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Ken S

Mounting PIAA lights on 2013 1200RT

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Ken S

I'm planning to mount PIAA lights on the forks of the RT and was wondering if anyone who's done it has suggestions. I don't have the bike with me now, so can't check it out yet. I have these brackets to mount the lights (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JSWYUIY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00). Is 1-3/4" large enough to mount near the bottom of the forks?

 

Also wondering where to tap in to power, and how much tupperware has to come off to do this. Any suggestions?

 

BTW: I bought these lights last winter and mounted them on the front of my pickup for a drive from Alaska to Georgia. They were very helpful in the dark and cold of the Alaska highway in March.

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Don_Eilenberger

Hi Ken,

 

Damn I hate MS Edge - it closes windows all by itself, usually right after I put in a detailed reply. Lets see if I remember what I said:

 

If your forks on the RT are like the forks on my 2012 R1200R - the bottom slider part of the fork is tapered. Starts near the top at a bit over 2.05" diameter - widens to 2.125" at the top of the triple-clamp the telelever attaches to, and becomes even bigger below the triple-clamp.

 

Since I want to mount above the triple clamp, I was looking for clamps that would fit 2.125"..

 

I ordered (and should have tomorrow):

http://www.rigidindustries.com/mounting-options/42040

 

This has the disadvantage of only having one orientation for the light, but has the advantages of the manufacturer claiming it would fit (via a phone call to them), and being a simple lightweight solution. Cost is high on these - they are sold by the piece, not as a pair, so roughly twice what other possible solutions would cost.

 

Other ones I'm considering if the above don't work:

 

Link: http://amzn.com/B004YTOJ4G - nice looking design, much like the PIAA brackets but a larger hole in them. Dunno if they'll fit or not. Have to watch for interference with the telelever arm as they move up/down with the slider.

 

Link: http://amzn.com/B00PBRYHSI - can swivel for angle, but a tad kludgy looking to me. Dunno if they'll fit. Price is right for a pair. The strap mount should mean no telelever interference problems.

 

Link: http://amzn.com/B00URUDRA8 - a bit kludgy, but look as if they could work with 2.125".

 

Link: Link: http://amzn.com/B011VXUG6C - no rotating mounting, but not quite as kludgy looking as some of the others, and thin strap mount shouldn't cause problems hitting the telelever arm.

 

If you want to wait until tomorrow - I can tell you if the ones I ordered work (and perhaps take a photo of them mounted.)

 

BTW - Have the new PIAA reflective LED light design - and they are unreal with "reach" and have a nice tight focused driving pattern (unlike most LED auxiliary lights which just have a blob) sharp top and bottom cutoffs. Found them for $200 on a deal via Amazon. They look to be very high quality. Reach to reflective surfaces appears to be > 300 yards, and to non-reflective surfaces > 250 yards. Can't wait to try them out at night.

 

 

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

In case that doesn't work, I went a different route. I mounted lamps to ilium works highway pegs. I had a nut welded into the forward facing tube and formed a simple bracket (right-most black plug in the photo). This can also be done with the right lamp and fastener directly onto the tube as well....providing you can make a nut fit. Yes, they're pricey but, I need hiway pegs for long rides and needed more lamps because, doesn't everyone?

 

47537500019-600fold.jpg

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Don_Eilenberger

I can report that:

 

I ordered (and should have tomorrow):

http://www.rigidindustries.com/mounting-options/42040

 

Do NOT work. They can be stretched around the fork slider - but not as low as I'd like - but the arm coming out where the light would mount is way too thick for use with the PIAA lights which have a stud-mount off their bracket. I think a max of 3/8" thickness is about what the PIAA lights need.

 

I've ordered two more styles from Amazon (their return policy makes this practical.. it they don't work back they go..) and should have them by next Monday. Further reporting will be forthcoming.

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Don_Eilenberger

Just saw another answer, and this one is spec'd to work with the diameter fork slider we have:

 

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/denali-inverted-fork-tube-auxiliary-light-mount-for-50mm-60mm-2in-2-375in-diameter-tubes-black

 

If none of the Amazon ones arriving shortly work out, this is next on my trial list. Nice that it has a swiveling arm, makes for more flexibility in mounting.

 

lah.00.10500.b_web7.jpg

Edited by Don_Eilenberger

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Don_Eilenberger

Another one that DOESN'T work. Strap is not going to fit on anything over 2".. and while the arm is closer to useable in thickness, the smooth powder coating gives is a surface where the light is not going to lock down easily.

 

It's heading back to Amazon.

 

http://amzn.com/B011VXUG6C

 

I'm waiting for Monday when the final Amazon one arrives, and then I'll probably order the bracket shown above from Twisted Throttle.

