31 May 2010

FZ1 Mod: Shortened Turn Signal Stalks

31 May 2010:
When I put the saddlebags on with the Seat Case, I noticed the turn signals were in the way a little bit.  I didn't really think it was a big deal because I don't really plan to use the Seat Case and saddle bags together.

The Problem:
But when I packed for the Camp Meet a couple of weeks ago, the fully loaded bags really pushed the signals downward and I knew I needed to do something. 

While they remain visible, the long stalks bend when used with the Fieldsheer Expander Saddlebags (or any that have a similar shape).

I'd already tried cheap LED signals with pitiful results.  They looked cool but were too dim to safely use in the daytime.  I even tried another pair that were a little better but after a few of the LEDs burned out, I went back to stock until I could find a suitable replacement.  Everything that I found for the amount of money I was willing to spend was pretty much the same quality so I decided the stock lights really weren't that bad.  At some point, I'll replace the bulbs with LEDs.

For reference, here's a before pic:

Since I'm relegated to the stockers, I needed a solution that incorporated them.  I could relocate the signals to the license plate bracket that I used to hold tie downs but that would require visible wiring so I eliminated that idea right from the start.  On the forums, I'd seen others who'd shortened their oem signals and thought that would be a perfect solution.

Unlike with other mods, however, there was a complete lack of detail about how one would go about shortening the stalks.  I found a couple of pictures but nothing to indicate how it was done, only that it could be done.

My process:

The first thing I needed to do was remove the turn signal stalks.  This turned out to be easier than I first suspected because there is a little nut that holds them in place.

Once you unscrew it, the rubber stalk simply slides away from the signal body.

With the body free, I had to figure out how to affix it to the fender.  The tail on the body is too small to simply fit into the opening but thankfully I had the signal adapters from the useless signals I'd tried before.  I bought two sets from two different vendors.  One was flat while the other had a depression in it.  When I used them before, I mixed the sets using the flat side on the outside and the depressed one on the inside where it wouldn't be seen.

I decided to use the same method this time but when I put the wires and the nut though the hole, it was too tight to fit the bolt.  In the picture on the right, you can see where I put the flat piece over the nut leaving the wires outside the whole.  The depressed piece is beside it with the nut I planned to use to secure it to the fender.

My solution was to leave the wires out and slide them into the hole behind the adapter:

I used the same nut on the other side to hand tighten everything so that I would be able to align the signal then I tightened it as much as I dared to avoid cracking the adapters.  After I finished both sides, I routed the wires the same way they were originally.

Side by side comparo--Standard vs Modified:

So the finished product looks like this:

Side by side comparison before and after:

No more bent signals!
Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


  1. I'm not sure its intentional or not, but I think you have your sadlebags mounted backwards in these pictures. It seems more aerodynamic to have the tapered end forward, but aside from creating lift I think the idea is to prevent a parachute effect if one of the zippers is partially open or the velcro is in bad shape.

    Thanks for all of your posts as always.

    1. I tend to mount them according to the muffler (see pic: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P7QBjYXh6zs/T9VC8ct_EPI/AAAAAAAAOsM/KJGtPpW-oAQ/s872/GEDC0509.JPG), plus they look kinda funny the other way. (this pic: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-FjQckN365wA/S-SUvhKE91I/AAAAAAAAB4g/863CWQ-bcEE/s872/DSCF3121-1.JPG)


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