Low Beam is not enough - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2014, 3:58 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Malvern, AR, USA
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Low Beam is not enough

I picked the GT up on the 20th & I now have 1300+ miles on it
On one evening I was running late & it got dark & the low beam to put it mildly sucked.
Most of the light was out to the side & dark in the center, have I got a problem & what is the quickest solution?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2014, 7:45 pm
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Location: Moyock, NC, USA
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Is it xenon? I have xenon and it's not too bad for being stock.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2014, 9:36 pm
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If it is not xenon, then you can upgrade the GT with a third-party kit.

This is a silly question, but are all of the bulbs running? Could the headlight bulb or one of the side light bulbs be burned out? If so, then you can go to high beam, and reach under the front panel to adjust the beam downward. It is explained in the user manual:

* For the time being, ride with the high-beam headlight switched on.
* In order not to dazzle oncoming traffic, set the headlight beam throw adjuster to the position for riding with maximum payload.

For that matter, could the throw adjuster be in the heavy load, "low" position, flipped over to the right?

The throw adjuster is the lever that surrounds one of the headlight position adjustment knob, down and to the left of the large square headlight cover. The throw adjuster on my K1200GT is white, but the repair manual shows it in black. There are also two plastic hex nuts to adjust headlight position. The up/down one is with the throw adjuster. The left/right one is to the right of the square cover.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2014, 10:18 pm Thread Starter
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I didn't think about adjusters.
I had looked at the center bulb while lit & it seem to be working.
The high beam is great.
I will read more of my manual.
I read just enough to set trip meters, clock & ESA settings.
Thanks for the tips
Sanders
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2014, 10:09 am
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Personally, I have never been impressed with the hi-beam set up. I Attempted to switch them over to hid at one time to no avail. No matter what rpms I had on the bike they would just buzz and chatter like they wanted to ignite but never would. I tried the resistor setup and still nothing... I went with some 85W halogens and called it a night . I'm getting ready to install some decent aux lights (probably LEDs) off the calipers so I may never need the hi beams.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2014, 10:41 am Thread Starter
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I will install driving lights also, but the low beam needs to be there for 2 lane back roads that have traffic.
I can live with the high beam, but oncoming traffic can't
I'll go down & get the book now.
Ride safe
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2014, 2:58 pm Thread Starter
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Update
My headlight says it is a XENON
I will have to wait until tonight to tell for sure, but my initial opinion is that it just needed adjusting & the low beam seems fine now. It was apparently pointed high.
Need to read more of the manual.
This is one awesome motorcycle!
Thanks again
Sanders
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Location: Fairbanks, AK, USA
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Xenon strike an arc and come on with a flash after the bike fires up. Its a white/blue light in
contrast to the halogen high beams on either side. The Xenon low beam is OK. But then I
don't ride in the dark too often. We haven't had dark for a month and won't have dark again
until August. No need for driving lights here. "Fog" lamps that are on with the low beams
are a good idea to make you more visible. I put covers on my truck's expensive driving lights
in the summer to keep them from being beat up by flying rocks, (only get used in the
winter.)

Lots of gawking tourists on Alaska roads in the summer so expect the worst! I've been run
onto the shoulder on my bike more times than I can count. Even towing a big boat behind my
truck with fog and headlights on and they still don't see me or even look.

If I have the choice I ride the bike on Alaska highways or tow the boat late evening when
most of the tourists are off the road. and it don't get dark...

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2014, 10:16 pm Thread Starter
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I know about people pulling out & pulling into you or crowding you out.
The lights are fine now, since I adjusted them.
We'll be riding the R1100rt to Alaska instead of the K1200gt, just because of the rock issue.
The K1200 is way to nice & pretty.
We'll start riding it constantly when we get back from Alaska.
Just 19 days till we head that way !
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2014, 10:10 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanders65
Update
My headlight says it is a XENON
I will have to wait until tonight to tell for sure, but my initial opinion is that it just needed adjusting & the low beam seems fine now. It was apparently pointed high.
Need to read more of the manual.
This is one awesome motorcycle!
Thanks again
Sanders
If everything is still factory stock and you have a Xenon headlight, then the high beam is still an ordinary halogen bulb. The stock Xenon headlight is bright and bluish, the other bulbs are not as bright and they are yellowish.

The throw adjuster lever is normally straight out. You flip it to the right only if your primary Xenon bulb burns out (and you use the high beam as a normal headlight), or if you are carrying a very heavy load and need to drop the low beam down to avoid projecting glare in the rear windows of cars.

It is important to get the Xenon headlight adjustment position right. The beam is unusual. In the US (where we ride on the right side of the road), it has a sharp cutoff that stays flat from the left side, across the center (below car rear windows) and then rises at ~45 degree angle going to the right. (For UK/Australia/Japan etc. the beam does the opposite.)

The factory Xenon can be so bright that you can trigger road rage from car drivers, even if it is correctly adjusted.

Here is the basic adjustment:

1. Make sure the throw adjuster lever is in the neutral (straight out) position; not flipped to the right. Adjust the suspension to "basic". I assume that means single rider, normal.

2. With the rider on the seat, measure the height from the ground to the center of the headlight. BMW's default rider is 85 kg.

3. With the rider on the bike, put it on a level flat surface, facing a vertical wall. Mark the wall at the headlight center height you measured in step 2, above.

4. Position the bike so that the bottom of the front tire (the contact patch) is 10 meters from the wall.

5. Start the engine to turn on the headlight.

6. Use a socket wrench to turn the adjustment nut (inside the throw adjuster lever) until the light/dark boundary projected on the wall is 15 cm below the mark you made (15 cm below the height of the center of your headlight).

7. Adjust the left/right position (lateral throw) by turning the other adjustment nut with the socket wrench. There isn't much guidance here, but I would make sure that the 45 degree upward tilt starts past the right side mirror of a hypothetical car in front of you.
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