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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Just got done installing HID on the GT.

Rich_MC came over and broke some stuff (as usual) but I got it all installed with relative ease :)

Anyway, one of the installation tips I wanted to share (that I didn't see anywhere else) was the mounting of the ballast. I have a GT so the generally accepted mounting area is pretty much where the motor for the windscreen resides.

After talking with Jeff (the, now, old Service Manager at Tristate), he told me they usually mount them on top of the wind deflector on inside of the left fairing. It's pretty easy and as long as it's fully on top of the deflector the fron fork won't get in the way.

Of course I don't have a picture of it cuz I didn't take one - haha - I will if anyone wants to see I suppose.

See ya!
alow
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bob,

I got the "kit" from BMW Tristate when they closed down. They had a few left over that they would install on customers bikes for them. They used car kits and split them in two.

This was only the H7 (low beam) conversion. I've got some reservations about the high beam (plus I would need to find another place to mount THAT ballast as well).

The ballast was made by Hella so at least it's a pretty decent brand. I was a bit worried about the ballast being attached to the wind deflector (since it is a bit exposed from above), but the Service Manager at Tristate told me that's where they normally put them and have not had a problem on any they've installed....

The connections to the ballast are waterproof (as well as the connections to the bulb). It had a waterproof grommet attached to the 4 wires that enter the front lamp housing. All I had to do was cut a hole in the lid of the housing and then seat the grommet into it. Noneed for epoxy, etc.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone on here for their assistance (as well as Pirate and his site).

I've attached a zip file with a pic of the ballast and a pic of the lamps on.

alow
 

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HIgh Beam Install

You can install the second ballast on the inside of the air box, move it forward so the fork deesn't hit it, and make sure it's when the bike is on the ground, not on the stand.

But I would not wish the high beam install on anyone....it was a 15 hr. nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I took it out for a spin last night down one of the dark roads around my house. HEre are some of the things I've noticed:
-Reflective street signs light up in advance and are very bright.
-Light is bright across a further spread; I can see clearly on the sides of the road.
-Dips in the road are fairly dark until the light hits it - kind of odd at first

Overall, I'm glad I did it. It it an expensive upgrade at around $200, but I think the change in lighting is along the same jump I experienced when I installed the caliper mounted MotoLights.

My wife was in front of me this morning in a car and she commented that it was bright (in the daylight). She also commented that my MotoLights now look very yellow and almost dim.

While I haveta agree with her, I still think that the MotoLights are necessary (for safety and for "more light"). I think I'll ride with them both on for the conspicuous-ness factor

alow
 

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Hi,

Have you upgraded your Motolight bulbs to the higher wattage units?
That should give more conspicuous light.


JR356
 

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Hi Alowishus, with your new experience of the low beam conversion, does the lamp start instantly when you turn it on and does it take time to get to full brightness and about how long? Have you lowered the beam a bit or had anybody flash you yet?

Anybody considering a high beam conversion might be interested in start up delay etc, although I know there are differences in this respect between cheaper and more expensive kits. What color temperature did you go for?

Good point on the Motolights, although sticking with halogen will need lots more power and the color will never match your hids. The kits are dropping in price and I think I'd look see if the lamp used on a Motolite is convertible. Since these are running all the time and precise alignment of the capsule arc is less important, I'd be tempted towards a cheap kit. Mind you, finding mounting space and getting the wiring down the fork legs would present a problem.

I did wonder about the units with separate ignitors (was this yours?). The trend on newer units is to build them in for easier install, but in theory I think the physically larger ballast can be fitted somewhere further away, as long as the smaller HV ignitor is close to the lamp.



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HID & Motolights

I am sorta confused as to who is to reply here. I did go for the higher watt bulbs, 50's. I just installed the lights and never rode in the dark with the 35's. But there is a definite triangle of light now coming at you. The Motolight lights are truly a fine piece of craftsmanship, and I can see why they are so expensive. I went for the caliper mount and also purchased the twist off rings so I don't have to fool with the removal tool. Motolights does not warranty the higher watt bulbs, but they are readily available at Home Depot. I also found amber colored replacements on the internet.

I do have HID's, hi and lo. It does take about 2 seconds for the bulb to fully illuminate, hi or lo. (Also in my G35.) I don't plan on flashing my lights anyhow. With modulating headlights in motorcycles now, no one pays much attention to a flash anyhow.

The problem with the hi/lo HID install is lack of real estate in the nose of the K12, and having to modify the bulb holder for the H3 bulb. Went to Home Depot and bought a 1/2 pvc plug and with the Dremmel tool, made a bulb holder adapter.

But now I can truly LIGHT up the night!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HID Fun....

Hi All,

To answer a few questions:
I have the 55w (or is it 50w I forget) Motolight bulbs in - they just seem dim to my wife when she was in front of me (during the day). They still help with that bit of extra light down low at night from what I can tell. Would be nice to match the color of the Motolight lamp with the HID a bit closer, but that's more about aesthetics, not functionality. HID Motolights is an interesting idea; I suppose the ballast could be a bit smaller for the draw they would need......

The HID lamp comes on pretty much instantly. It seems pretty bright right away, but I haven't noticed an increase in intensity after say a few minutes of so. I'm not sure if this is true for the high beam conversion though. As an aside, these bulbs seems to come on a lot quicker than my HID metal halide lamps do that I have had over my saltwater/reef aquarium. Very similar to the lamps in a gymnasium coming on; takes 5 minutes for themto warm up to full brightness....

