Small Dual Sport Blinkers That Stay Protected in a Fall
Improve your bike's off-road readiness with these inexpensive LED blinkers.
If you have ever spent much time off-road, you’ve probably broken many sets of blinkers before. It’s a common sight to see Adventure Bikes coming in from a long off-road ride with busted blinkers hanging off the sides. Stock blinkers tend to be too large for off-road use and can break easily on even small tip-overs. OEM blinkers are expensive to replace too, often costing upwards of $20 USD a piece.
If you ride frequently off-road, a set of small dual sport blinkers can be a smart upgrade for your bike. Aftermarket dual sport blinkers are designed to be durable and less prone to breaking. They have a flexible rubber stalk that allows them to bend on impact and resist damage. But the real key is to find a set of dual sport blinkers that are small enough to avoid ever touching the ground.
After a recent tumble at the Overland Expo, it was time to replace the blinkers on our KTM 990 Adventure R test bike. We decided to give these inexpensive LED dual sport turn signals a try. They offered a modern look that matched well with the sharp lines of the KTM and at 2.6 inches (66 mm.) long, these dual sport turn signals fit snugly into the niches of the bike. Their small size allows them to avoid impact with the ground in a fall (unless you fall directly on a protruding rock) and for the cost of one OEM blinker, we were able to buy a full set of four.
These LED blinkers are designed to be a universal mount, so it requires a bit of wiring to install them. The blinkers have male solderless terminal connectors attached already, so you just need to install the female connectors on the wiring harness side of the bike. You will need a set of connectors and a wire crimping tool to complete the job.
Installation for all four turn signals was easy and took about an hour. It’s a perfect project for anyone looking to practice their motorcycle mechanics skills. Just be careful not to over-tighten the nut that attaches the blinkers to the bike. A snug fit that doesn’t distort the rubber stalks is all that is needed.
The new LED blinkers really improved the look of the KTM. However, we noticed the rubber stalks didn’t have as much flexibility as some of the other dual sport blinkers we’ve used in the past. This is less of a concern though, since they are so small they are unlikely to touch the ground in a fall.
LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and handle vibration better than incandescent bulbs, so in theory they should last longer than your stock blinkers. And if one should ever fail or break in a fall, the replacement cost is minimal.
While these turn signals are very small, it doesn’t mean they are hard to see. LED turn signals give off a lot of light for their size and these are similar in brightness to the larger stock units. LED turn signals will blink faster that the stock units unless you add a resistor, but this also makes them more attention grabbing. Another nice safety feature are the orange plastic tips on the ends of the blinkers. These are plastic windows that allow light to emanate out of the sides, making your bike more visible during turns.
So far during our off-road tests, the blinkers have performed well without any problems. It’s natural to be skeptical with such a low price. If you want a similar style dual sport blinker and prefer a known brand, check out these more expensive units from Baja Designs.
Photos by Bill Lieras