950 turn signal running light mod

Posted by stoneman on April 19, 2015 at 3:25 PM

The purpose of doing this mod was to increase daylight visibility in traffic with brighter lights and more red and braking lights on the rear.


Much thanks to forum members GalenEvans and Ovityons helping on wire color coding because the Run/Turn/Brake controller for the 950 is NOT plug and play as advertised. Let me step through the mod and show some before and after photos. I purchased the LED and electronics from Custom Dynamics, however these parts are available from many other suppliers mentioned on this forum.


This is for the 2009 950 Tourer but the mod can be done with any bike. Indeed everything I read seems the exact same controller works on the v-star 1300 (except the main rear brake LED but they have one specifically for the 1300 as well) and other metric bikes.


1. LED Aux lights, I replaced all the light bulbs with LEDs. Amber glowing in the front with the OEM clear outer lenses and red glowing in the back with red replacement lenses. Part numbers are Amber Front (YAM13-A-1157E-T), Red Rear (YAM13-R-7507-T) at .



The OEM rear lenses are clear, however the rear lenses are required to be red for a run/brake application by law (about $9 pair, Item:RTSL-1300 at ). You could also go with red lights/LEDs and a clear lens but I like the consistent red lens across the back. The toughest part replacing these lenses is that the LEDs sit forward against the lens cover and the thin O-ring is a major pain to get on. Since the O-ring looks to be neoprene I used a very light film of mink oil (Yamaha white stuff) which gave it just enough stickiness to get it on; this will try your patience, take your time.


2. LED Brake light, I replace the main brake light with the 48 LED dual intensity module specifically for the v-star 950 (Item: GEN-20-R-1157 at ). This is a bike specific part, very easy to install on the 950 and likely available for other bike models (one for the 1300 is also shown on that web page).


3. Metric Signal Stabilizer. This came as part of the LED Run/Brake/Turn conversion kit for the 950. You can use Load Stabilizers instead but I opted for this unit and it works great. Without it the blinker rate is too fast since the LEDs draw less power than the incandescent bulbs.


4. The main electronic part that converts your rear light configuration in a Run/Turn/Brake configuration is a Kuryakyn controller. They can all be found from this webpage: . The part for the v-star 950 advertised on the Kuryakn site as well as just about every other vendor is controller "Plug & Play Run-Turn-Brake Controller #4612"


However on the actual package of #4612 it lists several v-star models (Road Star, 1100, 650) but not the 950 or 1300. All the web sites indicate this part is also plug and play for the 950 and 1300. I guess the vendors figured it would be plug and play for the 950, but mine was not. The plug and play part is the electronic coupling that you connect to this controller in line with the Rear Light Wiring Harness under the seat of the bike. The connector worked fine but the wires were not arranged correctly in the connector. I had to switch the BROWN and BLUE wires on both connectors of the plug and play controller to properly align with the wiring harness. You really need to proper align the controller wires to the OEM connector. The 4612 controller instructions do not say which colors are for what function (brake, signal).


From Forum members GalenEvans and Ovitrons (thanks) here are the OEM 950 rear light wiring color codes from the service manual:


Yellow: Break Light

Blue: Running Light

DarkGreen: Rear Right turn signal

Chocolate: Rear Left turn signal

Black: Ground


The Kuryakn so-called "plug and play" controller came with the Brown and Blue wires switched. Perhaps the wires are arranged for plug and play on another bike like the 1100 or 650 but not for my 950.


Switching the Brown and Blue wires is easy, do in on connector A in the photo below - a small pin unlatches the wire from the front and they are simply swapped.


Here is a photo of the electronics under the seat spread-out for viewing. Afterward I stored and secured them. I put the red controller unit in the 950 tool area in front of the battery and the Metric Signal Stabilizer on the left side against the frame with some Velcro and zip ties. Darn the space is tight under there!




A - OEM wiring harness for rear lights goes back through the fender wall. Locate on the right side by the frame under the seat.

a - Kuryakyn controller connector (this is one where I had to swap the Brown and blue wire in the connector).

B - OEM wiring harness for rear lights, connects to part A in stock configuration. This is considered "upstream" of the Kurykan controller (noted in the instructions for placing load equalizers or the Metric Signal Stabilizer).

b - Kuryakyn controller connector (also required a blue/brown wire swap for the v-star 950).

C - Kuryakyn Run/Turn/Brake controller. I suspect this is the same electronic unit used in most in not all of their Run/Turn/Brake controllers and they differ by wire color and wiring connectors.

D - Modulator option to the Kuryakyn controller (can be easily removed) that gives multiple flashes (about 3) to the entire back set of lights when you first apply braking. I like this, it draws attention to increase visibility as if you are pumping your brakes.

E - Metric Signal Stabilizer. This unit has 4 wires you need to connect upstream to the Kuryakyn controller. It is used instead of load equalizers.

F - The wires from the Metric Signal Stabilizer connect using these (red barrel looking) Posi-Tap connectors. Very easy to use, I liked them. I choose to connect these to the upstream wires from the Kuryakyn controller to avoid touching the bike's OEM wiring.

G - connectors for load equalizers on the Kuryakyn controller. One load equalizer was supplied with the controller. This is needed if there is no Metric Signal Stabilizer.


Other than getting the darn color wires figured out, after realizing it really was not plug and play, everything worked fine.


One note about the blinkers. The OEM blinkers do a dual intensity blink, dim-bright on the front. The Run/Brake/Turn controller does and on-off blink. Basically blinks by turning off the current -- I think the on-off blink is a more noticeable approach because it provides greater visual contrast.


Before/After Photos: Taken with a Nikon D90 on tripod, with 35mm lens (equivalent to 52mm full frame - perspective most similar to human vision). ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/250 second exposure. Taken about 20 foot from the bike and all images cropped to the same size and aspect. White card on rear license plate and front windshield used to white balance the image since before and after were taken on different days. Overcast day with white balance set at 5200K. I adjusted the "after" photo exposure slightly to achieve the same look of the road so as to make for an accurate before/after comparison. Before is stock OEM.










The LEDs are definitely brighter. Indeed they are washing out the exposure a bit with the rear lights giving a yellowish tint. However, they are definitely bright red. Using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 I had to increase the exposure abut 4 f/stops on the OEM brake light to obtain the same bright yellowish exposure as in the LED brake light. That is about 4 times the amount of light energy per unit area. It might not look 4 times brighter by eye but it definitely is brighter, even in the day time. Finally, there is much more red light across the back whether running or braking and I hope that helps with my visibility out on the road.


Categories: Shop Talk

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