great forum of folks. I have used a lot of great info from others "how to" write ups and always try to give back when I can!
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kirk View Post
Correct

Red - Always hot when bike switched on.
Blue - Hot only when brake lever or pedal is pressed.

If you add LED lights, they only burn at full brightness. You must add a resistor (or two in my case) to dim them for running lights as well. You can play with different values of resistors to make the dim different brightness. I settled on (2) 750 Ohms because that looked good to me. The relay in the circuit allows the LED's to be switched from running to full bright.
Excellent info, as always.

Thanks for the quick reply and excellent write-up!

Dave C
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:32 AM
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Nice job, nice write up. The video shows a really good looking and highly visible result.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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Professional Job ++
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:55 PM
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Very nice! I'm into tech and gadgets and using my hands, but wiring has always been my weak point. I envy you
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:13 AM
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I haven't had a lot of electrical experience so this might be a dumb question... what if I just tapped LEDs into the existing brake and signal wires. If they're wired in parallel, there should be no decrease in brightness, however the extra resistance on the signal relays would cause them to flash at a different rate (slower?). Is that correct or am I missing something?
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filbert View Post
I haven't had a lot of electrical experience so this might be a dumb question... what if I just tapped LEDs into the existing brake and signal wires. If they're wired in parallel, there should be no decrease in brightness, however the extra resistance on the signal relays would cause them to flash at a different rate (slower?). Is that correct or am I missing something?
Lets keep this reply in 2 parts. Brake Lights and Turn Signals:

Brakes: Scenario 1 - If you tap direct (to the BLUE wire "switched" +12V) and do not use the relay/resistors, the added LED's will be in one of 2 states - OFF (while running) or ON (Full bright when Braking) unlike your factory brake lights. Your OEM tail lights are wired using resistors to dim them so you have running lights before applying the brakes. If you choose to skip the relay/resistors, you will have no added lights while the engine is running until you apply the brake.

Brakes: Scenario 2 - If you tap direct (to the RED wire "always hot when bike is running" +12V) and do not use the relay/resistors, the added LED's will always be on full brightness while running and braking both. Scenario 2 is a bad idea and may be illegal as you will not switch to a brighter brake light.

Brakes: Scenario 3 - If you connect to BOTH the RED & BLUE wires, (essentially tie them together, you would have no more OEM running lights and your brake lights would be on 100% and never turn off. Scenario 3 IS NOT AN OPTION.

Turn Signals: Turn signals in my setup are wired as you suggest. I just tapped into the existing (switched +12V). Those LED's are in two states - Full bright or Off. I see no visible difference in flash rate.

I hope this answered your questions. If not, post up again, I will be glad to help!
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Last edited by Capn Kirk; 04-07-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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