A few months ago I updated the zed’s head lights to LEDs (see previous post) and I’m really happy with them. I also transferred the driving light brackets and halogen Hella FF50 driving lights from my old zed. The Hella driving lights were only a temporary solution until I found a better / newer driving light solution. And with a big ride coming up in a couple of months I was keen to get this finalised.
One of the things I struggled with on early LED driving lights was that they were just bright but didn’t have any real ‘shape’ about the light and for a light to shine further it had to be brighter, a bit like a fire – the bigger the fire the further away you could feel the heat. The problem that that presented was the lights were so bright up close that your eyes couldn’t cope and you couldn’t see the further distance anyway.
Comparing lights on my old bike to a friends super bright LEDs I found that while my lights weren’t as bright up close I could see further with mine as my lights projected the lights more effectively giving me a more constant light over a distance.
Doing an internet search will bring up many many options and a wide range of prices for LED driving lights – a pair of lights suitable for a motorcycle setting you back anywhere from $20 to over $1,000. I’d love to have unlimited money to buy and try out all the various lights out there – or companies willing to let me try them out… But that just isn’t my reality.
Many in the long distance motorcycling community use Clearwater lights which are a proven high quality light at the higher end of the price range. However, they are physically too big to mount on my bike. The other options I looked at were: the Baja Design Squadron series of lights (4 lens at 10 watts each, available with different lenses within the one light); and the Rigid Industries Dually series of lights (4 to 6 lens at 5 watts each, available in different light patterns) .
In the end I purchased a pair of Rigid Industries Dually D2 lights – one driving pattern and one hyperspot, this combination gave me the best of both worlds with a nice broad spread of light with added punch down the road.
Kawasaki ZX14 Light Bracket this is a link to a pdf template of the bracket I made to mount the driving lights off the mirror mount. My initial brackets where way too light and the lights wobbled and the bracket eventually broke under the weight of these LED lights. I have now made new brackets out of 3mm steel.
And the final result —
So I call that finished – upgraded lighting and an overall saving of 65 watts (compared to just the standard halogen headlamps) that can be used on other accessories without additional drain on the charging system.
Okay now to the next issue – additional fuel carrying capacity.