Liking night riding, I found the standard FZ1 lights lacking. Adding a twin hi/low 35w 5000k HID kit helped but something was still amiss when banking into corners. So, went on the prowl for some flood lighting options.
Have been running some CREE 3000Lm LED lights on the FZ1 for over a year and around 25,000 kilometres in all sorts of conditions. They have stood the test of time and deserve a review.
Well, lets see what they look like shall we.
You can pick them from Ebay HERE
The wiring in the pic above shows the relevant connections for hooking them up. I used a Skene Designs lighting controller to manage the brightness. Programmed it to run 20% when the low beams are on and 100% when the switch is flicked for general high beam. Needless to say, cars certainly see me coming at night when on high beam. Even on low beam they are a big improvement over just the HIDs.
Actually, a HID bulb went a few weeks ago and still had a fair way to go home on mountain roads in the dark. Just the LEDs on the left was enough, a bit distracting having full lighting on the right and only the LEDs on the left but it was much better than poking around in the dark with a stick! Actually, the LEDs are brighter than the HIDs close range.
* Important note: Have found these lights more effective at alerting car drivers than a loud exhaust. The sharp white colour and road flooding light creates a far more noticeable object, I guess. And at night in the twisties and back roads, the HID + LED combo lights up the surroundings like an approaching UFO 🙂
Where and how to mount
Wanted them to look around corners in the direction the wheels are pointing so they had to be mounted on the front steering/suspension somewhere. Lots of setups mount them off the fender hangers. The wiring was very exposed and the light is exposed to a lot of jolts and vibes on the lower leg of the fork. So, went looking for fork clamps to mount them on the upper tubes just under the front cowling. Thinking here that the front suspension soaks up a healthy portion of the jolts and vibes, offering a lot safer environment for the electrical innards.
The fork tubes are @54mm in that area, I say around as there is some tapering. Was looking for something sturdy, simple and stylish. Finally found what I was looking for from the Pro-Tek fork clamps. They are good quality, well machined billet items with stainless bolts and the the black anodizing has lasted well. They have 2 holes for mounting. The outer hole seemed ideal for mounting the light while the inner hole was good for retaining the cable out of the back of the light. It makes for a clean, simple solution. Usually the most durable.
How about some pics of them mounted?
And how have they held up?
Very well! Two of the LEDs, one in each hosing, has begun to yellow but are still effective. The anodizing has remained dark and the light cover clear and relatively resilient to road damage. Even in torrential rain they’ve remained water-tight and always worked without fail.
thanks for the information on running lights, I tried to do this on my FZ1 and my fender banged into the mounting clamp. So I put the project on the back burner. The rain in the last picture is like what we get here in the north west of Oregon, what rain gear do you like?
Yes, it depends on the clamps you use and how high you set them on the forks. I set them as high as they would go without hitting the upper fairing.
For wet weather gear, in summer the humidity is stifling here in Japan and I wear mesh and carry a goretex hiking spray jacket and pants. In winter, it’s BMW streetguard 3 suit.
Thanks for sharing a good info about led running lights. I already tried it on my bike. This light is amazing and increased the visibility to my bike. I have purchased this from MCmotoParts. Good service given by this dealer.
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Glad they worked out for you.
Just got back from a well lit nightride. Still happy with the set-up many years later. Hope they provide you with many years of night riding adventures also.