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Installing AdMore Lighting Inc.'s LEDV35-S Light Kit
Suzuki DL-1000 VStrom with Givi V35 Bags

Givi's new V35 saddlebags come with nice red lenses at the back end of the saddlebags, but there's nothing behind the lenses from the factory, except for a white piece of cardboard. For $35, you can order the 3M reflector kit with your bags, they consist of more cardboard, but with a highly reflective coating on the outward facing side. The 3M kit is pretty good; but it's completely passive and only works at night when there are headlights on it. I wanted an LED kit for the luggage, so I went to AdMore Lighting's site. Because the V35 luggage had just come out, AdMore Lighting didn't have a kit yet, so I left them an email asking them to let me know when they came out with one.

About a month ago I got an email from Dave at AdMore. He asked if I'd be willing to beta test their new light kit, and then write up and photograph the installation. Of course I accepted, and they sent the kit right out. If you're not interested in going through the entire installation process below, let me sum things up: the AdMore kit is exactly what I wanted: it's easy to install, has quality components, provides full taillight, brake light, and turn signal functionality, and really makes a BIG difference is my bikes visibility, both night and day. I believe the kit will sell for under $140.00; it's money well spent both for great looks and additional safety.

The kit comes with a waterproof connector that you mount to the bag, so taking the bags off is quick and easy. Rather than permanently attach the leads that come from the bike's wiring harness, I choose to leave them loose. I found a path for the wires out from under the seat that didn't require drilling. As you'll see in the photos, I used color-coded Velcro straps to hold the wires when they are connected to the bags. When the bags come off, I pull the wires back in to the storage area under the seat.

Installation Tools and Parts
The kit is pretty complete, but you will need a few things from Radio Shack or a similar store. The kit has the connectors you need to splice the controller harness to the bike. AdMore sends the Posi-Tap connectors, which are terrific. You will need about 6' of wire to route from the connector on the inside half of the bag to the ouside half of the bag where the reflector is mounted. You have to make 8 connections inside the bag, 4 per side. Self stick wire mounts that accept a tie-wrap are great for getting the wires up out of the way of your cargo. The Velcro tie-wraps I used are at Radio Shack, and you may want some shrink tube and tape. Tools amounted to small scissors, a small Phillip-head screwdriver, a wire-cutter, a wire-stripper, a multi-meter, and a heat gun for the shrink tube.

Installing the Controller Harness

The installation process begins by locating and prepping the VStrom's rear wiring harness. Although you don't have to, it helps to slightly disassemble the tail section of the bike. Doing so gives your more room to work on the wiring harness. The photo below shows the harness where it runs along the left side of the tail section, below the seat. There is enough slack in the harness to pull it up and open a section of the sheathing. I used surgical scissors, and cut an opening in the sheath of about 18".

Once the sheath is open, you can separate out each of the wires you'll be using. Here is the chart of the wires and their function, related to the kit's wires:

Motorcycle Function LED Kit DL1000 Wire Color
Tail Light Blue Brown
Brake Light Red White / Black
Right Turn Green Green / Tan
Left Turn Yellow Black / Green
Ground Black Black / White

Once you've opened the sheathing, you can separate the wires and install the Posi-Taps. Stagger the Posi-Taps so you'll be able to bundle them and tie them down once you've made the connections. The kit comes with instructions on how to use the taps. After I connected each tap, I verified each connection by grounding my multi-meter at the battery, and putting the positive lead on the open end of the tap. Once you've verified the taps are connected properly, you can connect the kit's harness as noted in the chart.

Bundle your taps and wires, then tie-wrap them to the frame section that the bike harness is routed along. I tried wrapping the whole tap section in tape, but it made a big bulky wad to try to stash neatly. Since I've never gotten any moisture under the seat, I decided to just tie-wrap the connections together and then to the frame.

As mentioned above, there is a nice opening between the bodywork and the frame where you can route the connecting wires to each bag, without drilling. If you choose to, you can tie-wrap the wires and leave a trailing end sticking out to connect to the bag. This is a good option if you rarely remove your bags. Since mine are off as often as on, I decided to use a color-coded Velcro strap to hold the wires in place when the bags are on, and then pull the wires in back under the seat when non in use. I used a green and yellow Velcro tie-wrap to remind me which side is which when I hook up the bags. The kit's wire leads also have a handy green and yellow color coding on them near the end.

Installing the LEDs
Start by mounting the bags. The kit has a drawing that shows the four tiny screws to remove to loosen the bag's red lens and remove it. The lens will come out easily, and you can remove and discard the cardboard piece that behind it. You'll notice that the LEDs are mounted to a card that matches the one you removed. Hold the lens in place against the bag, and note where the wires on it meet the bags. You will need to drill a small hole to lead the wires into the bag. Try to drill it as close to where the wire will be, else the wires will push the LEDs around as you try to replace the lens. I put a knot in the wires near the backside of the LED card. The idea is to keep from pulling the wires loose from the card if you happen to tug on them at some point. Once the LED card is in place, slip the lens back in and replace the four screws. There is a left and right side card, but it's pretty obvious which one goes where.

The next step is to install the connector in the bag. I put them just under the carrier frame-rail toward the back. I wanted the connector body inside the bag to be at the top right corner of the bag, up out of the way of my cargo. AdMore sends a drill bit that is the correct size for the connector. Verify that the wires from under the seat will reach to wherever you choose to mount the connectors, then drill your hole. Mount the connector from inside the bag. There is a foam sealing washer, I put that on the inside. Tighten the nut on the outside, and the connector is ready to go.

At this point you'll have a trailing stub of wire from the connector, and another trailing stub of wire from the LED card. Measure a length of wire, routing it with the self-stick tie-wrap mounts along the inside of the bag. At some point the wire has to jump from the inside bag half to the outside half. I simply tie wrapped the wire along the existing cable that keeps the bag from opening all the way. As you'll see in the photo below, the white tie-wrap mounts kind of jump out at you. I'm going to give them a squirt of flat black spray paint so they don't stand out so noticeably.

The LEDs are amazingly bright, even in full daylight. One of my riding pals told me when I first got the VStrom that she didn't think the OEM turn signals were bright enough during the day. I can't say either way, having never had the pleasure of watching my bike go down the road. However, I have no doubt that these LEDs are going to greatly increase my visibility from behind. Plus, they just look cool, so what more do you need?

PS: AdMore Lighting just advised me that they have added about 2' of wire to each harness side in the kit so that only one splice is needed inside the saddlebags. That takes the connection in the bags from 4 to 2! Also, they are including wire sheating to tidy up the wiring inside the bags. Good stuff!


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Ha. No, there actually are a few good suppliers of extra lights, usually LEDs (which are good for visibility, so work well for brake and tail lights.) If anyone is serious, I'll post a few urls.

there's a *reason* I'm the Safety Queen!
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