Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] HOW TO : Add rear LED Stalk Lights  (Read 31685 times)

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  • Offline Coconut   gb

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    Offline Coconut

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    HOW TO : Add rear LED Stalk Lights
    on: Aug 03, 2013, 10.54 pm
    Aug 03, 2013, 10.54 pm
    I wanted some extra rear lights for my Trophy,
    and found some combined Stop / Tail and Indicator LED Stalk Units.

    11/8/13 - EDIT : READ THIS before starting !

    It turns out that the Light Units I have used DO affect the Canbus. 
    The Tail Lights & Stop lights are combined LED's that simply get brighter when the Brakes are applied.
    There is a small amount of current passing through the Stop Lamp circuit even when NOT braking.
    This fools the Bike's ECU into thinking the Brake light is ON permanently.
    Consequently the Cruise Control will NOT engage   :114:

    I've modified my installation, and this "HOW TO" such that the Tail Lights are no longer connected.
    As discussed elsewhere, I was considering this anyway !
    If you're fitting the same stalk lights as these DON'T connect the Tail Lights  :110:
    If you want additional Tail lights as well as Stop Lights you'll need to find
    a Light Unit with separate LED's for the Tail and Stop Lamps.  :028:

    For my fellow Trophy owners across the other side of the pond :
    "Number Plate" = "Licence Plate",
    "Mudguard" = "Fender"  :008:

    Tools / materials required :
    ( Parts available from Maplins / Electronics shops / E-Bay etc ) :

    Update 28/08/19 -
    See below for details of OEM Wiring Plug & Socket to make up a "Plug & Play Sub Harness !

    Flat Blade & Small Phillips screwdrivers ( Number Plate & Side Reflector removal ),
    Small Torx bit,
    Stanley Knife / Craft knife,
    Suitable mounting brackets, Stainless Steel bolts, nuts & washers,
    Soldering iron and solder,
    6 way Molex or similar connector ( with 5 x male pins and 5 x female sockets ),
    Heat Shrink tubing and / or Insulating Tape,
    Multi core / multi coloured wires ( e.g. Trailer wiring cable - Maximum 5amp )

    Technical difficulty :
    The most difficult task is to make the soldered connections into the rear light unit,
    which requires careful removal of parts of the wire insulation, and good soldering skills !  :084:

    If it doesn't work, or messes up your ride, it's not my fault  :110:
    I'm not a Triumph mechanic, I don't have any (current) engineering, motor mechanics,
    or electronics qualifications.  The article is offered "as is".
    Make your own mind up as to whether the project is within your capabilities,
    and what effect it might have on your Warranty etc.

    Information :

    The Triumph Trophy has an LED rear Tail and Stop light,
    with conventional bulb's for the Number Plate light, and Direction Indicators.

    The intention was to add lights, not replace them. 
    Adding LED lights shouldn't dramatically increase current consumption,
    which could affect the CAN Bus, and which might occur if adding standard filament bulbs.
    Adding LED lights won't need any Resistors,
    as they aren't being used as replacements for other filament bulb lights.

    These are the Stalk Units I chose. The inner section is a combined red Stop / Tail light,
    and the outer “arrow” shaped section is an amber indicator light.
    Combined Tail & Stop LED's get brighter when the Brakes are applied,
    but always have a small amount of current flowing through the Stop lamp circuit when the Tail Lights are on.
    This will be detected by the Can Bus, which will interpret it as the Stop Light being ON permanently.
    Consequently you will be unable to engage the Cruise Control !

    If using Combined Stop & Tail Lights it is recommended NOT to connect
    either the Tail or the Stop lights, and just use one or the other as your "extra" lights.

    These were from my favourite shopping place - "E-Bay"  for £39.99 delivered :028:

    E-Bay Universal LED Rear Lights[/url]

    The first thing was to decide where & how to mount them. 
    I've fitted mine either side of the Number Plate, towards the bottom edge of it,
    after finding some suitable angled aluminium brackets that could be mounted onto the mudguard.

    Remove the panniers and top box.

    Refer to the "HOW TO" on changing rear bulbs, and remove the rear Light Unit.

    Draw a feint pencil line pencil to mark the bottom edge of the Number plate
    on the mudguard. This will help to decide where to fix the mounting bracket.

    Remove the Number Plate and offer up the bracket to the Mudguard,
    making sure it doesn't protrude below the pencil line - This looks to be about right.

    Mark through the mounting holes onto the mudguard with a pencil.

