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Thread: HID or LED headlights '09 R1200RT

  1. #1
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    HID or LED headlights '09 R1200RT

    I was wondering what bulbs you all have installed vs H7 halogen. My thought was to improve the lighting, and hopefully not have to change bulbs again, with the complexity/aggravation with changing bulbs on the 2009 R1200RT.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    I installed HID's years ago on my 07 and never had to change a bulb since. Much brighter than the OEM also. (Which are quite bright already)
    LEDs were not available at the time so I cannot comment on them.
    I can say that I'm fully satisfied with the HIDs. I don't feel that they need any improvements.

    YMMV
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2007 R1200RT - IBA # 56396

  3. #3
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    Just installed Sylvania HIDs. I keep hearing about changing bulbs being complicated. I experienced issues trying to change them out without disassembling the front end but gave that up pretty quick. Disassembly only takes a few minutes and is really pretty simple. Won’t try and cut that corner again.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dann View Post
    I installed HID's years ago on my 07 and never had to change a bulb since. Much brighter than the OEM also. (Which are quite bright already)
    LEDs were not available at the time so I cannot comment on them.
    I can say that I'm fully satisfied with the HIDs. I don't feel that they need any improvements.

    YMMV
    Dann, how long is the warm up on the HIDs? Did you do just the low beam? Do you remember what brand or where you purchased them? Did you have to do anything to keep the CANBUS from throwing errors? Lots of questions, but I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering these things.

  5. #5
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Cyclops LED's here.

    I think HID bulbs are winding down now that decent, long lasting, proper cut-off LEDs have arrived.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  6. #6
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by largestache View Post
    Dann, how long is the warm up on the HIDs? Did you do just the low beam? Do you remember what brand or where you purchased them? Did you have to do anything to keep the CANBUS from throwing errors? Lots of questions, but I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering these things.
    I got them from DDM Tuning
    https://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/D...ast-35W-or-55W

    They take a second or 2 to warm up. I only changed the low beams because the warm up not is too long for use on the high beam if you need to flash someone.
    I hardly use my high beam anyway.

    These HID's are so much brighter that turning the high beam on doesn't make a big difference.

    No CANBUS issues

    LED's seems to have improved a lot in the past few years. If I had to redo it now I would look into them also.
    Daniel
    If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
    2007 R1200RT - IBA # 56396

  7. #7
    Registered User fallguy's Avatar
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    I spent all last summer messing with lights on my 2011 RT.. I tried all the halogen bulbs out there and I really liked the Sylvia's Ultra's the best, But they do not last very long. They are a pain to change when they do go out. So I switched to LED's I got from Amazon that were can-bus and Dot approved. Worked great and light output during the day was amazing.. You could see my bike coming from miles away with 2 big bright Led's in that headlight.. BUT, at night time I kept getting brighted from on-coming traffic and then I'd get the finger when I was stopped behind something in a car and small suv.. I had a person throw a coke at me the last time driving through a fast food place after pulling in behind them. LED's will also make street signs light up so brightly they also-most blind me.. This was with my headlight positioned all the way down also.. So the LED's had to go. (this was my personal experience with them)

    If you never ride at night, LED's would be great..

    I switched to a HID Can-bus system and they work great.. Light output is better than the halogens and it seems to travel down the road further. I only have a short time with them, but I fell they will work the best. I went with the 35W, 5000K system. They offer a 55W but I didn't want to strain my wiring.

    I hope this info helps. I have a good set of LED's in the box if you are close and want to try them out.

  8. #8
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fallguy View Post
    BUT, at night time I kept getting brighted from on-coming traffic and then I'd get the finger when I was stopped behind something in a car and small suv...

    ...So the LED's had to go. (this was my personal experience with them)

    I switched to a HID Can-bus system and they work great.. Light output is better than the halogens and it seems to travel down the road further. I only have a short time with them, but I fell they will work the best. I went with the 35W, 5000K system. They offer a 55W but I didn't want to strain my wiring.
    This is great info and kudos to you being considerate of others (excessively bright aftermarket lights on car/bikes is one of my pet peevs) and is one of the reasons I haven't yet installed aftermarket lights on my RT yet. Could you provide a link for the light you installed and some comments regarding installation?
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

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    I have HID in all my vehicles. Two bikes,05 & 13 RT's with no problems. Mini Van and Toyota also.
    I get them from ddmtuning.com, good stuff and low priced with a customer service that speaks English.

