low beam burnout - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2010, 10:44 pm Thread Starter
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Question low beam burnout

so after 5 hrs in the saddle on Thursday through the monsoon, Friday morning my low beam was out.
None of this is major news, but I decided to post because I noticed something odd the last month or so. When I'd turn the key I noticed the headlamp flicker as if it was getting power for just a fraction of a second. I don't think I'd ever seen that before.

Anyhow, probably going to throw a Silverstar in it for now as I don't currently have time for the HID install and the ones in my truck have lasted for 4 years and still going...

anybody else ever notice that headlamp flash upon bootup but before start?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2010, 11:28 pm
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My bike burned through low beams like Grant through Richmond. Don't think I ever got more than 5 or 6k out of any bulb. Including the Silverstars. Installed a HID and never looked back. Do your self a favor and find the time to do it. One of the best and easiest upgrades that you can do.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2010, 12:42 am
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For future reference, the low beam and dual high beams are all H7 bulbs. So if the low beam burns out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, you can borrow a high beam bulb to get your low beam back on to get you home or someplace safe.

Ken
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2010, 7:24 am
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+1 on the HIDs. I am still running the original factory HID bulb after more than 32,000 miles. It lights up the night very well.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2010, 12:38 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
+1 on the HIDs. I am still running the original factory HID bulb after more than 32,000 miles. It lights up the night very well.
138K miles on my factory HID low beam.

At least that part still works . . .

Ken
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Last edited by Meese; Sep 25th, 2010 at 2:27 pm.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2010, 10:17 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meese
For future reference, the low beam and dual high beams are all H7 bulbs. So if the low beam burns out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, you can borrow a high beam bulb to get your low beam back on to get you home or someplace safe.
thanks Meese, I actually remember that little tidbit from an earlier post of yours (or maybe grif). It ran through my mind, but I was in a hurry with only 3 miles to go at the time, so I just brighted everybody on the way.

and I know we've all had this happen before, it was just the flicker that I hadn't previously noticed that prompted me to post. I thought maybe that was perhaps a sign of a bulb blowout or perhaps even the cause.

so what's the best HID kit to retrofit these days?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2010, 1:09 pm
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There are a few threads on the subject and a DIY where I think they mention one particular supplier. I got mine off eBay, look for motorcycle kits, not car kits. They are really the same but you get two of everything. I got my kit off eBay and I think paid in the $30 range and has been working fine (installed last October).
The "K" rating on the bulb really makes no difference in brightness, just the color of the beam. Sometimes you see really blue colored bulbs, these would be up around 5000K or more. The stock color is around 4200K or 4300K, these appear to be the closest to natural daylight and this is what I'd recommend finding. You'll see this rating mentioned when you start your search.
A slim ballast is great to have for a cycle (easier to find a good spot for it), look for a kit that mentions having a slim ballast.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2010, 1:14 pm
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AND in your search, remember to look for "HID" Xenon (High Intensity Discharge). Some supplers are peddling "Xenon" bulbs that are just halogen replacement bulbs with Xenon gas inside the glass part. HID Xenon requires a ballast unit to power the bulb, which strikes an arc, very different from a halogen bulb, which really is just an "Edison" light bulb that uses a filament, a true HID bulb has no filament in it. But they sell these to appeal to cheapies that just want the Xenon look without the Xenon price or hassle. They tint the glass blue to imitate the blue tint the higher K rated bulbs have. And again I think (and the manufacturers too I'd say) to have a lower K rating to be closer to natural daylight on the road, not blue.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2010, 2:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_west
....so what's the best HID kit to retrofit these days?
I don't know which is the best kit, but on another BMW forum many are having ballast issues with the DDM HID kits. These ballasts seem to be really cheap and are often sold with the <$50 units.

When this forum began, many were installing CQ HID kits from Canada. Never heard of a ballast issue with them. Kelvin was a bit high (5000) and blusih, but the kit works good. I have one on my GT and no issues - knock on wood - other than it is a bit blue for night-time riding. However, their website is a bit flaky now and some have reported issues with the current product in WebBikeWorld online.

BMW ON magazine and mentiioned WebBikeWorld had a favorable write up on the xenondepot HID kit. It's lamps are around 4,300 K and used a Japanese ballast with some German components unlike the real cheap ballasts. A bit more money though, about $140.

Here's the link and some info between the two: http://www.webbikeworld.com/lights/h...ht-conversion/


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2010, 4:01 pm
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The guy I bought mine from has no items on eBay right now, it was shipped from overseas.
Looking through eBay, this looks like what I would buy if I needed one right now:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/H7-43...Q5fAccessories

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