I love the look of the Airhead GS. I’ve seen pictures of the these Airheads with Hella lights on them and finally decided that Otus needed a pair mounted on his crash bars. As usual, my friends at Amazon were all too happy to sell me a set of lights, some bar mounts, and to keep from putting too much load on Otus’ stock charging system, I also ordered a pair of LED bulbs to replace the provided halogen bulbs. I’m really happy with the results!
The installation was surprisingly easy in spite of the car-focused wiring instructions. There were – at least in my head – three challenges:
- Where to mount the relay as my headlight bucket is pretty crowded with the Cyclops LED headlight bulb.
- Where to get switched power.
- What is #31?
I thought long and hard about all three of these and brought it all to a successful and shiny solution. Details, pictures, a blow-by-blow description of the work, along with a parts list, follow:
Buying the Stuff
The Hella 500 light kit was reasonably priced and available through Prime so that was a no-brainer. I knew I wanted to mount the lights on the crash bars so I spent quite a bit of time looking for a round clamp to fit the 1″ round crash bars. I landed on the GS Power Tube Clamp Brackets. They come in several sizes and I ordered the 1″ kit. The “sleeve” you see in the picture is actually a piece of vinyl that helps clamp the bracket tightly without scratching the bars. These are cast aluminum and I did have to drill larger holes for the light brackets the that was no big deal.
I could not find a Hella 500 kit that included LED bulbs. Another quick search of Amazon yielded this pair of H3 LED bulbs.
Installing the Lights & Wiring
Installing the brackets, the lights, and roughing in all the wiring went pretty well. I was more than a little confused about the blue wire being ground (isn’t brown the universal color for ground wire?). The other part that confused me was a portion of the wiring diagram. It listed all the relay and harness wiring clearly except for #31. There were several #31s in the diagram but that number was not in the installation key. After roughing in everything else I assumed #31 was ground so I grounded all the #31s. With everything roughed in (and a fire extinguisher at the ready!) I tested my work. My garage was awash in glorious LED goodness! Pretty sure that these lights, along with the Cyclops LED headlight, could give the sun a run for its money. I think Otus is pretty darned visible now!
I agonized about where to put the relay. All of Otus’s wiring lives in the headlight bucket and the Cyclops bulb with its cooling fan and connector make things pretty full. The steering damper mounting brackets on Otus’ frame were another possibility but the relay and the harness were pretty crowded so I kept thinking, and thinking, and re-thinking. After a few days of thinking I landed on attaching the relay to the bottom of the right-side fuel tank stud. It pokes through the rear fuel tank mount insulator just enough to attach the relay. It also sits far enough forward that the relay fits pretty nicely. And the harness doesn’t interfere with the tool tray so that became the winner!
Dressing Down the Wires
There was PLENTY of wire attached to the harness (except for the that darned blue ground) so once I have tested the roughed-in wiring I got out the wire cutters, butt connectors, and heat-shrink tubing to dress everything down. I cut out several feet of wiring, got everything tucked, wrapped, and routed, and then butt connected and heat-shrink covered all the cuts. And, because I didn’t want to have to take it all apart again, I tested one final time before putting everything back together. The lights still worked so I was quite relieved and very happy with the results.
I did not anticipate the size of the switch provided with the kit. It is a round rocker switch .75″ in diameter. While the size itself isn’t a big problem, the fact that my gadget bar is constructed of .75″ square aluminum tube meant I had a size conflict. To resolve this problem I made another trip to the hardware store and picked up a length of 1″ square aluminum tube. I cut it to length (and made this one a big longer than the current one), drilled a .75″ hole using a “step” drill, and re-mounted my phone, USB power, and garage door opener to the new, thicker, and wider gadget bar.
This project turned out really well. The lights really light up the road at night and make me hella visible during the day (yeah, I did that). Oh, and they also look hella cool (since I’ve already gone there I figured why not do it again…). Your mileage may vary but if you’re thinking about adding auxiliary lights on your machine, this was a fun and relatively inexpensive way to do it!
Pictures or it Didn’t Happen