Custom LED rear turn signals - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-14-2012, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Custom LED rear turn signals

Over the weekend my 24 led strips came in the mail after a month from venturing across the pond. Here's a link to what I bought-

24 LED Strip Under Car Grill Light Flexible Lamp Amber | eBay

and looked like this-



My bike came with the Clear Alternatives integrated rear tail light, and even though it really cleaned up the looks of the bike, it was quite lacking when it came to providing adequate turn signals (especially when the brakes are on).

I made a license plate bracket for my bike about a month ago that properly spaced the license plate away from my 2-Brothers RH exit exhaust. I installed some led license plate bolts and got to thinking. I thought about using the two lower boltholes for amber led bolts and hook those into the rear turn signals.

I thought about using these-



and calling it good. However, I didn't like how they would have exposed wires on the back, you wouldn't be able to see the RH signal in traffic due to the exhaust, it would look like an afterthought, and yada yada yada.

It was at that moment I looked at the ridge of the plastic tail section itself. I liked the fact the led strips would be up higher than the exhaust on the right side, and I had a vision that I thought would look pretty clean.

One problem. A huge dilemma. Is it worth it to drill holes just to mount those turn signals? That's a lot of holes. Lots of holes to mis-align and mess up. Crap. However, I psyched myself up for the task with a couple techniques I've picked up over the years.

Masking tape. I laid down some tape where I thought the strips would go, then marked exactly where every led would go. I can't give an exact spacing dimension since it varied slightly due to the quality of manufacture of the product. After making a vertical mark indicating the center of each led, I then ran another piece of tape to mark the intersection of each drill hole.



Once that was done, it was time to center punch each hole. I used a harbor freight automatic center punch ($2) to mark the holes through the tape and lightly into the plastic.

Now here is the key. Once the center punch holes were established, it was time to start drilling. PILOT HOLES! PILOT HOLES! PILOT HOLES! I can't stress that enough. I started off with a 3/32" hole and made sure they were aligned straight. It's much easier to drill into plastic using a tiny bit than using a big one off the bat. If I were to cut to the chase and use the correct size of bit, I run the risk of having the drill bit walk and mis-align the holes.

Pilot holes-


And once the pilot holes are in, time for the big bit. I used a 15/64" drill bit and it provided a very snug fit for the led strips. The pilot hole allows the bigger bit to just glide right on in and no worries or hassles about the bit walking all over the plastic.

Once the big holes were made, I gently removed the tape. The key is the peel the tape over itself. DO NOT PULL STRAIGHT OUT ON THE TAPE. It WILL pull paint! I managed to only lose two flakes of paint (my bike has been repainted so I suspected it was gonna happen). Didn't do too badly considering I made 48 new holes in that plastic.

I used a big drill bit to deburr each hole. Make sure not to go too far since plastic doesn't stand a chance against a drill bit lol.

Now it was time to install the strips! It probably would have gone a lot smoother if I had used a little larger of a drill bit (maybe a 1/4" bit). It took a lot of massaging to get the little lights to pop into their place, and the use of a little pick on the inside to move the lights around worked AWESOME. I secured the leds in place with a little RTV.

I hooked the lights up and smiled as my vision was coming together just as planned-



The strips throw out a respectable amount of light, just what I needed to replace the CA integrated unit.

Then before I knew it, I had to rush to school to study for a final. So the bike is still partially disassembled in my shop, until finals week is over and I can finally get the bike out in the sun to take some more shots of the effectiveness of the lights.

I'm gonna have to pick up a led flasher to reduce the speed of the flash. I also have led front signals (integrated into the mirrors) and about the only resistance present is the little 1.7watt turn signal dash indicator. I had one burn out, and it either causes the leds to spazz out or hold steady color. I found my local Cycle Gear actually had the led flasher units for $20-
SPEEDMETAL Flash LED Relay - Parts & Accessories - Cycle Gear

I thought about using those load equalizers, but those are kinda sketchy since they get so hot at times (or at least they did on my brother's 2006 ZX-6R with integrated tail).

Enjoy!
-Matt

1965 PA-30 Twin Comanche
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900r
1999 Honda CBR1100XX
2005 Honda ST1300
2006 KLX250s
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-15-2012, 05:51 AM
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Great write-up! Can't wait to see pics on the bike.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-15-2012, 12:39 PM
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Very cool, look forward to seeing the final product!

