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Nomad MOD VN750 MOD


Diamond Star Headlight Monitor on a Kawasaki Nomad 1500FI by Signal Dynamics

I'm a big believer in safety.  Cars don't see motorcycles and with the invention of the daylight running lamps that so many new cars come equipped with, some drivers now tune the single headlamp of a motorcycle out of their field of vision.  A modulating headlamp catches their attention.  There are a few companies out there that make headlight modulators.  My favorite is Signal Dynamics.  Here is how I installed my Diamond Star Headlight Modulator, p/n: 1014

Instead of cutting into the wiring harness in the headlight bucket, I chose to find a H4 "Plug-n-Play" extension plug that I cut and soldered the DSHM into.  I found mine on eBay.

An added bonus to this is that the H4 plug I used is for high-temperature applications which mean that my 130w high beam will not damage the plug.

By following the directions provided with the DSHM and identifying the correct wires on the extension, I had the DSHM and the extension plug wired up in under 30 minutes.

I routed the sensor and tucked it under the light-bar pointing down with a wire-tie securing it in place.

The DSHM module is located behind the headlight under the triple-tree attached to the inside of the chrome backplate cover.

The DSHM installed and threaded through.  Not a single wire has been cut for this installation

A wire tie to keep the wires under control and we are ready to put the headlight back on the bike.

The switch on the left is the on/off switch for the DSHM

Signal Dynamics has a new Diamond Star Headlight Modulator model out.  The p/n# 1013.  I'm thinking about if I want to purchase this one for my Nomad.


I was at a motorcycle shop open house and they had a PIAA H4 GT-X (60/55W=135/125W) bulb at a silent auction table.  From what I can gather, this bulb retails at $49.99 on the PIAA website (See the bulb on the PIAA website here). I won it for $2.00 (yes - two dollars) and figured that for $2, I want to try it.

I had heard I've heard real good things about PIAA products and the current 80/120W set-up that I was running with the rainbow strobe filter was causing cars to pull over thinking I'm a cop. The rainbow strobe filter gives the bulb a red/yellow/blue glow and the bulb is flashing with the headlight modulator, so some of the less intelligent or guilty-of-something drivers were pulling over. I went with running the new PIAA bulb without the rainbow strobe filter.

Well, I took the 100/80W bulb out of the Nomad along with the rainbow strobe filter and replaced them with the PIAA bulb. Took it for a ride at 9pm and here are my impressions...

  • I'm impressed. The light is clear and crisp. The claim that this 60/55W bulb is as bright as a 135/125W is pretty close to accurate. The whole road is lit up by a bright white light when the high beam is on and the low beam is a light purple color in the housing but still shows up pretty good at night. During the day, the modulator makes this bulb a good attention getter.
    As I said, I'm impressed. But this uber-white light sure makes my spots look dingy yellow. I'll have to look into finding whiter light bulbs for the spots.

  • For a amperage challenged bike like the VN750, I would recommend this PIAA bulb rather then upping the wattage with a higher watt bulb. For a bike with a clear plastic headlight lens like my Nomad, the bulb is nothing short of awesome.

I was skeptical on the claims on this bulb's package and website, but right now I'm a believer... I'll have to figure out how to get another one for my VN750 without paying the huge retail price...

Diamond Star Headlight Modulator installation instructions for a Kawasaki Vulcan 750A.
by Evan "The Bulldog" Breyn

This page is not a valid step-by-step installation page for the current Signal Dynamics Diamond Star Headlight Modulator (p/n: 1014).

