Add More Lighting

March 22nd, 2008

I commute on the motorcycle every day, rain or shine. In the winter I spend most of the time on the bike in the dark. From that, I’ve noticed that most bikes are hard to see. Riders wear black, non-reflective clothing and ride bikes with usually anemic tail lights. The one bike that stands out is the Honda Goldwing. Goldwings have a tall stack of luggage and every piece has tail lights in it. Inspired by the clear utility of this, I decided to add more tail lights to my bike. I don’t have as much luggage as a Goldwing, but I do have a large top case (AKA trunk). The Givi E-52 is the largest top case Givi makes and is large enough to hold two full face helmets. Unfortunately the optional Givi light kit is not well regarded. Admore Lighting solves this problem with a variety of LED kits for Givi bags. They make a kit for the E-52 that includes 4 sections of LED and can function as supplemental tail lights, brake lights and signal lights.



Keeping warm on the motorcycle

November 11th, 2006

Winter is here, more or less, so it is time to get warmer on the motorcycle. A heated jacket liner from Warm n Safe and grip warmers by Dual Star are the solution that should get me through any kind of weather I’m likely to see on my commute.



Signal Minder and VectraLIGHTS

October 1st, 2006

  • This photo is a bit under exposed to show how the various lights (head light, Vetra Lights, Signals as running lights) compare. The Vectralights are the weak link.

I added Kisan Tech’s Signal Minder (hereafter called SM) and VectraLIGHTS (now known as VL) to the motorcycle, a Kawasaki Ninja 650r. The SM automatically turns off your signal lights and has the option to turn your signal lights into always-on (at reduced output) running lights. The VLs are strips of LEDs that mount under your mirrors and provide an additional set of signal lights. They can be used separately, but when used together, the VLs just plug into the SM. The results are a mixed bag. UPDATE: Well, that was fun.  After about 10 months of use and maybe8,000 miles, one of the VetrcaLights failed. They weren’t very good to begin with, and it was out of warranty, so I took them off the bike.  The “running light” option conflicted with the lights I put in the Givi truck, so I turned off that option.



Let’s Get Hyper!

September 12th, 2006

Out of the box, most motorcycles do not have enough lights to be really visible. The 650r has a good headlight, but the taillight is as bad as most. To make matters worse, many riders take off the stock lights to put on smaller LED turn signals and taillights. That’s not my style. To paraphrase Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, “More lights!”


Luggage Racks for the 650r

May 31st, 2006

Did we mention the motorcycle? In an effort to morph it from toy to transportation, we’ve added luggage. The bags look very nice. Note that I’ve deliberately messed with the exposure on some of these photos. A black bike and bright sunlight are not a good combo.

  • Here is the completed project. It took about 2 hours to put in the racks and Givi adapters.


Most Recent Photos

Building a prototype step.  Sitting in the swivel seats leaves our feet dangling. This will also provide storage.
Staging the electrical work in the garage. Much more to do.
When Home Depot only has bolts that are a bit too long...
Working on a bike with the work stand.
Cutting the hole to install the Maxxfan. After cutting the window holes, the small hole for the fan was easy.
Most of the electrical system.
Four bikes, in a small space.
The supplied cable for the compressor is way too small for the current.
Tandemhearts' photo