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Thread: An alternative mounting for LED spotlights.

  1. #1

    An alternative mounting for LED spotlights.

    I have been looking at the various places to mount LED spots and have now fitted them in a location that I have not seen used before. This position will not suit everyone but it gives another place for consideration.

    My initial thoughts were:

    Mounting off the brake-housing puts the spots roadside of the shock absorbers which isnít ideal.

    The design using a Tee-bar extension from under the headlights seems a very good option but it needs the frame to be modified.

    I briefly considered reinforcing the screen with round stick-on GPS mounts front and back as load-spreaders for mounting holes through the screen but that idea fails because the screen changes angle as is moves up and down. I still really like this idea though and may well return to it if the current idea fails.

    Body-panel mounting would trash any expensive (i.e. any) panels when the spots get clobbered.

    However, when looking at the Tee-bar option it became apparent that there is a vacant space between the upper front forks.
    Fork mounts for indicators (or headlamps) are easily sourced for the 53mm diameter of the upper fork tubes and with virtually no modification the Denelli style spots can be fitted to them leaving full adjustment for pitch and yaw.

    The only slight (I hope) drawback is that the front fork travel gets reduced from the theoretical 105mm (4 inch) to the 75mm (3 inch) at which point the LEDs would hit the front mudguard but it is currently Ďso far, so goodí. The photos show the spots as fitted.

    I used the accessory plug under the handlebar centre cover to give a switched ignition trigger to the Innovv power distribution block and that switches the battery power to the spots.

    My aim was to get higher visibility to other road users rather than improved road illumination so I have set them at a pitch angle that avoids blinding any oncoming traffic and they are on whenever the ignition is on. They could just as easily be triggered by the main beam power to give true spot use.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    Grample,

    I struggled with the location of LED auxiliary lights on my 650 and previously on my Silverwing. On the Silverwing I spent several weeks and some money working with a local machine shop to have a custom aluminum mount designed and built to get the lights off the wheels and into a position up higher like you did. On the BMW I looked at lots of options but rejected the idea of going into the plastic panels as well. For now I settled with the Clearwater Light mounts on the wheels, but I have spoken with a Clearwater rep and stated I would like to see a better option for a mount and he said he would pass along some of my ideas, but not sure if anything will ever come of this.

    The one location that could work is a mount that would utilize the metal brace that can be seen directly above your lights. With some generic braces and right angle pieces I had started to work on a mount that would be attached to this but it was crude and I had not found a means to attach it besides welding it on or drilling, but I am sure a clamp or other means of attachment could be created. If a mount was created that looked high end and could bring the lights just below the headlamps that would ideal in my mind.

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    The one plus of the lights on the wheels is the lights follow the direction of the wheel so this can be helpful in some situations.
    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

  3. #3
    Hi Bicyclenut,

    Yes, I also put some effort into using the cross-bar under the headlights. Someone on the forum has already done that but I can't seem to find the posting any more. That's the Tee-bar option I mentioned where the poster had drilled into the forward facing pipe of the frame to make it all secure.
    It is a shame that BMW didn't realise we all want max visibility and use one of the small LEDs in the indicators as a safety feature. That would be a zillion times more useful that the temperamental blind-spot triangles fitted to my 2016 model.

    Let us all hope that Clearwater really do come up with something professional-looking but sadly I do not think that enough C650s are sold to warrant any commercially produced stuff. Even Givi seemed to have abandoned the C650 except for 'standard' top-boxes: the side pannier support bracket has been discontinued

    When I had my Silverwings there was someone on that forum who ran a 'bespoke custom' service for designing and supplying useful accessory brackets until sadly he became unwell. We need someone like that to help us out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    Grample,

    I may still see if the guy at the machine shop down the road wants to help me figure out a mount for that location.

    I agree on the Clearwater solution and yes, hard to find custom fit accessories unless you make them yourself. I think I was fortunate to get one of the last few Givi pannier racks, I put it off for a year but glad I decided to go ahead.

    Yes, as a former Silverwing owner and frequent forum visitor, DennisB had a shop that made custom accessories for the Honda's. I had created my own bracket and I had 2 extras but couldn't even sell them at cost not even charging for my costs of prototypes from the machine shop and my time. Can see why accessory makers don't offer a lot of items with lower sales and low demand. You have something like a 1200GS, etc and you find plenty of accessories out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grample View Post
    Hi Bicyclenut,

    Yes, I also put some effort into using the cross-bar under the headlights. Someone on the forum has already done that but I can't seem to find the posting any more. That's the Tee-bar option I mentioned where the poster had drilled into the forward facing pipe of the frame to make it all secure.
    It is a shame that BMW didn't realise we all want max visibility and use one of the small LEDs in the indicators as a safety feature. That would be a zillion times more useful that the temperamental blind-spot triangles fitted to my 2016 model.

