Turn Signal load - Alternative 1156 Bulb???


Near 50 Yrs of Experience
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Pasadena, MD 21122
Working on a 'project' bike.....and did away with the stock turn signal set-up. Replaced them with some after-market unit that still use a bayonet bulb, same base as the 1157, but a slightly smaller bulb. It probably has a number.....but I'm unsure of what it is....and the one's in the new holders aren't marked (typical). With the new TS units installed........ the blinker relay doesn't function. If I pull the bulbs and stick in the 1156 bulbs, the system works fine. However, due to size constraints, I can't use 1156 bulbs...... So, wondering if anyone has run into this in the past, and if there is a suitable bulb that might work? At the moment, I'm awaiting the arrival of my front fork tube mounts......so I have just the rear units actually mounted. I have some 3 ohm / 30 watt resistors in series with the rear bulbs.....and the system is working on just the rear bulbs with this set-up. I don't know if I'll need to maintain these load resistors there once I wire in the front set-up. I have a feeling I may need to re-calculate the whole system again, and still use some kind of load resistor. I know that's par-for-the-course with LED blinkers.....but I was hoping that if I stuck with conventional bulbs I wouldn't run into the problem. If changing the flasher relay is appropriate....that's fine with me as well. I'd just like to avoid the resistors if possible. Many thanks, Tom D.
That is correct however a bike is only 6' long and I am in the middle. Just check front and back before you rider to confirm operation.
I converted to mini signals,using an automotive two prong flasher,you loose the auto cancel feature but mine did not work anyway.The stock unit requires 57 watts to flash hence the high wattage bulbs used.
Where does one acquire the electronic flasher? Does it take anything to install it, or is it more of a 'plug-&-play' type deal? That sounds like the way to go. While my self-canceling device seems to still work to some degree...... I find them unreliable.....and inconsistent. One time it will cancel even before you make the turn, another time it will still be flashing a half a mile after you make the turn. I'd be very content to sacrifice my 'auto-cancel' and/or the 'one-bulb-out' function for a reliable and more versatile electronic flasher unit. BTW, to all above: Thanks for the words of wisdom!! Tom D.
Hi Tom,
any ~$10 electronic 2-prong flasher from Pep Boys or whoever will work.
It plugs into the bike's stock 3-prong flasher receptacle two ways.
One way works, t'other don't and yeah, you lose the self canceller.
Note that if you switch to LED flasher bulbs instead of to lower wattage incandescent bulbs You will need to research a LED-compatible flasher unit.
led compatible flasher
I only run reAR BLINKS, and only at -+20 amps draw. I don't run leds. even a electronic flasher wont flash that.
This piece will flash anything. it isn't load dependent. Its not hard to hook up either. If you wire it wrong, it wont work. wire it rite and good to go. 50-50 chance. guesse I have all the luck. Got it first try. its really small.
Those ceramic load equalizers get hot from making resistance that's why they get hot.. I suppose if your bike was stock, equalizers could easily be hidden anywhere, but on a chop like mine, I cant have hot ceramics burning thru wires.
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Looks like an electronic flasher is in my future! I think I have the '97' bulbs..... according to the chart! Quite the significant difference in current draw..... but overall I still think the choice of units is 'appropriate' for my bike. Just got to get it all working. The front stanchion mounts should arrive in a week or two.... in the mean time I've got the rear ones working.........so...........'half-good'!! I don't know if I'm a 'rear-only' kind of guy.........but with other fish to fry on this bike..... I'm glad to have at least the back TS working. Again.... a BIG THANKS to all for the info and education!! I'll see if I can find an electronic flasher locally tomorrow. Tom
Just to throw in my $.02 worth usually those lights with a smaller bulb use a 23 watt bulb. Not a great difference in brightness but the load difference is significant to the stock flasher. As mentioned the stock flasher needs 57 watts of draw to function. Two 27 watt and one 3 watt indicator bulb.
Anything less is no flash.
I like the superbright flasher. When I got mine I did a bit of testing, it will flash just one LED bulb. The specs say it can handle up to 150 watts of draw. I don't think you could mount that many LED's on a bike, and still see the bike.
Most any non load sensitive two prong flasher will work for those smaller bulbs.
When you install it plug it in so one prong goes into the brown wire, the other into the brown/white wire. The third wire is either black, on the early bikes, or green/yellow, on the later bikes. The black goes to ground, the Y/G goes to the self canceler.
Leo, thanks for your input. I did some further checking on flashers. Seems they're pretty available on that auction site. Not sure about locally, as I didn't have time to check today.....was busy putting drywall and moldings in my GF's Bathroom renovation project! Perhaps tomorrow..... Anyway..... the 'Superbright Flasher'; is that a type....or brand? Where does one get one of those?

Also....something I'm not quite sure I fully understand: I noted that virtually all the Turn Signal Load Resistors being sold on that auction site were all 6 ohm resistors.....and all indicated that they needed to be placed in parallel with each TS Lamp assembly. That means that there are two 6 ohm resistors in parallel with each other....as well as with the TS Lamp assemblies themselves. Last time I checked.....two 6 ohm resistors in Parallel produced a 3 ohm load.......so what I don't understand is why someone doesn't just use one 3 ohm resistor.....vs two 6 ohm resistors? As I think I indicated.......I did some testing with my bike, and I ended up using two 3 ohm resistors that I had here.....one being a 30 watt and the other being a 20 watt. But, both were aluminum encased units......with finned housings for added cooling. Being the load is temporary....and intermittent during use.....I'm pretty sure they'll hold up. And...they worked!! So, just wondering about the need for the two 6 ohm units????

