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Ok, so I traded my old '97 GL1500 SE and got my brand spanking new GL1800 last spring. My GL1500 had been heavily accessorized by the previous owner. I must have taken off a hundred pounds of silly chrome and gizmos. But there where a few things I did not take of...

The trunk of my 1500 had every conceivable lights added to it- especially on the back. Including the spoiler and a wig-wag of some sort that flashed the trunk brake lights all the time the brakes were applied-the other brake lights remained solid. Man O Man, do I miss these lights. And it had turn signal (flashers) on the rear corners of the trunk.

Now, my 1800 is a different story, much similar I guess to all other 1800. Not much light back there, no flashers on the trunk and the brake lights are kind of weak. And to add to my concerns, the running lights generate so much heat in the trunk that I could probably get a dozen hard cooked eggs by the time I get home.

I was following a buddy riding his own 1800 the other day. If there was anything between us, be it a car or another motorcycle, I could barely notice he had flahers on. Then I understood why I have almost been rear ended a few times throught last summer. Same story for brake lights, it doesn't take much for other motorists to miss them.

I ride between 15 and 30,000 km yearly. I ride to and from work everyday. Every week end is a getaway oportunity and I often ride over 800 km in one day. Early and late season means leaving home and coming back when it is quite dark on the road.

Today was probably my last ride of the current year as snow is supposed to be with us from now on. So I have the whole winter to come up with solutions and install/tweak/test before next spring.

Soooo, I'm looking for solutions.
Not merely suggestions, but real life tested, proven and demonstrated solutions.
I would dare restate my concerns, so that you can offer and share solutions ...

1- I want to have flashers mounted as high as possible on the trunk

2- I want to have more brake lights
- More visible
- Possibly flashing
- And some mounted higher

On this one, I do not have the trunk spoiler and I guess I can't have it. The dealer had "accessorized" my bike with the HondaLine luggage rack. But I fell in love with this one anyway. So far, I have been told that this rules out installing the spoiler. If anyone has worked out a way of fitting the spoiler with the Hondaline rack, I am open to suggestions on this one. I have tought about using Kuryakin "risers" to gain clearance but I am not sure that would be enough. And I think the two rearmost "legs" of the rack might be in the way of the spoiler.

3- I want to convert everything I can to LED.
Not as much for the savings in power used, but because I have noticed recently that many LED lights are actually more visible than their incadescent equivalent. And I probably could carry a few cold ones in the trunk without them turning to lukewarm Guiness-like stout before I get to destination- nothing against a Guiness, but not when expecting a cold pilsner please ...

And if converting flashers to LED, I will need a "load equalizer". I have read that Honda's need only one as compared to others needing one per pair ?? I have also read that instead of going the load equalizer way, I could simply replace the relay with a "solid state" electronic one.

Well, this post is getting way longer than expected. I guess this is a sign of how long the winter months are going to be !!

Once I have made up my mind from you different responses, I will make sure I post again with my plan, whatever I order or come up with and I will document how installation goes on.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences,

Alain


 

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My 89 also had plenty of lights in the rear as well as the reflectors in the trunk and bags converted to lights. When I bought my 08installed a brake modulator and wired it to the main brake wire under the seat, and now every brake light on the bike flashes when the brakes are on. Even my trailer lights flash. I noticed since installing the brake modulator autos stay farther back. I installed the "Back Off XP" Rear Brake Modulator from signal dynamics. Any lights that you add that are wired as brake lights would also flash using this method.

There are several accessory lights that can be added...

I know you can also replace the trim on the trunk and saddle bags with chrome trim that has led's.

http://www.wingstuff.com/pgroup_detail/238_Lighting_Accessories/1821_Show_Chrome_GL1800_LED_Trunk_Saddlebag_Moldings/?goto=%2Fpgroup_list%2Fgl1800%2F238_goldwing_Lighting_Accessories%2F%2F%3Fpage%3D7

There is a LED conversion kit that replaces the rear fender reflecter with a LED light.

http://www.wingstuff.com/pgroup_detail/238_Lighting_Accessories/20118_GL1800_Rear_LED_Reflector_Conversion_Kit/?goto=%2Fpgroup_list%2Fgl1800%2F238_goldwing_Lighting_Accessories%2F%2F%3Fpage%3D4

