Hoods for Instrument Indicator Lights - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hoods for Instrument Indicator Lights

Several of my mid-70s Triumph Bonnevilles came with cylindrically shaped rubber hoods around the neutral, oil pressure, and high-beam indicator lights that are perched on the chrome headlight housing. These hoods made it possible to see the indicators in bright sunlight.

I have trouble seeing the neutral and turn signal indicators on the dashboard of my KLR on sunny days and thought perhaps other folks have the same problem. One possible solution would be to install small hoods around the indicator lights that project out about 0.375", similar to the hoods on mid-70s Triumphs. Has anyone installed such a feature on their KLR? Or, has anyone found an alternative solution? Or, perhaps no one else has this problem?

Thanks!

Jason
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 12:38 PM
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My 2 quart blue Maier Plastics handlebar mounted water bottle has blocked my view of the indicator lamps for about 30 years, day & night.

A couple of summers ago, I had a Continental Divide adv rider offer to purchase it from me, as I was working on his friends bike.
He didn't like having a sweaty back from using a hydration pack. First offered $20 for the old, weather checked looking thing, that "might spring a leak at any time".

He gave up in the end after 'final offer of $100!' I don't like a sweaty back either.

Maier Plastics doesn't make them anymore. But some company really ought to!

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post #3 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 03:17 PM
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@Norton 850,

I think this is a good idea and it should be fairly easy on a Gen 2.

A couple of thoughts.

1) You could build an extension to the top of the dash that shades the entire dash. I should think it could be done so that it is effective most of the time.
2) A shroud could be made for each of the indicators. The dash is made of ABS and it isn't too hard to find a thin ABS sheet that would be easy to cut into half an ellipse and cemented right onto the dash. I should think there may also be some sort of ready-made rubber or neoprene product that could be modified and made into a shroud. Perhaps rubber cement would hold it to the dash. E600 is supposed to be a good cement, but I can't say first-hand. I had a really good cement, but the name escapes me at the moment. It stuck stuff real good but I don't think it ever quit stinking.

Another thought would be replacing the bulbs with high intensity LED bulbs to make them more noticeable. You'd need to find a lamp that had a bias towards end illumination; superbrightleds has a variety of 194 LED lamps.
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-21-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
@Norton 850,

Another thought would be replacing the bulbs with high intensity LED bulbs to make them more noticeable. You'd need to find a lamp that had a bias towards end illumination; superbrightleds has a variety of 194 LED lamps.
Hmm, brighter bulbs may just be the easiest solution, thanks.

Jason
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 06:54 PM
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By the way, the good cement I had was PlioBond. Stunk to high heaven, but it worked.

Be somewhat cautious in choosing 194 LED bulbs. Some of them have a 'bubbled" appearance with small lens-like molding over the LEDs. These tend to be difficult to insert through the back of the white housing.

I would think that the bulbs that have an end-projection bias, like this one, should be slimmer. It seems fairly bright, too, at 23 lumen. There are a couple of others with higher lumens.

Tom [email protected]

The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother. -Philip Marlowe

'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-21-2019 at 07:03 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 07:26 PM
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Another idea.

Some folks have installed some very bright LEDs in the upper corners of the dash. I have no videos specifically dedicated to this but, in this video (kind of a blooper from oil testing days) I was a good citizen and used my turn signals. You can get an idea of the effect. Compare the corner LEDs to the stock position.

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The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother. -Philip Marlowe

'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-21-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Another idea.

Some folks have installed some very bright LEDs in the upper corners of the dash. Compare the corner LEDs to the stock position.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S6YzEdZ1cQ
Wow, those LEDs in the corners of the dash are imensly brighter than the stock/OEM turn signal indicator.

And thanks for the name of the adhesive mentioned in your post prior to the one I quoted you in here.

Jason
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-21-2019, 10:42 PM
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I selected them based on brightness and beam angle. I can dig the part number up if you are interested.

They do require soldering which, as you know, I'm not a fan of. By rights, they should be mounted on a small PC board which is, in turn, shock-mounted to the dash. That said, they were in use for a long time without fail!

Tom [email protected]

The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother. -Philip Marlowe

'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-21-2019 at 10:45 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-22-2019, 05:27 AM
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The shroud idea is great. Many times I have used my right hand to shade the neutral light to double check the bike is out of gear.

I like Tom Schmitz' second idea, the individual shroud.
A piece of neoprene wetsuit material in an upside down horseshoe shape would work. Stick it to the dash. Could probably go nearly an inch deep and taper it down severely at the ends. This would let water drain out and make cleaning easy. Using soft material means it can be accidently bashed a bit with no ill effects.
It would be a good idea to check the angle the light is viewed from. Otherwise the shroud could hide the light a bit. Customize the angle to suit the rider's line of sight.
Not sure of the lifespan of neoprene in direct sunlight though. It might degrade fairly quickly. Maybe rubber or ABS. Or a piece of garden or irrigation hose? Possibly unsightly but very long lasting.

I have done something similar with cardboard/fibreboard with my GPSs in vehicles. When the sun hits them the screen cannot be seen. A two inch deep bit of fibreboard up one side across the top and down the other side stops the sun shining on the screen.

If LEDs are used, powerful ones could result in the light being too bright at night. Kinda like being stabbed in the eye by a light-saber!
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-22-2019, 10:46 AM
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I have a tall darker windshield zero gravity installed and that removes enough sunlight on the dashboard and definitely improves the visibility of the dashboard lights.
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