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1Back to top Go down    High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 9:01 am

Gaz

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Asking this question is probably like the tyres (tires) and battery threads but anyway here goes.

Has anyone had experience with the supposedly higher output H4 headlight bulbs in recent times - particularly in Australia but I'm interested in anyone's experiences.

Reason for the question is that I recently purchased a pair of Philips +130% H4 bulbs that I initially was planning to try out on my R80G/S after having just fitted headlight relays. I had already fitted headlight relays to both K bikes to protect the switches and finally got around to it on the boxer for the same reason but was curious if the tiny headlight on the R80G/S could be improved with the "new technology" bulbs. The night before my recent jaunt down south I fitted the first of the uprated bulbs and headed off down the road to get an impression. The low beam filament blew before I got to the end of the block - damn!

Went back home and fitted the other one and again headed off. Same result - now I'm really pissed as these are $40 each. Refitted the original Hella H4 that has been in the bike for years and went for a 10 km ride - no problem. Left the next morning and rode 1350 kms over the weekend - no problem with the standard Hella bulb. The retailer that I purchased the high output bulbs from gave me a credit and told me that those bulbs have also been found to not be suitable on some brands of cars.

Anyone with thoughts or experiences?

Cheers


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Gaz
95 K1100LT 0232224; 90 K75 6427509; 87 R80G/S PD 6292136
    

2Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 9:53 am

Dai

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I use Osram Nightbreakers at supposedly +110% but they do make a helluva difference. I'm pretty sure that your problem was serious heat buildup in a
tiny headlight.
The surface temperature for a standard halogen bulb is 900 degrees Celcius; overclocking the bulb to run at +130% is going to push that temperature into the stratosphere. Overclocked bulbs do have shorter lives - but not that short.


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'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

3Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 10:21 am

RicK G

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I tried several types Narva and Phillips among them and to be quite honest they were all about as useless as tits on a frog. best results was the relays and 60A alternator.


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If everything seems under control then you aint goin fast enough:- Mario Andretti
Bikes 1986 K100RT, 1993 K1100 LT, 1994 K1100 LT, 1993 K75 RT, 1996 K75RT, 1986 K75 GS, 1979 Z1300 Kawasaki X 2 & 1976 SR 500 Yamaha for now
    

4Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 11:43 am

Motorbike Mike

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I've fitted a Cyclops LED 3800 Lumen H4 in my K1100LT and it's like turning daylight back on. They're rated at 40 watts but obviously generate some heat because they have a fan to cool the back of the lamp housing.

    

5Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 12:05 pm

Ringfad

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I have used these on a few K's with great success - noticeable improvement with no modifications.

I would love to try Mike's option




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;BMW;K100RS Style Black 1987 105K Km ;BMW; K1 Black 1993 51KKm ;BMW;K1100RSRed 1993 70k miles ;BMW; K100 16V Black (ex ElectricMonk)
    

6Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 12:33 pm

Born Again Eccentric

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@RicK G wrote:....as useless as tits on a frog
Useless - really? You're not using them right Rick - check the manual!!


For what it's worth, I have fitted an allegedly "50%" brighter H4 bulb to Gretel - no wiring mods, no additional relay and (so far) no problems with it (2 months and counting)...but, to be honest, I can't really see much difference from the standard H4 bulb when on low beam!

It is amazing though how just a simple bulb can transform my 28 year old bike to have "a distinctive and modern look".


