Lighting and spots..

John negus

Well-Known Member
Hi All, I thought I had a good set of extra spotlights on my Capo but I see I am deluded. On viewing the photos of almost all of the bikes so far I have a couple of candles while all of the rest are lit up like the Battlestar "Galactica". My questions are a/ are these extra lights a permanent fitting or removable and just fitted for a trip. b/ are they low battery drain Led types with no need to boost electrical output. c/ what is the hot setup and any traps for newbies to look out Capo probably has less fitting points than some of the big iron out there so compact is probably good for me. Although my zx12 is good and comfortable also for big miles ...Cheers and yippee. .jn


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
John you can fit lights to anything, some are just a bit harder than others. You're right, some bikes are lit up like a Battlestar. Its seems to be the most recognisable thing about an LD bike. You can't ride big days without riding into the night.

a) Speaking personally, the extra (auxiliary) lights are permanent only insofar as it takes a spanner to take them off. I've put lights on bikes for just a single trip several times. However, I've bought those same bikes for just a single trip too sometimes.... Otherwise they stay on the bike.

b) They are generally low draw - starting at 10W 'pods' with up to 1000 lumens each but progressing all the way up to insane Clearwater Sevinas and Ericas with over 6000Lm from each light. That's Min Min stuff there. Lots of riders end up with multiple aux lights for various mounting and switching and beam shape reasons. I understand that your Caponord has a very good alternator out put of 690W. In the current adventure market that's more than everything but the Triumph Tiger Explorer (ie the Aprilia beats a GS, KTM 1190, Tenere, Vstrom, Multistrada)

c) Here in NSW they should be wired so that they come on with the high beam (driving light style) rather that low beam (DRL or fog light style). Ideally they should have a loom with a relay and a separate switch eg on the handlebars.

Initally halogens like Hella FF50s were bolted on , then many of us went HID when they became available - still doing a fine job on many LD bikes today - but of late LEDs have become so good and so much cheaper I'd think that most recent aux light set-ups would be LED.

Without knowing what you currently have or how they are mounted its hard to comment (any chance of posting up a pic or two of your current set-up?) The main thing seems to be that some form of additional crash bar or aftermarket light mount under the lights may be needed. Fork-mounts are an option. Otherwise you may have some drilling of the panels to create mounting points or to access the front cowling sub frame.

I've seen pics online of Caponords with lights mounted on crash bars next to the forks......

You could mount anything to those sorts of bars.

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Hi John,

Ox has nailed it above - this is good info.

On my bikes I run
1) - R1200GSA Duallie 2 LEDS. supplemented with upgraded headlight bulbs. This works well and I think are a reasonable light setup.
2)- K1600GT. Clearwater Sevinas with the Canbus kit which fully integrates the lighting controls into the existing light and bike controls.(no aftermarket switches or wiring) This setup is excellent for on the open road/outback but is unusable around town or close to town. The cost is "Full Freight" and with the exchange rate means you're literally selling your soul - but once you use/try them....
3) - R1200GSA in the States. Runs LED ADV Monsters. These are great around town/close to town but fall short out on the open road. They came with the bike but for the IBR 2017 I will add LED Lights.

Going fwd I would continue to use the Duallies...,I like them.

Love the clearwaters also but the exchange rate....



Premier Member
Good info so far, so I'll just add:

I'm just copying a setup pioneered by Ed for the KTM 1190.

I'm very impressed with the current crop of LED spotties, but reckon they still don't match the punch of a HID in the distance stakes. However, the HID spotties have several drawbacks namely,

The focused beam has to be aimed just right to get the best out of it. Because the LEDs have a broader throw they can be slightly off aim wise and still give you a good result.

HIDs give you more splash back or glare back from road signs than LEDs. Of course the problem could be solved by the authorities angling the signs a little bit, but yeah, never gonna happen.

HIDs take a little time to give full light output when switched from Cold.

On the plus side, they give great punch down the road. Also, becuase LEDs are flavour of the month HIDs are getting cheaper. I initially paid one fiddy for a pair of cheap 5" Chinee HIDs from fleabay, one of which you can see on the Kato, which give great performance. Last week I bought a set of 7" HIDs from Fleabay for 70 bucks delivered and they also work great!

But how to get around the warmup time? Easy, run a LED/HID combo. The Clearwaters are obviously the cats whiskers, but the 10" lightbar pictured from Rigid has a combo of spot and spread beams, gives good performance and while pricey ($450) is not as eye watering as some of the other options. So the HID gives good distance, the LED fills the gaps beautifully and can be run on its own effectively when there are a lot of road signs around.

The only trap I can think of for young players is that while you can get away with a cheap ass HID, with LEDs you tend to get what you paid for. So don't be afraid to buy Chinee HIDs, but consult with the collective here before you lay down your hard earned for LEDs

Edit: 35 watts for the 5" HID, 50 for the lightbar, but that's 2500 lumens. It's possible to get a workable LED spotty with half those watts.
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Well-Known Member
I ran FF50 lights with HID inserts. Great punch and suited the bike (1000GTR). I then swapped to no name 35w HID lamps with ballast built in. Even better punch and the light certainly outdistanced my ability to discern accurately.

