Honda VTX 1300 / VTX 1800 Motorcycles Forum banner

Wiring the Wal-Mart Driving Lights to the Highway Bars

139420 Views 487 Replies 138 Participants Last post by  clintferrow
Hi all, to those of you who asked about the wiring for the lights from my recent thread "Unveiling My Bike...", I had some time to recall the procedure for the wiring of the Wal-Mart Driving Lights

What you will need:

Pilot Motorsports: Wiring Harness w/Switch part PL-HARN3 from Pep Boys--- you will be cutting this harness up…

1 spool of 12 gauge red wire and 1 spool of 12 gauge black wire from radio shack

Black wire ties from Wal-Mart

2 packages of heat shrink from Wal-Mart

2 “eye-type” terminal connectors to connect red and black wire to the battery - got it in a package from Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Driving Lights

An exterior grade 12v switch (tip: nothing from radio shack, nothing they make is exterior grade) -- either order a handlebar mounted 12v switch online, or go to a marine supply store, or your local motorcycle shop. I got a handlebar mounted 12v switch and took it all apart to the guts of the switch then mounted it into my speedo housing.

A roll of Plastic Wire Cover from Wal-Mart

Soldering iron and solder….I use small silver solder from Radio Shack


First off, I mounted the lights to the first bolt on the Paladin Highway bars…use lock tight for this, you don’t want those coming out on you. There is some issue that the U-bolts provided by National Cycle might not be long enough but this isn’t a problem…take one off and take it with you to the Home Depot and find the nearest larger one and bend it a little to fit then cut the threads to a more manageable length…the Home depot U-bolts are better than the ones that National Cycle provides anyway…also remember to use lock-tight and lock washers on the mounts for the driving lights.

In this picture you see the Home Depot u-Bolt and the Wal-Mart driving lights and the plastic wire cover.

After I mounted the lights I moved on to pulling the power from the Battery….

Now is a good time to stop and talk about your connections…all of the connections that you will make should be soldered then heat shrunk…remember to slip on the right size heat shrink before you splice and solder.

First disconnect the battery cables so the bike is truly dead. (tip: place something like a short piece of spare 12 gauge wire under the nut on the battery terminal…this will help you get the screw back on later)

Take the in-line fuse that came with the driving lights and cut it off its wire leaving a few inches to either side. Then solder and heat shrink in about 10 inches of the red radio shack 12 gauge wire to one side of the fuse and about 5 ft of the red radio shack wire to the other side. Next at the end of the 10” side Crimp then solder on a Battery connector.
Next take about 5 ft of the black wire and on one end crimp then solder another battery cable. Do Not connect to the battery at this time….that will be the last thing that you do.

If you look where the main wires are headed from the battery to the headlight bucket you will see that they run up the right hand side of the top frame right under the tank. Your going to bind the red and black wires together every few inches with electrical tape and run it up next to those wires…to do this I needed a buddy with me. I unscrewed the back tank bolt and had him lift the tank up and inch or two, so I could route the wire and connect it to the main wires with a few black wire ties. ( tip: Be very careful not to let any vacuum hoses come off the tank in this process.) Your end goal is to get the bound black and red wire to fall with its slack next to the neck on the right hand side of the bike. This is where we will make most of our connections leaving enough of slack to push everything into the headlight bucket. Secure the tank back to the frame.

Now your ready to start to cut up the Pilot pl-harn3 wiring harness, and the wiring harness that the Wal-Mart lights were supplied with. In the wiring harness that came with the Wal-Mart Lights find the lengths of wire that connects to the lights and cut them several feet back from the connectors. Slide some large heat shrink over it and connect the plug connectors from the lights to the shot of wire. Next slide the heat shrink over the plug connectors and heat em’ up. (tip: I did not solder these connectors so if I want to replace the 15 dollar lights with something better someday it will be an easy job, but feel free to cut the connectors away and solder in the wire directly to the lights if you want) Now, route the wire up the frame next to the radiator then up inside the neck and have both sides exit the neck on the right hand side where the rest of the main wires exit the neck. You should have a few feet of slack left over to work with from each light.

