Cowl Honda lights question

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  • Cowl Honda lights question

    When I got the Honda lights years ago I brought the bike to the dealer for service on another issue and the tech asked if I wanted the lights to stay on or off when the high beams were on and I told him on. He said he disconnected a wire connection to allow them to run with the low and high beams when I activate the switch - I never thought at the time to ask which wire connection. Well I recently changed the air filter, not losing any screws, and disconnected everything under the shelter. When I connected everything and started the bike I noticed the cowl lights went off when the high beams were on. I tried to figure out which connection to disconnect but with no success. Does anyone know which wire connection I need to disconnect to make it function as it did before? I don't want to have to take it back to the dealer for this simple procedure if I don't have to and can do it myself. A diagram or photo would help, if possible.
    "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

  • #2
    Check out this video from some guy who likes to hang around here.
    Look for the install of the fog light switch and specifically the jumper to allow the fog lights not to be switched off with the high beams.
    At appox. 10:10 into the video.

    Rick
     
    2010 GL1800ADA (CDN eh!)
    DS 1126
    15 Tiger 800 XCX
    14 WR250R
    95 FLSTC Sold to a nice family.

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    • #3
      We used to just cut the blue wire to the relay, however the jumper is better, and may protect the light switch.
      In any event when you start the bike make sure the switch is in low position as sometimes with more load it will arc inside the switch and mess that up.
      Get in the habit of starting the bike on low beam.

      I run my lights on high in the daytime all the time and have gotten into the habit of switching to low each time I park it, that way I do not forget.

      Kit

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      • #4
        I have a an issue with using HID's, or any "driving lights" that produce a large quantity of light, down on the lower cowl. I can either sit back, and keep my mouth shut, thereby allowing many of you to make a big mistake, or...I can speak up and share a voice of experience, by telling you WHY having those kinds of lights in the lower cowl is a very bad thing.

        First, I am a huge supporter of SoCalMotoGear, and I bought my HIDs from them, and they are a big supporter of the serious riders. I have nothing bad to say about them, and I will always buy from them. This issue is NOT about SoCalMotoGear...it is about the use of the wrong lighting in the lower cowl.

        The problem is that you never....that's right...never...want to use a highly powerful light source as low to the ground, or road surface, as the HIDs and other lights like that can produce. The reason is because installing those kinds of lights so low on the bike, can produce shadows on the road surface, as the light SKIMS the road surface, which makes potholes and other road blemishes appear to be normal road surfaces. By skimming the road surface with a powerful light, you are defeating the purpose of what you are trying to do. The really serious Long Distance/Endurance riders make every attempt to install powerful lighting as HIGH on the bike as possible...so that the additional lighting is # 1...looking DOWN onto the road surface, looking INTO potholes, and clearly showing the rider all the road surface blemishes...# 2....by having the added lights higher...the light shines down...and not directly into opposing car drivers eyes, so they don't flash their high beams at you. If you install those powerful lights in the lower cowl, the lights MUST have some upward direction to them, which makes the lights shine into the oncoming drivers eyes.

        Show up at the start of THEE IronButt Rally, and you will see what experienced riders have done with their aux. lighting. Most mount the aux. lighting as high as possible, rather than as low as possible. Most do make use of the lower cowl...to add lights, but they are using a different kind of lighting, which simply gets the attention of the oncomning cars, and does not blind the drivers, or...create shadows on the roads surface.

        Example, on my bikes I install the 10watt LED lights, the Single Shooter YELLOW or AMBER lights, bought from another vendor, that I think is not YET a sponsor of this new great forum. I buy them from EC...Electrical Connection. The purpose of these 10watt LED lights...specifically in Yellow or Amber lens....is to get the attention of any oncoming cars/trucks, to say...HEY...do you see this light that is totally different in color than you are used to seeing? That is ME...so take note...I am here, and you should avoid hitting me.

        I have found it to be one of the best additions to my bikes...installing these simple 10watt LED Singe Shooter lights, with a Yellow or Amber film over the lens, because it shoots out a yellow or amber light, and it seriously gets the attention of the oncoming cars. Even more rmarkable, is that when I roll up behind cars in my lane, they JUMP out of the way, thinking....what is that? I better get out of the way.

        They ARE legal to have that color of light up front. Legal everywhere in North America.

