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Discussion Starter #1
I have just ordered on-line from E-Bay (here in Oz) an excellent-looking and top-value small top-box for my R1200 R. At 28L capacity, 38mm x 40mm x 28mm, and costing only $50, it will be perfect for short day rides when all I want to carry is a thermos and bit of lunch, rain gear, camera, spare gloves, mobile phone, map-book. Judging by pix on the ad it also takes a full-face helmet!

Here’s the thing – it has quite a decent-size rear reflector that I believe could be turned into an ‘always on’ rear light (like the front and rear hard-wired lights on the bike).

But – I’m wary of tampering with the dreaded CanBus system. Can anyone knowledgeable kindly give me some advice on what sort of lights to buy (LED, presumably): and how to wire them in to the rear light component of the bike. The box will sit immediately above the rear light. But be gentle with me, dear experts, as I am a decided nerd when it comes to matters electronical!

I assume I’ll also have to put some kind of quick snap-in/ snap-out connector so that I can remove the top-box when wanted without having to uninstall all the wiring.

If successful, notes and pix will later be posted by a grateful…

L of S
 

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Lawrence, check out Jerry Skene's new side case kit, which will also work on the top case.

Skene Design Motorcycle Visibility Lights

They're LEDs and sip power, so no issues with the bike's electrical system. I have the red P3 lights on the rear plate and the amber lights on the forks. Quality auxiliary lighting and fairly easy to install. Highly recommended.
 

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Lawrence,

Now that I have the humour out of the way, I can give some assistance.

LEDs draw very little current. If you can find a panel of LEDs to run off the bike's 12v system, you can connect the panel directly in parallel with the tail light filament - the one that's on all the time - and it'll work just fine, going on when the taillight goes on, and turning off when the taillight does.

If you end up using incandescent bulbs, their greater current draw will trigger a ZFE error - the ZFE is the solid-state monitoring and control device which assesses the amount of current in a circuit, turns off the juice if it sees more current than it expects, and displays an error warning in the instrument cluster. (CanBus is the wiring that connects all the electrical bits, only a passive participant in the electrical follies. A good explanation is here: CAN-bus technology)

With a higher-current load, one avoids the fault by wiring the load through a separate circuit, which circuit obtains its current directly from the battery (through a fuse). These circuits can be either unswitched or unswitched. Because they draw directly from the battery, the ZFE doesn't see the current draw and no ZFE fault occurs.

In an unswitched circuit, a fused line connects to the battery and provides current to the load - here, your new light - all the time. In a switched circuit, the load is instead connected to the secondary of a relay, with a fused wire running directly to the battery. The relay's coil is connected to a circuit on the bike (like the headlight running light) that's on only when the ignition's on). When the ignition is turned on, the relay is triggered and the relay's secondary connects the battery (through a fuse) to the load. Because the relay coil doesn't draw enough current to generate a fault, and because you want the light on the trunk to go out when the taillight goes out, you want a switched circuit for this use.

Many riders use relays from easternbeaver.com and fuseblocks.com and the Centech brand available from motorcycle accessory suppliers. I have an Eastern Beaver setup on my bike to provide current to the heated jacket liner; because the LED brake lights from skenedesign.com draw so little current, they're happily connected directly in parallel to the brake and taillight wiring. Neither circuit generates a ZFE fault.

Websterize has a very good suggestion: if you use Skene lights, you'll save the hassle of finding lights, mounting them in the box, and fiddling a relay installation, and will have the lights available and in use even when your topbox is unmounted. That is a significant benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Help...

Are you referring to the small 0EM top box?
I suspect that a BM equivalent might cost at least ten times as much - if not more!

L of S
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Help wanted... here's pic of the item concerned...

 
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