  10. #10
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    A lot of problems with aftermarket bulbs (HID or LED) come from improper aiming and incorrect bulb pattern.

    Improper aiming can be fixed with a tape measure and a blank wall.




    A lot of the newer LED bulbs will have a small piece of metal that shields part of the bulb, thus creating a better cut off and less scatter.

    0*kuOE-2kdvf0f9_gb.jpg
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  11. #11
    Registered User fallguy's Avatar
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    I got my HID's from www.xenonhids.com. I use them in my truck and my bike.

    A kinda agree that some of the issue with LED's are the way the emitters are positioned. They do not cast the light correctly in our housings. I tried everything with my LED's, turning them and even trying to shim them some. The HID's just simply put out a better light pattern that works for me. The HID works just like a halogen bulb with 360 deg of usable light. The housings in our bikes were made for this light output. Like I have said before the Sylvania ultra halogen bulbs worked great and I loved everything about them. If they would have lasted a full season I would have just bought a new set every winter and swapped them out. But they last a few months, and always go out when you really don't want them to.. yes, it's great having 2 low beams. It's still a pain to change in a hotel parking or at a gas station between rain storms.

    I'm sure LED will get better, But I was over worrying about blinding other drivers. I already ride as defensive as possible.. I don't like extra brake checks.

    HID only require you to find room for the ballast. The Can-bus ones I ordered came with a 3 x 3"ballast that I mounted in my headlight assy. So when I take it all off, all the wiring stays on the headlight unit. You also have to drill a 1" hole in the back lock caps for the wires and a rubber plug to go through. It took me maybe an hour to mount it all up. I've done it so many times I can remove the entire head light assy in 30 min or less.

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    Those who have installed HIDs what color temperature would you suggest? It seems like 5500K is close to daylight.

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  13. #13
    Registered User fallguy's Avatar
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    Color temp becomes tricky with HID's I have found out. From what I have learned so far is it seems bulbs are rated for color temp at max watts for the bulb.
    So a 5000K bulb will be white with a 55w ballast and a little blue with a 35w ballast. Both sets of HID's that I have bought are 35W ballast with 5000K temp bulbs. When I first put them in and turned them on I thought they sent me the wrong bulbs because they looked a bit blue. After about 30 seconds for the ballast to warm up they did turn less blueish, but still had a slight tint.. Driving you could see a slight hint of blue..(but still looked great)

    Sooo after about a week of driving 80-90% of the blue tint is gone when driving. (I guess bulbs burn in some) I contacted the company I bought the HID's from and they said this was normal. They use to sell a 4500K bulb and discontinued them because they really didn't sell because 95% of their customers buy a 55W ballast and the 5000K-6000K work best and show an almost perfect white.


    Just like everything else in life when you start switching things around you might have to experiment with it and the outcome might not be 100% what you expected or wanted. For me I like the HID's last longer than the halogen. Another plus is they are a slight bit brighter. The LED's have the best white light there is and that's what I wanted with HID's.. but to get that I will have to do some fancy wiring on my bike to accommodate the heavy duty wire harness you really need for the 55W ballast unless you want to melt your headlight harness.

    If the headlight bulbs only took a few minutes to change and didn't require a blood sacrifice I would be using Sylvania Ultra's halogens. For now my HID's are staying until a new better LED is made that isn't so blinding to other drivers.

  14. #14
    Registered User rockfordhayes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrzoom View Post
    I have HID in all my vehicles. Two bikes,05 & 13 RT's with no problems. Mini Van and Toyota also.
    I get them from ddmtuning.com, good stuff and low priced with a customer service that speaks English.
    MrZoom - Could you specify exactly which HID Kit you purchased from ddmtuning.com, for your 2013 R1200RT?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockfordhayes View Post
    MrZoom - Could you specify exactly which HID Kit you purchased from ddmtuning.com, for your 2013 R1200RT?
    DDM Plus HID Kit, 35w, H7, 5500K ids the kit I used. A little old fashioned but so am I. Ballasts get smaller and are easy to hid in the dash.
    Once in while on start up I get a bulb out light on the dash. Just turn off and restart takes care of it. No can bus adapter needed.

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