My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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Saturday
Oct082016

Denali D4 Installation - 2007 BMW R1200GS

Summertime riding in North Carolina can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable. There are those that tough it out and those that choose to spend a hot Sunday in in a garage adding farkle to a bike. Guilty! And so is Dave. It's his bike and I offered to help him install a set of the new Denali D4 auxiliary lights on his '07 R1200GS.

These hybrid LED lights provide both flood and spot lighting in a single assembly. Unboxing was a real treat. They are really well-built and have a certain quality feel in your hand.

The goals of this project were to power the D4s from the battery, but controlled with an ignition-switched relay and bar-mounted power switch. The output of the relay would also provide power to a connector for Dave's heated gear and future farkle.

After some disassembly, including fuel tank and windshield removal, we tackled the easy part first. Dave had purchased a mounting bar for the lights and that was quickly U-bolted in place on the front subframe, behind and below the beak. While Dave bolted the D4s in place on each side of the mount,  I started to build the new wiring harness and relay connections, working forward from the battery.

12 gauge stranded wire, crimp-on ring terminals and a weather-resistant fuse holder were employed to make the battery connection. Note:  Besides the crimping of the ring terminals, I flowed a little solder into them to make really sure they wouldn't come apart on some rainy, moonless night. Fast-on connections were made to the relay and it was wired to energize only when ignition power is present. We chose to leach ignition power from the wire providing positive power to the small bulb located in the headlight assembly. A Posi-Tap connector was used to make this connection and it really simplified the process. Once everything was in place, a few tests with a volt meter were completed to make sure the electrons were flowing in the proper direction.

With the relay switching tackeled, more 12 gauge wire was routed along the engine to the front of the bike, where we intended to "distribute" the power to the D4s, the wiring for the heated clothing and other TBD farkle.

Due to my previous experience using Anderson PowerPoles for DC power connections, we terminated the relay-switched power near the front of the bike with a red-black pair of the 30A connectors. To split the electrons between the different targets, we used a 6-way PowerPole splitter product called the PWR-BLOK 6 from Quicksilver Radio. The photo below shows the final location of the splitter just under the left side of the front fairing.

The PowerPole connections at the bottom take up 3 of the 6 available positions: DC power in, Power out to the D4s and power out to the heated gear connection. In the future, we'll have to adjust the orientation of the splitter to accommodate using any of the 3 open positions at the top.

Denali provides a complete wiring harness for the D4s, with a very generous amount of wiring. Everything is pretty much plug and play once we added the PowerPole connectors and tied Denali's own ignition sense wire permanently to the positive side of the DC connection.

We could have shortened much of the provided wiring harness, but the afternoon sun was shining into the garage, raising the temperature further and encouraging completion of the project sooner. Instead, we chose to work carefully from the connections at the lights themselves, tucking and tying the surplus wiring to the front subframe where it would be both protected and out of sight.

With the harness for both lights tucked away and the Denali-provided On-Off switch mounted inboard of the left side handgrip, it was time to put the tank back on and call it a day. The finished project really looked good. Dave spent some time after dark doing some minor adjustments to the D4 alignment. For the most part, they were pretty much spot on. Pun intended. These lights REALLY light up the night and a fine job during the day, too.

It's always interesting when you finish a wiring project like this and take stock of the zip ties replaced and otherwise wasted. This photo should give you an idea of the carnage. It was worth it.