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Bar End Signal Project- Done!

TodkaVonic

Well-known member
Elite Member
Hey so, I developed a slightly pathological dislike of the stock front turn signals. They never seemed to align perfectly; dangling there like a pair of vestigial appendages and, to make matters more unseemly, the left one often loosened on it's perch. I embarked on a mission to install bar end signals. Here's how it played out.

Step 1) Connectors
For reasons that don't make a whole lotta sense, the turn signal connections on our R18's are dissimilar from other BMW applications. The female side of the connection is wired to the bike, while the male side resides within the signals themselves. Aftermarket "adapter" offerings ARE the part we already have and finding the corresponding male bit wasn't easy. I'll spare everyone the details and cut to the answer: the male bit is also found in the heated windshield washer loom for a 2009 (probably other years of the same generation) MINI Cooper. I bought two on eBay for $20 and confirmed applicability. They's the ones.

2D32AD9D-6F95-43FF-8280-7ED4C8418B58.jpeg

Step 2) Lights
There appear to be two high-quality bar end signal options: Motogadget and Kellermann. Maybe Rizoma is a third, not 100% sure. The Kellerman looked nice but small, hence Holan's modification. Both have ways to affix them to BMW threaded bars but the methods are disparate. Kellermann uses a M6 to M12 threaded insert and with Motogadget you can buy a piece which screws into the bar end to which you then attach the signal. This method obligates you to add bar end mirrors or fashion a ring to cover that space. To make matters more confusing, Kellermann makes an adapter FOR the Motogadget unit. Same idea, probably a bit cleaner. Anyhow, I had experience with the Motogadget and preferred their look but really didn't wish to add clutter (the adaptor is only black) or change my mirrors to bar end. The Kellermann method seemed better, but there's a problem: the Motogadget units are 14mm wide and our handlebars have just over 12mm of inner diameter.

5E18BCF8-AB21-45EE-B6D8-ECA515A977BE.jpeg (Take off the nut, washers, and rubber bit)
Step 3) Handlebar modification
My step drill bits weren't deep enough so I picked up a 9/16th inch bit, wrapped it with enough tape to stop me from plunging too deeply, and, carefully, slowly, bored out the bars. Went fine. The Motgadget signals have an annoying beveled area that widens out to even further than 14mm, so used a 3/4 inch countersink bit to allow for flush installation. And, best part, no bridges-burnt. The handlebar thread is still in there and the stock weights can still be used.
48AE3B13-D7D6-4F17-95C5-C990FAAAF132.jpeg1D959751-536B-4938-B2AB-906D27F3FBAF.jpeg
Step 4) Confirm fit & function
The lights arrived. I made sure that they fit in the bars and that they lit up without creating an electrical error message. Nice. I removed the stock lights and their perches and then was struck with a weird visual outcome: the oversized nuts holding the mirrors stick out like sore stainless steel thumbs. Slight modification: swap the washer to on top, get new regularly-sized M8 stainless acorn nuts, add a washer below and...there, much better.

Step 5) installation & electrification
With the bars modified so the Motogadget lights would fit, Kellermann showed me the way. I ordered some M8 to M12 threaded inserts from Grainger and, with a little tweaking to make sure that they tightened nicely at their correct orientation, and a foam washer positioned between bar and light, I screwed them into place. But how to wire? There's no way to use the MINI Cooper terminals as they were intended (i.e. unclip and remove light) because they'll never fit down the handlebar through the threaded part. I wanted, most of all, to keep everything intact should someone wish to go back to stock in the future. So I elected to attach the MINI terminal to it's R18 counterpart then wire the lights to wires from the MINI side with a pair of button connectors. The downside is that it's impossible to tuck everything into the bars, the connector is too large to fit through the hole. And, even if accomplished, you'd never get it back. The upside is that it's entirely reversible.
4AB56B69-36D8-45BD-A16A-0820E438D6B0.jpeg015063C1-C0D9-4CB5-90A1-5F3C63C11C63.jpeg (The wago connectors pictured were used to confirm polarity)

Step 6) Tuck and reassemble
It turned out that not being able to tuck the connector fully into the bar wasn't an issue at all. I finagled the button connectors, the unsheathed wire, the sheathed wire, and about half of the MINI to R18 connector into the hole and what remains outside is hidden nicely behind the fluid reservoirs. I found that removing the brake and clutch levers provided just a few more precious millimeters of hole access and that tucking was easiest if you rolled the bars past vertical to see things without looking upside-down. Also I checked functionality repeatedly during installation.
634FD1BB-D986-4FD9-B551-A0566CD8633C.jpeg541150E9-5E0D-422F-84A4-E4410CB431C8.jpeg

And here's the result!