To get light up higher, you could put an LED strip on the trunk. This one even has chrome.

http://www.wingstuff.com/pgroup_detail/238_Lighting_Accessories/3839_Universal_Chrome_LED_Light_Amber_or_Red/?goto=%2Fpgroup_list%2Fgl1800%2F238_goldwing_Lighting_Accessories%2F%2F%3Fpage%3D11

I have seen wings with "hyper-lites" mounted on the back of the rear speakers.

http://www.hyperlites.com/videos.html

I'm sure you could put any LED accessory light that would fit on the back of the speakers and wire it as a brake light or perhaps a run/brake light.
 

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Life saving and tested solutions huh? No bull, just facts:D Ok!! Purchase two modulators for your bike one for the front and the best one is the signal dynamics one that can be installed to both high and low beam, or totally off, and you can rig it to the horns too so they flash them when you give em the horn;). Also a rear brake modulator that flashes the lights when you hit the brakes.

The rest of it is personal choice and preference. But those modulators are time tested and proven to be life savers.

Kit
 

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When my bike was purchased new last November, I hadbothheadlight and brake light modulators installed.

When the brakeis used the back lights will flash 7 times then willburn solid until the brake is released.Getting off thebrake and back on runs thecycle again. It is hooked to all the brake lights ... so I have four lights flashing 7 times. It seems to get peoples attention.

I've had several experiences with people following pretty closethen backing off when the brakes are applied for a turn or curve, etc.

So I believeit was worth the expense.

The brake light modulator I have is a little pricey, but I like the way it works.

http://www.hondadirectlineusa.com/stores/product.asp?pid=987&str=4&ID=461008943


Bob
 

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And if converting flashers to LED, I will need a "load equalizer". I have read that Honda's need only one as compared to others needing one per pair ?? I have also read that instead of going the load equalizer way, I could simply replace the relay with a "solid state" electronic one.
Does anyone know of a "drop-in" solid state flasher that can replace the stock one in an 1800? I also want to convert to LEDs but don't want the hassle of the equalizers.

I also don't want to lose any of the flasher functionality. I don't use the 4-ways often, but I want to have them if the occasion arises.



 

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I thought he wanted to be seen from the rear. Not space.:cheeky1:
 

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For night visibility, the best thing I've found is white reflective tape [3M]. I put it on thechrome facing the rear and sides, including antennas, luggage rack, trailer ball cover, etc., etc.

It's near invisible during the day...it seems to shine like the chrome. But, when light hits it at night, it's like mega watts of lights.

The best part is, if your electrical system conks-out & leaves you on the curb, it still works perfectly.
 

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I agree you cant hav too much visibility. Over the summer I spent 6 hours riding in hard rain through Illinois and Wisconsin. two friends were ahead of me with identical bikes except for the rear lights. one had just turn signals and the other had modified his turn signals to be riding lights as well. There was a huge difference in visibility with just that simple $40 modification. In addition while we were all earing rain suits the one with the rear running lights had a rainsuit with lots of reflective surfaces. He was very visible and therefore much safer a well. Not only that but I was safer too because I could judge better when he was slowing down or accelerating. I have since added the lit spoiler to my bike and am looking for somthing that will also increase my visibility with out looking like the christmas tree bike above.
 

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I put a Wig-Wag on my 06 this year, and I am very happy with it.

On numerous occasions I have had cagers slide up close behind me, I just touch the brakes for a second or two and most of them drop back a bit.

There are of course, the ones that take it as a challenge to see if they can get even closer. No amount of Wig-Wag helps with those guys.

I have mine set to operate the trunk lights only, so full on at the bottom, rapid flashing at the top, then steady on with periodic blinking.
 

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Thanks for the replies so far.

3rdWing, I had already started looking into LED devices, I'll make sure to have a look at the ones you suggested. Specially the HyperLite ones.

But all the chromey bits that mount/install below the lights on the trunk are of limited impact in my current perspective. I find that LED devices I could install behind the rear speakers look promising.

I understand what you have done with your brake lights.

