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1994 Versys 650
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in installing LED bulbs in my recently purchased 2014 Versys 650abs. Will I need to install some sort of resistor or just plug them in? Do you have any advice on the procedure? I'd also like to use an LED bulb in the taillight. Same question. Also, do you have any suggestions on what brand you've used?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Taillight LED conversion is plug and play.

Turn signals are a different story and will depend on what you buy. Some come with resistors and some don't. Some may require you to make other changes. Research the product before you buy. If you are only installing bulbs then you will need an LED flasher relay or resistors for each bulb.

If you use the SEARCH feature of this site, you will find tons of information on this topic.
 

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Adding the resistor to a led light defeats part of the reason to go to led, lower current draw. The better way to upgrade to led signal lights is to replace the flasher unit also. You can get a led compatible flasher that flashes based on time not current draw. I just did led headlights on my 2013 Versys 650, but haven't got a chance to ride it at night yet. It comes stock with a led tail, brake light assembly.
 

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You also need to keep in mind that reducing the current draw may or may not be a good thing. If you added other electrical accessories then maybe good. .
These charging systems are not like a normal car alternator with a variable field voltage to control output. The AC current generated in a permanent magnet system like most motorcycles use is controlled solely by RPM. The rectifier/regulator converts it to ideally 14v DC and dissipates any excess as heat through the internal shunt resistor circuitry to ground, thus the fins,,, Engineers calculate load and design the stator to put out enough to run the bike and keep the battery charged. Lowering the normal draw can cause the rectifier to work harder... If it burns out the shunt resistor circuitry, the battery becomes the load resistor and can boil dry. Unexplained frequent battery replacements are one sign. The internal shunt resistor circuitry can't be tested. Have to replace the R/R and wait... . So try to keep the load close to factory amount. If you added heated grips etc, then by all means LEDs could be good.
 

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I'll add those same engineers did their calculations with stock gearing, changing sprockets or tire size can also affect charging output. Lowering cruise rpm may make LEDs a good thing. An onboard voltage monitor may be the best idea, I'd expect it to drop slightly sitting at a stoplight with the normally off brake light and turn signals going.

Edit: LED brake and tail lights would be good, I switched some of my car's bulbs to LED, setting the alarm with the remote flashes the lights, The LED bulbs light noticeably faster than the incandescent bulbs. Could be the difference between the guy behind you hitting you or stopping 6" from your rear fender.,,
 

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And maybe it won't make much difference, the normal running lights are only around 15 to 20 watts total.. LED headlights or driving lights vs incandescent are a much larger change.
 

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All good points 9094. We can always count on you for an in-depth analysis.
I was about to make a comment on the relatively low draw and low usage of incandescent turn signals, but you beat me to it with your last post.
 

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Adding the resistor to a led light defeats part of the reason to go to led, lower current draw. The better way to upgrade to led signal lights is to replace the flasher unit also. You can get a led compatible flasher that flashes based on time not current draw. I just did led headlights on my 2013 Versys 650, but haven't got a chance to ride it at night yet. It comes stock with a led tail, brake light assembly.
Retort #1- Changing a turn signal relay is not always possible these days. For instance, it was on my '07 Yamaha FJR but not on my '13 FJR. There isn't one. The turn signals are controlled by the dash computer. Yes, this bike has 2 computers- one for the engine and one for other.

Retort #2- I did not replace my rear lighting for less current draw, this was not even a consideration for me as I have more current generation from the stock setup than I'll ever need or use. I did it strictly for brightness and the sharp on/off given by LEDs. The FJR stock rear lighting is a bit anemic. I also added additional LED rear lighting and reflectors as about 40% of my riding is in the dark. Also, aside, I did install a voltage monitor. My bike at idle with incandescent high beams on and grip heaters at medium generates 13.8 volts, measured at the battery terminals. At 4K rpm it jumps up to 14.0. The days of crappy charging systems are long gone. Come into the 21st century!

Retort #3- With "lower current draw". I can see this being a valid point if what it were applied to were a constant electrical load. Or even a load energized for 50% of the run time. But we're talking only rear turn signals on my bike. Why only rear you ask? Because the front (that are always-on marker lights) are LED from the factory. "Lower current draw" is moot when the load is on for what, 1/2 of 1% of run time? I live and ride rural, not many turn signal opportunities here.

Such generalized statements that don't apply to everyone and are conceivably long out of date can be quite misleading. Each of us needs to evalute our own needs and act accordingly. I think the forum would be better off if you would simply say/show what YOU did with YOUR bike as I did rather than directing what others should do with theirs.
 

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Back when I was wrenching for a living, Kawasaki bikes did not have junction boxes. Relays, etc were simply attached to the frame and were easily accessible for testing or replacement. Then came the junction box which was a pretty good idea.

It located most relays, fuses, diodes, accessory outlets etc. in one location inside a relatively waterproof box. All items were still replaceable.

But the next "improvement" was to make the junction box relays non-replaceable. Perhaps this was cheaper to manufacture and perhaps it gave greater reliability, but the cost to replace the entire box when only one relay failed was exorbitant. This varied from model to model but often the non-replaceable relay was the starter circuit relay. The starter circuit relay is probably the relay that is most likely to fail.

I know I am a bit off-topic but just adding to rbentnail's comment on not being able to replace a turn signal relay on his Yamaha because the relay no longer exists.
 

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Such generalized statements that don't apply to everyone and are conceivably long out of date can be quite misleading. Each of us needs to evalute our own needs and act accordingly. I think the forum would be better off if you would simply say/show what YOU did with YOUR bike as I did rather than directing what others should do with theirs.
For the record I have the same gen 2 versys as the OP. It does have a replaceable flasher. If he puts in led signal bulbs it will probably hipper flash thus his question about resistors. The way to correct that is to add resistors or replace the flasher. My opinion is it is better to replace the flasher than add resistors. Our bikes also come with a led tail/ brake light assy as I stated so no need to change it. I didn't give specific parts that I used or links to mods I did on another model bike that may or MAY NOT be applicable to his bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I decided to not make any changes except for adding an ST2 taillight flasher. I've had one on my Triumph Tiger and riders behind me said it was attention getting.
Thanks to all who offered their advice.
 
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