Not sure if it’s the color of the light from the bike’s headlight or if it’s just too dim on low beam but I thought it could use a boost. While there is a lot of info on the forum on many different auxiliary light installs, it seemed like the info I wanted was spread out over a number of different threads. I thought I’d take a shot at painting a complete picture in one place.
For my bike some must haves were:
Factory “stock” looking installation – no additional handlebar switches!
On/off with ignition key
Reduced brightness for always on/daytime conspicuity
Full brightness via the bike’s high beam switch
Small size (and modest light power as I don’t ride at night a lot)
Discrete mounting (no crash bars, keep inside bike’s silhouette)
After much reading on this forum and elsewhere I decided on the S2 Sport from Baja Designs. They combine small size and respectable light output at around $100 ea. The S2 Pro is brighter, but some test reviews seemed to indicate that the lumens drop as the light heats up during normal use. Didn’t think it was worth spending extra bucks for lumens that cannot be sustained. Also, I wasn’t looking for retina searing power, just looking for a little fill-in for the Tracer’s low beam as I find the high beam to be reasonable. The good thing about this install is that I can easily upgrade to more powerful lights in the future if needed. I bought the S2 Sports with the combined lenses (wide/spot).
To mount, I picked up an Adventure Tech mounting plate.
For dimming I settled on a Skene IQ-275 controller. I had spent some time looking at Denali and other solutions, but none of them could offer a solution to the high beam actuation that I was seeking. So, I stand on the shoulders of those who went before me with a Skene controller. Without further ado, here’s how it went.
Adventure Tech light bar
Didn’t quite fit my 2019 Tracer 900GT out of the box. It didn’t extend down far enough to comfortably clear the plastic bodywork under the headlight. Also, it was hitting the adjusters behind the headlights. Some simple mods made it work, though - a little bending and a little filing/grinding. (I did feedback this info to them so they can make it fit better for future Tracer owners!)
Adventure Tech light bar installed
This shows the first leg after bending approximately 10deg.
Filed a millimeter or three so it will clear the headlight adjusters
S2 Sport mounting
The lights’ square shape as located using the pre-drilled holes in the Adventure Tech mounting plate resulted in an interference with the bike’s fairing. I didn’t want to drill another set of holes in the plate so instead I fashioned a small offset to drop the lights a little lower under the mounting plate.
Using the pre-drilled holes in the Adventure Tech mounting plate meant dropping the lights a little to clear the fairing
Skene wiring and high beam function
The key here, again, was using the bike’s stock high beam switch to change the auxiliary lights from reduced power to full power on high beam. The Skene controller is designed to look for a steady 12V signal to go to full power. As folks know, on our bikes with LED lights there is no such signal available in the high beam circuit. It appears that the Yamaha headlight module employs a high Z / low Z circuit state to trigger the high beam. The high beam trigger wire is switched to a low impedance state (i.e. ground) via the handlebar switch. To make the Skene controller high beam function work, this low impedance/low voltage state needs to be translated into a 12V signal. This can be accomplished using a standard automotive relay. In this case I used a simple normally open 4-pin accessory relay purchased from my local auto parts store. It has a 12V, 30A rating – way more than needed (only need to switch a couple hundred mA at most). The schematic below shows all of the wiring connections for the lights including how to connect the relay to produce the high beam trigger for the Skene controller.
The lights themselves draw slightly less than 1A ea. so I used a 5A fuse in the power line from the battery.
Baja Designs S2 Sport + Skene IQ-275 + high beam control signal schematic
I didn’t have a wiring diagram for my ’19 Tracer so it was a little trial and error to tap the correct wire on the OEM headlight controller. I tried the yellow w/white stripe wire first but that didn’t work. The solid yellow one did the trick.
Two yellow wires control high beam on the '19 Tracer 900 GT - choose the solid yellow one to work with the Skene controller
Positap connection in place
Another consideration as I got into the installation is where to place the Skene controller and high beam inverter relay on the bike. I wanted to minimize the number of wires running from under the seat to the lights up front. I decided that keeping the Skene controller and relay up front was the best solution since everything is pretty small and fits in the space under the windscreen. With this, I needed to run only two wires from the front of the bike back to the battery under the seat.
For 12V power to operate the Skene controller, I used one of the three switched accessory plugs located under the windscreen on our bikes (one is used from the factory for the cigarette plug on the dash + two extras). The Skene controller only needs a couple hundred mA so the accessory outlets, which are switched with the ignition key, are perfect for this.
Switched 12V accessory outlets under the Tracer windshield
I chose to use the one on the right to supply functional power to the Skene controller. Couldn't find the necessary crimp connections to mate with any of the connectors so I cut the one on the right off and installed my own blade connector. See below. I only needed the hot side so I left the ground connection (brown w/black stripe wire) unconnected. I tied all ground wires (two for the lights, one for the Skene controller) together and routed back to the battery negative terminal. See the schematic above.
12V connection to power the Skene low power circuits and the relay used for the high beam inverter signal
Everything in place prior to buttoning up
I wound up making a "custom" wiring harness using the one that came in the Baja Designs kit. The kit was intended for an automotive installation so the wires were super long! I cut them considerably shorter and did make four solder connections on it which would make removal a little messy. But If I ever get bored enough maybe I'll go in and replace with removable connectors - nah, probably not! 😁 The end result is pretty tidy, though.
Wiring harness zip tied in place
How do they look? Pretty damn good IMHO! At first I kept all the mounting brackets and hardware in their natural stainless color. Later (after the photos were taken) I decided to paint them all black. See a few photos showing the lights' operation below.
Initially, I left the non-highbeam output level at the Skene factory setting of 20% (Skene yellow wire unconnected). Daytime conspicuity was fine but they didn't seem to be contributing enough at night. So I changed it to 50% to get a little more. Still need more road testing to see if this is good enough while not annoying oncoming traffic.