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 Post subject: LED guide, my findings.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:35 pm 
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I would like to share what LEDs I have used so that you can find the right ones the first time. So, I have started this thread to share my LED headlight retrofit and other LEDs used on my scoot, a 2013 Honda PCX.

I uploaded an stl file to thingiverse of a 3D printed socket used to retrofit an LED bulb, that was made for a different type of vehicle, to fit my PCX. It is the first attempt with a H4 type LED bulb. The high beam is useless with this type of bulb, but low beam is plenty bright. I'm working on version number 2 that will hopefully have a better result. I'll add some before and after photos of the light beam pattern in the following weeks. That way you all can get a better Idea of the effectiveness of the LED bulb.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2707796 I will update the content of the thingiverse post with version 2 of the LED retrofit.

I will add more content like what amber LEDs I used for my turn signals, what led flasher I used, and add some photo comparisons.

Gil


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:33 pm 
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The LED Headlights


The goal of the project was to install LED headlights with good light spread and to be able to reverse the mod, so no cutting of the bikes electrical harness would be involve.
The result of all my troubles is a somewhat OK light pattern of the headlight beam with the low beam. The High beam is is just all over the place. The LED unit itself is too bright. It uses 8 Philips Lumileds Luxeon Z ES chips per bulb. 8 for low beam and 8 for high beam, on each bulb. The LED bulbs are from China , so it's thoughtful that they used real Philips LEDs.
https://www.lumileds.com/products/high-power-leds/luxeon-z-es
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These following pictures are of the LED lights mounted on the scoot. Besides the LED bulb socket adapter I printed a dust cover for the rear of the light housing and a socket adapter for the stock headlight plug, making it a plug and play affair.
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Version II


I'm already planning version 2 with a different LED bulbs.
I found them on ebay, so not too sure on their quality, also they are two color bulbs.
The placement of the LED are close to where they should be, I'm hopping that the low and High beam will be close to stock light pattern.


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In conclusion

That's where I'm at. The retrofit of the new LED bulbs should be quick as I only need to modify the 3D model files to make the new LEDs work.
Will update with the results.


Gil

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Working on the adapter for the new LED lights.
Printing a newer prototype.

Gil


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:14 pm 
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It's looking promising. I installed one LED light and powered it up. The light pattern projected on my garage wall looks similar to the OEM pattern. There is a clear difference between the low beam and the high beam. I won't know how good it is on the road, until I wire it up to my scoot. The wiring is going to be the more difficult part. These LED bulbs were designed for 9006 headlight housing, so it doesn't have separate wiring for low and high beam. The LED driver only has to terminals to connect the power too, positive and negative. It switches between white and yellow LEDs when the power is turned off and on. That won't suffice my lighting needs. I'm looking to use some LED drivers from ebay to solve this conundrum. It's looking promising as wheal. I bought the 350ma version and have the 700ma drivers on order.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10PSC-350mA-1W-LED-Driver-PWM-Light-Dimmer-DC-DC-5-35V-Step-Down-Module/182448204480?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
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Anyway here are some pics of the LEDs in the headlight housing.


Gil


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:54 pm 
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I forgot to mention that I got the LED light from an ebay auction for $11. I looked up past auctions of the same lights and they go up too 20 USD. The regular price is $39.99.
I also e-mailed the seller about the LED drivers, hope to get a response.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/9006-HB4-9012-980W-147000LM-Cree-LED-Headlights-Conversion-kit-Bulbs-6000K-3000K-/172974426637?vxp=mtr
https://www.ebay.com/itm/9006-HB4-9012-980W-147000LM-Cree-LED-Headlights-Conversion-kit-Bulbs-6000K-3000K-/172983093161?vxp=mtr
https://www.ebay.com/itm/9006-HB4-9012-980W-147000LM-Cree-LED-Headlights-Conversion-kit-Bulbs-6000K-3000K/172962025377?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D49565%26meid%3Dd34f31f47ef94b2cbe73a1d7c105901f%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D172983093161&_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:25 am 
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I've played this game with headlights for the Slingshot, and posted the results many places, hoping to save people time and money. The result is always the same, they spend the time and money to find out it was a waste of time and money.