In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  received a complaint from a competitor of Signal Dynamics about the Diamond Star Headlight Modulator.  While I am not allowed to state who the competitor is, I can use a pseudonym and call them Chris (not their real name).  Chris (not their real name) claimed that only their product is within the standards of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, paragraph S7.9 (Motorcycle headlamp modulation system).  The standard states that the modulator may not pulse above 280 cycles per minute (4.99 cycles a second) and may not activate at night.  Because the superior DSHM was able to achieve 480 cycles per minute (8 cycles per second) in it's MAX-AUTO mode and had the Heads Up feature which cycled the modulator three times when the horn is activated, it was not compliant with the outdated standard and Signal Dynamics was forced to redesign the Diamond Star Headlight Modulator and issue a recall.  See http://www.signaldynamics.com/recall.  
This complaint by Chris (not their real name) forces not only Signal Dynamics to offer to the public a product that is not as safe as what they once offered but also forces the rest of the industry that offers Headlight Modulators for motorcycles to reduce the effectiveness of their product to match the inferior product offered by Chris (not their real name) or be in violation of a standard that reduces our ability to make our motorcycles as safe as possible...  
For those who have never seen the difference between a DSHM set at 480 cycles per minute and the inferior Chris (not their real name) unit operating at 280 cycles, let me tell you the difference.  At 480 cycles per second, you are noticed by the car thinking of pulling out in your path.  At 280 cycles per second, it appears that you are flashing your high-beam and giving the car permission to cut you off.  In short, this move by Chris (not their real name) will cause motorcycle deaths and injuries.  Instead of getting the federal standard changed to incorporate a safer modulator, Signal Dynamics caved and neutered their superior product and Chris (not their real name) showed the world since they could not beat the competition by offering a quality product that is able to stand up on it's merits, then the proper business strategy is to rat out the competition and force them to bring their product down to the lowly standards of the Chris (not their real name) modulator.  I know that personally, I will never purchase anything by Chris (not their real name) again and encourage the rest of the motorcycle community to follow suit.

In light of what I've posted above, I still feel that a headlight modulator is the most effective modification that you can do the front of your bike and do not discourage their use.  

I chose the Signal Dynamics Diamond Star Headlight Modulator p/n# 1014 for my Nomad as it is still highest quality modulator on the market even after it got dumbed down. 
Here is my installation on my Nomad

And now, Signal Dynamics has the newest Diamond Star Headlight Modulator out there.  The p/n# 1013.  I'm thinking about if I want to purchase this one for my Nomad.

This is how I installed my Diamond Star Headlight Modulator, p/n: 1012-B on my 1990 Vulcan VN750-A6.  This page is intended as a "how-to" guide for ensuring a easy installation of the DSHM.  This page is in no way intended to replace the instructions included with the DSHM or the great "how-to" page on the Signal Dynamics page.  Please visit the web site for Signal Dynamics at www.signaldynamics.com and buy one of everything they sell.  They make great products for the motorcycle world.  In addition to the DSHM on my bike, I have had the "Back-OFF" Brake Light Modulator on my scoot for over five years now and still love it.   

This page is put together from the instructions supplied with the DSHM and from the wiring instructions from the Signal Dynamics web page found at http://www.signaldynamics.com/products/DiamondStar/dshminst.asp

Step 1

Before beginning make sure your headlight is working properly on "high" and "low" beam.  Remove your windshield (if applicable) and any other accessories around your headlamp nacelle.  Remove the fuel tank covers from the base of the neck of the bike.  

Step 2

Mount the enclosed adhesive pad to the backside of the Diamond Star modulator unit.  Locate the area under the gas tank on the left side of the bike.  There is an area there that the DSHM will fit into without interfering with the operation of the motorcycle.  The unit will be mounted with the wires facing the front of the bike.   Assure the mounting surface area is clean and free of grease or oil prior to attaching adhesive pad (adhesive pad will gain 50% of its strength within 30 minutes of placement and will be fully cured in 24 hours.).

Step 3

Remove the headlamp from the nacelle and place in a safe location.  

Using a test light, locate and note the color of the headlight's high and low beam "hot" (+) wires.  (write down the color codes for reference.  If I did, than I would have listed them here.  Dumbass!!!)

Step 4

As a precautionary measure, disconnect the battery's Hot positive (+) lead, to eliminate any possibility of accidentally shorting out any hot wires or terminals during installation.