Next, open the Head Light Bucket and pull out, through the back, the RED plug connector which contains a dark blue wire with white piping….this is the wire that we will use to trigger the relay. Cut that wire and splice in a few feet of 16 gauge wire remembering to solder and heat shrink the connection. This is the wire that will go to your switch, whether you put it into the speedo housing, or on the neck, or mounted on the handlebars. Now from the switch you will run another piece of 16 gauge wire to the trigger terminal on the relay housing which happens to be the thin white wire coming from the housing.

Also from that housing are 2 larger gauge double white wires. These are the wires that will go to your lights Connect the white wire from each light to the double white wire off of the relay housing in one soldered and heat shrunk connection. (tip: twist the white wire from each light together and then twist the two white wires from the relay housing together, and then twist the four wires together to form one large splice)

Connect our red wire from the battery to the large single white wire off from relay housing remembering to solder and heat shrink. This large white wire is the 12v in wire. Leave just enough of slack to place all of these connections back into the headlight bucket.

Connect the four remaining black wires together in a large soldered heat shrunk splice. The four black wires are: 1 each from the lights, the black main wire from the battery, and the ground wire from the relay housing, again, leave just enough of slack to place all of these connections back into the headlight bucket.

Now place all the wires back into the headlight bucket and affix the relay to the relay housing.

Clean up all of your exposed wires with the plastic wire cover.

Connect your Red and Black wires to the battery. (tip: remember to remove the little shots of wire holding up the battery nut) and your going to have to notch the flimsy red plastic casing that covers the red terminal to accommodate the new red wire. YOUR DONE!!!!

Now you are ready to test and button up everything.

I hope this helps those who want to tackle this type of installation. Here is a schematic I found on the internet that might also help with the wiring.

Good Luck!!!

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 20 of 488 Posts
Man, that is great!! Thanks for the write up as I am planning on doing the same thing next week. I just ordered a bunch of new mods and plan on spending a day getting everything done at once. This will make it alot easier now that I have a shopping list! Those lights look great on there, nice bike!
great detail Matejj. I was thinking of some form of light under the headlight bucket but I believe your wiring details will work great for any add-on lighting.

Thanks! :cheers:
The lights look great and being a electricaly trained evt technician I must say excellent job with the heat shrink and soldering a must with electrical work. My only question is where in wally world did you find the lights and about how much did it cost. One other thing you should be able to go to most creditable auto parts store and simply by a relay plug with pig tails for a couple bucks. Also the relay you bought did it have a diode in it or is there no threat of back feed threw the relay. I dont have the wire schematic so I dont know.
The lights are in the Automotive section, and so was most of the connectors, heat shrink, plastic wire cover...Etc They were all within 10' of one another in my Wal-mart.
I think they "Pilot" wiring harness and switch can be found in most big automotive stores...Pep Boys is nearest to me and I found it there.

I don't think there is an issue with back feed...the the trigger wire (dark blue with white piping) is the wire that tells the headlight to both 1: Turn off momentarily while the starter is engaged and 2: Turn off the headlight when the key is removed. By using that wire as a trigger it simply tells the relay switch to Open when the key is in the ON position (turning on the lights), to momentarily Close (turn off the lights)when the starter is engaged, and to Close (turn off the lights) when the Key is turned to the off position. The relay is a physical switch triggered by a small current so when its opened it completes the circuit...

Hope that helped...
Oh, the Lights cost around $16, and they actually rate the same as PIAA lights that are 6 times more expensive...
SMOKE.. that set up will work with any accessory that you want to turn on and off with the headlight....the switch actually is not just gives you the option to turn the lights off if you want far i haven't turned them off
looks great thanks for the detail..