Here's what you need to know to not waste time and money:

First, let me say I have properly designed DOT certified LED headlights in the truck, properly aimed, and the light is incredible. Expensive units, but awesome. No unintended glare affecting oncoming traffic, but get caught in them and....eeech, not good, they're insanely bright. From 1/4 mile back they will over-shine any vehicle in front of me, there's no doubt I'm closing in on someone as the illumination from their headlights will fade into my crisp white halo of existence. Unless it's raining. Then they suck.

LEDs only output a narrow band of light, so anything that absorbs that wavelength won't illuminate and shows up mostly black. Such as something with water on it. So if it rains, everything is black except the freeway signs and other street signs, which are blinding, much as they are all the time, but more so due to everything else being black.

That's the other problem with LEDs, street signs are blinding. Mind you my LEDs are factory installed in Japan, so they're as good as they get, and I'm reminded of that fact constantly.


You need to be firmly aware aftermarket bulbs that don't match OEM bulbs produce light differently, and project differently, which can easily cause glare and unexpectedly blind oncoming traffic. I found this out when one aftermarket HID bulb sat slightly differently than the other and caused insane glare. The illumination was unbelievably better, but the bulb didn't match the mount well enough to be adjusted down as to work properly. I removed the properly mounted bulb, diagnosed the problem, and figured out a different mounting procedure that was more reliable.

LEDs are even harder to work with because instead of a horizontal, thin filament there are two or more rectangular LEDs and light transmission is very different. OEM LED housings are way different than OEM halogen housings, so the halogen housings can't possibly work as well as LED housings when using LED bulbsand there's going to be compromise that requires careful evaluation.

The alignment is critically important, because while you want to see better you also don't want to blind oncoming traffic and cause them to crash, especially not into you. If they do crash and report that it was because you blinded them, it'll probably be you paying for it, and that's YOU, not your insurance company. There's this clause about them not covering intended or expected consequences, and it's abundantly clear you intended to illuminate everything in front of you with the modified headlights, and any reasonable person can expect oncoming traffic to be similarly illuminated, so you both intended and expected to flood oncoming traffic with blinding light. It's reasonable to expect you to pay all damages, pain, and suffering out of your own pocket.

The reality is every step of the retrofit should be considered "fail" until proven to work properly. Unless everything works properly (not just "works") the system doesn't "pass," no matter who sold you what. If the installer isn't an expert they should consider having the work inspected by an expert to be sure it's right and works properly and reliably.

In simple terms, the halogen lamp (the bulb) has a metal mount with a flange (a round lip), the top of the flange has a round cutout, the bottom a rectangular, and the fit to the lamp holder (where the bulb is stuck into) is very precise. This is so the filament is positioned exactly correctly, left-right, up-down, at the right depth, and even right-side up. The filament runs left-to-right (horizontal) and emits light along the length of the filament (cylindrically).

Aftermarket HID lamps have a plastic mount with a not-so-precise fit, so there is some slop when mounting. There is no filament, rather a metal-gas that is sparked into conducting, then glows much the way a florescent tube does, although much brighter. The chamber is forward facing (rear-to-front) instead of side-to-side (left-to-right), so it's kind of like an elongated plasma balloon that points forward (somewhat cylindrical, and turned 90° from a halogen filament). The light source is not only a different shape, but the bulb may not be mounted in the exact right position.

Aftermarket LED bulbs generally have two or more Light Emitting Diodes, one set on each side of a post, much different from any OEM LED headlight design. As you can guess, this configuration is a lot different from a round filament, and the location of the LEDs on a "fat" post cannot match the location of the thin filament. The emission pattern is like a lighthouse. Unlike halogen (hot wire filament) and HID (really hot xenon gas), LEDs are electrical components and must be kept cool so they don't burn out, either by a large heatsink and cooling fins (generally requiring unrestricted air flow--ditch the waterproof boot), or a micro fan on the more powerful LED units (no boot and keep it clean & dry so the fan keeps running).

