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turning the stock brake light into tail light?

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Im trying to dual sport my 99 xr400. so far Ive got everything working but ive got two things i still have to do. I need to install a front brake sensor and get a tail light.

Ive done some reading on TT and people say that the stock dual filament rear lamp and be retro fitted to work as a tail light. I added another wire from the tail light to my baja designs wire harness. I've read that you can just solder the wire to the lamp screw shell and make it work. Does anybody know about this or better yet have any pictures? it would be appreciated..

My second question is the front brake switch. I tryed wiring in in parallel with the wires that go to the rear brake and that didnt work for me. Wondering if anyone knows where these two wires tie in? Thanks..

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Yea, the stock housing takes a standard dual filament bulb... an 1157 I believe. I modified the one on my XR250 (same as XR400) to also work as a brake light. you just run the wire in through the back, then solder it in place where the bulb goes. The solder should be at about the same height as the running light so the bulb touches both contacts. You may end up having to grind the solder down a little to match. The socket is MADE for a brake light, but just isn't wired yet. This is my XR400. I haven't done it, as I haven't installed the Baja Designs kit yet. I did the XR250 after getting frustrated with the junk tail light that comes with the BD kit, and also because I wanted to install a rear rack. It's been doing great through 2-3 years worth of hard riding and crashes. 🙂

Good Luck!

tail1.jpg

tail2.jpg

Edited by n2omike

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So clean, like a glamour shot. He sounds about right, and I believe the front will require it's own banjo brake switch as well as the additional wire(s). Haven't done that yet though.

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So clean, like a glamour shot. He sounds about right, and I believe the front will require it's own banjo brake switch as well as the additional wire(s). Haven't done that yet though.

The BD kit only has a pressure switch for the rear brake. None for the front. But, on the street, you rarely use ONLY the front brake.

Above, you simply run the brake wire through the empty hole in the back and solder it to the lug in the front. DONE!

The beauty of the OEM light, is it is SEALED and HIGH QUALITY. You can see the dirt on the outside of the light, but inside the weather sealed housing, it's all totally clean.

I'd take a picture of the one already done on the XR250, but I'd have to take the rack off to get to it, and I don't feel like it. lol

Good Luck!

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And once you get t he brake light working you migt look into going LED. I ordered a LED tail inner kit from Wheeling Cycle Supply. It is a LED light board that attaches inside your stock housing. It is much brighter than the stock bulb. Mine has been trouble free since day one. Check it out.

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Add a wire to the socket as shown, and buy a banjo bolt brake switch and plumb it into the circuit as I did. Works great. The stock tail light is a GREAT brake tail lamp but doesn't have a license plate light so you need a little white led or something to do the license plate light thingy I got one from Cycle gear for 9 dollars and it is perfect.

Edited by KevinsXR

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Add a wire to the socket as shown, and buy a banjo bolt brake switch and plumb it into the circuit as I did. Works great. The stock tail light is a GREAT brake tail lamp but doesn't have a license plate light so you need a little white led or something to do the license plate light thingy I got one from Cycle gear for 9 dollars and it is perfect.

I fastened the plate and frame that came with the BD kit right to the fender. Never messed with a light for it, and haven't had a problem. I believe the frame makes the plate stand out more, eliminating any hassle. The silver screws hold the plate to the fender, and the black plastic screws hold the frame to the plate. Of course, I also run non-DOT tires as well, and haven't been bothered. The bike, having two mirrors sticking up, makes it look even more 'street', so that probably helps too. lol

rack4.jpg

Edited by n2omike

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If an overzealous cop sees you have not plate light he will pull you for it and cite you for it. But what evrer you feel is good to go. Here is what mine looks like. I use both the stock modded brake tail light, and this LED Acerbis one and below the Acerbis tail is the LED license plate light.

1045090_470843846342114_584423248_n.jpg

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If an overzealous cop sees you have not plate light he will pull you for it and cite you for it. But what evrer you feel is good to go. Here is what mine looks like. I use both the stock modded brake tail light, and this LED Acerbis one and below the Acerbis tail is the LED license plate light.

I'm from West Virginia... and they don't really give it a second look. If it's got mirrors sticking up and a tag, they don't really waste their time.... unless they have some other reason they want to pull you over. About the only thing that they get concerned about, is when people on ATV's drive on roads with yellow lines in the middle... as they are allowed to drive on side roads that aren't painted. Me on a bike with plates... I'm golden... even with off road tires. Heck, I got my inspection for getting it tagged with an Bridgestone 403 MX tire on the front, and a Maxxis Desert IT on the back. I also took my motorcycle test on the same bike. No problem.

Now, if I were an idiot with a loud pipe riding wide open through town... they might look it over a little closer... But, if I ride in town with a little sense, it's a non-issue.

Good Luck!

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I'm from West Virginia... and they don't really give it a second look. If it's got mirrors sticking up and a tag, they don't really waste their time.... unless they have some other reason they want to pull you over. About the only thing that they get concerned about, is when people on ATV's drive on roads with yellow lines in the middle... as they are allowed to drive on side roads that aren't painted. Me on a bike with plates... I'm golden... even with off road tires. Heck, I got my inspection for getting it tagged with an Bridgestone 403 MX tire on the front, and a Maxxis Desert IT on the back. I also took my motorcycle test on the same bike. No problem.
Now, if I were an idiot with a loud pipe riding wide open through town... they might look it over a little closer... But, if I ride in town with a little sense, it's a non-issue.
Good Luck!

