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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
GStrom Electrical Upgrades: EB PC-8,HL Relay, Skene, USB Jack Install Photo Guide

Here is my installation of the Eastern Beaver PC-8 Power Center using the VStrom specific harness, and the Skene P3 Brake/Running Lights on my 2012 DL650A L2 ABS ADV (US) model.

First off- Get the seat of and have a look around. The hardest part of this job was getting to the Key Hot connector just behind the rear Valve cover/under the tank and coolant res.

Here is the EB Key Hot tap pluged into the bike harness, the wire runs along the right side of the bike to the under seat tray:


Here is the layout of the parts. The Relay is installed on the right side next to the OEM relays, with a small hole drilled in the plastic for a Zip-Ty. I drilled a hole in the side of the under seat tray to pass the power feed to the PC-8. the hole diameter is about 3/8th" files slightly to fit the termial ends on the wire harness. The PC-8 is mounted to the tray with velcro and is easily lifted up to add circuits.


I used the Eastern Beaver Brake/Turn/Tailight adapter to tap into the harness. The rear lighting connector is on the left side of the subframe inline with the tool kit mount.


On to the Skene P3 Light installation. I mounted the lights on the license plate same as many others have. I may change this up later, but wanted to get them on and working. For the wiring, I drilled a very small hole in the enter of the rear fender just above the license plate which got the wires behind the taillight. I then was able to reach over the back of the seat tray and pulled the wires into the tray.

I chose not to cut any of the length off the EB adapter or the Skene P3 provided wiring, and just carefully wrapped them up with a couple of ty-wraps. I broke the drill out one more time to make a small hole for a TyWrap to hold the P3 control module on the side of the tray. I did this because the tray has drain holes and some water can get in there.


Here is the finished P3 Install:


Here are the P3 lights idle as running lights - they are very bright and have a lot of different functions:


Here is the finished PC-8 Install all buttoned up ready to power the EB Headlight Relay kit, a 3BR USB Outlet (from Rocket Moto), Skene Photon Blaster front lights, and a DIY custom horn upgrade. The bag under the seat clamp is a small dry bag for my bike papers.


I highly recommend the investment in the Eastern Beaver kits. They are better than OEM quality. The workmanship is superb. I do this sort of stuff for a living and could not make the kit any better. Considering my time and the challenge of sourcing all the materials, the EB kits are an outstanding value as well. :thumbup:

I'll be expanding this thread to record the electrical upgrades as I get them done.
 

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Very Timely

Brilliant timing since I'm thinking of putting Skenes on the front and adding the EB stuff.

Wasn't considering / hadn't thought about the EB rear light adapter since I wasn't really thinking of doing rear lights.

Question: The EB Brake/Tail/Signal Adapters come in two versions. Which one did you use for the Skene P3s?

Cheers
Bob
Ottawa
Not the one in Illinois
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Bob,

I used the EB Version 1 Brake/Tail/Signal adapter. The V1 is a simple tap that does not interfere with the stock lighting. The Version 2 is for placing a modulator inline for the stock tail light.

I have the turn signal wires on the adapter taped up until I get my photon Blasters in. I'm going to use these wires to avoid having to tap into the oem turn signal wires up front. Keeps everything easy to remove and return the bike back to stock if needed.

I chose the basic P3 lights because the rear turn signals are pretty good and our GStrom already has 4 way flashers. I took the funds saved on the rear and applied it to the front photon blasters - upgrading to get both the Alert and Turn functions.

I'll be posting up my experience installing the headlight relay kit and the Photon Blasters next.

DSR650
 

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Hi Bob,

I used the EB Version 1 Brake/Tail/Signal adapter. ......


..... I took the funds saved on the rear and applied it to the front photon blasters - upgrading to get both the Alert and Turn functions.

I'll be posting up my experience installing the headlight relay kit and the Photon Blasters next.

DSR650
Hi DSR650

Thanks for the quick reply and info on the adapter.

Interesting choice on buying two controllers and what features on which end.

I'm leaning towards saving money by getting the P3 TS controller on the rear and hooking a pair of Amber Photon Blasters on the front wired into the Rear P3s as Skene mentions adding additional lighting modules to the original circuit.

I would be able to keep the Emergency on the rear but lose the Alert on the front. My rationalle would be that a quick single tap on either brake would at least give a front flash (same pattern/ timing length as whatever happens at the rear for a short brake tap).

I guess I would argue that if I am worried about someone in front not noticing me and doing something stupid, I would hopefully be on the brakes anyway. Which also means I need to alert the vehicles behind me.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing your next writeup. Now I've just got to get the courage to order EB stuff in US Dollars as our Loonie sinks gently into the west.