However, from a practical point of view, both these setups had one flaw; too much punch! Out on the open straight road, I would be flashed by trucks with at least five klms distance away. If I turned them off I would be riding the next 2.5 klm or 90 secs in limited low light. Not the most advantages use on a busy night.

I went to Clearwater Ericas but was lucky to buy at parity. The lights have a decent amount of punch as well as spread. They also have the advantage of being a two stage light. On high beam, they run at 100% which gives me a defined 300 mtrs of vision. On low beam they can be set to run between 75 and 10%. I run them at 10% which is still good enough to fill in the sides of the road for about 60 mtrs. And I still have the option of turning them off completely depending on conditions.


Premier Member
However, from a practical point of view, both these setups had one flaw; too much punch! Out on the open straight road, I would be flashed by trucks with at least five klms distance away.
I had the same experience with the stock headlight on a ZZR600. Couldn't see the sides of the road, but soft truckies still flashed me at that distance. Says more about truckies than lights methinks.


Premier Member
I run a pair of Jaycar 3486 lumen LED "spot" lights costing just under $300 with a relay thrown in. I say 'spot" because they do have a distinct strong central beam, but also a lot of ambient "glow".
They seem robust- like all LEDs, supposed to do 50,000 hours. Mine have been on for a year, so have done 6 all-night runs as well as a few shorter nights, without any issues.


Premier Member
Agree with everything brands work best value for money long term...other names to consider are Bajadesign and LEDRider...the latter being IBA member Justin Phillipson out of Colorado.
One thing missing above is use of a light controller or dimmer switch.
IQSkene do a controller 2nd to none. Had it on the S10..100% on high beam, 60% on low beam at night & 40% day time running via 3 position toggle switch, never got flashed once. LEDRider sometimes include it in light packages & they have the wiring diagrams on the web site including a dimmer switch.
Also remember for best effect have all lighting on the same forward plain to avoid washout/competition between lights...a lesson I learned that made a huge difference.
Happy Riding Safe Travels.

John negus

Well-Known Member
Thanks all AGAIN..I had my spots on the fork tube. .BUT after seeing Ox's photo of the H@B tank guards with light attachment points..I have one on the way as I write. I'll post some photos of the finished set up when it's done..Cheers and yippee. .jn


Premier Member
I have a purpose built lightbar with 4 spots from baja designs on the soopa scoota. They throw the light furthet down the road and into the trees than i think is necessary. Then i have 2 little kick ass led lights to light up the surroundings. They work well. I have led lights in the main headlights.
On the GoldWing I have HID lighs in the high beam. I have constant arguments with the truckies. Some threaten to kill me. Being sick of getting abused more than i wanted to, i took the uhf off the bike. The arguments now only happen on the light switches. The HID's throw out light-a-plenty and a long way. The temperature is 4500 kelvin.
I also run a pair of clearwatet Ericas at 6000 lumens each. From AU $1,500 you would have enough change to buy yourself and your buddy each a beer at the club. If you buy inported beer like Heineken you might have to embarres yourself and ask your buddy to chip in. Those beers cost a little more than the normal on tap beers. They are nice though. I have to say i prefer xxxx gold so it won't be a problem if you want to buy me a beer. I won't suggest that you ride your bike to check out the lights after you had that beer. Do it on another night.

Oh, before I forget. Don't stand in front of my bike when I turn on the lights unless you want to lose your eyesight.
Fatman have melted the plastic on my bike coming back from Darwin riding aboutca kilometer behind me. I looked in the mirrors a couple of times and now need to wear glasses when i drink beer, regardless which beer it is. I have muth mirrors fitted on the wing to eliminate the lights from behind. Didn't work for the Ericas


Premier Member
IBA Member
The main thing to consider is leaving 10% of the AH capacity of the battery for charging. calculate the required current to run the EFI and other loads and use the rest for your lights. the charging system is more than likely permanent magnet field so the alternator will be running at 100% @ given rpm all the time so you won't cook it and the more power you use the less the Rect/Reg has to turn to heat. Most of all carry a jump pack.


Well-known Member. Moderator
Hi John,
On my Super Tenere I run a pair of Dually LED's.
I like to run fairly low-tech, so these little gems suit my purposes.
1500+ lumens, 15 watts, 1 amp draw. All for around $300 (if I remember correctly).
Instant on. Not too harsh to reflect too much on road signs.
So low drain, good output and reasonable spread and penetration, mean they get me through when I need to ride at night.
Linked to high beam, with separate switch.
Simple and basic, as I like it.
Mate the original ones right at bottom I am sure can be adjustable except you got to take off the shroud to do it and I dont think they give off much light
As they are kinda Blue?
Think their for show