How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:04 pm



The front fairing of the GL1500 has two amber reflectors. These can be changed to lighted marker lights - and of course, we can replace these with LEDs, which are more efficient, and have a far longer life. You can of course use these instructions to replace a burned-out light bulb with a new light bulb.

If your GL1500 still has reflectors instead of lights, you will need to purchase an aftermarket fairing light kit to replace the reflectors. Installation is fairly simple.

1. This article focuses on the right-hand light; the left-hand light is identical, except everything is a mirror image. First off, if you have any accessories that need to be removed before you can remove the lower cowls, do so now. In my case, I have a set of wind wings that I need to remove.

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2. I also have a set of air horns that need to be disconnected, loosened, and pivoted out of the way.

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3. Gently pull the inner edge of the lower cowl screw cover away from the screw head.

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4. Be very careful removing these covers - pulling them back too far will snap the tab off of the outer edge. See how the tab hooks into the cowl. Gently rotate the inner edge back, then pull it straight out.

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5. Remove the lower cowl screw.

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6. Gently remove the lower cowl deflector. It pulls out approximately one inch at the bottom, then is pulled straight down to disengage the top tab, then is pulled straight back to disengage the front tab.

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7. This is the top tab that needs to be disengaged.

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8. And this is the front tab.

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9. The side marker light trim needs to be removed next. OEM Honda trim is black plastic and looks different than my aftermarket chrome trim. My trim has screw caps that must be removed to access the screw heads.

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10. Remove the three screws holding the trim and the marker light in place.

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11. Gently remove the reflector/light from the fairing. If you don't have the marker lights installed already, connect the wiring harness according the instructions accompanying it. Rotate the light bulb socket counterclockwise, then pull it free of the light housing.

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12. Pull the bulb free of the socket.

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13. The standard type 194 bulb is a wedge-based bulb.

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14. I replaced the bulb with a WLED-A4-90 LED bulb from superbrightleds.com.

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15. Some LED bulbs are polarity sensitive - if it doesn't light up when you insert it, remove it, rotate it 180 degrees, and reinsert.

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16. Push the socket into the reflector/light and rotate clockwise to lock it in place. Put the marker light back into the fairing. Important: Make sure the tab on the edge of the marker light goes BEHIND the tab of the lower fairing, or the marker light tab will snap off when tightened.

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17. Replace the screws and trim pieces holding the marker light and fairing in place.

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18. Replace your screw caps (if you have them).

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19. Replace the lower cowl deflector. Insert the front tab first, then the top tab, then slide the deflector to the left to line up the screw holes.

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20. Install and tighten the lower cowl screw.

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21. Replace the lower cowl screw cover - insert the tab first, then press fit it over the screw head.

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22. Repeat the process for the reflector/light on the other side of the bike. Once completed, you will have yet one more light to make you visible to traffic!

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby detdrbuzzard » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:20 pm

are the led lights brighter than the incandesent bulbs you replaced
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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:42 pm

detdrbuzzard wrote:are the led lights brighter than the incandesent bulbs you replaced


These LEDs are about the same as the incandescent bulbs, to my eye. Maybe very slightly brighter.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby OC4648 » Sun May 06, 2012 4:52 pm

Could you use the 5 or 6 LED lights to make it brighter?

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Sun May 06, 2012 7:29 pm

OC4648 wrote:Could you use the 5 or 6 LED lights to make it brighter?


Not using the same socket. This is a simple plug-and-play replacement. If you were to take the reflector apart, you could mount a strip of amber LEDs in there that would work that way, I think.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby mainship87 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:37 am

Would there be any advantage to use these (red) in the side saddlebag and trunk lights, other than lower current draw. I have the saddlebag side lights wired to flash alternatly with the turn signal light and the same on the side relector lights on the front fairing.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Keep in mind...the wiring harnesses that make the side reflectors (marker lights AND trunk side lights) flash alternately with your turn signals are NOT compatible with LEDs, because they do so by floating a ground, and sending current backward through the lights. That works fine for regular light bulbs, but LEDs are polarity-sensitive, and will not function if you try to send current backward through them.

