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1Back to top Go down    Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:08 am

MD K100RS

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I have not really been impressed with the brightness of the headlight bulbs, especially on my R75/6, and also thought the headlight on the K100RS could be brighter.  When I picked up my /6 gearbox from my new local mechanic, he mentioned the following LED bulbs, which I have now installed on the K:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N8QU9YO/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I will need to cut a slit into the rubber cover for the power cable, so that I can fully reinstall that.

The difference in light output is significant, and these bulbs only draw 50w.

http://www.ars-natura.com
    

2Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:05 pm

BobT

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I wonder why no manufacturer uses them?

    

3Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:11 pm

92KK 84WW Olaf

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I don't see anything new coming out with H4 bulbs.....all the newer motors seem to be H1 and H7 single filament. My Peugeot 405 has twin reflector lights, with H4 for dip/main and H1 main only. My son's VFR has 4 H1 bulbs in it.!

50W LED is a lot of light, or should be, 6000 lumens.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 58,645 now 60,500 miles
    

4Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:08 pm

BobT

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@92KK 84WW Olaf wrote:I don't see anything new coming out with H4 bulbs.....all the newer motors seem to be H1 and H7 single filament. My Peugeot 405 has twin reflector lights, with H4 for dip/main and H1 main only. My son's VFR has 4 H1 bulbs in it.!

50W LED is a lot of light, or should be, 6000 lumens.
The halogen bulb has reached it peak Olaf, it did so about 25 years ago, there is no further improvement possible. 
The trouble with these LED bulbs is that they are all made in China and you cannot believe the watts consumption or the lumen light output figures. 
Your reflector headlight was designed to have a halogen filament, of a particular size, burning in an exact place withing the headlight. An LED does not have the same so the beam pattern will be all over the place. That is why no vehicle manufacturer uses an LED bulb in a reflector headlight that was designed for a halogen bulb. It would also be illegal in most countries.

    

5Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:14 pm

MD K100RS

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Bob,
not sure what you mean by the LED beam being all over the place - would welcome your clarification.

When I installed the bulb last night, I had a straight line of light across my garage wall.  Granted, I haven't had the occasion to drive it at night, but it looked pretty directed to me.

Again, I welcome your further comments.

Gero

http://www.ars-natura.com
    

6Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:20 pm

92KK 84WW Olaf

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@BobT wrote:
@92KK 84WW Olaf wrote:I don't see anything new coming out with H4 bulbs.....all the newer motors seem to be H1 and H7 single filament. My Peugeot 405 has twin reflector lights, with H4 for dip/main and H1 main only. My son's VFR has 4 H1 bulbs in it.!

50W LED is a lot of light, or should be, 6000 lumens.
The halogen bulb has reached it peak Olaf, it did so about 25 years ago, there is no further improvement possible. 
The trouble with these LED bulbs is that they are all made in China and you cannot believe the watts consumption or the lumen light output figures. 
Your reflector headlight was designed to have a halogen filament, of a particular size, burning in an exact place withing the headlight. An LED does not have the same so the beam pattern will be all over the place. That is why no vehicle manufacturer uses an LED bulb in a reflector headlight that was designed for a halogen bulb. It would also be illegal in most countries.

This was my experience of the LED when I tried it out on the K and also on the car. Lots of light but it was no good for driving. In short good for being seen but not for seeing on rural roads at night. One lot I got came as 30W but closer examination proved it to be 3W supposedly equivalent to 30W globes as fitted to Japanese bikes back in the 70s. On the car the reflector headlights which have new reflectors and new bulbs work very well but high energy consumption. When I tried LED H1 and H4 they were no good. I then replaced the reflectors and hey presto brilliant improvement.

I was getting tempted to try again and decided to wait and see what a road test would show on this thread as there wasn't mention of one.

