Givi Trunk Lights

Contributed by Pete J. Madden (Wild72)

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With the darker evenings rapidly approaching, I wanted to make my bike a little more visible to the cagers, as well as having brake lights that were higher up and closer to a following drivers eye level.

The Givi V46 is a great trunk, with some nice big reflectors, but no aftermarket lighting available for anything except the four little circular lenses above the latch. I found some flexible, waterproof LED light strips available at http://www.oznium.com/thin-waterproof-ribbon at a very reasonable price, and ordered four feet and an assortment of resistors to modify the brightness level of the LED’s when in running light mode. Delivery was a very quick three days from the left coast.


Since it is a tad chilly outside, I removed the trunk from the bike, and brought it indoors to carry out the installation. First step is to remove the color matched lid. Five screws all accessed from inside the main compartment. I also took the opportunity to remove the pretty useless document holder from the inner of the lid, which appears only to use up space, and since I often ride without the trunk, I choose to keep my legal documents elsewhere on the bike.

Next step is to remove the lenses and the reflectors, which simply unclip from the case:

I the cut the flexible ribbon LED lights into lengths to fit on the reflectors, and using the 3M adhesive tape supplied, fixed them to the reflectors:

before soldering some wire to each strip and testing, using a 12V DC power supply. Since I had some of the flexible LED ribbon left over, I decided to tackle putting some behind the aforementioned circular reflectors above the latch. When you separate this part from the lid, the Givi emblem will fall out. Watch it doesn’t find it’s way under the sofa. (Don’t ask me how I know…). Behind the reflector lens, is a little strip of reflective material, secured in place in true Italian style and quality, (think Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Laverda, Ferrari etc.), by a piece of clear tape!

Remove the tape, fix the LED to the reflective material, using a high quality 3M piece of tape, and solder on a couple of wires:

After testing that all LED’s were working, I began putting the case back together. I drilled a small hole sufficient for a piece of wire to pass through into the main compartment, and spliced all the LED wires together behind the four circular reflectors. Some hot glue ensured the Givi emblem remained in place, and all the lenses were reinstalled. There are three sizes of screws used to secure everything. The two largest ones go into the lens that houses the Givi emblem. The next screws that are the same size go into the front section of the side lenses, and the single small screw goes below the Givi emblem.

Once the case was reassembled, I played around with some different sizes of resistors to get the lights dimmed for running lights, before settling on 560 ohms. I drilled a hole in the base of the trunk, to enable the installation of a Radio Shack 1/8″ Stereo Phone Jack (Part # 274-0246) for disconnecting the trunk when I wish to ride without it.

Using a 1.8″ cord and plug arrangement “borrowed” from an old, non-working pair of headphones, I spliced in to the wiring loom under the rear seat, near to the rear light cluster. I used two diodes, (Radio Shack Part # 276-1101), one going to the tail light circuit, the other going to the brake light circuit.The 560 Ohm resistor was then connected between the other ends of the diodes, and then to the cord as shown in the diagram below.


The wiring was secured within the trunk using hot glue, which was also used around the socket, both to prevent water ingress, and also to give the socket a bit more support from anything rattling around inside the trunk.


The finished installation shows firstly tail light, then brake lights activated. Obviously, these were taken on a sunny day, and will be much more effective at night.

 

Total cost for this farkle was around $60.

Increasing my chances of not being rear ended - Priceless.

 


 Updated October 17, 2008