How To Install Resistors For LED Turn Signals Motorcycle

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Light-emitting diodes were invented to reduce power consumption. The LED turn lights not only provide an innovative design to the motorcycle, but they also help in reducing the load on the electrical system of the bike. For LED turn lights, you do not require large cables. Since small cables with less conspicuous circuits are used, neither is the cost too high nor do they add to the weight of the bike. However, for them to work efficiently, you need to know how to install resistors for LED turn signals motorcycle. Let’s learn about these resistors, and how to fit them perfectly in the circuit.

Fixing LED Turn Signals

Using LED lights is more beneficial for bikes than it is for cars. Therefore, many riders prefer replacing the old turn signals with LED lights to save money. Fortunately, any motorcycle with a regular 12-volt direct current circuit can accommodate LED turn lights.

These circuits are simple to understand, and therefore, riders prefer installing the LED lights themselves. If you do not have basic knowledge about the electrical system of your motorcycle, or your motorcycle has a complex modern circuit, you can simply take the bike to any motorcycle workshop.

Talking about complex electronics, new-age motorcycles with a start-up system check are difficult to manipulate for installing LED turn lights. Moreover, many manufacturers do not allow the replacement of regular turn lights with LED lights if the motorcycle is in the warranty period.

Methods Of Installation

Installing LED turn signals is all about giving a much-needed makeover to the motorcycle for some riders. While there are several ways in which you can install these LED turn lights to make the bike look interesting, here are some popular methods you can try.

1. Using Headlight Grills

Take a headlight grill and attach it to the front of the bike. Then mount the LED turn lights on the grill, it will give a classic off-road look to the motorcycle. Moreover, you can even detach the headlight grill along with the LED turn lights and can reuse them for another motorcycle.
For such a design, you should mount the LED turn lights high and tighten the headlight grill. It will prevent anything from hitting the lights on the road. You can also attach small motorcycle alarms on the same mount.

2. Mounting With The Headlight Itself

Mounting the LED turn lights with the headlights is an innovative method. For this, you will require some additional equipment like fork tuned headlight brackets. The idea behind this method is to use a single fixing bolt for the headlights as well as the LED turn signals. It is a very common technique to fix the stands for motorcycle phone mounts as well.

Once you attach the headlight brackets, simply fix the LED indicators with the same bolt used for headlights. However, you need to ensure that there is enough space for routing the cables. Adjust the turn signals so that they face forwards, and clamp everything tightly. LED turn signals have a spacer. On tightening it, the turn signals automatically assume the right position.

Why Do We Need Resistors For LED Turn Signals?

The traditional turn signals of a motorcycle use incandescent bulbs. As stated before, LED bulbs work on lower power than these bulbs. Therefore, as they have lower wattage, they require additional equipment to make the circuit work efficiently.

In regular turn signals, when the bulb blows out, the rider comes to know instantly, as it starts flashing frequently. It happens because when the bulb becomes weaker, the flasher of the turn signal works only on half the load. Drawing the complete load is necessary to maintain the right tempo of flashing.

Now, as LED turn signals inherently use lesser power, they cannot draw the right amount of electricity. Thus, the flashing gets exaggerated. Hence, you need to apply a resistor in the circuit. A resistor helps in fooling the flasher of the regular turn signal circuit into believing that the LED blinkers are drawing enough power. Otherwise, you can also add a separate LED flasher to the circuit that works in tandem with the lights.

Steps To Install The Resistors

1. Choosing The Load Resistors

To prevent hyper flashing of the LED turn signals, you will have to add load resistors to the circuit. You will need load resistors that draw 50-watt power and have a resistance of 6 Ohms.

The best thing about load resistors is that they do not have any positive or negative terminals. Therefore, it becomes easy to include them in the circuit. However, you need to ensure that the resistors are parallel to the stock harness of the turn signal circuit.

2. Tapping Them Between Single Filament LED Wires

Mostly, the LED indicators used for turn signals are single filament lights. Therefore, they only have two wires, one positive and one negative. Since there are no terminals on load resistors, you just need to tap the resistor between these wires, and your job is complete.

3. Tapping Them Between Double Filament LED Wires

Several new varieties of LED lights that have a better power saving mechanism are available for motorcycles. These LED indicators have a different kind of wiring, as they are double filament lights. They have three wires. The first is a shared negative wire, the second is for the dim mode, and the third wire is for the bright or blinker mode.

You need to tap the resistor between the positive and negative wires for it to work. In this case, you need some trial and error to identify the terminals. Generally, the wire with a brighter color indicates the positive terminal, while the one with the darkest color is for the negative terminal. Red and black color coding is common in most of these LED lights. Once you identify them, it is easy to install the resistor.

If the LED light still hyper flashes, it means that you have not identified the wires correctly. Take the resistor out, and then try with a different combination of wires.

A. Check The Connection

In both the above cases, after installing the resistor, if you still face the issue of hyper flashing, it means that the connections are not tight. Generally, people use a T-tap for fitting the resistors in the circuit. It is not advisable to use them because they are unable to cut through the wires, making the arrangement very loose. Try and connect the resistor with the stock harness directly.

B. Merge The Wires

To merge the wires with the resistor, you will require a wire stripper. The wire stripper removes the plastic coating from the ends of the wires. Then, you can easily fit the ends inside the resistor, and make the circuit work. Always remember to use tape after inserting the wire. By merging the wires in this way, you will always have a strong connection.


So, in this article, we taught you how to install resistors for led turn signals motorcycle. When you buy the load resistors, always ask the seller about the type of resistor that will be best for your motorcycle. Some resistors work well with single filament, while others with the double filament ones. In all, if you have a basic knowledge about the turn signal circuits, you can easily install the resistors yourself.

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Emanuel Smith

Emanuel Smith

Emanuel has a degree in mechanical engineering and a great interest in the workings of bikes. His articles are always well-researched and are supported by his good knowledge of how bikes work.
Emanuel Smith

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