How-To: Kensun HID Conversion Kit Installation

Prelewd:

Flicker. Flicker. Pop. Crap! Let there be light, I think to myself as I flick the high-beam switch to shed some lumens on the situation. My turn-signals only work when they feel up to the task, my emergency flashers have given up the ghost a long time ago, and the high-beam switch needs three-fingered coercion to be pushed into the “on” position. In short, my left-hand combination switch is an embarrassment and needs replacing. However, I really am not up to spending $228 plus shipping and handling on a collection of space-age buttons. After all, that’s a third of the cash required for that Dainese leather jacket I’ve been lusting over, or a new rear tire, or almost the cash needed to procure a Power Commander on sale. I can think of a multitude of things to waste $228 on, a multifunction switch isn’t one of them.

I ride around in semi-darkness for about a week or so, before it finally gets on my nerves. The Beemer’s headlight throws what looks like the image of a ghost rider’s full-face helmet on the road before me. It’s starting to creep me out; never mind that I can’t see shit and had almost run over a steaming pile of fresh deer guts one evening. I wondered where the rest of it was…

It’s time to buy an H7, 12V, 55W bulb to replace the burnt out low-beam stocker. I look around online and am not happy to see that one of those bright, bluish-white HIDesque jobs costs around $30. Hell, that’s a pair of knee pucks, right there. How much are HID conversion kits anyway? I go look and find very good reviews on a company by the name of Kensun. Never heard of them, but for $55 + $9.95 S&H, I’m going to pull the trigger on a set of 8000K Xenon eyeballs with slim-fit aluminum ballasts.

Three days later, I almost trip over the box on my doorstep on the way out for a high-velocity pleasure cruise. Needless to say I didn’t go for a ride that day. It’s time to wrench. Yet, again. It’s really quite the tragedy. I now own two bikes (yes, I bought a dedicated race bike while I was on my hiatus), do twice the wrenching and ride half as much. Hand me a pit crew shirt. Hell!

Preppy:

It’s easier and less frustrating if you take the nose off the bike, although you could do this without bothering with the plastics. To remove the nose, you’ll have to take the following fasteners off of both sides and nothing more (unless you absolutely insist on it):

· Unplug headlight connectors

· Remove mirrors

· The two screws above the headlight assembly

· The two screws on the uppers, forward of the BMW roundel

· Top screw on tank trim panel

· Lower plastic rivet which secures the inner fairing cover to the tank trim panel

· The three top-most screws on the inner fairing panel

Carefully work all the interconnecting parts free, and then pull the nose forward until it comes free. Take the damned thing inside and get comfortable with a beer and some power tools. 😉

Mod:

The OEM protective screw-on caps have to be modded to allow for the additional wires and plugs of the HID bulb’s wiring harness that connects the bulb to its ballast and the bike’s factory power plug. The best tool to use for the job is a step drill bit. The HID kit is pretty much plug and play.

1. Unscrew one of the protective caps and stick the thing in a vise.

2. Drill a hole in the center of the cap, just big enough to allow you to shove the biggest of the three connectors through. If the hole is too big, the HID bulb’s rubber grommet will be too loose to allow for an adequate seal against the elements; if it’s too small – you guessed it — the connector won’t fit.

3. Once you have drilled the correct size hole, smooth out the rough edges. I used my Dremel tool and one of the orange grinding stone bits for this.

4. Rinse, repeat for the remaining cap.

Bulbous:

1. Unplug the power plug from the back of the bulb.

2. Gently push on the lower two retaining tabs and remove the stock bulb from its socket by lifting the bottom out first. Do NOT use a screwdriver to pry the tabs open, or you’ll spend 30 minutes bending them back into useful shape to get a tight fit later. Ask me how I know… This is important! The bulbs have to be fully seated and be tight. Any rattling around in there and you’ll burn one out in let’s say… two commutes. Again, I don’t wanna talk about it…

3. Unplug the spade connectors from their plug and set the bulb aside.

4. Take one of the HID bulbs out of its protective case by unscrewing the top and gently pulling the base off of the wiring harness. Be careful not to touch the bulb or its burn-out time later. For once, I didn’t learn that one the hard way. And no, it is not an old wives’ tale that fingerprints, debris and various other contaminants will create hot spots and shorten the lifespan of a bulb. It’s true. It’s true. HID bulbs have a very thin wire running along the outside from their tips to their bases. Don’t mess with that either.

