After a lot of trial and error I have finally managed to convert all lighting in the Versys to LED. Here's what you'll need:
H4 headlight LED bulb
Two running light LED bulbs (T10) cold white color
Four indicator light LED bulbs (T10) amber color
One tail/brake light LED bulb (BAY15D/1157) white color
One license plate LED panel (with a T10 plug)
LED flasher relay
What the challenges were:
The headlight must have enough power and a good light pattern.
There is very little space in the indicator light housings. This means that long/thick led bulbs are out of the question. This has the side effect of not being able to accommodate light bulbs that have built-in resistors to avoid flickering/fast flashing. Hence the LED flasher relay.
The tail/brake light needs to be bright enough and the difference in light intensity between the two modes quite evident. Kawasaki has made us the favor of using a red plastic cover for the tail light, hence the choice of a white bulb. It's difficult to find a red light bulb that is bright enough for tail light operation and the brake light being much brighter to simulate the 5W/21W incandescent light operation.
I will provide links to all the bulbs I have bought, since it's quite an adventure to find the right ones (biggest problem was mediocre light power and size)
The headlight bulb
The specific bulb that I used is no longer available (has been superseded I guess) but it's a Nighteye 20W bulb (Just another Chinese brand). You can find zillions of similar bulbs in the market. I didn't want to spend a fortune, that's why I didn't go for a respectable brand (like Cyclops). This was actually a set for a car so I am left with a spare in case it dies. The specific one is what I would call "just powerful enough". It gives a very nice pattern, it gives enough light to make commuting during the night safe but I would not recommend it for travelling. I use the bike for commuting within the city limits only, so currently it's enough. But I would definitely upgrade to a more powerful version if I wanted to be more confident. It's by no means unsafe but I always feel that I don't have enough lighting power. Nobody has flashed me for being annoyed by the pattern but I would suggest to lower the beam just a little to be on the safe side. The width of the beam is excellent. Whatever you choose, don't go for a bulb that has a built-in cut off cap in front of the lens or the fan like this one
. It won't fit in the housing, since the headlight already has a cover cap that cannot be removed unless you open the headlight assembly. No need to do that of course. Luckily, there is ample space behind the headlight to accommodate bulbs with big coolers/fans etc. However, the installation needs to be done with the headlight being off the bike (yes, you need to take off all the panels to take the headlight off the bike and I know it's a pain but it's better than trying to fit the bulb while the headlight is on the bike, trust me). This specific bulb I used, lets you separate the actual bulb from the whole bulb assembly, so you can achieve two things: proper alignment of the beam by rotating the bulb on the assembly (I didn't need to do that, it was perfectly straight from the start) and retain the rubber dust cap without having to cut it to fit the bulb assembly. Very convenient. Here
is one that is a bit more powerful but exactly the same design as the one I have installed (pardon the greek site, couldn't find the exact one somewhere else). As you can see this specific design with the three small leds for each beam (and the same on the other side) are the best design since it accurately simulates the size and position of the filament in an incandescent bulb. I have seen others with four leds (which hints to being a bit more powerful) and I would definitely go for ZES (or Luxeon) led diodes, as they seem to be the cutting edge technology at the moment. That's another good example
The running lights
This is plain simple. Any T10 led bulb (like these
) will do.
The indicator lights
You need to get a LED flasher, to replace the OEM one. The one I used is this
. It's dirt cheap, so you can buy more than one if you feel it's low quality, it has the two pin plug required and it works perfectly. You can leave the incandescent bulbs on the bike and it will work equally well. You are of course missing the hint that a bulb is dead because there is no hyperflashing anymore. But you should do your daily check of your lights anyway.
The bulbs I used for the indicator lights are these
. I ordered them because the seller portrayed them (still does) as flicker free but it's BS. Regardless, I got 10 pieces for peanuts as you can see, half of which I got back after a dispute. They are just enough bright. I am expecting those
now to test. I will post back when I receive them.
As a sidenote, you may be able to change the relay just by removing the seat (it's near the fuse box on the left side of the frame) but it's probably much easier to remove the left plastic panel.
The tail/brake bulb
The one I used is this
. It is white but since the plastic cover of the tail light is red you don't need to worry. I found this specific bulb to function exactly like the original in terms of performance.
The license plate bulb
I got one of those
for the license plate, the reason being that the socket is installed vertically for some reason. So if you get one of these
, they shine to the left and to the right and not downwards where the license plate is and the light gets lost in the housing. Similarly, the ones with a cylindrical shape
waste all the light that goes to the left, right and up, since there is no reflector in the housing.
As you can see, the money spent is VERY little (only real cost was the headlight). There are no errors whatsoever on the dash from the conversion. Feel free to give your suggestions and/or experiences.