After having shattered yet another front turn signal in an embarrasing tip over, I started to look at other options. Afterall, 48 dollars for an OE replacement assembly is awefully expensive.
Flush mounts seem like a good option, so do some mini turn signals, and I've even heard good things about Buell turn signals. But I didn't want to cut up my stock wiring harness to splice these aftermarket pieces in. Mini turn signals are going to leave an unsightly depression in the fairing where the stock behemoth turn signal once mounted. Plus many of these aftermarket turn signals aren't DOT approved.
I don't know if any one else has done this. I find it hard to believe that I'd be the first. But I did a quick search of the site and didn't come across anything.
I started looking at the remains of my former turn signal and devised a plan to shorten them. I shaved off the ribs near the end of the stalk and pushed the stalk further into the signal housing. It worked out well, the stalk pushed right up the bulb, almost like it was designed that way. I tried it first with my broken assembly, and would suggest doing the same.
Here are some pictures to help explain what I did.
Below is a picture of the rear turn signal to show the ribbed section I'm talking about.
I masked off the base of the stalk so that I wouldn't scuff it up. Then I clamped it in my bench vise wrapped in a rag so as not to leave marks. I used a mini hack saw and a file to remove the ribs.
I made a couple of other small mods to the stalk to make it work. There is a small metal piece that slips around the end of the stalk. To reuse that I made a slit in the stalk using a razor blade, conveniently along where the original lens screw hole is. Then I put a little super glue on the metal piece and pushed it in there. I also cut a little off the end of the stalk, at an angle so it wouldn't come in contact with the bulb. After I did all that I put it back together. Using the stock screw, I replaced the lens just as you normally would. The screw had no problem threading into a new hole in the stalk.
Below is the final result.
Here is a comparison. Although hard to tell in the photo, it actually brought the turn signal half an inch closer to the bike. Hopefully this will bring the signal in far enough to be protected by my Givi crash bar. Although I don't actually want to find out it if works.
The signal on the left (throttle side) is modified and the other signal is stock length.
Not only did this modification shorten the turn signals making it 1/2 an inch harder to break. But I think it actually improved the look of them. I used to think that the ribbed section added some flexibility to the light (although they're very rigid) but the modified signals reallly don't seem any less flexible.