This is all important when one realizes the very tiny size of the fixture compared with old-fashioned (or even new) car headlights. These fixtures are very compact, and the reflector and lens are made very precise to accurately focus the light where you need it without blinding oncoming traffic. Any time the thin filament light source is changed, even the filament orientation, the light path is also changed, and that original, intended path is very defined: most of the light is focused on the road, some to the sides, and just a little is used to light up street signs and provide a broader view, but not so much as to blind oncoming traffic. It's all to provide the driver with the most visibility possible without endangering the driver and others, in many different driving conditions.

Another odd thing is the more yellow the light is the more detail we see, the more blue the light the brighter it looks, but the less detail we see. Tungsten bulbs are around 2700°K (a bit more toward orange), halogen about 3000°K (yellow), and the daylight is about 5000°K. HID light color varies based on voltage, and between 4500° and 5000°K works best, any higher and they move into the blue spectrum and produce less visible light (the narrow band is better or worse absorbed by different things, so appears more crisp due to shadows, but we actually see less overall). Since HID bulbs color-shift between 100-500 hours, what you see initially isn't the end result--they shift to less yellow and more blue, meaning they're more crisp after burn-in. With less expensive HIDs, a 4500°K rating seems best, since they tend to over-rate the ballasts and the lamps burn hotter than expected (cheaper ballasts = higher actual Kelvin than rating = more crisp / less light).

An additional thought is ballasts produce a fair amount of heat and a lot of voltage in a very compact area. A failure resulting in fire may cause a lot of damage in a very short time.

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Example of aftermarket bulbs in OEM lenses not designed for the bulbs.
Left: Properly adjusted headlights. Note the car is the closest of the three and the headlights should be the brightest.
Center (farther away), Right (even farther away): Properly adjusted headlights for the OEM bulbs, but using aftermarket bulbs without correcting the adjustment for those bulbs.​ Notice how hard it is to tell how far away they are. This is called "glare," when the light blinds oncoming drivers.

Would I go with LED headlights again? Hell no. Aside from the expense, highly reflective road signs blind me and I can't see great in rain, fog, and winter, because snow is unbelievably bright. Since deer fur absorbs LED light I can't tell if a super-bright dot is from their eyes reflecting the headlights or one of those round 1" reflectors they put on mailboxes so the plow doesn't hit them and they know which newspapers get delivered. I have LEDs in a few vehicles, and it's always the same results. Halogen are good, but HID are my favorites, bright in all conditions but not blinding to me nor oncoming traffic, and reasonably priced too.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:05 pm 
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I think you did a great job summarizing the difficulties of working with LEDs. They are definitely not a drop in replacement. It is also what my current LED install is suffering from, the LED bulbs have too many led chips in them, that and the High beam LEDs isn't anywhere close too where the halogen filament is at. They can work when done properly though. As the review of authentic Philips H4 LED retrofit shows. http://www.xenondepot.com/Philips-12953BWX2-H4-LED-Bulb-Review-s/62.htm . Would you mind sharing a link to the thread that you started. It would be helpful to other looking to retrofit LED headlights.


Gil

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:44 pm 
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I know this is a hot topic across many forums, and my hope is fellow riders get to the desired result quickly and without spending a lot of money. My goal was the same as most people, better visibility, minimal cost. Looking great was in there too.

In the end the LEDs required lenses designed for the bulbs, and bulbs designed for the task, so I went "factory install" in the truck. This wasn't inexpensive, and as stated above the result was great in some ways and not so great in other ways. Friends had gone with "professional installs," and their results weren't nearly as good. My factory setup is still instant-on and working perfectly, some of theirs are having serious problems, so for them it was a serious waste of money.

