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Do you want to run LED's for their brightness, their longevity, or their low power consumption? I've been through a lot of threads on LED's with everything from praise of the installation kits, to absolute frustration and discontent. So I'm sure this won't be the last time this subject comes up.
I've done a lot of experimenting with my '84 Aspencade (the bike's in pieces, so it's a lot easier). Here's what I've found.

1) One of the big issues with LED's is that most people haven't been able to install them without the taillamp warning light being on all the time. Most have resorted to removing the bulb from the warning lamp housing.
The taillamp warning system does not monitor, or care if the TRUNK lights work. Trunk lights were options on Interstates and factory equipped on Aspy's, so installing LED's on just the trunk light bar should not be an issue. The warning system only looks at the taillamp circuit for the SADDLEBAG's. All bagged 1200's have a total of two 1157 bulbs in the rear from the factory (right and left saddlebag tail/brake). That's what the warning system wants to see. The equivelent resistance of two 1157 bulbs. Interestingly enough, it doesn't care if there is one bulb on each side, or two on one side and none on the other. It doesn't discriminate. It just want's to see TWO.
2) The turn signals bulbs require seperate resistors for the turn signals to function correctly. You get the advantage of LED brightness, but not enough power consumption to warrant the need for LED's (my opinion), since turnsignals aren't in use all the time.

I've converted my saddlebag lights so the amber turn signals are also posers. They sell conversion kits (subharnesses) or you can do it yourself by replacing the single socket for the turn signal bulb to a double socket and tapping to the taillight circuit. When you do this, you are adding TWO more bulbs to the taillamp sensing circuit as well as an additional load on the charging system. I also converted the trunk side lights to amber turn/posers adding still more load to the circuit, but nothing to the sensing circuit, since it doesn't care. I have effectively doubled the power draw on the rear of the bike, if you take into account the side markers in the saddlebags. See Photo below.

[Image: lens.gif]

I also will be towing a trailer, now tripleing the power usage at the rear, so it looks like I'm going backwards as far as reducing power consumption.

The fix:
Since I have TWO 1157 bulbs in the saddlebag taillight circuit (turn signal/posers conversion) I will have met the requirements for the taillight sensor and am free to replace the four 1157 tail/brake light bulbs in the saddlebags AND trunk. The warning light should not come on. The trailer lights can be converted to LED's, so I've removed two more 1157's from the circuit, for a total of six. The saddlebag side lights can be replaced with LED's as well. By ADDING the two 1157's (turn signal/poser conversion), it should allow me to remove four 1157's. So my power consumption, towing the trailer, should be at least equal to, if not less than, the consumption of the bike in it's stock form.
Now all I have to do is make it work!
#1 05-06-2008, 01:52 PM,

Sounds impressive! I have been thinking about doing the saddlebag conversion, among other things that will make me more visible to others. Thanks for the write-up. Did you ever get it to work like you had thought it would?
#2 08-17-2008, 09:51 PM,
Well, here's the update.
1) Evidently, the tail lamp warning is shared with the brake light warning. Since there are only two "brake" lights that can be monitored, I was never able to put enough resistance in the circuit to make the warning light stay out. So I compromised. The two tail/brake lights in the trunk were converted to led's. One saddlebag tail/brake went to a led while the other was left with an incandescent. The warning light functions normally.
2) The turn signals in MY saddlebags are dual for turn, one for poser. I replaced both of these with led's. The fronts I left with incandescents and the turn signals operate correctly without resistors. But remember, I have a trunk light conversion for the turn signals that are small incandescents as well.
I replaced all the "little" sidelights with led's, so I got back a small savings there.
Overall, I'm "relatively" satisfied with the results.

Pro's......I was able to replace five 1157 bulbs on the bike with led's. The led's will last longer, and use a lot less power. Because I compromised with the tail light, I did NOT have to splice any harnesses, or add resistors.

Con's.....I'm not really satisfied with the light output of the led's. I used the 24's, amber in in red. At night, they're more than adequate, but during the daylight hours, they are noticeably dimmer. This is especially noticeable on the rear turn signals.

So now I'm going to swap the the rear turn signal led's to the front, and move the incandescent's to the rear. I'd rather the guy in back see's me than the one in front. I'm suppose to be watching him! Big Grin The front turn signals also point more directly toward the front of the bike and should be easier to see. No matter what they say, led's are directional and you don't really get the full affect unless you stand directly in front of them.

Of course, the trailer got four led's. Two brake/tail lights, two amber turn signals. The amber's are also dual filament, so I tied both leads together. Now when I use the turn signals, both filaments illuminate.

Total price for the job was @ $70.00 and that includes the trailer lights.
#3 08-20-2008, 10:06 PM,
Just a thought. If you are working under colored lenses. Couldn't you have went with the super bright white LEDs and gotten the brightness up for the day time running?

#4 08-20-2008, 10:14 PM,
[quote="Avalanche_Jack"]Just a thought. If you are working under colored lenses. Couldn't you have went with the super bright white LEDs and gotten the brightness up for the day time running?[quote]

Almost all the posts and forums and manufacturers said to use red on red, amber on amber because of the filtering of the color spectrum. White may be an option. Be careful about "super bright" led's. Although they may fit into the socket, they don't always fit into the housing. They may also interfere with any reflector that is being used. 24's were as large as I could go. They barely fit through the opening.
#5 08-21-2008, 06:51 AM,
I take it you are using the old style of LED, Bullet shaped diodes?

If so you can get much more output from the new chip technoligy.

Our LEDs have 39 chips in them and have great light output.

all in a bulb that is a bit smaller than a regular 1157.

If you would like more info, email me or feel free to call me in the P.M. hours

from 7:00 P.M. thru 11:00 P.M. 270=eight 2 five=eighteen thirty three

#6 09-30-2008, 08:08 PM,
Thanks Jim......
I pretty much plan on leaving things where they are. I switched the amber leds to the front and they are much more noticeable because the sockets face forward. I didn't have to wire in resistors, or modify any harness. All I was looking to do was reduce the electrical load I was going to be adding by towing a trailer, without sacrificing visibility. Mission accomplished.
#7 09-30-2008, 08:32 PM,

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