Additional Rear Brake Lights - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Additional Rear Brake Lights

Based on the recent 'Rear ended' thread and this horrible crash yesterday in AZ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6333239.shtml I am looking to get additional rear brake lights on the back. I'm not sure greater visibility from the rear would have helped those poor souls in AZ, but it has certainly motivated me to get some lights back there.

I know there are have many members with additional lights installed, so maybe folks can post up pictures of what they've done, with instructions on how as well. As for me, I'm looking for the solution that the easiest to install, and most easily noticed.

Thanks all...and please keep checking those mirrors at red lights.

(Wasn't quire sure where to post this, so mods, please move as appropriate.)
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 11:41 AM
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Certainly hope the truck driver gets all that he deserves!! Which, IMO, would be a fate similar to what he did to the unsuspecting riders!!

I always keep an escape route in mind while sitting at a light, or even when at a stop sign. Ya never know when some dufus will show up behind, beside or in front of you!!

When I first got my Vulcan, the previous owner had a couple extra brake lights added to the sides of the sissybar.

This is one of the only pics I have from when I first got the bike. You can kinda see the lights to the left & right of the toolbox lock...


I didn't really like the look of them, so I took them off. Then got the Clear Alternatives LED tail light. It made a world of difference!
Still would be a good idea to add some extra light, but for now, I'm happy with the CA lightboard.


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 04:14 PM
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I converted my brake and turn signals to LED and had two red LEDs left over. So, I created a second brake light to mount on the back of the sissy bar that is only activated when braking. Nothing fancy, just a standard trailer lens assembly, cardboard, and spare wire. Also, the LEDs are mounted at an angle inside the trailer lens to compensate for the sissy bar position. Consider this trick using LEDs to insure full brightness is aimed toward the vehicle behind, not the ground.

It has the desired results, confirmed on numerous occasions by those riding behind me. Also, seems to work well as a 'back off' indicator if flashed quickly.



Details
  • Trailer lens assembly from RV/truck supply - $5
  • 2 x Radiantz 1.85" LED clusters - $5/piece (normally $24/piece, but these were on eBay, probably returns)
  • Piece of cardboard to mount LED at an angle to compensate for the sissy bar position
  • Spare wire
  • Silicone glue to hold things in place
  • 2 small screws to mount assembly to sissy bar


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Nice - That's exactly what I'm looking for!

Is there anything tricky in terms of the wiring? (I've never messed with electrical before).
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 05:00 PM
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There should be three wires that run to the stock tail light. (Someone else can post the colors as I don't have the info in front of me) but you only need to splice into two of them to have a dedicated brake light. I do not think it is a good idea to have it as a running light, as it tends to make more of an impact if the light only goes on when you hit the brakes.

Auto zone sells these little plastic things that you can clamp right on to a wire to "tap" another wire into it. I'd use two of those and likely place the extra light at on or above the tool box like cgle did.

Autozone/Walmart also sells various tail lights and LED lights one can use.

There also is a company out there that makes a wireless brakelight that you attach to the back of your helmet...can't find the link however.


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 08:50 PM
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i bought these lights that i saw from another post here.

http://electricalconnection.com/othe...star&sport.htm

they are still in the box, haven't had time to install them but i'm hoping it will brighten me up even during the daylight.

96 Vulcan 750
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrum View Post
i bought these lights that i saw from another post here.

http://electricalconnection.com/othe...star&sport.htm

they are still in the box, haven't had time to install them but i'm hoping it will brighten me up even during the daylight.
i have this kit installed on my bike. there not that bright during the day, and don't do much good, but at night they do help a lot, and my "back off" brake flasher makes it even better..according to some of my riding buddies.

i may just add the brake light like cglennon did. but i think smaller may look better.





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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cm4cm5 View Post
i have this kit installed on my bike. there not that bright during the day, and don't do much good, but at night they do help a lot, and my "back off" brake flasher makes it even better..according to some of my riding buddies.

i may just add the brake light like cglennon did. but i think smaller may look better.
Good point on the brightness. I used Radiantz 1.85" LED clusters, which are super bright and very visible even in full sun light. There are lots of new LED products coming on the market these days, so you should have no problem find something comparable. I like LED for the low power consumption and impact of instant on (no buildup and decay like incandescent bulbs).

I hear you on the smaller lens. This is the one I wanted; . It is much more compact than the one I ended up with, but it would require shaving, and possibly damaging, the LED clusters to fit.

One source for parts to consider is tractor trailer and/or RV supply stores. The one here in Portland had all kinds of LED assemblies, lenses and such. Probably not as cheap as the Internet, but you could get everything you need in one trip.

Also, as KM pointed out, this is a two wire installation brake light only, no running light. For those electrically-challenged, I recommend Posi-Lock and Posi-Tap connections; fast, easy, strong and semi-permanent. Best connectors I've found on the market.

A second brake light is an easy and relatively cheap mod that increases your visibility. It's been proven to work with autos and I can attest it works for motorcycles. Highly recommend.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 07:14 AM
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Pre-Ride Check

Check the operation of your brake light(s) before EVERY ride. There are a number of items that we should check at pre-ride inspection (TCLOCS), but I think checking the brake light is MOST important. (It is quick and easy to do.)

A few years ago, I was almost rear-ended in my truck when I stopped on a yellow light just as it turned red. (Silly me, most times people accelerate on a yellow light.) The driver behind me pulled up beside me and "politely" told me that my brake lights weren't working. I was super cautious 'til I got home and fixed the faulty wiring.

Besides bright brake lights, I believe wearing HI-VIZ gear is important in helping to avoid rear-end collisions. It may just help that one time when that driver behind you is not fully attentive.

- Safety First

Paul

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 10:33 AM
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Visit your local truck stop, you'll find a large assortment of led lights to use. They are getting brighter and cheaper.

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