Given my previous experience with LED and with the car I decided to order a brand new reflector for the K headlight.....with a cleaned up lens, a relay wired and a clean bulb in I will probably get as good as can be got from olde worlde technology. £25 for the reflector added to an order didn't break the bank.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 58,645 now 60,500 miles
    

7Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:27 am

duck

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@BobT wrote:
@92KK 84WW Olaf wrote:I don't see anything new coming out with H4 bulbs.....all the newer motors seem to be H1 and H7 single filament. My Peugeot 405 has twin reflector lights, with H4 for dip/main and H1 main only. My son's VFR has 4 H1 bulbs in it.!

50W LED is a lot of light, or should be, 6000 lumens.
The halogen bulb has reached it peak Olaf, it did so about 25 years ago, there is no further improvement possible. 
The trouble with these LED bulbs is that they are all made in China and you cannot believe the watts consumption or the lumen light output figures. 
Your reflector headlight was designed to have a halogen filament, of a particular size, burning in an exact place withing the headlight. An LED does not have the same so the beam pattern will be all over the place. That is why no vehicle manufacturer uses an LED bulb in a reflector headlight that was designed for a halogen bulb. It would also be illegal in most countries.

I run Xenon filament bulbs and they are definitely an improvement over a halogen filament bulb.


__________________________________________________
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
    

8Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:52 am

JR_K100RS

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Specifically which ones Duck , I'm interested in getting something better myself

John Re

Melbourne Australia


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Diamond Grey ( 617 ) 1987 K100RS ( European Delivery ) Original owner
    

9Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:14 am

BobT

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@duck wrote:
@BobT wrote:
@92KK 84WW Olaf wrote:I don't see anything new coming out with H4 bulbs.....all the newer motors seem to be H1 and H7 single filament. My Peugeot 405 has twin reflector lights, with H4 for dip/main and H1 main only. My son's VFR has 4 H1 bulbs in it.!

50W LED is a lot of light, or should be, 6000 lumens.
The halogen bulb has reached it peak Olaf, it did so about 25 years ago, there is no further improvement possible. 
The trouble with these LED bulbs is that they are all made in China and you cannot believe the watts consumption or the lumen light output figures. 
Your reflector headlight was designed to have a halogen filament, of a particular size, burning in an exact place withing the headlight. An LED does not have the same so the beam pattern will be all over the place. That is why no vehicle manufacturer uses an LED bulb in a reflector headlight that was designed for a halogen bulb. It would also be illegal in most countries.

I run Xenon filament bulbs and they are definitely an improvement over a halogen filament bulb.
The filament not halogen or xenon, but tungsten. The gas inside the quartz envelope is halogen gas and, as said, the technology reached its peak years ago. What you have is a halogen bulb with halogen gas and a small amount of xenon gas added to the halogen. This has the effect of making the light slightly whiter but no brighter, it just looks brighter to the human eye. The addition of the xenon gas tends to reduce the life of the bulb but they sell because people see the word xenon which implies that they are getting HID xenon lights which are something completely different. The xenon bit is a great marketing strategy and has made some companies loads of money.

    

10Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:03 am

duck

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@JR_K100RS wrote:Specifically which ones Duck , I'm interested in getting something better myself

John Re

Melbourne Australia

I run 90/100W ones but DON'T DO THAT WITHOUT ADDING RELAYS WITH BEEFIER WIRING. Even the 60/55W ones that you can use with the stock headlight wiring work a lot better than the old stock halogen bulbs though.

They are very inexpensive because they are cheap Chinese crap but since they are filament bulbs they have the correct beam pattern with the stock reflector/lens and the worst one I've had "only" lasted about 25,000 miles before it failed.