The Skenes are available in Canada from the distributor and his website is in Cdn dollars. Hopefully, the price on the site will be the price charged out. I find the USPS shipping has jumped a bucket load to a Cdn address so that also eats into any saving (if possible) from buying from a US supplier.

Cheers
Bob
Ottawa
Not the one in Illinois
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I looked at doing the same thing, using the P3 to power both front and rear, but decided against having the front lights always flash insync with the rear. They did a very thorough job designing these systems to be 50 State DOT compliant and I figured there must be some reason for the difference in the front / rear systems. Seems Skene could combine the functions into one module and sell it as a complete bike solution. I'll be mouting the front controller next to the P3 controller in the back of the under seat tray.

As it is, I am considering adding some rear led modules to my panniers that connect to the Photon Blaster controller for extra running lites/turn signals and he Alert function in the rear too.

Got the front kit in yesterday, perhaps I'll have some garage time this weekend.

DSR650
 

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I wanted to keep the tool tray available and not take the minimal space that is there with the PC-8 panel, so I thought "outside the box".

I fabricated an aluminum angle, bent to less than 90° and deep enough to clear the seat pan. The PC-8 panel is attached to the aluminum bracket uisng the supplied velcro and attached it to the tool tray with two self tapping screws. Once I put the screws through, I ground the tips off on the inside of the tray.
 

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I looked at doing the same thing, using the P3 to power both front and rear, but decided against having the front lights always flash insync with the rear. .......

As it is, I am considering adding some rear led modules to my panniers that connect to the Photon Blaster controller for extra running lites/turn signals and he Alert function in the rear too....

DSR650
Had an e-mail exchange with Jerry Skene of Skene Design about using the P3 to power Modules up front.

Paraphrasing and elaborating his points

Using a P3 for both: Your front modules will only be 20% brightness since the P3 Controller will treat the front as a rear and only "brighten" up when you apply the brakes. You will lose visibility to on-coming traffic. Any short duration braking means the lights go dull again and any flashing generated by the P3 stops.

The PB controller runs full power continously to the front for visibility so if you have modules on the rear, they too will always be full bright unless alerting. Effectively always on brake lights. Any real brake lights would just be adding and perhaps not as effective in alerting a driver that you are braking). Since the PB controller only works when brakes are tapped twice in short time, any steady braking will mean the rear "Alert" would not happen.

The PB and P3 are designed for two "different" purposes.

In his opinion, if you only had to choose / afford only one set, get the PB and the correct PB controller on the front since this is the more likely problem area with people turning into your lane.

So it looks like I'll be spending more.

Looking forward to the next installation installment. Does that sound right?

Cheers
Bob
Ottawa
 

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Had an e-mail exchange with Jerry Skene of Skene Design about using the P3 to power Modules up front.

Paraphrasing and elaborating his points

Using a P3 for both: Your front modules will only be 20% brightness since the P3 Controller will treat the front as a rear and only "brighten" up when you apply the brakes. You will lose visibility to on-coming traffic. Any short duration braking means the lights go dull again and any flashing generated by the P3 stops.

The PB controller runs full power continously to the front for visibility so if you have modules on the rear, they too will always be full bright unless alerting. Effectively always on brake lights. Any real brake lights would just be adding and perhaps not as effective in alerting a driver that you are braking). Since the PB controller only works when brakes are tapped twice in short time, any steady braking will mean the rear "Alert" would not happen.

The PB and P3 are designed for two "different" purposes.

In his opinion, if you only had to choose / afford only one set, get the PB and the correct PB controller on the front since this is the more likely problem area with people turning into your lane.

So it looks like I'll be spending more.

Looking forward to the next installation installment. Does that sound right?

Cheers
Bob
Ottawa
Or, you could buy just the two yellow LED modules, and wire then in parallel to the existing front running / turn signal lamps.

That way, they're full brite when no turn siggnal, and flash when turn signal(ed).

I did this, and did not buy the front controller module. Looks good, looks brite, and flashes when appropriate.
 

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His reply makes sense.

I've ridden behind the P3's on another VStrom and a Moto Guzzi and they were very noticeable from the rear. That flicker is annoyingly noticeable, but I suppose that's the point.

I transferred a Tail Blazer bar from my old bike and it's OK, but the LED's are not quite as bright as the Skeenes and they don't flicker, but they do flash with a stop. I'd like to add the P3's to a top box.

I have the Skeene Amber "photon Blasters" up front and have been pleased with them. I like the alert feature and use it now and then. I should have the sprung the extra $30 and had the turn signal tie in as well.