5. Route the harness through the modded stock cap and seat the grommet into that (hopefully correctly sized) hole which you’ve drilled a little while ago.

6. Install the HID bulb in the headlight socket. The little tab goes into the upper retention tab first, then push the bottom into the lower two retention tabs. The bulb should seat properly and should be in there tightly and flush against the socket.

7. Plug the spade connectors into the power plug. I don’t think polarity matters, but to be on the safe side, I plugged the blue wire into the slot which was previously occupied by the yellow wire marked with a white line.

The rule of thumb with same colored wires is that the one with the markings is usually hot (+) and the other ground (-). But what do I know? I’m a girl who’s scared of lightning.

8. Find a suitable place for the power plug inside the headlight housing. Pull any excess wiring through the rubber grommet, you should have the excess on the OUTSIDE of the socket, with just enough slack to avoid chafing or stress on the wires.

9. Screw the modded cap back on.

10. Rinse, repeat. You’ve got one more to do.

Ballast:

1. Get your hands on some industrial strength Velcro and stick some to the back of each of the aluminum ballasts. I prefer the loop side on the bike, in this case. Do as you wish, but please clean both surfaces first with some 50/50 alcohol-water mix or any other suitable chemistry. The Velcro won’t stick for long if you don’t. If your shit falls off at a buck-fitty-plus, you have nobody but yourself to blame.

2. Decide how you are going to route the wires and determine the placement of the ballasts. Clean the spot, peel the backing off of the Velcro and stick it to it.

3. Plug in all three connectors. They are all keyed, so no worries about which end goes with what.

4. Rinse, repeat. One more side to hook up.

Fused:

· Take the nose back outside and reinstall on bike. If you have fasteners left over, and followed the optional step above to booze it up while you work, you’ll have to stop here and continue after you sleep it off. Otherwise, read on.

· If you have fasteners left over and you didn’t follow the optional step above to booze it up, I dunno what to tell you other than I hope it doesn’t fall off at an inopportune moment. Please continue…

I should have told you this earlier, but if you had read the installation instructions that came with the kit, you would not be in this predicament right now. I know, I know. It’s downright un-American to read instructions, manuals, traffic signs, or indicate a lane change by using proper signaling via actuation of the blinkers.

· Replace the 7.5A fuses in positions 4 and 5 with 20A fuses.

Yes, I had to run to the auto parts store to hook myself up. Half-blind and 15 minutes before closing time, Miss Busa could be found squidding it up the road with her Hello Kitty Pirate wallet shoved down the back of her pants, an iPhone snug as a bug in her bra and not a stitch of gear on her other than the legally required lid. ATGATT no more! As luck would have it, I had one 20A fuse, so I just unplugged the stock headlight connector on the high-beam side and went to the store. Glad I did, too. The two dudes working there followed me out the store and drooled all over my baby while I was putting in the newly acquired 20A fuse and reconnected the high-beam connector.

· Wipe drool from bike once you get home.

I would say, go for a test ride, but if you’re like me, you already did. Only one thing left to do:

· Adjust the headlights according to the instructions in the owner’s manual (or the ripped off BMW service manual I know y’all have downloaded) and be prepared to be illuminated!

Tying Up Loose Ends:

After you’ve made sure everything is working properly, route the wires to your liking, secure with cable ties and seal the rubber grommets with a suitable substance. I used Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive & Sealant. I should have used the black stuff.

Review to follow… after I’ve put some miles on these puppies.

Picture Menu:


I Want A Fine Lady!