But have you done anything special with your turn signals ??

Kit, I don't think I wrote "life saving" anywhere in my original post. But anything that makes my behind more visible is potentially life saving (i'm talking motorcycle here).
Do you personnally use modulators ?

But have you done anything special about your turn signals ??

Bob, your experience confirms what 3rdwing says, that's good.

Tin-Can, you seem to be already sold on replacing the flasher relay.

This is a link to a solid state flasher relay:
http://www.jpcycles.com/productgroup.aspx?GID=905502C5-8B2E-48C9-A03D-6EFCCEF80029&search=flasher+relay&store=Metric&page=1

I'm sure there a many more.
But would it really allow one to run LED flashers whitout a load equalizer ?

Trajan, you are lucky enough to NOT have the Honda rack, your's seem to be the Kuryakyn - those will fit with the spoiler.

Oldtoys1961, no comments ...

Popeye, I am looking for "active" lighting" here, and not "passive" devices. Not to say that those are not valuable, but they won't let others know you are applying the brakes nor about to turn - which is what I am looking for.

Bob, had this friend modified a GL1800 so that lights on the trunks also became turn signals ??

Thnak you all for the replies so far.

Still looking for ways to add blinkers up there on the trunk ?
Anyone actually tried to fit the spoiler with the Honda rack ?
Do I understand that not alot of people around he forum ahve actually made the move to LEDs ?
 

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I have not done anything with my turn signals, but found the following.

There is a trunk light reconfiguration harness thattakes your outside light on your GL1800 trunk and make them turn signals leaving the inside lights as brake.

http://www.wingstuff.com/pgroup_detail/3914__GL1800_Trunk_Light_Reconfiguration_Harness

There is a turn signal conversion harness that converts the Trunk Lights into Running Lights/Turn Signal/Brake Lights for added safety & looks and will not affect OEM turn signal function.

http://www.wingstuff.com/pgroup_detail/238_Lighting_Accessories/4019_GL1800_Accessory_Turn_Signal_Conversion_Harness/?goto=%2Fpgroup_list%2Fgl1800%2F238_goldwing_Lighting_Accessories%2Fdes%2F%3Fpage%3D5
 

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Alain wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far.

3rdWing, I had already started looking into LED devices, I'll make sure to have a look at the ones you suggested. Specially the HyperLite ones.

But all the chromey bits that mount/install below the lights on the trunk are of limited impact in my current perspective. I find that LED devices I could install behind the rear speakers look promising.

I understand what you have done with your brake lights.

But have you done anything special with your turn signals ??

Kit, I don't think I wrote "life saving" anywhere in my original post. But anything that makes my behind more visible is potentially life saving (i'm talking motorcycle here).
Do you personnally use modulators ?

Yes I personally use modulators. Of all the things related to safety that anyone can install on their bike, I am a strong supporter of modulators. There are a few things experienced with them such as people who are just idiots pulling over, well know what, good for them, if they are such an idiot to not know what they are , then good, at least they saw me.

The rear modulator really does back people off, and makes you very visible to people behind you. I have always though I can always control what is happening in front of me, but sometimes in various situations I have had some close calls with people coming up behind me not paying any attention and all of a sudden you hear the squall of the brakes, I normally do not even look when I hear that and just take off to the nearest escape route, a good place for this to happen is where the road narrows for road construction. People seem to drive ten feet in front of their bumper and have a cell phone stuck in one ear and writing with the other hand , steering with their knee and they look up and ...............yes the rear modulator works, very much so. It gets their attention.

As for the front one, I love it. I see people stop and think now all the time, they see me, and I run it on high beam and have my beams adjusted a bit high, so it hits them right in the eyeballs. They see me. When my bike hits the road they all see me. Does an occasional daydreaming idjuiit pull over yes, just about every day one of them does that. So??? I think it up to them to learn the rules of the road and become educated in what is what on the road, if not I will be one of the ones to educate them.

