R1 LED Tailight Mod (that hopefully doesn't suck) - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-28-2015, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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R1 LED Tailight Mod (that hopefully doesn't suck)

I used to own a WR250R. Traded a friend his DL650 for it. I ride with him sometimes.

It's not too often you see what your bike looks like from the rear, unless someone else is riding it in front of you, but when he hit his brakes in front of me while it was dark, I thought to myself "Ow... That's bright".

During my WR250R ownership, I picked up a busted 2002-2003 R1 taillight (same part as the WR) for $7 because I thought there were integrated turn signals on the board... I was wrong, only the Chinese aftermarket ones did. Anyway, I still had the light after I traded the bike.

I was able to get a spare vstrom taillight housing, so I grafted the R1 LED board into it. You know what? It fits.

Pics of the process and descriptions to come as soon as I upload some pics.

Last edited by brokeagain; 05-28-2015 at 02:58 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-28-2015, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, here we go:

About 5 -10 minutes in the oven at 200 ˚F makes the glue holding the taillight together pretty easy work. Tip: Push out from the inside through one of the bulb holes with something. I couldn't pull it apart easily.



Here's my busted tail light next to my ... busted taillight. Pretty close in width.



The backing is still on the R1 light here. I removed the front lens plastic carefully with a hammer. Doesn't quite fit into the Vstrom housing.



Backing removed. Fits pretty well width wise, I like it.



Needed something to hold it in place to glue to the back. I had these machine screws sitting around. They're around an inch, I didn't measure. I heat them with a lighter and screwed them into the plastic holes so they would thread.



So now for the backside:

I had a spare brake/turn/tail wiring harness from my last junkyard adventure when I had my old Vee. The best thing to seal up the back is, well, the bulb socket fittings that are supposed to go there. One of them, I just cut the wires, disconnected the bulb, and screwed it in to call it a day.

Still needed a way to feed the R1 wires out, so I took the other one, cut the wires and took a drill to the plastic spring loaded connector at the bottom with the rubber seal on the back. The drill shredded the moving pieces apart, which is what I wanted, to leave me with this ...



... which happens to fit the rubber sealing grommet of the R1 wiring pretty well.



I used liquid nails silicone adhesive to glob glue all over the place to fix it. Shoved a piece of foam on the bottom to keep gravity from doing what it does to my crappy glue job. I may have to redo it at some point. It's currently drying, so we'll see how it looks after I get the light mounted to my bike for some comparison pictures of before and after.

Just testing it in my basement, the tail light may appear a little on the dim side, but the brake light hurts to look at.

I like repurposing OEM bike parts. In my opinion, the quality is there that isn't in the cheap replacements (that is, the parts that I don't lay my hands on, haha). The expensive replacements are probably great!
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-28-2015, 08:35 PM
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Very cool looknforward to seeing the working pics
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-28-2015, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Very cool looknforward to seeing the working pics
Me too. Have to figure out the harness with respect to the license plate light. I sort of cut it off a few years ago.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-04-2015, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, an update.

In the housing, it lights up okay.

Tail:



Brake:



So, securing the screws I put on the board to the back of the housing didn't work so well. It was sloppy, didn't really hold, and a stronger glue probably would have made it more permanent than I wanted to (if for whatever reason I wanted to remove it and replace it with something, who knows. Too much commitment). I tried to jam some seat foam in there, that was equally as sloppy and non-secure. I also felt that the LED board needed to be as close to the lens as possible, and not set back into the housing.

Buddy the bad idea dog also thinks that was a bad idea:



So I went ahead and drilled into the lens and through the existing holes on the R1 board, secured with a screw and nut. It fits into the corners of the lens fairly well that lining it up wasn't an issue at all. I had to widen the holes in the R1 board, but that could have been remedied by drilling the holes at an angle to the surface of the lens so that the screw went straight back and not angled with the lens. You live, you learn.

Not as seamless as I was initially hoping for, but still not bad. Better looking than if I'd glued it.





Side by side, with the stocker on the bike, the modded one resting on the exhaust:

Tail:



Brake:



They're comparable, in my opinion. The incandescent bulbs light up the entire taillight housing better, the LED board sends a more piercing light to the rear though the tail light is a tad dimmer. It still lights up okay from side angles too. I don't have a picture of that, unfortunately.

Seeing this, I think I'll go with it and give it a try. Next step is to figure out what I'm going to do in terms of connecting it. I have a spare OEM brake/turn/tail/ connector, sans the license plate light connector portion (unless I can manage to find it). I don't particularly want to do anything to the stock unit, in case I want to switch it back. I'll update when I get to that part.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-04-2015, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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I was able to finally get the harness together from the existing one I had. I had cut off the connector that went to the license plate light, but had spare turn signal connectors. The female connector (which I believe is actually called the male, because the terminal pins are the male part) was the one to use on the harness. Though the wiring diagram indicates a grey wire and a black/white (ground) wire are both present on the connector, it doesn't matter which side they go on as the light will light up either way.

I have it connected and operational, after a minor snafu/time setback with thinking my brake light switches weren't working (note: the key in the park position doesn't power the brake light! only when the key is on!), I should have this pieced together tomorrow, with a picture or two.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-04-2015, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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The final product:

All wired up:



Tail:



Brake:


Last edited by brokeagain; 08-04-2015 at 02:26 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-04-2015, 05:04 PM
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Nice job! It's a good feeling when you are able to put something together yourself like this, and it works!
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