Visibility Solutions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 2:55 pm Thread Starter
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Visibility Solutions

I am looking at some solutions for visibility on my 2014 RT.

For the back, I have seen reflective panels that can be installed on the back of the panniers. It looks black in normal light, but in direct light at night, is bright white for visibility. I wonder if others have gone with this solution, or if they use any other type of reflective material, in various colors, or designs. This is one that I am looking at:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JPPEXVS...v_ov_lig_dp_it

Also on the back, I was thinking of a brake light modulator, like I have on my Aprilia. However, because it's low voltage LED, this is not likely to work. I don't like the idea of hanging lights all over the bike, but then I found this Vololights solution, which is a license plate frame, that can flash on deceleration, which means it will light when you slow down quickly, when you need it most, regardless of if you are using the brakes or downshifting. Reviews are pretty good overall, and it runs on a simple 12V source, if I can find one that is switched (not always on).
https://www.amazon.com/Vololights-Mo...3153933&sr=8-1

For the front, it's definitely more complicated. Again, I don't like lights hanging off the bike everywhere. And again, wiring can be complicated, with the can bus system. This is the best solution I could find is the Clearwater Darla Lights () Though at over $850 with tax and shipping, it is very expensive, but I like the features. Adjustable brightness, strobe with brakes, strobe with horn, all controlled with existing controls on the left side, using their "can opener" interface.
https://www.clearwaterlights.com/col...ant=9193622085

Also on the front, an upgraded headlight could be helpful. I have not found any information on a "good" led solution, but if anyone has experience with this, I would love to hear about it. The same goes for a HID solution, which would require a ballast, and like the LED, I would worry about can bus errors. So, that leaves an upgraded halogen bulb. There are many halogen solutions that provide a more white light, but lower lumen output. Those solutions seem counter-productive to me. Sylvania makes the Silverstar Ultra, which is a more white light, while increasing the lumens, so it's more of a win-win. So far, the Silverstar Ultra seems like the only good bulb to replace with, but again, I am wondering if others have a better solution that I am not aware of.

Obviously, I have not had my RT very long, and am trying to do some minor upgrades to make the bike safer, and/or suit my needs better. For instance, I have added the kickstand foot extender, for stability. I have also added the Navigator VI, and an SW-Motech City tank bag. Also bought a new helmet, new gloves and a new jacket. All or useful and practical additions, in my opinion. But I am looking for some visibility solutions for safety, and want to avoid the snake-oil. I have also bought some new torx wrenches, an oil filter wrench, and am looking at the alternative to the over priced gs-911 solution for resetting codes, which I can tell I will be needing, as I have a service light after disconnecting the battery for cleaning and installing a battery tender connector.

If you reply to this post, please be kind, and not make too much fun of me for being a noob RT owner.

Thanks,
-Dana
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post #2 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 3:08 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I have the reflective panels on the rear of the side bags and small strips on the top box and on the side of the side bags too. I installed the Billy light on the rear and Darlas on the front forks all from Clearwater. Pricey stuff but worth it. I also have the amber covers on the Darlas. Replaced the low/ high beam lights with LEDs too. The Billy light is nice and bright and the amber Darlas make you stand out in a crowd. Doesn’t sound like you being a noob. Sounds like you are being pretty smart. Ride ATGATT
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post #3 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 3:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Thanks for the quick response. It's good to hear of your experience with these products.
-Dana
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post #4 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 3:39 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Strong thumbs up on the Clearwater Darlas. Mine are mounted on Ilium Works front engine bars. Easy to install if you're willing to remove a few body panels. I also installed the amber lens covers. They give more of a hi-vis greenish color, which is a plus in my opinion.
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post #5 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 4:02 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I agree with what direction you've chosen. I have the same reflective material out back. Good for night. Not so much for day.

For day, I recommend the Skene P3 lights. I have mine mounted to my license plate bolts. So they don't "hang" off anything. Black pods and black wires, you don't see it. But those flashing lights help a lot. And the conspicuous flicker really does help a great deal too. The Skene module can be wired into the 4 wire connection for central locking. It'll have power, ground, and brake. I have mine wired so that the Skene also runs my top case LED. So that has the flicker and modulator. Together, you can't miss me hitting the brakes when I'm on a trip with the top case.

https://www.skenelights.com/online-s...tems-c22720602

Up front, I recommend at least the Darla's. That and the ADV Monster LED low beam really matches out the set. The Darla's are whiter than halogen low beam. So adding the LED makes the whiteness match. And you get a nice bright triangle of light for on-coming vehicles.

