Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LED Light Road Test

The weather the last week or so has been absolutely beautiful, almost reminiscent of Spring. This was reinforced by looking at the snow that has melted back from the edges of the picnic tables. The silver building is the International Arctic Research Center and is just one of the research facilities here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Last night, the local Airhead group met at the Silver Gulch. The last time we met was when my alternator rotor failed. I also noticed that my distance lighting was pretty poor. I rarely ride on back roads in the dark but going out to Fox for the Airhead get togethers is one of those times. I have resolved both problems now with the installation of the Enduralast 450W alternator and a single Denali D1 LED light. The ride out was on the cool side with temperatures in the -5°F range so I even had the heated grips on for part of the ride, the gloves on full and the heated jacket liner on about half.  Even with all of that on, the battery voltage never dropped except at idle. The aftermarket alternator was a great upgrade with an 80% increase in total output. The grips were shut off after a short while as they just get too hot.

I'm really impressed with the Denali LED light. Even with only one light installed on the right side of the sidecar, the road was completely lit up well past the normal high beam and probably four times the distance of just the low beam. Not bad at all for the small 10W light. Much more light than I expected for 900 lumens which, I believe, is about the same as the regular high beam. Having good lighting on the back roads is important to try and see moose on the road. One of these days, I may spring for a second light but the performance of the single light is an impressive and probably sufficient.

I discovered that there was next to nothing I could feel good about ordering at the Silver Gulch. Maybe that should be expected when going to a micro-brewery. Some good news, my Roadcrafter Light just shipped!

15 comments:

Unknown said...

Richard:

I'm thinking that a big, juicy, greasy Silver Gulch hamburger with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, fried onions would hit the spot right now, with a side of fries. Wouldn't you feel good about that. See, I have no will power

I wanted to have driving lights too but they are expensive here. Spring must be close

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

They have one with bleu cheese that is pretty good, but no, the "spot" it hits is not the right one for me. I would have never bought the pair of Denali lights due to the cost and limited utility but since I'm riding during the darker time of the year, it makes more sense. If you need to ride at night on back roads, they may help you spot hazards a little bit earlier.

Spring feels like it is just around the corner but historically, February could be pretty Winter-like.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Light is good. I don't like riding the Symba outside of town because of how poor the headlight is. Deer can do so much damage I don't even want to think about a moose. Oy vey!

RichardM said...

An adult moose weighs can be up to 700kg or 1500lbs so it doesn't matter what you're driving a collision with one would not end well.

David Masse said...

Richard, good lighting that meets a real need is always a source satisfaction.

We're doing really well dropping the unwanted weight. Here's hoping we stay on track. Restaurants are often a challenge. With my carb-free diet a bacon cheeseburger at the Silver Gulch with dill pickles and sliced tomatoes, plus a salad with oil and vinegar dressing would have been fine, washed down with sparkling water or a diet soft drink. As long as the bun, fries and other carbs stayed on the plate.

redlegsrides said...

Good to hear your alternator upgrade and the Denali light are working out as expected! I've seen the Denali lights on one of my fellow Uralisti rigs and they are bright!

Trobairitz said...

It really does look like spring in that picture.

You will get used to getting creative at restaurants. Well, either that or asking they sub a lot of things or just packing your own and having a beverage at the restaurant/pub.

If they have a half decent veggie burger they can wrap it in lettuce for you instead of a bun. If they have no veggie burger you should see their face if you ask for a burger with no meat, no cheese, and wrapped in lettuce please. We've eaten lettuce, tomato and onion 'burgers' before.

Hooray for the Roadcrafter shipping.

RichardM said...

The weight loss has definitely slowed down but still headed in the right direction. Many restaurants have not been too much of a challenge. Many have nice veggie selections and I even remember that the Silver Gulch used to have a roasted vegetable appetizer. I couldn't find it this time.

RichardM said...

I've never ridden with anyone who had them at night. Most used them as conspicuity lights to help to be seen during daylight hours. The Denali D2 model has two brightness settings.

RichardM said...

It was really looking like Spring and this morning, there was already light on the horizon at 8 am!

They had a portobello burger that is very good and I just left the bun off. I didn't think to ask them to substitute some additional lettuce. Thanks for the suggestion. Next time...

Unknown said...

Richard/Trobairitz:

Thanks ! Now I feel like having a burger, perhaps a home-made one with tomatoes and fried onions.

At Christmas I was 184.5 , then went down to 182. and the other day I shot up to 186. but I am having trouble deleting the chocolates and pop. The past few days with salad and water I am heading down again

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Glad to help, Bob! Maybe I should've included a photo of a burger...

Deleting the sugar was easy as there wasn't much to begin with. Deleting dairy was a little bit harder but being lactose intolerant made that pretty easy as well.

VStar Lady said...

David if the bacon doesn't get ya the diet drinks will!

VStar Lady said...

Richard, even with lots of light I'm leary of riding after dusk - moose vs motorcycle definitely not good, but even bunny rabbit vs motorcycle can end disastrously. I like daylight and a 'gazillion miles visibility.

RichardM said...

For a while, that's all it's been around here, dark. But I agree with you completely, I don't like riding in the dark. Moose on the roads hasn't been as big a problem this year as some of the heavy snow years. When there's a lot of snow, the moose seem to prefer the easier traveling on the nice, clear roads.

It's kind of nice to see daylight on my commute home.