The ST2 Turn System on review here is designed to cancel the indicators on almost any bike automatically, avoiding the danger that leaving them on can present. This is one of two products that ST2 offers, the other being the ST2 Brake Module, which flashes the light when it detects engine braking.
I fitted the ST2 Turn System to my 2000 Suzuki SV650, to see how easy it is to install, and to find out if it’s worth the money…
Many modern bikes have self-cancelling indicators as standard – Harley-Davidson has been doing it very well for years, and a lot of BMWs have ‘Comfort Indicators’. These systems are electronic, and you’ll notice that the switches are momentary, rather than mechanically latching like those on most older bikes, including my SV.
The ST2 Turn System requires modification of your bike’s indicator switch, and of the wiring loom, so do be prepared for some disassembly.
While I’m very much a techy, do-it-myself person, I admit I found the instruction sheet slightly confusing: while it does show you the fitting process, you need to interpret the guide differently depending on your bike.
To download a hi-res version of the ST2 Turn System installation instructions, please click here.
It also isn’t exactly clear (or at least from what I read) what tools you need. For my bike, I needed a screwdriver set, a crimping set, wire strippers, some double-sided tape, and certainly spare connectors. A multimeter is very helpful too.
Disappointingly, while the instructions have a QR code that points to an installation video, it’s no longer available. The best I could find if you want to see someone installing them is this video from Slight_Moto.
The first job was opening up the indicator switch and inserting one of the supplied foam pads to stop the switch from latching. On some you might need to remove the ball-bearing too.
Then, after finding an appropriate wiring diagram for my SV, I stripped down the required wires, checked them with a multimeter and proceeded to add the crimps. Personally, I think this would be best soldered in, but I’m aware that not everyone has the tools. I’m not a massive fan of crimps, and especially not the Scotchlok connectors that are also included as they can be a point for corrosion to start in wires.
I’m quite lucky that I have a crimping tool and spare crimps, as I probably went through about three different connectors – perhaps it would be nice if some spare connectors were included as I didn’t get on well with them.
After finally getting all of the crimps on securely, I plugged it all in. And it didn’t work. It turns out that I hadn’t connected it correctly, but I do think it would have been a good idea for ST2 to include some kind of ‘on’ LED in the housing to make it clear everything is right.
After some trouble-shooting I turned the ignition on and it flashed the indicators – the sign that it’s working – then, I was ready to ride…
On my first ride with the ST2 Turn System it took some getting used to – after six years of riding with standard ‘dumb’ indicators, I’ve grown quite used to pressing the switch inwards to turn them off, which of course no longer works. With the ST2, you push the switch in the same direction you initiated the indication with if you want to cancel them (like on Harleys). I do appreciate this facility, as I found myself needing to manually cancel a few times.
I was pleasantly surprised when, after pulling out of my first junction, the indicators automatically cancelled after a few seconds of completing the manoeuvre.
I then proceeded to exit a roundabout and they cancelled again. Impressive.
However, on my second, slightly longer trip out, I did begin to notice a few issues, though I would say that these could partly be due to my ‘style’ of indicating. For instance, it often didn’t pick up on a lane change at speed, and when sat at traffic lights, indicating my next move, it cancels before I move off because it automatically stops after just 15 seconds.
When riding around a larger roundabout, this 15 second timer will often run out and cancel your indicator half way, which can be pretty annoying as you have to worry about your indicator stopping before passing a junction at the same time as watching the lorry in the outside lane next to you. I’m not sure how it would be implemented, but an adjustable timer would be very helpful here.
“I had the dealer turn off the BMW ‘Comfort Indicators’ on my S1000XR and then my R1250GS because they would sometimes cancel in the middle of a large roundabout. This wasn’t caused as much by a strict timer, but by straightening up between junctions on the large roundabouts above dual-carriageways. While leaving your indicators on is dodgy, having them cancel when you don’t want them to can be just as hazardous.” John Milbank, Editor
This is quite a unique device, but here are some other options to consider…
Whether the ST2: Turn System is right for you is hard to say, but you do need to be fairly competent with motorcycle electrics.
The base price is £119, which I think is a little steep for something that, for me at least, didn’t work 100% of the time, but at the time of writing there is a discount that brings it down to £88.69 including standard delivery.
If you’re a serial indicator forgetter, I would recommend this, as even if it doesn’t always recognise a completed manoeuvre, the 15 second timer does work every time. Though that can be annoying in some circumstances.
For the majority of the UK riding community, who are very much used to cancelling their indicators, I see this as more of a luxury than a necessity: I’d perhaps pop it on my touring bike, but I’d be less inclined to on my weekend machine.
If you’d like to chat about this article or anything else biking related, join us and thousands of other riders at the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook page.