H7 Plus LED Headlight - ADVmonster
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post #6 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 4:10 pm
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Lower 2.5” led aux lights, on with ignition. Mounted to Illium engine guards.
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post #7 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 4:16 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

If you are after visibility and safety have a look at the Helite hi-viz air bag vest. The US distributor is https://helitemoto.com
A recent forum discussion on the hi-viz vest is here - https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...rbag-vest.html

Ian
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post #8 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 4:58 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I don't have pictures but I installed Denali S4's x 2 on my engine guards with these mounts and power them with a Hex EZCan. I also went with an Admore tail light assembly with turn signals. I got all that for $640! Those Clearwater's are absurdly expensive. I can burn the paint off a stop sign at 50 yards with those little Denali's at 100% brightness.

I and many others installed these LED headlights. They have worked perfectly for 6 months now. I tried ADVMonster and Cyclops. Both brands work great but, again, are absurdly expensive (north of $150 for a set of two or three) and have bulky ballasts (or whatever those controllers are called) the need to be stuffed into the housings. The one I linked to are plug and play. No CanBus errors, great brightness and good pattern.

I find that people tend to equate expensive with quality. What I am advocating here is that quality can be found at moderate cost with equal reliability.

'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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post #9 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 5:18 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I installed these for rear reflective material (I provided the correct link for your bike) and this for audio warning. The soundbomb can be connected directly to the EZCan and it can be programmed to flash (strobe) any installed auxiliary lights.

All this, a Klim Latitude in Hi-Viz and a white helmet. That's all you will need short of putting the bike inside and MRAP and driving that around.
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post #10 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 8:41 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EzyMount View Post
Lower 2.5” led aux lights, on with ignition. Mounted to Illium engine guards.
Tell me about those strip lites you have on the lower edge of your body panels. Who makes them and your install.
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post #11 of 44 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 11:11 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I got my reflective stickers here:https://www.gsstickerman.co.uk/produ...oled-2/http://.
You can see some pics of them installed in my thread from 2 years ago:https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...rs-red-rt.html
There are also quite a few sticker sets on ebay for the RT1200WC.

mars red 2018 R1200 RT LC
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post #12 of 44 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 3:58 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I am curious about this Hex EZCan interface. Their site has install instructions, but almost nothing about operating.

If I understand it correctly, it is mostly software programmable so you can do similar things to the CANopener, like strobe aux lights with the horn, but again, it's vague at best.

How do you change the brightness of the aux lights? How do you turn them on and off? Can you? Is it just by the ignition only? Can it do things like flash any aux brake lights by deceleration?

Then, there is the Denali CANsmart system, which is similar to the both of the above. I do know that the exCAN only controls 1 set of aux lights, and a 2nd uncontrolled set (on with ignition), where the CANsmart can do 2 sets.

I would really like to know more about the Hex EZCan and CANsmart from anyone who actually has either of these interfaces. Both systems look good. The Clearwater CANopener is obviously very good too, but I question if it's worth it, unless it has extra features I am unaware of.

Currently, I am thinking the Denali CANsmart is the way to go, but that may change with input from others. If I went this way, it raises the question of which lights would be the best. My preference is to have them mounted at knee level on kind of under the mirrors, and not on the fork. I also want a rear flasher on the license plate. I may or may not do the sound bomb, but so far, I just don't feel there is a need, as the stock BMW RT horn is plenty loud already.

I look forward to more detailed information from other CAN interface users.

On other points of my original post, I think I will probably go with the reflective panels on the backs of my BMW panniers.
Still looking for more detailed feedback on the headlight upgrade... Still not convinced that LED will equal the lighted range at night. I don't want to sacrifice range for whiter light.

Thanks,
-Dana
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post #13 of 44 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 7:11 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
I am curious about this Hex EZCan interface. Their site has install instructions, but almost nothing about operating.

If I understand it correctly, it is mostly software programmable so you can do similar things to the CANopener, like strobe aux lights with the horn, but again, it's vague at best.
I agree, their info isn't great. I would check Youtube. There are lots of videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
How do you change the brightness of the aux lights? How do you turn them on and off? Can you? Is it just by the ignition only? Can it do things like flash any aux brake lights by deceleration?
For your generation bike it uses the wonderwheel. This doesn't work on my Camhead so I'm a little fuzzy about the details but basically it's something like push and hold for a few seconds, then twist the wheel one way or the other. Again, search YouTube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
Then, there is the Denali CANsmart system, which is similar to the both of the above. I do know that the exCAN only controls 1 set of aux lights, and a 2nd uncontrolled set (on with ignition), where the CANsmart can do 2 sets.
Hex, maker of the EZCan MAKES the Denali product for then. The hardware is identical. Now, with the Gen II EZCan, even the connectors are the same. The only difference, other than the color of the housing, is the software that you run on your computer to program them. The Canopener is programmed by cryptic button-pushing sequences that would drive me crazy. The Denali and Hex units can drive auxiliary brake lights and deceleration-threshold flashing (though the Admore unit has it's own decelerometer and so this isn't needed.

