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Thread: Denali Lights - Feedback Wanted

  1. #1
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Denali Lights - Feedback Wanted

    Looking for some input on the Denali lights. I have photon blasters for visibility, but looking for something to light up the night. I love riding at night but really need something with far reach for deer country. The original Denalis have been out for awhile, and now they are out with the D2 for about $350 for the whole setup.

    So who has them, how do you like them for nighttime riding? How long have you had them? Any issues?
    Any comments on the electrical draw for my lil ole 650?

    http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productlist/790/
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  2. #2
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I have had the D1 lights for a few months and I like them.
    You can get the same lights with out the switch kit at Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...LED+&x=16&y=19

  3. #3
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    We have two sets of the D1s. Annie has them on her 650GS twin. I noticed how bright they are while riding with her that I put them on my GSPD. The electrical draw is very low and even my PDs anemic charging system can handle them. They make the OEM high beam look like a kerosine lamp.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  4. #4
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    This thread is becoming misleading. The OP asked about light output down the road, not conspicuity.

    I use the D2 type (but from VisionX, 20 degree beam) as a supplemental conspicuity to Photon Blasters and for that it is a superb choice- though for me its a new install and until I use them for at least a year of all weather riding I don't consider their reliabilty proven). But they do little for down the road lighting AS IS TO BE EXPECTED from an LED that outputs only in the 900 lumen class (or only a fraction of what a good HID setup will do and far less than a stock 55W headlight bulb or my 40% brighter 65W Osrams). Over in the Hexhead section you can find my recent thread on removing unreliable TrailTech HIDs (same as PIAA Cross Country) and replacing them with the LED type.

    If you want serious light down the road HIDs are king and a high output halogen with a good size, well designed reflector is second choice. For all lamp types, if you want distance, size matters a whole lot- there is a huge penalty for going small if distant light is the goal. You want a driving, or euro driving beam (10 degree min, 20 degree max but understand that widening the beam reduces distance- I like 12-14 as ideal but a bit either way is OK), not fog or wide for your application though close in fill for shoulders should be right there behind reach if you go beyond an initial lamp pair

    For my distance lighting on my 08 RT I use a pair of Hella FF50s running the 65W Osram H-7 bulb that puts out 40% more light than a stock 55W H-7. Their superior reflector shows its worth as they do extremely well for the size. I did an install thread on this site you can find by search. But for a lot more $, one could do better with a 4" or 5" HID type- though for me that would be overkill as my front setup is already more than sufficient for any speed at night. (Total of 5, 65W Osrams on the front)

    Although I prefer the proven reliability and weather resistance of the regular headlights (and the ease on the eyes and better depth and color perception of halogens), for some an HID conversion of the low beam would be quite useful. Although HIDs aren't really meant for high beams because of ballast/starter issues, if you lived so far out of town that you can run with highs on most of the time at night without dimming, an HID setup in the high beam slot would be the cheapest way to get reach- but this use is not feasible for most (and illegal and potentially dangerous to other drivers). The fact that Photon Blasters are on your bike suggests you ride in traffic a bunch so a high beam HID conversion would not be for you but an Osram 65W H-7 in the slot for about $20 will gain you a bit more reach if you bike uses the H-7 type (unlike every other high output H-7, the Osrams have normal bulb life because they are an H-9 hi beam type capsule on an H-7 base)

    When you've got some other lamp choices ID'ed that interest you, post them here and I'll comment on them but do include your bike info. There is no free lunch in lighting even for LEDs- serious light down the road takes more power than a simple 10W LED. Most modern BMWs can handle additional electrical stuff without serious problems and some lke my RT make so much juice they can run anything including stuff well into the "gross overkill" zone.
    Last edited by racer7; 11-03-2011 at 01:12 AM.

  5. #5
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Great feedback all, and yes...I am looking more for MY night-time vision versus visibility to other drivers. I drive mostly in rural to suburban areas, the latter with heavy traffic at times. With the shorter daylight hours of fall/winter, the 20 miles which make up the majority of my commute are often dark and in a very rural/agriculture area.
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  6. #6
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Many of these lights are way too expensive. The brightest LEDS these days come for Cree and everybody who makes LEDs for bikes is using them.

