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Old 06-22-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
Box'a'bits OP
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Baja Designs Light & Vapour Speedo

I have been asked about the set up on Gus, so thought I'd do a thread on it, rather than respond privately. Then it's out there as a resource.

One issue I had moving onto Gus ('91 R100GS) was that the headlight was substandard. This was exacerbated by the broken adjustment mounts, which allowed things to 'flop' about. I had thought I'd left this behind on my KTM 640a. I had / have other BMWs, & their lights have all been good, so wanted a large round light solution.


Gratuitious vanity shot by Bart

The basic set up concept was copied from Airhead Wrangler.

The headlight is a Baja Designs 8”. The frame is chromoly. The light comes with a single filament H1 bulb, and no provision for dip. You can manually shift the light using the adjuster. The light in this form isn't legal for road use in NZ.

I have converted this with a Boatman’s conversion ring, in order to run a legal Hella 7” semi sealed insert (& it’s a bit fiddly to get the reflector on until you get the knack – wouldn’t want to change a bulb in the dark). I've used the 1058HD insert - that's the correct dip for NZ. The HD refers to the toughened glass. The US version would be this, but is included in the Boatman kit. The Hella insert gives you the option of a pilot light. I run a 21w halogen bulb there, which gives me a day running light (useful for commuting or slow running).



In the headlight bucket I run 2 relays, to bring power straight up from the battery, via gruntier wiring. The H4 bulb is a 90/140w. There is a competing Trailtech 8" Racelight - that doesn't run a bucket in the H4 version.

The speedo is a Trailtech Vapor. There are 2 versions - silver or black. The speedo sits on a bracket which you get with the speedo, & it is rubber mounted.

I run the optional dash plastic surround. That just clips onto the speedo surround. It gives you 4 dash lights. I run the generator light, oil pressure warning light, high beam warning light & a neutral indicator light. The dashlights are LEDs in carriers, which I got with the setup here in NZ. I understand the stock lights are filaments - but these are too dim in bright light. I reasoned that I could do without the 2 indicator lights, but will eventually put these in. Whilst I can see the front indicators, in bright light it is too easy to miss that these are still flashing.

I run a Euro Motoeletrik EnDuraLast constant magnet alternator, so don't need to run the 3w bulb to excite the alternator. A friend of mine with a stock alternator has suggested if he were running a similar set up without the alternator upgrade, he would run the alternator's excitor as the 3w light pilot bulb - on the basis that this 'turns off' when the bike revs, & that the headlight would be on when the bike was running anyway.

The sensor for the speedo is mounted in a little bracket on the fork legs – a prior version of the mount did not work as well & gave some ‘variable’ readings. It’s real steady now.



I made up a mount for the speedo & indicators using steel strapping with some tube standoff at the back to create room for the cables to slide thru’. I prototyped it crudely – been meaning to get back & do a better version but haven’t – it works.

The ignition switch sits in a tube off that.



The indicators are KTM items & bought off the NZ equivalent of Ebay. I like them- they are small & able to take the hits. But they run 10w bulbs, which meant they hyper flashed originally, until I wired in resisters to take up the load. I have also recently found that the stock BMW flasher unit on an oilhead can be modified to stop the hyperflashing - but haven't yet investigated to find out if this is the same unit as on Gus. If this is the case, this would be a better solution.


The whole set up is reasonable expensive to buy, but should last.

The advantages I was seeking with this set up were:
  • Robust. This bike was built to use on gravel, single & 4wd tracks, & to replace a stock BMW (Bosch) headlight unit (reflector, chrome ring, bucket etc) would be prohibitive;
  • The mount is universal. I have always intended to switch out the forks to something more modern. The Baja Designs clamp set up allowed me to switch from the standard GS forks across to the bigger Kayaba 48mm forks with no issues other than needing to purchase a wider jubilee clip;
  • Using a bucket that would allow some of the wiring to be hidden. The competing Trailtech item would not allow this;
  • Cheap to replace the headlight insert (NZD $78). Especially important given that I expect to catch a stone at some time on the gravel that I ride. This Hella insert is commonly used automotively & by the 4WD builders. ;
  • Indicators set well up under the handlebars, to minimise the potential for damage in a fall.



I switched out of a Roobar mounted fairing. The downside of this was that the wiring was massive & set up for the fairing. I chopped things to accommodate the new set up. Whilst you could loop the wiring back & wire from there, I didn’t. The fairing monstrosity will never go back on (I’ve swapped it for other parts). It would be easier to do this on GS’s that didn’t have that set up.

The other issue that I have yet to address is getting some weather protection back. I’m thinking a small lexan screen.

My 48mm fork conversion thread is here
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Box'a'bits screwed with this post 06-24-2012 at 05:46 PM Reason: Add missing detail
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
batoutoflahonda
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Great mod. I'm doing the same headlight mod on my G/S this winter and am still in the air about a speedo/tach combo. How is the tach wired? Rapped around the spark plug wire or? Is it programmable for the wasted spark?
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:17 AM   #3
Box'a'bits OP
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Plugged into the coil (I cut off one of the female connectors & double wired into that). Didn't have any issues setting up for the BMW, and haven't had any of the issues with rev reading like some of the singles have had.

Here's the link across to the user manual in pdf.