I just came across a site I had stumbled upon months ago and had thankfully forgotten all about, until now. I don’t even remember how I happened to end up there. I was looking for something, but it damn sure wasn’t for racing leathers. I have two sets. Dainese. The black two-piece Dominia and the white one-piece Yu Lady. I need another race suit like Mr. Slow needs elbow sliders! I could unload the Dominia, since it’s way too big anyway… the thing retails for 1.005,-€ and that is before S&H, upgrades and customization. I would have to sell the Yu Lady, too. No! I love that suit; even though it is too short in the torso and just a tiny bit more room for the caboose wouldn’t hurt either. Now we know why they put those feel-good stretch panels everywhere. Those are for women to squeeze into the smaller sizes. 😉 It’s also too wide across the waist and I have ample room in the chest (and that’s the real reason I wear my chest protector, it endows with two extra cup sizes.)

Why must I be such an incorrigible gear whore?!? I don’t have this particular donna problema with my street clothes. Hell no, I still have shit hanging in my closet from the last millennium and I still wear some of it, too. I don’t keep up with fashion. I don’t wear designer clothes. So why in the heck do I need a new best-I-can-afford getup every year when it comes to motorcycle gear?!?

Is it vanity or personal safety? Maybe it’s both. Hell, I ride in my race leathers on the street, when I expect it to get a little “spirited”. Not unusual for European standards, but in the US people look at you funny, well they do around where I live anyway. But this is Georgia, a lot of riders around here don’t believe in gear. Helmet, boots, gloves. That’s about it; and those are listed in order of priority. The lid comes off as soon as the state line is crossed into South Carolina, cruiser riders are especially guilty of that last one. Do what you please, but it’s not for me. I can’t even make a decent u-turn without my gloves on my hands; the controls feel alien and I’m lacking a big chunk of confidence. I do better when I can trust my machine and my gear. But that’s just me. Am I weird? Maybe. But I do what it takes to keep my riding skill and confidence at its best, so when (not if) the shit hits the fan, I have a better chance of getting myself out of it with nothing more but a colorful story to tell. But that is a topic for a different article altogether.

I won’t be able to sleep tonight, I’ll be tossing and turning trying to figure out how I could manage to get my butt squeezed into some luxurious kangaroo hide. I would look so unassumingly gorgeous sitting on the grid straddling an equally beautiful S1000RR dressed in her candy red, metallic black, and pearlescent white Pirate skirts. Sparkles! Too bad that we’ll be gridded in the way back looking at everyone else’s tail pipes instead…

Fortunately I am tapped due to the upcoming race. I can’t be tempted (just yet).

Gimoto's Fine Lady Race Suit

Of course, Miss Busa gets options… Must. Have. Upgrades.

Fine Lady Specs

I amused myself at Gimoto’s site for a few hours, playing fashion designer. When I finally was bored enough to leave, I noticed a little Union Jack flag in the top right corner, next to Italy’s colors. DOH! Ah hell, my Italian needed a little refresher anyway. Because it’s just not very classy when all you have the vocabulary for is to tell Valentino Rossi what and where he can stick it, in his native language. Just not cool. Not that I would. Tell VR where to stick it, I mean. I would probably say something else, like…

“Mamma Mia! Guarda che bel culo che appende fuori quella moto.”

Merda! Damn Gryo Butt-Cam! I’ll be quiet now.

Mmmm… somebody call Il Dottore.

…cosa succede alla curva tre, soggiorni alla curva tre.


Shut Your Trap and Ride Your Own Ride!

The Phenomenon:
Truckers have a name for a person who can only be confrontational and talk trash about another person from the safety of their own bubble: The Radio Rambo. Radio Rambos are the kind of people who are nice to your face and are agreeable enough, but once they get on their CB radios from the safety of their own truck and dial it into channel 19, something amazing happens: They grow a set of trash-talking balls: They’ll cuss you out, they’ll talk smack, they’ll know everything better than you and they’ll threaten to kick your ass. But only if you do or say something that isn’t in concert of their own lacking set of standards and beliefs.

The Internet has its own version of the Radio Rambo. They hang out on forums, social media networks, online gaming servers, and anywhere else where they can be socially retarded ass-clowns and spew their hate to enhance their e-peen. All from the safety of their own home via a broadband connection and a dynamic IP. These people aren’t happy – for whatever reason — until they’ve established their so-called superiority by disrupting online camaraderie and inciting dissent and hate.

