I really enjoy tinkering with my bike, but if I'm honest, at least half my efforts involve way too much cursing, swearing, wishing I'd never started, and sometimes wasting lots of money. It's my own fault. I'm a perfectionist and I want my bike to be original, but I lack most of the tools (and all of the skill) to get it right first time. My recent efforts to "simply" replace and relocate my OEM battery with three svelte Lithium units from Racing Batteries wasted several days and cost me a couple of hundred quid, and I still haven't got it done. Arse. I may as well start burning money for a laugh. I had a chat with Tim from Spirit of the Seventies about the batteries and he just laughed, cos even when pro's build customs they encounter exactly the same kind of problems, especially when you meddle with modern fuel injected bikes that use ECUs and immobilisers. However, on my disastrous electrics journey, I did manage to get the rear lights working (well, almost) and looking rather good. Or at least I think they do. ... Unusually, not everyone agrees, which surprised me, cos normally my tastes seem to be fairly uncontroversial... But that's just another little poke in the eye to add to my wallet woes. Anyway, you can judge for yourself. I wanted a timeless look to the bike, and bullet-shaped lights always make me think of the 1950s idea of the future, realised by American cruiser cars and TV cartoon the Jetsons - showing us that the future would be shaped in a wind tunnel, and probably pointy at one end or the other.

These lights are integrated rear lights, brake lights, and indicators, all in one - with three layers of LEDs, red on the outside and a flashing amber centre. I found them on the Shin-Yo website. They're bright and clear, but I'll probably fall foul of strict MOT testers for having them too close together. We'll see.

The numberplate presented the simple problem of needing a t-shaped bracket. I say 'simple' cos when I did metalwork at school at the age of 15, I'd have found making one of these a doddle, but sadly at 45 it was more of a challenge, and I had to get Rex at Untitled to weld it for me.

It's prettier now it's black.

What was simple was fitting to it the bike. The top of the T mates to two lengthened bolts that fix the seat lock to the subframe. All I needed to do was get longer bolts and some nylock nuts. The whole lot will easily unbolt for track days.

Ok, so it's not quite finished, cos for some reason my right hand indie flashes much faster than the left, so I clearly need to add an LED flasher to each side, but I guess that goes with the territory in the world of customisation. Note to self: Test before you solder. Anyway, I'll write an update on how it all turns out when it's all sorted. For now I haven't added a numberplate light either. I can do, and I probably will, cos there are tiny LED units I can use that will sit easily on the main central bracket above the plate - which I'll also get in trouble for, cos it should be yellow, not black. ...Maybe I'm turning back into an anarchist in my old age? While I was fiddling I added my small tribute to Simoncelli which will stay at least until I get the bike painted. Gone but not forgotten; 58. Dutch
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