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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks.

After LED wows and having returned to standard bulbs to avoid them, it seems all the sudden I keep burning the taillight bulb. I have a standard dual filament 12V round bulb, and everything was fine for the last 8 months or so, but since 10 days ago, a new bulb doesn't last more than 5mins.

The only thing that could have affected it was that 10 days ago I disconnected my alarm unit and reconnected it shortly after. I noticed the bulb was out shortly after then. I so far went through 4 bulbs, which to be fair didn't exactly match the wattage and amperage the original bulb had, but two of these new bulbs came from a ducati shop....

any suggestions?

I have a volt meter, I'm willing to hunt down the trouble. I just need directions.

Thanks!
D.
 

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I have LED turn signals (Oberon) and a rear brake light LED (Custom LEDs 1157) with no (zero) problems after 2700 miles. LEDS are more forgivable and sturdy than incandescents...do what's the problem?

Tmnstr


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ever since I've put an LED tailight I went through 3 of them in roughly 20K miles. Changing the LED meant changing the whole light and the one I had cost about $90 and having to re-wire it. so I opted for the same model lamp but with a bulb. Switching it required a philips head screwdriver and 3 minutes. As I said it worked fine for almost a year and now I go through one each time I ride.

So I can't tell you what went wrong, hence my post here to see if anyone ran through the same issue and found a solution.
 

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Who are you getting the lamps from? If you aren't having trouble with blowing any other bulbs on the bike I doubt it's a voltage issue. If you have rewired the tail light you may need to check that you have the running light wired to the low output side of the bulb and the brake wired to the high output side. I have seen those crossed on a car before and the lamps don't last very long. The only other thing I could suggest is to be sure the lamps are rated "heavy duty" or for motorsports use. Vibration on motorcycles could possibly kill a standard lamp in a very short amount of time.
 

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How about a little Cali wisdom from your long lost friend...

"I wouldn't worry about it - You'll be fine!"

LMAO!!
 

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Ever since I've put an LED tailight I went through 3 of them in roughly 20K miles. Changing the LED meant changing the whole light and the one I had cost about $90 and having to re-wire it. so I opted for the same model lamp but with a bulb. Switching it required a philips head screwdriver and 3 minutes. As I said it worked fine for almost a year and now I go through one each time I ride.

So I can't tell you what went wrong, hence my post here to see if anyone ran through the same issue and found a solution.
Here's the tail light I use and it works great!

http://www.radiantz.com/index1.html?c16.html&1

Waaaayyy brighter than the OEM. I also have a Vizi-tech Supra Brake Flasher unit installed. Never had a problem with either.

Maybe check the voltage and the quality of the bulbs your using.

Also, if you are using LED turn signals you need to have resistors installed inline on each one or they will flash too quick, get to much voltage and shorten their life span.

Hope this helps,

Tmnstr


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about a little Cali wisdom from your long lost friend...

"I wouldn't worry about it - You'll be fine!"

LMAO!!
Well yeah but it's more a safety issue, dude. Come ride in London and you'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Who are you getting the lamps from? If you aren't having trouble with blowing any other bulbs on the bike I doubt it's a voltage issue. If you have rewired the tail light you may need to check that you have the running light wired to the low output side of the bulb and the brake wired to the high output side. I have seen those crossed on a car before and the lamps don't last very long. The only other thing I could suggest is to be sure the lamps are rated "heavy duty" or for motorsports use. Vibration on motorcycles could possibly kill a standard lamp in a very short amount of time.
You may be right on the bulb itself. I'm not burning anything else and it's been properly wired for months. This is a new problem... the last buld I had which lasted a while came from a motorcycle shop in LA, it looks more heavy duty than the subsequent replacement ones. even the ones given by the ducati shops didn't last but they didn't seem as heavy duty. Anyway, I ordered some heavy duty ones so we'll see.

thanks for chiming in.
 

