The headlights of my Karizma are pretty useless on the highways and in the Ghats (This is probably true for most of the bikes). I realised this during the Kanyakumari trip and I was determined to do something about it as soon as I returned back to Pune. At first, I was excited to the idea of replacing the conventional halogen bulb unit with a HID kit, but when I did a cost analysis and learned about the required modifications, I scrapped the idea altogether.
The other obvious option was to get a pair extra lights fitted on either side of the bike. With enthusiasm I ordered a pair of 10w CREE LED SPOT light from Amazon here. This pair of lights perfectly fit my requirements which were as follows:-
- Voltage: 12 V (Karizma’s battery supports 12 V )
- Material: Aluminium (Lighter, stronger and anti-rust capabilities)
- Color Temperature: 4300K (Close to natural light)
- Beam Angle: 30 Degrees (Farther reach)
- Luminous intensity: The higher the better. I settled for 900 which is quite low.
Even before, I placed the order for these lights, I had started brainstorming about the how these lights should be placed on the bike. There were a few options that I had thought of:
- On the leg guard: My Karizma has an engine cover which does nothing and is there only for an aesthetic purpose, I believe. So the idea was to get rid of it and get a leg guard and then mount these lights on them. As a personal choice, I didn’t feel like getting rid of the useless engine cover. (If you are not a fan of it, I highly recommend to get rid of it and get a leg guard fitted!)
- On the engine cover: I have seen folks installing such lamps on the engine cover. However, I have seen the cover cracking with added weight of the lamps
- Front fender: Same issue as that with the engine cover
- On the fork: I couldn’t find the right sized clamps that could hold the laps in place on the forks
- On a rod below the front fairing: I planned to get a rod fabricated and then bolted to the frame that could hold the lamps on either side
With option 5, I went to see Snehal Chavan (as suggested by Sumeet Nandkishor). Snehal, though the name gives an impression of a girl, he is a genius person and you find out soon, why! I explained him the scenario and told about my plan. He patiently understood it and then suggested that instead of bolting the rod, we should weld it to the frame. I was fine with it as I will not have to worry about bolts falling off.
While the work was on, Snehal told me that he is a Motocross racer, a champion to say the least! To prove his point he should me the pictures of his trophies and online articles. He runs motorcycle customization shop named Bike Gurus for living.Both the end product of his work and his inspirational story left me completely spellbound.
The lamps are bolted in such a way that, I can make minor adjustments in all the four directions. With the lamps securely placed on the bar, it was time to get them wired. I didn’t wish to mess with the stock wiring kit for the bike. I wanted a wiring kit that included a Fuse, a Relay and a Switch in the loop. Also, I wanted it to be connected directly to the battery but the current should flow only when the ignition was turned ON. I tried looking for such a wiring kit online, but these were available only on oversea websites.
So with this fixed requirement, I visited Nana-Peth and fortunately meet Mr Saqib who got the point and executed the task perfectly, just what I thought of! I wanted a push button switch with an indicator that would tell me when the lamps were ON. I got this switch fixed inside the front fairing which was not a good idea. The switch is easy to operate only when I am not wearing the riding gloves.
As I mentioned before, I got the lamps placed on the bike with the thought that I will use them only on highways. But short test rides in the city and I was convinced they should be turned ON for every night ride irrespective of city or highway. I have made sure the beams light up the road and do not blind the oncoming traffic. These lamps light up the road marking, sign boards and reflectors from other vehicles nicely, though at dark roads they give a ghostly feeling. The yellowish light from the stock headlamp fills up gap between the 2 beams, completing the setup.
I have been using them every night for 6 months now and they were a life saver during the night ride back from Ganpatipule. Having a well-lit road before you increases the safety quotient and helps you to go fast confidently. It also makes you more visible and recognisable on the road wherein the other motorist surely take a note of you.
Suggested links to read:-
- Snehal Chavan (Bike Gurus): 98908-20024
- Saqib (Bike electrician – Nana Peth, Pune): 70307-77307