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Discussion Starter #1
I was riding with some friends last month in the lead position. When we stopped for a break, they claimed they could hardly see my turn signals. It was a sunny day, but they insisted they were dim.

This has prompted me to begin looking for either a brighter bulb, clear lenses, or even an LED conversion. Has anyone else had similar problems?

My headlights are phenominal and I wouldn't change a thing about them - although some others on Stromtrooper have swapped out the stock headlights for Sylvania Silverstars. The guys I ride with have said my headlights DO NOT NEED TO BE BRIGHTER. I figure since it's the off-season in Pennsylvania, I would upgrade my turnsignals and maybe my brakelight. Any thoughts?

Thanks and Happy Holidays.
 

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Brighter Turn Signals

I just fixed the dim turn signal problem this weekend, and it took all of 10 minutes. I went to Lowe's and bought a $6 roll of shiny aluminum repair tape (found in the paint section). Unscrew each signal lens and line the interior with the easily formed taped (kind of like foil). Replace lens cover and your signals are easily twice as bright. Since there is no reflector of any sort on the stock signals, the shiny lining really makes a big difference.
 
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Re: Brighter Turn Signals

csr67 said:
I just fixed the dim turn signal problem this weekend, and it took all of 10 minutes. I went to Lowe's and bought a $6 roll of shiny aluminum repair tape (found in the paint section). Unscrew each signal lens and line the interior with the easily formed taped (kind of like foil). Replace lens cover and your signals are easily twice as bright. Since there is no reflector of any sort on the stock signals, the shiny lining really makes a big difference.
I might have to give that a try! I recently installed the Emgo clear turn signal kits.. that did help quite a bit IMHO. Using the aluminum tape with this new set up may improve things even more. I will let you know! :wink:
 

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Re: Brighter Turn Signals

csr67 said:
I just fixed the dim turn signal problem this weekend, and it took all of 10 minutes. I went to Lowe's and bought a $6 roll of shiny aluminum repair tape (found in the paint section). Unscrew each signal lens and line the interior with the easily formed taped (kind of like foil). Replace lens cover and your signals are easily twice as bright. Since there is no reflector of any sort on the stock signals, the shiny lining really makes a big difference.
WOW! Thats a great idea. Now I have something to do relating to my bike this weekend.

Wingman
 
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Thanks for the idea csr67. I think I'll get some "high intensity" 1156 amber bulbs from NAPA or Advance Auto, line the interior with the foil tape and install clear lenses. That oughtta do the trick.

Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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Call me cheap, but instead of the foil tape I just used ordinary aluminum foil. Push it into place, tape the edge to hold it down and replace cover. Really did make a difference.
 

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VMan said:
Thanks for the idea csr67. I think I'll get some "high intensity" 1156 amber bulbs from NAPA or Advance Auto, line the interior with the foil tape and install clear lenses. That oughtta do the trick.

Thanks everyone for your help.
Be cautious with high intensity bulbs - I put them in the parking lights of a BMW car years ago - over a few weeks they slowly melting the inside of the turn signal lense....
 

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Foil Tape

I'm glad you guys like the foil tape idea. I think the roll is 100' long, so I probably have enough tape to mod. all the V-strom signals in North America!
 

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Re: Foil Tape

csr67 said:
I'm glad you guys like the foil tape idea. I think the roll is 100' long, so I probably have enough tape to mod. all the V-strom signals in North America!
I certainly wouldn't hold you to 'all' the North American V-Stroms but I'll get mine in line if you're willing!!!! :D
 

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Hey P7m8jg... I see you're in Central CA. I'm a CSUF alumni (go bulldogs). Drop me a PM with your address and I'll send a couple feet of the magic tape. That should be plenty to do all four lights.
 

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This is great!

I just did this mod myself. I took some cups from an egg carton, glued foil to the inside and put the cups in the signal housing.

Seems a good bit brighter.
 

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Another Option

One more option.

Some strommers have installed 35watt landscape lights in the turn signal cups. You have to change the plug and notch out the lense holder a bit but they work great. You can get them at Lowes. Also HyperLites makes an LED add on for the rears. And also you can now buy LED bulbs on almost any Bike webstore which require no modifications.

If you search the strom-trooper v-strom archives under modifications there was alot of info on turn signal upgrades posted earlier.
 
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Found some LED replacements

After some snooping around, I found this site:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/1157.htm

They have the 1156 bulb replacement in many configurations and colors - for as little as $4.99/each. They've got many other bulb replacements, as well.

I haven't bought anything from these guys, so I cannot fully endorse the product or the company - just wanted to pass along the info. :wink:
 

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bulbs, bulbs, bulbs

Suzuki really should have put reflectors in the turn signals. Aluminum foil or tape will fix this. I like the shiny side of aluminum foil better because it is more reflective than the tape that I've seen.

Brighter bulbs aren't a bad idea in theory as long as you are not melting your fixtures and connectors or overloading your electrical system. Along with the foil treatment, I added PIAA's 1156 bulbs front and rear. They draw only a couple of watts over stock and produce a much whiter and somewhat brighter light.

As for headlights? IMHO, they can NEVER be too bright. If they are aimed correctly they won't bother anyone and they could save your life when Bullwinkle steps into the road into your path of travel. If you want to put higher performance bulbs in your headlights, be certain you are OK with the amount of current they will draw. Also know any bulb drawing more than stock wattage (55 watts low beam, 60 watts high beam) is probably not DOT legal.