 

 

 

 

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Don_Eilenberger

Thought I'd follow up a bit on what the outcome of my light project was.

 

NONE of the Amazon sourced brackets worked. What did work is the bracket from Denali - bought from Twisted Throttle (and shown above.) It's a well designed bracket, useable over a range of fork slider sizes, and it went together well and gave me what I was looking for. I was able to mount the brackets in a location on the fork slider where no interference by the bracket or lights was possible, even at full lock and full compression of the forks (and this is something a lot of people miss checking.)

 

A few pics:

 

20151014_103824_zpstkkxz9jq.jpg

 

20151014_103759_zpsy7p58uhf.jpg

 

20151014_103903_zpsbcnlrzd9.jpg

 

I did get to try the lights out last night a bit - went to the local graveyard where I usually test lights (long straight road, and the gravestones make good non-reflective targets.)

 

Reach is good - probably about 200 yards. The PIAA lights weren't really adjusted correctly, so a retest will be done after I'm done adjusting them. A torrential thunderstorm chased me home after a quick test.

 

I've found it best to adjust the lights using my garage door at night. I have a fairly short but flat driveway leading up to the door.

 

I want the lights to basically point straight ahead, and level to the pavement the bike is on.

 

To achieve this, I pull up to the door and note where the light lands on the door when a few feet from the door. I then duck-walk the bike back to the other end of the driveway (about 40',) and adjust the lights so the beam center doesn't rise of fall on the door.

 

I'll then do the horizontal adjustment so the lights point straight ahead - I do this the same way. Watch where the center of the light pattern is up close, and set them so the center doesn't move when I move back.

 

Your driveway doesn't have to be level to do this adjustment, it just has to be FLAT.

 

I'll report some more after I get them zero'd in, so far my opinion is favorable (and a big improvement over the Motobozo lights they replace - since they don't light up the fork legs.) I think they may come close to the Hella FF50's that I had on my '07 R12R - which to me were the gold-standard in driving lights.

 

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Don_Eilenberger

Quick report on use - MARVELOUS! About the perfect pattern for both reach and filling in the existing light. Did a quick alignment after our club meeting tonight and then rode home, and they work as well as I hoped they do - probably equal to the Hella FF50's that I loved on my old R1200R.

 

Quite satisfactory.

 

BTW - I avoided cutting/shortening the provided PIAA harness by locating the light relay back under the seat (close to the FuzeBlock that powers it.) I trimmed the feed wires to the relay in length. The wiring going to the lights and the power switch was then run along the right and left frame tubes, and a small amount of the wiring was coiled up and tucked up under the tank. No splices should make it more reliable.

 

One caveat on the provided harness - it's apparently designed for a set of halogen bulb lights since the fuse in it was rated at 30A. I hooked it up to a 10A switched fuse on the FuzeBlock, and when I get around to I'll swap that for a 5A. The lights use 4 x 3W LEDs - for a total of 12W, which is less then 1A draw. The 30A might protect the wiring, but not much else. Other then that - the harness was an easy way to wire them up, and works well.

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Indy Dave

Thanks Don for reporting back in on your progress. Is there a reason you didn't mount then just under the oil cooler? One of my Winter projects is to move my PIAA 1200's from their very low mounting on the forks of my R12RT. As they are mounted now, you end up having to aim them up somewhat tto get the beam down the road. The problem with that is that the light is then bothering oncoming vehicles. So I want to move them up so they can aim in a less upward fashion. Have oncoming cars been flashing you?

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Don_Eilenberger
Thanks Don for reporting back in on your progress. Is there a reason you didn't mount then just under the oil cooler? One of my Winter projects is to move my PIAA 1200's from their very low mounting on the forks of my R12RT. As they are mounted now, you end up having to aim them up somewhat tto get the beam down the road. The problem with that is that the light is then bothering oncoming vehicles. So I want to move them up so they can aim in a less upward fashion. Have oncoming cars been flashing you?

 

I suspect the reason might be it's an R1200R - not an R1200RT, and my oil cooler is in front of the engine right at the bottom (you can see it in the 2nd photo.)

 

The mounts I used place the center axis for the lights at 26". That's as high as they can be placed without the risk of interference (ie - crashing together) of the lights with the fuel tank at full lock and full front suspension compression.

 

That's something you should watch for. I have seen a number of RT's where lights were mounted under the oil cooler and there was interference.. you could see it by the bashing of the front fender. The other problem with that location is it might place the lights behind the fork tubes, which will cause lots of reflected light where you don't want it, and interfere with the light pattern.

 

There aren't a lot of simple answers to mounting lights on modern bikes..

