Running lights without relays
What's this for?
This is a way to add running lights to your bike without having to use any relays. This project uses stock turn signals (2005 & older only). You could do the same thing with flushmounts, although finding the right sockets may be difficult. See the bottom of the page for another idea.
Have an '06-'07 bike?
The 2005 and older 250s came with two-piece signals, which had a base and then the lamp part as separate units. The 2006-07s have a flexible signal base and lamp which are all one piece. The bulbs and sockets are also completely different. If you have an 06-07 bike, this article will not work for you without some tinkering, and you should use the other DRL conversion article.
This is what you see when you look inside the housing on a 2007 front signal (left) as opposed to the older-style reflector (right).
Where to start
Our owner had a Yamaha with DRL's from the factory and wanted to set up the same thing on his Ninja. They work by using a dual filament bulb in the front signals. One filament is for the running lights and the other is for the turn signals. All you need to do is change the front lights to accept a dual filament bulb and run a wire to the signal lights for the running lights. At first, he was just going to change the light socket pigtail from a single contact to a double contact.
Light socket pigtails are available separately, but the problem is with the light socket itself. The two following pictures show that the single contact bulb alignment pins are at the same depth, while the dual filament bulbs are at two different depths. Single contact bulb.
Dual contact bulb.
Because of this, you have to change the socket to accept the dual filament bulb. When you take the turn signals apart you'll discover that the original sockets are crimped into place. In order to change the sockets, you have to cut the old ones out. If you don't want to hack up your socket bases (in case the mod doesn't work) buy two socket bases to use as "guinea pigs". Used signal assemblies are pretty easy to come by.
In order to remove the old sockets, you have to cut notches in the lip of the socket inside the base, then carefully pry the socket loose from the base.
With the old socket removed, you can see how they are crimped into the base.
The base, ready for the new socket.
Source some sockets from your local auto parts store. The brand here is unknown; they were just laying around for a while and finally got used. You'll probably end up with some similar to those used in the taillight pods mod.
Since the sockets won't be a perfect size match, mount the new sockets with epoxy into the bases. With the new sockets in place, 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 and add a second splice to run a wire to each front signal light.
Run the new running light wires along the stock turn signal harnesses to keep things neat. You can see the new running light wire and connector secured with the stock signal wires on the right side.
Install the turn signals into the fairing. You can see the extra blue running light wire with the stock signal wires.
Re-install the fairing and connect the wires.
You can retain the stock wiring for the turn signals, and if you ever need to return to the original set-up, all you need to do is change the turn signal bases back and remove the extra wire.
This installation uses #2357 bulbs (28w high/8w low). There are other options. The lights seem to be no less visible in the day than the tail/brake light, and add better lighting in dusk/dark conditions.
Here's a short video clip of the lights in action.
You can get a pair of relays known as Magic Blinkers from Custom LED that uses your stock front signal lights as always-on running lights, then changes one to flashing when the signal is switched on. They work fine with the Asian Signal flush mount front signals.
The installation does require some wiring knowledge. Wiring instructions are online, and a wiring diagram is included in the package.
If you find some flushmount signals that have 3-wire sockets already included, then hooking them up is just a matter of following the wiring instructions here. It does positively change the visibility of your bike in the front.