        I do NOT want to use lighting in the lower cowl to light up the shoulders of the road, or to light up the road straight ahead of me for an extra mile. That is what my low beam HIDs that I bought from SoCalMotoGear are used for, and I love them. If you want to light up the shoulders of the road...or throw a billion candle power straight down the road for a mile, install those aux. lights as HIGH on the bike as you can...NOT down low.

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        • #5
          MMR-thank you for the well-thought-out explanation. I have "fog" lights in the lower cowl to ,ale me more visible to others and SoCal HID low beams. I'll pay mor attention at night and see if the fogs disguise road conditions or not when I'm alone on the road. I appreciate you filling us in on a safety issue

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          • #6
            There are a lot of riders out there who do not seem to mind blinding oncoming cars. They to not seem to grasp the concept that if they blind said driver, what is going to stop the driver from hitting them. Food for thought. I have HIDs also, but I really do not need to see a mile down the road to ride safely.
            2007 Crucible Orange Metallic
            2009 Kawasaki Red Concours 14
            AMA Life Member 0672853
            IBA Member 8846 Premier
            NRA Life Member

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RaConnol View Post
              Check out this video from some guy who likes to hang around here.
              Look for the install of the fog light switch and specifically the jumper to allow the fog lights not to be switched off with the high beams.
              At appox. 10:10 into the video.

              Rick
              The kit that I purchased did not have a jumper wire, but thanks.
              "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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              • #8
                For the record I don't have any HIDs on the bike.
                "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the responses, Kit was able to point me in the right direction and that is what is so good about a forum such as this one, there is a wealth of information and ideas from everyone. I ended up buying a jumper wire connection from Electrical Connection that is made for the fog lights to remain on in either low or high beam mode - no splicing of wires.
                  "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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                  • #10
                    I drive at night i see a lot wings and other bikes they always have both head lights and fogs on i see no problems in running with both even if the high beams are on. When i ride i want to be seen but i will say i never use my high beams, i may hit the switch once in a while but thats the only way my high beam switch would be on a start up. My next upgrade will be HIDs along with the jumper from Electrical Connection so there are no problems.
                    2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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                    • #11
                      We have a lot of deer locally, so I do try my best to be off any type of motorcycle by dusk. That is called risk management. On any given day one can take a quick run to town and see one or three or more dead deer on the shoulder of the road. Having had an argument with a deer previously and losing the fuss, I am very cautious of deer. Thing is my fuss with that deer was at 2 p.m. on a bright sunny day, I suspect that deer had not read the manual of proper actions for deer. Lol! For the most part they are out and about at night and early morning especially. So I just plan things to be arranged so I am not riding after dusk.

                      During daylight hours I run high beams exclusively. With a modulator and with the ability to use the fog lights if I want on high beams also. Although the law says this is not legal, so far no police person has taken exception to it. Not sure why they would as some of those four wheel drive vehicles have so many lights on them at night they look like an UFO. They do not bother us about lights, only for going five miles over the speed limit, they will come get you for that.

                      One thing I have noticed use of lights in the daytime do make you more visible, Use of high beams and fog lights at night work against you sometimes. If it is a clear night they do work well, if a bit foggy or rainy high beams with fogs work against you and create a glare that obscures the road. A quick switch to low beams does allow you to see better.

                      Having lights set up so you can manage the use in all conditions is a good thing. Conditions can and do change several times each day or night, so the ability to use various options is a good thing.

                      In the sea of cars with drivers with cell phones stuck in their ears, or driving with one knee while texting, anything that may make you more visible is always a good thing. Some still run into bright yellow school buses, but the majority do see you if you stand out a bit.

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                      • #12
                        Okay, I received the fog light harness kit from EC. The instructions tell you disconnect the harness that goes from the fog light wiring, to the switch and relay. Then you just plug in the EC kit. Well after a bit of thinking, I figured out what the mechanic disconnected. He disconnected the harness that leads to the fog light harness and just plugged in the switch from the box to the connector on the fog light harness bypassing the relay harness totally. And surprise, surprise, surprise the fog lights stayed on when activated in the high or low beam mode. Hope this makes sense. I have had the fog lights with this hookup for near 11 years. I have the EC kit now so I will install it. The EC kit works as it should.
                        "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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