If you’re into vintage motorcycles or cheap rides, something you’ve likely discovered is how woefully dim the lighting is. This pertains largely to the headlight but can include the taillight, turn signals, and instrument lighting too. Fortunately, various companies sell LED replacement bulbs that fit right into the standard sockets on a host of machines. We say “bulbs” here, but the LEDs are actually light-emitting diodes and not bulbs with filaments at all. Note: Some vintage bikes use 6-volt electrical systems instead of the contemporary 12-volt systems, and we know of no replacement LEDs for these old-school low-voltage systems. And if you must know, truly vintage bikes used acetylene gas lights, but that’s another story. Anyway, to liven up the lighting performance of certain motorcycles equipped with standard 12-volt bulbs, try these LED solutions.
Compatible with popular Harley-Davidson models such as Dyna, Sportster, Softail, and more, this small-diameter LED headlight is totally self-contained. Like an old “sealed-beam” unit, it installs easily with an included 3-prong plug. The lighting specifications are impressive, with a claimed illumination distance that is “much longer” than normal bulbs. The Wisamic light is said to last more than 50,000 hours as well, plenty for even the most ardent “iron-butt” riders.
Represented as being 300 percent brighter than ordinary halogen taillight bulbs, these plug-and-play LED replacements are sold in pairs for automotive applications, which means, for most bikes, you’ll automatically have a spare! To install: Remove the taillight lens; push in and turn the existing bulb counterclockwise to remove; and then fit the new iBrightstar LED part in a reverse process. Useful features here include “constant-current” integrated circuitry that prolongs the LED life span, and an aluminum housing to maximize heat distribution.
Compatible with all motorcycles using 12-volt electrical systems, these amber LED turn signals are slim, bright, and easy to install. Each set includes four turn signals, so you can upgrade all four corners of your bike at once. Each turn signal includes a pair of wires: one black, which goes to ground; and a red wire—the “hot lead”—which naturally connects to power. Design features include a somewhat nebulous “masking effect,” which is said to brighten the light effect more than two times. In addition, the turn signals are waterproof, dustproof, and durable.