    Now assemble the Stalk Unit onto the bracket -
    you can see that I used some extra washers as the bracket was a fraction too short ,
    and the end of the stalk, where the wires emerged, was snagging on the side of the mudguard,
    which I didn't want to cut ! ( I will paint these black later to be less noticeable ).

    Offer up the bracket with the Stalk Unit attached - Line up with those pencil marks
    you made through the bracket holes earlier, and check how it looks.

    Do the same again, this time with the Pannier fitted - to make sure
    that there is plenty of clearance between the light fitting and the pannier.

    Due to the slight curvature of the rear mudguard, bend the brackets outwards slightly,
    to ensure the Stalk Units are facing directly rearwards, and not splayed out to the sides :

    Once you are completely satisfied with the position,
    drill holes through the mudguard and secure using suitable stainless steel bolts,
    washers and nuts.  M4 x 10mm are good for the brackets I used  :169:

    Now for the wiring.
    The Stalk Units that I bought are wired as follows :

    Yellow    = Tail Light +ve
    Red        = Stop Light +ve
    Black      = Stop & Tail -ve
    Blue       = Indicator +ve
    White    = Indicator -ve



    UPDATE 28/08/19 :

    I have since found a supplier ( in the US who also ships to the UK ) for the OEM Male Plug and Female
    Socket used to connect the Rear Light Unit to the Trophy Wiring Harness.  By using these it is possible
    to make up your own Sub Harness allowing a "Plug & Play" installation, and avoiding the need to cut into
    and solder onto the actual Light Unit wires. 

    Ballenger Motorsports

    Parts needed :

    1 x CONN-75822 5 Way Connector Plug Kit for NTK AFRM ( Harness Side ) @ US $6.99
    1 x CONN-75823 5 Way Connector Receptacle Kit for NTK AFRM ( Sensor Side ) @ US $6.99

    Eack Kit is complete with a set of seals and pins to solder your wires onto. 

    Otherwise, proceed as follows :


    I figure that the best place to splice into the wiring is at the rear Light unit,
    rather than tapping into the motorcycle main wiring harness.
    Note : There are already some connections made in these wires.
    I didn’t strip the insulation off these - they appear to be machine crimped connections.

    To provide some slack in the wires, which will assist when soldering,
    remove the Indicator & Number Plate bulb holders.
    ( Note the marking on the body indicating which way to twist the Indicator bulb holders to lock them,
    and that they need to be turned in opposite directions to each other to unlock, then pull them out ).

    The lower Number plate bulb holder can be eased out by pulling on the grey silicone rubber body,
    and gently moving it from side to side while pulling.
    ( Don’t pull on the actual wires - this could cause damage and pull the wires out of the bulb holder ).

    Using a small “Torx” bit, the small cable clamps can be taken off.
    Leave the one clamping the wires for the LED part of the light unit.
    It has a small metal retaining plate over it - the wires underneath aren't removable. 

    The area circled in this Photo is where I’m going to splice into the wiring :

    I DO NOT recommend the use of “Scotchlock” connectors - at best they are problematic over time,
    and the wires used in the Light Unit are very fine and prone to being cut completely through by a Scotchlock.
    In addition there is limited space available for the light unit to be fitted on the bike,
    and the bulk of 5 Scotchlock connectors could impede refitting !
    The wiring colours of the motorcycle rear light unit are as follows :

    Red                  = Tail Light & Number Plate +ve
    Blue                 = Stop Light +ve
    Black                = Stop & Tail & Indicator & Number Plate -ve
    Yellow              = Offside ( Right ) Indicator +ve
    Yellow / Green = Nearside ( Left ) Indicator +ve

    This is the connector plug for the Triumph light unit :

    To connect the existing light unit to the new ones, I used a 6 way Molex connector and pins.
    ( Maplins, eBay, electronics store etc ). You could use a 4-way as only 4 wires will be used,
    unless you have Stalk Units with independent LED's for the Tail and Stop LED's.

    Obtain some appropriate coloured wire of suitable gauge.
    7 or 8 core car towing / trailer wiring can be purchased by the meter
    and contains all the colours needed, but get cable with a maximum rating
    of 5amps or it will be physically too big to solder on !

    By careful use of a sharp knife, it is possible to remove a small section,
    about 10mm long, of the insulation from each wire in the rear light unit,
    without actually cutting through the wire.
    The new wires can then be twisted around the now exposed wire and soldered on.

