Another PIAA Install - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 3:11 am Thread Starter
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Another PIAA Install

Hello again.

After I posted my experience with installing an Adaptiv TPX radar/laser detector, one of you noticed my PIAA lights on the Denver BMW mirror mounts and wanted to know more about them.

There are some other writeups on installing these mirror mounted PIAA lights in the HOW and they inspired me to look into them as well. I also looked at PIAA lamps and after seeing another local Seattle guy that had the 1100X models, I decided they were for me too.

The one thing that bothered me was switches and how to control them, so I looked into the possibilities of avoiding more remote switches, so I investigated an Autoswitch solution and chose that - also being a little apprehensive as there are some who believe they may fail or disrupt the CANBUS system. I chose the model AS6B which is supposed to be compatible with the CANBUS and it is controlled by the turn signal cancellation switch by depressing it and holding it for 1 second. (There is another that works with 2 quick depressions of the same switch).

My experience has been great. I absolutely love the lights mounted this high. I know they are illegal in some states (to have driving lamps lit that are higher than the headlight), but my plan has been to use them in the early morning and late evenings on dark roads with no oncoming traffic, or in HOV lanes in crowded traffic to avoid having cars move into the lane w/o seeing me. They really throw the light way down the road. And, with the xeon headlight they can turn the night into day. The Autoswitch has been flawless as well. No faults, no problems.

Thought I would share some pictures about my install to see if this might work for you as well.

First, you have to de-skin the whole front end to remove the front cowl, which is not that difficult, but takes some time. And you have to remove the mirrors as well. Easy, just twist them to expose the two long torx screws that hold them in place and remove the center bolt and shims as well. This is a pic of the left mirror mount minus the mirror and with one of the 100X lamps on the mount. The 1100X lamps come with large 2-blade connectors that will not fit through a small hole drilled through the oval base, so you have to snip those off and be prepared to reconnect the 2 wires out of the lamp back to the harness supplied that supplies power.


Here is another shot with the mirror put back in place, and it shows two other things.
1) I put shrink wrap over the 2 wires that come out of the back of the lamp (to protect them), and
2) I use Posi-lock wiring connectors because they don't require soldering, and they are easily removable if necessary. They also don't cut the wire.


One more view to show you the metal support that holds the mirror and the cowling together.


Next was to find a place for the AS6B switch. It's just a thin waffer with a bunch of wires coming out of one end, so I used the double sided tape that came with it, and mounted up high under the inside of the right cowl where it is mostly out of the way.


The next thing was to decide where to intercept the turn signal cancellation control wire. The Autoswitch company recommends cutting and splicing the wire right out of the turn signal cancellation switch, so I took the $300+ switch unit off the handlebar and took a look. SCARY. Screw this up and your wallet will be lighter than the whole project started out as, AND it will probably be 3 weeks for your local dealer to get a new switch from the father-land. No way.


So I re-read their instructions (which suck) but their literature and web site indicate that you might want to consider splicing in the wire at the chassis CPU harness as an alternative. This is where that is.


In order to find the wire there, you need to take BOTH multi-wire connectors off the bottom of the CPU and cut a few tie-wraps. That's kind of scary as well. But I took my time, and this shows where that cancel control wire is on the connector.


Unwrap the cloth electrical tape, slide the accordion sheath up the bundle and tape it out of the way, then cut the wire in a place you have some slack to work with. I didn't take a final pic here, but if you use a waterproof Posi-lock (which gives back some length) and splice in the AS6B's cancel switch control wire and put all the sheath and electrical tape back in place and reconnect the CPU connectors.

Here is a picture of the trigger wire attached to the harness and going up behind the air snorkel so it won't get in the way for other work.


One last picture of the AS6B wiring. This isn't as scary as it looks. Really. You just have to think it out. The AS6B in addition to the cancel switch trigger wire, it also has control wires that need to go to the relay that is supplied with the PIAA kit, and a couple of wires that operate a cool LED to let you know when the lights are on or off. They recommend you not cut the long long leads they give for the LED, so I just bundled those up and tie-wrapped them above the air snorkle and below the glove box attachment point. The other control wires that need switched power and to the relay I shrink wrapped to contain them where I make all my other accessory connections in front of the gas tank.
I have a fuse box for switched and unswitched power sitting on top of the battery.


Finally, here is a picture of the lamps both in place after a trial and aiming on the garage door. Never mind all the wires hanging out of the right side. My retirement funds are heavily invested in tie-wrap stock and other Farkles for my toys.


At last, here is a picture of the PIAA lights on, and I think the xeon headlight off. Bike not running. Because they are switched, they go out in one minute if I am forgetful but turn the key off.


One more with the bike running and the xenon also on. It actually dims the camera. Wow


Oh, here is where I decided to mount the LED. It shows red when the lights are off.


And green when the lights are on.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 3:32 am
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Wow, great post! Where Im from you could scorch Cane Toads with those things!

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 7:46 am
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Thanks for the excellent HoW addition!

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 8:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainman
...
My experience has been great. I absolutely love the lights mounted this high. I know they are illegal in some states (to have driving lamps lit that are higher than the headlight), but my plan has been to use them in the early morning and late evenings on dark roads with no oncoming traffic, or in HOV lanes in crowded traffic to avoid having cars move into the lane w/o seeing me. They really throw the light way down the road. And, with the xeon headlight they can turn the night into day.
...
Great write up and pics. Thank you!

