Modification wish list for KTM Duke 390- Part 3: Light em up

#ktmduke390offroad #sundaymorningride #ktmduke390offroad #weekendride #ktm390adventure #ktmduke390 #ktmoffroadadventures

A post shared by Dr. Bhushan S. Gaikwad (@dr.bhushan_sg) on

Visibility is important in all the aspects. Reduced visibility increases the chances of accidents and also slows down your average moving speed. If you are getting back home to a warm cozy bed from a cold ride or just want to reach some place and need to chop down the distance, adequate visibility is necessary.

Shortly after the bike was in my hands, I’d decided to go for a night ride up a nearby hill top to gaze at the city’s night view. This was the first ride I did after dark. As the journey was not too far, it felt as if the bike was lacking in some way. I couldn’t figure the problem. As the hill climb came with the serpentine curves it was evident, the lights on the bike were lacking miserably. That day the ride went well without any problem. Due to compromised lighting, a riders confidence reduces and the ride becomes more like a ‘search the road’ mission.

In the previous post where I was riding longer distance, I had mentioned the problem with lights which limited my average moving speed. That was the time when I decided to do something and started my search for alternatives to improve the lighting.

I did a lot of search and also discussed with my friends, some suggested to upgrade the existing bulb to a more brighter one, some suggested to change the head-lamp assembly and install a larger setup and some said to install auxiliary LED lights.

The auxiliary LED lights made more sense than the other alternatives. LED consumes less power and does not generate heat as the filament bulb. The advantage with the auxiliary light setup is that they can be adjusted freely to have a focused projection as per the riders needs.

So I settled for this pair of LED auxiliary lamp that I purchased from eBay.

$_35

There are other options available that have projector lens too. The above mentioned purchase I selected because it fit my budget and looked promising.

The next task at hand was to fabricate a mount for the lights  at an appropriate height serving the purpose of road illumination and also not look out of place.

So I went ahead and installed the new lights…

Installation

Mounting Brackets

  1. As shown in the image, the Allen bolt was removed and a new same size bolt was purchased from local hardware store having longer length. This was to accommodate the added thickness of the mounting bracket.
  2. Equal lengths of two metal strips were bent to form a ‘L’ shape (forming a bracket). The metal strips had sufficient thickness which would not flex during function.
  3. Hole was drilled in individual bent strip to allow the Allen bolt to go through and secure the mounting bracket in place.
  4. The brackets were fastened in place and the level on left and right side was aligned in symmetry.
  5. Once the positions were confirmed, a diagonal rod was welded on the inside joining the two extensions of the bracket. This added component reinforced the bracket structure. Symmetry was checked and confirmed.
  6. At the free ends of both brackets, holes were drilled to accommodate nut bolt that connected  the LED auxiliary lamps. Confirmation of the  position and symmetry was the lights  was done then the nut bolts were tightened.

Wiring

The ideal expectations from a switch system is that it should be activated only after ignition key is turned on. This is possible in many bikes. I consulted a KTM employee at the work shop regarding the  auxiliary lamp wiring. His suggestion was to directly connect the lights to the battery and not to cut in the main switch wiring. He said that the on-board system gave error and showed a faulty warning of increased engine temperature. So I did as said…

  1. The battery was accessed after removing the rider and pillion seats and a long wire was attached to the positive (+) terminal of the battery.
  2. The wire was run along the length of the bike coinciding with main harness and followed through under the fuel tank, this concealed the wire within the body.
  3. The free end of the main wire was connected to one terminal of the switch.
  4. Two wires were connected to a single wire forming a fork. The free end of the single wires was connected to the other terminal of the switch.
  5. The free ends of two wires were connected to the wires on the auxiliary lamps.
  6. The auxiliary lamps comprise of two wires, one end is to be connected to the wire connected with the battery/switch and the second to the mounting nut.
  7. I have installed the switch on the bolt of the mounting bolt of left mirror as evident in the image.

To explain in short, the wiring for LED auxiliary lamps was directly connected to the battery with a separate mounted switch.

Light performance

After installation of lights, I decide to test them on road the same night. Visibility was improved with remarkable difference and having to do minor adjustment, the night rides were way more pleasurable than ‘search the road’ exercise.

wp-image-1521014156jpg.jpg

Note

The images are not as appealing. I will be painting the custom fabricated brackets and update the post with better images.

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