    Use the same colour wires if you have them, around 30 - 40 cm long. 
    If you do have to cut the wire, beware there is not much slack in the wires when reassembled,
    which could put strain on the Indicator bulb holders !
    I didn’t have any Yellow wire with a Green stripe, so just used Green ! :

    Splice into, solder up and then insulate with insulating tape, the FOUR wires you are going to use,
    depending on whether you are connecting the Tail OR Stop lights,
    or all five wires if you have Light Units with independent Stop & Tail LED's :

    Use a few small cable ties to tidy everything up,
    securing them to prevent strain on the joints.
    Refit the Indicator bulb holders, and the Number Plate bulb.
    Route the cable to ensure there are no "tight" areas.
    Carefully screw the cable clamps back in position,
    taking care not to overtighten the screws :

    The other end of the wires can now be crimped and soldered onto one half of the Molex connector.
    The connector has a Male and a Female nylon “body” part.
    The Male part goes inside the female part, and will only fit one way round :156:

    There are Male pins and Female sockets.
    The Male pins push into the Female sockets  :015:

    The wires you've just connected to the Rear Light Unit wiring are “Live”,
    when the Ignition is ON, unless the Main Light Unit is unplugged from the wiring harness.
    The additional wires should be soldered onto the Female socket parts,
    and fitted into the Male nylon body, to provide maximum protection
    against accidental short circuiting. 

    Looking at the Triumph fitted connector plug, it makes sense, if using the same colour wires,
    to follow the same convention of positioning the pins within the connector block,
    leaving the centre pin out for the side with only two wires.

    Once the wires have been crimped and soldered onto their Female sockets,
    they can be pushed into the Male body and will click into place.

    NOTE : Double check everything before pushing any sockets or pins into the body -
    they cannot ( easily ) be removed without a special tool !

    Now we need to connect wiring from the two new Stalk Units, into the other half of the Molex connector.

    Plan the wire routing from both sides of the bike so that when the Molex connector is unplugged,
    it would be possible to feed the plug and both lengths of wire back to the Stalk Units
    and remove them without having to cut either length of wire.

    Unfortunately the wires on these light units are not long enough,  :023:
    so will have to be extended by soldering additional lengths of appropriately coloured wire onto them.

    The wiring can be passed up between the two layer's of the rear mudguard,
    so the joint is located behind the area marked with an “X”.
    The wiring from the Stalk Units IS long enough to reach there  :002:

    Cut the bullet connectors off the wires, trim to length and remove 10mm of insulation
    from the ends of each wire.  Cut a length of PVC sleeve for each Stalk Unit,
    slip this over the wires up to the Stalk Units, then twist both Black and White wires together,
    and to each other.  These are the Earth wires for the two Stop / Tail LED’s ( Black ),
    and the two Indicators ( White ).
    Twist the two Yellow wires together - these are for the two Tail lights,
    and twist the two Red wires together - these are for the two Stop lights.

    There is a mismatch of the wiring colours used by Triumph, and the Stalk Units. 
    We are now going to extend the Stalk light wiring, and match up the wires at this joint
    which will not be seen when the installation is complete.

    Cut a length of the multi core wiring, remove about 6cm of outer insulation to expose the coloured wires,
    and strip about 10mm of insulation from the ends of the wires.
    ( If using 7 core towing cable you can cut off and / or pull out the two unused wires )

    If you have any Heat Shrink tubing, apply appropriate lengths to the wires,
    then twist the wires together and solder up as follows :

    2 x Black and 2 x White from Stalk Units, to Black extension wire ( Stop & Tail earth )
    2 x Red from Stalk Units, to Blue extension wire IF connecting extra Tail Lights and NOT the Stop Light,
    2 x Yellow from Stalk Units, to Red extension wire IF connecting extra Stop Lights and NOT the Tail Light,
    OR if you have Light Units with independent Stop & Tail LED's, connect both of the above,
    Blue from RIGHT Stalk Unit, to Yellow extension wire
    Blue from LEFT Stalk Unit, to Yellow & Green extension wire.

    Slide the Heat Shrink tubing over the soldered joints and heat to shrink,
    or use Insulating Tape to insulate all of the joints.

    Wrap insulating tape along the whole length of the assembly to cover all of the exposed wires,
    extending over the outer insulation of all three cables.
    Add a couple of cable ties for extra security.

    On the other end of the extension wires, we can now solder up the other half
    of the Molex connector, using the Male pins, and simply match the colours
    to the same colours in the first half of the Molex connector,
    noting the previous comments about using either Tail OR Stop lights,
    unless your Stalk Lights have independent Stop & Tail LED's.

