TESTED: MOTOMINDED TORCH HELMET LED KIT
BY: CHAD DE ALVA
The Torch Helmet LED system is what you get when the folks who make some of the best dirt bike LED headlight mounts take on helmet lighting. MotoMinded is known for their mounts that enable riders to mount some of the best LEDs on the planet as dirtbike headlights, and now they’ve figured out how to apply that same winning formula to helmet lighting. So if you’ve ever found yourself out on a ride after dark with only a stock headlight to get you home, or you just want to be able to see where you’re looking while riding at night, know that the Torch will completely redefine your nighttime riding experience. Stated plainly, the Torch Helmet LED system is what you need to own the night on your motorcycle.
Available as either a single or dual LED lighting system that can be powered by your bike or from an Antigravity Jump-Starter battery, the Torch is incredibly versatile. MotoMinded uses a customized Baja Designs S1 LED for each Torch Helmet light, and these lights pack a ridiculous amount of power into a small package. Measuring just a couple of inches on a side and weighing in at less than a half of a pound, the S1 is a light you must see in action to fully appreciate. There are so many LEDs on the market with questionable build quality, components, and more often than not, totally made up light output numbers, but Baja Designs makes some of the best lights out there. Lighting is one of those products that you get what you pay for, and you’ll find Baja Designs lights on the top shelf. MotoMinded has taken these awesome Baja Designs LEDs and created a versatile and effective mounting system that integrates seamlessly with your bike and riding gear.
Each Torch LED mounts to a flat or curved adhesive-backed magnetic base that is placed on your helmet. The magnetic bases allow you to quickly and easily remove the lights when they’re not in use, and the magnets allow the light to breakaway in the event of a crash, or if you hit something while riding. The mounts can also be tilted, rotated, raised or lowered so that you can point the beam exactly where you want it. If you’ve ever discovered the hard way that you didn’t get your GoPro mount pointing straight forward on your helmet, you won’t have that problem with the Torch. You can get the aim dialed in, even if your mounting base didn’t end up where you intended to place it. Setting the screws on the mount to snug will allow you to grab and aim the lights while you’re riding too, so you can adjust your light to match your riding conditions. The magnet mounts work great, just get the Torch close to the base and the magnet will take care of the rest.
Powering the Torch from your bike is about as easy as it gets. All you need to do on a KTM or Husky EFI bike (check with MotoMinded for bike-specific compatibility) is install the included power connector in line between your headlight and bike’s wiring harness. Simply remove your headlight mask, locate the headlight power cable, unplug it, and add in the MotoMinded connector before plugging everything back in and re installing the headlight mask. Then run the Torch power cable up to your bars where you can easily access it. When it’s time to use the Torch, simply plug in the power cable that feeds your lights. MotoMinded has intentionally designed the Torch with multiple cable connections so that in the event that you need to part ways with your bike, the power cable will not try to keep you connected to the bike. Think of a tether for a jet ski or a snowmobile and you’ll get the idea.
Alternatively, the Torch can be powered using a battery pack carried by the rider. UPSHIFT and MotoMinded sell the Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start XP-10, which is a vehicle jump starting battery that also happens to have ports that enable it to power LED lights. With the XP-10, you can power a single Torch for four hours, or the XP-10 will keep a dual Torch system running for a couple of hours. Plus, the XP-10 enables you to use your Torch system anywhere you need light, which expands the functionality of the Torch exponentially. If your bike does not have the spare power on tap for a Torch system, running the battery pack is a great alternative to having to play with your bike’s electrical bits.
Whether you’re running the Torch off of your bike or from a battery, setup for a ride takes just a few seconds. Simply snap the light(s) on to the bases which live on your helmet, make a few cable connections, and get back to riding. That’s all there is to it. Even with the XP-10 battery, everything you need can easily be carried in a riding backpack, so bringing a Torch with you to be prepared for a ride that could run late isn’t hard at all. MotoMinded has even included an in line switch with each light, so you can turn your light(s) off with just the press of a button instead of having to chase down a cable to disconnect.
Riding with a single Torch Helmet light will completely change your opinion of night riding, and using two Torch lights will make you feel even more comfortable in the dark. Even with the best headlight on the front of your bike, having a light source that’s pointed in the same direction that you’re looking is the key to feeling in control while riding at night. Whether you’re trying to look to the corner exit on a big sweeper, or trying to not ride off a cliff on some exposed singletrack, having light that’s not constrained to the direction your bike is pointing is everything when it comes to not outrunning your lights at night. The Torch makes riding singletrack at night fun — and you’ll find that you’re more focused on riding when you can only see what is illuminated by the massive serving of light provided by the Torch. I’ve even found the Torch to be very helpful on my ADV bike when I’m out after dark. More light means more time to see things at night that can ruin your ride if you hit them. Deer, downed trees, and other obstacles are all easier to see when you’ve got light shining where you’re looking. Once you ride with lights on your helmet at night, you’ll wonder how you ever rode without them.
The MotoMinded Torch Helmet LED system is awesome. It’s a well thought out helmet lighting system that’s made using top shelf components, and it quite literally can make a night and day difference in your nighttime riding experience. Getting into a torch system isn’t cheap, but if you want to ride at night it’s something that will be worth every penny the first time you use it. A single Torch LED can make a world of difference, and it’s so small that it can easily ride in your pack, which makes it easy to bring along for that extra measure of safety and confidence should your ride last into the night. If you are racing, or someone who really likes to push it at night, get the dual LED system. Picking up a XP-10 battery with your Torch setup is also a great move, as the battery allows you to use your Torch on any bike, and anywhere else you need a serious amount of light. If I had to guess, I would expect to see more mounts coming from MotoMinded in the future for the Torch, which would only increase the utility of this product. Yet even in their current state, the Torch Helmet LED lighting system is the way to go for helmet lighting, and the key to fully enjoying the awesome experience that is night riding. www.motominded.com