Not sure about the Denali but the Hex product allows you to define the current limits of each of the four outputs individually. The CanSmart I had this was not possible but there was a new one being released and, since Hex does this, I imagine the Denali does to. It costs $40-$50 more for, basically, the same hardware and functionality. Now that the connectors are directly compatible with Denali lights, there is literally no reason that I can see to buy the CanSmart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
I would really like to know more about the Hex EZCan and CANsmart from anyone who actually has either of these interfaces.
I have had both. I bought the Denali initially but was frustrated by the inability to individually define output channel current limits though, as I mentioned, this may no longer be an issue. The details get a little in the weeds but I bought the EZCan at the last rally and love it.

PS - I have the Denali and it's for sale if anyone with a Camhead wants it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
Both systems look good. The Clearwater CANopener is obviously very good too, but I question if it's worth it, unless it has extra features I am unaware of.
Again, overall cost for the Clearwaters is absurd for what you get. It offers nothing the others don't and I think it's easier to pick and choose what options you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
Still looking for more detailed feedback on the headlight upgrade... Still not convinced that LED will equal the lighted range at night. I don't want to sacrifice range for whiter light.
There is simply no comparison between the light projected by LEDs (or HIDs) as compared to halogens. Having thoroughly tested both of the expensive brands one thing I didn't like about them was that they were so bright that I literally could not look at them from 20 feet in front of the bike without being blinded. At the time I blamed this on marketing "Lumin Wars." I actually had green spots in my eyes that never went away completely. Yes, I am saying they permanently affected my vision. The one's linked to are not that bright and have the same, if not better, beam pattern in my bike's housing (which is different than yours).

Now, having said that, these are still brilliant (pun intended) and I can 1) see much better at night, and 2) I can BE SEEN so much better in the daytime. Best analogy I can think of is the change from halogens to HIDs in cars. I don't know of anyone that, once they got a car so equipped, would want to go back to that dull yellow. LEDs also act like camera flashes or strobe lights. They are INSTANTLY on and off so that when you flash your high beams it REALLY stands out.

If you really want ADVMonsters, I have two of the three H7's I originally bought that I'd sell you. I kept one that use in my high beam position (my bike has one high and two low). It's very good as high beam.

'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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post #14 of 44 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 9:24 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
...
Also on the front, an upgraded headlight could be helpful. I have not found any information on a "good" led solution, but if anyone has experience with this, I would love to hear about it. ...
Pappy has given you ideas he has tried on his Camhead, and he's certainly tried a few, but seems his issues with headlights (other than cost) are not current. If you would like to see what I did on my Wethead, that has had zero problems, please refer to the following thread.

Again, zero problems. No canbus errors, no heat, easy to install and replace the integrated modules (though some non-complicated removal of tupperware for installation), no shoddy wiring harness intrusion, and with the double Wethead high beams I think I can burn stop signs at 150 yards.

Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads

Good Luck


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post #15 of 44 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 10:14 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I'm a declare Safety Freak among a few other freakness, I also love to ride at night (no chp planes flying, cops are more permissive too) lane split in the bay area for more than 20 years..

So whatever advantage you can get, i take it..

I have use 3M Scotchlite for more than 35 years, sure is not the most powerful in terms of reflectivity but it works plenty well, is somehow malleable, easy to apply and last forever...





Tons of pictures of my Really Black KTM 950S

I work on Combat helicopters for years, for us redundancy was everything and a single headlight on my stock GS was just plane stupid, so my 2007 I draft the headlight of a ZX7 (dual H4 all the time) and the visibility because way better, some of my friends will say that Bmw copy my setup, but I see it as a logical step of development


Zx7 headlight on my R11GS



also try funky stuff like my MOSES Light with a modified KTM 640 Bazooka running a 55w HID light (Two meter circle 200 meters away, yeah that tight of a pattern..)

but since the light is steer by the bars you get a lot of candlepower were you need it (remember I love to ride at night and fast too..

sure look horrible, i actually do it on purpose, to Terrorise the stereotypical roundel owner and to let them rot in the rain, after all they are just TOOLS for me..