    You are now ready to test that the new lights work :046:
    Plug the main Rear Light Unit back in to the Triumph wiring plug,
    and connect the two halves of your new Molex Connector together. 
    Support the rear light unit so it is not hanging by the wires,
    switch on the Ignition and check that the main Tail light, and Number Plate light illuminate.
    ( and the two new Stalk light Tail lights IF these have been connected ).

    Now squeeze the front brake lever, or depress the rear brake pedal,
    and check that the main Rear Light Unit Stop light,
    AND the two new Stalk Light Stop Lights illuminate.

    Finally, operate the left and right Indicators in turn, and check that both the Main Light Unit and
    new Stalk Unit indicator lights flash correctly.

    Once satisfied all is working correctly, tighten the Stalk indicators to their brackets,
    route the cable up between the two halves of the rear mudguard,
    and up into the rear light housing area. 

    Seal the joint where the cable enters the Stalk Unit with some more insulating tape.
    This can be held in place more securely by use of another cable tie.

    Secure the remaining exposed cable as appropriate -
    Cable ties can be passed up behind the side reflector support bracket as shown :

    Connect the new Molex plug, and tuck the connector block away below the housing,
    so it does not impede refitting of the main rear light unit.

    Clean the pencil marks off the rear mudguard and refit the Number Plate.

    Refit the rear Main light Unit, not forgetting to reinstall the safety retaining pin,
    after tightening the nylon retaining nut.

    Turn on the ignition and adjust the angle of the new light units if necessary.

    Video :

    Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 02.38 pm by Coconut

  • Offline Berber   gb

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    Offline Berber

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #1 on: Aug 04, 2013, 09.52 am
    Aug 04, 2013, 09.52 am
    Wow I am gobsmacked!! So bright. probably the best addition to the bike I reckon! Love the hazards. How can anyone not miss that.
    'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

    George Harrison

  • Offline RedMerle   gb

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #2 on: Aug 04, 2013, 11.57 am
    Aug 04, 2013, 11.57 am
    That's a good job.

    There are lots of things I prefer on the Trophy Vs my own Explorer and one of them is the rear lighting though why, after having fitted a such decent tail lamp, they go and fit filament bulb indicators I don't know; talk about spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar!  :110:

    I'd like to sort out something similar for the Explorer, but it would replace the existing indicators so I need to look into resistors too.
    Keeper of
    “The Cornish Trophy Sanctuary”

  • Offline cropbiker   gb

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    Offline cropbiker

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #3 on: Aug 04, 2013, 02.45 pm
    Aug 04, 2013, 02.45 pm
    Hi Coconut,

    that is another really great how to! And makes  a great additin to the bike too... I think I may have to look into doing that too!

    Triumph Trophy! Not for every Tomaz, Dieter or Herman!🇬🇧

  • Offline w8d4it   us

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    Offline w8d4it

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #4 on: Aug 04, 2013, 09.34 pm
    Aug 04, 2013, 09.34 pm
    Great modification. I will definitely look into this one
    Proudly Riding Triumph Since 1968
    2013 Triumph Trophy SE
    2001 Sprint 955 ST

  • Offline Coconut   gb

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    Offline Coconut

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #5 on: Aug 05, 2013, 09.01 am
    Aug 05, 2013, 09.01 am
    The video clip was taken in fading light, and does make all of the the rear lights appear a little brighter than reality,
    which is a limitation of the camera I was using, but they are certainly bright enough, and seem to be quite effective  :169:

    I felt compelled to add a short disclaimer to the article since writing it,
    as there is always the possibility of "cocking up" when splicing into the wiring, 
    which might require replacement of the loom, or even the complete rear Light Unit !   :138:

    Last Edit: Dec 25, 2019, 01.22 pm by Coconut

  • Offline Berber   gb

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    Offline Berber

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #6 on: Aug 05, 2013, 10.05 am
    Aug 05, 2013, 10.05 am

    Can I ask where you got your brackets from, or were they just hanging around in the garage?
    'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

    George Harrison

  • Offline Coconut   gb

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    Offline Coconut

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    Re: Adding rear LED Stalk Lights
    Reply #7 on: Aug 05, 2013, 10.24 am
    Aug 05, 2013, 10.24 am
     :431: They were parts from a Tail Tidy - which you can also get from E-Bay,
    Adjustable Tail Tidy although spending £20.50 just for a pair of brackets is a bit excessive !

    Last Edit: Sep 15, 2020, 08.07 am by Coconut