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Answers to Most Common Questions

Q:    Can I upgrade the stock 35 watt lamp?
A:    Yes. Our harness is designed to safely handle 75 watts per side. We offer a 50-watt clear bulb upgrade for an additional $15.00 charge. The 50W clear bulbs are also covered by our lifetime warranty. We do not offer any higher wattage bulbs (ie: 72 watt) but they are available from retail lighting suppliers.

Q:    Can I help my CANbus? Can I use a "CAN bus helper" to supply my Motolights and other accessories?
A:    The Motolight power supply harness includes a 20-amp fuse and control relay. The "CAN bus helper" is rated to deliver a maximum of 15 amps and uses a fuse and relay control strategy that Motolight already provides in its wire harness. It is redundant to install two fuses and two relay controls in series, and may complicate future accessory additions and service. Motolight's heavy-duty harness, when installed as designed, provides full lighting power directly from the battery, while drawing from the bike harness only the tiny current required to activate our relay coil.

Q:    Give it to us straight! How can I be sure to get the right parts for my bike when I order on the Internet (or by phone or mail)?
A:    Give us the straight story about the bike year and model. If you tell us that you have a 2003 XZowascreemie BR549, you will get exactly the parts for the BR549. It you REALLY have the BR549-Diablo version with the unobtanium calipers, fie on you for not telling us up front. There is no shame in unobtanium, after all. We just have to know so the small but hard-working Motolight team can pick and ship your special bolts. If you are lucky enough to have the very first of a new bike model, we will work with you and your dealer to quickly get the right stuff headed in your direction.

Q:    Are you a fog light? Do you offer a fog light?
A:    No, A true fog light will have a horizontal cut off for the light beam, while our lamp projects an 8-degree conical pattern. We do offer a 50-watt amber lamp which may produce less glare than our standard lamp. An amber lamp set costs $60.00 for two lamps, and they are warranted for one (1) year. Overall, since Motolights are positioned closer to the ground, and well below driver eye level, the glare from back-scattering in mist or fog is less bothersome than from a standard headlight.

Q:    Be the star of your own show: Are you interested in how great my bike looks with the new Motolights installed?
A:    You better believe it, Lady! We want pictures with you, your bike (and the Motolights) prominently shown. We have a rogue's gallery...er...happy customer picture section on the web site. Be there!

Q:    CANbus questions: Will Motolight interfere with the CANbus on BMWs?
A:    No. The power for the Motolight halogen lamps comes directly from the battery, via a 20-amp fuse and the heavy-duty relay included in the Motolight harness. The relay coil draws a tiny current, less than a BMW headlight-mounted parking lamp bulb. That is why, when we use the BMW parking lamp circuit to sense 12 volts, the CANbus circuit is not bothered. Our relay is switched by this current. It is our relay that handles the amperage from the battery that brightens the road ahead. Some BMW owners want to use the CANbus-controlled power point ("cigarette lighter plug") for accessory power. The CANbus shuts down the power point about 60 seconds after the ignition is turned off. This has been suggested by some of our customers as a "delayed lights off" feature. We continue to recommend that the parking lamp be used as the switch/control point for Motolights, since it links lighting function to the ignition switch. Please note that any modifications to the recommended and proven installation will be at your own risk. In any case, the Motolight switch provides over-riding control of the lighting function. Note that BMW specifications indicate that the maximum draw on the CANbus power point ("cigarette lighter plug") is 5 amperes. Beyond this, the CANbus circuitry shuts down the plug. Keep this in mind when connecting heated clothing and other accessories. If you want to use a BMW charger and the power point for battery maintenance, you need to insure that all accessories connected to the power point are either disconnected or switched off before using the charger. The CANbus charger function is selected by 1) disconnecting or switching off all accessories 2) plugging the BMW charger into the power point 3) connecting the charger to AC power and 4) turning the bike ignition switch "on" for five seconds, and then "off" again. The CANbus will recognize the charger voltage and keep the power point "live" for the charge cycle.

Q:    Does my battery have enough juice to run a set of Motolights?
A:    The standard pair of 35-watt Motolights draws 5.8 amperes. Before you order, check the total load you currently draw, including heated clothing and other accessories, and compare that against the bike's charging system output to confirm that there is sufficient reserve capacity to operate your Motolights.
The 50 watts draw 8.3 amps
The 35 watts draw 5.8 amps
The 20 watts draw 3.3 amps
This is for both lights.

