HID Headlight for 1100/1200


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feetup
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HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:18 pm



Thanks to member Firstwing85's friendly tip I recently purchased an HID headlight kit for my 1200 interstate.

I have always hated riding in the country at night because of the poor stock lighting. My first solution was to purchase a brighter H4 bulb, A "Sylvania Silver Star", which only came in the automotive version, and of course as a set of 2. This bulb greatly improved visibility over the stock bulb, but I still wanted more. It tended to send a good beam for distance but left the area within 100 feet or so of the bike, and both shoulders pretty dark.

I installed a set of PIAA 1100X driving lights but they are a pencil beam and help mostly in the distance, and only with high beam.

Reading of WingAdmin's HID lights on his 1500 I was very interested, and when Firstwing85 mentioned that he had found and installed an HID on his 1200LTD I checked it out.

I ordered from the Canadian supplier of motorcycle lighting and LED products http://canadiancruisercustomizing.com/ and was extremely surprised by the low price. They claim on their website that there are only a few manufacturers of these products in the world, so name brand or not it is likely made by the same manufacturer. The unit is available in three different color temperatures, 8000 degrees K which is very blue, and not very useful, 6000 degrees k which is white with a hint of blue, and 5000 degrees k, which is the least blue and probably the most useful for vision.

The kit comes complete with everything needed for the installation. It is pretty much plug and play, except perhaps the main power and ground wires which are a little too short to rout properly and still reach the battery. I decided to follow WingAdmin's lead and install a normally open relay, grounded through the oil light sensor, so the wire turned out to be long enough for that. The unit draws less current when running than a standard 55 watt halogen but has a power surge when first turned on so 14 gauge wire seemed prudent, and I also spliced a 14 gauge wire and ran it out of the fairing to a proper frame ground since the fairing ground already has more than enough load.
There is a ballast and a controller with the kit that fit nicely up into the fairing just below the vent rubber, and the three connections to the new bulb unit fit just above the headlight housing, behind the windshield and garnish. I think there might be room behind the headlight housing as well. The bulb unit is considerably longer than a halogen, but just fits into the fairing without forcing anything. I was cautioned NOT to re-install the rubber seal since the bulb needs a little more cooling.

I was concerned about the high/low beam situation since HID lights do not like to be cycled on/off, and you can't have two in the same bulb. The solution in this unit is to have the bulb move via a solenoid so that the "arc flame" moves to the proper focal plane for high and low beam. You can actually see the beam move when you switch from low to high.

This is the singular best addition I have made to any vehicle. The improvement in visibility is truly amazing. Once I had the aim of the beam adjusted properly there was a clear cutoff at the top of the low beam, and I have never had a driver "flick" me as I occasionally did with the Silver Star. Low beam has a much wider pattern and one would have a hard time believing it comes from the same lens/reflector. High beam is the joy though, lighting the road and shoulders for at least 3 times as far as a halogen bulb. I now see deer (which are far too numerous where I live) much farther down the road. Even though it is so much brighter than the halogen, yellow road signs are not so "in your face" like before.

I find myself looking for reasons to ride in the darkest areas just so I get to use the high beam!

One final benefit. I have a fair bit more stoplight wattage than stock and I used to notice the headlight dimming when I applied the brakes. No more. There is also very little current running through the high/low beam selector switch. Just enough to trigger the solenoid to move the bulb.

I have absolutely no connection with Canadian Cruiser Customizing except for this one purchase, but I was pleased with the way they did their business, and I am thrilled and impressed with the product.



Tombrewster421
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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby Tombrewster421 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:39 pm

That is a fantastic price! I may have to get one.

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ResDog70
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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby ResDog70 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:31 pm

Nice write-up!

So nice, that I just bought a kit for myself! They were out of stock on the 5K, so I got a 6K.

AND, this is my first post on the site, even though I've been lurking for sometime now!

Quick questions:
- You mentioned the solenoid handling Hi/Lo... is that built into the system, or something you had to setup yourself?
- You didn't happen to take any pics of your install, did you? I'd be very curious to see where/how you fastened the ballast, etc. and which ground point you went to on the body frame.

