Editor's Note: In
Part I of our saga, we challenged
our readers to propose a use for the PIAA LED light kit.
Several of you responded, but Brett Borza's proposal
included a $50.00 bill, and purely by coincidence, his proposal was chosen.
Just kidding, of course, but Brett's idea to install the
lights on a Triumph Speed Triple, of all things, caught our attention.
Here's his story.
Note that taking photographs of motorcycle lighting that
truly illustrate the light properties is extremely difficult, but I think
Brett's night photo of the bike on its side stand surely demonstrates that
this concept has possibilities.
I found the original webBikeWorld article and became very excited
to find that for the simple act of having a good plan and installing these
lights on my 2006 Triumph Speed Triple I could have them for free! So I
sent in my proposal and was honored to get the opportunity.
I planned on mounting the lights on the outermost location
on my bike (besides the handlebars), but this would present a wiring issue.
To accomplish this, I found a location which was very wide
and would accommodate mounting the lights facing forward. This
location also allowed me to use existing bolts without having to drill any holes
in my bike.
I then created mounting brackets out of 1/8” aluminum bar
stock. I cut the
bar 4” long and bent it 90 degrees at 1”. I drilled one hole for mounting the
brackets to the bike and two holes for mounting the lights to the brackets.
Then using a disc grinder, the corners of the brackets were ground to half
After grinding was complete I painted the brackets with black Rustoleum hammered finish. Using #6 bolts, nuts, washers
and lock washers I then mounted the light brackets to the mounting location on the
The PIAA LED lights have two wires coming out of the back. The instructions
specify that they should be mounted with the PIAA emblem in the clear lens facing up. In order to do this I removed the two
Phillips head screws from
the rear, turned the light over and replaced the back.
accomplished was that the wires coming out of the back are to the inboard
side of the bike where one set would have been on the outboard side, which
meant wires would have been almost hanging out in the wind.
I then mounted
the lights to the light mounting bracket. To tighten the
light mounting screws with the provided Allen wrench, required me to grind
down the length of the Allen wrench to fit between the bike and the inboard
screw. The built in wire guides were adequate for running the provided
What was nice about the wiring that the kit provided was that the
wires were already spliced together so that only one wire had to be
connected to a power source but two wires came out of it to go to each
Also included in the kit was an inline splice connector which I
connected to the running light wire for the tail light. What this did was allow the PIAA running lights to come on
when the ignition key is turned on. Also it provided a fused connection for
As LED's typically don't draw much amperage and these lights are
all LED's I didn't believe that putting this pair of lights on a 10A fuse
with the taillight would be too much of a current draw. I connected the
ground wire harness of the kit to the negative battery terminal for a true
webBikeWorld also supplied some
Posi-Lock connectors (review) with the lights, which are the
easiest wiring connectors I have ever used. I wired the harnesses to the
appropriate wires coming out of the backs of the lights, wire tied all the
wires to appropriate places and the installation was complete.
The jury is still out on whether or not these lights make a
difference during the day; however, I followed my wife home the other night
and she said they made a big difference.
It was not so much the brightness
of the lights but the color -- these LED lights give off a blue light. I guess the
contrast is what will stand out to drivers who are not paying enough
attention, and that is all I can really ask for.
See the original
PIAA LED lights review article for more
ADDENDUM: Although the LED lights appear to
cast a blue light, it only looks blue compared to the "yellow" light from
the halogen headlight. The halogen bulbs run about 3200K, while the
LEDs are around 5000K, near the "blue" or neutral part of the spectrum on a
clear sunny day.
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