NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow Us On Facebook:

ADV ProductsADV Bike AccessoriesCyclops Long Range: Best Value in High-Output Aux Lights?

Cyclops Long Range: Best Value in High-Output Aux Lights?

 We analyze the true value of a good set of LED motorcycle driving lights.

Published on 06.24.2016

Bounding through the forest at half-past midnight, it’s pitch black with no moon in sight but the trail ahead looks nearly as clear as day. Baby heads, dips and ruts are all brightly illuminated and you can see hundreds of yards ahead on long straights.

We up the pace a bit more but there’s no outrunning these powerful driving lights. With a range of nearly 900 feet, it’s like a giant ball of light hovering in front of you turning the night into day. Even the trees on the sides of the trail are blanketed in white light.

The Cyclops Long Range Driving Lights we’re testing include a 10° narrow beam light that covers longer distances and a 20° beam that spreads the light over a wider area. The combination of narrow and wide angle beams offers optimal lighting for a variety of terrain and it’s a setup that is commonly used in race lighting.

Distance comparison of different Cyclops Long Range motorcycle aux lights.
The Cyclops Long Range driving lights are available with 10° narrow angle beams that shine the maximum distance or 20° beams that give greater visibility over the close to mid-range. You can also get the 10°/20° combo for something in between.

ADVERTISEMENT

After entering a wooded double-track trail, we get an opportunity to test a set of clear wide-beam filter covers. The filters snap on to the Cyclops lights with ease and instantly convert the long-range lights into short-range flood beams that are perfect for the tight technical trails we are riding. Close-up details, even the peripherals, are now clearly visible and the beam still carries a good distance down the trail.

Cyclops Long Range Motorcycle Driving Lights comparison.
For those that ride a lot of dirt, the 20° kit is the best choice. Snap on the wide-beam filter covers to spread the light out even more.

On one silty section, dust begins clogging up the trail making it difficult to see. We give the fog light filter covers a try and it makes a noticeable improvement. The amber color and wide beam pattern reduces glare and allows the light to penetrate through the dust instead of reflecting it back at you.

amber filters motorcycle driving lights
The amber filter covers reduce reflection and glare on the eyes to improve your vision in fog, heavy rain, snow or dust. Their color also helps you stand out better in traffic.
LED motorcycle driving lights clear wide beam filters
Wide-beam filter covers offer extra protection from roost but even without the covers, the standard polycarbonate lens and die-cast aluminum housing are extremely impact resistant.

Eventually, the trail ends and we are presented with a set of sweeping curves on a lonely backcountry road. The Cyclops driving lights have been wired to automatically come on at full power with a flick of the headlight high beam switch (no need for a separate switch). When oncoming traffic appears, switching to low beam automatically dims the potent lights down to 10% power, ensuring nobody gets blinded.

With the Long Range lights beaming at full blast, the light travels far ahead, illuminating a wide swath of road in bright white light. Lighting on the sides of the road is also much improved compared to a headlight high beam alone, making it easier to see through turns or spot animals that could potentially cross our path.

Night ride with LED motorcycle driving lights
With 883 feet of illuminated road ahead, you have plenty of time to react to any hazards that may appear.

The Cyclops Long Range driving lights provided effective lighting under a variety of different conditions throughout our testing. The lights also proved to be some of the brightest we’ve tested, reminiscent of the HID racing lights we’ve used in the Baja 1000. Even more impressive is the fact that each light draws just 10 watts. The combined light output is 2,100 lumens, but the actual visible light is even greater than we’d expect for this rating.

Rating Light Output

 
Lumen ratings aren’t always the best way to measure visible light output. Demonstrating this is the fact that a 3800 lumen Cyclops LED headlight bulb shines about a quarter of the distance of a single 1050 lumen Cyclops LED Long Range light, simply because the stock headlight reflector plate can’t match the optimized optics of a purpose-built driving light.

The optics technology that focuses the light is what sets high-quality driving lights apart from the cheaper units out there, but even more expensive lights with a high lumen rating aren’t guaranteed to have quality optics.

Cyclops Long Range driving lights utilize proprietary IRIS reflector technology and a single emitter design that provides an efficient beam focus for long-distance lighting. The high-quality reflector design minimizes the amount of scattered light, meaning more available light reaches the road, where it counts.

Cyclops long range motorcycle driving lights
The difference between two motorcycle aux lights with the same lumen output can be dramatic. Reflector optics are where the magic happens!

Cooling is also an important factor to consider when comparing lights. In the harsh environment of adventure touring, LED lights can easily fail without an efficient cooling system. The Cyclops Long Range driving lights utilize an integrated thermal management system that monitors the heat output of the LED and modulates it to maintain safe operating temperatures. This helps give the lights a full 50,000 hour (5.7 years of continuous use) lifespan rating!

Do You Need This Much Light?

