So, you want brighter turn signals? Willing to spend a little time and effort fiddling around?
This was mentioned on the VSRI forum, and I thought I'd explore it. I think it was Johnofchar that gave the most detail but there was a lot left to the imagination.
I've had a set of modified bulbs in my bike for a few thousand kilometres and they're standing up fine. They're not "Tipover Tested" yet, but that will come. I had a chance to compare these to the stock signals during a recent V-Strom group ride. They are considerably brighter.
1.) Buy yourself some MR-11 halogen bulbs in 20 watts. The 20 watts is important because that matches the stock bulbs and it means you don't need to change the flasher relay. Matching the 20 watts means no savings of electrical power but they're only the signals so it makes little difference (unless you're one of those guys that always forgets to turn his signals off after a corner
2.) Pick up some cheap, crimp-on wiring connectors. The end isn't important as you only need the crimp part. Make sure they are the non-insulated type. You'll also need some small pieces of electrical wire and soldering equipment.
3.) I picked up some spare 1156 bulbs to modify. You can work with the original bulbs if you want to save $2 or $3, but you won't have spares...in case...
4.) Smash the glass workings out of the 1156 bulbs and clean out most of the insulating "stuff" in the base. I wrapped the bulb in paper towel to contain the glass and used a dremel to clean out the base, a utility knife should do it too.
5.) Drill a hole through the base, about the same diameter as the stripped wire you will be using.
6.) Use the crimp-on connector to connect pieces of wire to your MR-11 bulbs. Do one wire pointing away from the bulb and one towards. I put heat shrink tubing over the postive terminal, just in case. Notice how short the positive lead wire is. Its important and you'll see why if you don't do it.
7.) Push the cleaned out 1156 bulb base over the MR-11 halogen. Feed the positive lead out the hole you drilled and let the other wire come out the side by the bulb. If you distort the base just a little it will slide a short way onto the bulb.
8.) Get out your soldering stuff and put a blob of solder on the positive wire, where it passes through the 1156 base. Then strip the other wire and solder it to the outside of the 1156 bulb base. Make sure the ground wire, on the outside of the 1156 base, does not go down too far. It will interfere with the bulb socket and you won't be able to lock it in place.
9.) Clean up the button of solder on the positive lead, I used my dremel again, and then spooge on a coating of silicone to seal the bulb and "glue" it together.
10.) Pop the new bulbs into your stock signal lights and smile. No cutting wires, no new flasher unit, no foil tape, just nice bright signals.