I am the owner of a 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. I added the aftermarket
Dussault Undertail to the bike, and was very happy with it, except for
the intensity of the brake lights and turn signals. (go to the bottom
of this webpage for late breaking information on new turn signals) The
undertail came equpped with red brake lenses, and a pair of red LED brake
lamps (aka 1157 bayonet bulbs), and for the turn signals it has clear
lenses and a small orange colored wedge bulb. I spoke with Robert Dussault
at Graphic Art Moto Design about the problem, and he suggested I replace
the "Taiwan Special" LED 1157 bulbs, with some new bulbs available from
Ledtronics . The specific bulbs he pointed me to were the 15mm
Bayonet Based Red LED Lamps . Although Robert had not tested with
these himself, by the looks of the design and the specifications, he suggested
they could have upwards of twice the luminosity of the bulbs he supplies.
These 24-array superbright red LED's looked great, the industrial packaging
was clearly superior to anything else I've seen, but they were priced
at $48.50 (US) each!!!!! Yikes!
I asked Robert for other options, such as replacing my red tail light
lenses with clear, but Robert suggested all other changes would not result
in a brigher tail light for braking. Well, I ended up purchasing two of
these new LED array bulbs for testing, after speaking with several reps
at Ledtronics, Some pictures and comments about my testing are below.
Here's what the new ledtronics bayonet bulbs look like:
Upon inserting these bulbs into my R1's aluminum cylinders in the undertail,
I discovered that the bulbs are not perfectly cylindrical. They are slightly
larger towards the bayonet end, and were very slightly too large to fit
in the opening of the cylinder. I used a Dremel tool to enlarge the lip
of the cylinder just slightly in order to have the bulbs fit:
At this point, I was ready to test. I put one of each type of bulb in
to compare. The result was much more dramatic than I expected. The new
bulbs are MUCH brighter. This picture is with the running
The Ledtronics Bulb is on the left, the Taiwan special is on the right.
Notice the much more intense light produced by the additional
led's in the Ledtronics bulb. To the naked eye, the difference was easily
twice as bright. It's hard to quantify and hard to see just from the pictures,
but the Taiwan bulb with only 4 LED's illuminated, produced a very mild
and diffuse red light. The Ledtronics bulb was very bright, as you can
see over a dozen of the LED's are illuminated when just the running lights
are on. I was blown away by the difference.
The next comparison was with the brake engaged. Again, a very dramatic
difference. The Ledtronics bulb on the left was literally painful to look
at directly when fully illuminated.
If you are looking to increase the visibility of your taillights, especially
when your brakes are engaged, then I highly recommend shelling out the
roughtly $100 US dollars it will take to get a pair of these Ledtronics
AUT1157 bulbs. Given they will last a lifetime and are dramatically brighter
than the alternatives, the cost seems justified. These bulbs can be returned
to Ledtronics if you are not satisfied for a 25% restocking fee. I feel
much safer on the bike now that I'm running these bulbs.