It seems that factory motorcycle headlights are often only fit to make the bike street-legal. With some I am reminded of my childhood days—riding a bicycle with a flashlight taped to the bars. Obviously, if you ride at night, a lack of lumens is an issue, but even during the day, additional light can be advantageous. Bright lights catch an oncoming driver’s attention, which could make a difference if the driver is about to pull out in front of you.
At less than 10 watts per unit, PIAA’s LP270 LED driving lights are an efficient solution to the lighting problem. They have two LEDs per housing, facing backwards toward a refractor. This diode orientation spreads the light more efficiently than the more common forward facing-diode with a focusing dish orientation. The compact 2.75-inch driving lights project 6,000K beams at 30 degrees, giving the light a nice spread through the polycarbonate lenses. In addition to offering good coverage, the PIAAs will easily out reach most factory halogen headlamps.
The cast aluminum casings are aesthetically pleasing and seem very well made. PIAA also advertises a 10G vibration rating. While I hope never to have to test that particular claim, they do seem robust. Installation is straightforward, thanks to a high quality wiring harness and comprehensive instructions. The harness includes all the necessary hardware such as waterproof plugs, a relay, a fuse, and a switch. Mounting is also simplified by the ability to change the orientation of the light in the mount. However, I had to fabricate my own mounts because the lower fork mounts that PIAA suggests for my motorcycle don’t quite fit my needs.
The lights are certainly not cheap but as far as I can tell, they are high quality. They make an excellent addition to a typically underpowered headlight and are efficient enough to be used on motorcycles with low stator outputs. Riding at night is a bit of a risk, and although we recommend against it, it’s sometimes necessary. It’s nice to have the ability to fire up some “light cannons” like these LP270s to help watch for deer where I live and ride. Anything I can do to increase visibility is good in my book, and whether that’s making me more easily seen or improving my ability to see, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.