D62EB0C8-72CE-46B9-8913-8AAC740EEACD.jpeg

Clean. Reversible. Fun project.

/I'd post more photos but apparently 10 is the limit :p
 
Last edited:

TodkaVonic

Well-known member
Elite Member
Nice job!
Thanks HerrFarber! There's not a lot of information out there for fitting these signals to threaded bars and none at all that I could find if you chose to try it without an adapter. I kept seeing them on custom R18s though without mirrors, so clearly not that complicated. I'm digging the change and hope the thread helps someone with a similar (or maybe entirely dissimilar) project.
 

R18Holan

Active member
Site Supporter
write after driving in high-speed corners if you don't miss a balanced steering wheel The general weights with the M12 screw weigh almost 0.5 kg
 

Gerard

Well-known member
Premium Member
Well done Todkavonic !
These signals are LED I guess.
Do you think using bulbs will make troubles with the electronic ?
I'm thinking to install those which mimic the seventies old EOM.
clignotants.jpg
BTW look where the mirrors are located on this one:




BMW POLICE.jpg
 
Last edited:

Gilles

Well-known member
Premium Member
Well done !
These signals are LED I guess.
Do you think using bulbs will make troubles with the electronic ?
I'm thinking to install those which mimic the seventies old EOM.
BTW look where are located the mirrors on this one ...View attachment 1280


Thanks @TodkaVonic

I'm also looking for similar old ball shape signal, but can't find LED type. The standard bulb type will not work because they need 12V
 

Gerard

Well-known member
Premium Member
And the ones on my pic don't fit in the bar.
I just removed the weight, and the diameter is smaller.
 
Last edited:

Luis

Active member
write after driving in high-speed corners if you don't miss a balanced steering wheel The general weights with the M12 screw weigh almost 0.5 kg
I thought the same when I changed the bars end for the Roland Sands ones. The factory are heavy and the RDS aren’t. No issues at all so far. I think the weight of the cell phone (and its holder) on the bar compensates the difference.
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
Hey so, I developed a slightly pathological dislike of the stock front turn signals. They never seemed to align perfectly; dangling there like a pair of vestigial appendages and, to make matters more unseemly, the left one often loosened on it's perch. I embarked on a mission to install bar end signals. Here's how it played out.

Step 1) Connectors
For reasons that don't make a whole lotta sense, the turn signal connections on our R18's are dissimilar from other BMW applications. The female side of the connection is wired to the bike, while the male side resides within the signals themselves. Aftermarket "adapter" offerings ARE the part we already have and finding the corresponding male bit wasn't easy. I'll spare everyone the details and cut to the answer: the male bit is also found in the heated windshield washer loom for a 2009 (probably other years of the same generation) MINI Cooper. I bought two on eBay for $20 and confirmed applicability. They's the ones.

View attachment 1261

Step 2) Lights
There appear to be two high-quality bar end signal options: Motogadget and Kellermann. Maybe Rizoma is a third, not 100% sure. The Kellerman looked nice but small, hence Holan's modification. Both have ways to affix them to BMW threaded bars but the methods are disparate. Kellermann uses a M6 to M12 threaded insert and with Motogadget you can buy a piece which screws into the bar end to which you then attach the signal. This method obligates you to add bar end mirrors or fashion a ring to cover that space. To make matters more confusing, Kellermann makes an adapter FOR the Motogadget unit. Same idea, probably a bit cleaner. Anyhow, I had experience with the Motogadget and preferred their look but really didn't wish to add clutter (the adaptor is only black) or change my mirrors to bar end. The Kellermann method seemed better, but there's a problem: the Motogadget units are 14mm wide and our handlebars have just over 12mm of inner diameter.

View attachment 1264 (Take off the nut, washers, and rubber bit)
Step 3) Handlebar modification
My step drill bits weren't deep enough so I picked up a 9/16th inch bit, wrapped it with enough tape to stop me from plunging too deeply, and, carefully, slowly, bored out the bars. Went fine. The Motgadget signals have an annoying beveled area that widens out to even further than 14mm, so used a 3/4 inch countersink bit to allow for flush installation. And, best part, no bridges-burnt. The handlebar thread is still in there and the stock weights can still be used.
View attachment 1262View attachment 1263
Step 4) Confirm fit & function
The lights arrived. I made sure that they fit in the bars and that they lit up without creating an electrical error message. Nice. I removed the stock lights and their perches and then was struck with a weird visual outcome: the oversized nuts holding the mirrors stick out like sore stainless steel thumbs. Slight modification: swap the washer to on top, get new regularly-sized M8 stainless acorn nuts, add a washer below and...there, much better.