Here's some examples:

100/90: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-H4-5000K-Xenon-Gas-Halogen-Headlight-White-Light-Lamp-Bulbs-90W-100W-12V-/172783475219?hash=item283ab29a13:g:nWcAAOSw4HlZbFs5&vxp=mtr


60/55: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1X-Combo-H4-9003-HB2-White-60-55W-Xenon-Halogen-Headlight-Bulb-Gr3-High-Low-/302392060385?hash=item4667f8a9e1:g:fUsAAOSwxg9ZbhPT


__________________________________________________
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
    

11Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:18 am

duck

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@BobT wrote:
@duck wrote:
@BobT wrote:
The halogen bulb has reached it peak Olaf, it did so about 25 years ago, there is no further improvement possible. 
The trouble with these LED bulbs is that they are all made in China and you cannot believe the watts consumption or the lumen light output figures. 
Your reflector headlight was designed to have a halogen filament, of a particular size, burning in an exact place withing the headlight. An LED does not have the same so the beam pattern will be all over the place. That is why no vehicle manufacturer uses an LED bulb in a reflector headlight that was designed for a halogen bulb. It would also be illegal in most countries.

I run Xenon filament bulbs and they are definitely an improvement over a halogen filament bulb.
The filament not halogen or xenon, but tungsten. The gas inside the quartz envelope is halogen gas and, as said, the technology reached its peak years ago. What you have is a halogen bulb with halogen gas and a small amount of xenon gas added to the halogen. This has the effect of making the light slightly whiter but no brighter, it just looks brighter to the human eye. The addition of the xenon gas tends to reduce the life of the bulb but they sell because people see the word xenon which implies that they are getting HID xenon lights which are something completely different. The xenon bit is a great marketing strategy and has made some companies loads of money.

I agree with all of this and have always found it humorous that some sellers advertise them as HID which they are quite obviously not. The 100W high beams that I use (with relays and better wiring) do put out a ton of usable light though.


__________________________________________________
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
    

12Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:40 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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I will be putting in the new reflector along with relay etc and I have a ceramic rather than plastic bulb holder, picked up on eBay for very small money so no risk of melting plastic.

Pop in a 160/130W H4 searchlight and it will light my way fine. Keeping it aimed low and left [we ride on the left] avoids creating dazzle.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 58,645 now 60,500 miles
    

13Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:47 am

JR_K100RS

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Thanks for the info Duck ( and others ) I'll research further

Ta

John Re

Melbourne Australia


__________________________________________________
Diamond Grey ( 617 ) 1987 K100RS ( European Delivery ) Original owner
    

14Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:12 am

BobT

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Just to point out that the standard H4 bulbs as fitted to BMW bikes since the 1970s have all been 55/60 watt bulbs. Anything over 60 watts is illegal in most civilised countries of the world and can cause all sorts of problems from melting the connector on the back of the bulb to setting cables alight.
If you change from 60 to 120 watts with a halogen bulb then you will use twice the electricity but might  get 30% more light if you are very lucky. 
The thing with halogen bulbs is that they love volts and heat. Fitting a relay with heavier wiring will make sure that your bulb is getting all the volts that the alternator can produce and you will see the difference. A very easy mod to do.
Here in France there is no annual technical test (MOT, TUV etc) on motorcycles but I would not consider putting a higher powered (in watts) bulb into any of my bikes.
HID xenon kits are the way to go, but they should only be fitted to projector headlights. Projectors are also very cheap to buy these days, and can be fitted to a K headlight, but the patterned glass is a problem. I was going down that route at one time, but then was given a Ducati 250 to play with instead.
A HID xenon consumes 35 watts of power on dip and main beam, but gives out about 2.5 to 3 times the light (measured in Lumen) of a halogen bulb.

    

15Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:37 am

duck

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@BobT wrote:Just to point out that the standard H4 bulbs as fitted to BMW bikes since the 1970s have all been 55/60 watt bulbs. Anything over 60 watts is illegal in most civilised countries of the world and can cause all sorts of problems from melting the connector on the back of the bulb to setting cables alight.
If you change from 60 to 120 watts with a halogen bulb then you will use twice the electricity but might  get 30% more light if you are very lucky. 
The thing with halogen bulbs is that they love volts and heat. Fitting a relay with heavier wiring will make sure that your bulb is getting all the volts that the alternator can produce and you will see the difference. A very easy mod to do.
Here in France there is no annual technical test (MOT, TUV etc) on motorcycles but I would not consider putting a higher powered (in watts) bulb into any of my bikes.
HID xenon kits are the way to go, but they should only be fitted to projector headlights. Projectors are also very cheap to buy these days, and can be fitted to a K headlight, but the patterned glass is a problem. I was going down that route at one time, but then was given a Ducati 250 to play with instead.
A HID xenon consumes 35 watts of power on dip and main beam, but gives out about 2.5 to 3 times the light (measured in Lumen) of a halogen bulb.