My (new to me) '85 Aspy has a LOT of lights on the back, too, so I'm hoping this helps twofold: Better visibility and lessening the dash-dim when applying brakes.

Thanks again for the excellent post!

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:36 pm

Hi Resdog, welcome to the postings, and that is one cute puppy in your avatar!

I'll answer your questions in the order you asked them.

Yes, the high/low solenoid is built into the bulb holder. One of the two boxes that hook to the bulb unit is the controller. It has a three prong blade type plug to match the existing headlight socket. The only power drawn from this socket will be to signal the bulb on, and the position of the solenoid(hi/Low). A huge saving to the handlebar switch and the headlight circuit in total.

Sorry, I realize that I should have taken pics, but I installed it with a bit of a short time line. We'll have to go by the old system of the written word. Too bad I'm not a talented writer. I'm actually an engineer so I can barely spell. :lol:

It is a bit of a squeeze to get your hands in there but the ballast and controller fit very nicely up in the very front of the fairing, I put mine on the right hand side, right close to where the fairing is cut away for the headlight mounting. I have an interstate with no compressor on that side but I have an aftermarket cruise control with a vacuum reservoir all mounted in there which takes up just as much room. I found that with the speaker, amber turn light, and air vent removed, there is just enough room to reach in, and to see what is going on. I used the double sided tape made for mounting emblems and trim on cars to mount the boxes to the inside of the fairing. Be sure to get in there with a solvent soaked rag wired to a stick or something like that to clean the ABS on the inside where you are going to stick it, and do a dry run first since you won't get it off easily after you place it. The stuff sticks like the proverbial baby poop to a blanket. You will probably have to unwind some of the electrical tape that wraps the original headlight wiring to the parking light wiring and feed the headlight socket back through the fairing and toward your new controller box since there is not a lot of extra wire there.

I already had a hole in the inside wall of my fairing for the cruise control where it is hidden by the shelter, but that is an easy place to drill if you don't. Just be sure you put something behind the plastic to keep the drill from damaging the compressor and stuff inside the fairing pocket, ABS will grab you drill bit and almost pull it out of your hand the second the tip cuts through. The straight flute Unibit style drill bits work magic on ABS.

I took the heavy gauge red wire, and spliced a longer ground wire to the black kit wire and fed them through this hole with a rubber grommet. I used solder and heat shrink to join the wires but I'm just plain anal. A good crimp fastener will work fine. I used one of the bolts that mount the ignition module just ahead of the air cleaner as a ground bolt mostly because of it's location, but any good frame bolt will work.

I ran a piece of the supplied 14 gauge red wire with the inline fuse from the + battery post to one of the switched terminals of a normally closed solenoid, and the other switched terminal to the red wire of the lighting unit. I wired the coil or activation terminals of that solenoid in parallel with the oil pressure warning light wire at the oil pressure switch. When there is no oil pressure, the oil pressure switch is closed, the warning light is on, and there is power through the solenoid coil, opening the contacts in the solenoid, hence no headlight. When the oil pressure comes up, because the engine is running, the oil pressure switch opens, the light goes out and the solenoid closes turning the HID unit on. This avoids the on/off/on again when you start the bike, and also having the light on without the alternator pumping up juice. The solenoid I used has a small diode wired across the coil terminals to keep from back feeding anything else in the circuit. I am not sure this is necessary but it does no harm unless you wire it backwards. The solenoid requires very little current to operate so will not stress the warning light switch. It might be possible to use the power through the warning bulb by connecting the solenoid in series with the wire but I have not tried that. WingAdmin would be the one to know about that. I mounted the solenoid under the shelter where the red wire from the kit would reach. I mounted it where the regulator normally lives since I have an external alternator on mine but any good spot under there or even in the fairing pocket would be fine.

Good luck with this, I'm sure you will be both pleased and surprised by the system, but mostly pleased.

Tim.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby ResDog70 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:24 pm

Thank you for the warm welcome and the awesome response!

One thing about wiring it up to the oil sensor... I'd be worried that if something bad happened, and the oil light suddenly comes on, that would mean the headlight would go out, right?

I don't want to jinx myself, but my middle name should be Murphy. I could easily see that happen to me as I'm on a winding road late at night.

