Transforming the rear of your ride.
Welcome to this week’s Cruiser Customizing tip of the week with me, Kyle Bradshaw. This
week we’re going to talk a little bit about tail lights, turn signals, running lights,
and marker lights.
Off the factory floor, the bike comes with Running Lights, tail lights, and turn signals.
But what do we want to do? We want to make our bike a little bit different. We want to
stand out from the crowd. We want to be more visible. What can we do to modify the rear
end of our bikes to accomplish these things?
As you can see on the table here in front of me, there’s a multitude of options when
it comes to customizing your rear lighting.
This V-Star is a great example of a complete kit. You take off the entire stock unit and
you bolt on this after-market piece from KuryAkyn.
Here’s a picture of the stock unit. Here’s a picture of the streamlined KuryAkyn unit.
Let’s take a look at a few more complete kits.
Here’s a VTX before and a VTX after.
Here’s a RoadStar before and look at that awesome after transformation.
And this VTX over here is a great example of taking a universal turn-signal, adding
the metric adapter, and moving the turn signals from the bottom of the fender to the top of
the fender rail as shown here.
This is a very popular option and very easy to do.
So what types of lights are available for the back end of your bike?
In the after-market world of tail section lighting, there are really three styles--incandescent,
halogen, and LED.
The incandescent light is the stock light that came with your bike. It’s inexpensive
and can be found just about anywhere if you need to replace it.
The halogen light is one of the most universal used at the moment. It’s bright at night,
it’s bright during the daytime, and replacement bulbs are found at just about any hardware
or automotive store. LED lights are the new hot thing on the market. Everybody’s going
LED. LEDs are smaller, they draw less power, and they’re extremely bright if installed
correctly. And just remember, if you’re going LED and you’re using it for a turn
signal, you need to pick up a load equalizer. Why is that, you say? An LED light doesn’t
draw as much power as an incandescent bulb. Therefore if you swap it out for an LED, your
bike is going to think that there’s a burned-out bulb unless you install the load equalizer,
which just draws power telling the bike that there’s not a burned-out bulb.
The most economic way to transform your ride is to go with clear turn signals and clear
tail-light lenses from Clear Alternatives. These units come with red or amber bulbs respectively
and are a really inexpensive way to dress up the back of your bike.
If you want to take it a step further, Electrical Connections has an awesome unit. It’s called
their turn-signal conversion kit. It has LED boards which light up red that then silicone
into the lens, turning your clear or stock lenses into run-turn brake lights. Electrical
Connections turn signal conversion kit, definitely a neat way to go.
So Clear Alternatives is definitely the most cost-effective way to go.
What’s the next step?
A small or large silver bullet from KuryAkyn, Big Bike Parts, Behrends, any of them is going
to be the next step.
For just about a hundred bucks, you can get a universal turn signal and whatever adapter
you need to attach it to your machine.
So we’ve talked about a lot of the after-market options here on the table, but what if you’re
happy with your stock turn signals and you just want to get rid of the lens that’s
on there? Kuryakyn has come up with a brilliant idea. It’s called their deep-dish bezel.
Here’s a picture of the bezels on the ground prior to installation. And this is a close-up
of the stock lens. And after the installation, this is the classy look that you end up with.
Tail lights, turn signals, marker lights, a lot of wiring, load equalizers, diodes,
there’s a lot of electrical work that comes with changing out your marker lights and some
of you have been asking: how do you do it? Where can I go to get answers to my questions?
I would urge you to take a look at the Community tab on our website where you’ll find a special
forum called Riders Helping Riders. This forum is comprised of thousands of members all over
the whole world who have bikes like yours who have done installations like these. The
forum is a great place to post a question and get answers from across the world from
thousands of other riders.
Alright, before we go, there’s a couple things I’d like you to remember.
Number one, load equalizers must be used if an LED light is going to be used as a turn
signal. Number two, on the rear end, amber can only be used as a turn signal. If you’re
going to be using your rear turns as running lights or brake lights, it’s got to have
a red lens. And number three, safety. The installation of a Kuryakyn triple-whammy or
a Kison tailblazer is definitely a step towards a safer ride.
Thank you for watching this week’s Cruiser Customizing tip of the week. Tune in next
week for the topic of Windshield Fitment. Until then, take care and ride safe.