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Paul

"Heidi" K100LT 1991 (Grey) (VIN 0190172 Engine No. 104EB 2590 2213) - 5th owner. January 2014 (34,000 - 61,000 miles and counting....)
"Gretel" K100LT 1989 (Silver Grey) (VIN 0177324 Engine No. 104EA 2789 2211) - 4th+ owner. September 2015 (58,500miles and counting....). Cat C Insurancewrite-off rebuild Feb 17
"Donor" K100LT 1990 (Red) (VIN 0178091 Engine No. 4489 2024) - 6th & final owner (crash write-off now donor bike). June 2012 (73,000 miles) to November 2013 (89,500 miles)
    

7Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 12:34 pm

k-rider

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+1 on the Nightbreakers


[size=43]K-rider[/size]


8Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 12:58 pm

Dai

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There's another lurky-lurky problem too and Ringfad has found it. Any headlamp reflector of that age is shafted. I can't speak for the modern stuff because I'm out of the business of writing for bike mags now, but back then a new headlight lost 60% of it's reflectivity after as little as four years and carried on downhill from there. NOS is in the same boat, so don't even think about wasting your money in that direction. That's why LFB's RS fairing has been converted from rectangular headlight to round headlight and I'd recommend the naked guys (oo-err!) think about replacing their headlights if they haven't already done so.


__________________________________________________
'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

9Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 1:01 pm

BobT

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Some theory:
The halogen bulb has been around for over 50 years and reached the peak of its development back in the 1980s. The technology cannot be developed any further. When the manufacturers tell you that there is 30% more light, they mean it is a slightly different colour and so looks brighter. If it was possible to get more light out of 55 or 60 watts with a halogen bulb then why would anyone still make the 100% one?
It is true that by fitting relays to the system you can make sure that the bulb is getting full voltage and so running at maximum efficiency, and this is a worthwhile mod on an older bike, but the halogen bulb has not changed for years.
You can try fitting a 100 watt bulb in there and you will get about 15% more light, but most of those extra watts are going to end up as heat and can burn the connector on the back of the bulb and even start wires melting. They are also illegal in most countries around the world.
Headlight manufacturers are still looking for improvements and the HID xenon was the first improvement over the halogen, 35 watt consumption for about 2 to 3 times more light. These should only be fitted in projector headlights though, as all manufacturer fitments are. The next generation are LED, but not just some old LED bulb fitted into a reflector designed for a halogen, but a specific headlight built as a unit with LEDs in it. You can buy these in 7" round format to aftermarket fit to the Ks with a round headlight.

    

10Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 1:38 pm

Motorbike Mike

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I've tried HID conversions with mixed results. Both reflectors on my T5 van are burned away due to the temperature (?) of the bulb. Having seen this first hand I did not go for HID's on my K, that's where the LED replacement came in.
As Bob T has mentioned, the reflectors are not specifically designed to run LED but my main requirements are twofold. 1, to be seen and 2, to be able to see. I've had drivers flashing me but hey, at least they've seen me, right?

    

11Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 2:36 pm

BobT

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As I said HID xenon conversions should only be used in projector headlights and not reflectors. They would be illegal in reflectors.

    

12Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed May 03, 2017 7:51 pm

duck

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I run cheapo 100/55 Xenon H4s in all of my Ks. The high beam puts out quite a bit of light. For $8/pair they work quite well. Yes, they are cheap Chinese crap but they do work. The shortest life I've gotten from one is 24,000 miles but at that price keeping a spare in the tail cowl isn't cost prohibitive.

Of course you do not want to run a 100W high beam without relays but even the 60/55 cheapos do a decent job.

Though they are sold as Xenon, they are not HID. Just regular H4s with a different gas and maybe filament metal than older halogens, but they do work much better than 30 year old stock bulbs.


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Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

13Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Thu May 04, 2017 2:59 am

Gaz

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Thanks for the replies so far - much appreciated. Keep them coming if anyone has a story to add.

Cheers

Edit: forgot to add that the frogs in BAE's part of the world look pretty good.


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Gaz
95 K1100LT 0232224; 90 K75 6427509; 87 R80G/S PD 6292136
    

14Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Thu May 04, 2017 6:16 am

Ed

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Beware ........ Graphic images .

Gaz , I have noticed your headlights to be quite dim at times , mainly the 75X . I remember that we discussed globe options at Chez Gaz just before heading to Grey Gums Cafe with BAE .
The biggest issue was relating to switch burnout , which I thought was affecting Ol Blue at the time .
I was riding with no headlight function for most of our outing that weekend , this pic was a rare moment it worked .
first pic shows if I am correct Ol Blue fitted with a Narva 130 plus . These are normal 60/55 rated globes. No additional relays fitted .