Step 5) installation & electrification
With the bars modified so the Motogadget lights would fit, Kellermann showed me the way. I ordered some M8 to M12 threaded inserts from Grainger and, with a little tweaking to make sure that they tightened nicely at their correct orientation, and a foam washer positioned between bar and light, I screwed them into place. But how to wire? There's no way to use the MINI Cooper terminals as they were intended (i.e. unclip and remove light) because they'll never fit down the handlebar through the threaded part. I wanted, most of all, to keep everything intact should someone wish to go back to stock in the future. So I elected to attach the MINI terminal to it's R18 counterpart then wire the lights to wires from the MINI side with a pair of button connectors. The downside is that it's impossible to tuck everything into the bars, the connector is too large to fit through the hole. And, even if accomplished, you'd never get it back. The upside is that it's entirely reversible.
View attachment 1266View attachment 1267 (The wago connectors pictured were used to confirm polarity)

Step 6) Tuck and reassemble
It turned out that not being able to tuck the connector fully into the bar wasn't an issue at all. I finagled the button connectors, the unsheathed wire, the sheathed wire, and about half of the MINI to R18 connector into the hole and what remains outside is hidden nicely behind the fluid reservoirs. I found that removing the brake and clutch levers provided just a few more precious millimeters of hole access and that tucking was easiest if you rolled the bars past vertical to see things without looking upside-down. Also I checked functionality repeatedly during installation.
View attachment 1270View attachment 1269

And here's the result!

View attachment 1271

Clean. Reversible. Fun project.

/I'd post more photos but apparently 10 is the limit :p
Now THAT is one cool mod!! Looks great.
 

TodkaVonic

Well-known member
Elite Member
write after driving in high-speed corners if you don't miss a balanced steering wheel The general weights with the M12 screw weigh almost 0.5 kg
It's a concern. I'm riding today and will assess. I can always go back. Should it be a problem, maybe a solution would be a retrofit of the cruise control steering damper?
 
Last edited:

TodkaVonic

Well-known member
Elite Member
It's a concern. I'm riding today and will assess. I can always go back. Should it be a problem, maybe a solution would be a retrofit of the cruise control steering damper?
300 kinda chilly (at least from 8-11) miles today. I couldn't feel any difference in steering whatsoever. There weren't any weird vibrations. No issues at all. While I'm sure that the weights do have an effect, I'm not feeling anything untoward with normal riding.
 

estoma

Active member
Last edited:

TodkaVonic

Well-known member
Elite Member
You should be able to replace the standard bulb with an LED bulb - probably type 1156. See DDM Tuning, for example.

Update: These should fit our 22mm bar-ends; Bull's Eye bar end indicators (flatracer.com). DDM sells festoon LED bulbs ranging 28-44 mm; DDM Tuning.
Love it. Going full-on retro. I wonder how long until someone figures out how to mount these

 

R18Holan

Active member
Site Supporter
I already have a patent:
1.thread the 55mm M12 rod inside onto the M8.
2. Cut the ends in the HELLA "Ox Eye" and thread the hole on an M12.
3. through this hole screw the rod threaded inside for M8 into the steering wheel
4. Screw the HELLA "Ox Eye" onto the protruding rod 10-12mm
5.insert and screw inside the only steering wheel LED blinker that will fit there: Motogadget mo.blaze pin
etc.
 

Gilles

Well-known member
Premium Member
I already have a patent:
1.thread the 55mm M12 rod inside onto the M8.
2. Cut the ends in the HELLA "Ox Eye" and thread the hole on an M12.
3. through this hole screw the rod threaded inside for M8 into the steering wheel
4. Screw the HELLA "Ox Eye" onto the protruding rod 10-12mm
5.insert and screw inside the only steering wheel LED blinker that will fit there: Motogadget mo.blaze pin
etc.

Have you realized your patent ?
 

R18Holan

Active member
Site Supporter
I have all the elements needed to assemble the product in stock. I'm just waiting for the metal element "Ox Eye"
 
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