Do you often ride at night? Do you sometimes feel that you automatically ride a little slower at night compared to the daytime? This is because our ability to ride a motorcycle comes from our ability to see. We can ride as well as we see, and at night, our ability to see becomes hindered because of the absence of natural light. This is why if you ride often at night, you might end up thinking about auxiliary lights for your motorcycle. Quite simply, auxiliary lights help your headlight by increasing the total illumination your motorcycle generates, which in turn helps you see better and up your confidence level while riding at night.
Types of Auxiliary Lights
For starters, there are two main types of auxiliary lights. The ones that help you see better, and the ones that help others see you better. To make the this simpler, the former type work in conjunction with your headlight to help illuminate the road ahead better, so that you can see the upcoming obstacles or hazards in a more timely fashion. The latter work along with your brake lights (in most cases) by acting as a secondary light (what are predominantly called DRLs or daytime running lamps) and help others see you better on the road.
Better Illumination Ahead
These are the most popular kind of auxiliary lights we see on the road today, and have descended upon public roads from the world of motorsports. Most auxiliary lights use LEDs as they are widely available, work on very little electricity and are excellent at lighting up the road ahead. In fact, if you are serious about adding extra illumination to your motorcycle, you should check out Denali lights which come in all shapes and sizes. Their different models like the D1, D3, D4 and D7 work fantastically well and are great for a host of applications.
However, the one thing you need to know before buying these is your use case. If you are someone who drives off-road a lot or need these lights for a low speed application, we suggest you get a light with a wide spread as it it will light up the areas around you better. If you want an auxiliary light so you can cruise comfortably at highway speeds, in the case you should look at lights that have a narrow beam and can throw light over long distances. What’s even better is that there exist hybrid lights from Denali with multiple focus points in one lens, that can combine both these functionalities into one single light.
Help Others See You Better
Then, there are lights which help others see you better. Denali makes such lights too. You can get lights that need to be additionally installed. This usually happens around your registration plate so that it lines up with the brake light. These come on whenever you press the brake lever and activate the OEM brake light. Similar lights exist for the front as well, but here they act as a DRL or daytime running lamp. These can be turned on or off according to the rider’s choice. Lastly, Denali makes side indicators that can work as all three. This really helps if you don’t want to add additional lights that clog up the look of your motorcycle. The turn indicators function as the brake light, or DRL, depending on if they are mounted on the front or the rear, when they are not being used to indicate. The Denali T3Â Switchback M8 is an excellent example of this and we would highly recommend.
How To Install Auxiliary Lights
As far as the mounting goes, it’s pretty easy to do so as Denali lights come with the full brackets that you will need to mount them. However, you will need to figure out the mounting spots and at what height you want to mount these lights for the best visibility. The wiring too comes from the Denali and there is not a lot you will need to do, however, we recommend you get in a touch with a motorcycle electrician before making any permanent alterations on your motorcycle. You should keep in mind that making any changes to the original wiring of the motorcycle is grounds for warranty termination. We recommend you look for blank ports that a bikemaker might have left behind for accessory installation to plug your lights into.
Also Read: Motorcycle Luggage Guide
Lastly, Are They Legal?This is the question most people have with these lights, and the short answer is no. Adding any extra lights to your motorcycle is not legal. However, if you cover up these lights, then, you are not breaking the law. Denali sells covers for all its lights just for this purpose. As for when should you use them, you can use them off-road without any issues are that is what they are primarily made for. As for highway rides, it will ultimately depend on you but well market highways with no oncoming traffic is a safe bet.