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Thread: Headlight Bulb Remove and Replace

  1. #1
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Headlight Bulb Remove and Replace

    1999 R1100RT

    Planning on doing a bunch of work on the bike this weekend, including a headlight bulb replacement and addition of the EasternBeaver relay harness to power the light directly from the battery via relay.

    Am planning on removing left and right side tupperware, but no more. Have read a few posts on bulb replacement, but still not sure I get the mental picture on how the metal clip that holds the bulb in place is configured. Have read a bunch of posts where the clip was broken because it was pulled or turned incorrectly before releasing it properly. Maybe with the left and right tupperware off I will have an open view where I can see what I am doing, but in case I don't I was wondering if anyone has a picture or drawing of what the clip arrangement looks like on this bike so if I have to do it "Blind" I'll have a decent shot at not screwing it up trying to get the bulb out. Thanks...Bob

  2. #2
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    The owner's manual on my K1300S has several good pictures of changing the bulbs.
    Check to see if your manual has similar instructions and pictures.

    This picture may help.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lee; 05-07-2013 at 11:47 PM.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #3
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    The owner's manual on my K1300S has several good pictures of changing the bulbs.
    Check to see if your manual has similar instructions and pictures.

    This picture may help.
    Those are great pictures. I could not find a similar description in my manual. If I can establish that the spring clip is of similar design on the RT then I think I am set. Thanks again...

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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobr9 View Post
    Those are great pictures. I could not find a similar description in my manual. If I can establish that the spring clip is of similar design on the RT then I think I am set. Thanks again...
    It's a similar design on about every vehicle made in Germany since maybe the 1970s.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
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    I've replaced the headlight bulb on my K and R without removing the faring. Turn the handlebars to the far left and get your arm past the handlebars and your fingers on that clip. One of the few mechanical tasks where I am competent.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  6. #6
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's a similar design on about every vehicle made in Germany since maybe the 1970s.
    OK, that should do it then. Thanks

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    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    I've replaced the headlight bulb on my K and R without removing the faring. Turn the handlebars to the far left and get your arm past the handlebars and your fingers on that clip. One of the few mechanical tasks where I am competent.
    Any difference if you turn left or right? I believe most of the posts I have seen on this say to turn right. Thanks

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobr9 View Post
    Any difference if you turn left or right? I believe most of the posts I have seen on this say to turn right. Thanks
    I can't remember right or left, but you'll find out soon enough. As I recall, there is a rubber boot that goes over the back of the bulb. I believe that I install the boot and the wiring connector at the same time; makes it easier for me.

    The first time I changed a bulb, it did take a while. Been easy after the first time.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

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    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    As I recall, there is a rubber boot that goes over the back of the bulb.
    Does the rubber boot simply pull off, or does it unscrew or need to be turned/rotated?

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    Mechanically, I know enough to be dangerous and I was able to do mine without taking off the plastics too. Cover pops right off (almost too easy) and then it's tight back there if you have big hands to get those little wire clips on and off but bulbs slip right out. Be sure not to touch the bulb with your fingers as oil from your skin can cause those things to burst when heated up. Wipe them good with a clean rag before install. If you got big hands...find you a kid and pay him $5 to do it...you'll both walk away happy.

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    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunbeemer View Post
    Cover pops right off (almost too easy).
    Are you referring to the rubber boot or the round black plastic cover that surrounds the bulb assembly? Not clear to me if that round cover needs to come off as well, and if so does it unscrew?

  12. #12
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    The black rubber cover sort of peels back if that makes sense. You need to get it folded back and out of the way somewhat so you can get at the clip.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  13. #13
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    1998 r1100rt

    Removing the left side won't help get to the bulb but probably provides access for hiding the kit.

    There are three blades on the connector. Wiggle that off. The blades on the back of the bulb poke through the boot.
    On the left and right edges of the boot are tabs you can grab to pull it off the back of the enclosure.
    You may need two hands in there to get it back on but don't think about that right now.

    The bale that holds the bulb in seems tougher than the rest of the materials around it... so shine a flashlight in there.
    As shown on the K pictures in a previous response the bale has two round "handles" - squeeze them together to get them past the hooks.

    The bulb will probably fall out. The shape of the metal part of the bulb is such that it won't go back in the wrong way.

    Now. As to the relay kit. How big a bulb are you going to put in there?
    There is no benefit to relays and big wires if you are going to stick with the OEM 55W bulb.

    I have not done the conversion but I have studied it.
    I have a spreadsheet that I think shows the benefits to be had by adding relays.

    Let me know if you are interested.

    Basically it shows that with stock wiring, replacing the 55/60 OEM bulb with a Philips Xtreme 80/100 will mean the Xtreme will only be producing 90% of its intended brightness. Of course that is still brighter than the OEM bulb. On the other hand the missing 10% of the energy is going into heating the wires.

    Once you have solved the problem of brightness, the next issue is heat build-up in the glass enclosure.
    I have heard of problems with shattering the lens, etc. from too much heat but they are lore, 3rd hand at best.

    More modern vehicles solve the two problems by running two smaller headlights, say 2 x 25/35.
    More light, less heat, and redundancy.

  14. #14
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott.lambert View Post
    The blades on the back of the bulb poke through the boot.
    On the left and right edges of the boot are tabs you can grab to pull it off the back of the enclosure.

    Now. As to the relay kit. How big a bulb are you going to put in there?
    There is no benefit to relays and big wires if you are going to stick with the OEM 55W bulb.
    See the attached picture. So what everyone is telling me, I think, is that the round plastic cover with the two tabs that surrounds the bulb and the rubber boot does not need to be removed? Just checking as my arrangement is somewhat different than the ones posted for the K1300. I'm having trouble seeing how just peeling back the rubber boot will provide access to the metal clip.

    On the other issue, I am going back with a Philips 55/60, so no I am not upgrading to the higher intensity bulb. I did this conversion on my K100 and it seemed to make a difference in the output just using the stock bulb, but maybe it was my wishful thinking that it would. I already have the kit, so I am going to do it anyway, but maybe I will look at upgrading to the higher intensity bulb at the next change. I would be interested in seeing your research though and am very appreciative of you sharing it. Thanks again...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobr9 View Post
    See the attached picture. So what everyone is telling me, I think, is that the round plastic cover with the two tabs that surrounds the bulb and the rubber boot does not need to be removed? Just checking as my arrangement is somewhat different than the ones posted for the K1300. I'm having trouble seeing how just peeling back the rubber boot will provide access to the metal clip.

    On the other issue, I am going back with a Philips 55/60, so no I am not upgrading to the higher intensity bulb. I did this conversion on my K100 and it seemed to make a difference in the output just using the stock bulb, but maybe it was my wishful thinking that it would. I already have the kit, so I am going to do it anyway, but maybe I will look at upgrading to the higher intensity bulb at the next change. I would be interested in seeing your research though and am very appreciative of you sharing it. Thanks again...
    I need to remove the rubber boot to get to the clip. Once the new bulb is locked into place, for me, it is easier to run the connector through the boot, make the connection to the bulb's three prongs and then pull the boot over the outside circumference. First attempt (putting the rubber boot on before attaching the connector) took forever and subsequent bulb changes run about 5 minutes.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

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