I name it Moses, because it you aim the beam right at a car mirror with a person using a cellphone invariable the car will tremble for a second and then get totally back in the middle of the lane


The system is extreme simple, just like the wheel of a Old Tall ship, two cables cross up so they you move the bars one way, the light flows

Big block of delrin mostly cut by hacksaw, then File and life some more, Trusty suntour Roller cam pulleys made of brass with seal bearings (from the 80's) and the rest mostly bicycle housing..

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post #16 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 1:51 pm Thread Starter
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This is useful and valuable information. I have been researching, reading, and watching videos. This is where I am at on the aux lights...

The Denali package on Twisted seems like a great system, with the DR1, pod, soundbomb, and license frame flasher, plus the Gen 2 CANsmart (ezCAN) interface to control all.

My issue with the above is the undesirable look of the lights hanging off flat metal brackets up by the mirrors. I much prefer the Darla lights, with the mounting arms down in front of the engine. I could get the Darla kit for my bike, but it is 1) so much more expensive for what you get, 2) limited in features, compared to the Denali, and 3) lacks the additional connectors for easy expansion.

There appears to be no way to mix and match the pieces I want... The Darla does not appear to be sold with the BMW arms, but without the CAN opener.

Does anyone else make a mounting are for the K52 that is more our of the way, like the Clearwater Darla mounts?

I realize I am being picky about my options, but I want the features, without the cluttered look. If I could just get those Darla arms, I could go all Denali for the rest, and be very happy.

If anyone knows of an available mounting arm solution, like the Clearwater, please let me know.

The headlight information is also excellent. It sounds like there are led H7 options that work without compromising the beam pattern or distance.

It does seem like options are more limited for the K52 RT, because everyone wants the GS, due to the adventure bike craze. Though the GS is a great bike, I favor the elegance of the RT and GT designs (personal preference).

Thanks again for all the helpful information.
-Dana
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post #17 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 2:08 pm
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You might also consider the PIAA LED aux lights. They have a 2.5”-3” version that is available. Early on, when PIAA released their first LED lights that were similiar in size to the original 1100’s, “Clearwater produced those for PIAA”. Not sure if that is still true. The lower PIAA LEDs on my bike are those, and work very well...
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post #18 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 3:57 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
My issue with the above is the undesirable look of the lights hanging off flat metal brackets up by the mirrors. I much prefer the Darla lights, with the mounting arms down in front of the engine. I could get the Darla kit for my bike, but it is 1) so much more expensive for what you get, 2) limited in features, compared to the Denali, and 3) lacks the additional connectors for easy expansion.


-Dana
Dana,

Do you have engine guards installed? I struggled with mounting options (Denali wants, what, $70+ for their bar mounts??!!??) but a quick search on Amazon came up is dozens, if not hundreds, of bar mounts for manner of installation methods. The one's I bought, and am hugely satisfied with were less than $20 delivered.

I think if you buy the bits separately you might save some money, not buy something you don't want (you mentioned not wanting to get the horn for example). Cansmart and EXCan are two different brands but at the same hardware. The Denali's are a lot more expensive.

'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition
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post #19 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 3:58 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I came off a Super Tenere to the RT. I had the Denali D4 mounted kind of in the same position that they would mount on our RTs. They were adjusted right and I had the hi/low beam module installed so they were not 100% all the time. I think in the 4 almost 5 years that I had that bike I had maybe 3 people try to come into my lane, I commute daily. When I got the RT I had people violating my lane the day I road it home!! I'm constantly having people come into my lane on the RT and i ride in the aggressive inside position so I'm more visible. I do have the Darla Clearwater lights on my forks, so I'm not just running stock lighting. I also look like a highlighter as I wear hi-viz gear when I ride as well. Since time changed, I've actually been wearing a orange milspec vest over the top of my hi-viz jacket as its pretty dark when I leave work and still have issues.

I think having the light pods up by the mirrors is an excellent place for them. It widens your profile (makes you look bigger), gets the lights up more for visibility and gives you the "Hey I'm a motorcycle" profile better. I've been looking at adding lights to the mirror mounts, but I just can't pull the trigger on Clearwater lights, my Darla's came when I bought the bike. I have been thinking about buying the "yellow" lens covers for my Darla's so I'm not just another white light behind cars.
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post #20 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 5:22 pm
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I reserve my 4” Clearwater lights for high beam augmentation and flash them with high beam to remind someone not paying attention that ‘ I AM HERE ! ‘. I have other drivers violate my space quite often even when driving my cage, so now days, just something ya gotta deal with and attempt to make yourself as visible as possible !

