HID Conversion to 35 or 55w: Advice? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 10:01 am Thread Starter
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HID Conversion to 35 or 55w: Advice?

Hello my brothers and sisters... Need some HID advice.

I'm currently talking with DDM Tuning about selling their motorcycle HID Kits. I've been wanting to add HID kits to our menu for eons but until now.. they always looked problematic and expensive. The new generation kits are small, plug-n-play, and cheap.

I know quite a few here have DDM HID kits (or other brands) installed.. I have a choice of ordering their kits in 35 or 55w. Obviously, 55watt blubs are brighter than the 35w, but it seems like on virtually every website that sells HIDs.. they give warnings about the 55w putting off a lot of heat and NOT to use it in small confines. I have spoken to a few HID owners and they say the 35w is plenty bright. So what to do? I'll need to keep things simple.. for both stocking purposes and to keep things simple for me and my customers.

I'd hate to sell something that would cook the innards of anyone's headlight assembly... My questions are...

1. For those who have HID kits installed on your K1200S, K1200RS, K1200GT, K1300GT, K1200R.. which bulb did you go with? 55w or 35w?

2. and are you happy with your choice?

Any advice would be appreciated..
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 11:12 am
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1. K1200R, DDM 35w
2. Yes I'm happy and don't feel the need to risk it with the 55w bulb.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 12:50 pm
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I've been looking at those too....was about ready to click and order the 55 W.....but held back because of the heat issue.....
I have my headlight at my feet right now, looking at all that plastic that could possibly get dammaged.....what I'd really need is both kits here and to stick a probe thermometer inside that headlight and compare with the OEM.
On their site they only compare between the two kits, nothing with a standard 55W bulb....!
That low beam bulb is very close from the plastic reflector, less than 1".....looks like trouble in the long term to me with the 55W, and knowing the price of that headlight
assembly.....
Looking at their website, you can get their Apexcone Raptor double kit for $5.00 more than the single motorcycle kit, slightly bigger ballasts but they call it bulletproof and give a lifetime warranty on them.
As I want to put some in my car too, I am tempted to buy 2 of the Raptor kits, that way I could cover my car, the low beam on my bike and have a spare....!

I also do not like the size of the wiring to the headlight, and the funky grounding arrangment, part of today's plan is installing a relay to bring power to the headlight right from the battery and improving the grounds. For someone not wanting to rework their wiring and install relays, I certainly think the 35W would be a better choice.
On some of the newer cars/bikes you may also get a fault code by installing an HID, I see they sell the "cure" for that too, but I don't know if it would be required for the Canbus system.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 6:35 pm
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I honestly don't think there's a heat issue. A 55 watt tungsten, which is the normal bulb used in headlamps, generates more heat than a 55 watt HID bulb. The other components, ballast and ignitor, are outside the headlamp. And, you've got a headlamp assembly designed to handle a 55 watt tungsten bulb ... so HID won't have the heat issue.


The problem may be with replacing the non-HID bulb in the CAN-BUS bikes with an HID kit. I think a lot of folks are going with 35 watt kits, as it puts out as much or slightly more than the stock bulb, but the headlamp controller on the CAN-BUS may not be happy with 35 watts when it's expecting 55 watts. May not fuss, either. I've heard of folks with issues, and some without. But, if you have a 55 watt kit, you should be golden, as the power consumption, which is all the controller will worry about, is the same as the old tungsten bulb that used to be there.



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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 7:11 pm
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Hi there, I have gone over everyones ( or nearly everyones ) posts here about the HID conversion before i chose for my '06 k12r. I eventually went with the 55watt as i have the metal and glass headlamp and won't have any melting problems. I also considered it seriously. My brother put in a 35 Watt unit in his CBR 600 and the 55 Watt absolutely KILLS it. Way better lighting..... wow! Now I don't know what bike you run, but if its an " R " like mine just get the 55W kit. I also put the HID in the High and Low beam. You get a slight delay from the balast when you flip to high till it comes on but it is slight. It is less of a delay after the bulb and balast have warmed up. Plus you get over the difference quickly. If you are to do only one HID bulb do the low and go with the 55W. The beam is aimed low and no one will give you the high beam flash, at least I have never had it. If you run in the city at night alot or on busy freeways the high beam may be just fine as it is and you can skip the extra cost. I live out in the country and stun the dear at a mile... well it seems like a mile, you would really appreciate the extra Lighting. DDM is very good to deal with and i like the product alot. I purchased the 55W, white-est light, small balast system and am VERY happy. The DDM kit is a simple plug and play system. A+++ Any more Q's just ask!