    I've bought a few lights from this guy, who goes under the name ADV Monster.

    http://stores.intuitwebsites.com/hst...Categories.bok
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 And DRAT! Missed the last one in 2015!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #7

    Denali Lights

    Here is a review of these lights I posted on another blog.

    I had these put on my 1991 K100RS before our trip to Bloomsburg. I had these put on both for the added lights for daytime and since the eyes aren't quite what they used to be, for extra light when traveling after dark.

    We took a trip two weeks ago to Phoenix and left after I got off work at 8pm and rode to Laughlin, NV. Really the first time I was able to see how well they worked at night, really impressive !!

    I bought them from the "Twisted Throttle" web site. The kit had everything except the proper mounting brackets, so had to add them to my order, needed the M6 bolt size bracket to fit my bike.

    Total cost $347.00



    Close up



    I had the BMW shop install them ( I have the mechanical aptitude of a trout ). They worked fine, but the shop wired them to my bright light switch, so I couldn't use them at night. I had a friend change the wiring hookup to my parking light, so now they are always on when ever I start the bike - I like this setup much better.

    Here is some night time shots of how good they work - really light up the road for better night driving.

    Donna was my test subject, she is wearing the BMW jacket that has very good reflective material sewn into the jacket, and was about 70 feet from the bike.

    Regular low beam



    High beam



    Denali lights on with the low beam



    Quite a difference - we couldn't get any night shots while riding, my camera kept adding the flash.

    Mounted on the lower front forks





    The on/ off switch is not of the highest quality, I just leave them on all the time - has a yellow light when the lights are on, had the switch put through the little vents beneath the right handle bar



    Here is how they look coming directly at Donna taking the pics, no flash added







    They also make my bike much more visible during daylight.

    One of the best additions I have added. I also looked at the same product made by Clearwater - but they were about $100 more.

    Plus, they look really good on the BMW, almost factory looking.

  8. #8
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    Interesting review and good set of photos- results about as expected.

    For reference, when I write about adding reach with accessory lights I mean about 100 yds or more worth of adding visibilty of the road surface and ability to distinguish non-reflective objects.. A lamp without that kind of power, while it may provide some sign reflectivity at distance, or a good fill at closer distances will not output enough light to add serious protection against animals at night at highway speed (unless you get lucky enough to catch a reflection off the retina)

    The photos do a good job of demonstrating that what one perceives as a useful benefit also depends on what the bike's basic setup is- whether its a single or dual headlamp and what type of lamps are in use. On my 08 RT with dual headlamps running bulbs with 40% higher output, the contribution of my pair of D-2s to the light field is modest and most clearly seen up close to the bike, At anything much beyond 100 ft they make no useful contribution to discerning non-reflective objects and that is only 1/3 the distance that a real "reach" light needs to deliver.

    BUT, one can be faced with the restrictions imposed by lower output alternators than my RT with its car-like electrical capacity and in such cases running big halogens or even an HID setup may be out of the question leaving LEDs as the only option, especially if one also needs to run heated gear, another big electrical requirement.

    To see a group of modern high output systems, go to ADVrider and finding the lighting threads in the G Spot- Oilhead section. There you will see mostly what a group of GS owners have done- some of the systems they've mounted are capable of staggering levels of output- some far more than is needed for anything I can think of. But you'll get an education on who makes the really powerful stuff these days.....

  9. #9
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04r1150rs's Avatar
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    I've got the vision x lights which are just like the Denaili D1 plus one D2 on another bike, and find LED light more of a flood light than a good spot light, and offers less range than the Hi beam. Good lighting up close and to the side of the road. I think LED lens technology just isn't there yet to get a good long range spot light. They are good for being seen and up close flood lights. Both burn very bright and white which helps being noticed.

    Currently the technology isn't out there for LED's as spot lights, at least what I've seen. LED's, since they are more of a flood, put out lots of reflective light up high and have no cutoff pattern to the lens. This if ridding in the rain actually hurts visibility, also yellow caution signs reflect terribly actually cutting down on visibility as it blinds and washes out what is beyond the sign.


