Kat Dash BMW /5 LED upgrade install

I had a wonderful opportunity of installing a Kat Dash /5 LED kit on my customized California blue 1973 R100/5 (yes, it is a /5 with a R100 engine) .

I had the headlight apart already to tighten up the custom key assembly that started turning inside the headlight bucket when I turned the key.

A nice small, tidy box containing the kit arrived in the mail.


The bulbs are labeled nicely in baggies with stickers that indicate the bulb color. I wasn’t sure what the wiring was for and then read the directions and figured it out.

Side note – This bike has the custom key seen here (not a typical /5 nail style key) and LED turn signals that required I wire in resistors to create more  load to activate the turn signal relay.  And, I decided to adapt all the wiring to a /6 style relay board. It all makes sense to me…

But here is what the headlight bucket looked like when I opened it up (spaghetti anybody?).
The gold things are resistors I had that were wired along with the LED turn signals.
One lead of the resister was wired with the positive lead of the turn signal and the other lead of the resistor was wired with the same ground as the turn signal.

R75/5 headlight wiring with /6 Relay board

The Kat Dash kit is pretty easy.
Follow the directions.

BE CAREFUL not to twist the LED’s in the bulb housings too much.  They will come ripped out of the bulb base if you do.

A few things to realize – There are additional wires with resistors added to allow the Generator/Voltage light to activate with the LED bulb.
The same goes for the Turn Signal indicator Light.

I got half way through my install when I hit a major problem – one of the LED lights popped out INTO my speedometer!  Yikes!  This was not any fault of the LEDs.  It had to do with the bulb base being worn/bent too much to hold the bulb in place correctly.  I had to take everything apart, remove the speedometer, and spend about 10 minutes with a tiny magnet until I was able to fish the light out of the speedometer’s rear bulb housing area.

If the bulb sits crooked in the wired base, FIX it before you install it into the speedometer.

With my 4yr old’s fingers to help me with the photo, I was able to fix it with a dental pick and bend that lip out to catch the bulb better, and hold it straight in the housing… and most importantly, not eject the light into the speedometer housing!

I continued my assembly, and to my surprise, after I wired in the relay to allow for the new LED turn signal indicator bulb to work, I no longer needed my big gold resistors in my wiring scheme.
Kat had sold me an electronic turn signal relay that works with LED bulbs and I ended up not needing it.

Here is the bike off:


Bike with the LED running light on:

Bike with the LED lights on – So bright the gamut of the camera could not capture them:

And a video of everything working:

 

1978 BMW R100S Restoration

A 1978 BMW R100s fixed up and released back into the wild.

This bike is an absolute dream to ride. It runs amazingly smooth.

I had to go through some serious DMV hoops to get the salvaged title status back on the road with a deadline of 5 months until I incurred DMV penalty fees.  I made it to the registration day with 2 days to spare.

I cleaned, restored, replaced, rebuilt whatever it needed to get it back on the road.  The front end is from a spare R90/6 that I had lying around.

 

1978 BMW R100S with R90/6 front end. by Josh Withers

Reinforced Passenger Peg Muffler Hanger tab on BMW motorcycle

This is one of those things I try to do to every BMW motorcycle I rebuild.
This area is cracked on nearly every frame I tear down. It is the rear foot brake area which also is the muffler / silencer hanger, and where the passenger foot pegs attach. This frame is a 1978 BMW R100s. If you are considering rear sets on your bike that attach to this section, then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing this procedure.

cracked tab near rear foot brake pivot hole on BMW airhead framecracked tab near rear foot brake pivot hole

cracked tab near rear foot brake pivot hole on BMW airhead frame

New piece of metal to weld onto the old cracked section to reinforce the area making it MUCH stronger and no longer prone to cracking.

Welded metal onto the rear foot brake section of a BMW R100S

Finished powder coated frame with the welded metal. This area is out of sight to most people unless they take the rear tire off.

1980 BMW R65 Center Stand repair

When I first got this bike, I had to use all my muscle to rock it off of the center stand.  It made me wonder about the R65 model… but then I realized that both tires were still touching the ground while it was on the center stand.  I still wasn’t sure if this was correct or not.  I thought it could have been on of the R65 quirks until a local mechanic friend told me it was due to the center stand being slightly bent.

1980 BMW R65

1980 BMW R65

So the bike went back up on the lift…

IMG_9063

1980 BMW bent center stand tab where it touches the frame

1980 BMW bent center stand tabs where it touches the frame

 

The bent area was filled in with a weld

The bent area was filled in with a weld on both sides

 

Ground the weld down to be flat again. I could have kept a bit more material in hind sight.

Ground the weld down to be flat again. I could have kept a bit more material in hind sight.

 

Painted and ready for re-install thanks to my mini garage helper.

Painted and ready for re-install thanks to my mini garage helper.

The front wheel no longer touches the ground and it is much easier to rock off the center stand.  I could have built up even more material so it would sit a bit higher but I was being conservative. I wasn’t really sure how much was too much.  But for now, the problem is solved.

1980 BMW R65 red

1980 BMW R65 red