How I Roll:
I don’t talk voice when I game online, because there is no real good adult conversation to be had, unless it’s on a private server and you’re playing with people you already know iRL or have known for a long time iCL. I don’t participate in ‘controversial’ debates online either. It’s pretty much fruitless unless it is severely moderated and the moderator is impartial. Good luck with that one. I don’t let people rate or comment on my YouTube videos, because I’m not seeking their approval, and by what I’ve seen on YouTube, that’s a good thing. I moderate comments on my blog, same reason. People seem to need a lot of handholding these days, when it comes to etiquette and the social contract. Unless you have some constructive criticism to share, or have something useful to add, or just kudos to spread, I don’t want to hear from you. Go elsewhere. I use the Internet mainly for fun, social interaction on a level that is conducive to empowerment and learning, and for the camaraderie of like-minded people. I take serious stuff private and keep it out of open forum. I don’t personally attack people, or am patronizing, and I always pay attention to what I type. I even reread it several times to make sure I’m not inadvertently coming across as abrasive or could be misread as getting personal. But that’s just me. I don’t like hurting people, and I treat them with the respect and the tolerance that I would expect from others for myself. It is just common sense to me. In other words, I don’t tolerate haters and relationship saboteurs, because I don’t have to. There’s the little X in the corner that shuts them up. But it also shuts up the people that I do like to hang out with. L

WTF?
Where am I going with all of this? This is a motorcycle blog and this has to do with motorcycling. I’m getting to it. I’m just setting the stage, so the reader will know where I’m coming from and understand how I conduct myself online. I have high standards and I’m keeping it that way. Don’t like what I have to say? You know how to close your browser, no? Want to flame? Go ahead, I’ll read your comment, but save your breath, it’ll never be approved and posted. And I damn sure am not going to give you the satisfaction of replying. I don’t participate in the circle jerk of flame wars.

The Scoop:
Not that I had to actually defend myself, my choice of bike, my riding style, my choice of gear, or my level of risk acceptance to anybody in real life. EVER. Not seriously, anyway. It seems that most motorcyclists get along fairly well for the most part, no matter what they ride or how they ride it. In real life, I suppose it comes down to this: If you don’t like a person’s attitude towards riding, you don’t ride with them or hang out with them. Fairly simple. Most of the hate-mongers don’t have the balls to step up to me, while I’m getting off my ‘Busa, and tell me that I’m an asshat for riding the fastest production motorcycle made by mankind and that I’m a prime candidate for killing myself out there. They never tell me to my face that I’m a squid for simply owning one. But online, it’s a different story. Wonder why that is… And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all the damn stereotypes and all the know-it-alls who don’t even know me or have ever seen me ride. Shut your presumptuous mouths! I don’t want to hear it from you. Your credibility to the validity of whatever comes out of your pie hole is already in the toilet at this point. All you have done, is manage to show your obvious lack of intelligence by providing invalid or unsubstantiated arguments that have the sole purpose of personally attacking, for whatever reason it is that compels you to do so. You aren’t part of any solution. Your crappy logic doesn’t help solve anything, improve anything, or help another rider become a better or safer one. Slinging your so-called credentials around doesn’t really help your cause. Oh, I’m supposed to take EVERYTHING you say as proven fact, because of your so-called “experience”? I’m not one to follow blindly. This IS the Internet, people can be who- or whatever they please. Did I mention I was a rocket scientist with three degrees from MIT? Well, there you have it. I am. Trust me. I know what I speak of. And now I tell you the location of the Anti-Gravity Room: It’s in North Augusta, SC. Don’t you know anything???

If, on the other hand, you have a valid argument and are trying to help another rider out, it would probably be best to be smart and diplomatic about it. If you really care about your message being heard and you feel it is of paramount importance, it would be in your best interest to be supportive rather than abrasive and stereotypical. And quit slinging accolades, nobody cares! You insult or patronize and wonder why your arguments fall on deaf ears. If you want to get your message across, it would be advantageous to not alienate the intended recipient. And for crying out loud, don’t humiliate them in public forum.

