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Thread: Aiming my Headlamp -R100RS

  1. #1
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Aiming my Headlamp -R100RS

    I recently bought an 89 R100RS.
    CLEARLY, the PO never once drove it at night.

    I say this because one evening as I was riding home in semi darkness, I found the headlight was aimed -quite literally- at the treetops!
    Night riding is in my future of course. It's part of what I do, either commuting, traveling, or for fun.

    I thought I'd park my car on a flat (ish) road, put my girlfriend in the driver's seat, park the bike maybe 75-100 feet away and aim it at low beam, to just below annoyance level for her.... while sitting on the bike with neither side stand nor center stand deployed.

    All this seems somewhat complicated, however. Aiming the headlamp seems like a sort of inexact science. One thing I do not like is a low beam that is aimed too low! My -ahem- *cough cough* K1200, for example, was aimed from the factory to hit WAY below other drivers' eyes- to the point of being quite nearly useless at full dark. I put a modern headlamp kit in my Norton Commando. The lens has similar refractions as the lens on the R bike. I had to really dial it in to get it aimed properly- a much more difficult task than I anticipated to get the low beam aimed far enough out to be as effective as possible but not blinding, and then for the high beam to still light up the road and not the tree tops...

    Anyone got a "formula" or method for aiming a headlamp?
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  2. #2
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    The girlfriend will only work if you both weight the same, and are seated with all the weight on the bike like you are riding. Luggage and two-up will obviously change everything also.
    John Simonds
    2008 R 1200 GSA
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain"t broke... fix it till it is.

  3. #3
    Park the bike on level ground 17 feet from a smooth wall. Measure the height of the center of the headlight lens. Place a mark on the wall 2 inches lower than the measured height of the headlight center.

    Sitting on the bike with as little weight on your feet as possible aim the top of the flat cutoff top of the LOW beam to that mark on the wall.

    BMW used to provide these aiming instruction in the Owner's Manual. It is probably in the manual for your bike.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Aside from the legalities of one's state, or the formal procedure in a manual, everybody will have their own preference...
    I aim it so that, under "normal and typical" riding conditions, the top of my low beam is just barely slicing into the rear window of the car ahead of me.
    Never been a problem.

  5. #5
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Park the bike on level ground 17 feet from a smooth wall. Measure the height of the center of the headlight lens. Place a mark on the wall 2 inches lower than the measured height of the headlight center.

    Sitting on the bike with as little weight on your feet as possible aim the top of the flat cutoff top of the LOW beam to that mark on the wall.

    BMW used to provide these aiming instruction in the Owner's Manual. It is probably in the manual for your bike.
    HA, who knew? In a million years, it never would have dawned on me to simply read the manual!

    Thanks, Paul!
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  6. #6
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Headlight aim

    It is always a good idea to talk to "mom"......your "motorcycle owners manual". Mom always tells you how to do things. It's good to have a Mom. You can always find one on Google if you have misplaced yours for your airhead.


    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

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