Change out Hotbodies undertail lights to brighter/safer lights - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Change out Hotbodies undertail lights to brighter/safer lights

This mod is for the newest style Hotbodies undertail that is currently being made by Hotbodies. I have not performed the mod on any other type of undertail so I cannot verify that it works.

Thanks to breal1028 for pictures.

As anyone who has experience with the Hotbodies undertail for the RC51 knows that the taillights are dangerously dim. The undertail looks fantastic on the bike but if you want to ride on the street you will have to do something about lighting. I know here in Maine my bike would not pass inspection because the lights were too dim.

Here I will show you how to change out Hotbodies undertail lights for much brighter & safer lights while retaining the same look of the undertail:

In this write up I will assume that the Hotbodies undertail lights have already been installed and you know where to hook up each wire. If not, refer to the wiring diagram in the service manual for proper wires.

Here is a list of what you will need:
2x 1.85 Universal round LED cluster with RED primary and Yellow Secondary LED http://www.customled.com/products/ro...d_clusters.htm
2x 4-Wire Conversion pack to allow run/brake light operation
http://www.customled.com/products/ro...d_clusters.htm
1x I used a flasher relay to allow combinations of LED’s and normal bulbs to retain stock blinker rate:
http://www.customled.com/products/fl...youtRegion1LYR
A heat gun (not your girlfriends hair dryer) Wal-Mart sells them.
Tube of clear silicon. If you are picky you can buy the high temp stuff. Also, at Wal-Mart
I used solder and shrink tubing for all connections as I hate the clutter of connectors. If you do not have experience with soldering I suggest using butt connectors; you can buy them at any local store that carries automotive stuff:
If using connectors you will obviously need a crimping tool. Again, any place that sells automotive stuff:
A dremel tool with a large cutting wheel and a small sanding drum. Both accessories come with practically every dremel tool.

PS- if you have damaged your lenses and want a fresh set, these fit exact into the undertail. Price is much better than the 40 dollars for a new set from Hotbodies. I have verified:
http://www.foxtaillights.com/pmc-m146c.html


Let’s move on. First thing you will need to do is disconnect the battery then remove your tail fairing to get better access to your undertail.

Disconnect all connections from the Hotbodies lights to the bike’s wiring harness freeing the undertail from the bike. Next, remove the undertail.

The lights are held into the tail with clear silicon. Take your heatgun and apply heat to the inside of the tail lights working on one light at a time. As you are heating the silicon push the light with your thumb from the outside of the tail in. Once you apply enough heat the light assemblies should push right through with little effort.

Now comes the precision part. The lights are glued into the clear lenses and must be cut out. Using your dremel, use a large cutting wheel and cut through the black plastic making a circle. This cut does not need to look pretty. Just make sure that you do not touch the clear plastic with the cutting wheel. You also do not need to be very close to the edge of the light.


Once you cut through the black plastic in a circle you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry out the old led assembly. I use the word “pry” loosely. If you are trying to use a lot of effort STOP! You need to cut a bit more and it should come out with little effort.

Now that the LED’s are out you can attach your small sanding drum to your dremel and begin sanding away the black plastic closer to the edge of the clear plastic housing. Do not sand all the way to the edge. You will want to leave approximately 1/16 of an inch of the black plastic. Test fit one of your LED clusters into your lens. Nothing should catch and it should be a nice fit. If the fit is poor carefully sand until the fit is proper.



Now that both lenses are cut for the clusters it is time to install the LED’s. Start by connecting the 4-wire conversion onto the cluster’s red wire. (I cut the red wire short from the cluster as the 4-wire conversion gives you a lot of wire).

Expose approximately 3/8 of an inch of wire from all wires coming from the cluster using your crimping tool. I used a 9v square battery to light the cluster LED’s for alignment. If you know how to solder it comes in handy. I temporarily soldered the black (neg) wire to the negative terminal of the 9v battery and soldered the red (pos) wire to the positive terminal of the battery. This allows for the red LED’s to illuminate so I could align the LED pattern with the writing on the lenses.

If you look closely you can see the word (TOP) on the lenses. Insert the illuminated cluster into the lens and line it up how you want it. The key here is just make sure both clusters are lined up in the same manner. Once you got it where you want it take a black marker and mark the edge of the cluster and the edge of the lens for re-alignment. Do this with both.



Now comes time to mount the LED’s in the lens itself. Re-align your marks then use clear silicon to seal up the LED’s and lens. You will want to completely cover the back of the LED cluster with silicon to avoid allowing water to enter. I put a bit of clear silicon around the base of the wires as well. Don’t be shy with the silicon. Better to use to much then too little. (no one will see it anyhow)

I suggest leaving the clusters alone for 24 hours to allow the silicon to completely cure.