Just as a reminder I don't have a plastic lens so i cannot comment too much on that. I am a bodyman and have seen cars that have melted lenses due to hotter bulbs..... but that was a cheap aftermarket Headlamp on a civic with a 100Watt tungsten bulb..... I just don't want to say no problem and then you have a problem.... Oh, and also no problem with CANBUS.

Last edited by Jeromy; Jan 5th, 2010 at 7:24 pm.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromy
Hi there, I have gone over everyones ( or nearly everyones ) posts here about the HID conversion before i chose for my '06 k12r. I eventually went with the 55watt as i have the metal and glass headlamp and won't have any melting problems. I also considered it seriously. My brother put in a 35 Watt unit in his CBR 600 and the 55 Watt absolutely KILLS it. Way better lighting..... wow! Now I don't know what bike you run, but if its an " R " like mine just get the 55W kit. I also put the HID in the High and Low beam. You get a slight delay from the balast when you flip to high till it comes on but it is slight. It is less of a delay after the bulb and balast have warmed up. Plus you get over the difference quickly. If you are to do only one HID bulb do the low and go with the 55W. The beam is aimed low and no one will give you the high beam flash, at least I have never had it. If you run in the city at night alot or on busy freeways the high beam may be just fine as it is and you can skip the extra cost. I live out in the country and stun the dear at a mile... well it seems like a mile, you would really appreciate the extra Lighting. DDM is very good to deal with and i like the product alot. I purchased the 55W, white-est light, small balast system and am VERY happy. The DDM kit is a simple plug and play system. A+++ Any more Q's just ask!

Just as a reminder I don't have a plastic lens so i cannot comment too much on that. I am a bodyman and have seen cars that have melted lenses due to hotter bulbs..... but that was a cheap aftermarket Headlamp on a civic with a 100Watt tungsten bulb..... I just don't want to say no problem and then you have a problem.... Oh, and also no problem with CANBUS.
Lumby, my neighborhood, sort of....Hi neighbor!

Safe bet on them 55W, I did a bit more checking after and the heat does not seem to be an issue, actually less with HID. My main issue is the small wiring on my bike, dips the headlight when you use the brakes....and ballasts like a stable power supply.I was going to work on that today until I found out my bike needs a driveshaft, had to spend all afternoon finding one but got lucky with a NOS at less than half price. BMW driveshaft number 3 since 1991.....!

Yeah the Bambis, I just about whacked one New Year's eve on the Monashee in heavy snow....last one was $5,000 and a shoddy repair job on my van.That would have been Bambi number 4....but never on the bike!

What bums me a bit on the DDM site is that they offer a double kit for the motorcycles, but they do not give you a choice of two different bulbs, and bikes like mine run H3 and H7, so you are stuck buying extra bulbs, only sold in pairs. That gives you spares I'd rather not carry, my idea of a spare would be to just leave the original socket, push it aside and use it if the HID burns out.

My other concern with HID is that on bikes like mine the starter button turns the headlight on and off, the newer bikes with Canbus won't turn the headlight on until the engine runs. So if for any reason a bike like mine is hard to start you cycle the ballast everytime you release the starter button, cannot be very good for the ballast. I have already installed an headlight cut off switch on mine so that would take care of that.

I think I will order the Raptor kit for my car in 35W, cheaper even than buying replacement OEM bulbs, and the motorcycle 55W single kit, but listening to you.....may go for full HID Hi and Low. Stunning Bambis is the idea......Will sleep on that one tonight!

What bulb color did you buy in 55W? I'm thinking of going for lower K's, better in the rain, got caught really bad late on the Monashee last summer even that poor Hi-beam on my bike was too much reflection, and on Low.....well I was down to about 50Km/hr.....and lots of us really hate them blue lights coming at us at night!

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 12:41 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h96669
Lumby, my neighborhood, sort of....Hi neighbor!

Safe bet on them 55W, I did a bit more checking after and the heat does not seem to be an issue, actually less with HID. My main issue is the small wiring on my bike, dips the headlight when you use the brakes....and ballasts like a stable power supply.I was going to work on that today until I found out my bike needs a driveshaft, had to spend all afternoon finding one but got lucky with a NOS at less than half price. BMW driveshaft number 3 since 1991.....!

