The one they sell for the XR (and any bike that doesn't come factory with a battery) is powered by their rechargeable battery pack. The Tusk battery is small, but the downside is that it is NiCd and needs to be plugged into their wall charger (sold separately) in the garage every now and then to keep it full. I didn't like the idea of having to plug my bike in or the possibility that the battery could run flat while I was out on the road. So, I bought their kit for the CRF250X, which comes factory with a battery. This CRF250X Tusk kit does not include their NiCd battery pack and is $20 cheaper at about $150.
To power it, I wanted to add a 12v sealed lead acid battery to the bike so that it could be recharged by the bike's stator. The lead acid battery would allow for it to be recharged by the bike's stator and never need to be plugged in. To accomplish that, I added a full wave bridge rectifier to get a 12v DC source of power in addition to the bike's stock AC system.
My plan is to run all the lighting (tail/brake and blinkers) off of the DC system and run the headlight off the AC system. In this way, all the lights except the headlight will be able to run off the battery regardless of if the engine is running. My state requires that the tail light be able to remain lit with the engine off. This makes sense if the bike breaks down at road side and you need the tail light to maintain some visibility to vehicles approaching from behind.
First impressions of the Tusk Kit:
The Tusk kit is obviously a universal kit that is made to be adapted to any bike. This means that you need to be willing to do some modification to the kit itself and/or the bike to make it work. In that way, it is not as "plug and play" as some of the other options, but something I am comfortable with and actually like because I can set it up MY way.
It comes with everything you need except an additional brake light pressure sensor if you want the brake lights to be activated with both brakes. The kit seems to be made of quality parts and they are decent looking. I was a bit disappointed that the rear flush mount turn signals are mounted with only an adhesive sticker instead of fasteners, but I will wait to see how they hold up over time before passing judgement. The wiring is plenty long and easy to hook up with the supplied instructions.
Installation and pics:
I am still in the process of finishing the installation and will update this post as I go along.
What comes in the kit:
All the individual parts are available separately so if you brake something it is easy to replace.
I ran the main wire harness along the frame under the seat and tank with the OEM wiring. Wire ties are used to secure it:
The combination switch is mounted near the left hand grip and is small enough that it did not interfere with the clutch and decompression lever or my Moose bark busters. I did have to re-locate the engine kill button further away though:
The kit comes with an "on/off" switch that controls power to the tail/brake lights and blinkers. When the switch is off, none of the LEDs will work or drain the battery. It mounted up nicely near the throttle. I plan on replacing this with a key switch at some point down the line. You can also see how the brake pressure switch replaces the stock banjo bolt at the master cylinder:
I got my 12v lead acid battery from the local Interstate battery shop. L.A. batteries take to repeated charging from a 12v system much better than NiCd batteries and have a higher capacity in this case. The battery set me back $22:
To charge the battery, I needed to get some 12v DC out of the bike's stator. Since the XR already has a voltage regulator, I was able to simply add a full wave bridge rectifier from Radio Shack for like $3. The rectifier simply turns the AC power into DC. I tapped the power for the rectifier by simply using the blue and green wires that go to the OEM rear tail light, which I was going to remove anyway. In this way, it leaves the bike to still run off of AC power (engine and headlight) without being effected by the addition of DC power.
Here is the Radio Shack rectifier:
It is tiny and comes with a nice hole in the center of it for mounting with a single screw. the rectifier has 4 poles. Two for the AC power in and two for the DC power out. The DC out is simply connected to the battery and lighting. The battery fits nicely under the frame cross member near the air box. I simply used wire ties to secure it there, but it wouldn't be moving around without them anyway:
The wiring for the rear blinkers and tail/brake light were run easily around the rear fender:
Since the Tusk rear light is an all in one unit that incorporates a tail light, brake light and down facing white LED to illuminate the plate, I had no use for the OEM tail light. I am considering getting an MX style rear fender but for now I just wanted to see what it would look like if I cut the OEM light out. After hacking it off with a cut off wheel, I used a heat gun to mold the fender a bit to clean it up some. Part if the frame is visible which I don't like, but it get's the job done for now. The Tusk rear light comes as a one size fits all deal and you need to cut it to the size that fits your bike as well as deciding how to secure it yourself. The heat gun came in handy here as well. The Tusk fender thingy is not wide enough for a motorcycle plate so I added a plate mount that I had lying around:
I mounted the rear flush mounts on the stock fender and zip tied the wiring underneath. You can see how much cutting/modding needs to be done to the Tusk fender to make it fit the bike. Every bike will be different in this regard depending on where you decide to mount it and how:
The horn was mounted using the mounting bolt for the tank on the left side. The allows the tank itself to protect the wiring:
Ran out of space in this thread, see below for rest of install.
Edited by DeadlyAP1, 29 March 2011 - 03:21 PM.
added final pics