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Thread: Aux lighting system options

  1. #1

    Default Aux lighting system options

    I'm just getting my '48 Chief on the road and I am going to put a few miles on it. Given all the distracted boneheads on the road today, I want to add some easily removable aux lights and a horn to make the ride a bit safer. One option is adding a 12v generator and being done with it, but I sort of like keeping things as original as possible, and they work well as is anyway. A second option I'm thinking through is to a license plate mounted LED brake light, some front aux lights made for a motorcycle, and a SoundBomb horn from Denali, and wire them up to a small but powerful 12v aux battery (like these https://antigravitybatteries.com/pro...es/small-case/). I could run nice original looking wires and easily remove it at any time. My math indicates the battery would give me enough juice for several hours of riding and I could then recharge it in between rides. The LED lights only draw an amp or two, though the horn draws a very short peak of 20 amps.

    What do you think of the last option? And do people have any better ideas for adding aux lighting to these bikes without upgrading to 12v?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
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    354

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    LEDs certainly open up options for adding light to a 6 volt system though not sure what all might be available in 6 volt at this time. Not much I know of in a prepackaged plug and play light. You may have to get creative fitting LED bulbs in 12 volt housings depending how concerned you are with aesthetics.
    Certainly carrying a 12 volt battery that powers lights/horn is an option but that would get old pretty quick, but that's just me. I tend to focus more on details that make the bike reliable.

    There are MANY self contained battery powered options if you look at what is available for bicycle lighting. That might be easier and cheaper.

    If you want to make yourself visible, a green high vis vest with reflective stripes will probably do as much or more to make you seen as adding lights will. As far as a louder horn, I substitute the old half peace sign.
    Last edited by Skirted; 10-08-2019 at 03:09 PM.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    4,178

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    I'm thinking along the same lines as Lipdog for a few of my early bikes that I may want to ride on the road. Early generators were barely adequate in their day, and very difficult, and expensive to rebuild today, and you would still stuck with a weak generator. I like the idea of a small battery that can be concealed, and recharged that would power brighter, modern LED lights. The Anti gravity battery is way out of my price range so I would be more inclined to a lithium type emergency light battery that you can easily get at a WalMart. My bikes all run on magnetos, so I'm stuck with that, but I think I would rather let a battery power my lights, and let the generator ride for free, and just look pretty
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
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    4,342

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    ...generators were barely adequate in their day, and very difficult, and expensive to rebuild today, and you would still stuck with a weak generator...
    I gotta call BS on that one!

    How did these machines become the legendary icons we have revered for generations?

    ...Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    23

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    Lipdog

    I ride my J all around the Minneapolis area here and have a Magneto. I use these lights front and back. The first link is the lights / batteries. The second is the lens diffuser to scatter the light correctly for a full field of vision.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/Bright-Eyes-3...ZR4G6WC439SKY3

    They mount quick, last all day, and the battery can be tucked out of the way.

    It's cheap enough too where if you don't like them you can turn them into handy shop lights...

    My experience with the antigravity battery is they don't work for shite in total loss systems. Wired up a CR250 for the road and it took one ride for the battery to be depleted. The battery wouldn't take a charge after that. But I'm an electrical idiot so don't take my word for it. I prefer two wires on a bike, lead wires to sparkplugs.

    Get these old bikes out on the road, there's enough in museums/collections where people can't see them. I always have a conversation (for better or worse) when I roll out to the local motorcycle meet ups with old iron.
    Last edited by whp; 10-09-2019 at 10:11 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Howdy chaps,

    You can now source 6 volt LED bulbs for the more popular base configurations, the folks supplying magneto parts have an advert in the AMCA mag. This does not help those running sealed beam headlights, so look into bicycle lights. With the growing popularity of night time off-road racing one can have twin broad spread beams every bit as powerful as a car with the battery clamped to the seat post.

    6 volt light is to mellow and organic, blending in with its surroundings, I want something annoying and attention getting so have used this for years on my 48, mainly in the dash-dot flash configuration to get driverís attention. Small and compact, unclip and put in the tool bag, recharges on a USB. Can also run for hours at 850 lumens steady, brighter than any period lighting, and invaluable on my magneto lit Vespa on the ring road at Barber Motorsports Park at night this weekend which is dark as pitch. Also use small compact retina detaching LED taillights that can be toggled red or clear and USB charged.




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    I gotta call BS on that one!

    How did these machines become the legendary icons we have revered for generations?

    ...Cotten
    I'm not talking about 32E, or Autolite generators, which are pretty good by today's standards. My Hendersons used the extremely rare General Electric generator (which I have) but they are heavy, and were not well applied to '17-'19 Hens. My '16 Harley used the Remy generator and electrical distribution unit that is also very rare, problematic, and not dependable. There are still plenty of talented magneto rebuilders so early bikes can be depended on for ignition. It's the lights that need to be bright for safety.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I'm not talking about 32E, or Autolite generators, which are pretty good by today's standards. My Hendersons used the extremely rare General Electric generator (which I have) but they are heavy, and were not well applied to '17-'19 Hens. My '16 Harley used the Remy generator and electrical distribution unit that is also very rare, problematic, and not dependable. There are still plenty of talented magneto rebuilders so early bikes can be depended on for ignition. It's the lights that need to be bright for safety.
    So what was Lipdog talking about, Eric?

    It always "triggers" me when someone snivels about the very same hardware we venerate.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #9

    Default

    Go down to local bicycle shop or Walmart and get clip on bicycle warning lights as suggested, lets you keep original as you wish and AA batteries last for hours. Unfortunately there is no safety bubble wrap to protect you from boneheads so best practice defensive riding skills like riders been doing for years. Ride safe.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    Can you see me now?

    ....Cotten
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    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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