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Extra Turn Signal Indicators
By Chet Walters
This works on Honda Valkyrie Standard & Tourer models only.

Ok, folks. Just what about is the most useless item on your bike? I'd say the "stand light." A perfectly good waste of a fairly bright LED in full view at all times right there in your face (tach face, that is). What is a common complaint about the Valkyrie? Poor feedback by the indicator lights in the headlight, specifically, the turn signal indicator. Plus, if you look at FIGURE FOUR, I can't even see my indicator, but I won't give up my "tour" bag. So... poor feedback from the stock setup and a good bright LED that's doing NOTHING 100% of the time you're actually riding. So let's put these to work for us with a BONUS! This will make your front turn signals a little brighter when they are working, too! This is fairly easy to do since all these wires live inside the headlight.

This mod works on four premises. 1) The fact that on Hondas, when you switch on a turn signal, the running light on that side gets switched off. 2) A "hot" wire will act as a ground wire when it's switched off. 3) Diodes conduct current (and ground) in one direction only. 4) You have a perfectly good but unused LED that requires ground to emit light.

TIME: 60 minutes


4 - 1K 2.5A diodes (Radio Shack 276-1114)
weather resistant electrical tape
Heat shrink tubing
Soldering iron

QUICKLY FOR THE EXPERT: Isolating the front running light circuits with diodes, tie them onto the stand light so they act as ground when the signals are on and running lights off while at the same time feed current to them from the signal circuits so the ground will be intermittent causing the stand indicator LED to blink inversely with the blinkers.

QUICKLY FOR THE MOTORHEADS: See the drawing. We use diodes to allow the running light wires to act as ground for the stand light when the running lights get switched off as the turn signals get switched on. Because we'd like the new turn signal indicator light to blink instead of emit steadily, we use diodes to feed the intermittent blinker current to the running light circuit so that it will interrupt the switched off ground properties inversely as the blinker blinks. Since these circuits must be kept isolated, two diodes are used to tie in the single ground for the new indicator and two diodes separately tie in the left/right blinker circuits.
NOTE: this is a "layman's" drawing which shows only the various parts and connections. It is intentional that there are no electronic symbols used.

FOR THE REST OF US: Prepare for installation by pre-soldering your ground pigtail as shown in FIGURE ONE being very conscious of the way the gray band on the diodes is oriented (they should be AWAY from the single joint). Before you proceed, note that it is important to carefully tape up or heat shrink all the wires and diode leads so that there is no chance of a short circuit.

Disconnect the negative battery terminal as a precaution at this time. Remove your headlight rim by removing the phillips screws located at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock on the rim. Placing your hand on the top of the rim to hold it in place, pull outward on the bottom of the rim to release. Holding the rim, unplug the headlamp and set the rim aside. Loosen the clips that hold the harnesses in place.

Pull the off-white connector so it is accessible (See FIGURE TWO) and locate the wire that is YELLOW w/ black trace (it's in a corner of the connector) which is the ground wire for the stand light. Strip a little so the wire is bare and solder the single lead of your pigtail. Tape it up good. Attach the other two ends of the pigtail, one each, to the running light wires (Left is ORANGE w/ white trace and right is BLUE w/ white trace). See FIGURE THREE for the easiest way to splice into a bullet connector without using solder. That's an easy way to do it and you can also easily remove it if you need to.

If you want your stand light to be a steady indicator, you can tape it up and button it up now, but if you want it to blink... Before you button that up with tape or plug it back in, jump your blinker wires so the new indicator will blink. With diodes, according to the drawing, jump the SOLID ORANGE to the ORANGE w/ white trace wire. Make sure that the diode is oriented with the gray band TOWARD the ORANGE w/ white trace wire. Do the same with the SOLID BLUE wire and the BLUE w/ white trace wire orienting the diode as above.

