The Dennis Kirk Blog
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Motorcycle designers spend countless hours trying to create those perfectly sleek lines on a bike. But then they are often forced to finish them off with buggy turn signals. Some get it right, but more often than not, the turn signals just don’t flow with the design. They become an afterthought and end up distracting your eyes when looking at the bike.
Fortunately, there is a solution that just happens to be an incredibly easy fix. Integrated turn signals eliminate the bugginess and the interruption of the streamlined design. For the rear, the turn signals are combined with the taillight to create one compact system. Up front, they are integrated into the mirrors.
Integrated turn signals are not for everyone, though. Before you even look at the great products that are available, you need to check out your state laws. Every state has its own laws regarding motorcycle turn signals and ones that are integrated into the taillight may not be legal where you ride. One of the reasons why they will not work is that some jurisdictions require that the turn signals to be a certain distance apart from one another. The integrated taillights could bring them too close. You can check to see what the laws are in your state by heading to the AMA website where they have them all listed.
Now that you’ve decided that the integrated turn signals are right for your bike, your next decision is to decide which ones to choose. There are a lot of different options available, so it can take a bit of your time to filter through them all. You certainly cannot go wrong with LED lights, though.
The biggest advantage from choosing LED’s is that they are much brighter and draw less power. But since you are choosing the integrated turn signals because of the looks, there is another advantage that LED’s have. The LED lights can be colored themselves, which eliminates the need for a colored lens. You can then have a smoke or clear lens over the lights. This gives your lights a stealthy appearance that won’t distract your eye when looking at the bike.
For those of you who don’t have self-cancelling turn signals, there is another advantage for certain models of mirrors with integrated taillights. On some mirrors, the blinker is added to both the front and rear of the assembly. You can easily see if you forgot your indicator on with the blinking right in front of you.
The integrated tail lights are a great compliment for fender eliminators. The whole point of a fender eliminator is to clean up the rear of your bike, but you still end up getting stuck with the buggy turn signals. Everything gets cleaned up with a taillight that has the turn signals integrated into it.
Installation for most integrated turn signals is pretty straightforward. It is mostly a plug and play job after you remove your stock indicators. If you’re bike has not had LED lights installed before, you may have to install a load resistor/flash controller if one is not included with the new turn signals. Because LED’s draw less power, they can cause the indicators to blink rapidly or slowly. The load capacitor is needed to get the proper draw and speed from the blinker.
Like mentioned above, there are a lot of options available. There are some brands that really do it well, though. Competition Werkes, Advanced Lighting Design, Rivco and Kuryakyn all produce excellent products that look great, are bright and can be installed fairly easily.
So if you’re tired of those ugly stock indicators distracting people’s eyes from the sleek lines of your motorcycle, you need to look into integrated turn signals. They are an easy way to give your bike a streamlined custom look.
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