Yeah the Bambis, I just about whacked one New Year's eve on the Monashee in heavy snow....last one was $5,000 and a shoddy repair job on my van.That would have been Bambi number 4....but never on the bike!

What bums me a bit on the DDM site is that they offer a double kit for the motorcycles, but they do not give you a choice of two different bulbs, and bikes like mine run H3 and H7, so you are stuck buying extra bulbs, only sold in pairs. That gives you spares I'd rather not carry, my idea of a spare would be to just leave the original socket, push it aside and use it if the HID burns out.

My other concern with HID is that on bikes like mine the starter button turns the headlight on and off, the newer bikes with Canbus won't turn the headlight on until the engine runs. So if for any reason a bike like mine is hard to start you cycle the ballast everytime you release the starter button, cannot be very good for the ballast. I have already installed an headlight cut off switch on mine so that would take care of that.

I think I will order the Raptor kit for my car in 35W, cheaper even than buying replacement OEM bulbs, and the motorcycle 55W single kit, but listening to you.....may go for full HID Hi and Low. Stunning Bambis is the idea......Will sleep on that one tonight!

What bulb color did you buy in 55W? I'm thinking of going for lower K's, better in the rain, got caught really bad late on the Monashee last summer even that poor Hi-beam on my bike was too much reflection, and on Low.....well I was down to about 50Km/hr.....and lots of us really hate them blue lights coming at us at night!
And Hello to you neighbour! I was wondering if anyone on here was local to me...

I am pretty sure i bought the 5000k bulb and not the 6000k. I didn't want any colour at all. At first It looks blue beside a regular bulb but on closer inspection is obviously just a very clean white light. The yellower colour say a 3000k bulb sounds like a good idea for a low beam though. Never thought of that. But who the heck wants to ride in the rain... I'd rather stay in a hotel the night.... And this is the Okanagan.... Rain??????? Anyway I digress.. I bought the dual kit ( hi and low ) and it is only two single kits. So i think you could easily get two different size or color bulbs if you enquired before you buy. I dont see why not...... If you want to see in person, you could come over and see. I could post a pic or too if anyone wants or post a video even. - Jerome
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 2:29 am
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35w is more than enough jerry. I don't know if you have one on your bike but I personally never hit the high beam on my ks , never had need in the 3 years it been on there. You will also need a capacitor for the k bikes so there is no lamp warning displayed .
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonysrep
35w is more than enough jerry. I don't know if you have one on your bike but I personally never hit the high beam on my ks , never had need in the 3 years it been on there. You will also need a capacitor for the k bikes so there is no lamp warning displayed .
Question is, though, do you need the modification if you get a 55w kit?



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2010, 2:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
Question is, though, do you need the modification if you get a 55w kit?
Answer: No modificationn with the 55W kit.

Why? : the 55W kit draws the same amps as the OEM bulb. A 35W kit draws 20W less and probably will show the LAMPF error on your display. Therefore you need to install a large resistor ( not a capacitor as mentioned above )that " burns " that extra 20W to bring the total circut to 55W. ( 35W HID + 20W resistor = 55W total circut consumption ) . The resistor gets quite hot and usually is inside a ciramic ballast/ shield to keep it from burning or melting the surrrounding mounting area - most likely plastic on a bike.

You might as well get the 55W as then you get the extra lighting which is never bad, and you don't have to install an extra resistor. Your bike is built for a 55W system, and the resistor to me equals trouble and doesn't bring anything helpful or usefull to your bike. You sill burn 55W with the 55W kit or with the 35W kit, so why not get the 55W and ditch that hot and extra trouble ( find a GOOD place to mount it for one..) resistor.

You may not absolutely need the extra output but I have found it very usefull on my way home at night away from a city setting. I want to see as much as possible. Also during the day it is very noticable. Other drivers are less likely to not see you. You're definately more noticable. If you do mostly city riding and lots of lit freeway riding at night then 35W is fine. But if you are doing riding on unlit highways at night it is very appreciated to have the extra,

The 55W hasn't done any damage to my reflector inside the headlamp on my bike..... So as far as the R bike headlamp goes its no problem for heat.
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