LED bulb replacements - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 1 Old 04-25-2012, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 55
LED bulb replacements

I just wanted to describe my recent experience with LED lighting on my 08 650A Strom. Much of this is covered elsewhere on Stromtrooper and VSRI (GW rulz!) in various posts, but here is my summary all in one place. I will try to get some pictures up after the weekend.

Lenses

This all started with wanting to change the stock amber signal lenses to clear (clear lenses started with the 09 models). When off, the clear lenses look waay better than amber with my blue bike. There are different part numbers for the left and right sides, not sure why, perhaps for the reflector pattern??, but the front and back are the same.

Bulbs

As with most locales, a clear signal lense requires an amber bulb. For pre-09 models, the standard analog version is an 1156A and there are heaps of 1156 and 1157 LED bulbs available. Indications are for 09 and up the bulb socket has changed (to prevent putting a clear 1156 in) and even the proper analog bulbs can be hard to find. I have no idea how hard it is to get 09+ compatible LEDs.

Supposedly the single LED bulbs are higher quality than the multiple LED versions. Our local purveyors of cheap Chinese goodness (Cambodian Tire and Princess Auto) only sell the multi-LED versions at inflated prices.

I tried the SuperBrite 1156-ALX3, a single 3W LED with a 130 degree viewing angle. They have a similar 3W bulb with a reflector and a 320 degree viewing angle that may have a higher perceptive brightness, I donít know.

Lens Holders

The inside of the black plastic lens holder should be covered with a high-gloss or reflective tape or paint; I used some thin shiny foil tape used for heating ducts.
This wonít do much with a mostly outward facing LED but will noticeably improve the output of the much more spherical analog bulb.

Flasher

An LED compatible flasher is required. I was surprised to find that changing just one analog bulb to LED with the stock flasher was enough to change the flash rate. I used a SuperBrite LF1-S-FLAT flasher that can be installed without any wire splicing (https://www.stromtrooper.com/techy-wo...y-install.html), just some fiddling and cursing to remove the two wires from the relay socket under the seat, then mate the female bike wires to the male spade-type connectors on the flasher, heat shrink the connection and tie wrap the flasher to the fuse box. The flasher is good for 10A so it can be used with regular 20W analog bulbs as well.

Brightness

I checked a number of combinations in various lighting conditions and for sheer brightness, I think an analog 1156 with a reflectorized housing is a bit brighter than the 3W LED I used. However, I find the LED has much more contrast between off and on and makes a more effective blinker. The analog bulb is not quite off before it starts coming on again.

If crazy brightness is what you want I suspect the 20W MR11 halogen bulb hack would be the way to go (https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-...nals-real.html). The best approach would be to add more LED lights in better?? locations.

Power Savings

Under most conditions, LED signal lights are not a big power concern since they are not on for significant lengths of time. However, the engineer in me cannot help be impressed with a single 3W LED doing the job of a 20W 1156.

Brake Lights

I also changed the two 1157 brakes lights to LEDs, one a red 1157-RLX3 and the other an 1157-R3W-FL. The FL has an integrated flasher circuit that flashes the bulb 3 times on brake application, then flashes 3 times again after a minute. Again, overall brightness is not really improved but the transition from no brake to brakes is very sharp and the one flashing bulb makes it even more noticeable. Removing the brake bulbs is a real pain though, there is no room for large hands to move under the tail cover, and the bulbs unlock in different directions!

Conclusion

I am going to keep the LEDs because the brightness is adequate and the off-on transitions are so fast. I can still go back to stock lighting or upgrade the LEDs to brighter versions at any time with no wiring changes.
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