Lunasee Side Lighting Install | Tech

Increased motorcycle visibility via LED

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

Lunasee's Active Side Lighting: Another weapon in the war to be visible to drivers

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Do you remember when you were in your teens or early 20s and destroying your body didn’t really seem to matter? Being safe was probably the last thing on your mind, right? As a skateboarder growing up, I’d throw myself off a perfectly good set of stairs in order to land a cool trick and impress my friends. Sometimes I didn’t fare so well. But my young body healed up quickly and I’d try it again. As I’ve gotten older, it definitely feels like the healing takes twice as long.

Today’s bikers are smarter about safety and safety gear than those from years past. Helmet sales have increased, even in states that don’t require them to be used by law, and riding jackets with safety armor are being worn even when it’s extremely hot. This makes you think about the little things, like checking your brakes or making sure your tires’ tread is up to snuff. I think we all agree that close calls happen all too often, so how do we make our bikes more noticeable, especially at night? Loud exhaust pipes work great for alerting those around you, but let’s face it; cars don’t necessarily give a crap about us. So how do we make our bikes more noticeable without taking away the looks of the motorcycle? Do we wear bright colors while riding or install reflectors everywhere?

We did our research and came up with a simple and effective way to make your bike more visible at night. Lunasee developed its Active Side Lighting technology (starting at $149.95), which includes a reflective strip of Light Emitting Rim (LER) tape that runs the length of the rim (for front and rear wheels or front wheel only) and is illuminated by a high-intensity LED positioned toward the reflective material to really make those around you aware of your presence. The LER tape is almost invisible during the day but highly visible from the sides at night, thus increasing safety. The side lighting can also be used to highlight aftermarket wheels or accent other lighting systems on your bike.

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

We made sure to wash the wheel with warm water and soap before applying the LER tape. We let the wheel air-dry and then wiped off the remainder of the brake dust and road grime with the supplied alcohol wipes.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

The source of light comes from the Lunasee’s Light Emitting Rim (LER) tape and choice of two...

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

...or four small LED pods.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

The LED pods are mounted via double-stick tape and/or the supplied brackets. Mounting locations vary from motorcycle to motorcycle, but some basic rules apply to the mounting. Lunasee recommends target distance between LED pod and LER tape to be 1/2 inch. However, a range between 1/4 inch and 1 inch is acceptable, provided the LED pods never come in contact with the rims or tires. The brackets allow the LED pods to mount in various locations on your motorcycle.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

We applied the LER tape using the provided applicator.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

We used the inner fork leg and the provided double-stick tape to mount the LED pod. This area is covered by the fender and hides the LED pod and wiring.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

Basically, your bike’s battery will provide the power source for the LED pods to work. We hooked the LEDs into the small Lunasee power adapter and mounted it to the frame rail near the fuse panel underneath the left side cover.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

Lunasee recommends using a provided on/off switch to control the LED pods. This way you can increase the life expectancy of the LEDs and shut the LEDs off during day riding.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak

Lunasee Side Lighting Install

With the kit installed on the bike, we spun the wheel to test the LER tape and LED pods on the bike. The system worked as advertised and hopefully will help cagers and fellow motorcyclists be aware of where we are.

Words and Photos: Wes Drelleshak