Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lights, Visibility and the Hovering Helicopter Husband

I've had my Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom just over a year now. Not long after buying it, I took it out in the pitch dark of night and was horrified at how little my light lights up the road in front of me. Even my husband's bike lights up a bit better than mine. I declared I wanted a light bar added to my bike. My husband did the research, gave me that look, and said "It ain't gonna happen soon," as it's pretty expensive.

So over the year I haven't taken it out much at night, except on the main roads that are well lit at night. My loving husband never gave up the idea and came up with a cheaper solution for now. He discovered in the Chaparral Motorsports catalog the Ion bulbs. They provide the equivalent to 90 watt low beam & 100 watt high beam power. They draw the same amperage as a stock 55/60w bulb. For the price, he figured it was worth a try. He bought one for him and one for me. When they arrived, much to his manly dismay, I declared I would change my own bulb!! I worked 4 years as a aircraft hydraulic specialist in the Air Force, I think I can change a V-Star light bulb.

He resigned to the ineviable, and I pulled out my owners manual to see how it's done. He was my technical assistant (a-hem!!). When I pulled out the screw driver to take out the two screws, you'd think I'd pulled out the scalpel and was doing brain surgery (lol). My husband was the typical hovering helicopter "mom" he's always accused me of as our two sons are growing up. The second I'd do something he was hovering all over the place with advice on "do it this way, watch out!, no not like that!!. I finally had to tell him to back off and give me a little room. I know how a screwdriver works!!

See... I managed to get the light housing off and working on unplugging it. Next step, cut the nerve... I mean remove the bulb and put in the new one.
Okay, just kidding honey, I really do remember which bulb I just pulled out (lol)!!!
So I get the new bulb in (without a hitch, thank you very much!) and get it all back together. So, a few beers later, my husband is back to normal and 25 years of marriage is still intack (lol).

It was a couple of nights before we were able to test the results. We are so happy with how those bulbs are working. It's like night and day. We highly recommend this as an alternative, if you are like us and can't presently afford the light bar. We may never get lights bars now.

Note: The Ion bulb puts out a blue light and really lights things up. Because of the blue hue, we feel we stand out a little better to the oncoming traffic. We feel the difference has added a safety element we didn't expect and are glad to have.

Safe Journey in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)


Christine said...

Hey Betty, you ain't scorin' no points holding that manual upside down!!!! LOL...

You earned respect points in my book..for tackling the job!! Whoo hoo.... Tell Unsupported HANDS OFF THOSE ARE MY TOOLS!!!!!!

You go gurl!!

Biker Betty said...

The Jokester in me couldn't resist the first pic (*smile*). Thanks for the compliment (*blush*). My light bulb change is minor compared to all you have worked on on your bike.

Gurls Rule!! :)

KT Did said...

I like the lights... think I'll order some and will let you know if I put them in or not... I might have to take a ride to you to help me wrench them in..HA! Are you or Christine going to the Womens Expo in Northern California first weekend in June?

WooleyBugger said...

Hey Betty,
Watch out! Betty will be our next Biker build off champion. And she'll be able to tell all "Well you see, it all began with a light bulb. Now I have this multi-gazillion dollar company..."

If you want a light bar Betty, send me some measurements and a drawing and I'll be happy to help you out.

Husband said...

In my defense(LOLL), I was not hovering, I was circling nearby drawing hostile fire from the yamaha gremlins, thus ensuring Biker Betty's success(LOL). She failed to mention she needed an assist to figure how the H-4 bulbs fit in the socket holder, go figure!!!

Biker Betty said...

Hi KT, No plans to go to the N.CA Expo. I don't know about Christine. Looked it up and it sure sounds neat. Are you going? Actually, that Friday before my son goes for his checkup on the bone tumor on his arm. It's gotten pretty big and they're keeping an eye on it that it doesn't turn to cancer, which is slim - praise God. He's had it since he was 5 and he's been getting MRI's every 6 months for the last 1 1/2 yrs.

Okay, now that you got more info than you needed. Come on down and we will get that bulb changed (lol).

Hi Wooley, that would be cool to know enough about a bike to win a Biker Builder Championship!!! I've actually added one more thing to my bike with my hovering husband's help. I will post that with pics in the near future. I've actually had some rides I've done that I need to post. Wow!! thanks for the offer of help with a light bar. So, you can make one from scratch? Okay, you'll be the one with a ba-zillion dollar company!!

Okay, my husband is right, I did need some help with getting the light in. But in my defense, any time I faltered he would come in for a landing all nervous about what I was doing. Talk about a mother hen (lol). You'd think MY motoryclcle was HIS baby!! He loves to hover, he worked 20 years on helicopter in the Air Force. Oh Hubby, I love you and thanks for your help.

Safe Journey's in Your Part of the World, Betty

Steve Johnson said...

Lightbars can also be a pain in the butt to install. The one Yamaha offers for the Road Star is poorly designed. Mine broke after 6 months of use. Don't waste your money on it. Cobra makes really good light bars, though it doesn't look like they offer one for the 650 Custom.

KT Did said...

I am going... Stella is riding along with me...my mother lives up there so at least we have a place to fall out at for the duration. So sorry about your son...my prayers are going out to you and hope all will be well.

Biker Betty said...

Steve, thanks for the tip. I will look into that. I have a while before we buy a light bar. It's too bad you found out the hard way about Yamaha's light bar.

KT, Wow, that's convenient that your mom lives there. Sounds like it will be lots of fun. So are you going to Georgia's too?

Thanks about my son. He had his MRI a month ago, so if anything horrible was found, we would have found out by now. They want to wait till he's stopped growing to remove the tumor, but it's slowly wrapping around his arm. It doesn't hurt him and he laughs it off and tells everyone it's his extra muscle. He's doing so well with it all. Keep him in your prayers that it would stop growing.

Thanks & Safe Journeys, Betty :)

WooleyBugger said...

Betty, does your son have Osteogenetic Sarcoma?

I can build you a light bar from scratch. On a Harley they are referred to as a spot lamp bar for the front. The back ones are generally called light bars.
If you decide you want one, let me know and I'll make it up. I'll send it to you to test it out and if you don't like it, just send it back.

Biker Betty said...

Hi Wooley,

My son has Osteochondroma and he has to be checked regularly to keep track of the growth. Any sudden growth could mean it has turned to cancer. We had a scare this last summer, but luckily that's all it was. We were all relieved. My poor son was a nervous reck, as we all were, for a week. There were about 10 doctors from all over conferring on his case. It has gotten big enough that some of the doctors say it must go, but that hasn't happened yet and if it would just stop growing there will probably not be any surgery. Luckily, my husband is retired military and the Air Force Acadamy Hospital is doing an awesome job taking care of him.

Thanks again for the offer of making a light bar.

Safe Travels, Betty :)