Come back the next day and inspect the lights. Make sure the seal is good and there are no areas where water can get in.

Let’s mount those bitches I suggest temporarily mounting the undertail to the bike during install for alignment purposes. Connect all appropriate wires before mounting the lights in the cutouts. TIP: you do not need to connect wires separately for each brake light (front and rear) as both are triggered when either one is activated. You also only need to connect to one ground so you have options as far as wiring goes.


Reconnect your battery and turn off your kill switch. Turn the key on and watch the magic happen!! Now insert the lights into the undertail making sure both are aligned the same and everything is working properly. Once you are satisfied put a line of silicon around the base of the housings then insert them into the holes of the undertail. Align everything and let cure for 24hrs.

Install tail fairing and your DONE!!! Congrats, now ride!

|--Honda Racing----| | | '|";,__.
|_..._...__________| |_|_|.....,]
"(@)'(@)""""*|(@)(@)*****(@)

Last edited by Andrew; 08-12-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Here is finished product (tire is off for change) The blinkers are especially brilliant

Running Lights:


Brake Lights:


Blinker Light:

|--Honda Racing----| | | '|";,__.
|_..._...__________| |_|_|.....,]
"(@)'(@)""""*|(@)(@)*****(@)

Last edited by Andrew; 05-01-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 07:53 PM
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how much does it cost to do i would be willing to do it
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 08:16 PM
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Nice write up. I did this mod too, except that I didn't have much luck getting the old LED clusters out of the clear lens. I ended up having some custom cut Plexi-glass circles cut at Tapp Plastics, then found some rubber grommets to glue on the back of the plexi-glass to hold the Custom LED clusters in.

It worked well if you were 20' behind the bike, but if closer, the LED's were to recessed in to see.

05 RC51

08 CBR 1000 (sold)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike07450 View Post
how much does it cost to do i would be willing to do it
It is right around 100 bucks. Pricey I know but CustomLED is quite proud of their lights. Unfortunately I could not find a cheaper alternative. The end result is worth it and makes riding much safer. Overall, I think it is worth it.

|--Honda Racing----| | | '|";,__.
|_..._...__________| |_|_|.....,]
"(@)'(@)""""*|(@)(@)*****(@)
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponch 7M4 View Post
Nice write up. I did this mod too, except that I didn't have much luck getting the old LED clusters out of the clear lens. I ended up having some custom cut Plexi-glass circles cut at Tapp Plastics, then found some rubber grommets to glue on the back of the plexi-glass to hold the Custom LED clusters in.

It worked well if you were 20' behind the bike, but if closer, the LED's were to recessed in to see.
Thank you. I damaged my lights as well the first time I did the mod. I could not find a write up anywhere about it so that is why I decided to do one. Trial and error on the first light. The second light came out perfectly. I ended up ordering these (http://www.foxtaillights.com/pmc-m146c.html) and re-doing the process. Came out perfect.

|--Honda Racing----| | | '|";,__.
|_..._...__________| |_|_|.....,]
"(@)'(@)""""*|(@)(@)*****(@)
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:57 AM
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Wanna du a mod like this ASAP .. Po had flush mount f&r turn signals (ugly yet bright) and a huge led taillight , I have a new set of fairings and the undertail , jus have to drill out the spot holes for the lights .. Plz direct me in how to complete this task to get these results as u did , I'm in SoCal


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JonPowerShift View Post
Wanna du a mod like this ASAP .. Po had flush mount f&r turn signals (ugly yet bright) and a huge led taillight , I have a new set of fairings and the undertail , jus have to drill out the spot holes for the lights .. Plz direct me in how to complete this task to get these results as u did , I'm in SoCal


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Sounds like you will need to cut the holes using a 2 inch hole saw. I would cut into something that doesn't matter first to test fit the lights in the holes as I have never done it for these lights. You will want to buy the Peterson lights I mentioned then you will have to cut the backing off as described above.

|--Honda Racing----| | | '|";,__.
|_..._...__________| |_|_|.....,]
"(@)'(@)""""*|(@)(@)*****(@)

Last edited by Andrew; 05-02-2013 at 08:23 PM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 09:20 PM
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The Peterson lights are the lights that u mentioned in the beginning of this post?


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:55 PM
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Well, had to place an order for these lights tonight. These ar not cheap. I'm out $130 bucks plus the soldering kit I got for$75 and a tub of clear silicone for $5 totaling about $210 for this project. I had no choice but to replace mine. It isn't due brightness issue but rather the wires keep working its way out to where I just can't shove it back in for it to work any longer. Below are couple of pics of my light. Mine does not look like the one you are dismentaling above though. It is filled with some super hard plastic. Needless to say I could not get to the wire for a proper soldering so had to scrap it. There goes my fund for the 520 chain conversion....



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