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post #21 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 7:12 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EzyMount View Post
You might also consider the PIAA LED aux lights. They have a 2.5”-3” version that is available. Early on, when PIAA released their first LED lights that were similiar in size to the original 1100’s, “Clearwater produced those for PIAA”. Not sure if that is still true. The lower PIAA LEDs on my bike are those, and work very well...
So it became about lights, it always end up that way..

Best light I ever had..

Borg Wagner H-4 aux lights (the were actually made a "redundant: main lights) wire to the hi-low beam of the bike or switch off is to much "Attention"


At first i was running 55watt HID but they out light me and I swap for 35w, plenty of illumination spread and pattern, great cut out too, never a complaint on low beams..

Just good luck finding some, because they were ultra expensive (almost a $1000 in the 2000's so they stop manufacturing them.


You can take the paint out of walls with this things..
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post #22 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 8:08 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

My 2019 R1250RT came with BMW factory driving lights. The first thing I added was a Denali CanSmart and a set of D4 lights on the sides. The Denali system was super-easy to install. I later added both a SoundBomb horn and a B6 brake light on the license plate. I also added a black reflective kit from https://motoreflective.com/t/bmw.

My final visibility update in the rear was to replace the blank plate in my top box with 4 Skene P3 pods. I really wanted turn signals, so my top box has 2 red and 2 yellow P3 pods. Wiring it wasn't that bad, but it is considerably more complex than a simple 3rd brake light. I needed two Skene controllers: one for the brake lights and one for the turn signals, but it only took a couple of hours to get it all set up.

I also added some yellow Lamin-X film to the stock driving lights.

I highly recommend the Denali system.

Here's the front of the bike parked.


I tried to get some video of the rear brake lights and turn signals, but the LED flicker makes it really hard. Hopefully, this link works: https://i.imgur.com/weCT7sU.mp4
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2019 R1250RT Mars Red
The Farkling:
  • Denali CANSmart
    • D4 driving lights
    • B6 brake light
    • SoundBomb Compact horn
  • Sargent World Sport Performance Seat (driver)
  • Suburban Machinery Foot Peg Lowering Kit
  • Ilium Works Adjustable Brake Lever
  • Ilium Works Side Stand Foot Enlarger
  • RAM Ball Mount, Clutch Reservoir (w/Garmin InReach mount)
  • Skene P4 LEDs (as top box tail and turn lights)

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post #23 of 44 Old Nov 9th, 2019, 9:47 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by Grumpy_Squatch View Post
My 2019 R1250RT came with BMW factory driving lights. The first thing I added was a Denali CanSmart and a set of D4 lights on the sides. The Denali system was super-easy to install. I later added both a SoundBomb horn and a B6 brake light on the license plate. I also added a black reflective kit from https://motoreflective.com/t/bmw.

My final visibility update in the rear was to replace the blank plate in my top box with 4 Skene P3 pods. I really wanted turn signals, so my top box has 2 red and 2 yellow P3 pods. Wiring it wasn't that bad, but it is considerably more complex than a simple 3rd brake light. I needed two Skene controllers: one for the brake lights and one for the turn signals, but it only took a couple of hours to get it all set up.

I also added some yellow Lamin-X film to the stock driving lights.

I highly recommend the Denali system.

Here's the front of the bike parked.


I tried to get some video of the rear brake lights and turn signals, but the LED flicker makes it really hard. Hopefully, this link works: https://i.imgur.com/weCT7sU.mp4
That’s a nice setup you have there
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post #24 of 44 Old Nov 10th, 2019, 7:04 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I have the X on my GS bags in black that reflects when hit with headlights. I have the rear of the bags with strips of the same.

My Givi top case has reflective on it.

I run a Denali license plate brake light with deceleration and 3 blinks to solid on stop.

In front I run Denali D4. I set them to modulate and run yellow covers.

I control them with a HEX ezCAN.

I wear a Helite High Viz Yellow Turtle air vest.

Drive with you head on a swivel and NEVER believe the other guys turn signal!

