Here's a walk-through of a project I started today... just had to share. Click any picture to see it larger.
I've been wanting some high-visibility brake lights on my GT200 ever since I bought it. The stock taillight is pretty bright, but it's an incandescent bulb and just can't match the light output of some of the LED lights that have come on the market recently. Rather than replace the stock taillight with an LED system, though, I decided to add on some cool retro-look bullet lights.
I got these from Kuryakyn (exact product page is here) who seems to carry a lot of motorcycle cruiser customization parts. They complement the styling of my GT200 pretty well, and they're extremely bright. The wires lead out of the light housing through the bolt hole (it comes with hollow bolts) making for a very clean installation.
First step: find a place to mount them. I agonized over the mount location for over a week, until it dawned on me that there was really only one possibility if I still wanted my already-tight fitted cover to still fit over my scooter -- the bullets would have to be mounted under the top case, where there's some extra room in the cover.
Next step: Start drilling some holes. I drilled a pilot hole from underneath the top case, using the reinforced grid on the bottom to line things up. Drilling a pilot hole in plastic is always a good idea because larger bits (a) wander around while you get the hole started, and (b) tend to gouge the plastic horribly when they break through.
Once the pilot holes were drilled, I widened out the hole with a step bit. Step bits are a bit on the expensive side, but they're wholly worthwhile when you're dealing with plastic or aluminum or even sheet metal. I didn't measure the diameter of the bolt to determine how much to widen, I just checked every step or two until it fit snugly through the hole.
Here's where it got a little bit hairy: the base of each bullet light is a bit bigger than the rectangles in the reinforced grid underneath the top case. I could have used a washer to stand-off the base somewhat and sit it below the reinforced grid, but I opted instead just to modify the gridwork a bit with an xacto knife. It's not pretty, but it's just plastic, and no one will ever see it (except the readers of this forum ).
The hollow bolts are also a bit long for this application, so I cut them down with the handy Dremel cut-off wheel. I then fed the wires through the bolt, assembled everything, and tightened it down.
Here's the lights in the OFF mode. Don't be fooled by the bright white coming out of them -- that's just the reflected camera flash.
Here they are in the ON position. I haven't actually wired them into the GT200 yet, I just used a battery tender to power the lights temporarily to get an idea of how they looked. The photo does not do these lights justice -- they are very bright, well over what the camera can represent when the rest of the picture is properly exposed.
Here's another shot from an angle:
And one more, this time in the OFF position again:
My plan is to wire these into my scooter with a wig-wag device, which will give the two lights an alternating flashing pattern for a few seconds before going to solid-ON when I hit the brakes. I've seen motorcycles with this setup, and it really gets your attention, even from several blocks away. Two alternating flashing lights has a pretty immediate effect on our brains, for whatever reason, and that's just the kind of thing I want cagers to notice.