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License plate light mod?

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  • License plate light mod?

    Ok so I have a pre 98 (89 actually) Kat and I need to do something with the plate light. I chopped the shinto out of the back end to remove the fender and the old light just does not fit anywhere. I jimmy rigged it up until I can figure something out but what are my options. I would like to use some led lights maybe like a bank of two or so but am unsure about voltage, watts, amps, etc...

    Any electronics nerds (I say that with no ill will mind you) out there want to help a mofo out? Can I just slam some leds from radio shack rated for 12 volts in this project? The light on there now is 12v 5w.

    Every thing is looking great except for that part!
    89' Katana 600

  • #2
    I'm now a big fan of LEDs..
    Radio shack has some high powered ones..
    For a project this small they are a good bet.
    Their prices are high but you only need two or three.

    Their white are pretty low powered like 1100 mcd.
    What you need to do is this:
    Find the Vd or voltage drop,
    subtract the Vd from the voltage (13.4 not 12!!)
    and divide by the disired current (listed on the LED package) to get the size of resistor needed
    For example:
    Radio shack white LED: 20 mA at 3.6 voltage drop.
    (13.4 v- 3.6 v ) / .02 amp =
    11.8 / .02 =590 ohm.
    So you wire a 590 ohm(or near to it)
    resistor in between the positive line and the LED..
    Keep in mind this light runs all the time so you need 1/2 watt resistors at least..
    Leds, or LED packs rated for 12 v out of the box are pricey.. Good cheap LEDs are available here:

    They can hook you u with REALLY bright LEDs (hence the name)
    for a fraction of the cost of Radio shack.. They have much higher
    powered ones too..
    The plate light is probibly 5 candle power.
    1000 MDC= 1 candle power, but LED are much more focused.
    So you need more.. think of them as tiny spotlights while the
    regular bulb is a flood light..
    If you get a few 18000 MDC (the RL5-W18030 from superbright)
    for $1.29 a piece you will get much higher performance then the $5+
    LED from Radio Shack... Radio shack has the resistors though..
    5 for $1..
    Need any more help give me a shout..


    • #3
      Thanks for the info Black_Peter. That is exactly what I was looking for. The Kat looks so much better without the fender!!! Also threw some LP mini lights on the rear as well.



      89' Katana 600


      • #4
        Originally posted by Black_peter
        I'm now a big fan of LEDs..
        Radio shack has some high powered ones..
        For a project this small they are a good bet.
        Their prices are high but you only need two or three.
        Radio Shack pffft.

        Go on ebay theres a whole section for LEDS

        You can usally get about 20-50 for the price of 2 at radio shack.

        They just take forever cause they come from hong kong


        • #5
          you can get license plate bolts with LEDs that fire out at a 90 angle, makes a decent lic plate lite... also some billet lic plate frames with LEDs to illuminate the plate.
          KLR 650, KLR 250, Beta TR 32 trials bike, Katana 600, BMW R65, Tundra V8 4x4


          • #6
            Any links?

            I have not seen the parts you are talking about during my internet travels fixer.
            89' Katana 600


            • #7
              I shyed away from Ebay and hong kong..
     is the way to go..
              Cheap yet good quality..
              you want what you pay for....
              I did a lot of research before going with them


              • #8
                I have a CompWerkes kit for my 98+ and they had a really simple, yet great, solution for the license plate light.

                You just pop off your seat and locate an area just back from your license plate braket. Drill a hole in it the size of your stock bulb and grommet and push it down into the hole. It's super easy to do and uses stock parts.

                I don't know if this is possible on a pre98 but I thought i'd throw it out there.
                I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death. - George Carlin

                Join the Zietgeist Movement


                • #9
                  I know this is an old post... but by the way, the wire that was hanging off my fender (previous owner got rid of it or smashed it.. and left a few wires hanging) Anyways I traced it with the multimeter and it's only giving out 1.5V Any reason why it's so little?

                  I may have to run the wire into the tail lamp or something... unless the bike must be on to get more voltage going to it?