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post #1 of 7 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 5:49 pm Thread Starter
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LED turn signals

I am wanting to convert my turn signals and brake lights to LEDs, anyone done it/tried it? If so did it work and how did you get it to work? I've seen something about adding a load resistor or I could change out the flasher relay. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 6:45 pm
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Re: LED turn signals

I'm on many MC forums and many folks seem to want to change their OEM tail, brake and turn signal lights to LEDs, and I have to wonder why. I'm sure LED's lifespan is much longer than the OEMs, but I've owned 21 bikes in the last 20 years and I've never once needed to replace a single burned out OEM incandescent light bulb for the tail, brake or turn signals. Maybe LEDs are brighter but when I've installed them in my R1150RT's instrument cluster that wasn't the case and I eventually went back with the OEMs. And the reason I installed those LED bulbs in the instrument cluster wasn't because I wanted the cluster any brighter, it was because I had a couple that were burned out and it's a major p.i.t.a. to get to them. So while I had the bike ripped apart to do some other maintenance, I did the LED switch hoping to never need to touch the bulbs again, only to need to pull it apart again to go back to the OEMs because I could hardly see the instruments at night with the LEDs. But the turn signals and tail lights on the K1200LT are fairly easy to get to and you can easily find OEM style bulbs at any auto part store. I'm also sure the LEDs use less electrical power than the OEMs but the LT's electrical system puts out more watts than I'll ever be able to reasonably use.

Where alternate bulbs make sense in my opinion is with the headlights. I don't know if it doesn't get as dark in Germany as it does in the rest of the world but I've owned many BMW bikes over the last 20 years and all their headlights suck. I recently upgraded to a HID low beam and a LED high beam that I got from XenonDepot. Both were easily installed in my 05 LT and both make a huge difference on how much light hits the road in front of me.

To me switching out the turn signal and brake lights to LEDs seems like more trouble than it's worth, but it's your bike, time and money so do what you think best.

Current Bikes

2013 Triumph Trophy SE
2013 Suzuki Burgman 650, Ya it's a scooter but it will do over 100 MPH
2005 BMW K1200LT
2004 BMW R1150RT
1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

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post #3 of 7 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 7:04 pm Thread Starter
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I appreciate your input, and I think you're right, I am not wanting to have to deal with the aftermath of adding resistors or something like that. Think I'll just the brighter bulbs for half the price of the LEDs (actually I think it's less than that). Luckily I only bought a pair to try out. Be taking them back. I have been wanting to do the LED headlight, not certain on which one to get.
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post #4 of 7 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 8:19 pm
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Re: LED turn signals

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Originally Posted by jakestercp10 View Post
I appreciate your input, and I think you're right, I am not wanting to have to deal with the aftermath of adding resistors or something like that. Think I'll just the brighter bulbs for half the price of the LEDs (actually I think it's less than that). Luckily I only bought a pair to try out. Be taking them back. I have been wanting to do the LED headlight, not certain on which one to get.
Use HID for the low beam, because it's brighter than a LED and because the low beam is always on. Use a LED for the high beam because it takes a few seconds for HID lights to fully energize. LEDs are instant on. If you have a 2005-09, it's fairly easy to install both lights because the high and low beams are in different housings, compared to the earlier models which has both lights in one housing.

Current Bikes

2013 Triumph Trophy SE
2013 Suzuki Burgman 650, Ya it's a scooter but it will do over 100 MPH
2005 BMW K1200LT
2004 BMW R1150RT
1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
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post #5 of 7 Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 9:06 pm
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Re: LED turn signals

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Originally Posted by jakestercp10 View Post
I am wanting to convert my turn signals and brake lights to LEDs, anyone done it/tried it? If so did it work and how did you get it to work? I've seen something about adding a load resistor or I could change out the flasher relay. Thoughts?
I added LED bulbs to my turn signals plus I have Muth mirrors. They flash faster but that is OK with me. The turn signal relay is probably not an option to swap out so if you want a slower flash, you have to add load resistors front and back. Since the fast flash is usually the indication of a burned out bulb, I don't have that indication but with the LED's, it is far less likely one will burn out. They are a little brighter and I figure a faster flash will get someones attention better than slower.

You can replace the brake lights with LED also EXCEPT for the center bulb. That one needs to stay a regular bulb as it is wired differently into the motronic and will cause problems as an LED.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #6 of 7 Old Apr 4th, 2017, 8:31 pm
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Re: LED turn signals

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
You can replace the brake lights with LED also EXCEPT for the center bulb. That one needs to stay a regular bulb as it is wired differently into the motronic and will cause problems as an LED.
Actually that center running light element is connected to the ABS controller and will cause an ABS bulb fault if you change it to a different wattage. This is an artifact of the K 1200 RS ABS system that had a single tail/stop bulb controlled by the ABS.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #7 of 7 Old Apr 4th, 2017, 8:37 pm
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Re: LED turn signals

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Actually that center running light element is connected to the ABS controller and will cause an ABS bulb fault if you change it to a different wattage. This is an artifact of the K 1200 RS ABS system that had a single tail/stop bulb controlled by the ABS.
Thanks for the correction. I should have remembered that as I just searched the schematics for someone here with brake light troubles. I knew it was the center bulb though that needed to remain normal.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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