 
Auxiliary lights are one of the most popular upgrades for adventure bikes, and for good reason. Seasoned adventure riders know they can greatly improve safety. Even if night rides aren’t your cup of tea, you may not always be able to avoid them. A simple delay during your travels can easily force you to trudge on through the night, whether you intended to or not.

Having a set of high-powered aux lights at your disposal gives you more confidence to keep going after dark and helps protect you from hazards that might otherwise be hidden from view. One thing is certain, after you ride with this much light, you’ll probably never want to go back to riding without it.

Cyclops motorcycle driving lights out on a night ride.

Motorcycle Driving Lights Aren’t Just For ‘Your’ Vision

 
It’s important to remember that motorcycle aux lights aren’t just useful for seeing better at night. For many, the most important reason for getting a set of motorcycle aux lights is to be seen. All too often, the reason a motorcyclist is struck by a car is because the driver didn’t see them. And in this day and age when people are paying less attention to the road and more to their phones, improving your visibility is more critical than ever.

Motorcycle aux lights provide a more visible frontal profile, whereas, a single headlight blends in with the background too easily at times. Moreover, the additional points of light help other drivers to better judge your closing speed and distance.

Cyclops motorcycle driving lights on the road
Running a set of LED motorcycle driving lights dimmed to 10% power on low beam helps make you more conspicuous during the day without causing glare for other motorists.

Getting Wired Up

 
For our test, we installed the Cyclops Long Range driving lights on the KTM 990 Adventure R using the universal wiring harness and ‘Skene Dimmer’ option. The bar mounting kit was used to secure the lights to the crash bars, giving the lights a full 360° range of adjustment. Electronic components are positioned in the headlight housing and wires run down to the lights and battery. The lights are connected to the headlight high beam circuit so that they can be controlled with the high/low beam switch.

On high beam, the lights get full power. On low beam, the Skene dims the lights down to partial power, or they can also be turned off. Configuring the dimming behavior of the lights is very easy using a simple programming sequence controlled by the high beam switch. Detailed installation videos can be found on the Cyclops website.

Final Thoughts

 
Cyclops Motorcycle Aux Lights

When it comes to improving your safety “the more light the better” rule generally applies. But at what price? If you already have existing wiring and mounting hardware for aux lights on your bike, you may be able to purchase just the Cyclops Long Range driving lights alone for $299.95. Adding all the options in our test (skene dimmer, bar mounting kit, amber and clear filter covers), brings the kit price up to $464.80.

Good lights don’t come cheap, but considering the tremendous range, along with the excellent quality and strong build of the lights, not to mention the adaptability the filter covers provide, we’d say it’s money well spent and an excellent value compared to other high-output LED motorcycle driving lights on the market. Despite their power, the lights meet CE safety requirements and are completely road legal. They’re also well-sized (3.75″ diameter) and weigh just 1.5 pounds (695 grams) each.

For more information on the Cyclops Long Range Driving Lights go here.

Shopping Options

Cyclops Adventure Sports
Photos by Stephen Gregory

Author: Rob Dabney
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Night riding with LED headlight bulbs

Can an LED Headlight Bulb Make Auxiliary Lights Redundant?

It's not uncommon to hear some adventure riders proclaim you should &q...

New Denali 2.0 Aux Lights: Brighter, Tougher & More Versatile

The all-new DENALI 2.0 auxiliary lighting system has been optimized to ...

NiteRider Releases Pro ADV 3600 LED Auxiliary Lights

NiteRider has entered the powersports category with the Pro ADV 3600 Set, a...

Comments
 8

Leave a Reply

8 thoughts on “Cyclops Long Range: Best Value in High-Output Aux Lights?

  1. tried these and did not perform on par with the rigid d2’s driving pattern. I wanted them to, as the rigids are $300 for 2 but it didnt work out. Tried the 10 and 20 degree version but could outride any combo of the two around 60mph. Went back to the D2 as the overall pattern and distance was more useful. I tried to purchase the extremes for distance but they are HUGE. I couldnt think of a place to mount them on my ktm 1190. Plus, I found the exact same model on sale from a electronics supply store for 1/2 the price so cyclops is just repackaging these and reselling them after a juicy markup. Kind of pissed me off to learn that.

    I do have cyclops LED upgrade for the 1190 headlight and that is a really nice upgrade. Between the D2’s and the headlight upgrade I have 12k very nice focused lumen going forward.

    • Strange, I had the opposite experience. The d2s are smoked by these Cyclops lights from my experience and with the extreme reach these lights have I’m not sure how you say you have outridden them. Not only do they have a ridiculously far reach but also the light spread and focus is amazing. I coudln’t be happier with these lights.

  2. Pingback: Cyclops LED Headlight Bulbs Let You Conquer the Night - ADV Pulse

  3. Do you make a set of lights for a 2015 Gold wing F-6 deluxe,would like the brightest you have with wiring harness for bikes high and low beam headlight switch,also will they mount in the bikes own mounting spot.Thanks James