How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
User avatar
silverado6x6
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by silverado6x6 »



I have just replaced the RH controls of my 95 Aspencade with a 98 SE version that is illuminated, also the starter button is just a logo and does not say START like the 95.

But most important is this, there are two plugs that need to plug into matching sockets in the plug holder just above the RH radiator fan (there is a third but its to the brake switch on handlebar).
You have a 6 pin brown and a 9 pin red plug. On my 95 the red 9 pin socket only had 7 wires going to it, the two not there?

yep, they are for the illumination circuit, a dark green and a brown, both have some stripes. The brown is + while the dark green is - or ground.
On the new controls harness after I installed it and wrapped the new harness down the bars and around I cut flush at the plug just those two wires that are the feeds for the control lights (if plugged in they would have had nothing too them), soldered in an extension lead (I used small ga speaker wire) and then making sure the polarity was right tapped into the RH side fairing marker light harness, same color wires BTW, dark green and brown with white stripe. Lights work just dandy.

When I get the left side SE illuminated controls I suspect it may be easier as I have two extra wires in the handlebar cover, they may be the illumination circuit.

So in summary this is what I had to do to get illuminated controls on an Aspencade which did not have them before. An Interstate may be another different can of worms.


Founder of Steel Horse Restorations
Image

User avatar
BullCBX
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:48 pm
Location: Loganville, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
2004 FJR1300ABS
1982 CBX

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by BullCBX »

Question fro WingAdmin:
When doing this modification, did you find the placement of the resistor important? Most of the wiring in the controls twists and turns a lot. Assume the resistor needs to be back far enough to allow the wiring to bend 90 degrees at the base of the LED. Did you find it necessary to re-work any (move the resistor closer or farther away)? I just recently did my instrument cluster and was amazed at the difference. Now I am ready to tackle this next, but just not sure about where to position these resistors. I looked at the "pre-wired" units from Oznium, but are concerned the resistor is attached too close to the base. Can you expound on your experience?

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21013
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by WingAdmin »

BullCBX wrote:Question fro WingAdmin:
When doing this modification, did you find the placement of the resistor important? Most of the wiring in the controls twists and turns a lot. Assume the resistor needs to be back far enough to allow the wiring to bend 90 degrees at the base of the LED. Did you find it necessary to re-work any (move the resistor closer or farther away)? I just recently did my instrument cluster and was amazed at the difference. Now I am ready to tackle this next, but just not sure about where to position these resistors. I looked at the "pre-wired" units from Oznium, but are concerned the resistor is attached too close to the base. Can you expound on your experience?
I did all of mine exactly the same way, with the resistor quite close to the base:

Image

There were some that needed to be bent 90 degrees at the base, so that bend just happened in between the LED and the resistor. I didn't have a problem with the positioning of the units doing it this way.

An alternative would be to wire the LEDs in with no resistors, and then place a single resistor in the feed that ran all of them. The value of this resistor would need to be calculated based on the LEDs and the number of LEDs used.

User avatar
BullCBX
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:48 pm
Location: Loganville, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
2004 FJR1300ABS
1982 CBX

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by BullCBX »

OK Thanks for the follow-up. I know the space inside both of the control housings is tight and was worried about being able to twist and conform the leads to get everything to fit. Assumed you had fabricated the LEDs all at one time but just wanted to make sure you didn't have to make a small change or adjustment along the way to make everything fit. Now I have a new task to add to the list along with upgrading the radio lights as well. Thanks again for the GREAT information and guidance. BullCBX

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by Uncle Fester »

Great artical, question for you. . .

Will my 96 Aspencade have lighted controls like this too ? Mine have been dark every sence I bought the bike.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore,
Dream,
Discover!

Mark Twain

User avatar
BullCBX
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:48 pm
Location: Loganville, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
2004 FJR1300ABS
1982 CBX

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by BullCBX »

It is my understanding the lighted controls are specific to the SE model. I have to believe the control housings are the same, but have no idea if the wiring harness has the connections or not.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21013
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by WingAdmin »

BullCBX wrote:It is my understanding the lighted controls are specific to the SE model. I have to believe the control housings are the same, but have no idea if the wiring harness has the connections or not.
The control housings are actually not the same - only the SE's have the translucent markings that allow light to shine through from inside.

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by Uncle Fester »

Okay, so IF I wanted to add this to my Aspencade, I need SE switch housings and _________ ?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore,
Dream,
Discover!

Mark Twain

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21013
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by WingAdmin »

Uncle Fester wrote:Okay, so IF I wanted to add this to my Aspencade, I need SE switch housings and _________ ?
A couple wires to supply power to light them up!

drtjr
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:04 am
Location: champaign, Illinois
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by drtjr »

After reading your post, I ordered the blue lights. This is a project for this winter. I purchased my 99 Aspencade with 42,000 mi about 2 years ago. I don't ever remember the control lights ever being lit. Look forward to getting this done.

Thanks for the well documented post !!

OR........Did the Aspencade not have lighted control lights ?????\

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21013
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by WingAdmin »

drtjr wrote:After reading your post, I ordered the blue lights. This is a project for this winter. I purchased my 99 Aspencade with 42,000 mi about 2 years ago. I don't ever remember the control lights ever being lit. Look forward to getting this done.

Thanks for the well documented post !!

OR........Did the Aspencade not have lighted control lights ?????\
Correct, only the SE had backlit controls.

billcrawford
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:16 pm
Location: flower mound. texas
Motorcycle: 1990 goldwing 1500 gl/se

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by billcrawford »

excellent well written. I am going to do these mods

User avatar
FatherWilliam57
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:56 pm
Location: Beaver, PA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE CSC Trike

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by FatherWilliam57 »

Wonderful article! Now I know what one of my winter projects will be this year.

However, a question: Is the high beam toggle switch not back-lit? From the picture posted of the completed work, it seems that switch is not lit. Just wanted to know if there was a separate article for it or if it is "dark." Thanks!
Pastor William Henry
Beaver, Pennsylvania
"Induite Vos Arma Dei"

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by Uncle Fester »

As I understand it, GL1500 SE has back lit switchs, Interstate and Aspencade do not, and are not wired for it either.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore,
Dream,
Discover!

Mark Twain

User avatar
hearseman
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: Auburn,WA
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE
Contact:

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by hearseman »

I know you mentioned these lights on 90 models and up, but still have to ask: I own an 89 1500 GXE, bought it used, and haven't seen any light on the handlebar controls - though it sure would be nice to have! Are they even there to be replaced??

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21013
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by WingAdmin »

hearseman wrote:I know you mentioned these lights on 90 models and up, but still have to ask: I own an 89 1500 GXE, bought it used, and haven't seen any light on the handlebar controls - though it sure would be nice to have! Are they even there to be replaced??
Not sure what a GXE is, but no, there's nothing there to light up. You'd have to replace your controls with those from a later model year SE bike.

User avatar
rmcgruder
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:17 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: HONDA GOLDWING 1992 GL1500A ASPENCADE

Re: How to replace your handlebar control lights with LEDs

Post by rmcgruder »

Thank you for the post. I will be ordering what I need soon. But let me ask this, is there anyway to get those blue boots in a diffrent color that you know off?



Post Reply