A light on your helmet can be great for you but terrible for your riding buddies. Consider what happens when you stop and your buddy pulls up along side. You're going to look his way, right? What do you think that will do to his night vision for a while?
I wouldn't think that lights on your chest protector would be a good idea at all. What you don't want to do is light up the handlebars as the reflected light will blind you.
I purchased a NiteRider light a few years ago at the Perry Mountain 24 race. It mounts on any helmet or bicycle helmet. Works great. You can get them in any variety of prices depending upon how serious you are on riding at night.
When riding at night you need to see where you are looking.
We had a night practice last night in preparation for the Perry Mtn. 24 Hour Challenge. We had 25 to 30 riders & 4 or 5 teams represented. I think almost everyone had a Nite Rider helmet light. One young kid I followed was going very quick with ONLY 1 helmet light! (nothing else.)
I had just mounted a Hellfire (dual, battery powered) kit to my YZ125; I also mounted the Skull Splitter dual helmet light kit, but could not get one of them to work (only the LEDs came on.) I could see great! I was expecting my set-up to be majorly inferior to some of the big headlight (HID,etc.) set ups I was riding with, but I was impressed!
I zip-tied the Hellfire battery to the HB cross-bar, put the helmet light battery in my fanny pack. BTW, everyone figures out to either turn the helmet lights off (to save the battery,) or be careful where you look. Not a problem at all, even with 20 + of us riding at the same time.
It's actually very cool to have lights going every which way in the woods! It teaches you to focus.
What would you guys recommend for a total lighting solution (05 YZ 250)? I had an eline kit on my 01 YZ 250 and it worked pretty good, but I am not ruling out a battery operated system if I can save some money and still have similar lighting performance.
With about 8 night races under my belt in varying conditions (wide open grasstrack to tight, technical woods; perfectly clear skies to thick dust to raining downpour) I say a decent headlight and a really good helmet light are the hot setup. The faster you ride (i.e. MX or grand prix vs. enduro), the more light you need. In the woods I've been able to get away with a 35W headlight and minimal helmet light. For grasstrack and high speed stuff a 60W headlight and 50W helmet light have been good. Some people go all out with huge double HID's on the bike and their helmet. Chest protector lights don't seem to work very well.
A helmet light really fills in the gaps and allows you to see where you want to go, while the headlight allows you to see where the front of the bike is pointed. The more you can see, the faster you can go...not to mention it's much safer!
With the helmet light it is imperative that you either have a breakaway power cord from the bike or keep the power pack on your body so that you aren't tethered to the bike. I prefer having the power pack in my fanny pack or on the front of my chest protector. That gives you the most freedom of movement and allows you to have lights after a crash (nice for finding your bike), for working on the bike, etc.
Helmets lights from Nite Rider, Cyclops or Trail Tech are all good. HID lights are really good, but you will pay more. None of these are cheap, but neither is throwing away a race because you can't see.