Thoughts?

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby alchurch » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:55 pm

I have a 1979 GL1000 with a Windjammer fairing. The head light is mounted in the fairing. Would this work on my bike? I live in Oregon which has a lot of deer. I have had to avoid riding out in the country where I live after dark. This sounds like the answer that I am looking for if it would work on my bike. Any input would be greatly apreciated. Thanks Al Church

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby NKYWinger » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:26 am

feetup:
is this the one you used on your 1200?
http://canadiancruisercustomizing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=49
The price is really good and you seem well pleased with the added light. I have done the swith to a Sylvania SilverStar and added driving lights as well, but still need more light - you may have a winner!
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:41 am

Ok guys, in order;

Resdog70 I can see your point. If you lost oil pressure, or even if the pressure sensor failed, you would loose light. The reason why I used the oil pressure sensor on circuit was to avoid having the bulb come on when I turned the key, then off when I engaged the starter than on again when the engine started. The hardest time in a high intensity discharge lamp's life is starting up. Essentially they have a finite number of starts, but a very long life when lit. Also, although they draw less current than a halogen or tungsten bulb when running, start up is where they draw a bit more. I suppose it would do no harm to wire it without, or even to wire it through a solenoid controlled by a switch. If you wire it without any switching just get you engine started asap after turning the key on.

alchurch; The bulb unit is a direct replacement for an H4 halogen bulb although it is longer and sticks out of the reflector housing farther because of the high/low beam solenoid. I have a late model windjammer (with the leading edge lights) for my gl1000 and I'm sure it would fit, or could easily be made to fit, with the trimming of a little plastic, in the worst case. The fairing is in storage, and I am at work so I can't check for you but based on memory I see no reason why not. I live on Vancouver Island where deer are becoming an increasingly major threat to riders and this unit has allowed me to see all kinds of deer I know I would have not seen till much later without. I obviously have missed a lot of deer that could have done something stupid as deer are prone to do. We need all the help we can get.

NKY Winger; Yes, that's the one.

Notes to all:
1. Don't replace the rubber seal around the HID Bulb, they need a bit more cooling than the halogen.

2.The color of the light the bulb emits is measured by what is called color temperature. It is the color of some hypothetical black substance glowing at a certain temperature, measured in degrees absolute, or the Kelvin scale. (Water freezed at 273 degrees Kelvin) These units are available in three color temperatures, 5000K, 6000K and 8000K. Don't get the 8000k bulb! Get the 5000k or 6000k in that order. The 5000k is about the color of a bright halogen, or the sun at daybreak, the 6000k is more of a blue white, similar to bright daylight, or the sun in space, and the 8000k is very blue, but actually lets you see less. I have used both the 5000k and 6000K and currently am running the 6000k but am undecided which I like the best.

These units are fairly inexpensive, and the instructions are a little thin, but the quality seems to good so I would classify them as an excellent value.

Good luck all.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:44 am

feetup wrote:Resdog70 I can see your point. If you lost oil pressure, or even if the pressure sensor failed, you would loose light. The reason why I used the oil pressure sensor on circuit was to avoid having the bulb come on when I turned the key, then off when I engaged the starter than on again when the engine started. The hardest time in a high intensity discharge lamp's life is starting up. Essentially they have a finite number of starts, but a very long life when lit. Also, although they draw less current than a halogen or tungsten bulb when running, start up is where they draw a bit more. I suppose it would do no harm to wire it without, or even to wire it through a solenoid controlled by a switch. If you wire it without any switching just get you engine started asap after turning the key on.


That's the same reason I wired mine to the oil light, to save the extra startup cycle. And yes, the headlight would go out if the oil light came on - or if you stall the engine! I'm planning to add a latching relay into my bike this winter, so that once the headlight comes on, it stays on regardless of what the oil light does.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:24 am

WingAdmin wrote:
That's the same reason I wired mine to the oil light, to save the extra startup cycle. And yes, the headlight would go out if the oil light came on - or if you stall the engine! I'm planning to add a latching relay into my bike this winter, so that once the headlight comes on, it stays on regardless of what the oil light does.


