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Thread: HID Headlight Conversion Kits-Your experience?

  1. #1
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    Question HID Headlight Conversion Kits-Your experience?

    I'm back to looking at the many HID kits out there for sale. As these are typically not specific to any model motorcycle, I'm posting here. Many kits come with adapters for various bulb bases. Some MC's like Harley & Goldwing there are bike specific kits but even though some are listed as such they are actually generic in fact.
    My particular model is a G650GS which uses a 35w H4/9003 bulb.
    There are fairly recent improvements in these kits from what I've read so far. Having researched the ebay feedbacks from many sellers there it is obvious that one must do some homework as many kits simply don't measure up. Prices are all over the place & many kits being sold are a partial of a car kit. Web Bike has a nice writeup on them from a BMW rider as did Paul Glaves awhile back in ON. There's also a recent kit install on the F650 Forum under modifications threads. many sellers are Asian & others are USA resellers of the same stuff-some having a phone,etc., others are not so informed from trying a few chats with various sellers.
    It seems that not all of the higher price point sellers necessarily offer more for your buck. Some say they're German as if that's better stuff? Phillips bulbs cost $30 ea more than the Asian ones & have a double glass tube which is said to be better based on the UV glass used as preventing deterioration of the plastic HL lens? One seller I called (the OP's seller from the f650 forum) said it was the heat with no mention of UV but her Chinese accent(?) clouded the conversation. It was clear that she was not a tech as purported by the phone number.Some bulbs have a "bi" feature that allows them to tilt , thus the same bulb does HI & LO beam. Also a shade over the lens comes into play for LO. Some bulbs have a halogen inserted into the base for the HI beam & the LO is the xenon bulb. Ballasts come in various sizes, thus some are easier to place on a MC. Some are said to be more weather & vibration resistant for a MC or offroad use. Some have longer wire leads for MC's while the car versions cause you to splice the short leads on a MC install. Then you have all the bulb colors to choose from if your into "being cool". Warranties are all over the map & often an extra charge for over a year.
    I did a search here but found not much & have done the google thing too-I would still like to see what others have experienced with the various kits out there?
    Last edited by kantuckid; 08-29-2013 at 11:52 AM.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I've installed a bunch of them from different ebay vendors and reliability is uniformly bad. It's a tossup as to whether the ballast or bulb will fail first. Just buy cheap and buy a spare set because price has nothing at all to do with quality. The last H4 bi-xenon kit I put on a Honda CRV in the spring lasted 4 days before a ballast failed.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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    Did you try a kit from www.kbcarstuff.com? Were any you tried said to be "German quality"?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Did you try a kit from www.kbcarstuff.com? Were any you tried said to be "German quality"?
    Haven't used that company. I don't know what "German quality" means anymore. They're all made in China as far as I can tell, and that can be good quality as well as bad.

    There's this if you want to wade through it: http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/forum.php
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  5. #5
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I've installed a bunch of them from different ebay vendors and reliability is uniformly bad. It's a tossup as to whether the ballast or bulb will fail first. Just buy cheap and buy a spare set because price has nothing at all to do with quality. The last H4 bi-xenon kit I put on a Honda CRV in the spring lasted 4 days before a ballast failed.
    I had a kit installed in my sports car and one side failed after three uses.

    So Tom, does that site mention any kits that are reliable?
    Last edited by Rinty; 08-29-2013 at 02:06 PM.
    Rinty

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  6. #6
    Rally Rat Roc-Roc's Avatar
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    I put my first HID low beam on my 98K12RS in 2004 it die after 3yrs. The second HID was install in 2007 and it still going strong. I cant remember who I brought it from.(CRS) I better find some wood to knock on.


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  7. #7
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    Try Pirates Lair

    I got mine from Pirates Lair, pirateslair.net. The difference in lighting on my 03 K12rs for the low beam is amazing. There is some stray reflected light that actually enhances what I see from the bike. It does dazzle a bit but no one has ever flashed hi beams at me to dim my lights (that used to happen some when one of the motolights on the calipers had gotten moved so it pointed up a little.) The light on the bike is actually better than the HIDs on our old Volvo XC90. (they are mechanical Hi/lo and really fail in providing good light)

    I also bought some from Pirates Lair and put them in another car. In that, one of the ballast was bad. Pirates Lair stood behind the product, sent me another set and asked that I return the extras then with the bad ballast. They have always been a true pleasure to work with.

    As for visibility, A friend I used to ride with put HID in his R12GS. I was amazed at how little daytime visibility his bike then had on low beam. When behind me, it was like his low beam wasn't even on. It provided just enough down the road point of view lighting to make the light not look like a dark sport. As far as getting any attention, it didn't. Hi Beam on his GS did provide the needed light to get some attention.

    NCS
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    The only SAFE way to upgrade to HID is to replace the housing too.


    Yes Yes, many on here (and elsewhere) have done it and say it's just fine.

    But HID bulbs run much hotter than Halogens (Lower wattage does not mean cooler. It's a different technology)

    I have used complete lamps from the retrofit source and had good luck with them.
    Here is one they sell for sportbikes.
    http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...roducts_id=927

    My 2 cents which will probably get shouted down here.

  9. #9
    Registered User 119240's Avatar
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    I got mine from Pirates Lair, pirateslair.net.
    '91 K75S, '06 K1200S
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  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    No reputable lighting company makes these so this is a comparison of garage-based businesses selling a collection of parts that when installed as intended are illegal for highway use.
    Kent Christensen
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  11. #11
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No reputable lighting company makes these so this is a comparison of garage-based businesses selling a collection of parts that when installed as intended are illegal for highway use.
    So are we to believe that the factory installed Xenon HID lights on BMW motorcycles were made in a garage & are illegal on the highways in the USA ?. Both of my LT's have 35 watt low & high beam HID lights & they both just passed their annual state inspection again. .
    Dave
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  12. #12
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlfitt View Post
    But HID bulbs run much hotter than Halogens...
    This is a very complex topic...
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  13. #13
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    I got these http://www.ebay.com/itm/281008218250...84.m1497.l2649 which is what Jim von Badon showed in an install topic on Adventure Rider. There is a lot of info over there. I have a DDM 55W on the high beam and the ones above on low. The 55W DDM's on low worked except they would throw lampf! errors all the time. DO NOT buy lights from HIDSRUS. Long story but lost two ballasts and two lamps in the first year. Warranty is a total pain and customer service less than poor. If you run HID on high beam I recommend running LED's in the high beam circuit because they are instant on where HID's have a couple second delay. I have Denali Xtremes and the combination doesn't attract too many low beam flashes from oncoming cars and high beam is like running in daylight. Conversion is easy and all you have to do is carry one of your original bulbs as a spare if the HID fails.
    Old But Not Dead
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  14. 08-31-2013, 11:07 PM

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    Did you try a kit from www.kbcarstuff.com? Were any you tried said to be "German quality"?
    I have their Polarions on my R1100S, hi and lo beam. In about 10 years/90,000 miles I have replaced absolutely.... nothing! Not a bulb, not a ballast, not a relay. Stone cold reliable, excellent quality, Phillips-based bulbs.. with superb light output. Can not recommend them highly enough.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  16. #15
    Registered User Atomicman52's Avatar
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    Going on 4 years on Yana- shiki kit. Flawless thus far!

    http://www.yanashiki.com/product_p/hidh7-6k.htm

    BMW dealer locally sells them and installed it.
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

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