Yes that helps alot thanks for the aditional info.
Great write up. This should be added to the tips section, however, I don't have that power. I'll recommend it to Ray.
Awesome write up! Ill be getting a pair and attempting to mount them to the Cobra bar I will also be getting soon...
Yes that helps alot thanks for the aditional info.
+1. nice & easy lemon squeezee. How much extra light do they throw. The stock headlight has always seemed reallly bright to me. please tell me these are "look at me, I''m so bright I'm annoying".
How much extra light do they throw. .
They throw a ridiculous amount of light....Takes my back country Pennsylvania roads and really lights them up, and they are so adjustable that you can really control the spread and the disatance....It's an extra 110w's of light...

+1. nice & easy lemon squeezee. How much extra light do they throw. The stock headlight has always seemed reallly bright to me. please tell me these are "look at me, I''m so bright I'm annoying".
Mine are just that way, super bright and light up road signs a half mile down the road if I point them up a little.

I have them set at around 1 inch under the headlight at 12 foot from my wall.
:patriot:Thanks for the write up! I will try this.
Okay, Joe; I went all over town trying to find the u-bolts that appear in your photos and description, the closest I got to fit around the frame unit was too big in diameter for the wally-world light mounting bracket. and I didn't feel safe trying to drill the bracket out big enough to fit the u-bolt. So, I didn't mount them in the same location as you, on the engine bar top mount, on either side of the radiator.
I wound up improvising a mount and got results similar to Brannum, up there ^ about half a page. Instead of my light being above the turn signal bar, however, it mounts to the underside. The mounting, once I got a rig worked out, was easy enough.
Then..., I started to follow the description of the wiring you provided and the wiring diagram. I never did find an appropriately weather-proof switch I was happy with, so I decided against a switch. Well, I spent most of my time right here at my desk with the directions open, soldering iron smoking, heat wrap shrinking, and wires twisting. Eventually I had everything inside soldered, shrink-wrapped, connected to the relay (with removable connectors), and ready to put in the bike, Yay!
So, I took off the seat, moved the electronic thingy sitting on top of the battery, disconnected the battery, lifted the tank up and braced it and ran the wires just as described. All good so far. Then I opened the headlight. I knew things were moving along too swimmingly to last forever. I have big hands and the wires in the headlight bucket were very tightly bundled and not a lot of slack, (luckily it was daylight). So, with sweat dripping in my eyes, and my left thumb going numb from the contortions I was putting it through, I found a couple of wires that could be described as "blue with a white stripe". Slightly different shades of blue. Couldn't really tell what went where or connected to what, so I flipped a coin. ( actually I had the neighbor kid do it, I couldn't feel my hand at this point, but the blood was flowing back to it by now). So, it came up tails, and I spliced in to the pretty Robins Egg blue wire with the white stripe. Hooked in the relay, shoved everything into the bucket, sealed it all up, and realized my key was inside the house.
So, now the question arises; do I go in the house to get the key to test my wiring? Or, do I put everything together and have utmost faith that I followed Joe's directions correctly and everything will be fine.
I put everything back together and put the toolbox away before testing.
Lights Look Great!! Except they don't shut off temporarily when starting the engine. And when you turn on the right turn signal, the driving lights go out, but not if you turn on the left signal. I am too tired to fix it today; but I figure I need to change from the pretty robin's egg blue wire to the Microsoft Windows blue wire with the white stripe.
Thanks again for the mod idea! I am slightly disappointed that I couldn't find the mounting u-bolt you did, but the lights look great! I will go outside after dark tonight to aim them properly. And I'll try to get a couple of pics for the thread.

Michael :cheers:
See less See more
2 needed to bend the u bolt in a bit...(i did it in a vice) to fit the mounting holes on the paladin bars, then cut away the excess threads....My bad for not mentioning that...once they fit in the mounting holes the nuts will pull them square...

good call on the's only necessary if you want to turn the lights off...i haven't yet...

and you simply relayed the wrong wire and its a quick fix...its the [dark blue wire with white piping] located in the red connector inside the headlight bucket......

Send Pics!!!

Microsoft blue.....just caught that one....lmao....thats a great way to put it....your right it is "micrsoft blue"

1 - 20 of 488 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.