Hi all,

Apologies for reviving an old thread, but I picked up a hydraulic nissin brake switch from tusk, installed it properly in the master cylinder, routed one of the wires to power and the other through the hole in the stock tail lamp, but when I hit the brake it actually turns the bulb off. Thoughts?

My initial thinking is that it’s shorting the bulb out, right?

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If it's shorting the bulb out it would only happen once per bulb. Does the bulb come back on when you release the brake?

Are you running a battery in the lighting system?

What bike?

Still running stock stator?

What other accessories are on the same circuit and their power draw?

 

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If it's shorting the bulb out it would only happen once per bulb. Does the bulb come back on when you release the brake?
Are you running a battery in the lighting system?
What bike?
Still running stock stator?
What other accessories are on the same circuit and their power draw?
 

Thanks for the quick reply, Trailryder! I’ve got good news on this beast but will save that for the other thread!

Im currently tapping into the power from the motor (2000 XR250R, everything stock). For testing purposes, I threaded the wire straight through the hole in the back of the socket (where the bulbs meets the back of the inside of the socket. I think I may actually need to solder the wire to the inside of the bulb (looking at a few related posts). The only other item drawing power is the headlight (12V/35W).

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If you know your wiring is right, then yes, you should solder the wire to the contact in the receptacle. Try to make the solder contact the same height as the other contact in the receptacle.

"Tapping into the power from the motor" doesn't tell us much. Which wire from the motor? Pre-regulator or into a wire after the regulator?

Tapping into the same blue wire under the rear fender that runs the tail light is usually sufficient.

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If you know your wiring is right, then yes, you should solder the wire to the contact in the receptacle. Try to make the solder contact the same height as the other contact in the receptacle.
"Tapping into the power from the motor" doesn't tell us much. Which wire from the motor? Pre-regulator or into a wire after the regulator?
Tapping into the same blue wire under the rear fender that runs the tail light is usually sufficient.

Yes, it would be the same blue wire under the rear fender. In originally reading this post, I interpreted the instruction to be to solder the wire here (see below). Is that correct?

IMG_6919.JPG

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40 minutes ago, Mr_Expendable said:


Yes, it would be the same blue wire under the rear fender. In originally reading this post, I interpreted the instruction to be to solder the wire here (see below). Is that correct?

IMG_6919.JPG

Yes.

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Yes.

Hmm so thats where the exposed wire (for testing) originally was. Do you think that the wire being exposed was causing the light to turn off when the brake was engaged?

And yes, the bulb comes back on when the brake is released.

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I don't remember there being an exposed wire for testing. Where, under the fender? For testing what? There's nothing in the electrical schematic that shows a testing terminal.

So it's the tail light filament that's going out when you activate the brake, instead of the brake light filament lighting up, right?

I'd recheck your switch wiring. Make sure none of it is grounding. Since you have the brake light tied into the blue wire for the tail light, if any of that wiring is making a ground when you activate brake switch, it would probably cause the tail light to go out because the circuit is being sent to ground.

So you have yours wired like in the picture? The red wire in my picture would be blue for you. BL is black for ground. Bu is blue.

 

Brake Switch.JPG

Edited by Trailryder42

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I should clarify; the exposed wire was the wire that I had running from the brake switch. I threaded it through the back of the bulb housing to test before soldering. Your diagram is extremely helpful and confirms my intended approach. Will knock it out later today. Thanks again!

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On 6/27/2018 at 7:38 AM, Trailryder42 said:

I don't remember there being an exposed wire for testing. Where, under the fender? For testing what? There's nothing in the electrical schematic that shows a testing terminal.

So it's the tail light filament that's going out when you activate the brake, instead of the brake light filament lighting up, right?

I'd recheck your switch wiring. Make sure none of it is grounding. Since you have the brake light tied into the blue wire for the tail light, if any of that wiring is making a ground when you activate brake switch, it would probably cause the tail light to go out because the circuit is being sent to ground.

So you have yours wired like in the picture? The red wire in my picture would be blue for you. BL is black for ground. Bu is blue.

 

Brake Switch.JPG

So tie into blue wire and go to brake switch and with other wire coming out of the brake switch solder into open hole in socket? I'm about to do this modification and am unclear. Thanks in advance for any information. 

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2 hours ago, brandonshepherd said:

So tie into blue wire and go to brake switch and with other wire coming out of the brake switch solder into open hole in socket? I'm about to do this modification and am unclear. Thanks in advance for any information. 

Yes.

Don't pay any attention to the wire colors in my picture above. That is what mine looks like after replacing the Mini  2p Bl connector shown in the shop manual schematic with another connector when I wired in a new Acerbis fender/brake/tail light combo.

The wires from my brake switch are both black.

If you look at the schematic in the shop manual, on one side of the connector the wires are blue and green. On the other side of the connector the blue turns to brown and that runs the tail light. Green is ground, riveted to the side of the bulb receptacle.

You would tap into the blue wire with one side of the brake switch. With the other wire from the switch, connect a wire color of your choice to it( I'd keep it blue) and run that thru the stock wire sheathing to the brake light receptacle. Cut to length, pre solder the end and insert it into the empty contact and carefully solder it in place.

In the interests of easy disconnect of the harness for fender removal/replacement if it ever comes up, you might think about where to tie in with connectors, so you don't end up cutting wires in the future.

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