Replacement Turn Signal Blink Starting Time

I have an odd one that I couldn't find in any searches, but I might not be using the right keywords.

Anyway, first ride and I broke two of the stock blinkers. No biggee, I was planning on replacing them anyway. I do 99% of my riding off road, so DOT stuff is just for connecting trails.

I replaced the stockers with some bulb type from Cycle Gear (the type with the sticky backing)...simple and cheap. No problem with the install, but a couple of odd symptoms. When the bike isn't running, they take about 5 seconds to start blinking when the switch is activiated. If you turn them off and right back on, they blink immediately. If you wait 15 seconds or longer, it will again take about 5 seconds to come on. Almost like a capacitive effect?

Even stranger, if you start the bike, they take about 10 seconds or so to come on, with the same symptom of starting right away if you turn them off and right back on, but again taking 10 seconds or so to start if you wait 15 seconds or longer.

I thought bulb type replacements were pretty straight forward and you only needed a modification for LED types? Any ideas?

Not a major issue, but I'm just curious.

The lights you used use less electricity - which is good cause there is more for the headlight :applause:

The lights blink because an element inside the flasher gets warm enough to break the circuit then the electricity is then switched off. When that element in the flashing unit cools down it then closes the circuit and again turns on the light till it gets warm again.

You have described the situation perfectly - takes a little longer to warm the element in the flasher unit cause less current is going through the new turning signals. When you turn it off then on right away that element in the flasher is still warm. When you first start the bike up the battery voltage is probably lower and it may actually be cool this time of year where you live.

Hey Bob.

Havent heard from you in a while. Have you been able to ride that new TE much yet?

I have a simmiler problem with my 450. Things dont change with hot and cold, it just sum times blinks and sometimes dosent. Worked fine the first 3 rides, since then it is so random its crazy. Its never correctly worked the last 4 rides, then on my last ride at the beach I did a dual sport loop before meeting some friends at the dunes. Blinkers started working out of the blue at around the 10 mile point and stopped at around mile 12 and have not worked since.

I really want to get it figured out, with the nice weather coming on I dont want to worry about it when I am on the roads.


I was in CycleGear yesterday looking at the LED lighting, I saw that they carry a flasher unit made for LED blinkers. This is a better solution than adding the load resistors in parallel to the LED if you want to save power.

Thanks for the help! I guess its no big deal, I'l just have to plan my turns well in advance when on the road! Either that or switch to LED types at some point. I just wanted to make sure this appeared to be normal.

Hey Dave, nope, work has been a bitch and the weather hasn't cooperated much either so I haven't been out much. Things will start to get more normal at work in March, so i'm hoping to start getting out more then. Give me a shout if you have anything planned! Sounds like you're finding some interesting places.

Weird with your lights? Mine work fine except for the delay. What did you replace them with?

flasher unit made for LED blinkers. This is a better solution than adding the load resistors in parallel to the LED if you want to save power.

Seymore's on the right path. Better to have the right product installed then farting around with "Load Resistors"

450BOB it just sound like you have got what you paid for.

If the flasher unit was designed for LED's then I'm not surprised it's playing up because it would be designed for a 2-3volt drop accross the LED's and not the 6volt drop that the incandesant bulbs need.

Also coffee, I can see what you mean with the thermal effect being slow at the start but that doesn't explain why the lights take 5 seconds o come on in the first place. Assuming the circuit is cold the flasher switch will be closed theis gives a closed circuit and the lights should illuminate imediately.

Still I think you have got what you paid for.

This is a better solution than adding the load resistors in parallel to the LED if you want to save power.

Resistors should be installed in series with LEDs.

The series resistor that limits the LED current is internal to most 12V LED assemblies. The load resistor I was referring to goes in parallel with the 12V LED signal to draw about 10watts, equivalent to what original incandescent bulb used.

Most flasher devices are designed to be thermally cycled from the normal current draw of 2 10W bulbs. If the load is too small they won't flash at all or flash very slow. Sometimes the opposite happens if plug in a trailer to your vehicle and the signal flash very fast. In that case you install the "heavy-duty" flasher.:applause::):cry:

Not quite sure I understand the "you got what you paid for" comment?? I took out the stock unit which was a bulb and replaced it with a bulb. I didn't compare the bulbs between stock and the Cycle Gear ones I replaced them with. I did not install an LED unit, but might look at that in the future. These were cheap and they work except for the starting delay.

Also coffee, I can see what you mean with the thermal effect being slow at the start but that doesn't explain why the lights take 5 seconds o come on in the first place. Assuming the circuit is cold the flasher switch will be closed theis gives a closed circuit and the lights should illuminate imediately.

Good point - let me think about that.

Figured I'd post the final fix on this issue since it ended up being so simple. To recap, I replaced my stock turn signals with virtually unbreakable simple ones front and rear. The issue was that there was a huge delay from turning the turn signal on, to it actually starting to blink. When the bike was running, it took even longer. Below is what the lights look like, you can find them at any Cycle Grear and they work great. Probably not DOT, but this bike is 99.5% dirt only.


Anyway, the solution was to replace the stock flaser unit with a cheap Bussman auto style two terminal flasher that supports 2-6 bulbs. $2.95 at any auto store and works great. So if anyone wants unbreakable lights and has a flasher issue, here's your answer! Probably works great if the stock one fails as well and I'm sure a hell of a lot cheaper!

Nice... how does the rear look!

Not a great picture of the rear, but you get the idea.


Wow what a beautiful bike! Very very nice :thumbsup:

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