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Thread: Clearwater Darla LED lights

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Clearwater Darla LED lights

    I'll be heading over the mountains on Saturday down to Chico to get Ozzie's BMW to install the Clearwater Darla LED lights on the C650GT. I'll give a report and pictures after the install, unless this weather front materializes and it snows up there in the Sierras.
    "Chance favors the prepared mind" Louis Pasteur

  2. #2
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    I'll be interested to see how they work and where they mount them. I have some Denali lights on mine and I haven't been convinced that the mounting location, same as WebBikeWorld test bike, is the best location and/or maybe I just need different lights with more power for my use.
    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

  3. #3
    Excellent news. I have been contemplating a couple of LED auxiliary lights. I am not skilled enough to try it at this point. I look forward to seeing your pictures and your opinion of the upgrades. Good luck to you. I hope it works out well.
    2016 BMW C650GT with premium package and black in color

  4. #4
    Senior Member davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderwatts View Post
    Excellent news. I have been contemplating a couple of LED auxiliary lights. I am not skilled enough to try it at this point. I look forward to seeing your pictures and your opinion of the upgrades. Good luck to you. I hope it works out well.
    Ditto. I've had the Denali's (following WbW's documentation) for the past couple of years and definitely like them both for visibility and being seen. It'll be interesting to see how these compare.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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    Ok, I made it to Chico to Ozzie's. It only dropped down to 24F going over the Sierras! The temperature display starts flashing @ 37F, and the cute little snowflake shows up. Once the lights get installed I'll post pictures. Now, I will be looking for some winter gloves!!
    "Chance favors the prepared mind" Louis Pasteur

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveADV's Avatar
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    Ha, yup that wind chill can get yah for sure. Last year I did a Northern Ohio to Orlando Iron Butt leaving at 4am and getting there at 9:30. Along the way I had to shove my extra rain pants up under my coat and vest to keep the cold West Virginia high elevation air from cooling my core too much. Then, at about every stop after Virgina the strip show began as I unlayered. Traveling on a motorcycle is a challenge in more ways than one. I loved every mile.

  7. #7
    The guy who started Clearwater lights was interviewed on the "Talking Motorcycles" podcast.He was interesting, had a audio speaker business until a major customer copied his designs and had them made in China, which caused him to lay off around 100 people. While out riding his bike at night he hit a deer carcass he didn't see because of poor lighting, he immediately decided what his next business would be.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lee's Avatar
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ID:	1763 So, here's my story. Ozzie's in Chico did a great job! Physically attaching the lights wasn't the greatest challenge. The wiring was. So, what I now have is an added on/off switch, plus the dimmer control. Hopefully, you all can see from the attached photos. The way the lights are rigged now, is that when the low beam is on, the dimmer switch is fully functional to control the light output. However, when I switch to high beam, the LED's are set at full strength, and not adjustable. Again, the whole set up can be turned on or off with the switch. So for me, I have them on for day riding set at half intensity. At night with the bright headlight on, they are automatically at one hundred percent. So, I did drive back in the dark, and the net effect was that three cars flashed their brights at me, and one car in front of me pulled over to let me pass. The net increase in what one can see is outstanding! I put the yellow filter covers on mine for some more contrast. They're not cheap, but if you drive at night, I think that they are a great investment in your own safety. As in Snowdog's above story, I have a plethora of deer in this area, and even had 5-6 cross in front of me on my way to Chico! I also picked up a pair of Olympia 4102 gloves for the cold ride back, and they turned out to be a great investment in cold weather riding. So for now, I think that my scooter is all pimped out, unless I need that flux capacitor!
    "Chance favors the prepared mind" Louis Pasteur

  9. #9
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    Lee,

    Looks good and sounds like a great upgrade. What did they end up attaching the light to? Almost looks like the brake caliper or maybe the brake caliper mount. Thanks for the pics and follow up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

  10. #10
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    After hearing about Lee's installation, reading many reviews and debating the cost, I finally purchased the Clearwater Darla lights to replace my Denali DM Micro lights. The free holiday offer for a nice Andie II LED flashlight added a little incentive to buy pre-Christmas (it came in handy with installation in my poorly lit garage). It wasn't that the Denali lights were bad or didn't work well - they did an excellent job of making me visible during the daytime and they did a good job of throwing some extra light down the road at night. But living out on the fringes of the burbs frequently driving home from work at night or early before dark, I was looking for something that just had more of a WOW factor when it came to putting some light down the road. And the Darla's are about 2-3x times brighter than the Denali's with the ability to dim them, with 3 LED's each vs 1 LED.

    Installation was pretty simple. Had to remove the Denali lights first and wiring the Clearwater lights was similar. I opted to use the same relay trigger as the Denali's to turn the lights on, the fuel pump lead I think, the same one WebBikeWorld used for their Denali installation. This means that whenever the bike is running, these lights are on, just like the headlight. The rotating dimmer know allows you to turn down the power of the lights, but I did not wire them in a way that they can be shut off - head lights on, these are on. I opted to mount the dimmer switch in the handlebar cover so only the dial is visible. With these lights, the lights never actually dim, they just pulsate at a very fast rate that gives the illusion of them dimming. This was evident when I went to take a photo of them on a lower power with my iPhone as in the live view you could see them pulsate like a strobe light but with your eyes they looked always on, something to do with frame rate or shutter and the pulse speed of lights. I did hook into the high beams so that when the high beams are on they go to full power. Turn off the high beams and they go back to whatever reduced power you had them set at previously. Under usual circumstances you could probably install these in 1-2 hours, my time was much longer due to needing to uninstall the old lights, trying to figure out best way to tie into high beams (I just ended up running wire through a pinhole in rubber cover of headlamp and a posi-tap to lead wire at socket) plus I managed to drop 2 items down onto fairings and had to remove panels and mess around trying to fish them out.

    I did manage to get out for a 50 mile ride in our 36-38 degree day here that felt more like 25 or worse, and they worked as expected. Guess everyone saw me coming because no one tried to pull out in front of me even though not many would be expecting to see a motorcycle riding around here on a day like today. I'm really interested to see how they work at night. I am sure they will be a big improvement based upon what I saw at night in the garage after dark but not sure when the next night ride will be as I try and limit rides near the freezing temps to daylight only until I am sure no more snow or ice will be found on the roads.

    Will update my thoughts once I get a chance to use more. A couple of the photos show the Clearwater Darla lights installed and showing the replaced Denali lights for size comparison.

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    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

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