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Old 05-31-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
NordStrom OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
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Clearwater 2 x 12 Watt "Glenda" LED Auxiliary Lites

I've just installed sets of 12 watt (each lite) LED auxiliary lites from Clearwater on both my wife's (BMW F650GS twin) and my (VStrom 650) bikes. They make a specific kit for both bikes. These look to be excellent quality products and are set up to work very cleverly. In the daytime, they are conspicuity lites, with a troller to adjust the lite intensity to a point a bit shy of being too obnoxious to oncoming drivers. Even in the daytime they are far too bright to run them on full power. At nite, you need to adjust them even a bit dimmer when you are running your low beams. But here's the neat part - flick your headlites on to high beam, and the LED auxiliary lites also jump to full power. And at full power at nite, they are much much more than conspicuity lites. They provide wonderful in-fill lite of the road in front and to the sides of you. They make for wonderful critter lites at nite, lighting up the shoulders and ditches of the road in front of you. And all of this for only a maximum of a 24 watt draw on the limited excess power that our bikes put out. Since my wife and I both run a lot of heated gear, this was probably the most important feature that we were after.

Clearwater's website is http://www.clearwaterlights.com/ The lites I installed are their Glenda lites; they also make even brighter 2x36 watt Krista lite sets.

A set of Glenda lites for a Strom runs $475; the CANbus-friendly kit for my wife's BMW is $499. A bit steep but I think its a clear case of getting what you pay for. I previously tried Trail Tech's mini-HID lites, which ran me about $300 installed, but they were a disaster.

In addition to the two lites, kits include all the needed wiring, Posi connectors, relays, troller, and mounting brackets designed specifically for each model of bike. The installation manuals were easy to follow.

Here's some installation notes and pics for the BMW F650GS kit:

If you install the dimming control system that is triggered onto full power with your high beam switch then you have to tap into your high beam circuit. On my wife's 2009 650GS, the high beam wire is the white wire going to the lite plug. On my 2008 ABS Wee this is a yellow wire which is easy to locate immediately behind the either of your headlites. The kit provides a Posi-tap connector that easily taps into this line. The pic below shows the tapped-in connection on the 650GS.



The lites themselves mount onto provided brackets that attach to the fender bolt in front of the forks:



For the 650GS, the kit includes a small bracket to mount the troller beside the left mirror stem (see pic below). On my bike I just velcroed the troller to my collection of heated gear trollers that I have mounted on my left hand protector.



For switched power on the 650GS I tapped into the power line that goes to the auxilary socket just behind the ignition switch. On my VStrom, I already had switched power and ground lines coming up front from my underseat Blue Seas fuse box from my previous auxiliary lites so I simply used these.

On the BMW 650GS, I velcroed the small high beam control unit (relay) to a flat surface immediately in front of the battery, and simply tucked the switched power relay and the CANBUS controller in the small space available behind the battery - its on the right edge of the following pic. The VStrom has lots of space under its cowl with numerous mounting locations.




After that it was simply a case of bringing all the wiring to a common spot and connecting all like-coloured wires together using the provided Posi connectors (above pic, on left). Note that the large blue marette-like connectors provided, unlike most Posi products, don't have an internal metal cone (its plastic instead) so all the wires going into the connector must be twisted together to contact each other before inserting them into the Posi connector. In the case of the two light-gauge green wires coming from the high beam switch relay and the troller I opted to use a different, smaller, in-line Posi connector that I had a stock of on hand because I thought the connector provided by Clearwater to be a little large for this particular connection.

After that, I just taped everything up to make all connections as waterproof as possible and tucked everything away under the cowl where it won't be in the way to ongoing maintenance of the bikes.

The lites look great. The trim rings on the lites come in various colours. On the BMW 650GS, we ordered the blue ring that is a close match to the bike colour. On my bike, they didn't have anything close to my bike's Daytona yellow, so I stuck with black trim rings.





And they certainly will get you noticed. The following pic is of my VStrom with low beams on, and about 1/3 power to the LEDs):



Low beams and 1/3 power LEDs into a dark dark alley:



And high beams and full power to the LEDs into the same alley. Note that I didn't use a fixed camera setting, so the camera underexposed this pic compared to the previous one, but you get the idea:



For any VStrom riders that are interested, I've posted similar notes and pics of the install of the lites on my Wee in the Stromtrooper website:

http://www.stromtrooper.com/showpost...96&postcount=1

From what I have seen so far, I think this is a great product, especially for anyone running power-limited bikes like ours.

If other ADVriders are interested, maybe Clearwater would be willing to do a group buy.

Cheers,
NordStrom





NordStrom screwed with this post 05-31-2010 at 12:36 PM
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