Tape it all up good (speaking of tape, check FIGURE FIVE for a hint on how to ease your use of electrical tape) and give it the smoke test. Sit on your bike and turn on the key. You'll see the stand light works as it always did (the stand switch merely grounds the LED). Raise the stand and the stand light goes out just as before (this light really defines the term idiot light does it not?) Put on a blinker. The stand light will now blink inversely with the blinker (making it a not so idiot light) because the running light circuits act as intermittent ground for the stand LED! As an added bonus, since both of your front light filaments are now blinking instead of just one, your front signals are a little brighter in contrast.

NOTES: If you have our fourways installed, when you put on the fourways, your stand light, oil light and neutral indicator light will blink when the fourways are on since there is some current leak within the tach circuitry. This will harm nothing, gives you feedback that your fourways are on, and will go away when you turn on the key). If you have a RIVCO light bar installed and you have followed the instructions with the light bar and have tied together your left and right running light circuits, this will not work. I have no idea why RIVCO tells you to hook up the light bar this way, but you can fix it. Untie your running light circuits and isolate them again. Tie the light bar into a COFFEE WITH CREAM BROWN wire and everything will work just fine again. If you have any modules installed which make your signals and/or running lights act in any way other than stock (like brake lights or some such) this may not work and may damage that circuit. If you also have load equalizers or some such, same may be true. Use caution. This is for stock lights only and has been tested with only stock lights.

You can use any polarity unspecific 12 volt light to act as a turn signal indicator. Decide on a good place to mount the light and run one lead to the SOLID ORANGE left turn signal wire and run the other lead to the SOLID BLUE right turn signal wire. This works on the same principle that a "hot" wire acts as ground when it's not carrying current itself. When your left blinker is on, it feeds current the lamp and the right signal circuit acts as ground since it's cold. When the right blinker is on, the opposite is true. This is actually how your woefully inadequate stock blinker indicator light works, but you will choose a much brighter and better located light, right?? You can't use an LED here or some neon lamps because they are polarity specific. Radio Shack carries many types of 12 volt lamps for you to use in this application.

If you have wired the stand light to act as your TS indicator, you can then use the old indicator for another purpose. You may want to use it to let you know that one of your added accessories is on and working. At the old indicator on the lamp side of the green six pin plug inside the headlight, cut the SOLID ORANGE and the SOLID BLUE between the green plug and the old TS indicator. Insulate separately the plug side wires then hook the SOLID BLUE TS indicator lead to your accessory's +12v supply lead (the one that's hot when the accessory is on which would normally be between the accessory and its switch). Where you hook up the SOLID ORANGE lead from the lamp will determine what it does for you. It can be lit to let you know your accessory is on and dark when it's off (like your hi beam indicator), or the opposite so it is lit when your accessory is off and dark when it is on (which could be a safety feature in that it will light up to let you know you've forgotten to turn on your light bar or some such).

One advantage to doing this first it that you will have easy leads to the TS circuits for your diodes.

To indicate an accessory is on: hook the SOLID ORANGE lead to ground. When your accessory is on, the lamp will be lit and when the accessory is off, the lamp will be dark.

To indicate an accessory is off: hook the SOLID ORANGE to any +12v source that is hot when the key is on (use a COFFEE WITH CREAM BROWN wire). This method works on the principle that a "hot" wire acts as ground when it's not carrying current itself. The "key on" +12v will do nothing to the lamp until the accessory is turned off at which time the lamp will be lit. But when the accessory is on, the lamp will be dark since no current flows (current flows like water from higher voltage to lower voltage). This may be a better solution in some cases since a constantly lit lamp may be distracting when used as an indicator for an accessory like a light bar that is mostly on instead of mostly off.

Thanks to Joe Engle for this unique idea on another use of the TS indicator.

Make your original brighter!

All you need do is change your original wiring to the wiring above and your old turn signal bulb will be about 20% brighter.

Questions? Contact Chet at Chet says 'Be sure to write!'

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