Lee
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post #25 of 44 Old Nov 10th, 2019, 8:28 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by EzyMount View Post
I reserve my 4” Clearwater lights for high beam augmentation and flash them with high beam to remind someone not paying attention that ‘ I AM HERE ! ‘. I have other drivers violate my space quite often even when driving my cage, so now days, just something ya gotta deal with and attempt to make yourself as visible as possible !
As well as always jockeying for maximum space between me and potential threats and keeping exposure to high risk scenarios as low as possible, wearing a hi-vis jacket, halo lights, and flashing the two high beams whenever I see any potential for a right-of-way violation I do the swerve back and forth maneuver and of course assume they can't see me anyway. I have triple horns on my '16RT and my finger and thumb are always poised on the high beam toggle and horn when in any kind of traffic. I can't imagine how adding any other lighting to this practice buys a whole lot of additional safety. A Helite turtle vest is probably the best thing I can do to improve safety in addition to my default riding practices I believe. Since moving to an urban area from the sleepy burned down town of Paradise I have become more comfortable riding in more traffic and this is Denver which has ampl dense traffic. This is to my peril as it's just a matter of odds w/ this kind of traffic density. I do avoid it and take low-traffic routes almost always which helps.

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post #26 of 44 Old Nov 10th, 2019, 8:18 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Have to be careful using the strobe feature as its illegal in almost every state. That said, I use it frequently and also have it set to my horn. I figure if I get pulled over for the flashing lights I'd rather have a ticket then be squished on the freeway.
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post #27 of 44 Old Nov 11th, 2019, 12:12 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Just one man's opinion but, during daylight hours, one of the very best things to improve the odds of being seen is to wear a high-viz helmet. It's relative large, is seen from all angles, and is the highest point on the bike. My own experience is that in crowded traffic the helmet stands out like a beacon.

Many object on aesthetic grounds, being of the opinion that it looks dorky. This is something that's not an issue for me as for much of my life folks have been of the opinion that, helmet or no, I look rather dorky anyway.
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post #28 of 44 Old Nov 11th, 2019, 12:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by Pappy53 View Post
Do you have engine guards installed?
No, I do not have engine guards... I have thought about it, but have not put any on.

I am starting to narrow down my shopping list on the lights. This is where I am at so far...
- HEX exCan Gen II
- Denali DR1 (pair)
- Denali Light Mount for RT
- Denali B6 Brake Light

I don't really like the mount very much, or it's location, but until I can find mounts I like, or add the engine guards, this will work.

If I went with engine guards, what are the options? I see some on ebay for $170, but Ilium makes a set for $415. Are the Ilium that much better? Are there other options in between? I guess engine guards are a completely different topic...
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post #29 of 44 Old Nov 11th, 2019, 1:11 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I bought a set of bars from EBay that I'm very happy with. They are either copies of the Wunderlich bars or, more likely, the factory that makes them for Wunderlich is selling online for 1/3 the cost. I have a 2013 so I can't recommend a specific set to you but I can say that my concerns about the quality of EBay-sourced crash bars was unfounded. I dropped the bike once and they held up just fine. For bar-mounts, if you go that way, check Amazon, I paid under $20 for a set that will likely be uncovered intact by an archaeologist 30,000 years from now in a vein of aluminum oxide (all that will be left of my motorcycle).

PS - I really wanted one of those B6 brake lights but they were out of stock for months (no exaggeration). Do make sure to check that they are in stock before you commit to them. I ended up with the Admores mainly for this reason. Admores are great and I'm very happy I got them but those B6's are nice too if you can get them.

PPS - they appear to be in stock at Twisted throttle and Revzilla. Get them while they last! 8-D

'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition
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post #30 of 44 Old Nov 11th, 2019, 9:08 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by Stooie View Post
Just one man's opinion but, during daylight hours, one of the very best things to improve the odds of being seen is to wear a high-viz helmet. It's relative large, is seen from all angles, and is the highest point on the bike. My own experience is that in crowded traffic the helmet stands out like a beacon.

Many object on aesthetic grounds, being of the opinion that it looks dorky. This is something that's not an issue for me as for much of my life folks have been of the opinion that, helmet or no, I look rather dorky anyway.
I will seriously look at that as I'm now using a 5y/o RF-1200 in white but HV should be a bit better. Maybe adorn it with some flashing LEDs. I wonder if that is legal. I could see outlining certain lines on RT with stringed 12v LEDs could be cool

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post #31 of 44 Old Nov 11th, 2019, 9:10 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
No, I do not have engine guards... I have thought about it, but have not put any on.

I am starting to narrow down my shopping list on the lights. This is where I am at so far...
- HEX exCan Gen II
- Denali DR1 (pair)
- Denali Light Mount for RT
- Denali B6 Brake Light

I don't really like the mount very much, or it's location, but until I can find mounts I like, or add the engine guards, this will work.

