TESTED: RUBY MOTO R4 LED LIGHTING
BY: CHAD DE ALVA
Adding a set of lights to your adventure bike is a great way to add a real measure of safety and functionality to your bike. More light makes you more visible to other vehicles and lets you see wildlife and other trail hazards sooner, giving you more time to react. Additional lighting also makes intentionally riding at night or in low light a less scary endeavor, and more time to ride is something we could all use. Ruby Moto makes lighting solutions for many popular adventure bikes, packed full of features making them some of the most robust lighting systems on the market. Here’s what it’s like to use a pair of their R4 lights on a KTM 790 Adventure R.
The spec list on a Ruby Moto R4 light reads like a hit list of quality lighting features: American CREE LEDs, Japanese electronics, machined housings, and German optics. Ruby Moto has spent some serious time and effort cherry-picking the best components from all over the world to build quality lights – and that quality is evident the first time you hold one in your hand. When it comes to lighting, you get what you pay for. Not only does Ruby Moto make quality lights, they have a feature-packed wiring harness allowing you to integrate your aftermarket lights into your bike with a variety of options.
The wiring harness and dimmer switch that controls the Ruby Moto lights lets you power and control the lights in several ways. The dimmer switch serves as your On/Off button, and by twisting the dial part of the switch, you can crank the lights up to full power for night use or dial them down all the way to make for an effective Daytime Running Light (DRL). The Dimmer Switch comes with a clever little bracket that is easy to mount right onto the stud for your mirror, and has one clean cable that runs to the control box. From this control box, you’ll find leads that let you tap into your bike’s horn and hi-beam circuits; doing this adds two unique functions to any connected Ruby Moto Lights: the horn wire will cause your lights to strobe, and the hi-beam wire will instantly turn your lights up to full power. The horn wire tap is an awesome way to really make yourself seen, and the hi-beam wire is a great way to seamlessly crank your lights all the way up with just the press of your bike’s factory hi-beam switch. This wiring harness comes fused, sleeved, and is very well made.
The downside to this wiring harness is that it takes up a considerable amount of space, so be prepared to spend some time finding a home for all of the extra wire that you’ll need to stash on your bike. Ruby Moto is working on a simple relay and switch harness for riders who just want to be able to turn their lights on and off. You can also get a-la-carte connectors and parts from Ruby if you want to create your own harness.
Mounting the lights on my 790R was another area where I had to get creative. There are a number of well known 7/890 owners on social media who have mounted their lights on their fork tubes, but this isn’t a good idea. KTM 7/890R’s have 240mm of front travel with the stock fork; when the fork is fully compressed the fork guards come all the way up to the bottom triple clamp, which means the fork guards are going to smack into anything mounted to the fork tubes below the bottom clamp. My solution was to use a set of Ruby Moto 25mm tube clamps, and then 3D Print a sleeve so that I could mount the clamps onto the 20mm headlight brace tubes. There are obviously other ways to mount lights safely on a 7/890, but the point here is to make sure that any farkle you install isn’t going to impact the function of your bike. Ruby Moto is actively working on additional clamp options, including one that will work with the 7/890’s 20mm tubes.
In use, a pair of Ruby Moto R4s make for a very versatile set of lights. With the dimmer switch, it’s easy to power on the lights at a low power setting so that you have the benefits of additional DRLs, without the risk of getting an award from law enforcement for having super-bright “dazzling lights” on public roads. Yet when you need more light, a quick twist of the dimmer switch is all it takes to unleash all of the R4’s lumens. The horn and hi-beam features of the control box both cause the lights to perform as advertised, and the horn switch is particularly awesome. If you use your bike to commute or spend a bunch of time riding around other vehicles, tapping into your bike’s horn or adding another momentary switch for strobing is a good call.
The beam pattern created by the R4s does a solid job of supplementing lighting in near to mid field, and I would strongly encourage you to spend some time playing with the aim of the R4s to get the most out of these lights. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective lights can be when they’re aimed properly as opposed to simply being aimed directly forward.
Ruby Moto also makes slip-over lens shields for the R4 LEDs which come with both amber tinted hyper-vis and clear lenses. These covers are a great way to protect your lights from roost thrown up by your riding buddies, and the amber lens help the light cut through dust and gets you additional likes on the ‘Gram, because #amber. Switching lenses in the field takes just a minute so you can dial your lights in even further to best serve your riding conditions.
Ruby Moto has packed an impressive feature set into a quality LED lighting system in their R4 LED lights. The lights are well made, backed by a lifetime warranty, and there’s a crash replacement warranty should you need it. Feature wise, the dimmer switch and wiring harness enable Ruby Moto lights to really do more than just be bright. The dimmer lets you run the lights as DRLs without blinding other motorists, and the horn and hi-beam wire add serious safety with the horn’s strobe feature, and the convenience of the hi-beam’s instant full power feature. If you’re in the market for a feature-packed, well-made lighting system for your bike, check out Ruby Moto lights at www.rubymoto.com