I have an Excalibur Grey Piaggio Fly 50, which I love (purchased August 2008 in Boston; have been riding all winter when not snowing or raining). As soon as I learned that the Fly's blinkers in Europe weren't those ugly DOT-approved pods, I wanted to do this mod, which I'd seen elsewhere in various forms on MV. Some people had simply replaced the stock incandescent running lights with LEDs, more ambitious folks had turned them into only blinkers, and one, with lots of cutting and ingenuity (which I didn't want to do and don't have), had actually added a 2nd bulb to the front running light lens housing and ended up with running lights and blinkers in front (these mods were not all on the Fly, but on the LX and other bikes). In a stroke of genius(?) and with the help of micbergsma, I figured that since the brake light on the Fly used a 3-wire socket and an 1157-type dual filament bulb (for a running light plus a brake light), I could use the same type of bulb in the front -- to make one bulb on each side for running lights and blinkers. I wanted to throw LED bulbs in all around too (since I'd already painted and upgraded the instrument panel to LEDs, which I'll try to make a post about another time), mainly for the look, but also for additional brightness and "instant-on" of LEDs.
I got all the bulbs from v-leds.com. The brake light was a simple swap, as was the rear license plate light. The blinkers, I thought, would be an easy fix too. Far from it. I realized that the low draw of LEDs caused them to blink fast. Then the rear amber LED blinkers wouldn't light. At all. In any configuration, with any LED bulb. I even returned bulbs and bought different more expensive ones, thinking the bulbs were the issue -- they weren't. The very last thing I figured out is that apparently, the wiring on the rear blinker sockets of the 2008 Fly is reversed -- positive to negative, negative to positive -- which apparently doesn't matter with the stock incandescent bulbs, but very much does with LEDs, which is why they wouldn't light. So, along with Signal Dynamics Corp's Dual Load Equalizer, all was finally fixed, and the blinkers were good to go.
As a part of this project, I did some accompanying basic paint and body work. The 2009 Flys have clear rear light lenses, which I really like, so I ordered clear blinkers lenses from a dealer, keeping the stock red one, which I liked. Now the rear blinkers look clear until they go on amber. I also replaced the front access panel with a black one, purely for looks (I should have painted it instead of buying it for $46!). I painted the rear hand rail and the side deflector strips black, and might paint the front mud guard and headlamp housing black eventually. I then removed the stick-on "Fly 4Tempi" from both sides, and the kick-start warning sticker, for a much cleaner all- around look.
2 3-wire 1157 sockets (original Piaggio parts), $13.80 each
2 left and right clear blinker housings, about $25 each
1 Red 1157 LED (rear brake), $20
2 Amber 1157 LED (front running + blinker), $20 each
2 Amber 1156 LED (rear blinker), $20 each
2 White 194 LED (license plate light and sidelight)
9 Posi-Lock connectors for 18-24 gauge wire, $8
1 Signal Dynamics Corp. Dual Load Equalizer, $20
misc. 18 gauge wire
black spray paint
metric allen keys to remove DOT blinker pods
Photos and explanations are below.
This is before I did any of the major work. All I had done at this point was replace the front access panel with a black one and spray paint the screw glossy black.
On the left is the same socket that's stock in the brake light -- 3 wires, for running, brake and ground (to be used for running, blinker, ground in front). On the right is the stock running light socket, with only 2 wires.
I had to slice one of the tabs on the black 3-wire sockets to make it fit perfectly and lock into the front running light lenses. Generic 3-wire sockets would be cheaper but wouldn't fit as perfectly with so little modification.
Now it was time to get to work. These are all the pieces I removed (the side deflectors I only removed because I wanted them black; they do not have to be removed to remove the glove box).
I had wanted to use the the stock wire connectors and re-wire them to accommodate the 3-wires, but, it was impossible to do so without bending the metal connectors, so I cut the stock connectors off, and used Posi-Lock connectors.
RED wire: spliced into stock left blinker wire and run to white wire on new socket; GREEN: spliced into stock right blinker wire and run to white wire on new socket. Stock running light wiring: yellow to yellow, black to black on new socket.
Here's a front view, before the blinker wires had been connected. The LEDs are on running light mode with the Fly running for this shot.
Re-wired rear sockets to get LEDs to light, dual load equalizer makes them blink normally. Secured with double-sided tape, fits perfectly into the metal casing behind ignition. Purple to left positive, brown to right positive, black to ground.
Blue splice for dual load equalizer; red for "sidelight." Using wires from one of the stock POD blinkers, I spliced it into the left-hand running light wires (it actually blinks slightly when the blinkers are on).
Here's an underexposed photo to show the stock headlight bulb and the sidelight LED, spliced into the stock running light wiring (pos+ground).
Painted black side deflectors glossy black.
Painted rear handrail glossy black.
Here's what the stock rear lights looked like.
Here's after the mods are complete. I like the clear blinker look much better.
Here's after the mods are complete with blinker on. Sorry, not the best photo.
I used dental floss to get the blue "Fly 4Tempi" stickers off.
It took about 1/2 hour using my too-short fingernails to scrape off the damn warning label!
This is an after shot, with right blinker on and left running light on.
Here's a cool night shot.
Here's an animation of what my Fly looks like running with the right blinker on. It's an animation so it doesn't blink at that exact speed; this looks a little fast.
Last edited by ajkostrow on Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:31 pm; edited 3 times in total