I was to later discover after Ol Blue was returned home from our misfortune , the LH switch was playing up .
I have found both the Narva 130 plus and 50 plus to be quite adequate and have removed the 130 from Ol Blue ,
it is now installed in my wifes Boulevard, and functioning well after her trip to Woolongong last weekend .


I am happy to continue using the Narva range , much the same price as you are spending now on the Phillips globes .


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1987 K100RT Ex- police
1989 K100LT Ol' Blue and "Kart" the Kamper trailer. now KAPUT .
1993 K1100RS 0194321 Colour #690 Silk Blue aka" Smurfette"
    

15Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Thu May 04, 2017 7:54 am

Gaz

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Ed, I'm hoping I don't have to teach any of my bikes to lie down to get the same headlight performance as you had on Ol Bluelol!

I was lucky in that I haven't spent any dollars on the Philips +130 as the retailer kindly gave me a full refund when I took the blown bulbs back.

I rarely plan to ride at night these days & both the K bikes, which have headlight relays and heavier wiring installed, are adequate at modest speed with the standard 55/60 watt H4 on the odd occasion that I have to ride into the night.
I have only just fitted the relay & wiring upgrade and ceramic lamp holder to my R80G/S which will probably improve the standard headlight but on that bike the headlight is a very small diameter and the experiment with Plus bulbs was to see if easy improvement could be had.

I think Dai might be right about overheating of the bulb.


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Gaz
95 K1100LT 0232224; 90 K75 6427509; 87 R80G/S PD 6292136
    

16Back to top Go down    +1 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:07 pm

tagaz

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@duck wrote:I run cheapo 100/55 Xenon H4s in all of my Ks. The high beam puts out quite a bit of light. For $8/pair they work quite well. Yes, they are cheap Chinese crap but they do work. The shortest life I've gotten from one is 24,000 miles but at that price keeping a spare in the tail cowl isn't cost prohibitive.

Of course you do not want to run a 100W high beam without relays but even the 60/55 cheapos do a decent job.

Though they are sold as Xenon, they are not HID. Just regular H4s with a different gas and maybe filament metal than older halogens, but they do work much better than 30 year old stock bulbs.
+1
Been using the same 100/55 H4's ~5 years on the cafe bike.

Still have original & a spare 100/55 in parts bin storage.

Color temp is very close to original.
I prefer the warmer temp to the white/blue cooler temp of some of the H4 upgrade offerings.

    

17Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:42 pm

Gaz

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The remainder of the story of my experience with the high output H4 bulbs on my boxer was that after more testing of the electrical system and after fitting a volt meter to that bike I found that my voltage regulator was passing voltage spikes of over 19 volts. No doubt the major contributing cause to the extremely short bulb life.

ssssh! don't tell the retailer who gave me a full refund on the Philips bulbs. I have changed the voltage regulator but haven't ventured back to buy another set of expensive bulbs yet. Maybe in the future as time permits as having three toys in the garage to service/fiddle with/ride keeps me busy.

Cheers


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Gaz
95 K1100LT 0232224; 90 K75 6427509; 87 R80G/S PD 6292136
    

18Back to top Go down    Re: High Output H4 bulbs on Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:22 am

Dai

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Not convinced. Airheads and air-cooled Guzzis use the same charging system (although they're not interchangeable because BMW, bless their hearts, insisted on 0.5mm more on the step machined at the back of the stator). Yes, they spike like crazy which gave Newtronics (Pirahna Ingnition Systems) a real headache as both bikes would fry their aftermarket electronic gnition systems at the drop of a hat. Mistral (Rita) solved the problem by putting a sodding great capacitor across the input to absorb the transients. As none of my Guzzis ever gave me problems running halide H4s (nor did any of the airheads I worked on), I'm sticking with my small headlight/big heat theory.


__________________________________________________
'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

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