PIAA 1100X Installation - Step By Step

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This reference section highlights some key aftermarket accessories or installation walkthroughs that people have found useful.

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Gord
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PIAA 1100X Installation - Step By Step

Postby Gord » Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:47 pm

For some reason I have no fear of messing with the wiring in my house, but have a huge fear of messing with the electrical systems on my vehicles. So I offer this post to bore the heck out of those of you are mechanically adept and maintain your own bikes. And hopefully to encourage those of you who are less mechanically inclined (like me) to realize there are modifications we can make to our bikes ourselves. This is my case study on installing PIAA 1100X lighting on the R1150R.

The first step in installing my PIAA lights was to mount the RCU Designs brackets I purchased from BMW of Salt Lake City. The instructions are very straight forward, but I still feel illustrations always help to make the job easier. A picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words. So with that in mind, I thought I would supplement the RCU instructions with some photos from my own installation.

RCU Step 1 – Remove the right side headlight plastic cover and remove the headlight retaining screw.

This picture shows the headlight plastic cover pulled outward and released from the fitting. Note that a plastic lug fits into the round grommet that you see right above the white label.

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This picture more clearly shows the lugs on the inside of the plastic headlight cover that fit into the grommets

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This picture shows the headlight retaining screw to be removed. Your BMW tool kit contains the appropriate torx wrench required to remove this screw.

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RCU Step 2 – Remove the 17mm nut that retains the right turn signal stock.

This picture shows the stock hanging loosely after the removal of the nut. You also see more clearly the two grommets that the headlight plastic cover mounts to.

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Here are two pictures showing the RCU mounting bracket. In hindsight, it might have been nice to have sent these out to be chromed before mounting them.

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Here I am offering up the bracket to see how it will mount. The large hole in the front aligns with the headlight retaining screw. The notched hole on the top rear of the bracket aligns with the turn signal mounting.

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RCU Step 3 – Place the plastic tooth spacers into the large hole of the bracket.

Here is the plastic toothed spacer from the headlight mounting screw before and after it was inserted into the large hold of the bracket. I used a few gentle wacks from a rubber mallet to make sure that the spacer was firmly and flushly mounted in the bracket.

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RCU Step 4 – Place a split spacer from the kit over the turn signal wire.

This is what the split spacer looks like.

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RCU Step 5 – Insert the RCU bracket

Here you see the RCU bracket mounted between the headlight and the headlight mount. Note that the split spacer from Step 4 is mounted between the washer that was already on the turn signal wire and the RCU bracket

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This is everything tightened into place

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And this what the bracket looks like with the headlight plastic cover pressed back into place

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Installation of the PIAA 1100X lights.

I have to admit that I am not always the most mechanically inclined individual. Give me a basement to frame, wire, drywall and finish, and I can do it. But ask me to work on devices (cars and motorcycles) that I risk my life in and on, and I question my capability. I was originally going to get my dealer to install my lights for me. But I decided “what the heck”. If worse came to worse I could ship the bike to my dealer to fix or call in my mechanically inclined friends. So I plunged ahead.

To start the installation I removed the gas tank as per the instructions in the owners manual. It was very straight forward and almost too simple. I became suspicious.

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I next mounted my PIAA 1100X lights to the RCU brackets. Rightly or wrongly I chose to put the mounting nuts on the bottom side of the mount for a cleaner look. This took some dexterity to hold the washer and nut in place between the light and the mount while tightening them from above. Note: I did not use the double sided mounting tape that comes with the PIAA kit.

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The power supply for the lights connects directly to the battery terminals. It was very easy to do. Here you see the black (ground) and white (power) cables that connect to the lights.

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Rather than try to figure out what wire to splice into, I used an “add a circuit” device that allows me to tap directly into the fuse box. Bob (rdsmith3) referred me to this device and provided the following link: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdet ... er=071-580. I got mine at Canadian Tire. Most auto parts suppliers would carry these. In this picture you can see the black fuse holder in the centre with the red wire running from it. The red wire crimps directly to the on/off switch wire that comes with the PIAA kit.

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Here is an aerial view of all the wiring in place. Black ground. White power. At the top you see a bundle of wires that I have connected to the frame with electrical ties (supplied with the PIAA kit). This is the wire that runs to the on/off switch. I did not cut or splice a single wire in this installation.

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And this is with the fuse box cover installed.

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I used double sided tape to mount the on/off switch to my left handle bar.

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The hardest part of this entire installation was reconnecting the quick disconnect couplings on the gas tank. There is little play in the lines and it is hard to get enough leverage with your fingers to squeeze them back together. Others have recommended putting some oil on the ends of the connectors and even snipping the tie backs that hold them in place to get the leverage.

All told, a much easier job than I anticipated. And the lights look great! Now if only I had a picture to prove they actually work!
Gord

I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. - No. 6

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