LED Light for Motorcycles
EDs are just about the perfect motorcycle
lighting solution. LED lights use very
little power, they're not affected by vibration, they don't get hot and the
LED itself is virtually waterproof.
They're also available in an array
of colors and they can be grouped together to provide many different shapes
and styles of custom-designed light.
Once you start experimenting with LED lights, it's hard to stop.
They can be installed on just about any motorcycle, even the
old-timers with wimpy alternators.
We previously reviewed the LED
1157 bulb replacement and the
flexible light strips from Custom Dynamics, so we just had to try their new "Hyper-Strips"
flexible LED accent lights also. "Too much is not enough" is the motto of
LED light fanatics, and the Hyper-Strips offer yet another way to go over
Hyper-Strips are LED accent lights for motorcycles. They can be
mounted just about anywhere: under the fuel tank, headlight, seat or any other location
where the light will be visible but the LEDs will be hidden.
LEDs don't light up by themselves, so they're usually mounted on a
printed circuit board that contains a few other electronic parts that help
convert the electricity. The word "Strip" in Hyper-Strips refers to
the unique flexible printed circuit board that's used to mount the LEDs.
Hyper-Strips are available in a variety of lengths, up to the 12"
"Hyper-18" kit shown here for under-tank mounting. This kit includes
two 12" strips with 18 LEDs each and quick disconnects pre-installed. They come in
8 different colors, including amber, red, green, purple, orange, jade, white
Hyper-Strips are easy to install with minimal electrical skill required. The hardest part is deciding where to place them
and in getting them secured on the bike. They can be spliced into just
about any existing light wiring, or connected directly to the battery.
Custom Dynamics sells an accessory Hyper-Light installation kit that includes just about
everything necessary to complete the job, including double-sided tape,
cable ties, switches and spade terminals. And as long as you're maxing
out the glam factor on the bike, you may as well get one of their LED accent
light remote control units, which allows the lights to be turned on and off
from a distance to impress your friends at the local hangout!
Hyper-Strips can be mounted just about anywhere on the bike, limited
only by your imagination. One of the best (and most popular) locations is under the fuel tank. I don't have a cruiser with lots of
chrome, but just about any type of bike is a target for customization lately, so why
not a Thunderbird Sport?
of the best ways to find a good location for the lights is to experiment with
the Hyper-Strips at night. Here's a tip: the LEDs can be powered by
one of those little square 9-Volt radio
batteries, so you can experiment with all sorts of configurations before the
lights are permanently mounted.
Try going out in the garage at night to experiment with the lights using
the 9-Volt battery trick. Try different locations, using a couple of
small pieces of duct tape if necessary to temporarily hold the lights in
Once a suitable location is found, use some type of marker (a felt-tip
marker works well) to make some layout marks to use as a reference for
mounting the strips. I didn't do this at first, and realized my
mistake after I had gone through all the trouble of removing the fuel tank
and then realizing that I didn't remember where to mount the strips.
had just enough clearance between the central frame spine on the Thunderbird
Sport and the fuel tank to mount the 18" Hyper-18 strips, one on either
side. This kit
consists of two 18" Hyper-Strips with 18 LEDs per strip.
The LEDs are mounted asymmetrically on the backing; that is, there's a left and right
side strip, so make sure you have the correct strip for each side. The LEDs should be facing inwards and pointing down for the best effect under
the fuel tank.
Once everything is laid out, the Hyper-Strips are ready to install.
The mounting kit includes some high-quality 3M double sided tape and a
couple of packages of 3M double-sided tape accelerator. The tape is
about twice as wide as the Hyper-Strip, so I used a pair of scissors to cut
a lengthwise section. (Note: Custom Dynamics recently informed us that
the Hyper-Strips now have the double-sided tape pre-installed).
The accelerator packages are similar to those moist towelettes you get
with fried chicken take-out, only instead of a
towel, they use a sponge soaked in the special accelerator liquid. I
cleaned the mounting surface first with rubbing alcohol and then applied the
accelerator to the back of the Hyper-Strip and the mounting surface.
Carefully apply the double-sided tape to the back of the Hyper-Strips and
then mount them on the surface. The accelerator is very efficient, so
take care, because once the tape sticks to the surface, it's stuck for good.
The accelerator really works!
I ran each Hyper-18 strip lengthwise under the fuel tank, about as far
out towards the edge as I could whilst still hiding the LED lights.
The Hyper-18's have about 36" of 20-gauge wire and a pair of quick
disconnects, which makes it easy to hide the wire up under the tank
and back to the battery.
LED Accent Lights
Custom Dynamics offers a wide range of LED lights of all different
types. In the true spirit of overkill, we also mounted some of their
LED accent lights while we were at it.
The photo shows three different types of accent lights. On the left
is a three-LED Hyper-Strip. The middle unit is a three-LED
chrome-plated plastic housing with three LEDs. The central LED points
directly down and the LEDs on the side point left and right.
The unit on the right is also made from chrome plated plastic and holds 4
LEDs. These can be mounted under floorboards, behind a license plate
or just about anywhere else you can imagine. We mounted the unit shown
in the middle underneath the Thunderbird Sport's headlight fairing, and the
small Hyper-Strip found a home in back of the Thunderbird Sport's
side-mounted horn assembly.
These smaller LED accent light units are easy to install. Once a
suitable location is found, clean the surface with rubbing alcohol, lay on
some double-sided tape and stick 'em on. We spliced the accent light
mounted under the headlight into the same wiring used to power the
used Posi-Lock connectors to do splice all the wires, because they work
great and they will allow the wires to be disconnected if we have to remove
the fairing or headlight for some reason. See the wBW
review of Posi-Lock connectors for more information.
The accessory mounting kit includes a waterproof on/off switch and a fuse
holder. These can be spliced in to the red, or power wire, again using
Posi-Lock connectors. One of the nice things about using Posi-Locks is
they can be relocated and reused if you make a mistake or find a better
The on/off switch can be located just about anywhere. I found a
location under the seat in back of the Thunderbird Sport's air cleaner trim
and installed it using a small piece of double-sided tape.
As long as you're going over the top, you may as well spring for the
remote control unit. This is installed between the on/off switch and
the LED lights by splicing the red wire to power, the black wire to a
suitable ground and the white wire to the LEDs.
It's a bit too late in the season around here to show off at the local
hangout, but I plan on shining up the bike and waiting until some admirers
are nearby and I'll fire off the LEDs with a cool light show for maximum
very hard to take photographs that do justice to the results. When the
Hyper-Strips and LED accent lights are mounted correctly, they give off a
neon-like glow that looks very cool. The LEDs used in the Hyper-Strips
are very bright, and the darker the surroundings, the greater the effect.
LED lights draw very little power and they are virtually maintenance free,
which makes them ideal for use on a motorcycle. It's a lot of fun to
experiment with different placements for the Hyper-Strips and accent lights.
They're very easy to install and you don't have to be an electrician to
get them working properly. They really look good when they cast their
glow on polished chrome, but they're also suitable for sport bikes or naked
bikes, and they even work great on the Thunderbird Sport shown here.
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Flexible LED Accent Lights
Suggested Retail Price: $19.00-$179.00
|Colors: Assorted colors available.
Product Comments: Relatively easy to install. Available in amber, red, green,
purple, orange, jade, white and blue.
Hyper-Strips come in lengths from 3" up to 12". LED accent lights
are also available in several different styles and colors.
Lighting Page |
Posi-Lock Connector Information