Led Bar Lights For Motorcycles – I recently bought a 2009 Suzuki DRZ400S, which is a legal dirt bike motorcycle on the street, but I was completely disappointed with the factory headlights. Both the deep and main beam headlights were very dim. I tried a few cheap LED light bars on Amazon but had no success, so I bought a 7 inch wide single row 18W LED from Nilight. I bought 2 of these LED light bars for $15 and the quality seems pretty good.
I didn’t want to drill a hole in a factory fender or cowl to mount the LED light bar, so I searched the internet for some sort of mount. I found exactly what I needed in an assembly manufactured and sold by JNS Engineering. JNS sells the assembly for around $40, which is reasonable, but I like the DIY way of doing it, so I started making my own.
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Inspired by the JNS mount design, we removed the four bolts on the underside of the front fender that secure the fender to the triple tree. After removing these 4 bolts I lowered the front fenders and leaned them against the front wheel. I was then able to remove the thin metal brackets holding the reflectors on either side of the front fenders.
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We had a good selection of tools, but there was no way to cleanly cut the sheet metal, so we had to find other materials for DIY assembly. I had some experience using starboards to repair hull holds, and this led me to look for some sort of poly material. I did a quick web search for poly boards and found a black chopping board at Target for $14.
Once I had a black poly chopping board, I used the factory reflective brackets as a template and used a silver Sharpie to trace the pattern on the poly chopping board. I left a 1-inch poly board at the bottom of the design to serve as a perch for the LED lights.
In one of the photos, you can see where I used the width of the ruler to add an inch area where the LED lights will be mounted. From the back, there isn’t much extra space, so depending on the size of the LED light bar you’re using, 1 1/2 to 2 inches might be appropriate.
After tracing the pattern of the LED assembly on a black cutting board, it was cut using a hand-held grinder and a cutting disk. It can also work if you have a ban saw, a bench scroll saw or a jigsaw (preferably a saw with fine teeth).
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This was my choice as I have had success using a grinder to cut plexiglass or acrylic sheets. Be aware that the grinder and cutting disc can melt the poly sheet. Putting molten plastic on top is no fun. Molten plastic sticks like glue and leaves a nice burn mark. After the cut was complete and the plastic had cooled, I used a sturdy knife to trim the edges.
I ran into some free space issues as mentioned in one of the photos while trying to make sure the new mount fits snugly into the bracket with the reflector installed. I used a silver sharpie to mark these points on both sides of the assembly and then notched those points with a grinder. Then it fits like a glove.
The depth of the poly sheet is approx. 1/2 inch, 4 factory bolts on the front fenders were now too short. As you can see in the attached photo, the factory bolts were long enough to go past the new mounts and reflector brackets. I found a longer bolt at Home Depot. Of course these bolts were metric and the package specs were marked as M6-1.0 x 30MM.
I’m testing the new LED light housing, reflector bracket and front fenders with longer bolts. Everything worked like a champ.
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As you can see from the attached photo, the new mount wasn’t exactly level when mounted between the reflector bracket and the front fender. The new passenger had a slight slope due to the slope of the front fork.
Fortunately, the mounting brackets and hardware that came with Nilight’s 18W LED lights helped solve these geometric problems. As detailed in one of the attached photos, the mounting bracket is asymmetrical and has a deeper groove on one side. I installed a bracket with a deep notch closest to the LED light. This will allow the bracket to rotate more than 90 degrees and the LED light to rotate slightly downwards to offset the slight tilt of the new mount.
I tested everything on the bike and marked and drilled holes for the LED light brackets.
I decided to connect the new LED light bar to the DRZ’s existing low/high beam switch. There are three forks behind the factory headlights as shown in the attached picture. The left (driver’s side) tab is negative, the top tab is positive low beam, and the right (passenger side) tab is positive high beam.
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First, unplug the behind the factory headlights. Then I connected the cathode wire from the LED light to the cathode lead of the factory light and the anode wire from the LED light to the upbeam anode lead.
The back of the factory headlamps had small holes at both ends, through which the bare wires were fed from the LED lights. Then I reconnected the factory cable plug. Now the LED light bar only lights up when you turn on the high beam.
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