Tested: Ruby Moto R7 Light
By Chad de Alva
Ruby Moto’s R7 light is the big brother to the R4 light that we tested in Upshift Issue 65. The R7 has many of the same notable features as the R4, but now there are seven CREE LEDs, and total light output is rated at 7500 Lumens at 59 watts. Thanks to a collaboration with MotoMinded, the R7 light is a drop in headlight replacement kit for many KTM and Husqvarna dirt bikes. Eager to put the big Ruby R7 to the test, we dropped one into our 2019 KTM 300 XC-W.
The R7 is an impressive light, and holding one in your hand is where you first start to appreciate the features that this (and other Ruby Moto lights) have. Most obvious is the light’s machined housing, which lets the light dissipate heat more efficiently than the cast housings that many other fancy light manufacturers use. This also makes the light quite durable. On the illuminating side of things, seven CREE LEDs run by a Japanese-made circuit board shine through a German-made lens. The sum of these parts is a very well-made light that does a truly impressive job distributing light on the trail in front of the rider.
Installing the R7 into a compatible dirt bike is an easy process. First, remove your bike’s headlight mask and unplug your stock headlight. Next, you’ll remove the candle in a housing that’s your stock headlight from the headlight mask. The R7 comes installed in a bracket that’s made by MotoMinded, and this assembly drops right in place of your stock headlight. The bracket allows you to tilt the R7 as needed so that you can aim the light exactly where you want it.A good starting point is a few degrees tilted down from vertical – this way the light is pointed ever so slightly downwards when you’re riding on the bike and the suspension is at rider sag. With the light assembly installed, make the plug and play wiring connections, reinstall the headlight mask on your bike, and go ride!
It’s always fun to unleash a fancy new light in the night for the first time, and the Ruby Moto R7 does not disappoint. At full power, the light unleashes a beautifully diffuse beam of light that provides plenty of distance and area coverage without the hard edges (think of projector car headlights) that some other top shelf fancy lights have. Color temperature (5000K) on the R7 is close enough to daylight that everything looks normal, and not like some over-filtered Instagram photo. Whether you are picking your way through a properly technical wash, or just cranking down dirt roads at night, the R7 brings the lumens to make riding at night a great time.
Ruby Moto also makes a yellow filter called a Hyper-Vis filter that slips on over the R7 with a silicone boot. Yellow (also known as amber) light helps cut through dust, so if you’re riding with others at night, or you need to be seen in the dust during the day, this is a great thing to have. The actual filter can be pressed in and out of the boot, so you can swap in a clear filter for additional light protection. Be careful with these filters – they have a tendency to separate when they’re packed away, so make sure that the filter is properly installed in the boot before you install it on the light.
An optional resistor dimmer dongle is a great option to add to the R7, if your bike has a high / low / off switch for its headlight. The dimmer dongle allows for 100% power output on high, but cuts output significantly on low, making the light much better suited for use as a daytime running light. Don’t be that rider blinding others with a dazzlingly bright light in the day. It’s important to know that the resistor dimmer dongle works by converting current into heat, so the resistor will get very hot during extended periods of use.
As a headlight, the Ruby Moto R7 with MotoMinded bracket is a great option for any KTM or Husqvarna dirt bike that can use it. The R7’s light output is exceptional – it has distance coverage for all but the fastest of desert racers, and plenty of area coverage for illuminating what is coming down the trail at you. There are no hard edges or hot spots with the R7 – just tons of useable light. Other LEDs have color temperatures that can make the world look funny and can contribute to eyestrain and fatigue, but the R7’s 5000K output is easy on the eyes. The slip-on filters are an easy way to add a layer of protection to the R7, or to easily add better performance in the dust with the yellow Hyper Vis filter. MotoMinded’s brackets are awesome, and every single one I’ve used over the past few years has worked flawlessly. The net effect of all of these parts is one truly outstanding dirt bike light.For more information on the Ruby Moto R7, visit www.rubymoto.com.