2018 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.

Fork Mounted LED Aux Lights

Here's a simple, inexpensive way to make your bike much more visible in traffic.  It has the following benefits:

Improved 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.)

Simple Mounting: Mounting the LEDs on the front fork reflector bolts is very easy with no custom hardware required.

Simple 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 non-issue.)

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.

Wiring:

The wiring for them is very simple:

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.)

Mounting:

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 spacer.

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 nuts.

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 sources like 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 driving.

2018 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.