Anyway.......temps dropped in the past two days......and winds are WAY up, along with a lot of rain! NOT good riding weather!! Hope that changes over the next few days!!

Thanks guys!! Tom D.
The flasher I mentioned is available at www.superbrightleds.com They come in two flavors. the LF1-S-flat or -pin. One comes with a plastic housing with flat blades. Just remove the blades from the plastic housing and plug them into the stock flasher plug.
The pin model comes with bullet connectors. Just like other places on the bike. This can be used if you make adapters. Use the -flat.
The resistors are used in series. That means between the power source and bulb.
Putting them in parallel Is side by side with the bulb. This will decrease the ohms. As you mentioned giving just 3 ohms resistance.
Adding LED bulbs then adding resistance to make them flash the stock flasher kinda eliminates most any advantage gained by using LED bulbs. The main reason for using LED bulbs is to eliminate the heavy draw of incandescent bulbs. As in the stock turn, and brake light draw 27 watts. Replacing them with LED's cuts this draw to less than a watt. .45 watts or something like that.
Swapping to LED's it's much better to swap flashers than add resistors. Much simpler.
One thing I've noted on the 'stock' XS bikes I've worked on in the past is that the charging system is not all that stout! In fact, I've had to add switches to the headlight 'ground' wire to keep the headlight disabled at times to either get the bike started or to keep it running. Even then, some times some kind of battery back-up was necessary if the on-board battery had gone flat after a day of riding and a re-start was necessary.

Anyway..... I can see the advantage to LED blinkers as long as you've got a flasher that's compatible. I'll see if I can't order one of those 'Superbright' versions an maybe swap out the incandescent blinkers I just bought for some LED types. A thought occurs to me as to the overall current draw....that being the tail light on this bike is a 'dual-bulb' type..... I may want to move to the older 'standard' type tail light/fender and use one with just a single bulb.

I'm having visions of Gary Sinise in Appolo 13 trying to cut current draw to re-start the LEM........ Great Movie!!

Anyway...... just brought the bike back in the house and taking the clutch apart tonight. Time to deal with that 'slippage' issue over 5K RPM.

Tom D.
The stock charging system is more than ample for stock load, if it wont stay running and your battery is flat all the time, then something is not right. My 74, although scratch wired by me, is stock rotor and stator. Head light on all the time, run light on. Stock bulbs. I do use an upgraded solid state voltage regulator. Never an issue with dead battery. Ever. And thats an oldskool wet cell battery i bought new in 2008. Check the water level in spring.
CDNTX, I'd say you''re lucky, although I do think the upgrade to the SS regulator is a help. I've also found that a LOT of these older charging systems are greatly enhanced in performance by simply cleaning the wiper area and installing a new set of brushes. And......a GOOD battery really helps as well!! Some of the 'cheap' Walmart versions will give you a season.....but while a Good AGM battery would cost twice as much.....it will last 3 times as long if not longer when properly cared for. Also, the older mechanical regulators can suffer from 'age'.....and become problematic......so another reason to move to the SS reg.

My problems as indicated above are more from lack of attention to the overall charging and loading system......just simply due to my own negligence. I would agree that when everything is 'right'....the system probably works well. It's just that compared to some other motorcycles out there...... I think these older XS650s seem to have a higher frequency of 'need for attention' in the charging system than other bikes I've dealt with in the past. Just a casual observation, not based on any 'facts' other than the frequency of comments about problems in that area as well as available upgrades....... TSD
Yup, with basic maint. They work well. Clean , corrosion free connectors, ss reg. And a quality battery, whether agm or wet cell. Should give years of trouble free riding.
I plan to convert to LED's Turn Signals on my '82HS and 76C's.

I've bought an LF1-S-PIN Flasher from SBLED's to replace the stock 3-prong flasher. I will be buying two more soon.

I know to connect the Gray to Brown and Black to Brown/White. I realize I'll lose self-cancellor function by not connecting to the Gr/Y (on the 82) on the harness.

The 3rd socket wire on the 76C (other than Brown and Brown/White) is Black for Ground.

Do I need to connect this Black 3rd socket wire (on '76C) to Ground (NO - Per XSLeo) or leave unused like the Gr/Y on the '82 Heritage Special (YES).

Is the 1156-A45-T from Super Bright LED's a good choice for the Turn Signals in conjunction with the LF1-S Electronic Flasher?



Super Bright LED's Has lousy feedback on customer service and quality of products.

The LED Shop Australia

The saving in prices would offset the freight costs from these guys. 2 year warranty, they guarantee a year them selves on top of the product 1 year warranty.

Interesting comparisons at least.
Hey, Skull.

I will check out the LED Shop from the Land Down Under. :)

What I have purchased from SBLED's, Inc. is "Made in Taiwan" - of which the sticker is seldom cause for jubilant fist-pumping....

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