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Light Enhancements & Turn Signal Tethers
by Ted Verrill

LIGHT ENHANCEMENTS

Run'N'Lites
Type-2
Rear

The Type-2 lites typically sell for around $28 and consist of two sockets & bulbs and a wiring harness. By removing the existing turn signal sockets and replacing them with the Run'N'Lite sockets, then plugging in the wiring harness, the turn signals will light up as well as the brake light. This does not effect the turn signal as the new bulbs are the #1157 double filament type.
Installation: Easy - 10 to 15 Minutes.
Cost: $28
FSd, Inc.
PO Box 340, Ansonia, CT 06401
(203) 736-6229, (203) 736-9343 (fax)
run-n-lites@worldnet.att.net

Run'N'Lites
Type-2
Front

The Type-2 front lights are similar to the rear in that the front turn signals light stay lit constantly. They are not quite as popular as the rear because of the dubious usefulness.
Installation: Medium. At least 45 minutes.
Cost: ?
FSd, Inc.
PO Box 340, Ansonia, CT 06401
(203) 736-6229, (203) 736-9343 (fax)
run-n-lites@worldnet.att.net
Hyper Lites The Hyper Lite upgrade consists of two small panels of lights that are wired to the rear brake light, installed in the empty portion of the brake light housing on either side of the stock brake light, and flash (annoyingly :) when the brakes are activated. While some are concerned that the lights' flashing effect may actually draw people to the lights, most are of the opinion that they provide extremely noticeable brake light coverage.
Installation: Easy. 30 - 45 Minutes.
Cost: ~$48
Check your local dealer, also sold at many rallies.
LifeBrights Several models of brake light enhancements
Installation: Unknown - not BMW specific.
Cost: ~$45 to $60
Lite Buddies
also sold at many rallies
A cool new brake light enhancement on the scene. The LED's are installed and shine through the rear turn signal pods.  This mod requires that you swap the current turn signals with the Lite Buddies
Cost: ~$45

MIRROR TETHERS

Turn Signal/
Side Mirror Tethers

(made by Wüdo)

A Turn signal /side mirror tether is a length of stainless cable with eyelets on both ends mad to go in between the turn signal and the turn signal mounting housing. The idea is that when the ($175+) turn signal /side mirror pops off, and it can happen totally without warning, the tether will keep it from hitting the ground. (The factory wiring harness seldom holds the signal long enough to pull over and grab it before it falls.)
Installation: Easy. 10 - 15 Minutes.
Need: Must Have.
Cost: $18 (Two included.)
Bob's BMW (Made by Wüdo, DB)
1-800-BMW-BOBS
bmwbobs@aol.com
Turn Signal/
Side Mirror Tethers

(Homemade)
The idea is that when the ($175+) turn signal /side mirror pops off, and it can happen totally without warning, the tether will keep it from hitting the ground. (The factory wiring harness seldom holds the signal long enough to pull over and grab it before it falls.)
Installation/Fabrication: Easy. 30 - 45 Minutes.
Directions

Need: Must Have.
Cost: ~$6
Contributed by Robert Taylor <rob-kate@erols.com>

AUXILIARY LIGHTS

55/100 Headlight Bulb

One of the easiest and immediately noticeable modifications an owner can make is to swap the stock H-4 55/60 watt headlight bulb with a more powerful one. There are two immediate options, the 55/100 or 90/100, neither of which should require any modification should your electrical system, lighting wire and connections in particular, be in good shape, free from corrosion or previous modification.
The 55/100 is by far the most popular as the 90/100 simply has too powerful of a low beam (90 watts.) Some have commented that they have suffered electrical failures with the replacement bulbs so make sure your electrical system is in top condition.
Make sure to carry the BMW spare bulb kit with you on all trips, and to immediately replace bulbs you have used from the kit!
Installation: Easy. 10 minutes, no disassembly.
Need: This modification is only needed should you find your stock bulb's high beam  insufficient (most do.)
Cost: $12 to $16
Any BMW Dealer or Autoparts store.

PIAA Driving Lights

Of all of the aftermarket driving lights available, PIAA's are certainly the most respected (and the most expensive.) As has been told me by virtually every owner of these lights I've ever asked, they are worth it. They come in a wide variety applications, from tiny extremely long range "pencil" beams to short range "floods" (and practically everything in between.)
Mounting these lights on the K1100 series is somewhat difficult, though there are many custom-made brackets floating around, most making use of either the mirror mounts (not good should your bike fall over) or the center fairing screws (under the fairing nose.)
Installation: Difficult. Custom brackets & wiring needed.
Need: Auxiliary driving lights are quite useful for extended nighttime higher speed touring, and heavy nighttime use of lesser traveled secondary roads.
Cost: $100 and up model-dependent.
Models Recommended: PIAA 910, 1500
The following Motorcycle Vendors offer PIAA lights:
PIAA 910's - CBT Imports - (800)782-4686

TECH: There are two tech articles on PIAA lights, one by Gary Harris on the 910 and one by John Merrick on the 1500.

Blazer Driving Lights

The Blazer lights are no match for the PIAA's in both function or quality, but for the price they are outstanding. Much like the PIAA's, the Blazers come in several different configurations based upon beam strength and diffusion. Those who own them rave about them, and I have not yet heard a report of a failure.
Mounting these lights on the K1100 series is somewhat difficult, though there are many custom-made brackets floating around, most making use of either the mirror mounts (not good should your bike fall over) or the center fairing screws (under the fairing nose.)
Installation: Difficult. Custom brackets & wiring needed.
Need: Auxiliary driving lights are quite useful for extended nighttime higher speed touring, and heavy nighttime use of lesser traveled secondary roads.
Cost: $40
Blazer lights are carried by K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and most of the nationwide auto parts stores.

LIGHT BRACKETS

CBT Imports
K1100LT
Mirror Mount

This is a clean and solid mounting system.
Installation: Moderate (wiring takes time.)
Need: A good bracket is a must for the installation of auxiliary lights.
Cost: $call
CBT Imports - (800)782-4686

OTHER

3M-Refective Tape I first noticed this tape when following Greg Pink at night and seeing 4" circles of reflected light from the back of his hard bag. The next day I could see nothing till I looked up close and saw 4" circles of 3M black reflective tape. This stuff really lights up, and is quite easy to install.
Installation: Depends - "Dots" are simply clean, peel & stick. One can get carried away with designs. Many BMW dealers sell pre-cut tape designed to perfectly fit the back of BMW hard bags.
Need: Recommended
Cost: ~$10 for raw tape, ~$30 for pre-cut hard bag designs.

From Greg Pink:
Howdy,
I've ordered and received a 2-48" sections of black 3M reflective tape (I got the last ones in this size). So, here's who has it with part numbers:
Gall's Inc., 2680 Palumbo Drive, Lexington, KY 40555-4308, 1-800-477-7766
The following are for reflective tape only:
#UDE180 1" x 60" Strip $4.99 each
#UDE181 2" x 60" Strip $7.99 each
#UDE182 3" x 60" Strip $9.99 each
#UDE183 4" x 60" Strip $12.99 each

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© Copyright 1996-2003 Ted Verrill/K11OG & Individual Respective Authors.
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