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I am currently working on a hedlight mod and gauges mod... the headlight mod is nearly done, but the gauges got finished last night, and here is a look at them.

I was going to take more pictures for a "how to" but I forgot along the way, and the ones I did take make it easy to understand. If you have the basic skills to do this mod, the pictures I have will answer your questions. (you probably don't even need them) :)

I took the gauges apart so that I could add LEDs for backlighting to change the color of the gauges. I was going to go with green, but there is so much green on the bike now I felt it would have been overkill... and green gauges don't stand out as much as a more custom color, so I went with blue.

I used a 15" strip of flexible LEDs found at Autozone, Pep Boys, Walmart, etc... in the automotive accessories section. (I got mine at Walmart $14.99) but you can use anything you like. The pre-assembled flexible strip already set up for 12v makes this a breeze though. :devious

Here is the gauges already taken apart with the 15" strip routed the best way I could route it and make it fit under the gauges once installed. It's not hard to fit in there, but unless you want to do some cutting, this was one of the better routes I found that gave me even lumination:



Once routed, run the wire through one of the holes you make by taking one of the original bulbs out that would have lit up your gauges. The have a nice spot on the circuit board to solder to, and in this photo I believe the one on the top is the "+" while the "-" was on the bottom. Once done, I finished it off with a small piece of electrical tape so no dust would get in there. I guess you could even use a dab of silicone if you wanted to make sure it didn't fall off like my tape probably will.



While I had the gauges apart, I couldn't resist painting the needles with my touchup paint from when the bike was painted... so now I have green needles that match my bike!



Here are the gauges reassembled with the green needles. When you see them installed and in person, the green needles really jump out around all the green paint on the bike. It's such a small thing, but makes a BIG difference when you see it in person. I nearly like the green needles as much as the new LEDs.



And here are the reassembled gauges with the blue backlighting. As you probalby know, getting a steady shot with accurate lighting with a point and shoot camera is very hard. This is the best shot I could get, and it looks a tiny bit uneven in the photo, but standing in front of them it's even all around. They look really good in person.



There you have it... one of the neatest things I've done for the smallest amount of money... just takes patience and time. (few hours to do it clean and right)

I know there could have been more detailed pics along the way, or better instructions... :banghead sorry about that, but ask any questions you want.
 

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Nicely done! The green needles really pop out at one don they not? With a bit more fiddling I reckon you could put in a couple of colors and change them as the mood strikes you, eh? Why do I have a feeling there will be a run on LED strips at Walmart this weekend? :laugh
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nicely done! The green needles really pop out at one don they not? With a bit more fiddling I reckon you could put in a couple of colors and change them as the mood strikes you, eh? Why do I have a feeling there will be a run on LED strips at Walmart this weekend? :laugh
:laugh I guess so. One thing about the ones I bought there are they have a battery and switch in the packaging so you can "test" them in the store to see what they look like. This all comes off when you wire them up, but I used it while I did the install over and over to check different layouts so I didn't have to keep plugging them in and turning the key on! Very nice...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice! :hail

I have some touchup paint from my last paintjob, now I have to paint my needles too!
It's surprising how much that little tiny thing adds when you see it back on the bike next to your custom paint. Not sure how many people would notice unless you told them, but it's one of those little things that you may not outright "notice", but just ties things together for the overall package.

I taped the black part off REALLY good so it wouldn't bleed. I guess you could do all of this without taking your needles off, but since I had to anyway for the LEDs, it was much easier with them removed.

If you do remove the needles, plug in your gauges and turn the key on before you set your needles back at the "zero" point. If you try to do it on the work space, they will most likely be wrong when plugged in. Just trying to save you some time! (ask me how I know)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks great! You only used 1 L.E.D. lighting strip?
Yep... one 15" flexible strip. (I think made by Pilot). Not sure how many LEDs (didn't count them) but they are spaced about 3/4" - 1' apart, so 15 to 20 LEDs overall. They are also teeny-tiny ones, but very bright. You can even see the blue light on the gauges in the day. One strip is actually almost too big. If you decide to do this pay close attention to my layout, as not too many layouts will work with that strip.

I have done things like this with LEDs from cars to xbox mods, and this is the easiest way with the best results I've ever done. The strip is already flexible, the system is already set up for 12v (so no resistors needed) etc.

I put standard LEDs (resistors and all) wired to the 3 standard bulb locations before I tried this and it just wasn't bright enough. I then got this idea and it worked perfectly.

One thing I will note with the "flexible" strip though is if you flex it ANY more than the bends in my above photo it will break. (ask me how I know that as well).

This is literally a $15.00 mod that looks AMAZING at night. It's very easy too!
 

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If you do remove the needles, plug in your gauges and turn the key on before you set your needles back at the "zero" point. If you try to do it on the work space, they will most likely be wrong when plugged in. Just trying to save you some time! (ask me how I know)
How do you know? :devious


This looks like a cheap winter project that easy and very satasfying, which is good because all my other winter projects have already chewed through my 2010 budget!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
How do you know? :devious


This looks like a cheap winter project that easy and very satasfying, which is good because all my other winter projects have already chewed through my 2010 budget!
I did this to a car once and the needles "auto checked" or something, so they seemed to find zero when the key was turned on. I put these where I thought were zero, put everything back together, and when I turned the key to the "on" position, I was doing 55mph at 3400rpm... with my engine off and the bike on the stand in the garage... :banghead Time to take them all back apart and fix the needles. :rant

I then just pulled the needles off and set them to zero while plugged in and the key on. Works fine now.

One note about removing the needles, at least for my old 97, they were TIGHT. They pull straight up and off the pins, but I had to use a flatblade screwdriver to lift from under the flange around the needles. If you do this, lay a papertowel on your gauge at the leverage point, the gauge face will scratch easily if you aren't careful.
 

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Nice. Thanks for the contribution. TLDV8 has a pic around showing two opposing spoons used to lever off the needles, might be less risky than a flatblade? I don't know first hand though.
 

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Nice. Thanks for the contribution. TLDV8 has a pic around showing two opposing spoons used to lever off the needles, might be less risky than a flatblade? I don't know first hand though.
That would be better than what I did. I used a flatblade on one side and finger pressure on the other. The two spoons is a genius idea and would take much less leverage. MAKE SURE no matter what you protect the gauge face... super delicate.
 

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if anyone in the UK wants to do this mod, you can pick the LED strips up from Halfords

Halfords LED Strips - Blue
I was just about to ask that, then I saw the link. :banghead

I'll be doing this v.soon, with the clocks going back this w/e and early dark. I have no dash lights since I bought the bike.
I'm just hoping its bulbs and not a power issue.
Thanks for the insight, I did read other threads about the same sort of thing, but it all seemed too fiddly. I think you just simplified it for me. :coocoo :laugh
 

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Cool Mod, i like it :thumbup
 

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I was just about to ask that, then I saw the link. :banghead

I'll be doing this v.soon, with the clocks going back this w/e and early dark. I have no dash lights since I bought the bike.
I'm just hoping its bulbs and not a power issue.
Thanks for the insight, I did read other threads about the same sort of thing, but it all seemed too fiddly. I think you just simplified it for me. :coocoo :laugh
It's actually very easy, but I really wish I would have done a proper write up on it. If you can solder and take apart gauges, you'll know what to do.
 

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how's the headlight coming?...???
 
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