Diamond Star Headlight Monitor on a Kawasaki
Nomad 1500FI by Signal
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
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
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
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
(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
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...
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
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
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.
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.).
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!!!)
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.
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.
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
LOW BEAM INSTALLATION
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
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).
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.
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.
HEADS-UP TRAFFIC ALERT FEATURE INSTALLATION
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
*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
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.
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
Note: I placed decal on side. When cover is installed, decal will
not be able to be seen without getting up close to bike.
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:
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
1219 Lake Plaza Dr.
Colorado Springs CO, 80906
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
I will never use this companies products as they
are vastly inferior and the company has no ethics...
|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