Also be careful, as many so-called high performance bulbs (especially at the lowest price points) actually produce less light than a standard halogen bulb, and have shorter service lives to boot due to higher operating temps and dyed coatings on the glass envelope. The mid-point priced bulbs like the Sylvania Silverstars DO produce more light than stock but often at the price of greater-than-stock power draw.

You can however buy bulbs that draw stock wattage and produce much more light than a garden-variety halogen bulb. PIAA is a good choice. They are not cheap, but most every model draws only stock current and produces monster lighting. I have been running a pair of PIAA H-4 Xtreme White anti-vibration bulbs (model 70456) in my K4 Strom almost since day one. I will not replace them with anything but these bulbs or another similar PIAA model. I tried some H-4 Super Plasmas for a time and like them too.

You want a real wakeup call? Replace just one of the headlight bubs on your Strom with a PIAA H-4. You'll see the difference immediately.


Ride well illuminated!

Jeff
 
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LED updates, and the solution for me!

Okay fellas, here we go. I went to www.superbrightleds.com and bought the 1156 replacement white bulbs with 19 LEDs for my turn signals and the 1157 replacement red bulbs with 21 LEDs for my brake lights. Just for kicks, when I took them out of the package, I touched them to two standard 9volt batteries (like in your smoke detector). The 1156 bulbs were absolutely blinding. The folks at superbrightleds.com were very helpful and provided a high quality product at a more than reasonable price - and shipped promptly. After I put them in the bike, they seemed brighter than the stock 21Watt bulbs, but weren't the effect I was after. I even lined the light fixture with the aluminum foil.

I visited my local Advance Auto Parts. All they really had there were the Sylvania Silverstar replacements that were 27Watt (and $10 each). After some snooping in the store I found some NightBlaster spotlight replacement bulbs that are actually just 50Watt 1156 bulbs - and they were less than $3/each. I popped them in the foil lined fixture and presto! - powerful, bright turn signals :twisted: .

One drawback though - you can't run your hazard lights if you make this modification to all four turnsignals. The flasher is overloaded and shuts down. After a second or two you can resume the use of your turn signals. Perhaps you could pick up a heavier duty flasher from a Suzuki XL-7 SUV or something else compatible. Until then, I just won't use my hazard lights. For inspection, I'll pop in the LEDs - it only takes 5 minutes.
 

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be careful with aftermarket bulb choices

Vman,

Sounds like you've been doing some thorough research on the turn signal issue. You're right on. The stock turn signals are really not that bright. And they really ought to have reflectors. Shame on Suzuki for cheaping out on that. What it might cost a dollar per bike to make that right?

My service manual lists K2 and K3 (litre Stroms) as having only 10 W turn signal bulbs. That's pretty lame. K4 (and I assume up from there) is listed at 21W bulbs. Some aftermarket incandescents like Sylvania or PIAA will offer somewhat brighter lighting at 27W each. Bear in mind compared to K4 bulbs this is an increased draw of 12W during a signal flash and 24W with four-ways working. Compared to earlier Stroms, it's 34W more during a turn and a whopping 68W more with four-ways on. On a bike with somewhat limited alternator output it's something to think about.

Now if you substitue 50W bulbs you're drawing more that twice what the K4+ circuit was designed to do. (Five times the draw of a K2 or K3) That might not be a good idea. I have seen light connectors and wiring that were melted into a pool of useless goo by using bulbs that are way too "hot". There are a few very high wattage headlight bulbs on the market that WILL melt your standard auto or moto wiring. Why anyone would want to use them is beyond me.

Outside of the risk to your turn signal lights and wiring, there's another thing to worry about if using very high wattage turn signal bulbs on a V-Strom. If you look at the wiring diagram for a K4 for example, you'll see some diodes, the side stand relay, and the turn signal relay are all part of one component. If you melt the turn signal relay, your bike might not start as the side stand relay must be closed for the engine to start and run.

Bottom line, there are things we can do to make the turn signals brighter. I've installed PIAA 27W bulbs and shiny foil in the bulb housings. But personally, I am not going any farther. LEDs are a reasonable choice also as they draw less than incandescents. If you want to go with very high wattage bulbs, give it a shot but I think you're taking a huge risk. The fact that your flashers are shutting down is telling you something is very wrong.
 
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Some good points...

MWValley makes some excellent points. No sense frying your electronics.

The only time the flasher shuts down is when the four way hazard lights (turn signals) are all four flashing. I do have some concern about this as I may need them along the road someday.

Perhaps the best scenario may be placing the 50Watt bulbs in the rear turn signals and the LEDs in the front turn signals.

When I tested the LED turn signal replacement, I had three of the 50Watt bulbs installed - could that have caused the one LED bulb to appear dimmer?

Since it only takes a few minutes to check, tonight I'll put the LEDs in all the way around and double check the lumens. I'll install the brake light LEDs as well. Updates later.
 

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VMan,

I'd be interested to know what your testing shows. No matter what you decide to do, I think you should add up the total current draw and try to keep it to not more than 10 or 20 percent of the original circuit wattage.

The fact that you may throw some LEDs into the mix would free up some wattage. That being said, even one 50W bulb might be hot enough to melt that light assembly and/or its wiring.

Have fun testing but be careful.

Cheers!
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Last evening I tried some different combinations with these lights. I put the LEDs in the front turn signals and tried the LEDs, the factory 21Watt, and the NightBlaster 50Watt bulbs in the rear turn signals. I then put the four-way hazard lights on and took photos. I can't seem to post them here, but I'll try to put them in my profile or somewhere else. The all LED combo causes the lights to flash at a faster rate than normal because the bike's electronics think a bulb has burned out since the LEDs draw so little compared to stock.

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