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Discussion Starter #1
Even after reading so much info in this great forum I still have many questions. I hope it is true that there are no stupid questions:

HD offers a V-rod rear light kit that I think adds the rear turn signals to the brake light system. I know that kit includes red lens covers for the turn signals. Doesn't that mean all turn signals will be red instead of the expected amber color? Isn't that a safety concern?

Hd also offers smoke lens covers, & I see other types of lens covers from other sources. Are these only for cosmetics or is there a function too? Don't they change the color & maybe reduce the brightness of original lights?

From the info found in this forum I have no doubt about the quality of Heavycycles LED light systems, but even after reading their web site I still have many questions:

Is the stage 1 simply a much brighter, more noticeable & safer brake light? While that would be great in daylight, is there any possibility of it being so bright at night to be a nuisance? And how bright is the running light before the brakes are applied?

When including LED turn signals with the rear brake light function are the turn signals amber for turn signals but then red when the brakes are applied? If so is that the point of smoke or clear lenses?

Can some one please explain the strobe light function in the brake light? Does it always blink or only when the brakes are first applied? Is that function only for the brake light or also for the rear turn signals if they are added to the brake system?

Do the LED lights still function like a reflector when the bike is turned off & parked, or is that function lost?

Forgive me if these questions seem basic. It's been a long winter up here in New Hampshire, & a long time since my last ride. Any help will be appreciated.
 

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Pat's Fan
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Not sure about the HD kit for the rear lights but I used to have the smoked lens covers. They are for cosmetics only. You replace your stock bulbs with bulbs of color (amber). This way thru the smoked you still see amber.
I have since gotten rid of my factory directionals. I have the Doc's stage 2 in the rear. Awsome! It includes the directonals in the light. The directionals are still amber though. The brakelight is Bright. But i dont think its going to be too bright at night. (ive only been out during the day) One of the guys i was riding with let me know how much brighter it was than stock. He told me it was much more visible. Cool!
I didnt get any of the blinking / strobes that he adds to the lights. so I cannot say how they work.
As far as your question about acting as a reflector........dont know. to be honest......i didnt know the stock one did that!
 

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Do It Movin...
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The strobe fuction is an independent sub-system of Doc's Stage2 product, they blink all the time.
 

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Fireman/investigator
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According to Texas law, turn signals can be either amber or red, but if they function as brake lights also, then they have to be red. So, HDs conversion kit would not be a safety concern... amber turn signals are not necessarily 'expected'. The additional lights coming on a a brake are very noticeable. Also, TX vehicle law do not stipulate that brake lights have a maximum wattage, only a minimum visibility (I posted a copy of the traffic code once). I quote Tx law because that is what I have to reference, but I am almost 100% sure that it applies nationwide because there is no such thing as a "Texas legal" car. They are all the same. Hope this helps....
BTW, Docs light setup is next on my list... visibility is #1.
Greg
 

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The Heavycycles Guy
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I'll take a shot at some of this...



HD offers a V-rod rear light kit that I think adds the rear turn signals to the brake light system. I know that kit includes red lens covers for the turn signals. Doesn't that mean all turn signals will be red instead of the expected amber color? Isn't that a safety concern?
Yes, the turn signals would be red after installing this kit and yes, it is legal. You should note that many cars do have red turn signals, so it is OK. I myself prefer the visual contrast of amber turn signals on a motorcycle, but if you want to add brake light and/or running light function to your rear signals, the light must be red. This is why I pulled off the dual-color rear signals: amber for turn signal function and then red for run/brake light functions.



Hd also offers smoke lens covers, & I see other types of lens covers from other sources. Are these only for cosmetics or is there a function too? Don't they change the color & maybe reduce the brightness of original lights?
The smoke and clear lenses are cosmetic. When you run these lenses you need something to produce the appropriate color of the emitted light, like a colored bulb, that H-D includes in their kits, or LEDs of the appropriate color, that I and most LED board makers use. A smoked lens will reduce the brightness (like sunglasses for your light), but the tint of the H-D lenses is very light and will not take too much brightness away... again, it's a cosmetic thing.

Side note: You do not want to use white LEDs in taillight applications, as much as it seems to make sense. White LEDs are actually blue LEDs with a phosphor coating on the chip that glows white when lit up (much like a fluorescent bulb). A good portion of the white LEDs light is in the blue part of the color spectrum and when put behind a red lens, the blue is filtered out, thus greatly reducing the brightness. Yes kids, just like filters in photography. A red LED behind a red lens loses very little brightness and generally, red LEDs are available in higher brightnesses than white LEDs too.



From the info found in this forum I have no doubt about the quality of Heavycycles LED light systems, but even after reading their web site I still have many questions:

Is the stage 1 simply a much brighter, more noticeable & safer brake light? While that would be great in daylight, is there any possibility of it being so bright at night to be a nuisance? And how bright is the running light before the brakes are applied?
The stage one is brighter and more noticeable, and you will probably never see it burn out in your lifetime. (if it did, I'd probably replace it, even if it was beyond 5 years). I'll be honest. one person out of several hundred has had a concern about the brightness at night. It's bright, but you don't have to worry about planes trying to land on you. Cars usually have four 25-ish watt brake light bulbs, plus a third brake light, this light does not exceed that level of light.

