Sprint ST Accessories
Motolight for the Sprint ST and RS
P.O. Box 30327
Cincinnati, OH 45230
Review and Installation suggestions by Eric Sheley
A very bright idea for the modern motorcyclist...
No, it's not their tag line - it's mine. I know it sounds corny, but hey, it was late and I liked the sound of it. Sorry - I promise - no more cheesy play on words. As you might be able to tell, I am just a little excited about this product. I think I can anticipate your first question - at least it was mine. Can I really afford to spend $275 for a pair of auxiliary lights for my bike ? Let me just go ahead and get it out of the way right now- the answer is yes. Actually now that they are installed I find myself more often asking why I didn't install them sooner.
Lighting for me has always been a concern - I am a strong believer that extra illumination during the day makes the difference between being seen or becoming a hood ornament. As I ride in all weather and at all times of the day and night, limited visibility illumination is also important. I decided that it was time to add some sort of auxiliary lighting and had been looking at a few different options - of course Motolight was on the short list.
I have seen the PIAAs and the offering from Saeng, but I had not seen the Motolights except in advertisements and on the web. Looking at the purchase from a purely financial stance, the other light systems were available for about $50 less - not being independently wealthy, that difference warranted a closer look to see what each of the three was offering for the money. The Motolight and Saeng are both offered by motorcyclists for motorcyclists. The PIAA is an automotive offering adapted for bikes. Dropping the PIAA I then looked at construction - The Saeng unit is produced in plastic, while the Motolight is brushed aluminum and stainless steel construction. A little more research and I found another swaying fact - Motolights are backed by a lifetime original owner warranty that covers the lights AND the bulbs !! That's right - if a bulb ever burns out they will replace it free of charge. Their flyer says "Built to be the Best" - I would have to agree.
As if I wasn't already sold, I then found out that the owners - Tina and Rob Hollaender were the proud owners of a brand new British Racing Green Sprint ST - ok, I can't take it anymore - where do I sign ?
Like many that make their living from the sport that they pursue in their leisure time, Rob and Tina were a pleasure to deal with.
The package arrived with little delay - I opened the box eagerly - it was just like Christmas!! The lights exceeded my expectations - the assemblies were awesome - functional and attractive. From Motolight's bulleted feature list, here are the major points:
From the moment I held them in my hands I could tell that the lights were going to be a winner. The fit and finish of the lights was perfect, the wiring harness from the lights and to the relay had a heavy duty wrap to protect the lines from damage, etc. The kit even included a generous supply of zip ties - one of my pet peeves is a product that has 20 feet of wire and 3 zip ties - I mean really.. So at this point, only the installation could possibly sway my pre-test opinion, but as I expected, installation was very easy using the supplied instructions. During the installation, I took notes and pictures - both of which can be found in the section below.
So now the hard part was over - now on to the really fun part - the first night ride. After pulling out onto a dark street, the first thing that struck me was the abundance of light - even with the stock lights on low I noticed quite a difference. As the lights are lower to the ground you get a much better fill closer to the bike and to the sides. I then turned the corner and was amazed. Normally coming into a corner would be like turning into a dark box - not anymore. As the lights are mounted on the forks, your illumination during low speed turns follows the forks, giving the rider a dramatic increase in visibility. This was one of those added bonuses - sort of like finding the five dollar bill in the pants that you just put on.
As I brought the bike back into the garage I had quite a grin on my face. The Motolight is a definite winner!!! The unit is extremely well designed and the quality of the cabling shows that it is designed to last more than a few miles... If you are looking for more illumination and visibility, then you owe it to yourself to give Motolights a try.
If you have any questions on the product that you would like me to answer, feel free to let me know.
Installation of the Motolights is not difficult - however, if you feel unsure about installation, please contact your selling dealer or Motolight directly at 800.567.8346 for assistance.
Installation requires between two and three hours for those with working knowledge of installing accessories. I have been told that it might be longer (four to five hours) if you like to go slow.
What follows are my take on the generic instructions included with the Motolight product. I will tell you the generic instruction and how I modified it for the ST application. I tend to be a "little" anal during installations, so I will point out where there are quicker ways to do things. All pictures can be clicked on for a larger view.
Step 1 - Open the box.
Unpack the Motolight system. Read through the supplied instructions so that you have a basic understanding of the steps needed for installation. Also, at this point compare what you have to the list of included materials from the instructions. Nothing worse than getting partway through an installation only to find a part missing. For the ST, you should have the 6 1/2" straps.
Step 2 - Mounting
Locate the point on the fork sliders where you want to install the Motolights. For the ST, I would recommend the point just above the lower caliper mounting bolt.
If you mount above the upper caliper mounting bolt, there is a chance that the light could contact the fairing under full lock and compression. Of course there is little chance of that happening, but I would rather be safe than sorry. In order to mount the light between the caliper mounting bolts, you will be required to remove the stock reflector. I removed the reflector and used the bolts from the rear reflectors (which are the same thread with a shorter length). You could also mount the lights below the lower caliper mounting bolt, but I felt that in this location, the lights were too low.
From the kit, take one of the mounting straps and wrap it around the slider at the point you have selected. Be sure not to pinch anything between the slider and the strap. Bring the ends of the strap together so that the end with the nut is under the other end.
