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Bruce Frey
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VBMWMO #6316
Texas Hill Country, USA
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 574

What have you guys done to upgrade your tail lights?

On my R6 combination, I am using a cheap trailer tail light mounted just under the stock tail light.

For my R12, I have ordered a vintrage glass light that is about 6cm in diameter that has been converted with a two element socket. It has a window to illuminate the license plate. It will hopefully catch up with me this week.

Has anyone tried to upgrade a Bosch JN5 "cigar" tail light?

Also, an R52 or R62 basket case went for €6250 on eBay.de today.

Best regards,

Bruce

Barry Robin
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VBMWMO #52
San Francisco, Ca.
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 188
Tail light upgrades

i can't speak for darryl, but actually it rather easy- just retrofit a dual filament bayonet syle housing into the existing housing. run the extra wire (unless you're replacing the entire rear harness) to either a postwar stock brake rod mounted unit, or be really tricky-and a little masochistic-and run it off of the front brake lever by splitting the cable and inserting a small british style wire conection (it sounds a tad dodgy, but it's rather unobtrusive: small, black, and half hidden by the headlamp).

if you're intrested, i can take a picture of my setup and send it over...
-barry

Darryl.Richman
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VBMWMO #6285
Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 2183
Tail light upgrades

I did just as Barry suggests: I removed the old socket and replaced it with the parts for an 1157 dual filament socket from an auto parts store.

On my R12, I was able to hide a very inexpensive "JC Whitney" style brake switch inside the frame channel. These switches have a spring that clamps to the rear brake rod. Only the clamp and spring are really visible, unless you know just where to look.

On my R51/3, I got a free (from my local dealer) plastic license plate frame and used it to mount a dozen high output LEDs. I wired them into groups of 3 with an appropriate resistor, and made a small cable that brought the brake light (+) and ground out from the tail light. It wasn't too pretty, but it was just a test to see how well it would work. I never had a problem with it, but I suppose that someone with a real EE could tell me a dozen ways it was inadequate. Wink The project cost me about $15.

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http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

Bruce Frey
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VBMWMO #6316
Texas Hill Country, USA
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 574
Tail light upgrades

In order to be "street legal" in Spain, they would not accept the JN7 light on my R6 even as a tail light only. My cheap trailer light is sort of like Darryl's LEDs as it can be quickly and easily removed.

Is a dual element lamp in a JN5 REALLY visible? Does it meet your local license requirements?

I have the original glass lenses in both the JN7 and the JN5 and they don't let a lot of light through (and I am hesitant to modify the originals).

The brakelight swith I am using sounds similar to Darry's, but how did you mount it inside the frame channel?

I fabricated a steel angle (so I did not have to drill the frame), mounted the switch to the angle, and mounted the angle to the driveshaft side silencer mounting bolt. The top leg of the angle with the switch is on top of the frame, more or less under under where the driveshaft enters the rear drive and it is centered under the rear brake rod. It looks purposeful, but it is visible.

Best regards,

Bruce

Darryl.Richman
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VBMWMO #6285
Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 2183
Tail light upgrades

"frey6316" wrote:

Is a dual element lamp in a JN5 REALLY visible? Does it meet your local license requirements?

It's not really very visible. I don't feel that most drivers here would notice it, but it's better than nothing, and it's not obvious that it's there. That's why I am interested in an LED solution, which will have a very small draw for a lot of light.

I didn't have the brake light on the R12 when I got it registered here in California. The DMV folks didn't seem to notice or care.

Quote:

The brakelight swith I am using sounds similar to Darry's, but how did you mount it inside the frame channel?

I used a part of the mounting clamp that came with the brake light switch, and bolted it inside the channel on the bolt that holds the front of the passenger floorboard. Between the shape of the clamp piece and the size of the switch, the spring cleared the inboard edge of the channel on its way to the brake rod.

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VBMWMO Webmaster,--Darryl Richman
http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

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