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Posts: 97
Reply with quote  #1 
Wanting to install a backup light, I had to find a location for one. It ended up the only place to install one that was out of the way and protected, was where the stock taillight resides.

The taillight function needed to stay, so there had to be something small enough that both could coexist.

While at Walmart a few days ago, I wandered into the automotive section and it just happened they had several styles of LED lights marked way down. Most of the shelf was bare because of the markdown. There was a four pack of 'rock lights' that were $5 off and they looked about the right size. I bought those.

Rock lights are a type of light 4x4 drivers put under their vehicle, kind of like neon for street cars. Yes, I know neon is old tech, it's just a reference for the older crowd.

I lucked out and they would fit within the original taillight bracket. The outside holes are the same as stock, while the lights are fastened to a flat piece of fiberglass. A thick plastic sheet would serve the same purpose, something like a plastic cutting board from Dollar Tree.

The wire for these light is tiny and more difficult to work with. These lights suggest to use a 5amp fuse. I didn't include a fuse in the circuit, because I feel like with this small gauge of wire, a direct short would instantly blow the wire apart anyway and there're no sensitive electronics on the trike. I also didn't have that tiny of connectors, so I crimped them as well as possible, but also soldered any of the bare crimps. To note, I have a auxiliary 12v/5v power port wired in with this modification, and it does have a fuse in it's own wiring, just not visible in the pictures.

Another aspect of the install, was I didn't want to run a bunch of wire from the rear to the headlight bucket, and luckily, there wasn't any need to, as the inline fuse already under the seat is switched power, or, only on when the key is. The first step was to modify that piece by adding a power tap. In hindsight, I should have run the tap to the connector end. The Yellow/Red wire is the power side of the fuse.
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Another step is to build a short harness to connect the backup light to the reverse switch. The reverse switch is just a grounding type switch and the LED rock lights I used are so low draw, I was just able to use that. No need for a power sucking relay or any other extra mess. This connects to the LEDs negative wire and is what turns it on. When the key is on, it always has power.
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Just for reference, the accessory outlet on the handlebars.
DSCN0049.jpg DSCN0057.jpg  The lights come with a rubber base, but since the OE 200ES assembly is already rubber mounted, I didn't use them.
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Rock lights are meant to go under a 4x4 body, so these are pretty heavy aluminum, which I guess also serves as a heat sink.

Now, while rock lights are available in many colors, the ones I bought were white, and more importantly, ON SALE. A simple fix for using one as a taillight was to paint the lens red. I'm being cheap. The red paint looks more pink when the light is on, but it works and is massively brighter than the stock one.

Next, the final installation pictures, if that's what you really wanted to see.
  DSCN0012.jpg    DSCN0013.jpg  DSCN0055.jpg  DSCN0050.jpg  DSCN0051.jpg  DSCN0052.jpg  DSCN0053.jpg  IMG_1752.jpg  IMG_1751.jpg  IMG_1750.jpg  I'm very satisfied with the functionality. The whole setup is in the stock location, with no extra junk handing from the rack to catch on things or get smashed, the taillight is very bright, and the backup light will make riding and working at night easier.

phil anderer

Senior Member
Posts: 141
Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for a really in depth informative post... im really impressed with the led's and they actually look ok when not lit up , well done man ! 


Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #3 
Nice work! Thanks for sharing.

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Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #4 
Looks like a nice upgrade. Thank you for sharing all the details - great post.

Posts: 97
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks guys.

A simple and inexpensive project I've been wanting to do for functionality. I thought for a while to find a place to put that larger LED that's on the front rack, on the rear. There just wasn't a practical place to fit something that size, and I didn't need that much lighting for a backup light.

A plus for the 200ES is it can be shifted into reverse while still in neutral. That means if a trailer needs hooked up or some work needs done while the engine is running, there is rear illumination without the risk of it creeping backward, even without the park brake set.
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