Hella Lights for the GS

Hella Lights on the GS

See Me!

You can go a couple of ways with "hella." You could go the way the young people use the word or you could simply accept this as the brand name. I think I'm going to ride the fence on this one and say that the Hella lights on the GS are hella cool and hella bright. And to be clear, these lights aren't just for me to see better but also for me to be seen better. The number of people turning left in front of me has gone down since adding these lights to Otus so the GS needed a set as well. I attempted to install these lights as I did on Otus but there are a few significant differences - I don't have crash bars on the GS and the wiring is quite a bit different. I was, however, able to put together a gadget bar much like the one on Otus, but with one difference.

Here's how this went down. The GS has a bar under the headlight that is threaded on the ends. Amazingly enough the bolts for the Hella light mounts were threaded the same as that bar. Good planning by the BMW Engineers? Good planning by the Hella Engineers? Blind shit-house luck? Hard to say but mounting the lights was a snap. Next was the wiring. I'd done this before on Otus so the installation of the relay and wiring was similarly easy. The instructions provided with the kit are OK but I'm not an electrical engineer so they could have been a bit more explicit. Having installed this kit before on another bike made this a straight-forward process.

The only challenge with this installation was coming up with power behind the ignition. Fortunately there are two fuses inline and the local auto parts store had spare fuses in stock! This part of the installation was different, and honestly I'm still not sure why. I'm sure someone out there will read this and know why right off the bat but again, I'm not an electrical engineer so I'm figuring this out as I go.

The relay in the kit comes with a wiring loom and simple instructions - connect the red lead to the battery and the ground goes to the frame (and there are plenty of places on the frame where the paint is scratched off so the frame ground is solid). Send power to the lights and ground the lights to the frame also (same comment on this frame ground as well). The tricky part here turned out to be the power and ground behind the ignition. I grabbed power from the marker light in the headlight bucket and ran that ground to frame also (just like I did on Otus) but when I turned on the bike the light fuse popped. I then moved the ground to the ground tab on the marker light, replaced the fuse, and there was light. The lesson for me is that, on the GS anyway, grounding the switch to the frame is a no-no.

I now have some spare fuses in my tool kit and really, really bright lights! I've started a mental count of left-turners that don't turn left in front of me. The current count is 3.

Pictures or it Didn't Happen