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Trail Tech SCMR16 HID Helmet Light

Don't let the su-u-un go down on me.

by Martin Hackworth

Photos: Martin Hackworth, Trail Tech


Trail Tech setup
The SCMR16 on the handlebar mount. The capacitor (blue) is located below the large headlight. The mounting system was fabricated by Pocatello Power Sports 
     The Trail Tech SCMR16 HID helmet light certainly lights up the night - just as it ought to for the $260 it'll set you back (plus $30 for the capacitor you'll need unless your bike has a battery, $40 for a voltage regulator, $40 for a rectifier and another $150 for a stator). Initially we were a bit skeptical that anything was going to be worth all of the hassle and expense when after several phone calls to Trail Tech's customer service department to make absolutely sure we got the proper kit ordered up they still sent the wrong one - twice! Not exactly auspicious beginnings

     Nonetheless we are pleased to report that the
SCMR16 is not only amazingly bright for it's compact size and light weight but pretty darned sturdy as well - ours having already survived being dropped three feet onto a concrete floor and a bone-jarring high side.

     Our kit came with the wiring harness necessary to connect the light to our bike's electrical system, two plastic helmet mounts and a pivoting handlebar mount (also plastic) that allows "hot-swapping." We like the handlebar mount a lot - even though the first one snapped 
in half while we were mounting it (Trail Tech replaced it). Though the SCMR16 is light enough that it is unnoticeable on a helmet we have come to prefer the extremely versatile handlebar mount.
     The SCMR16 is otherworldly bright with a white light that illuminates very nicely. It is available on two patterns: spot (120 pattern) or flood (380 pattern). We have one of each but are most impressed with the spot version and are very pleased with the pattern - very bright in the center diminishing smoothly to the outside. The on/off switch (shown below) is easy to operate with gloves and has convenient LED indicators that show the status of the system and voltage levels. It is, however, less than strudy (ours failed after just a few months of use). The breakaway connector that couples the light to the wiring harness is well-designed and will not pre-release.

     Our only complaint with the SCMR16 kit is that even on high idle, with a 200 watt stator and the huge (
56,000 uF) capacitor furnished by Trail Tech, the light will still flicker off after about 10 seconds at idle - making it not so useful for slow trail riding after dark. One could opt for the battery powered version, we suppose, but that option's good for only 3 hours of illumination. And unlike halogen lights HID's don't get gradually dimmer - they just quit working when the voltage drops below a certain level. Better to buy once and cry once as far as we are concerned. 

switch Trail Tech SCMR16 HID helmet light specs:

Price Paid: About $425.00 with all parts and installation - Pocatello Power Sports
Colors: Silver/Yellow/Black
Color Temperature: 5600K
Output: 1850 lumens
Diameter: 2.5 inches
Weight: 13 oz 
Rating: Lots of drama like a prima donna - but it performs.

Note: The ballasts in these lights have proven to be notoriously fragile. To Trail Tech's considerable credit they have replaced the ballasts in both of our SCMR16's several times without any charge. 

Trail Tech website

Related Reading: Ricky Stator 8" Race Light

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