Shedding New Light - 2016 Tiger 800 XCX
Posted on July 31 2023
By 2016, Triumph's Tiger 800 was approaching a turning point along side it's rivals. Incandescent lighting had revealed paths since the dawn of motorcycling, but in the very near future LEDs were about to take over. Today we see standard LED lighting on bikes like the Harley Pan America and Yamaha Tenere 700 which are appreciated for being conspicuous, but let's be honest, they're not setting trails ablaze.
This particular Tiger 800 XCX was overdue for a bump in lighting in order to see and be seen. A set of standard LED headlight bulbs had helped to fill a void but there were greater ambitions.
The heart of this install is the Universal DialDim. The DialDim controller is replacing a Premium Wiring Harness and Switch that was set up with a pair of D4 LED Light Pods. That was a great kit, but considering the amount I ride and where my bike takes me, I wanted more features and of course more light! So the D4's continue to shine on my Jeep.
Performing electrical work can be intimidating, but the Universal DialDim removes the work from the equation. It requires little experience other than knowing how to use a Multimeter to confirm your circuits (High Beam, Turn Signals, & Switched Power). If you bike has a Vehicle Specific DialDim available, it's even less work and is the very definition of Plug-&-Play.
The Tiger 800 used the Universal DialDim harness, so that meant using the included POSITAPs to "tap" the trigger signals needed to unlock my favorite features of the controller.
- 100% Aux Light Intensity with High Beam
- Flash Aux Lights with Horn
- Turn Signal Sync - D3 Fog Lights
- Throttling back the D7's - More on this later
Installing the DialDim is straight forward and simple in itself. Any difficulties I experienced really came down to the Tiger and my own stubbornness, like needing to remove the fuel tank to do anything (including air filter service) and being too stubborn to remove the crash bars (which would have made removing shrouds easier).
This update in conspicuity has not only helped my aging Tiger to look less... "agey", but I noticed its impact immediately. The SoundBomb needed to be used a few times on the freeway as a warning to lane drifting drivers of my presence. Their reaction time to return to their lane appeared to rival that of their need to respond to text messages.
The second benefit is difficult to measure because it relies more on a sense. Drivers planning to enter an intersection or pull into traffic appear to hesitate more often, now that I have additional forward lighting. The old adage of "Loud Pipes Saves Lives" carries less weight as modern car design progresses and increasingly insulates us from outside noise. I have more trust in Bright Lights.
It's a balance, and this is where throttling back comes in. Responsible use of high intensity lighting is important. We've all been blinded by vehicles who operate their auxiliary lighting at inappropriate times or use products that aren't designed for their application. The D7's that are fitted to the Tiger are undoubtingly powerful, providing me ample reaction time on dark roads. Lighting controllers, like the DialDim, allow me to use them as Daytime Running Lights when I operate them at 5% intensity. My safety increases two fold by being seen and not disrupting on coming traffic's visibility.