That's excellent, and solves all the problems. When you get to that point please post the circuit, and/or the P/N of the latching relay.
I suppose one could use a multi-pole ice cube relay and a diode to get a constant on, key switch interrupted circuit.
Another alternative might be a timing relay, say 10 to 15 seconds.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby ResDog70 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:58 pm

Yeah, I like the Timed Delay Relay idea, so I ordered the WolstenTech TDR-P unit today. It's back ordered by 1-2 weeks, but I won't be able to jump on installing the HID until around then anyway.

I REALLY like the idea of being able to adjust the delay time on this unit. I figure a 12-15 second delay will fit my needs perfectly.

Now I just have to find a good line between the ignition switch and the Hi/Lo switch to tap into and all will be well with the world!

Here's a link to the schematic and unit I got: http://www.wolstentech.com/products/tim ... y/app2.php

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:04 pm

The fuse box mounted on the air cleaner has accessory terminals on the front of it that are switched with ignition.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby ResDog70 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:47 pm

Pardon my ignorance on the matter, feetup, but wouldn't I want it the positive line to still go into the Hi/Lo switch for the headlight?

Just wiring the HID + TDR into accessories would leave it just in the 'Lo' setting, wouldn't it?

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby Skbbuilding » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:34 am

I have a 1985 Interstate, what kit # did you purchase? I like what I have read on this product but I am not sure which kit comes with the tilt relay or high/low bulb. I would prefer the tilt. I appreciate any info. Thanks, Steve

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby alchurch » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:55 am

Thanks everyone for the input. I think what I am reading is that the 5000 Kelvin white light is superior to the others. I think a switched terminal at the switch block wired to a relay there by reducing the current flow through the light dimmer is the best way to go. Does anyone know what the life expectency of these is? How well to they stand up to vibration? ( Oregon has some rough back country roads) What is the guarrenty and has any one had the oportunity to see it work in reality. Again thanks everyone for your input. AL Church

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:25 am

resdog70
No, the way this system operates, it uses one 14 gauge wire to supply all the current it needs. It is important to these units not to have any line loss between the battery and the ballast, and the stock Honda system uses rather small wire for the headlight wiring.

To help you understand how this works, perhaps a brief explanation might help.

High intensity discharge lighting does not work by the glow of a super hot filament as do conventional and halogen lights. It works by passing very high voltage electricity through a hot gas, in this case xenon which begins to glow with a very bright light. There are other lighting systems that use this theory, high pressure sodium street lamps, the old mercury vapor streetlamps, even the simple fluorescent lights in your offices.
In the case of the xenon HID lights there is only one light source, not two as in a halogen light. The reflectors and lenses on the headlamp units are engineered to have two different focal centers, or where the light source should be to effect high and low beam. They are only about 1/4" (6 mm) apart, and the halogen bulbs have two filaments one ahead of the other for high and low beam. Usually they are of different wattages, the high beam filament being the brightest.
With the HID bulb, it takes about 10 seconds or more to heat up the xenon gas to produce usable brightness, and about a minute to fully heat it up. This would never work for high/low beam so just one light source is used, but that source is moved mechanically to the optimum center for low and high beam. This is all very compactly encased in the bulb unit, which is why it is a little bit longer than just a halogen bulb.
To your question directly, resdog70, The system takes it's power from the new red, fused, and optionally relayed wire to the battery, but has a plug in to the original bulb socket, therefore accessing high and low beam signals from the dimmer switch. It uses this power to operate the placement solenoid. You can actually see the light beam move on the road as you switch from low to high rather than light up in another location. It happens very quickly, perhaps 1/4 of a second but you can just see it move. Although no more light is produced on high beam, the location of the "flame" is optimal to the reflector/lens so there is much more usable light on the road.
Electrically these units have a constant power supply from the battery, a ground and an internal switch that switches this power on when it detects a signal voltage at the original headlight plug. I also uses this signal for high low selection.

Quite plug and play. The electrical is very simple to hook up. By far the biggest difficulty is the mechanical dis-assembly and reassembly in order to access the original wiring, and to fit and secure the small ballast and controller. Perhaps this is the one fault I might find with the system, the wiring between the bulb and the ballast and controller is a little short, and cannot be changed.