Q:    Does the price include two lights?
A:    The price of our kit includes two assembled lights with wire leads and connectors, a wiring harness with relay, fuse and connectors, a switch with housing, wire lead and conector, all mounting hardware, tools, detailed mounting instructions, and telephone technical support. Such a deal!

Q:    Hello? Hello? I called the 800 number and is all I get is a voice mail recording.
A:    We are open for customer service 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday Eastern Standard Time at 800-567-8346 (unless otherwise specified by our message). If you reach the recording during regular business hours we are on the line servicing other customers or temporarily away from the desk busily filling your order. We are never out riding on a sunny Ohio day. Not us. You keep us way too busy. Please leave a message and we will return the call. All messages are returned in the order received.

Q:    How tight are BMW caliper bolts?
A:    In general BMW calls for 30 Nm on 8mm bolts and 40 Nm on 10mm bolts. However, all torque values should be confirmed and set to manufactures' recommended settings for your particular bike. The same goes for any fastener removed during the Motolight installation process. Do it once and do it right!

Q:    Motolight DNA: What are Motolights made from?
A:    Aluminum. The caliper mounting brackets are machined from 6061-T6. The light housings are cast from 356-T6. The replacement bolts supplied by Motolight are grade 12.9 steel.

Q:    Motolight finishing school: What finishes are the lights available in?
A:    Brushed aluminum, Black Powder Coat, Polished aluminum and Chrome

Q:    The Harley and the Auxiliary switch: I have a Harley Davidson, can I use the auxillary switch?
A:    Yes, we now have a custom harness for the HD FLH models that plugs right into the auxillary switch connector in the bike wiring harness (below the battery). We can upgrade this for you at no extra charge. But you need to tell us when you place the order. The standard harness (without this connector) will be sent with all orders unless you tell us otherwise. It is not an adapter that you can add as an afterthought. We actually have developed a completely separate Motolight harness that allows you to plug directly into the accessory plug on FLH models so equipped.

Q:    Uh, what pin wrench? Sorry, I lost my pin wrench.
A:    That is why we offer knurled or grooved lamp retainer rings as optional accessories. They are pretty and you can turn them with your bare hands! Or we can sell you another pin wrench. But only if you promise to keep it safe.

Q:    We aim to please. You aim too, please. How do I aim my Motolights?
A:    Recruit a helper. Aim the lights with the bike loaded, the rider(s) in the saddle, and the center stand retracted. If you have fork-tube mounted Motolights, the lights should be pointing straight ahead. When setting elevation, we have found that two to three degrees below horizontal gives the greatest visibility with minimum oncoming driver irritation. Two or three degrees is less than "half a bubble off plumb" when using a hand level. Alternatively, with the rider on the bike, measure the distance from the ground to the center of the light. From 20 feet on level ground, shine the lights toward a wall or garage door. The bright center of our beam should be at or slightly below that measurement. If not, loosen the pinch screw (3/16" hex wrench) and adjust as needed. If you need to fine-tune the aim after riding, mark the light and mounting bracket with matching pencil lines, and adjust the light in 1/8" increments as needed. If you are getting flashed by oncoming traffic, the lights are aimed too high.

Q:    What is the price of your lights?
A:    They start at $385.00 for the brushed aluminum finish lights and extend through $495.00 for chrome. You can see all of our prices for kits and accessories at www.motolight.com. Select the Products page on the web site.

Q:    What time is it where your are?
A:    We are in the Eastern Time Zone in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please feel free to call us with questions or to order your lights. We are in the office between 9:00am and 5:00pm Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except as noted on our voice mail message. We look forward to hearing from you.

Q:    What type of bulbs come standard in the Motolights?
A:    Standard lamps are 35-watt halogen MR16 with an 8-degree beam spread. If you choose, you can upgrade to our 50-watt lamps. MR16 bulbs are also available where home lighting products are sold (hardware stores, home improvement centers). Bulbs from these sources usually have 35 to 40 degree reflectors since they are designed for flood lighting and architectural applications.

Q:    How do I aim my lights?  I'm getting flashed.
A:    Motolight recommends 2-3 degrees down from level with the rider on the bike. You can also measure the distance from the ground to center of the light with the rider on the bike, from 20 feet shine the lights towards a wall or garage door, the center of our beam should be at or slightly below that measurement. If not loosen the pinch screw (3/16” Allen) and adjust as needed.  If you need to fine tune the aim after riding, mark the light housing and mounting block with a pencil to create a reference point and adjust the light in 1/8” increments up or down as needed. If you are getting flashed by other traffic the lights are aimed too high.

