I wanted to make my bike as visible as possible, and after a bit of research, decided to update my headlight, side lights, and add some very bright LEDs. I am loving the results so far! I ordered all of my lights from BikeVis | Unique lighting products for your Motorcycle
. They are in the UK, but shipped my order to California quickly. I would highly recommend buying from them; they responded to my questions quickly, and I'm happy with the results. I spent about $180 total, including shipping. Here is what I did:
: I replaced my stock bulb with an H4 Philips X-treme Vision Plus 55/60 W bulb. This was a cheap upgrade, so I figured why not do this while adding LEDs. It seems like a whiter light to me. I am still a newb, so I haven't been riding around at night yet, but I will feel more confident doing so now that I've lit up my bike.
: This was another cheap upgrade, and an easy one, too. I replaced the stock bulbs with BikeVis T10 501 V1 LEDs. They have a bluish tint which I really like, but I don't think they're blue enough to get me in any trouble with the law. It was hard to get a good picture of these, but I like the effect!
I put two BikeVis v2 White Bullet LEDs on my frame sliders, facing forward. These are BRIGHT. While I was at it, I got the BikeVis PodMod Kit, which makes the LEDs flicker slightly. The flickering is kind of like a candle flame, and makes the LEDs grab your attention, even in the day. It's a nice extra feature to help get the attention of people about to turn left in front of me. I mounted these low, underneath my frame sliders. Mounting them there helps to create a 'larger' front lighting profile for the bike, which some people say helps you get noticed. Yes, if I drop the bike my LEDs might get damaged, and they're also more susceptible to road debris. That's okay with me, I'm giving it a try regardless. I mounted them about 2 cm in from the slider tip to help minimize the beating they would take if I drop the bike. To mount these on the frame sliders, I got creative with zip-ties: I cut notches in the base of the Bullet LEDs, which allowed me to wrap a small zip-tie around the light without the light slipping out. Then I zip-tied other zip-ties to that zip-tie. Between my zip-tie solution and the tape that was already on the LED base, they're not moving any time soon.
These look great in the evening and at night, and really help to highlight the side of the bike. I mounted two BikeVis White Bulllet V2 LEDs to the back of my side body panels, facing back slightly and down. They're pointing out the vent, and light up the vent area nicely. They don't bother me while I'm riding, and drivers behind you won't have a white LED facing them because it will be blocked by your leg (it is also mounted far enough up in the panel that you can't directly stare at it if you tried.) The ground is slightly lit up by these, which is a nice bonus. I have these mounted just with the sticky tape on the base, and I didn't drill any holes in my bodywork.
Red Tail Light LEDs:
I added two BikeVis Red Bullet V2 LEDs under the passenger grips, and hooked them up to a Tail-Brake Converter. They fit great under the passenger grips, and makes the red tail light look a bit wider and brighter than stock. The tail-brake converter was easy to hook up: I used some T-clips to tie it into the power, ground, and signal wires for the rear brake light. (Ground is the green wire, power is the brown wire, the green/yellow one is the signal for braking.) The LEDs now act as brake lights. I have these held in place with just the tape, and the wires are well hidden (they nicely snake in between the passenger grip and body panels.)
I either soldered my wires together, or used T-tap splice connectors. The T-taps are easy, I recommend using these. However, I didn't trust the connector clip covers to stay closed, so I zip-tied them as well (this is called the 'belt and suspenders' approach in engineering.)
Think about what would happen if your connections fail while you're riding. I didn't tap power from my headlight intentionally... I didn't want to risk making a bad electrical connection that could fail and make my main headlight go out.
If you put LEDs on your side panels, make sure you put a connector on your side-panel LED wire so that you can remove the body panel without having to remove the LED from it. I put connectors on my wires so they plug in next to my turn signals.
Obviously, these lights are a bonus to help make your bike more visible to others, but don't count on it. They can only help if drivers look for you, and we all know they don't always look. I still pretend I'm invisible, while doing everything I can not to be.
If you like what I've done and have any questions, please let me know and I can post more details. Also, if you think I could improve on this, please don't hesitate to post suggestions.
Note: if you decide to purchase from BikeVis and do not live in the UK, you may need to contact them directly to get a correct shipping quote. They've apparently been having some trouble with their website, so it doesn't always calculate the correct international shipping rate.