Here are some pointers for you asshats who think you know it all, because you have x amount experience, y amount of miles, helped z number of people avoid certain death by giving them your sage motorcycling advice:

1. Not all sport bike riders are jackasses who do wheelies and stoppies in rush hour traffic; or lane-split at 80+ mph; or paint smiley faces on the road with their rear rubber. Don’t you dare judge me by my choice of motorcycle. It makes me think that all you have is throttle envy and you’re in it for the pissing contest and don’t care about the ride at all.

2. Just because I ride a Hayabusa or [insert your most loathed supersport or literbike here] doesn’t mean I’m a moronic speed freak, do triple digits everywhere and view the public roads as my personal racetrack. Get over yourselves. The throttle goes both ways. This also makes me think you’re compensating for something.

3. Saying that all Hayabusa or [insert your most loathed supersport or literbike here] riders are squids is like saying all Harley riders drink and ride. When it comes down to it, everybody’s got a rep, but that doesn’t speak for the whole group, does it? So, fuck you! Don’t judge me by some idiot who happens to ride the same style bike that I do. And I have a newsflash for you: All bikers have a bad rep in the eyes of the non-motorcycling public; to them you’re just another hooligan on two wheels.

4. Why does it matter what the hell a person rides anyway? WHY? Can’t we just all enjoy our chosen sport and get along? It’s not like you have to ride with people you deem incompatible with your own riding philosophies. Personally, I only ride with very select few people. Group riding isn’t for me, it’s too stressful, I stay mostly out of it due to safety concerns.

5. If you dare tell me you never did an Act of Squidliness in your whole entire motorcycling career, I’m going to low-side it in the corner, because I was laughing so freaking hard, I chopped the throttle and upset the suspension. Who do you think is going to buy that??? Get over it and quit lying to yourself. Like you’ve never had an instance of “let’s see what she can do?” on a deserted stretch of public road out in the middle of nowhere. Phuuuleeeze!

6. Just because somebody doesn’t agree with your sentiments, doesn’t mean they’re a worse rider and less safe than you. There’s more than one line of travel through a corner, and different doesn’t necessarily mean worse or unsafe.

7. I hate to tell you all that, no I actually am going to enjoy it: Legal doesn’t equal safe, and illegal doesn’t equal unsafe.  In other words: Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. When you’re out there, you ride your own ride. It’s your life on the line, and you are the one in control. You are the only one who will be making the judgment call. Your mission out there is to come home safe and sound, preferably with the bike in one piece. And don’t you dare tell me that how I go about it, is for whatever reason, wrong. I must be doing something right, because I’m still here. And I had more close calls I handled well, without incident, than I care to remember. You’re not the one who is going to visit me in the hospital, pay my medical bills, or visit my grieving family. So STFU!!!

8. Having to make the crappy, no-win choice between keeping it legal and staying safe: Personally, I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. If you don’t like it, again, you’re not riding my ride, are you?

9. However, if you have constructive criticism, valuable input, want to discuss riding skills and techniques, do PLP or practice emergency skills with me, discuss the latest m/c book you’ve read and generally want to get together for the purpose of camaraderie, sharing experiences and help each other become better and safer riders, and you don’t give a hoot what I ride, I’m your girl.

Rolling It TraNceD Style
I will never stop learning. I refuse to become an “experienced” rider. The day I quit learning is the day I should park it for good. I will never stop pushing my boundaries. I’m not an idiot. I don’t blatantly punch through my skill envelope. Constant prodding and gentle pushing is a must for me, though. I want to be the best rider I can be. I don’t want to become a complacent know-it-all; that just spells disaster. If I’m not reaching out of my comfort zone on a regular basis, I’m not working on improving my skill set. I want to keep educating myself, because knowledge is power. What I don’t know can kill me. What I fear can kill me. I don’t have a death wish, I know myself, my weaknesses, my strengths. I know I can be a squid at times, but it’s all good. If I wasn’t a squid at times, I wouldn’t have much of a blog, now would I?

@MissBusa
A girl on a Hayabusa has an instant reputation for badassery. I don’t know why. I joke about it. I enjoy it. It is my online persona. It is the Marilyn Monroe to my Norma Jean.