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Customer Discussions > Motorcycle forum

LED brake tail lights

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2011 1:54:39 PM PDT
skysteve says:
looking at putting some extra brake tail lights on my Honda ST1300 looking at hyperlite seem expensive, any help, Steve

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 11:36:17 PM PDT
JimF says:
If you are not terribly worried about aesthetics, have a look at the replacement LED tail/brake light units that auto parts stores currently sell. One company that distributes LED lights is

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 11:08:56 AM PDT
b.b says:

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 1:59:32 PM PDT
JimF says:
I'm thinking that skysteve is looking for additional self-contained tail-brakelight units in addition to those originally on the bike. As to the LED bulbs, let us consider that most OEM taillights and brake lights are designed around the standard incandescent light bulb, which provides a single point of light - the glowing wire filament. The reflector used with this type of light source is designed to maximize the reflection from that single point. LED lights use multiple points of light, generally aimed in different directions, and the reflectors cannot focus those multi-points of light as they would with the original incandescent bulb. Thus, an LED bulb may produce superior total light output, but that light output is dispersed into several directions, instead of toward the motorists behind you. Thus, LED bulbs, in practice, often appear dimmer than the original incandescent bulb. A characteristic of LEDs is that they are very directional - they are very bright when looking directly into them, but much dimmer when viewed at an angle. And, this is the problem when trying to make an LED bulb do the work of a single-point light source.

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 6:20:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2011 12:28:47 PM PDT
Joe Bouler says:
My 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic LT came equipped with a LED tail light. The tail light assembly is shaped like a "V" and the LED bulbs are also configured in a "V" shape. It's plenty bright from any angle. I also added a lighted chrome license plate frame with a rectangular LED light in it. In all the catalog pictures, the light is shown at the top of the frame. I had it that way at first but the light on the frame blocked a red reflector above my tag that came on the bike. It also blocked my tag light. The frame has two little white lights that shine down on the tag, but they're not nearly as bright as the stock tag light. I turned the frame upside down, putting the light at the bottom and it worked out much better. There really is no right way or wrong way to mount this licence plate frame. Putting the light on the top or bottom is a matter of choice and whatever works best for you. Now I have twice as much light shining on my tag and my reflector is not blocked. The lighted license plate frame gives me an additional tail light and brake light. As far as I'm concerned, you can't have too many lights on a motorcycle.
The more you improve your visibility to other drivers, the less likely you're going to get killed by one of those idiots whose famous last words are: "I never saw him"

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 5:38:07 PM PST
Dan says:
I've got one of the Brake! LED taillights and two 16 LED Hyperlites. The combination actually causes some problems at stoplights - people almost always stop waaaay back because it looks like a police bike the way it lights up. The problem is there are quite a few stoplights the bike doesn't trigger and when the cars stop that far back I have to direct traffic and for wave them to move forward in order to trip the left turn signal. When you say the Hyperlites are "expensive", you ever hear of anyone on a bike that got rear ended coming out cheaply? I view auxilliary lights the same way I view tires: really cheap insurance. Yes, I could get another $20 or $30 worth of wear out of my tires if I left them on longer. I could also end up with a $10,000 hospital bill if I fall on my ass in the rain. "Face Plants" forum on advrider has a long-running thread from a guy who got rear ended by a phone drunk and ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. That's less likely to happen to me with the big bright flashing farkle hanging off the rear end. And the lights help too :p

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 6:48:37 PM PST
JimF says:
Dan, just get a Green Light Trigger and you should not have to worry about signals changing. They're not all that expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 8:00:06 AM PST
Dan says:
I would, but they don't work. Long running threads on multiple sites that explain why they don't/can't work (and no I don't wish to discuss perceived/psychological effects - sorry but too much religious fervor over the things) Traffic lights are triggered by changing magnetic fields associated with AC current flow (alternators etc.) A static magnetic field like a bar magnet generates isn't going to have any more effect on them than the engine/transmission/drive shaft/chain/wheels do. Shutting the engine off and restarting it is more likely to trip the sensor than strapping a bar magnet to anything. Thanks for the feedback! Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 5:04:10 PM PST
JimF says:
My bad! I see that even the expensive one has poor ratings. I believe that some traffic systems are going to motion sensors atop the cross arm, apparently to help alleviate this problem. But, until every signal is so equipped, the search continues.

Posted on Feb 6, 2012 1:42:28 PM PST
Sam says:
Knight Riderz 12 LED Sequential Light Bar with Flashing Brake Alert Smoked Lense

I just ordered one of these for my (older) Shadow after seeing one on a friend's (newer) Shadow... They are very attention getting with the side-to-side motion of the LEDs (think KIT from KnightRider), and they flash for about 5-seconds (then burn steady) when you apply the brake to really get attention of those behind you. You might want to check your local laws, but as long as they don't flash constantly (like an emergency vehicle), I think most states are okay with them... at least they should be since most of the newer cars with LED brake and taillights from the factory (Nissan, Lexus, BMW, etc.) flash for a few seconds to get your attention before burning steady.
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Discussion in:  Motorcycle forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Jul 19, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 6, 2012

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