Brake Light Mod

While working on the bike I had noted the rear brake light isn’t standard and just an old Britax one from a trailer. Even worse the bulb holder isn’t properly seated so it rests against the lens and is starting to make a mess of it. I looked into buying an original(ish) one but they aren’t cheap for the whole unit and as the rear mudguard has been cut I doubt it would fit anyway. There is LED kit for it but again that would end up with me spending almost £101.40 for a rear brake light.

So I asked if anyone had tried to make one and I got told it isn’t worth the effort etc. That lead me to think OK, I will just buy a tidy looking cheap one from China to replace the one I have and for £3.50, I did. It arrived and was much smaller than I would have preferred.

Sod it I thought, let us have a go at making one. I dug out some LEDs I had bought for a project and set to the task of making an insert to hold the LEDs. A bit of measurement here and some Illustrator there I had a fairly good idea of what I was after, I did design it to have even more LEDs but I only had 20 so had to reduce it down a bit.

I am able to cheat a little as I have a Chinese 40W laser cutter and some Perspex that can be used. It took 3 runs to cut all the way through but it is a nice neat cut and does the job.

The LEDs aren’t standard shape therefore I used a hotglue gun to stick them in place. Its not neat but this is more a proof of concept.

Now time to tidy the wiring up.

Then add pick which ones I wanted to use for standard tail and brake.

I soldered the wires and then used some Wago connectors to go on the end. They have a nice latching system and it means easy removal if it doesn’t work. They are also rated enough for the task I want.

A quick fit to the bike, and time to test.

Then fitted its even better.

FYI the LEDs I had have all got little resistors so they run fine on 12V. I may have another go with a neater solution later. I could possibly use some of the LED strips you can buy.

My Location History 2019

While looking about on Reddit today I spotted an interesting post and it made me want to look at my own Google Location History as a heat map. I downloaded my history from Google and fed it into here,

Below is a general map it produces based upon the 2,782,249 datapoints I added.

But if you zoom into the map you can get a bit more detail. I did this but I had to use photoshop to stitch the tiles together but that was quite therapeutic for me. (link to imgur file if it is easier)

This then leads me on to think, I need to do more exploring of the UK. My challenge for 2020 is to get some colour into those places in the UK I haven’t taken a smartphone with GPS before.

Phone Holder – Quad Lock

With the new bike, I am searching for a navigation solution. The KLR has the Garmin Zumo550 but there is an issue with the cradle and I can’t seem to find any other ones about. I might be tempted by newer satellite navigation devices but its a big spend for a something I just for use on the bike. I use Waze on the phone when driving the car and at work so I started to look at a way to hold the phone on the bike.

With the Black Friday deals the other day I spotted a deal on the Quad Lock phone holders. The system they use has been recommended to me via several friends so I took the opportunity to order one. It isn’t cheap but it is rare to find something to mount a mobile phone to the handlebars of a motorcycle securely.

They make holders for quite a few different phones but my Note8 is no longer on the list so I opted for the universal fit, but somehow I managed to click something wrong so I ended up with the case for a Note9 which fits close enough to be happy.

Fitting is rather straight forward and I do like that they have some thread lock type stuff on the bolts to reduce the risk of the bolts coming out/loose. This kit comes with all the bits and tools for fitting it, even different rubber things for going over the bars. The hardest bit was finding a location where the phone wouldn’t fowl the screen etc. I haven’t been for a ride yet to test it as it was dark by the time I was done.

I have somewhere in a storage box a 12V to USB (fast charge) that I will fit on the bike at a later date so that I can charge it as I ride along.