There are a few advantages to LEDs over incandescent bulbs:

- Lower current draw
- Longer life
- For turn & brake signals, no "ramp-up" time to full brightness - they are on, full brightness, instantly. The instant-on, instant-off nature of LEDs also attracts the eye a bit more than regular bulbs.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby mainship87 » Wed May 16, 2012 1:29 pm

I could then use them on the saddlebag side lights and the center trunk light.
Thanks for the quick response.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby quikcarl61 » Thu May 17, 2012 11:54 am

Are there replacement led bulbs for the stop and turn signals. I tried looking in the owners manual for the size but was unable to verify what they were. Does superbrightled carry the proper bulbs, thanks

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 17, 2012 1:06 pm

quikcarl61 wrote:Are there replacement led bulbs for the stop and turn signals. I tried looking in the owners manual for the size but was unable to verify what they were. Does superbrightled carry the proper bulbs, thanks


The problem is that they require right-angle LEDs - the light has to shine out at a 90 degree angle to the socket. 99% of LED replacement bulbs shine out the end, not out the side. The ones that do have LEDs that shine out the side, have MOST of the light coming out the end, with some coming out the side to illuminate a reflector.

The ONLY right-angle LEDs I was able to find that were able to fit through the opening were these LEDs from superbrightleds. And, to get them to fit, I had to remove the front lens, and grind away some of the aluminum heat-sink on the back. However, I can NOT recommend them at all, as I have had THREE of them die within a two-month period (the last one died just two days ago). And at $15 a pop, that gets expensive. They are also extremely fragile, and I have had several where a solder joint inside broke, and had to be resoldered.

My plan is to replace ALL of those single, high-power LEDs with LED strips inside the lights, like I did on my saddlebags:

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby quikcarl61 » Thu May 17, 2012 3:55 pm

Ok thanks for the reply, that saved me some money, I don't think I will replace any of my lights at this time, until they give me a reason to. I installed the front reflector lights, the side trunk lights, and the rear brake reflector with lights, will adding these lights cause my altenator any issues. All lights would have been factory on the se I believe. No extra lights, like driving lights or ring of fire, nothing like that, thanks again, quikcarl

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 17, 2012 5:28 pm

You shouldn't have any issues with power in that case.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby Bobwquinn » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:45 am

Decided to replace the marker lights with leds. No big difference but I'm satified with the change.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby uttrainman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:29 pm

My 98 has a rubber plug in the fairing marker reflector. What gives? How difficult to add an LED now?
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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:50 pm

uttrainman wrote:My 98 has a rubber plug in the fairing marker reflector. What gives? How difficult to add an LED now?


They aren't lit by default. There is a kit with lighted versions:

http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1500_ ... /83/114969


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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby jeffmd2 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:31 pm

Your instructions did not explain or show how to find the wire harness connector supplied with the bike to plug the lights in to. I had my side fairings off to add the lights and I could not find the connector to plug them into. The instructions that came with the Add On side fairing light kit only said the connector would be wrapped in green tape and attached to the frame. Do you or anyone have more information or pictures on how to find the connector?

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:48 pm

jeffmd2 wrote:Your instructions did not explain or show how to find the wire harness connector supplied with the bike to plug the lights in to. I had my side fairings off to add the lights and I could not find the connector to plug them into. The instructions that came with the Add On side fairing light kit only said the connector would be wrapped in green tape and attached to the frame. Do you or anyone have more information or pictures on how to find the connector?


The connectors can be found by removing the pockets in the fairing. They are green, and will be off to the side, as shown in the picture:

Side marker connector
Side marker connector

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby NVSB4 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:20 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
OC4648 wrote:Could you use the 5 or 6 LED lights to make it brighter?

Not using the same socket. This is a simple plug-and-play replacement. If you were to take the reflector apart, you could mount a strip of amber LEDs in there that would work that way, I think.

SuperBrightLEDs now has these T3 bulbs available with 5 LEDs and 90 lms instead of the 15 lms. Would they work as well?
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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:04 pm

NVSB4 wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:
OC4648 wrote:Could you use the 5 or 6 LED lights to make it brighter?

Not using the same socket. This is a simple plug-and-play replacement. If you were to take the reflector apart, you could mount a strip of amber LEDs in there that would work that way, I think.

SuperBrightLEDs now has these T3 bulbs available with 5 LEDs and 90 lms instead of the 15 lms. Would they work as well?


I don't see why not - as long as it will physically fit.

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby Yellowdog » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:28 pm

Do these LEDs not need resistors as per the handlebar switch lights?

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Re: How to replace your fairing marker reflectors with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:28 pm

Yellowdog wrote:Do these LEDs not need resistors as per the handlebar switch lights?


No, they have integral circuitry that allows them to operate directly on 12 volts.




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