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Oxford Auxiliary Lights review | Fixing my bike’s bad headlight

Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial



Oxford Auxiliary Lights review spot_24


Date reviewed: March 2024 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: £229.99 |


It would be a terrible cliché to say that the difference between riding the Zontes ZT350-T in the dark without the Oxford Auxiliary Lights on review here, and with them, is night and day, so I won’t do it.

But it is.

The power and spread from these spotlights is so impressive that it has, literally, transformed the bike and made my rides much safer…


  • Excellent spread of light

  • Very bright

  • Solidly made

  • Wiring loom a bit bulky (but a lot can be left out)

  • No built-in option to change output

Before and after with the Oxford Auxiliary lights. There’s no trickery here – the original Zontes headlight on dip really is this bad


Installing the Oxford Auxiliary Lights

The Oxford Auxiliary Lights come with a complete wiring loom and all the fixings to mount them onto anything with a diameter of 22-28mm. Fitting to the Zontes ZT350-T’s standard crash bars was easy then, but as with other lights, if you don’t have crash bars you might need to invest in some other form of bracketry, maybe even something designed specifically for your bike.

A 10mm socket is needed to tighten up the ring clamp, and I did find that only one of my short sockets would fit – the long-reach socket had a slightly thicker wall that wouldn’t go into the mount’s recess.



The aluminium clamps are solid, but I did find that they won’t lock off entirely. I have some more industrial-looking stainless steel Touratech clamps holding the Denalis I have on my R1250GS to the crash bars, and once tightened they don’t move at all. Still, the slight movement allowed here means that you can move them if needed, for instance if extra weight on the rear of the bike is making them point up a bit too much. They certainly won’t move unless you want them to.

The wiring loom is designed to attach to the live and neutral of your bike battery, with a separate relay built in that’s controlled either by a supplied waterproof switch, or by tapping into the main-beam circuit of the headlight (or indeed any other auxiliary power supply), which acts as a signal wire to activate the relay, and turn on the lights. A Pozitap connector is supplied, which is better than the old Scotchlock connectors, though I’d still recommend using some liquid insulation tape to paint over it once fitted, to ensure no water can find its way into the cable.



Having a relay would make you think these LED lights pull a high current, but at 10W each, that’s only a total draw of just 1.7A at 12V, so as space is incredibly tight on this bike, I left the relay out altogether, and wired these into the auxiliary power output of the Zontes so they come on when the engine’s running. The relay is small, but it is housed in a rather bulky socket, which has mounting lugs on it that appear to be for some specific application, but here only really serve to make it bigger.

The lamps use Tyco-style waterproof connections, and plugs with short wires are supplied for each as well as the main loom, so it’s a simple job to leave the bulky harness out if you want to. I soldered twin-core mains cable onto them as extensions, so while soldering isn’t required to fit these, if you want to do a bit more of a ‘custom’ install, you’ll need some additional tools. I’d always recommend soldering rather than using crimp connectors and the like.


The switch that came with my kit has moisture trapped in it. I didn’t need it in my install, but this would be replaced under warranty


Two points to note with the Oxford lights – the supplied fuse is rated at 20A, which seems very excessive for something that draws less than 2A – I’d suggest swapping it for a 5A or 7.5A fuse.

Also, the switch that was supplied with my lights had moisture in it. I didn’t use it in the end, but I would have had this replaced under warranty as it’s a completely sealed unit, so was apparently assembled in a damp or humid environment. After several weeks, the moisture is still present.



Oxford Auxiliary Lights brightness and spread

The Oxford Auxiliary lights are very bright! At 2,300 lumens, they appear brighter than my old Denali D2 lights, though these have improved their output over the years.

The lens fitted to the Oxford spotlights diffuses the beam in all but the centre, which creates an excellent spread of light across the road. It’s no exaggeration to say that riding the Zontes was terrifying at times due to the terrible headlamp producing a letterbox of light on dip; I ended up having to ride on main beam on unlit back-roads after very nearly crashing on a corner with no signs or paint.