    If you wiring can handle it, just get a higher wattage hi beam.
    Richard
    2004 R1150RS
    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

  10. #10
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Back in ancient times (late 60's early 70's) I had equipped my car with Carello auxiliary driving lights Quite a help over the tungsten lights of the time. These lights were available in either a "driving or fog lens configuration using, I believe an H-1 or 3 bulb. The "hot" setup was to have one of each so as to reach out with the "driver" and fill in with the "fog". Are there any of these newer lights that would be available that I might repeat the system I liked so well in the past? My HID headlight has the solenoid feature so that the Hi vs lo beam dilemma is not a problem. I'd just like a little more light and the ability to fine tune the aim. LED seems to be a good potential for the wide fog beam but less so for the driving light. TIA

  11. #11
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    take a look at LiteForce HID lights

    they are amazing!!
    Enjoying the ride, but always on the alert for a rally.......

  12. #12
    Registered User LMIWA156120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amiles View Post
    ...Are there any of these newer lights that would be available that I might repeat the system I liked so well in the past?...
    The Denali D2's come with two lenses for each light. You can mix and match as you like.

    Personally, I just use the spot lens on both of them as that seems to have plenty of spread for my on-road use. If I had a GS and used it off-road at night, I might consider the flood lens.
    Loch Miwa
    Galway, Ireland
    2006 R1200GS

  13. #13
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    I have been using the Denali D2s since May. See more info in this thread

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....k1200gt+denali

    Great daytime visibility lights, good nightime fill in lights.

  14. #14
    '11 R1200RT '12 F800GS BlackDenis's Avatar
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    Denali D2 on R1200RT

    I installed these on my Wunderlich engine bars using Techmount mounts They worked well for about two weeks and then one of them began to fail intermittently. I think the circuit board got loose somehow.
    I emailed and called Twisted Throttle to get an RMA and sent back one pod yesterday. TT was no hassle and hopefully I will get the new one soon.
    The pods have a shorter wire that plugs into the harness. I didn't have to go to a lot of trouble to remove the pod. Biggest downside was the cost of shipping.

  15. #15
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amiles View Post
    Back in ancient times (late 60's early 70's) I had equipped my car with Carello auxiliary driving lights Quite a help over the tungsten lights of the time. These lights were available in either a "driving or fog lens configuration using, I believe an H-1 or 3 bulb. The "hot" setup was to have one of each so as to reach out with the "driver" and fill in with the "fog". Are there any of these newer lights that would be available that I might repeat the system I liked so well in the past? My HID headlight has the solenoid feature so that the Hi vs lo beam dilemma is not a problem. I'd just like a little more light and the ability to fine tune the aim. LED seems to be a good potential for the wide fog beam but less so for the driving light. TIA
    I'm sorta ancient too...but I used Marchal auxilary lights. LOL

    But what you're looking for is available...the Hella FF50's that are mentioned in many "light" threads on the forum are halogens, available in driving or fog reflector/lens patterns. Most of my night time riding is done with a lot of opposing traffic, but I've found the fog pattern FF50's to work just fine...a lot of light down the road, with a nice sharp cutoff that preserves other drivers eyesight. I've aimed the right side one a little high, and a bit to the right to more adequately cover the shoulder, the left one is aimed a tad lower. Set up this way, oncoming drivers NEVER flash me...so I assume my lights don't bother them...and at the same time I feel comfortable at night riding at the posted speed limits (or even "slightly" above...lol).

    Since I'm of Scots heritage, I always look for value...my kit from Susquehanna motorsports for the Hellas was right around a hundred bucks, and an Autoswitch from the Aerostich catalog was another 20-25 or so. The Autoswitch lets you utilize the turn signal cancel button as an on/off switch for the auxilary lights. I've know come to think that the Autoswitch might be redundant, since I run with the aux lights on for conspicuity during the day...and I've never been asked to turn them off at night. YMMV.

    Oh, and my installation was nearly free...a brother in law who does very professional installations did for one beer. Which he coulda had anyway...

    Cheers!
    Bill Johnston

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