Yes, anything over 60W is technically illegal. However, one advantage of K bike headlights is that the low beam has a very distinct, well-defined low beam cutoff at the top so that a properly aimed headlight low beam will not distract or blind other road users.

And I do care about my headlight blinding other road users because of a) general courtesy to others and b) I do not want to blind or distract oncoming traffic because I don't want to increase the chances of them driving into me.

I've ridden by tons of LEOs in California where the cops are always on the lookout for illegal headlights and have never had an issue.

Heat is not an issue on K bikes. The reflector is glass, not plastic, and I've run 100/90s for hundreds of thousands of miles on my Ks with no issues. I now use ceramic H4 sockets on my headlights but even before that when I used plastic ones with 90/100s none of them ever showed any signs of melting.

And although we don't have inspections where I live I doubt many inspectors would go through the effort of removing a bulb (especially on a K bike since it's such a pain) to check the wattage.

YMMV.


__________________________________________________
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
    

16Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:11 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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All totally correct, which is why the ceramic rather than plastic holder. And the relay and improved wiring. And the new reflector.

And yes, doubling wattage won't double output, but it does give a very significant increase in light for our nasty rural roads because you aren't only looking to see where the road goes but for the potholes, diesel and other stuff.

The cut off is what appeals to me because dazzle is not wanted.

Plastic holders are not good, the Merc had them on the H7s and the standard bulbs wiped them out in double quick time. Lot of night time driving.

All in this is cheap as I had everything in my shed except the reflector.

Unless 88 wants to give me a Ducati with a super nice headlight this the way I have to go........


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 58,645 now 60,500 miles
    

17Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:09 am

BobT

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If you can get a higher wattage bulb that still gives you the same dip beam cut off then you are probably lucky. 55/60 watt bulbs are made to a standard, either an SAE for you chaps across the pond or an EU standard for us over here. They are made to that standard because they are a legal common bulb and need to have the filament in exactly the correct place to avoid dazzle.
Bulbs that are a higher wattage than 55/60 are not for road use, officially, so do not need to meet any standard and the filament could be a couple of millimeters away from where it should be and so could cause stray light all over the place.
I have ridden past many police bikers wearing my RAF flying gloves, it does not make them legal to use on a motorcycle as the law says they must be motorcycle gloves.
I am off now as this is getting silly.

    

18Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:30 am

duck

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I don't think it's that exact of a science.  All of my Ks have Ebay cheapo Chinese 100/90 H4s in them and all have the same low beam cutoff at the top.


__________________________________________________
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
    

19Back to top Go down    Re: Upgrading the headlight on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:59 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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@BobT wrote:If you can get a higher wattage bulb that still gives you the same dip beam cut off then you are probably lucky. 55/60 watt bulbs are made to a standard, either an SAE for you chaps across the pond or an EU standard for us over here. They are made to that standard because they are a legal common bulb and need to have the filament in exactly the correct place to avoid dazzle.
Bulbs that are a higher wattage than 55/60 are not for road use, officially, so do not need to meet any standard and the filament could be a couple of millimeters away from where it should be and so could cause stray light all over the place.
I have ridden flown past many police bikers wearing my RAF flying gloves, it does not make them legal to use on a motorcycle as the law says they must be motorcycle gloves.
I am off now for a ride on my Ducati as this is getting silly.
Fixed that there for you BobT. See you soon too.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 58,645 now 60,500 miles
    

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