Q:    Can we work with BMW's CANbus? How do you run the wiring for the new BMW CANbus System?
A:    Connect our "+BAT" (battery positive feed, black wire with red trace, ring terminal)directly to the positive battery post.  Connect our ground wire (three black wires joined together at a ring terminal) directly to the negative battery post. For our "+SW" (switch/relay control power wire) we use the parking lamp lead at the BMW headlight/parking lamp connector. Some people have used the headlight low beam, which is OK if the low beam stays on when you switch to the high beam. The switch/relay power activates the relay coil (very low current draw) so that when the key is off, the Motolights are also off. Do not use the CANbus tail light circuit for switch/relay power. The CANbus uses a low voltage for the tail light and switches to a higher voltage for the brake light. The Motolight relay coil requires a nominal 12 volts for correct operation.

Q:    How are Motolights hooked up? Are your lights hooked up to the high or low beam of the headlight?
A:    No, we are switched separately using a water-resistant marine-grade rocker switch. Motolights are active and controlled by the rocker switch when the ignition is switched "on".

Q:    How do I get the plugs back together? I have a set of Motolights set up on my BMW 1100RT. I changed the battery and when I took the gas tank off to change the battery, the connector that runs from the light to the battery disconnected and now I can't get it back on.
A:    Since the pins, by design, are slightly loose in the plastic connector shells, you may be able to get the pins to enter
the sockets by gently rotating the wires behind the plugs to improve the alignment. The plastic plugs also have two corners notched with matching details in the sockets so they only insert one way. Be sure that these details are aligned. Or one of the pins may have come loose and pushed back out of the plastic housing. Push the wire back into the housing until it clicks into place. If it won't stay put, check the side of the little metal pin for a very tiny metal tab. The tab must be standing out very slightly to lock the metal pin into the plastic housing. Be very gentle and do not break the tab off of the pin. If you do, we can sell you a new wiring harness!

Q:    How do I install my new Motolights?
A:    Motolights come with step by step instructions, including pictures. Three items of importance: 1) The pinch slots in the brackets and the wire leads, must face down and rearward. This prevents water collection. 2) All harness connections (plugs, relay, fuse) should be installed so you can reach them with the bike assembled. 3) When installed, wires should neither be under strain nor in pinch/rub contact with moving parts (forks, suspension, wheel). Should you run into a problem, you can either call us at 800-567-8346 or call our lead installer Mike Singler at 386-366-3186, he is located in Daytona Beach
(Eastern time zone). Mike will be be able to answer your questions and walk you through an install.

Q:    How do I measure the fork circumference for a strap-mount Motolight kit?
A:    Take a strip of paper about 1 inch in diameter and wrap it around the fork tube slider where the lights will be mounted. Mark the paper where the end overlaps. lay the paper flat and measure to the mark to get the distance around the fork tube. Measure to 1/16" for a proper fit. We do have measurements for many bikes already on file.

Q:    How does the Dealer do it? I purchased a new BMW R1200RT and my dealer is doing the install of my new Motolights. I was just wondering for my own curiosity how they install?
A:    Our wiring harness is a stand-alone system that provides direct battery power for the lamps, controlled by a fuse, switch and relay. The switched power for the relay control comes via the parking light circuit at the headlight. We run the harness from under the seat to a point in the front fairing behind the headlight. This is where the Motolights plug into the harness. Encourage your dealer to not bury these connectors behind body panels or under the fuel tank since this will make future service much more challenging! The relay and fuse should also be easily accessible under the seat. Caliper mounting brackets should extend back toward the rear of the bike with the lights installed to face forward. Light mounting brackets should be nearly horizontal (parallel to the ground) if possible, with the pinch slots facing down to shed water. The wires from the lights should exit to the rear, tie-wrapped to the brake lines, and routed up behind the headlight to plug into the Motolight harness. Excess wire should be neatly bundled and tie-wrapped out of the way. Voila. Simple, no?

Q:    Presto chango: OK. I have a replacement bulb. How do I install it?
A:    First, take the pin wrench. You know, the pin wrench we gave you with your Motolight kit? You need to keep it with your bike tool kit. It fits into three of the holes in the front retainer ring on the light, and unscrews counterclockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosie). Clean the inside of the lens while the light is open. Plug in the new lamp (DON'T touch the halogen capsule or inside the reflector!). Reassemble in reverse order. A little anti-sieze on the ring threads won't hurt.

