Enclosed is a step by step procedure for replacing the stock 1157 tail light with a modern, low power consumption, bright LED replacement. I will also supplement the tail light with an aftermarket LED Light Bar. The advantages of the modification are as follows:
1. Long live bulbs. The bulbs will outlast the bike. Even the KLR!
2. No more bulb replacement
3. Low power consumption system
4. Brighter system
4. Vibration/shock resistant bulbs
5. More visibility = less likelihood of rear end collision
The inspriation for this modification is based on a thread by fellow KLRworld members including kramsetac, 75,000 miles, Quarterhorse 2, and “special adult” Bikerscout.
The LED’s can be found at www.customdynamics.com
The reflector tape can be found at any autoparts store in the near the paint supplies. LED Items to install:
1. 1157 tail/stop light LED replacement Radiant cluster 1.85 inch red Direct base Get SKU # 5302-19 for $34.99
2. 6 inch lightbar - red/black SKU 02010 $35.95
brushup on KLR650 electrical/wire issues
Items to be installed
LED 1157 tail light, Plug in existing socket
6 inch tail/stop light supplement. Not a tail light replacement. Will need to mount and wire this item
reflector tape. Metallica...Rock on Man..."FreeBird"!!! hehehe
remove tail light plastic housing
exposed bulb and “dull” reflector
stock bulb and LED replacement
install LED in socket. Just push while turning. May need to rotate 180 degrees when installing. Will only engage correctly one way
all installed, No issues fits fine
need to remove the housing reflector to make it mirror like finish. Remove these 2x nuts 10mm wrench
unhook wires 3x total. Just pull while turning. Don’t worry it won’t brake. I added tape so I know to reconnect the correct wires together
2x nuts off, 3x wires labeled and disconnected
reflector can now be removed
now apply that mirror sticky side tape
unroll the 6 foot long tape, cut 1 foot or so.
the housing is symmetric so you can work from the paper side
trim to fit
peel back the paper exposing the adheasive
inlay on the plastic reflector....No worries about heat from LED’s. There is none!
mirror like reflection...see the camera?
now the sides
mark trim lines
inlay to check
tape opposite side
back side now. Since it is curved it will have to be installed piecemeal
cover screw studs
drape the material as best you can
check bulb does not contact material
check power consumption
Stock bulb tail light only .446 amps or 6.24 watts of power
Stock bulb Brake light only 1.903 amps or 27 watts of power
New LED tail light only .070 amps or 1.0 watts of power
New LED Brake light only .354 amps or 5 watts of power
The LED consume ~ 17% of the stock wattage. Woohoo!
light bar tail on at .020 amps or .24 watts
light bar Brake light at .25 amps or 3.0 watts
need to make 3x of these electrical splice/spliters to run power to LED light bar
will attach here
like so. Each one is color coded. Look at Stebel horn install for walk thru of making a wire bundle
reattach the tail light housing
add LED bulb
thread wires thru opening
attach color coded wire bundles
awaiting to attach to LED bar
make and attach LED bracket, use this Aluminum angle
mark cutting trim lines
after bandsaw cut
will attach bracket here, measure hole pitch
trim bracket with band saw
quick check to see if fits ok
drill mounting holes in bracket tabs
drilled and deburr holes
mount light bar here
use rubber gasket as template
attach bar to bracket with metric M4-.7 allen head bolts
check drill size
drill and deburr
ready to mount
thread wire thru center access hole
use loctite on threads
ready to mount on bike
pickup these 2x holes
drill small hole to thread wires under fender
wires threaded thru here
standoff view lights off
wires to connect to splicer
wire splice tools ready!
cut excess length
add 1x small shrink wrap (white) + 1x large shrink wrap (black) + one waterproof 20 AWG wire crimp connector
shrink wrap connectors
repeat all 3x connectors
zip tie the wires to frame...now for the results......
OEM stock tail bulb tail light only (no brake)
LED tail light (no brake)
OEM stock brake light
I think the system exceeded my expectations
1. Low power consumption LED use ~ 20% of incandescent power (6.24 watts vs. 1.24 watts LED) for tail light and (27 watts vs. 8 watts) for brake light.
2. Recommend adding the reflective material
3. Vibration resistant system.
4 Much brighter than stock. Nice safety issue! Especially if viewed from directly behind.
5. Independent Fail-safe light system.
Happy with mod
I have also designed a custom 5.5 watt LED superbright fog lights. See below:
1/4 view lights off
forward view lights on
with camera filter
See here for my custom LED running/fog light walk thru
ready to ride!