LED lighting

The Light Fantastic

The new Daymaker® Adaptive Headlamp continues a centuries-old tradition of Harley-Davidson innovation


The Harley-Davidson Motor Company has always been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to lighting up the road ahead. More than 100 years ago the Motor Company was at the cutting edge of lighting technology with the introduction of electric headlamp and taillights on the 1915 Model 11-J.

Now Harley-Davidson® is once again taking the lead in lighting innovation with the introduction of the Daymaker® Adaptive Headlamp – the most advanced LED headlight system ever developed for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

“The 1915 Model 11-J was the first Harley-Davidson model to offer an overall full electric lighting system,” says Bill Jackson, Manager of Archives and Heritage Services at Harley-Davidson.

“The sales brochures of the time published a before and after set of images showing the improvement in illumination over the old acetylene headlamps to promote better rider confidence in night riding.

“In those early years of motorcycles, acetylene lighting was the industry standard, if motorcycles offered any lighting at all – it was often an accessory.”

Leading the way in motorcycle LED lights
Fast forward to the 2019 model year and riders of Touring and Softail® models* will have the best night visibility yet thanks to the new Daymaker® Adaptive Headlamp from Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Accessories.

The most advanced LED headlight system ever developed for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle uses sensors and electronics integrated into the headlight itself to determine the lean angle of the motorcycle and to project additional light into areas of the road that may be unlit by traditional LED headlights during cornering.

Using a series of six LED lighting elements arrayed around the left and right perimeter of the headlamp housing, the Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp automatically projects additional light into corners.

Intelligent LED lighting
The system begins to function when the motorcycle achieves a five-degree lean angle, when the first of six LED elements on one side of the headlamp are illuminated. As the lean angle increases, additional LED elements are activated until all of the elements on a single side are fully illuminated at a 41-degree lean angle.

The additional lighting is progressive and designed to appear almost seamless to the rider by ramping up the current to the additional LED lights gradually rather than just switching them on and off.


Safer riding
The system functions when the headlamp is in either high- or low-beam mode. Optimised optics from the projector-style LED provide a highly effective punch and spread of light that illuminates the road with smooth transitions from the center of the light outward.

The solid-state LEDs are designed for long life and low energy draw, and installation of the shock- and vibration-resistant lamp assembly is quick and easy with a plug-in connection to the factory headlamp wiring.

The Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp offers style to match its lighting performance with a halo of LED signature lighting around the outer edge that appears as a solid ring. It features a top-mount low beam, a large bottom-mount projector high beam, an outer signature ring and 12 adaptive lights, and it’s offered in black or chrome finish.

Motorcycle lighting has come a long way from the days of acetylene lighting. With the introduction of the Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp Harley-Davidson continues to push the boundaries of innovation when it comes to safe riding.

*Both Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp models fit 2009-later Touring models (except Road Glide® and Trike models), 2012-2016 Switchback and 2004-2017 Softail® models with a seven-inch headlamp. This headlamp is DOT and ECE compliant.