Q:    What about fork/strap mounting? What should I know about it?
A:    A strap mount is most often used when there is only one disk brake caliper and rotor. The strap mount is used for both sides. The stainless steel straps wrap around the fork tubes and are held tight by the lamp mounting posts. Both lights should be mounted at the same height above the ground. Some bikes may have different diameter fork sliders, or casting details on one side and not the other. Pick your mounting location accordingly. Be sure that at full fork compression, there will be no contact between the Motolights and any bike component or fairing part. Check the bike manufacturer's specifications for front fork travel.

Q:    What about my own switch? Can I use a different type of switch (ie: auto switch)?
A:    Yes. You can remove our switch cover and use the enclosed single-pole rocker switch, or you can use the attached female spade terminals to connect our wire lead to your own switch.

Q:    What about your switch? Where and how does the Motolight switch mount?
A:    Every bike has a "best" switch location determined both by available space and by rider preference. Some good locations include below the instrument cluster housing on the fairing, on the back of the clutch master cylinder, or on the left side of the frame near the steering head. Fork movement and wire strain relief need to be considered when mounting the switch. A smooth, flat surface is best. We use a pair of 3M "Dual-Lock" (Trade Mark) pads to mount the switch. These are included in the Motolight kit. Clean the bike surface, let dry, and swab with the supplied alcohol swab. Let it dry and then mount the switch.

Q:    Where do I meld with the bike's harness? For the BMW R1150GS where do you think is the best place to tap into for the relay/switch power lead.
A:    We prefer the small parking lamp located in the head light assembly. It is fed by two wires. The brown wire is the ground on BMWs. Use the other wire, usually blue or grey, for the relay/switch source. On BMWs, the parking lamp will come on when the ignition switch is"on", and also when the ignition switch is in the "P" or Park position. On some bikes, it is more convenient to access the tail lamp circuit (NOT on CANbus bikes!). Some Hondas have a convenient accessory tap under the side cover. On K1200LTs, the power feed wire to the heated seat connector is the hot setup. In other words, "It depends." Find a running lamp or dedicated accessory circuit that switches 12 volts "on" and "off" with the ignition switch. In all cases, the current drain is tiny, since it only activates the relay coil. It is the relay that handles the current from the battery to the lights.

Q:    Where do Motolights go? Where on the bike can I install Motolights?
A:    Motolights are designed for front fork mounting. The primary location is at the front disk brake calipers. If your bike has a single disk or front drum brakes, a strap-mount kit for the fork sliders is available. A fender-bolt mount, and an engine bar mount are also made for special applications. Call us (800-567-8346) if you have special or custom needs. Who knows? We may be able to light up your truck or RV!

Q:    Motolight, where are you?  Do you attend any rallies and do you install your lights during the rally?
A:    We start our season in March for Daytona Bike Week and end the season in Ocotber at Daytona Beach for Biketoberfest. See our list of rallies on the News & Links page of our web-site- www.motolight.com . We always sell & install at rallies. We recommend you book in advance to ensure a time slot. They usually fill up early. Call 800 567-8346 to schedule your install time.

Q:    Not just any old bulb: Where can I get a new bulb for my Motolights?
A:    Motolight average lamp life is 3500-4000 hours. Motolight offers free lifetime lamp replacements on our 35 and 50-watt clear lamps. Amber lamps (50 watts) are warranted for one year. You can get MR16 lamps at a hardware store or home improvement center if you are on the road and need one ASAP. However, we have our lamps made with a narrower beam spread for more effective "down the road" lighting. Just call 800-567-8346 for replacements. There is a $14.50 shipping and handling charge.

Q:    How do I remove the terminals from the ends of the light leads in order for them to fit throught the fender mount?
A:    The light lead has a barb inside the terminal that needs to be pressed flat for the lead ends to be removed from the terminal.  Insert a pin extractor into the round holes in the end of the terminal and rotate while gently pulling each end of the lead out of the terminal.

Q:    Will the new taillights fit my bike?
A:    Universal mounting means not bike specific; it will not fit all bikes. You must have license plate bracket under or over a tail light and have room on both sides for the light housing. The best way to describe is; does the bike have a traditional rear fender, if so it should fit.

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