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Switching to LEDs

This area is for sharing Maintenance Procedures & Information related to the Yamaha Virago Electrical System.

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Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Switching to LEDs

Post by Michelle » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:58 pm

Hi everyone. I'm fully expecting some awesome advice from Joe here (and others) with regards changing out our old normal bulbs on all our lights and going to LEDs. That's headlight, brake light, and even the indicators.
Thing with the indicators is that because they share a common "on dash" turn signal bulb, they can do all kinds of strange things when you begin to mess with the total wattage of the bulbs in the circuit. But I am told by Joe that going LED is very nice for the stator as it reduces its load.
Another reason for going to LEDs is that (in Australia at least) I am having trouble finding aftermarket turn signal indicators that are 21 watts (the recommended wattage for my bike) The ones I keep getting from China are 10 watts and my indicators flash very slowly with a 21 watt rear indicator and a 10 watt front indicator.
I have heard from some Virago owners that have changed to LEDs that if it's just the headlight or rear light, then LEDs cause no issues. But if it's the turn signal indicators, many strange things can happen. One Virago owner has his indicators flashing madly. Another has them all going like hazard lights regardless of him pressing the button left or right.
So what to do? :?
I have recently heard of the Sylvania LED Load Equalizer. These will act as a resistor and stop the hyper-flashing that is often associated with using LEDs and you can still use the old stock flashing relay.
Here's a link to a Youtube vid of how they work, and I look forwards to reading what Joe has to add upon this subject as the LED conversion is looking more and more attractive and worthwhile.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz_qw1i0--E
1988 XV400 Virago
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ViragoJoe
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Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by ViragoJoe » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:33 pm

Michelle,
Headlight and Tail/Brake light were successful for me. Now, the Turn Signals and Hazard Warning lights are a different story when trying to switch to LED's. I've tired utilizing the load resistors as shown in the video you provided. For some strange reason that I still haven't resolved yet. It didn't work for me. Yet on other motorcycles it works. I can only assume that the electronic flasher relay for some reason doesn't like that configuration setup. Maybe someone else has had better results and chimes in. I did save on the power draw from the Headlight and the 2 bulbs that were in my Tail/Brake light. If you decide to replace the rear Tail/Brake light bulbs to LED's use RED LED's. They will show up better than White LED's.

Also, those load resistors get plenty HOT even if they work properly. So, one has to be careful where they are mounted.

LED HEADLIGHT BULB DIY INSTALLATION:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=828
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

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Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by Michelle » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:56 am

Ok. let's begin with replacing the old OEM headlight bulb and rear light and brake light.
My headlight is 12V 55w/60w
Taillight is 12V 5w
Brake light 12V 27w

These are OEM factory standard for my XV400.

A NOTE of CAUTION: I did read an article advising that the main headlight of a bike should NOT be changed to LEDs. The reason given was an LED gives a different kind of light, seemingly brighter, but more diffuse and not as penetrating into the dark. Then again, another article says LEDs perform better then OEM standard bulbs and even had a comparison YouTube video. I suppose opinions just vary, but automotive LEDs are becoming more popular.

I've just been on eBay and now I realise I need help to get the right bulbs for this conversion. There are many different types. :?
There also seems to be a little bit of add-on wiring. HALP! :o :lol:
1988 XV400 Virago
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Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:06 am

Michelle wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:56 am
Ok. let's begin with replacing the old OEM headlight bulb and rear light and brake light.
My headlight is 12V 55w/60w
Taillight is 12V 5w
Brake light 12V 27w

These are OEM factory standard for my XV400.

A NOTE of CAUTION: I did read an article advising that the main headlight of a bike should NOT be changed to LEDs. The reason given was an LED gives a different kind of light, seemingly brighter, but more diffuse and not as penetrating into the dark. Then again, another article says LEDs perform better then OEM standard bulbs and even had a comparison YouTube video. I suppose opinions just vary, but automotive LEDs are becoming more popular.

I've just been on eBay and now I realise I need help to get the right bulbs for this conversion. There are many different types. :?
There also seems to be a little bit of add-on wiring. HALP! :o :lol:
Michelle,
This LED bulb works great for me and is super bright in the dark. It even lights up around the sides of the bike like spot lights do, without the need of spot lights.

