A case for upgrading your stock lights

By Steph Terrien

The stock low beam lights on my BMW GS F650 twin were barely visible, and had little range. Even the high beams left me unsatisfied so I made it a personal rule to not ride at night – unless circumstances are beyond my control. Even in the daylight I wasn’t confident of my visibility.


As an MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) Instructor one of the points we emphasize with our students is See and Be Seen – broaden your perspective, and be more visible to drivers. Motorcyclists are often hit by vehicles because the driver ‘did not see’ the motorcycle. We also teach about risk management – believe it or not, you are NOT at the mercy of other drivers, there are numerous ways a rider can decrease the risk of a collision. Many veteran riders share stories of their friend’s making unsafe riding choices (ranging from riding in a driver’s blind spot, or riding in all black at dusk with a tiny dim headlight or taillight and no reflective material on their person or bike) that have ended in crashes or fatalities – its nothing short of alarming and often could have been avoided with some basic training and adjustments.

Installing Cyclops LED headlight bulbs, and B15 auxiliary lights on my bike has definitely increased my visibility. It doesn’t guarantee I won’t be hit. After all 18-wheeler semi-trucks are hit, neon yellow cars are hit, and brightly dressed motorcyclists are sometimes hit too, but if I can make some simple adjustments to increase my visibility to reduce the chance of being hit, it’s a no-brainer.

My partner Shal and I bought the Cyclops BMW F series LED headlight bulbs at the 2014 Touratech Rally, and the Cyclops B15 LED Auxiliary Light Kit at the 2016 Rally. Cyclops’ Founder & CEO Darryl VanNieuwenhuise expertly installed the kits for us, although in looking at the install instructions we could have done it ourselves, but Darryl is a nice guy and offered so who are we to refuse such service? Since we’re not big fans of night riding, our main intention was to be more visible during the day without blinding oncoming drivers these lights truly surpassed our expectations. For example, when Shal and I lead tours of up to 8 riders, more often than not, even in the daylight I can see Shal who is riding sweep better than the rider immediately behind me in dim lights. No exaggeration.

Just because I’m more visible, I try to not have a false sense of security. I still ride as though cars can’t see me – and I try to consistently make choices to reduce my risk of a crash. I do know that I am more visible after installing the Cyclops LED lights and it just seems like a smarter way to ride. I have had the opportunity to ride at night with these lights – the depth and width of range leaves me feeling like I’ve ridden out of the fog compared to my stock lights which offer only about 3000 lumens total from the halogen bulbs, compared to 6600 lumens from the Cyclops LED bulbs. With the combination of the brighter headlight and auxiliary lights, I can see much farther ahead for potholes, road debris, and more to the side of the road where deer are at the ready to pounce across the road. In the backcountry these lights illuminate the obstacles in my path so I can proceed more confidently and safely.  And of course the benefits of LED over halogen – LEDs are brighter, last longer, and draw less power.

As if that weren’t enough, the Cyclops B15 auxiliary lights operate with your stock high and low beam controls. How cool is that?! Other brands require that you install and operate an additional switch. I’m grateful for these lights, and for innovators like Cyclops for designing products to keep us safe and enjoying the ride.

See and be seen!

 B15 LED Auxiliary Light Kit Features:

  • IP68 rated
  • 5700K
  • 30 watts per light
  • 6600 Lumens (3300 per LED light)
  • Integral dimmer
  • Relayed harness included
  • 2 inch diameter
  • Stainless steel and aluminum construction  copper core.
  • 2 year warranty

BMW GS F series LED Headlight Bulb for 2013 and older

BMW GS F series LED Headlight Bulb for 2014 and newer

Check out the variety of specialty light products and accessories at Cyclops Adventure Sports