If I went with engine guards, what are the options? I see some on ebay for $170, but Ilium makes a set for $415. Are the Ilium that much better? Are there other options in between? I guess engine guards are a completely different topic...
Your list is almost exactly where I started (I have a Gen I EzCan, only 2 wires). To your list I added a pair of the B6 Visibility Pods and a pair of the B6/DRL offset mounts. I hooked up the wires from the Visibility Pods to the B6 brake light. I mounted the B6 below my tag, and mounted the Pods on either side of my tag. (All three wires from the B6/Visibility Pods are routed through a single hole drilled in my rear fender, exactly in the center of my tag. Inside the fender, the wires snake between the fender and the inner fender into the space below the rear rack/pannier rack. With the 3-wire connectors now available on the EzCan and Denali lights, this would have been a "duck soup" setup.

Oh, I also have a MiniSoundBlaster horn mounted, instead of the BMW "meep meep" horn.

My setup -- C1's flash when horn is activated. IIRC, light is about 40% night/60% daylight (Whatever it is, it lights up the road at night, and doesn't blind oncoming cars. B6's/Visibility Pods do the "California Flash" when brake is activated. As running lights, they are set at 20% power/100% as brake lights. B6/Visibility Pods are set to come on when decelerating, too. Play with the sensitivity setting to make sure the activate to your style of braking. Too sensitive, and they'll activate at almost any deceleration. Too harsh, and they won't light unless you're doing a full-on downshifting/engine braking stop, and then your brake lights will be the last thing you're concerned with.

Oh, I also filed a small slot into the top the Tupperware for the wires from the C1's to pass through smoothly.

Good luck!

Jack Goertz
'12 Triumph Bonneville
'15 BMW R1200RT
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post #32 of 44 Old Nov 14th, 2019, 11:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
I am starting to narrow down my shopping list on the lights. This is where I am at so far...
- HEX exCan Gen II
- Denali DR1 (pair)
- Denali Light Mount for RT
- Denali B6 Brake Light
Lucky me! The Denali DR1 pair is on sale at Twisted Throttle, so I just ordered them.

I am also thinking about getting crash bars to mount the lights on, instead of having them up under the mirrors.
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post #33 of 44 Old Nov 14th, 2019, 6:46 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I am in the Denali EZ Cam camp. They now have D7's that are super bright. I also have the D2's mounted on Ilium crash bars to provide the safety triangle. I like the mirror mount as it gets the lights up higher so they will get on down the road farther. I can usually ride with them on full bright if the divided highway has a wide enough median, otherwise on low beam they are at a 30% setting and do offer some extra light down the road. They are plug and play. I also have the billy light mounted under the rear license plate, and have it set to the 3 flashes to warn that I am braking. The operation and set up with the wunder wheel is much simpler than the more expensive option and they get enough light down the road that gives me some comfort riding at night. They occasionally have specials on this package, and if you are in no hurry wait for one...or call and ask if there is some type of bundle price break, they may give you one

JEF
Cincinnati, OH
p.s. have seen you have made a move while I was typing this...if you want light down the road and the shoulder lit up...look at the D7's.

John F
Cincinnati, OH
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post #34 of 44 Old Nov 14th, 2019, 7:24 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I've installed Motolights on the last 4 bikes and have another set it the box ready to go on bike 5. This has included wo Harley baggers and three BMW boxers.
I've always used the caliper mounts. I've included a shot of my 2018 R1200RT.
https://motolight.com/
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post #35 of 44 Old Nov 14th, 2019, 11:37 pm Thread Starter
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I've included a shot of my 2018 R1200RT.
Nice machine you have there. Unrelated question... What short antenna are you using instead of the long oem version?
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post #36 of 44 Old Nov 15th, 2019, 12:51 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Hey DLeasman... Just listed a set of Illium bars in the classifieds.... Tried to PM you but couldn't?
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post #37 of 44 Old Nov 15th, 2019, 1:18 am
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I have had 2 RT's and have a can-bus system. You can use HID lights without a problem they just draw 35 wats instead of just the 55 of hte H7 bulb. I'm a motorcycle photographer and I frequently don't see the lights on the very pointed RTs and 1600, that's why BMW is now including extra lower ( Fog/Driving lights) on almost all newer style RTs. Using the Sylvania silver lights only produces about 15-20% more. I've tested it with a light meter.
The RT's problem is that the very narrow Low beam is good for the rider to see with, but not very visible to other more than 15 degrees to the sides. Riding with the High beam is much much better. but can be annoying to others as it starts to get dark. adding some smaller but attention-getting lights on the forks created a Triangle of safety to be more easily seen. Check out OZG motorsports. they have good lights, waterproof and can be either white, white flashing, yellow or yellow flashing. all in the same light. they are only $50 for the set and $25 for the switch and wiring harness. The Darla, Clearwater, and Rigid Industries lights are great but EXPENSIVE!. You would be best to add a Fuse box wired directly off the battery. the pick-up signal to turn on the small fuse box could be the peanut bulb wire or any wire that becomes hot when the ignition is on. you could also take the pick up from the lighter cord. then you can wire up the lights directly from the new fuse box as normal and it will turn off the lights when you turn off the bike. Additionally, it will no have any canbus errors. If you have any questions give me message at
It is because of this issue on the RT I haven't up graded to the new model yet, but I'm ready to do it soon. Dennis
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post #38 of 44 Old Nov 15th, 2019, 10:28 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I bought some reflectors and 3M reflective tape from Amazon and applied to my 1250RT's backside.
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post #39 of 44 Old Nov 15th, 2019, 7:55 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by NoelCP View Post
I will seriously look at that as I'm now using a 5y/o RF-1200 in white but HV should be a bit better. Maybe adorn it with some flashing LEDs. I wonder if that is legal. I could see outlining certain lines on RT with stringed 12v LEDs could be cool
Gee, Noel, with the holiday season approaching this sounds like this could be quite festive!