 

FWIW - I believe someone makes brackets for the RT that mount between the mirror and the body, with the lights hanging under the rear-view mirrors. That would be an ideal place for them IMHO. High enough to be useful and spaced far enough apart to allow making the two beams converge at a distant point.

 

Found them: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/twistedthrottle-auxiliary-light-mounting-kit-for-bmw-r1200rt-05 - Twisted Throttle again.. what'cha know..

Edited by Don_Eilenberger

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bwpsg42

I have the ones from twisted throttle

image_zpsyslbembq.jpeg

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Don_Eilenberger

Looks like a great solution for the RT..

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Indy Dave

Thank you both. It's on my Winter to do list!

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OldBMWMaster

I thought I remembered this post from 2015...thanks Don. I ordered my brackets.

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MichiganBob

Good Evening,

 

I have the same fork mounts on my 2012RT but have Denali 4 lights hanging down thus the nut is on the top. Just returned from a 6500 mile trip and about halfway had a broken bracket. Fortunately, I had plastic ties in case of a failure. The bracket broke in half where the bolt came through the hole. Much to my surprise, the bracket is cast rather than 100% metal. Twisted throttle is wonderful to work with and they replaced the bracket for free and even sent it to where I would be in a few days. But the design concerns me. The Denali 4 lights are heavier than your PIAA lights but that is what they sold to me so I expected the mounts to be able to withstand the weight, road vibration, and such. I plan on writing to Twisted Throttle just to give them a report on the bracket and how it failed. When riding season is over here in Michigan, I will have my local machine shop craft me some brackets out of steel and that will be that. Hope this helps.

 

Bob

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MichiganBob

Good Evening,

 

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to attach some cable ties between your light power wire and brake line. You can do it high enough that it cant be seen if that's a concern. This is what I did so when the bracket failed, the ties prevented the light from hitting and dragging on the pavement.

 

Bob

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Indy Dave

 

There aren't a lot of simple answers to mounting lights on modern bikes..

 

FWIW - I believe someone makes brackets for the RT that mount between the mirror and the body, with the lights hanging under the rear-view mirrors. That would be an ideal place for them IMHO. High enough to be useful and spaced far enough apart to allow making the two beams converge at a distant point.

 

Found them: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/twistedthrottle-auxiliary-light-mounting-kit-for-bmw-r1200rt-05 - Twisted Throttle again.. what'cha know..

 

I ended up using the brackets Don linked above, although they had to be modified for the lights I wanted to use. The solution for my PIAA's was to add a stiff "L" bracket, as this particular light could only be mounted in the 6 or 12 o'clock position, and the stock bracket mounts lights in the 3 or 9 o'clock position. The light is still tucked under and protected by the mirrors in case of a tip over. A skilled BMWST board member fabricated the "L" bracket for me! [i buggered the paint of the stainless bots a bit.]

 

20180823_154851.jpg

 

20180823_154859.jpg

Edited by Indy Dave

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MichiganBob

They look great. Well done. Hope they light the way for you. They make a good light.

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OldBMWMaster
Good Evening,

 

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to attach some cable ties between your light power wire and brake line. You can do it high enough that it cant be seen if that's a concern. This is what I did so when the bracket failed, the ties prevented the light from hitting and dragging on the pavement.

 

Bob

 

I solved it by attaching the ground wire to a fairing bracket. I will post some pics later.

 

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OldBMWMaster

I am too cheap to spend $900 + for driving lights. I bought the brackets from Twisted Throttle. $49.00. The large lights under the mirrors were $20 each. The small lights mounted on the forks were $16.00 for the pair and came with a switch. I used the switch to control the large lights and wired the small lights through a relay that is triggered by the headlights.

6994.jpg.cd15290a19f71c6a57424b079d127987.jpg

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OldBMWMaster
I am too cheap to spend $900 + for driving lights. I bought the brackets from Twisted Throttle. $49.00. The large lights under the mirrors were $20 each. The small lights mounted on the forks were $16.00 for the pair and came with a switch. I used the switch to control the large lights and wired the small lights through a relay that is triggered by the headlights.

6995.jpg.fdb52e1fc72eae9d2637f9259e2a5317.jpg

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OldBMWMaster

another pic

6996.jpg.010cb32b6d6f31bc45620846bec5e713.jpg

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OldBMWMaster

Just an update, I have been running these for a few weeks and they are incredible. The small lights were designed for daytime conspicuity; but their performance at night is what has really impressed me. The large ones under the mirrors simply bring day to the night.

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VaR1200RT

OldBMWMaster, Where did you get your inexpensive lights? Thanks

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EyeBike528

Hey Don,

Nice Light Kit and I may use this on my '10 12RT

Thanks,

Jim

Long Island, NY

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