SAENG NIGHT CUTTER
By Don Eilenberger <email@example.com>
Back around Thanksgiving (late November for non-USA people) ... I'd asked here if anyone had any first-hand experience with the Saeng/TA "Night-Cutters" which were somehow brought to my attention at their web site.
I received no answers, so I emailed them asking for info. I got a brochure in the mail, and email from Saeng. I later called with some fitment questions - and they were very helpful on the phone.. the person I spoke with (Steve?) owns a GS and was familiar with all the BMW models.
I finally decided on the bar-mount model (made to fit bars around +/- some amount 1") - planning on mounting them on my crash bars on my K100RT. The lights are approx. 5" wide, 2 1/2" high and about 3" deep. Rectangular lens.
Cost from Saeng is $94.95/pair + shipping.
Christmas morning arrived, and Santa must have heard my wish, 'cause under the tree was a pair of the lights.
Christmas week was sorta boring, so I started plans to mount and wire them. Planning took a lot of going to the garage and staring at things, getting the parts took about 15 minutes (heavy duty relay from the local auto-parts emporium - Bosch sort of design, with a tab and screw hole in the tab for mounting. Wire came from one of my many boxes of wire - had some decent marine grade #12. Also an in-line heavy duty mini-spade fuse assembly was obtained from auto-parts store, and one of those sorta universal rectangular lighted switches). Total cost of parts was about $15.
Mounted the lights on the crash bars as high as I could. The right
side of the bike determined the actual height - about 20" off the
ground since this bar is a bit closer to the fairing than the left
side bar. Mounting was easy, and looked clean (not hokey). This is a
photo of the left side, from the front.
The wiring from the lights is in a nice sorta braided loom, with wires about 20" long. These I passed through the same hole the bars mount to the upper engine mounts with, and I tie-wrapped them to the bars.
Nice clean looking installation. Here is a view of the left side, from
rear, showing the braided wiring.
I took one of the blank switch panels out, and using a drill and a fine coping saw, and a bit of filing - the universal lighted switch (I chose blue) fit right in and looked good (not hokey ... I hate hokey).
Wiring was straightforward - I tapped off the radio switched power (turns on/off with the ignition) up to the switch. The switch being lighted needs a ground, so it got one, and then a wire from the switch following the standard handlebar wiring down to the relay. The relay I mounted behind the left kneepad of the fairing, and made male/female connectors so the lights can be easily disconnected in order to remove the crash bars (which is necessary to remove the lower fairing sides, which is necessary for lots of service on this bike).
Hooked the pigtail fuse from the battery to the power-in connection on the relay - put a 30A fuse in it, and it was off and running.
Took bike to a consulting job today - which ran longer than I thought it would, so it was dark when I started home.
When I first started out - the lights were pointing to a position about 15' in front of the bike, which wasn't too useful.
Managed to find a deserted street with a house right at the end about 400' away, and adjusted the lights (which can be done sitting on the bike by leaning way forwards!) so they dropped to the ground at about 400', and converged at about the same point.
I then started driving home ... it didn't SEEM a lot different, but I hadn't ridden the bike at night for a long time since I felt I couldn't see ... and then I realized I COULD see - and see quite well.
So - I tried switching them off - and I thought I'd gone blind. I was certain the headlight was burned out - but it wasn't ... it was just pitiful compared to the amount of light, and the pattern of the auxiliary lights.
I did a fair amount of riding in traffic - with oncoming in the next lane - and received no headlight flashes - so I'm guessing they were not blinding people.
Do I think they are worth the $95? - yep. Every penny of it. They are not as 'intense' as Larry Fears Dear Blasters[tm] (PIA-110's) but it appears that I can leave these on when in traffic - something I don't think Larry can't really do.
When I spoke with Saeng - I asked about the bulbs - they are standard H4 55w bulbs - and Saeng said the housing was rated up to 100w bulbs if I felt I needed them. I don't feel I need them.
What next? I'll probably move the power feed to the switch from the radio connection to the offloader relay in the fusebox - this way they'll turn off automatically when starting the bike. For some reason the radio power is NOT on this relay.
Anyone with questions about'm - feel free to email me!
OH - In comparing the relative brightness of these lights to the headlight, the headlight - looking at the lights facing the front of the bike, looks pitiful. It really looks yellow in color - and since it is also a 55w low-beam - to me this means it isn't getting the voltage it should. Got the relay to rewire this - mebbe tomorrow... I think it is WELL worth doing. I'll write this up - and mebbe take a few photos while doing it.
They also make "body mounts" which require drilling one hole (which I didn't want to do) and just came out with (not in their brochure ... they told me about the) - fork mounts for the GS.
DISCLAIMER - I have no interest in Saeng, 'cept being a customer and liking their product and the service I received. Santa (SWMBO) paid full price + shipping for the lights.
Spring Lk Hts, NJ, USA
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