80 XL500s LED Lights

I bought a 1980 XL500S brand new.  After a few years the turn signals began blinking slower and slower until they would not blink at all.  It turns out that the 6 volt alternator that charges the battery is notoriously weak and with a little corrosion the battery electrical system became totally unreliable.  There are separate alternator circuits to run the headlight and ignition so those are working just fine.

 

At one point I gave up driving on the streets and just used it off-road with my kids.

 

Recently I decided to try and re-licence the 500 and use it mostly for short trips on streets and back roads.  I went through the entire electrical system and cleaned and waterproofed all connectors.  However, the turn signals would still not blink even with a new thermal flasher and a fully charged battery.

 

I did not want to go through the of trouble converting to 12 volt so I did a bit of research and purchased the following from Superbrightleds.com .

 

Item || Part No || Description || Qty || Price Each

Flasher || FL2-RED || LED Bulb Electronic Flasher: 2 Pin Red American Flasher || 1 || $12.95 

Turn Indicator Diode || MDK-1 || Metric Bike Diode Kit || 1 || $2.29 

Tail Light || 1157-R19-6V || 19-LED 1157 Bulb: Red 15 Degree Dual Intensity 6VDC || 1 || $7.95 

Turn Light || 1156-A19-6V || 19-LED 1156 Bulb: Amber 100 Degree 6VDC || 4 || $7.95 

Speedometer Lights || BA9SF-W-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Cool White 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 3 || $1.98 

Neutral Indicator || BA9SF-G-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Green 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $1.98 

Turn Indicator || BA9SF-A-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Amber 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $0.98 

High Beam Indicator || BA9SF-B-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Blue 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $1.98 

 
Total: $65.87
 

Even though the Flasher is listed as 12 volt there was a review that said it worked on a 6 volt system.  I installed all of these items and they worked perfectly.  The turn signals flash brightly and regularly and the tail light goes brighter when the brakes are applied. The led lights should draw a lot less power so hopefully the alternator will be able keep the battery charged.  

 

The TURN INDICATOR DIODE should have been necessary to prevent back-feed to the non-selected turn bulbs. However the LED TURN INDICATOR bulb has such a high resistance that the non-selected bulbs flash very very dimly.  I am not going to install the diode and see how it looks at night.

Edited by telengr

telengr, thanks for posting this. I have the same issues with my 1980 XL250S. great bike, wimpy 6vdc electrical system! I just placed an order with them-I'll post the results on this thread next week after I install the bulbs.

This bike is kind of special to me. I owned it 1980-1984. In 1984, with a baby on the way I sold it to a co-worker. This past winter -29 yrs. later- I ran into him after many years, while Christmas shopping. We chatted and caught up with each other. As we prepared to move on he mentioned he still had that bike he bought from me back then.He hardly rode it. I was stoked, had to have it...  This spring I bought it back from him! He still had the title from 1984 with my name on the back as the seller. 2 new tires, oil change, battery, lube, and this baby is on the road once again. The turn signals are a huge drain on the 6vdc system, won't flash with the brake light on. Your info on these bulbs is just what I need. Thanks for sharing!! If you're ever in NW Ohio and see a middle aged guy riding this bike with a silly "I still think I'm 20" grin on his face, that'd be me!

I bought a 1980 XL500S brand new. After a few years the turn signals began blinking slower and slower until they would not blink at all. It turns out that the 6 volt alternator that charges the battery is notoriously weak and with a little corrosion the battery electrical system became totally unreliable. There are separate alternator circuits to run the headlight and ignition so those are working just fine.

At one point I gave up driving on the streets and just used it off-road with my kids.

Recently I decided to try and re-licence the 500 and use it mostly for short trips on streets and back roads. I went through the entire electrical system and cleaned and waterproofed all connectors. However, the turn signals would still not blink even with a new thermal flasher and a fully charged battery.

I did not want to go through the of trouble converting to 12 volt so I did a bit of research and purchased the following from Superbrightleds.com .

Item || Part No || Description || Qty || Price Each

Flasher || FL2-RED || LED Bulb Electronic Flasher: 2 Pin Red American Flasher || 1 || $12.95

Turn Indicator Diode || MDK-1 || Metric Bike Diode Kit || 1 || $2.29

Tail Light || 1157-R19-6V || 19-LED 1157 Bulb: Red 15 Degree Dual Intensity 6VDC || 1 || $7.95

Turn Light || 1156-A19-6V || 19-LED 1156 Bulb: Amber 100 Degree 6VDC || 4 || $7.95

Speedometer Lights || BA9SF-W-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Cool White 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 3 || $1.98

Neutral Indicator || BA9SF-G-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Green 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $1.98

Turn Indicator || BA9SF-A-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Amber 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $0.98

High Beam Indicator || BA9SF-B-6V || BA9s LED Bulb: Blue 180 Degree 6VAC/DC || 1 || $1.98

Total: $65.87

Even though the Flasher is listed as 12 volt there was a review that said it worked on a 6 volt system. I installed all of these items and they worked perfectly. The turn signals flash brightly and regularly and the tail light goes brighter when the brakes are applied. The led lights should draw a lot less power so hopefully the alternator will be able keep the battery charged.

The TURN INDICATOR DIODE should have been necessary to prevent back-feed to the non-selected turn bulbs. However the LED TURN INDICATOR bulb has such a high resistance that the non-selected bulbs flash very very dimly. I am not going to install the diode and see how it looks at night.

Check out battery eliminators. I just fitted one to my 85 TT600 which runs a 6v electrical system the same as you've described. They're just a capacitor and work great, eliminating the need for battery maintenance and they save a bit on weight as well. If you do a bit of googling you'll be able to pick one up pretty cheap. I researched a bit and fitted a 22,000 microfarad, 25vdc cap for about $7. Something to think about anyway. Cheers

Installed the new dual intensity tail/ brake bulb, all 3 indicators and all 3 instrument cluster bulbs. Charged the battery. Rode it about 1/2 hour. All worked well. When schedule/weather permits will go for a longer ride and that will tell for sure. I should just go ahead and install the new turn signal bulbs/flasher/diode but budget is too tight right now. ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1381096617.490451.jpgImageUploadedByThumper Talk1381096677.074004.jpg

Also ran into a problem with speedo not working correctly after putting new bulbs in. Turns out there are small galvanized light deflectors that came loose and got in the way. The 33 yr old adhesive on them was all dried up and useless. The cluster didn't want to open up willingly so I carefully pulled them out of the cluster with needle nose pliers. Speedo ok now.

ref1ump: Glad my info was of use to you.  I did not want to spend a lot of money on the bike but I also did not want to deal with the old dead battery issues either.  I still have to replace the brake pads because they squeal like a train whistle.  The only other thing I would like to get fixed is a very small oil leak above the spark plug that is more of an aesthetic issue than a functional issue.  Silverfoxx222: I may check out the battery eliminator because the generator can now handle the brake and tail lights very easily at idle.

Well it's nearly a year later but today I installed the flasher and LED turn signal bulbs and man do they work great! Can't believe I waited so long. I got the diode kit but haven't installed it-no need.Yes the flasher says 12V but it works fine on my 6volt system.

Now who knows where I can find a 6 volt solid state horn to replace  my duck fart original one?

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