Cheapo running lights - Come on Amazon, don't fail me now! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Cheapo running lights - Come on Amazon, don't fail me now!

I've been needing to add a set of running lights to my V since I bought it 8 years ago and am finally getting around to it. I checked out many of the options out there, from Oz on up to the well performing and well renowned Denali's. I really didn't want the expenditure of the Denali's at this point, so I decided to try something a little different and went with a Hella set from amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/2008-2011-KAW...rsys+fog+light

I did a quick search and couldn't find anyone else that had seemed to try them out, but at 80 bucks for the entire kit, I figured what the heck, I'd give it a go. I had 75 bucks remaining on an amazon gift card that I wasn't doing anything else with, so I figured worst case scenario, at least if they're terrible I only actually ended up spending 5 bucks (as well as the opportunity cost from the card, I know lol).

So now that I've taken the plunge and bought them, has anyone else used these and I just wasn't able to locate the thread? If so, how'd they turn out? My goal was to increase night vision, even nominally, for something less than 100 bucks. My hope is that these do the trick without having to splice a bunch of wiring to change things around.

For those that have added lights to your bike, where did you pull the power from? Did you run it from the battery directly so you could run the lights with the key off (possibly for camping purposes, at least that's my thought), or did you wire them through the ignition? As I went with 55w each, I'm likely not going to be running them with the bike off as I assume I only have about 200w extra to work with even with the bike running and I'm going to be pulling 110-120 with these lights on.

Any feedback is much appreciated. I'm curious how others have implemented their setups and have read a few of the threads on it.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 03:51 PM
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On the Versys I have a set of PIAA that were on my Tenere. In the past, I've bought cheap CREE LED lights that were around $18 each. They work well and lasted over 40,000 miles. I still have them but didn't put them on my new bike.

I didn't have to pay for the PIAA lights as they were part of the $1200 in Yamaha accessories that were included when I purchased the Tenere. There are several good LED options that are cheap. I don't ride at night much so mine are for daytime running lights to help me to hopefully be more obvious to the oblivious.

No way I'm shelling out $300-500 for something like Clearwaters. Too cheap.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 04:08 PM
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ive got these on sylvester 4 LED Motorcycle Mirror Mount LED Driving Fog Spot Light Spotlight for Honda | eBay

i just used some U bolts and rubber from a bicycle inner tube and they work quit well , ive had people flash there highbeams at me for them being to bright xD

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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I was trying to stay away from anything that would require me to wire in any relays or have to fabricate too much in the way of wiring. Supposedly this setup is plug and play, I guess we'll have to see about that lol.

Most of the other sets I've seen have been in the neighborhood of 200+, with some going as high as 550 or more. My plan is to install these and eventually replace the lights with LEDs, perhaps something like these:
https://www.amazon.com/Xprite-Philip...vert-amazon-20

I'm not sure though. We'll have to see how everything works out. I still have no idea how these lights are going to work out, only time will tell.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviefox View Post
ive got these on sylvester 4 LED Motorcycle Mirror Mount LED Driving Fog Spot Light Spotlight for Honda | eBay

i just used some U bolts and rubber from a bicycle inner tube and they work quit well , ive had people flash there highbeams at me for them being to bright xD
I'm hoping for a bit more light than that... A lot more actually. If I can see a mile down the road, even better. I just won't spend 500 bucks on it lol

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 04:28 PM
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I had these on my 09 Versys. Just mounted to my Hepco Becker Crash Bars......Givi S310 Trekker Halogen Spot Lights - RevZilla



Untitled by weljo2001, on Flickr

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2009 Blue Versys.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psalm11_6 View Post
I was trying to stay away from anything that would require me to wire in any relays or have to fabricate too much in the way of wiring.
the usual procedure for a pair of 55w lights is to install a relay. the 55w Piaas that i used at one time came with a relay as part of the installation package.

i'm surprised that you couldn't find any suitable LEDs in your price range.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 11:04 PM
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The lights you pointed to use use I believe regular incandescent bulbs although they say XENON. True xenon technology use fluorescent tube type bulbs containing xenon gas, without a bulb filament. They require wiring to a separate ballast and high voltage transformer that comes with the kit. They have a low power draw and produce lots of light but take a few seconds to come up to full brightness. Most bulbs sold as Xenon are in fact regular incandescent bulbs that burn white rather than true xenon technology. You do not get the advantage of xenon technology with these although you get white light.

Lights for daytime conspicuity are smaller and lower power than lights you would want to use for night time illumination although some night time aux. lights can be run at 20% power for daytime use.

In my opinion LED technology has advanced considerably in the last few years and is the best choice for aux. lighting. Prices have come down while performance has increased. It also uses a fraction of the power other lighting technologies use and can, depending on the LEDs produce a lot of light, more than incandescent.

