Auto Switch Product Report
by Deryle Mehrten
Last year at the BMW MOA national (Redmond, OR) I had a set of PIAAs installed on the K12RS. I rarely ride at night, I was looking for more day time lights for safety reasons.
The set I got works great. They are the wide beam type that at night they let you see the side of the road better, and helps to see into turns better as well. I used them on AZ Hwy 86 late one night and man did they light up the road.
A draw back to the lights is the need to mount a switch some where within reach to turn them on and off. The kit I got with the lights included all the wiring, a relay setup, and a switch that mounted using Velcro. The Velcro only lasted about 3 or 4 months then the stick-em wore out. I ended up mounting the switch with a zip tie. Looked really tacky and was hard to get to.
On the K12RS list I heard about an electronic switch that would allow you to control the on and off of a set of auxiliary lights with your turn signal canceller. Sounded pretty kewl.
I found the switch on the CycleGadgets web site [www.cyclegadgets.com] for a reasonable amount (less than $50.00 delivered). It took three days to get here and three weeks to install. The problem was the directions didn’t really say where to find the turn signal switch wire that you need to splice into. So I asked the I-BMW and IBMWR chat sites if someone had any experience with the switch on a K12RS. I got a couple of responses, but the best was from Brett from Georgia off the K12RS list (I-BMW.com). With Brett’s picture and the basic instructions I had the switch working in a day. A full day. Takes a bit of courage to splice into your wiring harness. And make sure you get the polarity right on the AutoSwitch itself.
The result is great. I can now turn my PIAAs on and off with the turn signal cancel button. The turn signals work fine and the cancel button works as normal. The difference is hold down the turn signal cancel button for a second or two and you toggle your auxiliary lights on and off. Really cleaned up the cock pit.
If getting into your wiring harness sounds too scary for you, best to have the pros hook it up. You have to pull all the body work, remove the tank, and open up the wiring harness box. That’s about all there is too it though. I like it and would do it again.