That being said I do notice a bit of a delay between the time the bulb comes on and when I can start the bike. Let me digress, I think everyone has a routine when starting their bike, and my routine was pretty much gear on, get on the bike, kickstand up, turn the key, grab the clutch, flip the switch and press the button.

Previous to the HID install, I could do all of this and the bike would fire right up. I've noticed twice now that if I don't pause a second after turning the key to ON, the bike doesn't start. I'm not really concerned about it; I've concluded it is pretty much the ballast draw on the battery, etc. The bike always starts if I pause a second after I turn the key ON.

I have not adjusted the beam, yet. I left it in the position the previous bulb was in. I have not had anyone flash me yet (boobs or high beams for that matter), but I may adjust it a bit after riding with it for awhile. It does seem that it's throwing the light a lot further - almost as far as the H3 high beam; which indicates to me it may need adjusted.

The high beam startup delay may be more of an issue for some. Plus mounting, etc seems to be an issue for some. Also, I don't use my high beam very often; so a $200 conversion for something I don't use isn't really high on my priority list. I think it'd be better to put that money towards an LED setup on the brake light.

Finally, I assumed the ignitor was built into the ballast case. The only other "seperate" piece was the relay for the wiring. The ballast is pictured above and is about 3x5x1 (give or take).....

alow
 

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DallasKRSRider said:
The problem with the is having to modify the bulb holder for the H3 bulb.
Can someone explain to me why you have to modify the bulb holder? Didn't you use an H3 bulb, and if you did, why doesn't it fit?
 

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Bulb Adapter

The H3 55W halogen bulb and the H3 HID bulb look nothing alike and are not made the same. The H7 HID bulb plugged right in with no adaption needed. You have to fabricate an adapter to not only hold the bulb in place, but to force it further into the housing.

Take a look at some of these HID bulbs in kits online, then look at the halogen bulb you now have in your bike......they are nothing alike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yea god forbid when they say H3 they mean the same mount - that would be too easy ;)
 

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Just finished mine. When they say H3 they mean the flange plate and glass envelope of the lamp, not the proprietary BMW bits that make up the complete holder needed to fit the proprietary BMW headlamp shell - which all H3 HID kits for cages will run a mile from. Those holders get hot so it's better to avoid soft pvc. ABS plastic and Epoxy ok.

Interesting wiring on my '97 KRS. The diagrams show no fuses for the headlamps. Everything just comes off the load reduction relay. Guess they think fuses blowing at night might be dangerous.

Now I can see my main and dip beams on the wall in sunlight!



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Motolights

I also installed a pair of caliper mounted Motolights, also upgraded to the 55W bulbs. Last night as I approached vehicles from the rear on the Interstate, they actually pulled over immediately. (Except for this one preoccupied women talking on her cell phone.) I guess they don't like that wall of light coming up on them. And that was with my HID lo on, not the HID hi beam.

You won't miss me that is for sure.......

The PVC bulb adapter I crafted is only touching the plastic bulb holder and the plastic portion of the H3 bulb and the wiring, I don't think it's going to melt!
 

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The cages I follow at night don't pull over, they just suddenly slow to speed limit and sit there in lane. That must be proof they are more aware I'm on their rear, but not quite what I'd expected. I followed a cage on a cell, there was a sudden jerk on the wheel, then same thing, cell thrown down and stuck on speed limit. Mind you, with my low beam HID, he probably didn't need backlight on his cell.

I was told my H3 bases were ceramic. They certainly seemed really hard if they were plastic.

Try an experiment with just the HID on low beam and Motolights off - I bet they still pull over.

I don't risk the high beam unless I'm sure of no oncoming, I get a bright narrow collimated pencil of light that seems to go real far. In fact I've developed a new technique of riding with my finger on the headlamp flash button, then releasing it for oncoming vehicles.



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voxmagna said:
Interesting wiring on my '97 KRS. The diagrams show no fuses for the headlamps. Everything just comes off the load reduction relay. Guess they think fuses blowing at night might be dangerous.
I think the "no fuses for headlights" is common to all Beemers way back to the time they first started putting in fuses. Don't know when fuses were first installed, but have worked with friends whose bikes had none - one bike developed a short when parked at night :eek: - the whole harness had to be replaced due to a melted spot at a central location.

Wonder if the new S and other bikes with CAN bus electricals have the headlight wires protected. I guess those wires are pretty short since they only have to run from the main power to the front of the bike, so they may not be protected - anybody know?
 

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Hi allen, I'm glad I didn't make a mistake reading the wiring diagrams. There were other things on that 'unfused star point' as well. I didn't want to add bulky relays in the space limited for a HID install, but I knew that whilst the running current of HIDs is less than the stock 55 watt lamps, the ignition current lasting a few tens of milliseconds can be 18 Amps per lamp.

I wasn't too bothered about that either after I'd beefed up the common skimpy headlamp ground, but high voltage electronics unlike lamps generally, are notorious for possible short circuit failures. I added an in line 15 amp fuse to each HID ballast unit and now I know I did the right thing.

Thanks.



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allenclarkson said:
I think the "no fuses for headlights" is common to all Beemers way back to the time they first started putting in fuses. Don't know when fuses were first installed, but have worked with friends whose bikes had none - one bike developed a short when parked at night :eek: - the whole harness had to be replaced due to a melted spot at a central location.

Wonder if the new S and other bikes with CAN bus electricals have the headlight wires protected. I guess those wires are pretty short since they only have to run from the main power to the front of the bike, so they may not be protected - anybody know?
Whatdya mean no fuses? Have you forgotten all the melted Hi-Low switches that prompted to addition of aftermarket relays? Talk about an expensive fuse!
 
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