Step 3 - Mounting the Post
Install the mounting post using one cap head screw. (the left post is identified with an "L" sticker). Place the post over the nut on the strap so the pinch bolt hole is to the rear. Use the supplied hex wrench to tighten the cap screw securely. Be sure that the post is oriented so that it is aligned parallel to the front axle - if you have trouble eyeballing it, simply insert the hex wrench into the screw to give a better sighting line. Once everything is lined up, tighten the screw until you cannot move the mounting post. Repeat steps two and three for the other side.
Step 4 - Mounting the Lights
Install the housings in the mounting posts (the left housing is identified with an "L" sticker). The housing fits flush in the mounting post hole - orient so that the light is roughly level with the ground. Route the wire into the back of the pinch slot (so that it will be behind the screw), then insert a cap screw and tighten to create the pinching effect that holds the light in place. Route the wire from each wire to the right hand area under the dash. I secured the wire from the left light to the crossover brake line and then brought both wires (right and left) up together to the under dash area.
Step 5 - Installing the harness / wiring.
First, disconnect the battery, negative lead first. Should you make a mistake, having your battery disconnected may save you from damaging the electrical system or your Motolights. For the installation of the wiring, I would recommend that you remove both the rear fairing (around the seat area) and the right upper fairing (to make routing of the wiring easier under the tank). I am sure that you could do the installation without removing the rear fairing, but you may chew up as much time trying to route around it as you saved from not removing it.... If you have the Triumph Luggage Rack installed and have not performed the bolt change shown in the FAQ section, now would be a good time to do it
Step 5A - Installing the relay harness.
Find the harness containing the relay and unwind. The relay will be placed in the area of the other relays on the rear subframe. Take the lead that contains the two connections for the lights and begin to thread it forward following the bike's wiring harness. Once you get the connections past the frame, bring them forward along the wiring harness for another 4-5 inches. You just need to make sure that you leave some slack at the back so that you can mount your relay where you want it. Take the connector from each light and plug it into one of the sockets on the relay lead.
Step 5B - The Switch.
The Motolight comes with a really nice surface mount switch. You will want to locate the switch in a position that is easy to reach, but be sure that you have enough cable to reach to the switch socket which is on the relay harness. If you are planning on mounting the switch in its supplied surface mount housing, a convenient location would be on the frame under the tank, just outside of the contact zone for the bars at full lock. Use the supplied Dual Lock to secure the switch.
I tend to be a little anal about my installations, so I opted to mount the switch in the right hand dash. If you want to do this, simply remove the switch from the housing (two phillips screws) and then use the housing opening to make a template on a piece of paper. You can then outline the template on the dash and remove the opening with a Dremel tool or hot knife. It is best to cut the hole slightly smaller than what you expect and then enlarge as needed - if you cut it too big there is little you can do to fix it. Once your switch is mounted, run the attached wire back toward the relay along the same path that was used in step 5A above. Bring the socket for the switch forward from the relay harness and connect to the lead for the switch.
Step 5C - Mounting and final wiring.
I would first mount the relay in the spot you want it. I chose a location directly next to the stock relay bank on the rear subframe (just to keep everything neat). If you are going for speed (a quick installation), you can mount the relay with a wire tie to the frame at this point. Again, calling on my anal nature, I decided to tap a 6mm hole into the frame to provide a secure mounting point. This also afforded me a convenient point to attach the two harness ground connectors.
As there is not a whole lot in this area for grounding points, if you don't tap a hole, your best bet is probably the negative post on the battery. Once the relay is mounted, find the relay switched power lead in the harness and run it back toward the tail lights. On the tail light master harness (near the back of the frame), find the lead that is red with silver hashes - this lead is on with the ignition. Using the supplied tap connector, splice the relay switching line into the bike's tail light power line. By doing this, your lights cannot be turned on without the ignition being on.
Step 5D - Power.
Remove any tools that may be sitting in the under seat area of the bike. Attach the Motolight fused power lead and the positive battery cable to the positive post on the battery. Re-attach the negative cable. Take a quick check of the connections. 1 - Lights to harness 2 - On/Off switch to harness 3 - Two ground leads to a good ground 4 - Relay switched lead to tail light 5 - fused power lead to battery. Once connections have been verified, turn on the ignition and check to see if the lights function. If they do, proceed to the next step. If not, go back and check all your connections again, including the spot that you grounded the harness.
5E - Clean up.
If the lights came on, go ahead and power them off. Using the supplied wire ties, go down your installed harness and secure all wiring so that there is no chance that it rubs, crimps, catches or just in general flops about. A few extra seconds at this step will guarantee that you won't have future problems with any of the wiring. Reinstall fairing and any other pieces removed from the bike (remember to install the tail lights before securing the rear fairing).
Step 5F - Align the lights.
You will need a second person to complete this. Have second person sit on bike so that it is straight up and down (off the side and center stands). Loosen the pinch bolts securing the lamp assemblies so that you can move the assemblies easily. Using the supplied Aiming tube and a level, align the lamps so that they are parallel to the ground (or in other words so that the face is perpendicular to the ground). Once aligned, tighten the pinch bolt and verify the alignment. If you do not have a level available, follow the alternate aiming instructions provided with the Motolights.
Step 6 - Final Check.
Take a look at the installation - make sure that none of the wires or hardware will in any way impede the ability of the motorcycle to function. Make sure that the Motolights are tight around the fork sliders. Make sure the pinch screws on the light are tight. With the second person on the bike, have them turn the bars from lock to lock while you examine the wires from the lights. If nothing is rubbing or catching, you are all done !! Piece of cake.
After a few days of riding be sure to check all the cap head screws to make sure that they are still tight.