What drove me to the truck's factory install was the aftermarket Slingshot LED headlights were never bright enough without blinding other drivers, and there's six of them, so it's not for lack of power. Squirrel wants my aftermarket LED setup from the Slingshot because she doesn't run hers at night, and for that purpose she'll look great and it will be fine. For night driving the glare blinds other drivers, and there is no properly aiming them because the lenses cannot support the type of bulb; the lenses must be designed for the bulb, and the bulb for the specific needs of the vehicle. Even then LEDs have the shortcomings mentioned. As much as I wanted the LEDs to work out, they didn't do what I was hoping.

I tried the LED setups because I'd gone with aftermarket HID bulbs in the Slingshot's stock reflectors which are designed for halogen bulbs. The illumination was incredible! They lit up everything from zero to twelve feet high at the other end of the shop, and the light distribution to the sides and on the ground from the vehicle to 100 yards out was perfect--this is what people who install aftermarket HIDs rave about! When I jogged all the way to the other end of the shop and turned around the glare was completely blinding (walking back I had to shield my eyes), so the headlights needed to be properly adjusted. There's a type of lens that instead of just being clear is curved like a magnifying glass and focuses the beam, and the trick to aiming them is to aim them high (like they already were) then continue to adjust them down and look for when they edge from the "bright xenon blinding light" to this "arc of red." If you continue to adjust them down they'll still be bright but not enough to illuminate the area properly. So you run out 100 yards, bend over, and as you do watch for that change from "xenon blinding" to "red arc," and see how high that is, then adjust to the proper height, which is a factory spec. dependent on how high the headlights are off the ground (there's good reason for that, but beyond the scope of this topic). What wound up happening is with the right bulbs the arc was in the optimal position, but since the xenon arc is always front-to-back instead of side-to-side like a filament it creates glare, and xenon is so bright that the reflector units were adjusted fully down and the glare was still blinding! So I shimmed the reflectors and wound up with a super-bright puddle in front of me from 13' to 35', and normal light after that. The result was no brighter than halogen except 1,) "the puddle," which made it harder to see distance, 2.) when I hit a bump that caused the front of the vehicle to raise and blind oncoming traffic, 3.) hills where I was above oncoming traffic and blinded them.

The solution I finally settled on was Hella DOT certified HID lights. The bulb is designed to be the right color for maximum visibility in all conditions, and the reflector is designed to illuminate the roads and sides of the road with maximum effect without blinding oncoming traffic. When I hit the high beams (which flips a shutter) it's like daytime.

I'll note before all this that the race car (370Z, street legal) had HIDs as the top factory option and I was really disappointed they didn't move to current technology, which is why I had the truck built with LEDs. I was pretty happy with the LEDs, despite reflective road signs blinding me and me occasionally blinding other drivers, until it rained. And when I couldn't tell the difference between deer and mailboxes, that wasn't great either. And people really don't like me driving behind them, because most people don't know how to properly adjust their mirrors and I blind them to the point they have to pull over because they can't see where they're going. It was then that I noticed the race car always has even lighting, enough of it that I can always see where I'm going, and doesn't piss people off too much, although the mirror thing still gets people. And that's why I put HIDs in the Slingshot.

Hopefully this saves you tons of time and money. I wish someone laid this out before I started my journey, because it would have saved me that time and money also. You can find my lighting adventures in several threads on SlingshotForums.com, search for related terms and posts by WI_Hedgehog.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:42 am 
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HID bulbs should work since they have a small light emitting spot. I'm guessing you went with a HID kit for your PCX? If so, what kit was it? The best LED setup would be a retrofit of the LED headlights that come in the new PCX. I don't think that I will come anywhere close to that, but we will see. I'll share what I find along the way, that way you all can see what I did right and wrong and learn something from it. I'll add as many pictures and links as possible.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:38 am 
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Gil wrote:
HID bulbs should work since they have a small light emitting spot. I'm guessing you went with a HID kit for your PCX? If so, what kit was it? The best LED setup would be a retrofit of the LED headlights that come in the new PCX. I don't think that I will come anywhere close to that, but we will see. I'll share what I find along the way, that way you all can see what I did right and wrong and learn something from it. I'll add as many pictures and links as possible.

