Here's a simple, inexpensive way
to make your bike much more visible in traffic. It has
the following benefits:
Conspicuity In Traffic:
Since K bike headlights have a
sharp cutoff at the top of the low beam, a properly aimed
headlight does not really stand out to other road users,
making it likely that you may not be noticed in traffic.
Adding a pair of 10W LED flood lights really helps your bike
stand out and be noticed. Mounting them on the forks forms
a triangle with your headlight. Studies have shown
that this triangle of lights makes it easier for other road
users to judge your speed and distance, further enhancing
your safety while riding.
Low Power Consumption: Since
a pair of 10W LEDs only draws 20W total, you do not need to
upgrade the alternator.
Inexpensive: LEDs that put out sufficient
light to be worthwhile used to cost several hundred dollars.
As LEDs have evolved, you can now get a decent set of them
for a very low price. (Less than $30 shipped.)
the LEDs on the front fork reflector bolts is very easy with
no custom hardware required.
Circuitry: Since a
pair of LEDs only draws 20W, there is no need to power them
via a relay and they can be tapped into an existing fused
circuit. They can also be controlled using a BMW OEM
dash switch. (The heated grip switch handles about 44W so
running 20W for the LEDs through an OEM dash switch is a
10W LED Flood Lights:
The LEDs I use for this can be
found on eBay using the search "cree flood 10w round."
They're available from a variety of Chinese sellers. (I only
buy from Chinese sellers with a feedback of 99% or greater.)
They look like this:
They usually cost less than $30
shipped for a pair of them.
The wiring for them is very
Tapping into the Green/Brown wire
for the alarm connector (round white nylon four wire
connector in the relay box under the rear of the gas tank)
provides them with a fused, switched power source. (Fuse #7
in the fuse block.)
I mounted them where the bolts
hold the fronts of the fork reflectors and front half of the
fender to the front of the fork. All you need for each
side is a longer bolt and an aluminum or stainless steel
Since pre-made M6 bolts in
longer sizes are often hard to find in the US I found it
easiest to buy a section of stainless steel M6 threaded rod
at the hardware store and cut it down to size. For the
outer ends of them I purchased stainless steel M6 acorn
Once I'd cut two sections off of
the threaded rod, I used red Loctite to secure the acorn
nuts to the outer ends of the threaded rod sections.
For spacers I use 1 1/2" long
unthreaded aluminum or stainless steel spacers with an inner
diameter of 1/4". If you can't find them at a local
store in the US then they can be purchased from online
McMaster-Carr or eBay.
Although these LEDs will help you
be much more conspicuous in traffic, you should still always
"ride like you're invisible" as it is still very possible
that people are texting or otherwise distracted while
© 2018 Drake Smith - Please do
not use or reproduce this elsewhere. Feel free to link
to it though.