Bob Stewart
Salem, Oregon

2018 R1200RT
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post #40 of 44 Old Nov 16th, 2019, 11:07 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Oh yeah and can see it now twinkling red green and white LEDS and I can even but the 12" faux tree on my top box complete with lighted angel! Great idea!
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post #41 of 44 Old Nov 16th, 2019, 2:44 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Up front I switched to Cyclops LED Headlamps and LED parking/running lights. I also have Clearwater Darla lights mounted on fork and I usually use the yellow covers except when using the, after dark as during the day the yellow covers make them stand out more. The Darla lights are connected to a HEXEzCan so they change brightness from day to night on low using the light sensor in the dash and they go to full brightness on high beams.

In the rear I have 2 sets of Skene LED brake lights below the stock brake light. Using the EzCAN these are on low brightness as additional taillamps and go to full bright when braking. They also flash according to the California law on flashing brake lights when applied and flash upon engine deceleration through the EzCAN. On the side cases, mudflap and my top case I have DOT red reflective tape to make the night profile wider with reflectivity to the rear.

On the side of my crash bars and on some black areas of the bike I have some 3M reflective tape that looks black by day but is reflective white at night when illuminated by light. Depending on if I am commuting of touring I usually wear either a white helmet or hi-vis helmet and a hi-vis jacket or mostly white jacket.
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post #42 of 44 Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 5:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Visibility Solutions

I really appreciate all the help and input from this amazing group of people.

I now have the Denali DR1 lights, and the Denali CANsmart just showed up today. I went with the CANsmart over the HEX ezCAN, because it has all the proper connectors for the Denali lights, plus the extension cables, which I need. Today, I ordered the B6 tail light. The crash bars should be here tomorrow, and then I can determine my exact pipe size where I intend to mount the DR1 pair, and then I can order the bar mounts, which will probably be the Denali crashbar mounts, due to the specific size I need. I am still deciding on the pannier backs... The pre-cut reflective panels are still in the running, but I have also considered putting diagonal stripes with white 3M reflective tape, so it stands out during day or night. So far, I really like the SW-Motech EVO City, and it has some reflective materials also, and might add a matching bag to the back for longer trips. My jacket (red) has a lot of reflective material as well, as does my helmet.

Much to do this winter... Spring can't come soon enough. But I have been fortunate to be able to ride here in MN up until Nov 18th, which was probably my last ride, based on how the 2 week forecast looks.
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post #43 of 44 Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 8:39 pm
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Re: Visibility Solutions

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Originally Posted by dleasman View Post
...and the Denali CANsmart just showed up today. I went with the CANsmart over the HEX ezCAN, because it has all the proper connectors for the Denali lights, plus the extension cables, which I need.
The Gen II Hex EZCan has those Denali-type connectors now.

'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition
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post #44 of 44 Old Nov 23rd, 2019, 1:00 am
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Re: Visibility Solutions

Another cheap visibility option is to buy some reflective tape for your rims. You of course have to keep your wheels clean lol but when lights hit it from the side they make a nice circular object that makes you easily identifiable as a bike. I have some blue ones on mine, but they come in all types of colors including black that reflects white if you want something more discrete.
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