Here's what I used, in conjunction with an Denali light mount on my version 2 Versys. My end goal was night time visibility in areas without street light illumination (high beam use). In that regard I am very pleased with the result.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...-lighting.html

Technically by adding extra electronics you could run these at 20% power during the day, however I have not bothered. Although I did replace the rear reflector with an LED powered one, same size and shape, direct bolt on replacement, sold on AliExpress for $6 which activates with my brake light.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-21-2016 at 11:11 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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I don't mind not having xenon as I plan to replace the bulb with LED in the future, though I was hoping it'd be bright enough as a stand-alone that I could run with it on my ss1k attempt in 6-8 weeks. I guess we'll see, but I'm hopeful that this will provide enough light on it's own that I won't have to worry too much. I'm only planning to run them at night at this point.

I'll update once they come in with a better view of the package contents. Blinglights? Hella? Just the term 'blinglights' is hella scary for me as far as quality is concerned (ha, punpunpun). I know nothing about the brand, myself, just Hella.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Well, amazon failed. The lights were nowhere near as bright as the 55w expectation and already had moisture in the housings (both of them, phuuuuudddge). I'm returning them immediately and looking at maybe getting the cree lights instead. Less than half the cost, and the reviews are better (than the 0 reviews on the ones I took a chance on :-\ ). The switch was obviously a cheap one and not in any way waterproof. Piece. Of. Crap.

I'll do some research on the cree lights. I assume I'm going to have to buy a couple other items to get them to work anyway, likely add a switch and a relay, not sure what's best there. I'll have to do some digging.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 12:00 PM
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Check these out and the suggested harness. Working good for me and plenty bright daytime and night.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...rk-light/1699/

My new escape, 16' Gen3 Versys 650ABS
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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What's the throw like on them? I wasn't sure that 10w LED's would be enough to expand the distance of visibility, though they certainly sound promising!

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 01:22 PM
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I've got the 30° beam angle and work just fine, I have them aimed to where the main beam hits the ground about 15' in front of me and both canted out a bit. Don't let the 10W rating fool you, they are bright. I'll have to take a night photo and post it up. If I aimed them higher it would look similar to weljo's post above.

My new escape, 16' Gen3 Versys 650ABS
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'd be curious to see them. I'm looking for something that basically is as close to the sun shining on the road as possible. Riding at night in less traveled places means a lot of wildlife, but also that you need something sturdy enough to take off road without working about it consuming itself.

With how the electrical system is on these bikes, minimizing consumption would be swell, but I'm more than willing to throw 100w at it if it keeps me safe at night in the middle of nowhere lol

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 06:38 PM
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http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-...229386260.html
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-U2-...624483032.html

Note these (above) have the same housing but different LEDs for different levels of illumination at different price points and power consumption. The first item is closest to what I have. Very happy with the level of illumination. See thread http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...-lighting.html

You can also find similar lights on Amazon and sometimes EBay

As I understand lumens is a measure of light output, although this is self certified by the manufacturer not an independent agency. Watts is a measure of power consumption. Watts was a good indicator of brightness back when all lights were incandescent but for the same power consumption LEDs are MUCH, MUCH brighter. 3600 lumens per light will give you the eyes of god brightness. A spot pattern (narrow beam) is better for illumination at a distance on a bike like highway riding. A flood pattern (wide beam) is better riding off road at slow speeds - it gives a much broader beam but illuminates only a short distance ahead.

If you just want high beam illumination you don't need switches and can just directly run the lights from the high beam or trigger them with a relay. 3600 lumens is probably too bright to use as running lights though unless you have a switch/controller to run them at only partial power.

No need to buy a wiring harness, just purchase some 14 gauge wire at your hardware store - twisted strand copper not solid core. Red and Black is easier to work with than using the same color wire for both POS and NEG. Red for POS, Black for NEG. I would however recommend using a soldering iron rather than connectors as it provides a more reliable connection with no electrical resistance. Lots of how to videos on youtube on how to solder wire if you have never done this. A higher wattage or butane powered soldering iron is better for soldering wire. Shrink wrap gives a better appearance as an insulator but electrical tape is easier to use if you don't own a heat gun and does the same thing. Make sure everything is insulated with it. A short to the frame can cause blown fuses or a damaged stator and battery if there are no fuses. I would recommend installing plugs (hidden under the fairing) so you can remove the lights easily when removing the fairing to work on the bike, see my thread above - these are cheap at $2 and can be purchased anywhere. LED lights are usually polarity sensitive, that is they will only work with POS and NEG connectors not reversed, unlike incandescent bulbs, so be sure to check the polarity of the source of power with a volt meter before connecting. Twist all wires together and check operation before soldering.

When I have a chance I will take some pictures of my wiring and post.

Hope this helps.

You can mount these to the forks using cheaper generic mounts but I find the Denali, Kawasaki brand, or SW-Motech mounts specifically made for the Versys look the best on the bike, they however are more pricey than the generic mounts.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-25-2016 at 07:13 PM.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 08:43 AM
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TW the way you describe these lighting products you ought to be paid commission.

Man I hear you on being safe at night in the middle of nowhere, lot's of wildlife roaming the shoulders around me also. Post up when you get done with your next try at blinding wildlife LOL, good luck on your mod.

My new escape, 16' Gen3 Versys 650ABS
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