XplorerMoto Expedition Lighting System
I had been working for months planning a benefit motorcycle trip to all of the lower 48 states in a 23-day period, to raise money for a local food pantry. Although I try to avoid night riding, especially in bad weather, I knew there would be times when either or both would come into play and I would want additional candlepower on my 2005 R1200GS. I had been debating the various options available for some time. I am never the first person to jump on the bandwagon for a new product. I usually lurk in the background and watch to see what works and what does not.
Several friends had reported failures with their expensive HID lights with very few hours on them. In fairness, the manufacturers had stood behind their products, but being kind of a technology buff, I was thrilled when the offer came up to test the new XplorerMoto LED Expedition Lighting System. From what I knew, LEDs have some virtues that would be highly desirable for motorcycle auxiliary lighting.
The lights I would be testing were the 10-watt version. These lights are in rugged 2" x 2" die cast aluminum housings. The castings allow various mounting options and the ability to combine them if even more light is desired. They are reported to produce 900 lumens of light and draw only 0.75 amps of current. This was a positive in my mind, as I power numerous electronic gadgets on my bike. Their lifespan is projected to be 50,000 hours, which at my age of 62 should be plenty long enough for me! While I do not use my R1200GS for serious off-road travel, I liked the fact that they are designed to withstand the IP68 standard, meaning they are impenetrable to dust and can handle submersion in up to three meters of water. Add to that polycarbonate lenses to withstand rock strikes and high vibration resistance, and I felt they were at least a well designed product.
My kit arrived with the custom bracket to fit my standard R1200GS model. It was complete in every way. The wiring harness, which included the lights, relay and switch for the handlebars, was of a modular design and the instructions for connecting it to the bike were clear. Mounting the bracket was a straightforward task, although a picture of how the bracket should be oriented would have saved me some time. It bolts to sturdy mounting points. How far out the lights extend is adjustable. I kept mine in close for improved survivability in the event of a drop. Because of the modular design, I had five ground lugs, which seemed excessive. I was able to mount these all to the same point, but I will probably go back and combine them in the harness to a single lug. Flexibility sometimes adds complexity!
The first three days of my trip I rode through some of the worst weather I have ever experienced in 40 years of motorcycling. Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee pounded my route through New England. I turned the lights on as I pulled out of my driveway at 4:30 a.m. that first day and used them continuously, all the way to Chicago on the third day. They worked flawlessly. I did have one failure, but it was my own fault. I failed to tighten the lug sufficiently where I drew power off my Centech AP-1 to power the relay.
I have compared the light emitted side by side with some friends' HIDs, and I can detect no difference. A light meter might say differently, but I love the way my LEDs light the highway and the added visibility they provide. The switch mounted conveniently on my left handlebar, but I find it is easy to bump and turn on or off if I am not careful. A more positive on/off detent would improve the system.
The light system is priced at $290, and $395 if the light bar is added to the package.
To see XplorerMoto's entire product line, go to http://xplorermoto.com