Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SV650 LED Turn Signal Install

In my quest to make my 2001 SV650 more visible to other road users and to the future pleasure of my riding companions, I upgraded my turn signals to bright LEDs. One of the signals was also burned out and the bulb is not removable. The previous owner of my bike replaced the stock signals with the little orange ones below which people had a tough time seeing during the day.

The indicators are these 15 LED Single Circuit Amber Lights.
new LED signal new vs old
I used the following tools to do my install:
turn signal tools
Here are some photos of the signals and bike before the upgrade:
IMGP6375 IMGP6388IMGP6389
As with the brake light upgrade, I took a lot of extra pictures of the hardware than normal. There are many bolts and screws of different sizes, and I wanted to remember where they all went since I did this work over many days.

1) Remove both of the seats. Use the 4mm allen wrench for the side panels around the main seat then use the 6mm allen wrench for the main seat.
2) With the 12mm socket, remove the grab bar
3) Use the philips screwdriver to remove the screws on the rear cowling between the seats.
4)Remove the six screws that hold the rear cowling.
5) My SV650 has a custom undertray:
with two screws and two 8mm bolts with 10mm nuts.
IMGP6399IMGP6400 IMGP6424IMGP6425
6) Remove the two screws holding the pillion seat lock
7) Twist the cable for the lock out of the grove and then remove it.
8) Now, the rear cowling can be removed. There are two rubber posts shown below that sit firmly in the rubber grommets. Carefully pull to the sides and remove.
tricky rubber nub on each side of rear cowling
9)Rear cowling removed:
All of the plastic removed, and the bike is ready to work on.
everything removed
10) Unplug the existing connectors for the signals and pull the cable out the bottom
11) I loosened the bolts on the old signals with the 14mm wrench and removed them from the bike. It took a while to remove all the old electrical tape.
12) I cut the stock connector off the old signals and wired them into the new ones. SV650 black with white stripe = new signal black SV650 black = new signal yellow. IMGP6464
13) I marked each signal, so I wouldn’t mix them up. The black stock connector is the right side and the grey one is the left. I also covered the all the wires in heatshrink tubing before mounting.
14) I mounted the new signals to the existing bracket on the top of the license plate
new signals mounted
15) I cleaned up the bottom with some zip tipes and some extra heavy duty electrical tape to provide some extra support to the wires and heatshrink.
16) Plug everything back in and test. The old signal is on the left and the new on the right. The pictures don’t show it very well, but the new ones are much bright (at least in my garage). Since I did this most last winter, and am now just posting. I can also comment that others say they are much easier to see too.
old bulb signal new LED turnsignal
17) Now move to the front of the bike and remove the headlight to get at the stock connectors behind the bulb.
18) The connectors on the front are the same as the back. The black stock connector is the right side and the grey one is the left.
19) The finished signals installed:
IMGP6524 IMGP6525
20) Reinstall the cowling, headlight, seats, etc.
21) Go for a ride!
They flash faster than the old bulbs did. I did purchase a flasher relay to slow them down, but I like them flashing faster as it is more eye catching.
I’ve had them on the bike for over a year now, and I still like them.


  1. Hey Chris, nice work. I always worry about safety, and LED blinkers/lights are always good. I mentioned them few weeks ago, and I was hoping to write another article about safety/visibility.
    Is it OK to mention this post of yours and provide a link ?
    I would also suggest LED stop light and some quality HID headlight. Actually I'd be honored if you'd take a look at that post at my blog, I tried to enumerate all I could remember for improving visibility. Hopefully to give you some more ideas, and if you have some ideas I might missed, please tell me. Best regards!

  2. Dear Chris:

    I am amazed at the trend by many to reduce the size of turn signals and other lights to the dimension of aspirin. I like lots of bright lights, and if they flash like a disco in the 80's — so much the better. I read your tool list with admiration, and went to see that I had all of them. I can't use them, but I do like looking at them. Nice blog today.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  3. MotoCraze: Thanks! That would be great if you linked back to this post. You may also consider this one with LED brake lights and the hyper-lites:

    When I get off my lazy butt, I'll finish the HID upgrade on two of my bikes. The R1150GS is also getting two extra driving lights to complete the "light triangle" for better visibility.

    My GS also has reflective tape on the side panels. You can see it in this photo:

    I also got a big sticker for the back of my helmet. the Minnesota motorcycle safety center will send them to MN residents for free.

    Dear Jack: yea, so small no one can see them but they are still legal. I think it goes with removing the rear fender, so they are covered in mud too.

  4. @Jack Riepe
    I think you're missing the point here.
    LED blinkers actually shine better and stronger than the regular ones! That's the reason for this replacement. Slightly smaller, yes, but shines way better! Another important thing is that LEDs are very reliable. With quality LEDs you can count with them lasting longer than your bike, or until they're broken, while the regular bulbs can burn out easily.

  5. additionally... looking at the photos, I don't think they are significantly than originals.