Changing the front reflectors to running lights

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A modification you can do to improve the safety of your bike is the replacement of the front fairing reflectors with genuine running lights. You may have to look a bit, but you should be able to find some marker lights the same size as the original reflectors. The one used in this article (and still available as of May 2012) can be found at some auto parts, boating or big box stores, or online at boating shops. The unit is made by Optronics, part #MC36AS "Stud mount clearance/marker/reflector". These may be in the towing or boating department of your local store.

Owner review: Recently, I was able to watch a fellow biker take my bike on a trial run. It was night, and was the first time I really got to see these lights perform. I was very, very happy to see how effective they were in adding to the nighttime visibility of the bike. In addition to providing valuable side-lighting, they also were visible from a frontal perspective.

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Remove your old reflectors and put them in a box. You never know when you might need stock parts again.

To hook these lights up, you need to tap into the running light circuit. If you look at the wiring schematic, you'll find that a good place is into the wire feeding the meter lights. The wire is red with a blue stripe and can be found in a six-pin connector under the right side of the instrument panel. You will need to remove the fairing to access this connector.


Tap into the wire using crimp connectors and heat shrink tubing. Then, run a wire to each new running light bulb. You should use bullet connectors on the light end, as you'll need to be able to unhook the wires to remove the fairing.


Making a ground wire

The lighting units are meant to be attached to a trailer, directly to the frame. The metal in the frame acts as their ground. That doesn’t work on plastic fairings, so you’ll have to add a ground wire.

To prepare the ground wires, put a ring-type crimp connector on one end of a sufficiently long piece of wire. You need two of these – one for each light. One end will have a ring terminal; the other will be plain, as it will be spliced into the turn signal ground wire.

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Put the light module in place. Inside the fairing, put on a lock washer, the ground wire, and the nut. The light’s mounting bolt is the ground. Run the ground wire from there up to the turn signal wiring and splice it into the ground (black with yellow stripe). This installation used quick splices instead of crimp connectors. Your choice.

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Connect the power wires and go.