Gil



Look forward to it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Squirrel has a 2017 PCX and stock lights, they're quite impressive looking. She only rides during daylight hours. My experience came from other vehicles, I don't drive her PCX; although I'd love to, I also want her to have her own bike that's all hers.

I wish people the best of fortunes with lighting. As an Engineer I'm a perfectionist, and certainly understand different people have different goals.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Thanks for sharing WI_Hedgehog, your experience with LEDs on other vehicles definitely applies here, as many LED kits are not designed right. My implementation isn't a proper LED retrofit, but I hope to get close to the right light pattern.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Update:


I have updated the led plug adapter. After some spade connectors and some crazy glue, we have wiring done. Although Hi/Lo lighting wont work properly, but it's a temporary measure.

Now to install it.


Gil


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:11 am 
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Looks awesome. After you get it perfected you gotta sell the adapters and connectors. Im in buying ur stuff.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:51 am 
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That's quite the design! Since LEDs don't generate too much heat the plastic should hold up well. I admire your ingenuity!

I mentioned this to Squirrel and she said that because parts are fairly inexpensive, just buy a new light assembly. :P Girls.... I'm pretty sure that would also require a new upper fairing, and maybe getting that painted. Though that's probably not too expensive, it's not as much fun as designing and printing your own parts!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:14 pm 
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pcx888 wrote:
Looks awesome. After you get it perfected you gotta sell the adapters and connectors. Im in buying ur stuff.


Of course, you only need to cover materials used, which is not much, and shipping cost.

[quote="WI_Hedgehog] just buy a new light assembly.[/quote]

Someone in here retrofired the guts of the OEM LED headlight into a Halogen model. Panels are cheap, not sure about the headlight, but you are right it is more fun making things work.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:23 pm 
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Update: Light shield


Today I worked on the light shield for the LEDs' to block the direct view of the LEDs', as thy are quite bright.
Now, as for the color of the plastic, I have a natural ABS filament spool that I might use for the Light shield. It might look "cooler".

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:08 pm 
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Location: Watsonville, CA
Year: 2013
Color: black
Light shield in action


Took some pics of the light shield in action. :)

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Gil

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    2013 Honda PCX 150, NCY Variator kit, Dr Pulley 12g Roller weights
    IRC tires, LED driving lights, Besten trunk


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Watsonville, CA
Year: 2013
Color: black
Close up of light shield and its intermediate designs.

Attachment:
IMG_20171226_014921556_LL.jpg
IMG_20171226_014921556_LL.jpg [ 41.38 KiB | Viewed 152 times ]


Gil

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ImageImage
    2013 Honda PCX 150, NCY Variator kit, Dr Pulley 12g Roller weights
    IRC tires, LED driving lights, Besten trunk


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Watsonville, CA
Year: 2013
Color: black
Dust cover


Finishing up the dust cover for the headlight housing. My only concern is the free movement of the chrome reflector when adjusting the headlight beam.

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File comment: Headlight Housing
IMG_20171226_162126369.jpg
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File comment: Headlight housing no dust cover
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IMG_20171226_162451912.jpg [ 27.43 KiB | Viewed 138 times ]

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IMG_20171226_182751704_LL.jpg
IMG_20171226_182751704_LL.jpg [ 54.24 KiB | Viewed 138 times ]


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File comment: The whole enchilada
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IMG_20171227_005234622_LL.jpg [ 96.8 KiB | Viewed 138 times ]

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IMG_20171227_005650464.jpg
IMG_20171227_005650464.jpg [ 39.27 KiB | Viewed 138 times ]



Gil

_________________
ImageImage
    2013 Honda PCX 150, NCY Variator kit, Dr Pulley 12g Roller weights
    IRC tires, LED driving lights, Besten trunk


Top
 Profile  
 
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