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You may be right on the bulb itself. I'm not burning anything else and it's been properly wired for months. This is a new problem... the last buld I had which lasted a while came from a motorcycle shop in LA, it looks more heavy duty than the subsequent replacement ones. even the ones given by the ducati shops didn't last but they didn't seem as heavy duty. Anyway, I ordered some heavy duty ones so we'll see.

thanks for chiming in.
I've heard of a few STs that have had this same issue. Check the voltage at the socket with and without the brake light engaged. You really shouldn't see over 12 volts. I'm not sure if anyone ever tracked down the issue though, but it would seem if there was too much voltage in the system that relays or the R&R is a likely culprit.

.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've heard of a few STs that have had this same issue. Check the voltage at the socket with and without the brake light engaged. You really shouldn't see over 12 volts. I'm not sure if anyone ever tracked down the issue though, but it would seem if there was too much voltage in the system that relays or the R&R is a likely culprit.

.02
My RR is a year and 1/2 old and not stock, it's a mosfet, and hasn't burned a bulb until now. So not sure if it's that. I'll run a volt test on the rear though... good idea. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Problem solved. The bulbs that the ducati shops supplied me where too weak. Go figure. I ordered some higher wattage more robust ones and no issues so far.
 

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My dealer actually recommended i go around the corner to harley dealship that sells the stock 21/5w dual filament bulb in a "Vibration sturdy" design.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Motorcycle.com App
 

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Electrical gremlins can be a pain to figure out sometimes, I'm glad yours was an easy fix...but it doesn't explain why your LED tail bulb would also die. My LED is still working fine so maybe it boils down to the manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My dealer actually recommended i go around the corner to harley dealship that sells the stock 21/5w dual filament bulb in a "Vibration sturdy" design.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Motorcycle.com App
interesting. my lamp is actually from custom chrome which is aimed at the HD / chopper market. The bulb that came with it is the same that I finally put in now. everything in between was from ducati. The only bulbs that seem to last are the ones most likely fit to handle vibrations..

With regards to the LED, it came also from custom chrome. Since all the LEDs blew at the same time it's most likely a circuit rather than each bulb, so it could be a vibration issue as well... No other bulbs have ever blown on my bike, so I doubt it's a voltage regulating issue.
 

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A bulbs lifespan can be shortened by excessive heat, excessive vibration, as well as too much voltage/current. To blow out every LED is quite a feat (which would lead me to believe an over-voltage condition). My daily commute it not on smooth roads and all my blubs are intact and this doesn't appear on the forum as a constant complaint (like the R/R). The fact that the issue is only your tail light leads me to believe that you have a poor connection back there.

The wiring diagram shows a 5/21 watt bulb, is that what you're using? The reason I ask is because I'm using a Sylvania 579 bulb for my turn signals which is a 10.2 watt bulb but the Ducati wiring diagram shows 16 watt bulbs (oops, I just learned something!).
 

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If anyone is looking for an LED bulb that fits in the stock Sport Classic tailight housing (or any other housing that canonly fit standard shapped bulbs...) I have been using this one for a couple years now. It's "super bright" ;) and is holding up great:

1157 LED Bulb - Dual Intensity 45 SMD LED Tower | LED Brake Light, Turn Light and Tail Light Bulbs | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs

A bit spendy for a single bulb, but I was also tired of burning out incandescent bulbs. I was also looking for something that would actually light up the tailight lens like a standard bulb does, and this one did the trick.
 

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If anyone is looking for an LED bulb that fits in the stock Sport Classic tailight housing (or any other housing that canonly fit standard shapped bulbs...) I have been using this one for a couple years now. It's "super bright" ;) and is holding up great:

1157 LED Bulb - Dual Intensity 45 SMD LED Tower | LED Brake Light, Turn Light and Tail Light Bulbs | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs

A bit spendy for a single bulb, but I was also tired of burning out incandescent bulbs. I was also looking for something that would actually light up the tailight lens like a standard bulb does, and this one did the trick.
I'm using a similar 1157 48 LED superbright tower from Radiantz. Works like a charm:) Waaayyy brighter than the OEM, and should last for a long time.

Tmnstr


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