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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
All the info from Skene makes sense to me and phrased much better than I could. While left turns in front of motorcylists is certainly a leading cause of injury, being rear ended seems to be my biggest issue and the only thing that has saved me more than once was the modern ABS in the distracted driver's SUV. I therefore believe you need both front and rear systems to be even the odds a bit.

Will be working on the bike in the next few days, will post up sometime next week.

Currently working on my own control panel "dash" for my EB Headlight cut-out and the USB power socket.

TW
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Found a switch locally for the EB headlight cut, but it was more than 2 times what EB would have charged. I just forgot to order it with the kit. :headbang:

Spent my evening making my new dash. Should be installing the EB Headlight Relay Kit and maybe the Skene PBs tomorrow. We'll see.. I may just watch the snow come in. :hurray:

DSR
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
DIY GStrom Dash, EB Headlight Relay, Skene PB & 3BR USB install

Okay, despite the deep freeze I was able to make some progress in the garage.

Here are a few photos of the Dash I came up with:

Carving it out:





Vinyl Wrapped


On to some of the technical shots:


Eastern Beaver Headlight Relay wiring and Skene Photon Blaster Wiring mounted inside right side fairing. The Blue connector is the HD disconnect that allows for easy fairing removal if needed. I used a piece of Cat 5 cable to run between the fairing and the under seat tray for the Skene Photon Blasters. Connection is factory type bullet connectors from Vintage Connections to allow for easy removal or replacement.

Here is the finished Dash Installation, On the left is a 3BR USB port for the IPhone in the LifeProof holder (for now). The big rocker switch on the right turns off/on the Right Headlight (may need to manage the power for Electric gris and gear liners). There is room for a voltage indicator and auxiliary light switch in the future.



:thumbup:

I also got the front Skene Photon Blaster LED kit in and took the opportunity to cleaned up the P3 wiring in the tray. I shortened the wires coming off the modules, put some heatshrink tubing on them for protection and hooked up both Skene Modules to the EB Brake/Turn/Signal Adapter.


Looks much better and minimized the installation. Everything fits well behind the factory tool kit.:


In addition to this stuff, I also have a fused Battery Tender connection wired directly to the battery that exits mid bike under the side cover. I use this for my 12V Slime Air pump and hooking up the battery tender naturally, but will also be using this for my heated gear I think.

Pics of the installed Skene Lights will be forthcoming when the weather breaks. My next project is a horn upgrade. Going with dual electric horns - Classic Big Sedan sound instead of the Nautilus Electric/Air horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
3BR USB Outlet Drains the Battery.

Quick update. Just found out the 3BR power port I installed on the unswitched side of the PC-8 has a draw of .027 amps with nothing connected. TMakes sense, there is a 12v to 5v voltage converter in there. The load combined with the cold weather here killed my battery as I haven't ridden the bike in 2 weeks due to the snow here and other priorities. I just checked the website and Note 3 on the product info sheet confirms there is a continual draw that will kill a small battery in 3-5 days. Easy enough to fix, I'm going to move the 3BR USB port to the switched side of the PC-8, but definitely not what I wanted. Will be working on a different water resistant solution for charging my USB stuff when the bike is off. Probably just pick up the SAE to USB adapter offered by Aerostich and others.
 

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First off- Get the seat of and have a look around. The hardest part of this job was getting to the Key Hot connector just behind the rear Valve cover/under the tank and coolant res.
Yesterday evening I began my PC8 installation and I may be of some help here: The quote above is correct...getting to that little connector is tough. I say "began" because I'm really trying to take my time and do everything correctly. Here's where I located it:

-The connector is located in a group of wires that are routed directly beneath the coolant reservoir and ARE SECURED WITH A REMOVABLE ZIP-TIE (the Key Hot connector was located toward the bottom of this wire grouping...and there's not much slack in the wire!). Find that zip-tie, loosen it, and you should be able to locate the connector.

Finally, I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to the members of this forum! I literally could not have made my 2012 V-Strom 650 as great as it is without the information found here. My wife doesn't understand why I'm on here reading stuff all of the time, but that's because she doesn't work on our vehicles...I want to do it correctly the first time. I could not have done it without your help! :hurray:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks! Yes, I neglected to mention the ZipTie holding the brake connector to the other stuff. I loosed it and slid it down out of the way, then put it back in place after the connection was made.
 

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I noticed that zip tie as well... however, there also seems to be a white wrap of some sort of tape strapping down the connector hot lead wires as well... Was this not the case with anyone else?

Here's a pic... You can see the tape just below the reservoir, with the zip-tie wrapped around it.

 
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