Note: Before beginning the wire installation you should consider the following. Signal Dynamics  has provided crimp wire connectors. The use of these connectors is optional, but I recommend them highly. The other accepted method to splicing wires is to solder them. In either case SD has provided ample lengths of wire to connect this modulator to your headlight. One further note of caution, if any bare wires are

Separate your sensor and your three-way switch from the rest of your wires.  Let them hang off to the side for now.  Separate the green wire from the rest of the wires as you will not need this wire for installation on your Vulcan 750.  I wire-tied the green wire and secured it off to the side for future use if needed.  SD has provided three wire ties, I recommend going out and buying a package to complete the job.  I used about ten on the job.  They are available at Radio Shack and almost every hardware and auto store.  Route the Red, Red/White, Blue, Blue/White, Black and the Purple wire along the wiring harness into the headlight nacelle.  Wire tie the wires securely to the harness leading into the nacelle.  This will allow you have full function without having to worry about the wires getting in the way of normal operation.  Run the sensor wire (black wire) and the switch wire (gray wire) through the bike out to the other side by the radiator fill valve.  These will be installed into the Right Side Fuel Tank cover.  See steps 10 and 11.

Note: see green wire, it is not needed and can be secured off to the side.

After the wires have been routed via the main electrical wire bundle, you can place them in black wire loom to hide and protect the wires like I did above.

Step 5


  • Install two of the "blue female T-Tap connectors" on the high beam "hot" wire near the headlight.

  • Remove about a 1/4" of insulation and crimp a "light blue male disconnect terminal" onto the "solid red wire" from the modulator unit and connect it to the T-Tap on the high beam supply wire, by pushing it into the female receptacle of the T-Tap.  Do not shorten these wires, you will need the full length of wire in the nacelle.  

  • Likewise, remove a 1/4" of insulation and crimp a "light blue male disconnect terminal" onto the "red & white striped wire" from the modulator unit and connect it to the T-Tap connected on the wire going to the headlight. After installing the T-Taps cut the wire between them


Step 6


  • Install two of the "blue female T-Tap connectors" on the low beam "hot" wire near the headlight.

  • Remove about a 1/4" of insulation and crimp a "light blue male disconnect terminal" onto the "solid blue wire" from the modulator unit and connect it to the T-Tap on the low beam supply wire, by pushing it into the female receptacle of the T-Tap.  Do not shorten these wires, you will need the full length of wire in the nacelle.  


Likewise, remove about a 1/4" of insulation and crimp a "blue male disconnect terminal" on to the "blue & white wire" from the modulator unit and connect it to the T-Tap connected to the wire leading to the headlight. After installing the T-Taps cut the wire between them.

Wires connected to headlamp.  Note: I have not cut the headlamp wires yet.  Ground wire is hanging off to the side awaiting connection to the ground wire on the headlamp.

Wires connected to headlamp.  Note: I have now cut the headlamp wires.  Ground wire is now connected to the ground wire on the headlamp  (see step 7).

Step 7


It is very important that the modulator unit is properly grounded. Without the unit being properly grounded some of the internal safe guards could be disabled. A suitable ground, is the ground wire going to the headlight. Use the "dark blue, quick spice connector" and connect the "black" wire from the module to the ground wire of the headlight.

Step 8

Carefully place all the wires back into the headlamp nacelle and fit the headlamp back into the nacelle.  Make sure no wires are pinched and they are not hanging out the access port at the bottom of the nacelle.  

Step 9


This feature allows your headlight to momentarily modulate for 2.5 seconds whenever the horn button is pressed, providing both visual and audible conspicuity for your motorcycle. To utilize this option, locate the wires leading to your horn.

  • Reconnect the positive (+) lead to your battery and locate the two horn wires on the left horn.  The horn wires are hot all the time.  When the horn is activated, one wire will show a drop in power.  Using a test lamp, find the wire that that the light on the test lamp dims when the horn is used.  That is the wire you will attach the female T-Tap connector to.  On my bike, it is the lower wire on the left horn.  see picture.

  • Locate the "purple wire", remove about a 1/4" of insulation from the "purple wire" of the modulator, and crimp the "pink male disconnect terminal" to it.

  • Secure the male and female terminal together, by inserting the male connector into the female T-Tap connector.