The running light is brighter than stock, but not so bright that it wold be mistaken for a brake light. Of course cagers seem to mistake motorcycles for oil stains on the road, so anything is possible. A very important point to bring up here, that every aftermarket LED light I have seen does not seem to address properly, is the difference in brightness between run and brake light modes. The difference in brightness level is essential. I try to design my lights to be brighter in both run and brake light functions and exhibit a substantial difference in brightness between the two modes. This is nearly impossible to achieve without some really bright LEDs. As an example, if Kuryakyn didn't have an integrated brake light modulator in their taillights, you would barely be able to tell the difference between run and brake.



When including LED turn signals with the rear brake light function are the turn signals amber for turn signals but then red when the brakes are applied? If so is that the point of smoke or clear lenses?
the turn signals are amber and are on independent circuits from the run and brake light so they only function as turn signals... the number of run/brake light LEDs is not reduced when the signals are added into the tail lights. The turn signals that are run/brake/signal lights use both red and amber LEDs, also on separate circuits. Amber (really bright ones) will shine through a red lens and red LEDs will shine through an amber lens, but you do lose a little brightness. This is why I recommend the clear or smoked lenses on the signals... there is no color filtering effect to these lenses.



Can some one please explain the strobe light function in the brake light? Does it always blink or only when the brakes are first applied? Is that function only for the brake light or also for the rear turn signals if they are added to the brake system?
The strobe is, in the V-Rod taillight, two extremely bright LEDs that strobe about once every second and a quarter independently of any other light functions... they are always strobing.

Side Note: the strobe LEDs are now available in red or amber and if anyone was to ask, I could modify the circuitry to have them come on solid with the brake lights. You wouldn't really notice any difference in brake light brightness this way and I feel the strobing effect is more noticeable anyway, so I don't really promote/offer this as an option.



Do the LED lights still function like a reflector when the bike is turned off & parked, or is that function lost?
The V-Rod taillight, and all other new H-Ds, has no reflector function in stock configuration, so this lack of reflector does not change. The V-Rod rear reflector in attached to the bottom of the license plate mount and usually ends up in the garbage. If you had a bike with an integrated reflector in the taillight, that would not change either when converting to LEDs, because the reflective function in built into the lens.

Side Note: The letters after "SAE" on your taillights mean something (Euro's have an E mark and different codes). These codes state what the functions the light are approved to provide:

S - Stoplamp
T - Taillamp
L - License plate illumination
A - Reflex Reflector



Forgive me if these questions seem basic. It's been a long winter up here in New Hampshire, & a long time since my last ride. Any help will be appreciated.
Remember, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people :D ;)

Feel free to ask away, that's what we're here for.

:thumb:
 

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Senior Member
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I asked a Dealer about the HD Rear Signal - Brake Conversion Kit, and it is marked for the 04 VRSC and later. Evidentially they changed the lighting circuitry in 04. Is this correct Doc? Seems strange that they are ignoring all the 03 and 02 bikes with this kit.

Doc: Post a picture of the Deuce Clear Lens Tail-light as soon as you get some of the oversupplied Deuce lenses that the idiot supplier ordered instead of the V-Rod lens (bet you can get a better deal now on Deuce lenses). That way those of us waiting can opt for the Red lens if we for some reason don't like the look. Thanks.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, especially Doc. Now it's only a matter of deciding which package to go for. I hope others gained from my questions & your responses too.
 

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V-Fred
I have an '02 and had the same concerns when i bought the HD Rear Signal Conversion Kit, as the package states '04 and up. However, when you look in their catalog or on the instructions (once you've bought it) it says for '02 and up. Anyways, i bought it, installed it and everything works just fine.
 

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just a ghost now
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I have had one of Joe's Stage 1 tailights for over a year, I have no doubt that it's brighter than stock in all functions. It seems to catch one's eye versus the single stock incandecent bulb. You will not find a better and safer tailight imho. What's your life worth?
 

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I have Doc’s taillight and turn signal set up (no strobes) and that is totally the way to go, by far :thumb: :thumb:. I have clear lenses because I want as much light as possible. I was the Road Captain for the Ride in VA, this last weekend, and you can ask anyone that was behind me how they work, they work great! I had two other riders ask me about them after the ride and said they would be in contact with Doc to have them do a set for them too.

And the Man stands behind his product too, nothing but 1ST Class to deal with.

The only possible draw back would be price, but I feel it's like helmets how much is your life worth – I don't cut corners. You can use a novelty helmet if you have a novelty head. I am wearing a flip down full face but as soon as I can talk my wife into letting me get the new Schuberth S1 I’ll be getting that helmet.

But the cheaper way to go would be the HD set up, it does give you those two extra 15 watt bulbs for those cagers to see you with; but nothing bets Doc's set up. Spend the extra buck and go for the best set up, right off the bat. If you do go with something else, than Doc’s, once you see his - you’ll know you threw your money away.

Dave
 
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