Photos/Video/Review by | Jun Song
In my opinion, one of the biggest eyesores on a Thruxton is the huge protruding rear fender. It looks like a dinosaur’s tail sticking out of the beautifully streamlined café racer cowl of the bike. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, because the fender elimination kit, also known as FEK, is one of the most popular upgrades made on a Thruxton.
The biggest component of a FEK is the streamlined taillight that gets installed once the fender is removed. And today, I will be reviewing two of the best LED taillights that are available on the market.
Disclosure: I did not pay for the taillights included in this review. Both Analog and Motobox were kind enough to send me their product for me to test and review.
To make it easy to distinguish between the two products, I’ve added Analog’s and Motobox’s logos to the photos with their respective tail lights.
FULL REVIEW VIDEO
I’m going to start with cost, because it’s probably the key driver for purchasing any parts and accessories for your modification. Analog is $455, compared to $365 for Motobox, or a $90 price difference. Now don’t jump any conclusion yet, because not everything that’s more expensive is better, nor is the cheaper one best for you. There are many more factors you should consider when determining the best value.
Before we start digging into those factors, you can purchase these FEKs at their own respective sites:
For the extra $90, you are getting a better-built quality with the Analog. You can clearly tell just by looking at it that the Analog 3T sturdier, and single solid piece with no exposed wiring. One of my biggest concerns with Motobox is the exposed wiring you seen in this picture. Now, I’ve used the Motobox light for over a year, and never had any problem with the exposured wiring, but just from a quality/built perspective, it does fall short of Analog 3T.
Additionally, Analog 3T’s LED strip is 10 inches (25.5cm), compared to 9 inches (23cm) for Motobox’s light. I cannot say if having that extra inch (2.5cm) is a benefit, but I guess you could justify that extra $90 with it.
Both lights come with lifetime warranty.
FIT / COMPATIBILITY
Both Analog and Motobox lights fit and look amazing on a Thruxton with the cowl. And both lights will bolt onto the Thruxton, Scrambler, and Bonneville; however, only Motobox’s taillight is adjustable to really fit the Bonneville, Scrambler, and Thruxton without the rear cowl.
Analog was made to fit the Thruxton with a custom tailored look, and it looks amazing, but because it’s not adjustable, it doesn’t really look/fit well once you remove the seat cowl. On the other hand, Motobox’s taillight is adjustable, so you can pull the light in and out to align it to either the end of the seat (when cowl is removed), or to the end of the cowl.
This fitment issue is not really an issue for me, because I never ride without the seat cowl off, but if you ride with your cowl a lot for whatever reason, or if you have a Bonneville or a Thruxton, this is something you definitely need to consider.
Both lights are plug-n-play, which means it comes with everything you need to install the lights, and it’s pretty straightforward. There are installation YouTube videos for both lights, link below, and they’re both fairly simple to install.
Just an observation, but you will not be able to use the quick-release seat screw with Analog’s light as it obstructs the rear access for it. Motobox’s license plate bracket comes detached, and attaching it is a bit tricky because you have to bolt it around the exposed wiring. I don’t think either of these issues are that big of a problem.
I’m creating a separate section for this, because I think the topic around the block-off plate is important.
Obviously, removing your fender will have consequences, and one of them is that it creates a gaping hole in the frame just underneath your seat. This exposes all the wirings, sensors, battery, ECU, and whatever is underneath your seat, to the elements getting kicked up by your rear wheel.
As a solution around this, Motobox provides a block-off plate, which is just a metal plate that you bolt onto the frame to blocks this hole up. Analog on the other hand doesn’t provide this plate, leaving you with a hole underneath your seat.
Is this a problem? Really depends I think. If you plan on riding in the rain and dirt roads a lot, then yes it’s going to be a problem, but if you never go out on a wet day/road, then might not be as big of a problem.
I’ve had the light on without the block-off plate for the past two-three months and really haven’t had an issue. It gets a bit dusty underneath the seat, but that’s about it.
So again, depending on your use and preference, I think the issue around the block-off plate should be considered when making a purchase.
LIGHT / BRIGHTNESS
Questions surrounding the light and the brightness are the most frequently asked. Both lights are not DOT approved, but I don’t think this is really an issue. I’ve never had any problem with cops, even when I’ve been pulled over.
Also, both lights are fully integrated, meaning they have integrated turn signals, break/tail lights, and license plate lights. So if you have either one, you don’t need to install anything else on the back, which helps with the streamline look.
Brightness can be a big concern for most, and I think both lights are bright enough both in day and night. Also, it’s hard to tell which light is brighter from the photos below, but I did see that Analog’s light is brighter in the dark room test I did for the video. If you want to skip right to it, go to 14:00 minute mark on my YouTube video review, and you can see that the Analog’s light gives more visibility to the paint stripe on the rear cowl, compared to Motobox’s. I don’t know if this is because Analog’s light is an inch longer, but its pretty clear that Analog’s light is brighter.
(update: Motobox contacted me after this review was released to notify me that their light comes in smoked, red, and in clear casing. The one I have for the review is smoked, i.e. tinted, so naturally the light would be dimmer than if it was clear. So I can’t say how much brighter clear light casing would be, but I think it would make a difference in brightness.)
I wish I could give you a definitive answer on which light you should buy, but there really isn’t a light that’s best for everyone. Everyone has different budgets, preferences, uses, and etc, so this is something you need to decide for yourself. My intention of this review is to provide you the facts and my observations so that you can make best purchase decision. I obviously wouldn’t have answered all the questions you may have, so I’d be more than willing to address them if you leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org