It is not a cure all, it is a tool used for safety, but you do still have people on the road who will sit in their driveway ready to pull out and look right at you, make eye contact and still pull right out in front of you. This just happened to a friend this week, I go to his funeral this afternoon. He was 64 years old and a lifetime rider and a car pulled out in front of him. I was the one that installed the modulator on his bike. So it is not a cure all, but a very good tool, used with proper defensive driving also. What happened to Andy?? Why was he not paying attention.......who knows, we all daydream sometimes, once in awhile it will catch up with us.

Now down here in the South a lot of these good ole boys are very visible from BEHIND, they eat lots of GRITS :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:

Kit

But have you done anything special about your turn signals ??

Bob, your experience confirms what 3rdwing says, that's good.

Tin-Can, you seem to be already sold on replacing the flasher relay.

This is a link to a solid state flasher relay:
http://www.jpcycles.com/productgroup.aspx?GID=905502C5-8B2E-48C9-A03D-6EFCCEF80029&search=flasher+relay&store=Metric&page=1

I'm sure there a many more.
But would it really allow one to run LED flashers whitout a load equalizer ?

Trajan, you are lucky enough to NOT have the Honda rack, your's seem to be the Kuryakyn - those will fit with the spoiler.

Oldtoys1961, no comments ...

Popeye, I am looking for "active" lighting" here, and not "passive" devices. Not to say that those are not valuable, but they won't let others know you are applying the brakes nor about to turn - which is what I am looking for.

Bob, had this friend modified a GL1800 so that lights on the trunks also became turn signals ??

Thnak you all for the replies so far.

Still looking for ways to add blinkers up there on the trunk ?
Anyone actually tried to fit the spoiler with the Honda rack ?
Do I understand that not alot of people around he forum ahve actually made the move to LEDs ?
 

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Alain
We havent tried the brake light mod with an 1800 yet. I am interseted in the brake light modulator. I was driving in my car on the expressway last spring in the rain several vehicles ahead there was a GL1800 with the brake light modulator and I was impressed with how noticable it was. It really caught my attention in the day time when it was over cast. and wet. I thought that was great.
I am trying to stay away from too much chrome. Unfortunately most of the auxilary lighting comes in chrome ie: the trunk accent strips with LEDs. Nothing against chrome just not the look I want on the gl1800. I really like the 3M reflective material. My buddies rain suit had it across the shoulders in a V shape pattern. It was very noticable. As a matter of fact because of the way the wind made his rain suit bounce around it looked like he was dancing. I know they offer die cut packages of this reflective material in the Aerostich catalogue and for the BMW bikes. I plan on lookiing into using it on the 1800.
On the front of the bike I have the lower fog lights and my buddies have told me that it is quite noticable verses just a single headlight. It shines a wider foot print.
In spite of this nothing eliminates the need to be observant. I have had people look right at me and then merge into my line almost running me off the road. Fortunately I was ready for them and was able to avoid a collision.
 

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I also think that adding the reflective material to your helmet would help. I added a goldwing label to the back of my helmet. I had purchased it through e-bay and had mentioned to the maker that it would be nice if he offered it in the 3M material as well. He said he would look into it. I am sure that if he recieved enough emails asking for it it would inspire hime to do so. This is a link to his product:http://www.auctiva.com/stores/viewstore2.aspx?id=974369&styleid=112. Hell with the huge helmet on my melon it could be like a well lit billboard.
 

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Alain,

I'm not sold on the solid state flasher, but it would be the simplest way of correcting the flasher interval - if it works.

I am sold on LED's. I saw these on a demo bike at a local dealer.

http://www.bigbikeparts.com/Inventory/Navision/52-788?catalogNo=1

They were significantly brighter than the stock incandescents. They are Plug-n-Play replacements - except for the "equalizer/flasher" addition. If i can solve the issue by replacing the flasher it seems to make more sense to go in that direction.:stumped:

I want to do it right the first time. If you're not careful you can sure sink a lot of money into partial fixes!

T.C.
 

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Quick update here,

again, thanks to all for your replies and comments.

I have ordered a small bunch of stuff as I have mostly made up my plan to adress my concerns.

Will post back in the near future with my plans and items I have ordered. Photos of before and after with some in between.

I should receive my "gifts" to myself within a month, and installation will take place around end of december and january (heck, the bike is in the garage until early april anyway ...)

Stay tuned,

Alain
 
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