Wee-Strom Alernator Output Cured
OK, now that I have your attention ...
One of our few complaints about the DL650 is the small amount of surplus wattage it generates. For me my V-Strom grail was enough power for driving lights, electric vest, heated grips and small appliance charging. Well, that's what I now have.
I recently read about the Clearwater Glenda LED driving lights (http://www.clearwaterlights.com/
) on WebBikeWorld.com (http://www.webbikeworld.com/lights/m...riving-lights/
) but they didn't show an application for the V-Strom. Still they were what I wanted. Driving lights that only draw 24w were exactly what I needed. I sent Clearwater an email and Glenn, the owner, wrote back that they did indeed have a V-Strom application. I called to order my set and was told that the mounts were to be in on Monday and they would get them out Priority Mail right away. That was fine by me as that should give me a night to install them before leaving on Friday for Cambridge, NY for Americas's biggest one-day ProAm bicycle race (2,000 racers in 26 fields). This race is unique in American cycling as the course is 62 miles of which 25 are on dirt roads.
The light arrived in Thursday's mail nicely packaged in a 4"x6"x8" box with every part you might need. Since I was replacing a set of Optilux lights I already had wiring to the front of the bike so I probably saved 30 minutes there. Mounting the Glendas was the easiest part of the job. They mount beside the lower fork using the same mounting points as the fender. A flanged washer replaces the Allen-head screw and torquing to about 8 ft-lbs set them right were I wanted them.
The Glendas are so bright at night they are too bright for oncoming traffic so the folks at Clearwater have two very ingenious (simple) solutions. One is a digital rheostat which mounts nicely on the V-Strom handlebar. I find that full brightness is the right setting for daylight but after dark about 33% is the right level. But isn't it a PITA to change the rheostat every time you want full brightness on those dark lonely roads that we have all over north central Pennsylvania?
That's the other solution. They added a small relay that is controlled by the high-beam circuit so that when you flip on the high-beams the Glendas go full bright.
I was able to do the full install in less than three hours and that included removing the Optiplex lights, moving my Whalen TIR3 LED flashing lights, making and eating my dinner and, of course, installing the Glendas.
So how do they work? OUTSTANDING!!!!
They are very bright during the day and their position down low gives them the geometry for the visibility triangle that safety experts say helps us to be seen by brain-dead cagers. But after dark they really (please forgive me) SHINE.
Yesterday I motorefed both the Women Pro and the Men Pro races at Tour of Battenkill (7.5 hours) then hit the road for the 6 hour ride home, I can honestly say I never enjoyed riding at night as much as I did last night. While the Glenda's are not truly driving lights, they do fully illuminate the 50-75 feet directly in front of you so that when you turn on the high-beams you have the impression of a very bright moon-lit night with very clear lighting right in front of you. I used to hate using the V-Strom high beams because of that empty space in front of me. No chance of seeing the crap that shows up whenever and wherever we ride. No matter where I'm coming from in the north, I must ride 50 miles on two-lane roads. They may call it US220 but it's still a two-lane country road. I never felt so much in control of my environment on a motorcycle.
Now for the best part, last night the temps on I-88 were in the high 30s and I needed heat. For the first time I was able to keep my driving lights on while powering my Gerbing vest, my heated grips, my GPS, my Autocom, my cell phone and my MP3 player. I don't know what else I might have needed but I do know my voltage monitor never left the green zone.
At $475, the Glendas are not cheap but they were worth every penny given their quality and utility. They are a lot cheaper a solution to our alternator output problem than buying a motorcycle. And they look really good on the Strom.