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Thread: Motolight or PIAA Lighting

  1. #1
    twinzrule
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    Motolight or PIAA Lighting

    I'm thinking about adding auxilluary lighting to my R1100S and a thread search showed the most posts go back over 2 years. So what are you running now? Motolights or PIAA and what's your assessment of how they are working out for you. If you've had both, how do they compare? Any info/comments would be very helpful.

    -- J

  2. #2
    steviewonder
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    Actually, I think the decision comes down to one fairly simple question:

    Are the lights for YOUR visibility or to be seen by others?

    The Motolights are better for your visibility because they turn with the forks and do a much better job of putting the light out on the road when/where you want it.

    The PIAA's which are typically located under the chin of the bike are better for others seeing you because they are higher and less hidden below the rear deck of somebody you're trailing or cars/objects inbetween you and the viewer.

    I don't ride a lot at night, mainly because of deer and other animals, so I opted for the PIAA's, but if I did do a lot of night riding, I'd definitely opt for the Motolights.

  3. #3
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    I am real happy with my MotoLights and the install was easy.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  4. #4
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    Has anyone done a stickie or thread on the Motolights install? (I know: do a search: forgot ).The local BMW shop said the installation on my 2001 R1100RT would take 3+ hours, and at $95.00 an hour plus the purchase price that's a big cost.


    Quote Originally Posted by BradfordBenn
    I am real happy with my MotoLights and the install was easy.

  5. #5
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    You are definitely getting hosed. It took two (Randy supervising, me working some) of us about an hour to do my 02RT. here is the process in a nut shell

    Remove left side plastic
    Attach lights to forks
    Run cables up the forks
    Hide cable, in my case under the air scoop with two wire ties
    Remove battery and attach the two power wires to the battery
    Find a location to take the "activate" sense off of (in my case I used the already jumped power for the autocom, could take off many other places)
    Find a location to put the on-off switch.
    Test system
    All works
    Put plastic back on

    Nothing to it
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  6. #6
    bigfoot105
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    It took me just over an hour to install my Motolights (caliper mounts) on my '04 GS. However, I broke a fuel line quick connect trying to cut a corner.

    When the instructions says "remove tank" they mean remove tank. Not just loosen and slide forward....Add another $15.00 bucks for the motolights costs.

    And yes I really like my motolights!!!

  7. #7
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    I like Motolights enough to have used them on two bikes since 2002. I use the strap-mount and place them all the way at the top of the slider, which solves the problem StevieWonder mentioned as well as reducing shadowy spots in the road at night. The strap-mount also allows you angle the lights outward a little. This is great because that way there is less overlap- the center of the lane is still just as well-lit, but the periphery is also lit. I've got the standard 35W bulbs in mine and I get lots of comments about them being very bright even in broad daylight. You can upgrade to a 55W lamp though too.
    Last edited by The_Veg; 08-07-2006 at 09:07 PM.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #8
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    I have the PIAA 1100x lights on my 2004 R1150RT installed since 2003. They are good lights in terms of visibility and coverage. However the bulbs burn out too frequently in my opinion and are only warranteed for a year. they seem to go as soon as warranty period ends. Since fall 2003 I have replaced five bulbs at about $40 per, two on my recent trip to the MOA in Vermont. If you go with the 1100x always carry at least one spare bulb (preferably two) with you on trips. On my RT the faring must be removed to replace a bulb or aim the lights. Too much work to replace a bulb and way too expensive.

    If I get another bike I will buy Motolights. They are out there on the caliper, easy to aim and replace a bulb and the replacement bulbs are only $5.00 instead of the $40 or so for the very limited life PIAA 1100x bulbs.

    Dennis/Chicago IL

  9. #9
    Braz J Brase's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree with StevieWonder here.

    I think Motolights (which I have) are primarily for conspicuity, so others can see you, and PIAAs (which I don't have) are primarily driving lights meant to put light farther down the road so you can see better. My Motolights put a lot of light on the road close to me but not much (none?) farther down the road. Certainly no farther than my stock high beam. If I am going more than a few MPH, by the time the Motolights "see" something it is too late to do anything about it anyway. And being fork mounted doesn't add anything either because at or over that "few MPH" speed you are countersteering anyway. The Motolights do a great job of making you visible day and night. If I spent any significant time riding after dark I'd want both.

    John

  10. #10
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    I also have the motolights. Both my R100S ans my Moto Guzzi LM1 had them. Now my R1150R wears the lights from the R100. I called the Motolights company and told then I was changing and needed new bolts for the calipers. They asked what I was doing and sent me the correct bolts with instructions to do the job. Cost nothing. I like the way they bolt to the calipers and can be aimed up just a hair to illuminate the road. I have been told by other riders how obvious they make me. I ride in rural Garrett County Maryland and they let me see the critters on the side of the road in plenty of time. Haven't tried the piaa and see no reason to. Instal was 1.5 hours and this was the first time I did any work on this bike.

  11. #11
    STAN
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    When I purchased my firsr Rt with 4k on it it had PIAA's on it and I was not impressed with them. Switched to Caliper mounted Moto's and love them. Moto's in the front and Hyper lites added to the rear. I never turn the Moto's off.

  12. #12
    MysticRed
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    Don't want to hijack this thread but here goes. I run the stock 35 watt bulbs in my Motolights. Has anyone here tried the 50 watt amber or the 72 watt clear bulbs. Motolights site says the beams are wider in the higher wattage bulbs and I don't want to have turn them off when meeting traffic. by the way Twinzrule, Motolights are a good light, easy to install and clean looking. Their wiring harness seems a little cheesy but everything is guaranteed for life, so what the heck.

  13. #13
    SNOONE
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticRed
    Don't want to hijack this thread but here goes. I run the stock 35 watt bulbs in my Motolights. Has anyone here tried the 50 watt amber or the 72 watt clear bulbs. Motolights site says the beams are wider in the higher wattage bulbs and I don't want to have turn them off when meeting traffic. by the way Twinzrule, Motolights are a good light, easy to install and clean looking. Their wiring harness seems a little cheesy but everything is guaranteed for life, so what the heck.
    I replaced my 35's with 50's from motolight after going to a hardware store and buying 50's with the wrong beam pattern.. The correct 50's are awesome and make a big difference

  14. #14
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    lights

    I have PIAA's on my R1150R. They are 55w and throw lots of light down the road. They mount off the directional lights, lower and outboard.

    I am happy with them. They are expensive. But when you see those raccoon eyes, deer eyes, or cat eyes at 30-50+meters, or the loose gravel at the apex of the turn well in advance, they are worth it.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  15. #15
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    Motolight or PIAA Lighting

    I run them both. I have the Motolights w/the 50watt bulbs for lighting directly in front and around the bike and the PIAA 1100X for lighting the road ahead. I also use the PIAA headlight replacement bulbs. No shortage of light in front of my bike!!

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