The rev range on the Vapor is probably a little high (10k rpm), and the bar graph is okay as a general indicator but not that useful. Screen 2 gives you speed & a digital readout of revs instead of the (distance) mileage reading, which I do find useful, especially when setting carb idle / sync etc.

Screen 3 give you peak revs & peak speed. Make sure you don't show that to the Law if he asks you for your odo reading.

I've set up the odo so that it mirrors what was already on the bike speedo I replaced, i.e., I have an accurate mileage record.

Those two little eyebrows are useful programmable over rev warnings. One is set at peak revs, the other at red line.

The only things I wish it had are:
  • two resettable trip meters (only has one), so I could use one for total trip & the other for trip from last fuel, &;
  • a voltmeter, so I could track the voltage on the bike

There are 2 temperature gauges, one for ambient temp, and the other for engine temp. My engine temp is not connected. The ambient temp tends to over read circa 5 degrees C, I'm told because the sensor is right next to an led which contaminates the reading.
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It's just better when there's twins involved....

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Old 06-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
batoutoflahonda
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Good info, thanks.
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Save lives. Legalize lane sharing.

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Old 06-24-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
Airhead Wrangler
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A couple more ways of doing it. Mine:


...and a friend's. 1/8" sheet of black HDPE ziptied to the tubes of the light mount. It actually worked really nicely:
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
datchew
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Great thread for reference. Thx much.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
Jay.T
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I also was inspired by Airhead Wranglers rig. After I laid my GSPD down and tweaked the fairing and roo bar, I thought this would be a great mod. I went with the Cyclops Rally light. Found the light on this site somewhere. The same deal but based on the Trail Tech light. Put a Trail Tech Voyager computer. Took the extra temp input to SPDT toggle and installed two spark plug mounted sensors, now with the flip of the toggle I can see the temp of both heads. Installed a toggle for the grip heat and ignition, and now use my bike lock more than ever. Installed Touratech blinkers and warning lights.

I think it is a great set up. I like being able to adjust the headlight on the fly, and have a ton of info in front of me. There was a huge difference at first and took a bit to get used to no fairing while running it down the highway.


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Old 07-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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The bikes look great guys!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
Uncle Pollo
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gimme a "b"!
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
naginalf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay.T View Post
I also was inspired by Airhead Wranglers rig. After I laid my GSPD down and tweaked the fairing and roo bar, I thought this would be a great mod. I went with the Cyclops Rally light. Found the light on this site somewhere. The same deal but based on the Trail Tech light. Put a Trail Tech Voyager computer. Took the extra temp input to SPDT toggle and installed two spark plug mounted sensors, now with the flip of the toggle I can see the temp of both heads. Installed a toggle for the grip heat and ignition, and now use my bike lock more than ever. Installed Touratech blinkers and warning lights.

I think it is a great set up. I like being able to adjust the headlight on the fly, and have a ton of info in front of me. There was a huge difference at first and took a bit to get used to no fairing while running it down the highway.


Thanks for posting this, it's almost exactly what I was hoping to do to my PD. I like gauges tho, not a fan of the digital screen, I was thinking of taking all the gauges I need from VDO apart and combining them into one custom gauge .

Btw, what exhaust is that? Does it have a USFS approved spark arrestor by any chance? I'm looking to get that eventually.

Also, does anyone else find it F'n ridiculous that trailtech and baja don't offer a headlight with a freakin H4 socket? I mean how frickin hard can that be, people are doing it themselves and after spending $2-300 on a damn headlight, I shouldn't have to be hacking away at it just to make it legal! I suppose a person could simply wire up some low beam fogs, but would that make it legal?
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naginalf screwed with this post 10-09-2012 at 11:31 AM
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
Jay.T
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The exhaust, I am not sure. The guy I picked it up from did not say. It does not have a USFS arrestor installed but has provisions. It was cheap, $100 new never installed. It is quiet but when you give her, she roars. It was running a bit off when I first installed it and after reading for a while and a bit of trial and error, opened up the airflow by cutting the snorkels back and reforming the bell mouths.
There is a guy and companies that sell the light already street legal. I picked up mine and bolted it on, done. I also wasn’t a huge fan of digital gauges but was a fan of the light. It was also nice to be able to plug the speedo hole on the tranny. The only other option was to keep the original gauges and find the housing from a mystic.
One big thing I notice was how much that little windshield on the PD works. Blowing down the interstate loaded up at 75mph, I feel it in my shoulders for a little bit, but it goes away.
I am a bit west from you, if you are ever in the neighbor, ring me up and you can see it hand.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #12
Box'a'bits OP
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Just thought I'd throw a quick up date in here, given someone asked me about my light set up recently, & there has been some practical things that have come up.

Nov 2012 I barrel rolled Gus off the top of a steep wooped out hill climb section, & he came down upside down on the light & handlebars. The impact rotated the bars flat against the tank, scuffed up the light frame, & slightly bent it out of round. We were able to reset the bars & ride it out to civilisation. The actual light unit was unaffected.

I still haven't replaced the light frame, & am impressed with the strength of this.



I note that the Cyclops light is made of lightweight aluminium. Whilst I'm not prepared to put that light to the same test, I do not think that it would have come off so well. I can't see the specs for the Trailtech.
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It's just better when there's twins involved....
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