Hope that helps.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:43 am

Skbuilding;

The 85 interstate has the same bulb as all 1000, 1100, and 1200 goldwings, which is an H4.

Therefore the unit you would need is the "HID Conversion Kit, 55W Slim Ballast H4 H/L", and you can choose one of three color temperatures in the drop down menu, 8,000K, 6000K, and 5000K. I have used the 5000K and the 6000K and am not sure which I like most. The 5000k is like a really bright halogen, the 6000K is like a new AUDI or BMW and the 8000k is like the super blue lights the young kids favor for their "high rev tuner with the big exhaust" cars. It actually offers less usable light.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby feetup » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:49 am

Alchurch;

I have only had my unit for less than a season so I cannot speak to durability or longevity, or for that matter even toughness.
The distributor claims longer life than conventional halogen bulbs with no loss of output over time, as does a halogen. It would be important to mount everything well, and to assure that the wiring is well installed with no strain.
Not sure about the warrantee but found the distributor quick to answer emails so why not question him directly.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby NKYWinger » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:06 am

ResDog-

Which of these did you order? This seems the best solution to the problem.


Negative-Switching Time-Delay Relay (TDR)
Price: $27


Positive-Switching Time-Delay Relay (TDR-P)
Price: $29
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby ResDog70 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:37 pm

I ordered the TDR-P (Positive switching).

I could be wrong, but I don't think there would be much of a difference with going either way... other than what wire you put it on, that is.

I've been reading reviews and people recommend trying a few different variations on timing for a while, then once you've made up your choice on what works best for you, make the TDR waterproof, either with a tight wrap, or filling circuit cavity with silicon, because you don't want ANY water getting in there! People who filled it with silicon have not had any heat issues to date.

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby gwolfe » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:50 pm

Thank you to all who posted info on the HID light kits for the GL1100! I have a 1980 GL1100 and a 1981 GL1100i and haven't been doing too much night riding because of the poor standard lighting...I just ordered my first HID kit from Canadian Cruiser Customizing so when the weather warms sufficiently, I can get back on the bike! And maybe even a night ride or two!

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby sparrowhawwk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:55 am

Thanks for the review. I have used HID before and absolutely loved the increased vision. I had two problems with mine. First was the beam pattern. Once I got it lowered enough to stop bothering oncoming traffic the beam was not extending far enough forward to even match the H4 halogen it replaced although of course it was a lot brighter. Mine was a H/L model and the ballast failed on a dark night in the mountains. That was exciting! :roll: Fortunately I run an extra light on the sidecar so a flick of the switch and I could see the road again. As noted in this review it seems this unit provides a much better beam pattern if it has a clear cutoff at the top of the beam. Because of this review I will be ordering another unit from CCC and hopefully will have more success with it. I am also mounting a pair of PIAA LP530 LED driving lights. These actually have a fairly flat beam that can be adjusted so as to be useful without blinding oncoming traffic and will give me a better back up if I have another headlight failure. Everything going black at 60mph makes you a little more cautious. :lol:

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby rnhent12 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:11 pm

I am curious Will these work with a headlight modulator or will the change from 100% to 20% shorten the life of the bulb?

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:08 pm

rnhent12 wrote:I am curious Will these work with a headlight modulator or will the change from 100% to 20% shorten the life of the bulb?


You cannot modulate a HID headlight. It is either on 100% or off. It has a complex electronic ballast that strikes a very high voltage arc inside the bulb at startup, then modulates the current the bulb consumes when it is running. I don't think the electronics in the ballast would take very kindly to being modulated up and down. :)

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Re: HID Headlight for 1100/1200

Postby NKYWinger » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:55 pm

I just ordered the Speedmetal HID kit from Cycle Gear; it was $65 out the door.

SPEEDMETAL HID Light Kit (web1009010)
$54.99was $109.99 (you save 50%)


I believe I'll install a rocker switch on the dash (next to the one for my driving lights) to keep the light from cycling on/off when I hit the starter. I can easily access the wiring in the headlight bucket and wire up the switch.
I'm looking forward to the muchly improved output!


--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547


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