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-15-2012, 01:35 PM
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I like it! Although I probably would have used half the size of LED strips - those seem a bit too long.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-15-2012, 03:09 PM
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Nice setup. I would love to steal your idea if I ever come across another tail cheap enough. I did a similar mod to my tail but I used 6" red and amber led strips on each side. I applied them in between the tail and the exhaust. It reflects off the exhaust for a nice effect.

I was also going to swap out my led stalks in the front(I hate the way aftermarket led stalks look on the bike) for flush mount 600rr led signals and and mount led license plate bolts on my wind screen for forward facing turn signals.

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post #6 of 13 Old 05-18-2012, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I finally had some time to put Shelby all back together and go for a ride! Even in broad daylight the turn signals seem to do the trick. I have the CA lens off in the pic but I ended up reinstalling so moisture can't goof up the connections.

I also went ahead and replaced the burnt out turn signal indicator. What a pain to remove the headlight, instrument panel, pop open the cluster, replace the burnt bulb, and reinstall!

1965 PA-30 Twin Comanche
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900r
1999 Honda CBR1100XX
2005 Honda ST1300
2006 KLX250s
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 05:25 AM
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Looks real professional

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-12-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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I've done it again!! This time to the little SV-






1965 PA-30 Twin Comanche
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900r
1999 Honda CBR1100XX
2005 Honda ST1300
2006 KLX250s
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-15-2013, 06:04 PM
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That is just awesome!

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-15-2013, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alinosa View Post
That is just awesome!
Thanks! I'm a little disappointed with the integrated turn signal mirrors on my 919 that I'm about to start toying with the front turn signals.

idea 1) bend up some aluminum angles to replace the radiator guards, sink led strips into those

idea 2) bend up some aluminum angles, sink led strips into them, and mount in front of the front forks by the headlight.

decisions, decisions.

1965 PA-30 Twin Comanche
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900r
1999 Honda CBR1100XX
2005 Honda ST1300
2006 KLX250s
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-15-2013, 09:45 PM
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I vote for idea #1!

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post #12 of 13 Old 12-24-2013, 03:29 PM
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That came out awesome, great work filipinoaviator. I ordered the black adhesive flat strips, and am going to try those for the rear turn signals. Not as clean of an install as these same clear/flexible type you used, though. I have these on my scooter on the headlight and taillight and MAN does it make a difference. No resistors, or anything fancy. These things are such low voltage... you don't have to really worry about that stuff.

You can't beat the price on these suckers... around $1 each on ebay. Don't buy them in your local brick and mortar store.

Great idea on the radiator bracket mount location... hmmm that got me thinking. I'll keep you posted on what I end up going with for the front.

03 Honda 919 - Custom Blue Metallic - Sato Racing Pipes - Power Commander - Sargent Seat - Rizoma Mirrors & Levers - Progrips - Renthal Bars - Powder Coated Rims/Pipes - Clear Alternatives Tail - LED Blinkers
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-25-2013, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirChimpsAlot View Post
That came out awesome, great work filipinoaviator. I ordered the black adhesive flat strips, and am going to try those for the rear turn signals. Not as clean of an install as these same clear/flexible type you used, though. I have these on my scooter on the headlight and taillight and MAN does it make a difference. No resistors, or anything fancy. These things are such low voltage... you don't have to really worry about that stuff.

You can't beat the price on these suckers... around $1 each on ebay. Don't buy them in your local brick and mortar store.

Great idea on the radiator bracket mount location... hmmm that got me thinking. I'll keep you posted on what I end up going with for the front.
Glad I could lend the inspiration! I haven't been tinkering with my bike lately but I will soon once I start commuting on her again. I have a modular rack/seat setup that I'm gonna mount additional taillights to help throw light back behind me to hopefully deter people from hitting me, and I'd like to finish up the front turn signals on the radiator since my cheap-o mirror signals have crapped out.

You have a gorgeous bike btw- by the time I had grown to love the blue on my 919 a friend of mine put her in a ditch (build thread in my signature)

1965 PA-30 Twin Comanche
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900r
1999 Honda CBR1100XX
2005 Honda ST1300
2006 KLX250s
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