    Let us all hope that Clearwater really do come up with something professional-looking but sadly I do not think that enough C650s are sold to warrant any commercially produced stuff. Even Givi seemed to have abandoned the C650 except for 'standard' top-boxes: the side pannier support bracket has been discontinued

    When I had my Silverwings there was someone on that forum who ran a 'bespoke custom' service for designing and supplying useful accessory brackets until sadly he became unwell. We need someone like that to help us out.
    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

  5. #5
    LED Running Lights added to the Mirror Pillars

    A couple of weeks back a member of our local motorcycle club was in fatal collision with a car. The accident happened at a low use country-lane crossroads in fine weather in daytime. The crossing roads are straight and bordered by open fields with low hedging. I don’t know the details of this event but in many such accidents the bike simply isn’t seen by the driver of the car.

    This has prompted me to fit yet more lights to my C650GT: I have just added an LED tube light to each mirror pillar to give added visual width.

    There is a small area on the mirror pillar of the C650GT that is almost flat and almost parallel to the axis of the bike.

    Pedal cyclists in city traffic also have safety problems with car-drivers and they often add low weight LED running lights to their handlebars. These lights are now very small, very efficient and are USB-rechargeable, with running times at 5-plus hours extending to days when connected to a USB-power-pack.

    I chose the Aerolite Helmet Light from Moon-Sports that is Cree-chipped and provides 60 lumens from its 700mAh lithium-ion battery. This light is just 24mm diameter x 65mm long and weighs 40 grams (1in x 2.5in x 1.5 oz). The output of 60 lumen may be small compared to the 700 lumen spots I fitted in over summer but in use they are actually too bright to mount perfectly horizontally and I have angled them downwards by around 20 degrees.
    The quick-release brackets that are provided with the light are not suitable for the location and so I modified them to fit onto a 50mm (2in) acrylic disc that I then fixed in place using 3M VHB tape.

    I like it that there are no wires to route behind the tupperware but if I get fed-up with recharging the lights then it should be possible retro-fit a 12v to 5v convertor somewhere under cover and use the USB input to each light.

    Incidentally, the Aerolites are multi-mode (including flashing modes) and can also emit red light to the rear but where they are mounted this proves to be almost as distracting as those damned BMW warning triangles!

    The lights cost £22 ($29) each including delivery. The acrylic discs (50mm x 5mm) were just £1 each and I used a 3mm x 20mm stainless screw with thread-locked nut at each light and some 3-M tape.

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    Photos are attached. One shows all the LED the lights on together and another shows just the new tube lights. Both of these were taken near dusk but with enough light to stop the main halogens from coming on.
    Last edited by Grample; 10-28-2017 at 06:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Great job! Great idea! Looks Good!

    I'll share my solution with you as well. My solution: Very Cheap. Very Easy. Very Bright.
    I just wanted something to help me be seen by other drivers that would look more like original equipment rather than an add-on.
    I noticed it must work well as most drivers move over on the open road to let me pass as I assume they don't like me in their rearview mirror ... even on a bright sunny day
    Picked these up at Wal-Mart for less than $10 USD and mounted them to the base of my 2016 GT mirror stalks running the wires inside to my aux circuit.
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    2016 C650 GT in Custom Ruby Red Metallic CC

  7. #7
    Wow! Great result for $10.

    I looked at similar ones (Bike-Viz) here just so I could fit a demodulator to make them 'sparkle' at high frequency but I really didn't want to poke holes through the panels for the wires.

    My other thought was to leave the Moon ones at horizontal but they really were then too much in-your-face for other road-users.

    What I'd like is a really big blue flashing beacon plus two frequency siren mounted above a holographic representation of an 18-wheeler with fangs!!! P'raps car drivers might then actually notice that I'm there
    Last edited by Grample; 10-28-2017 at 03:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Absolutely!
    2016 C650 GT in Custom Ruby Red Metallic CC

  9. #9
    Senior Member bicyclenut's Avatar
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    Without a doubt the extra lights are great and do help (I've added some as well). I've also found that some slight weaving/zigzagging when approaching a car that might not see you or an intersection does a lot to make you and your lights less static and more noticeable. Also, positioning in your lane, especially when behind other cars so you and your lights can be seen is good and something to be aware of when you ride.
    2014 C650GT Quartz Blue Metallic

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclenut View Post
    Without a doubt the extra lights are great and do help (I've added some as well). I've also found that some slight weaving/zigzagging when approaching a car that might not see you or an intersection does a lot to make you and your lights less static and more noticeable. Also, positioning in your lane, especially when behind other cars so you and your lights can be seen is good and something to be aware of when you ride.
    Smart!
    2016 C650 GT in Custom Ruby Red Metallic CC

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