Question: Has anyone thought of hanging the lights upside down from the Denver BMW mounts? Would that lower the lamps enough to count as not above the headlight?

If you flip them over, would there be waterproofing issues or heat issues?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 9:20 am
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Very nice post..... .....quite informative .....Thank you!

'07 GT Sold- 2012 GSA Triple Black - Farkles O'Plenty!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 9:57 am
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Very cool installation instructions.

Dealer installed my Autoswitch since they were the only ones who knew of the wiring at the time. They left the LED exposed and wedged it into an area on the left handlebar so I can see it. Yours looks much better.

I will say one unit failed, but they are cheap (about $30 or so) and it needed to be replaced when bike fell over one time. The fall took both filaments out of the fork-mounted Motolights, so the momentary short might have been the culprit. All in all, it works well in operation without adding another mechanical switch to the mix.


Mack
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 10:46 am Thread Starter
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Opinion on Posi-lock products

GMack and others,

Thanks for the compliments. Much appreciated.
Scorching Cane Toads. Hummm? I've heard and seen documentaries on those fellows, and I'm sure I'll hear an armadillo story or two from our not-so southern boys here as well.

Here in the rain forest of western Washington I dodge opposum, racoons, squirrels, and an occasional neighborhood cat in the city. It's the larger road rodents (deer & antelope) I hope to avoid on the hiways and byways.

Back on topic, and hearing GMack's story, I am happy of the choice of an Autoswitch. They are cheap, my BMW dealer can get them quickly, and I could even add the double-click option to the turn signal cancellation switch by adding a second Autoswitch.

I have generally connected every bit of wiring (taps, splices, etc.) with products from Posi-Lock. http://www.posi-lock.com/ I find them handy and they work better than other crimp type connectors. Some are waterproof, and come in a variety of sizes meant to join one or more wires. Since they can be disassembled and reassembled, when there are system failures or expansions needed, they make the job easier. They are expensive, but you can find or order some types from local NAPA shops.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2009, 10:13 pm
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I'm real anal on my wiring. Solder every time, with shrink wrap, then tape and then I run a loom. A bike is a tough, harsh environment and I want to give myself every chance I can.... especially when out in BFE.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 11:09 am
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WOW! Farklicious!!

Hi Brian,

It was me who originally asked about the lights and mounts...and after seeing your write up and pictures I'm really glad I did!

Of course, now I'm really holding back in checking what this is going to run me in $$. I'm sure I should wait a little bit on it......but man, is it ever farklicious!!

What have your experiences been so far with the mirror mounts? Do they hold the light pretty steady on the GT?? Any bouncing around (if so, hopefully not touching down on the bodywork).

My only hope right now is that I convince myself that the bike will be too wide with this light mount setup for where I park it in the garage. Keep it on a 'rail' (www.cycleslider.com) so I can tuck it away into a recess and allow for two cars to get in the garage (BTW - seriously one of the best off bike farkles I ever purchased). Looks like the lights might touch down on a shelf I have mounted for storage of the bags when removed from the bike. Of course, I could always raise the shelf ... .....ugh....here I go again.

In any case, thanks for the GREAT write-up and awesome pictures. For anyone about to attempt this, you've made is significantly easier on them!


Mike

'08 K1200GT
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 6:45 pm Thread Starter
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Steady as she goes

Hi MJ,

Thanks for the compliments on the writeup. The mounts and lights are extremely steady. They don't jump around any more than the headlight. I have trouble understanding why guys would elect to put their lights on the wheels where they would jump around after seeing these.

As far as protecting the body work, I did what somebody else wrote up. I placed some cushioned 1" double-sided carpet tape on the bottom of the mounts - only using the sticky side on the mount side to place multiple pieces parallel to each other, then cutting out the hole area. Though it may look tight where the base and flange meet each other, nothing touches.

Also, the mounts themselves are flat at the base (no curve front to back or top to bottom in them), but the bases of the mirrors do have a bend in them. It seemed disconcerning at first, but after a couple test bolt downs w/o the lights on, the plastic of the mirrors themselves suck up the curve as you carefully tighten them down to the skin. The thing to notice is the metal bracket under the cowl plastic. It is flat as well, so the bracket, cowl, mount and mirror all join up nearly perfectly. AND, the mirrors can twist on the mounts just like they used to, to give extra space if needed, or take a blow.

The only downside I see is this. I had a "fallover" once on the right side before the lights were on. The outer edge of the mirror received a nearly unnoticable "scrape" on it, and then when the mirror twisted, (as it is supposed to) the compound curve on the cowl where it is at its widest, (directly below the mirror), took a nasty deep scrape I couldn't live with. I had it filled and painted by a very good bodywork man. In any case, this is the same point where the mirror mounts extend even further out from the plastic. I'm thinking if I ever do this again, I may not scrape the cowl again, but it will definitely put a nasty on the outside of the lamp, maybe chew up the end of the mount, and heaven forbid, crack the cowl and bend the mirror mount at the base point.

Price wise, back in November of last year I paid $180 for the mounts, and now see they go for $150. At the same time I found the PIAA 1100X set from Autotoys on e-Bay for $170, and the AS6B switch was $30 from my beemer dealer after tax. Go for it !
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