 *Note: Typically BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, & Honda, use the green wire, Kawasaki, Yamaha, & Suzuki use the purple wire.  The Kawasaki Vulcan 750 uses the purple wire.

Purple wire attached to horn.  note: see the headlight wire bundle wire tied to the harness leading to the headlamp nacelle.  This will ensure a neat package and no problems in the long run.  For a neater package, you can hide the wires in black wire loom available at most hardware stores.

Step 10

Photo-optic Sensor and Remote Switch INSTALLATION

When mounting the photo-optic sensor, consideration should be given to the fact that this sensor needs to sample ambient daylight conditions. If the sensor is placed in a light confining location the sensor will be less sensitive to actual light conditions.  Because of this fact, I chose to install both the photo-optic switch and the remote switch on the right side fuel tank cover.  

  • Drill two holes in the cover about 1 inch apart above the reflector (I used the pressed sticker indentation as my location).  The hole for the optic switch will need to be larger, the remote switch will require a 5/16 drill bit.  I used the 5/16 bit and bored out the hole for the optic switch being careful not to make the hole to big.  

  • Fit the optic sensor into the forward hole and use supplied nut to secure the sensor.

  • Fit the remote switch into the rear hole using supplied nut to secure the toggle switch. The toggle switch should be mounted with the "Green wire" at the top and the "Red wire" at the bottom. When the "toggle switch" is mounted in place, the "OFF" position should be at the Top toggle position. A "switch position" decal has been provided for placement along side of the switch. This decal identifies switch position and functions.

  • Being careful with the wires, fit the cover back into place (I pulled the excess back from the left side of the bike to ensure the wires didn't get pinched by the right side cover).  Reattach the right side and left side fuel tank covers to the bike and make sure the wires are not pinched.

Inside view of cover with both switches installed.

Note: I placed decal on side.  When cover is installed, decal will not be able to be seen without getting up close to bike.

Step 11

SECURE WIRE BUNDLE - for a neater appearance, secure the loose wires from the modulator unit with the provided tie wraps. Check and make sure all wires are secure and do not interfere with steering or controls.  Test all functions and enjoy your new safety device.  I recommend purchasing black wire loom to make the job appear neat and tidy.  I used 6" of 1/4" loom and 4" of 1/8".

Signal Dynamics products are the best products available and can be found at their web site at www.signaldynamics.com or by contacting them directly at:

Signal Dynamics Corp. 
100 SE 29th Street Ft. 
Lauderdale, FL 33315
(954) 523-5959 
(954) 523-5962 fax 
(800) 785-1814  
9:00am-5:00pm EST.
Info by E-Mail from Signal Dynamics.

Other companies that produce Headlight Modulators

I don't know much about this company and have never seen their products, but would like to hear about customer reviews
Kisan Technologies, Inc. 
1219 Lake Plaza Dr. 
Colorado Springs CO, 80906
Phone: 1-888-464-5472
Fax: 719-576-4700
I've seen these modulators in the field and find them to be the slowest of all of them.  Not in my view a very safe product as it looks like you are flashing your high-beams at a car giving them the OK to come out.
Kriss Motorcycle Products
I will never use this companies products as they are vastly inferior and the company has no ethics...

Home Nomad Mod's LED Tail Lights VN750 Tank Bib V&H Dual Baggers VN750 Facelift Fork Seals RR Relo VN750 Air Horns DSHL Mod KA Volt Meter LED Brake Light Radiator Cover Luggage Rack VN750 Tunes


As with any project, you should always have a knowledgeable assistant helping you out.  In this case, my son Ethan was loads of help providing valuable insight and technical resources.  Thanks kid.  In all seriousness, my kids are one of my motivations for using Signal Dynamics products.  They help make the motorcycle more noticeable and add to my piece of mind knowing that people in front of me are more likely to notice my presence.  I know for a fact that the BackOFF brake light modulator that has been on my bike works because I've had people tell me that it did catch their attention and that is what counts...



Copyright 1999 ~ 2012

Page created and maintained by Evan "The Bulldog" Breyn
Last update: 10/07/2012

email the Bulldog at bulldog485@yahoo.com 

Evan Breyn