I tend to spend a lot more time buzzing around town on the Sportster these days. Because I wanted to make myself more visible in traffic, I started looking for a brake light that would make me stand out a little more and make it hard to miss me when I tap on the brakes.
My friend Kelly has one of these lights on his Road Glide and it’s very hard to miss in traffic. Looking at the options available, this was on the more expensive side—but has an incredible reputation. If you’re looking for a bright tail light, the Bright Ass Light (BAL) is exactly that.
I originally thought I could find a replacement bulb, but the BAL tail light was a more elegant solution that basically replaces the stock tail light component—looking like stock and fitting like an OEM replacement part.
Swapping out the OEM part and installation is a piece of cake.
Remove the two screws that hold the stock tail light onto the bike and pull the plug on the tail light. It will be obvious which plug you need to pull when you remove the light. You’ll notice it’s pretty dirty with road grime on the chrome housing. Take a minute and wipe it all down before you go to the next step.
Remove the four precut openings from the gasket, being careful not to rip the gasket. Peel the backing paper off the back of the gasket and carefully fasten it to the the chrome housing and thread the wires and plugs through the openings. You won’t need to undo any of the wires to do this.
Once you have the gasket in place, you’ll notice there are a couple of openings that you can cover with the gasket material that you removed from the gasket in an earlier step.
You’ll notice that the light fits a little more snug onto the housing because the gasket is affixed to the housing rather than the underside of the tail light. Use the same fasteners you removed from the OEM light to attach the new BAL light.
Use the included zip tie to slightly pull and hold the brake lever so you can adjust the brake light pattern. You’ll notice a spot on the upper right of your tail light that is identified to set the pattern with a magnet (also included).
With the brake lever pulled, gently touch the magnet to the spot for a couple of seconds to see one of several patterns. Remove the magnet and try it again. Continue through the options until you find the pattern you like best.
Once you’ve chosen the pattern you like, put the battery aside and remove the protective film from the face of the light.
I chose a pattern I felt would make me more visible in traffic. I think this is a great safety addition to the bike—particularly if you spend lot of time in city traffic or put a lot of commuter miles on your bike.