With the Oxfords fitted, the spread of light is as good as my car, and even tipping into corners I can still see where I’m going. My concern was that, as my installation means I can’t turn these off, they might be too bright for oncoming traffic.

Fortunately, once positioned correctly I haven’t seemed to have any real complaints from car drivers, only one flashing me during a recent long night-time ride.



Glare back from road signs hasn’t been a problem either, and I can now save main beam for when I want to see much further down the road and nobody’s coming the other way.

If I were installing these on any other bike, I’d have fitted the supplied switch to the bars so I could flick the lamps off if I needed to, but even though the relay isn’t very large, there really wasn’t space on the Zontes. This isn’t helped by the relay being fixed quite close to the battery terminals – tucking it under the tank or somewhere else would have been simpler – and really my only criticism of the Oxford Auxiliary lights is that the loom is overly bulky. A little more thought here could have made a difference, but ultimately, I’m happy with the installation.

The Oxford Auxiliary lights could of course be used with a Hex ezCAN, available for most BMWs (including the R1300GS), as well as some Harleys, Honda’s Africa Twin, and some KTMs and Triumphs. Besides controlling power on/off and strobing, the ezCAN can also dim LED headlights. On Denalis there are three wires, one of which is used to control the intensity, but two-wire LEDs can sometimes be dimmed too, using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), which basically means the LED is flashed extremely quickly to make it less intense. Please note that I’ve been unable to test how well this works on the Oxfords. In its instructions, Hex does point out that cheaper two-wire lights can flicker when their intensity is adjusted this way. If I find a way to test them, I’ll update this article.



Oxford Auxiliary Lights weather proofing

The Oxford spotlights are rated as IPX7 waterproof, which means they can withstand immersion up to one metre for 30 minutes and powerful water jets.

I’ve certainly had no issues in the rain, and the aluminium bodies appear very well put together. As always, I’ll keep this review updated should anything change, and I do intend to use these lights for a very long time.


Three alternatives to the Oxford Auxiliary Lights

There are a fair few options when it comes to lighting on a bike, but here are three to consider…

  • Denali is one of the biggest names in lighting, and its kit is extremely well made. The Denali 2.0 D2s are a similar size and output but are a lot more expensive, though they do have the three-wire Datadim Technology that can allow accurate dimming control with various accessories and when compared side-by-side, are clearly a more premium product. The company also makes industrial lighting used under very tough conditions, so this experience is likely to reflected in its bike kit.

  • Puig Auxiliary lights offer high power of 20W / 2,000 lumens PER LAMP, and at only £129.99 they could offer impressive value for money, though the mounting kit is plastic, as opposed to the aluminium used in many others.

  • If you want lights that make others aware of you, but don’t need to light up the road ahead, consider some Oxford Run Lights, which cost £49.99 for front white or rear red lights.

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the lighting kit and other motorcycle accessories we’ve reviewed here, and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.


Looking under the front of the bike, you can see the Tyco connectors for the two lamps, which then run down to the bike’s auxiliary power supply, which is more than capable of supplying the 1.6A required


Oxford Auxiliary Lights review: Verdict

I must point out that I’ve had my Denali D2s for more than seven years now, and swapped them between various bikes, so I’m in no doubt of their quality and performance. But I have to say that I’ve been impressed with the value of the Oxford Auxiliary lights. Their ability to have intensity control is untested, but I’m very happy with the spread of light and the power, which hasn’t been appearing to upset other road users. Build quality is good, and while the Denalis are clearly better made when compared side by side, apart from the issue I had with the switch, and the bulky loom, the Oxfords do offer a significant challenge.

Riding in the dark is often a challenge on any motorcycle – even some with cornering headlights – but these Oxford spots really have transformed the Zontes, making is far safer to ride after night.


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