LED Brake light conversion for a 1993 Triumph Tiger (version IV)

So, a few years after version 1, I have now completed my 4th iteration of this idea.

Version 2, was more 5mm LED’s like the 1st, but was unreliable.  Version 3 used the same LED’s as version 4 but with a 556 timer as in version 1.  Version 3 got very hot – so hot in fact it started to smoke.

This version is an interim version as it still gets too hot on full brightness.  Fortunately, the brake light only requires a fraction of the maximum output, so is perfectly useable for long periods of time.

New for version IV is the 12F675 PIC Micro Controller.  This was my first dabble with Micro controllers and I am hooked.  The reason for the change is that the PIC can do PWM like the 556 timer, but with less circuitry.  It also enables me to modify the brightness of the output without the need for me to take the cover off and adjust variable resistors (and it can also do 0-100% duty cycle).  This is the source code for the PWM and the control on the 675 chip.  Todo: Add watchdog timer support and maybe add option to reduce brightness steps.  Having looked at some PWM code on the net, I decided to create my PWM code from scratch.   I did try a 2 timer approach, but found that a single timer worked better for me.

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The Collecting of my 1993 Triumph Tiger

This is the story of the day I collected Tigger.

Like a lot of things in my life, doing something simple like this had to be different.

I saw the Tiger on eBay back in August 2008 and immediately fell in love with the colour. It was too far away for me to visit before the auction ended, so I took a gamble and purchased it based on the photos and description. Although it was claimed to be rust free, I could see that the wheels were in poor shape and would need attention. The seller also noted that there was a problem with the “carbs” and that a “guy” was going to do a full inspection of the bike to ensure that it was 100% before collection.

The Auction finished in August but because of my commitments and because the seller was going off on holiday I wasn’t able to collect it until September. In the meantime, I paid a deposit and, as the TAX would run out at the end of the month, I applied for a new TAX disc online using the current owners details so that I would be totally legal when collecting the bike.

The eventful day arrived when I would be traveling up to Warwickshire to collect the bike. I had my flatmate drop me off at Reading train station to catch the train to Nuneaton and meet the seller who would pick me up from the station. Even though the seller was throwing in a helmet, I was carrying all my gear and a helmet as I am not a fan of using second hand helmets.

The journey seemed fairly quick and it wasn’t long before I was walking around Nuneaton station looking for my lift. I figured I was fairly recognisable, being 6’3″, sporting a goatee, and either carrying or wearing my motorcycle gear. On the other hand, the person I was looking for was a complete unknown, so I gave the seller a call. He asked if I was carrying a helmet, and I said I was. He then said he thought he could see me, so I started looking around. I could see a guy, some distance off, walking purposefully towards me with a phone in his right hand. I told him that I could see him and hung up.

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Fitting a chain to a 1993 Tiger without draining the oil

A poor design of the early Hinckley Triumph engines is that the sprocket cover is part of the engine casing, usually requiring the engine oil to be drained to change the engine sprocket or fit a new chain.  To compound this, on the Tiger models, you have to remove the rider’s left foot rest as well.  This takes time and is a real pain in the ass, something I have done before and didn’t want to do again just to fix a broken chain that had slid off.

View of the SprocketAs I could reach – and turn – the top of the engine sprocket, I tried to feed the chain in from the top, which wasn’t very successful because I couldn’t get any access to the lower part of the sprocket.  Chain Fed Through (showing metal feeder bar underneath)I then decided that if I could feed the chain in from the lower part it would be easier to pull the chain around by spinning the top of the front sprocket.  This worked a treat.  I used a thin, curved, metal bar from a Triumph America screen as a support for the chain.  By placing the chain on the metal bar and feeding them both under the swing arm until the chain pushed up against the sprocket I was able to hook the chain onto the sprocket after only four or five attempts of spinning the top of the sprocket with my hand.  Once the chain was sufficiently far enough around the top of the sprocket I was able to start pulling it through with ease.

LED Brake light conversion for a 1993 Triumph Tiger (version 1)

I bought a 1993 Triumph Tiger last August to run through Winter.  As it happens, for one reason or another, I didn’t get it on the road until December.  In the three months I ran it, I went through around six stop/tail bulbs of various types, including LED bulbs.  I have no idea why the bulbs kept blowing but I decided that I could resolve this issue by designing my own LED circuit with some over voltage protection built in.

The main reasons for deciding to build my own circuit were as follows:

  • Off-the-shelf LED bulbs are not efficient at putting the light where you want it – and because of this, are often not as bright as filament bulbs.
  • My bike was blowing bulbs quicker than I was able to buy replacements.
  • I wanted to incorporate a flashing brake light circuit
  • I fancied doing something different

The initial design included two 12v regulators and two polarity protective diodes; one for each of the stop and  tail light circuits.

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Trident Exhausts for 1993 Triumph Tiger

I am currently doing 900 miles a week on my Tiger so I decided to treat it to some new exhausts as the old ones have been full of holes since I bought the bike over a year ago.  Triumph wanted around £300 per exhaust which are made of plain old steel with just a dash of stainless steel at the end and another extra stainless plate for a heat shield.  Looking around, I was able to find Trident Exhausts offered a selection of exhausts for the Tiger and I decided on the carbon and stainless steel option.  Peter Corlett was very helpful on the phone and the exhausts were around £80.00 cheaper than the Triumph offering with a lot more going for them.

The exhausts took a little over a week from order, to be custom made, and to eventually arrive at the door.

I was a little disappointed with some aspects of the exhausts; One of the baffles was dented to the one side, the pipework were of different lengths and – this is a little picky as I am happy with the finish – but the stainless pipework does not look as polished as the website pictures:

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