LED HEADLIGHT BULB DIY INSTALLATION:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=828

No additional wiring. it's plug and play! Notice the 3 pronged plug in the picture.

Picture of the LED shining brightly and it isn't even dark yet. Photo provided by the guy who made me aware that this bulb even existed back in 2015:
LIGHT01.jpg
LIGHT01.jpg (13.98 KiB) Viewed 590 times
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
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Michelle
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Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by Michelle » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:27 am

Looked it up, Joe, and can't find it on eBay. Also I read a review that the fan is kinda loud, not that I imagine it could be heard on a Virago when the engine is going.
Also... My headlight is open at the rear where the wires all go in, so would rain be a problem for the LED bulb and fan?
And for comparison, what wattage does that LED bulb pull?
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ViragoJoe
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Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:33 am

Michelle wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:27 am
Looked it up, Joe, and can't find it on eBay. Also I read a review that the fan is kinda loud, not that I imagine it could be heard on a Virago when the engine is going.
Also... My headlight is open at the rear where the wires all go in, so would rain be a problem for the LED bulb and fan?
And for comparison, what wattage does that LED bulb pull?
Can't here the fan. Been caught in the ran, no issue with the opening in the rear of the headlight bucket. If there was, your connections inside would have shorted out by now! :shock: :lol:, Plus, that opening in the headlight bucket will allow the heat generated by the on board chip of the LED bulb to dissipate. The fan is to keep the chip cool.

Current draw 18-24 watts. Big difference from 55/60 watts. The Halogen bulb I had was a 65/70 watt. Much brighter than the standard bulb. However, the LED is brighter yet! Halogen bulbs have that yellow hue to them. The LED is a bright white in comparison.

Try this link for the bulb. Found on Amazon not Ebay:
https://www.amazon.com/18W-24W-Motorcyc ... B00ZBLRZP6
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by Michelle » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:07 am

Found one. Amazon does not ship the item to Australia, so went with eBay.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/COB-H4-24W- ... SwLSZb4pC2
This is rated at 12W low beam and 18W high beam which seems fine to me as I don't want to be blinding oncoming cars.
Could you let me know what you are using in your rear lights please, Joe?
:)
1988 XV400 Virago
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ViragoJoe
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Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:20 am

Michelle wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:07 am
Found one. Amazon does not ship the item to Australia, so went with eBay.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/COB-H4-24W- ... SwLSZb4pC2
This is rated at 12W low beam and 18W high beam which seems fine to me as I don't want to be blinding oncoming cars.
Could you let me know what you are using in your rear lights please, Joe?
:)
Your LED Headlight bulb looks pretty similar to the one I have. You are aware, that you can adjust the angle of the beam, Uprward/Downward and Side to Side. There are adjustment screws on the headlight. Refer to your manual. If you would like, I can take a picture of my Headlight adjustment screws and attach the picture to this posting.
I thought I would just post the pictures. Hope, this helps.

Click Images to Enlarge and get proper Orientation:
Bottom Left around 7 O'clock
20190603_074702.jpg
Top Right at around 1 O'clock
20190603_074725.jpg
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

User avatar
Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by Michelle » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:52 am

I do know about the adjustment screws :D Though I do find all the wires and plugs behind the light can sometimes cause it to not sit properly. It's just a matter of playing around with the wires till everything sits comfortably. Or I could move all that wiring and plugs to a tool bag hung just below the headlight. I have heard some have done that with good reviews.
Anyhow, when you can, let me know what LEDs you used in your rear lights ;)
1988 XV400 Virago
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ViragoJoe
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Re: Switching to LEDs

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:10 am

Michelle wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:52 am
I do know about the adjustment screws :D Though I do find all the wires and plugs behind the light can sometimes cause it to not sit properly. It's just a matter of playing around with the wires till everything sits comfortably. Or I could move all that wiring and plugs to a tool bag hung just below the headlight. I have heard some have done that with good reviews.
Anyhow, when you can, let me know what LEDs you used in your rear lights ;)
Been awhile, don't recall where exactly I got them, however, similar to these. Can be found cheaper on the internet:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinf ... gJ0DPD_BwE

You can even find these LED's that will strobe several times to catch the drivers eye behind you and then stays on steady after strobing.

If required, by all means move the wires. Putting the LED bulb in with all the wiring and connectors in the headlight bucket is a tight squeeze with all the wiring in there.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

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