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Thread: 1996 R1100RT Headlight Bulb Replacement Procedure

  1. #1

    1996 R1100RT Headlight Bulb Replacement Procedure

    My 1996 R1100RT needs a headlight bulb replacement. Due to the limited access, I cannot see how the bulb is held within the headlight.
    I need the procedure to remove and/or replace the bulb. Is this accomplished by: pulling the bulb out; rotating the bulb (and if so, the direction of rotation as if viewed from the rear and the degree of rotation), or is it retained by clips or springs.
    Thank you for assistance.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by j_lowder View Post
    My 1996 R1100RT needs a headlight bulb replacement. Due to the limited access, I cannot see how the bulb is held within the headlight.
    I need the procedure to remove and/or replace the bulb. Is this accomplished by: pulling the bulb out; rotating the bulb (and if so, the direction of rotation as if viewed from the rear and the degree of rotation), or is it retained by clips or springs.
    Thank you for assistance.
    This is a bit hard to describe, but ...

    The bulb is held in place by a spring clip. One side of the clip is hinged, and the other side has two separate ends to the clip. Those two ends need to be pushed slightly forward, then together. They unhook from the little hooks on the housing and the whole clip hinges rearward. This releases the bulb which can be withdrawn straight back.

    All of this, of course, after you have disconnected the plug, and then removed the round rubber cover.
    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/

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Check out your owners manual. Turning the wheel to the right will give you more access room to the bulb. Sitting on the left hand side of the bike on the ground you can get your right hand into the work area easier. JON

  4. #4
    Thanks both.
    I'll try the replacement tomorrow.

  5. #5
    redrider1100
    Guest
    It took me a few tries to get this right and I was baffled at first as well.
    Don't force anything -- once you get the feel for what needs to be done it is fairly easy to do and the bulb comes right out. The hardest thing is trying to figure it all out without being able to actually see what your fingers need to do.

  6. #6
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    Is the bulb one of those Halon types. If so don't touch it. The oils from your fingers tend to shorten bulb life some how. Could be urban myth, but it's my SOP for halon bulb changes.
    Jay

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by j_lowder View Post
    Thanks both.
    I'll try the replacement tomorrow.
    Let us know how it goes.
    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/

  8. #8

    I know this is old, but for new readers, this is no urban myth

    Quote Originally Posted by beeryboats View Post
    Is the bulb one of those Halon types. If so don't touch it. The oils from your fingers tend to shorten bulb life some how. Could be urban myth, but it's my SOP for halon bulb changes.
    Jay
    Most light bulbs, not inclusive of the LED's, create light by creating heat, and mostly heat. This was basically the entire theory behind incandescent lighting. Most of the energy consumed by a bulb is in the creation of heat, not light. So, the world kept creating more and more types of light bulbs Halogen, HID, etc.; these bulbs were designed to create, and to accept more and more heat. In the case of some, like Halogen, adding even the slightest amount of oil, say from your skin, create hot-spots, and yes, the bulbs will fail there, break and often shatter; I have seen some simply explode.
    But hey, what do I know, I am just a college science teacher, teaching mass spectrometry this week using HIDs at 5,000 volts, filled with some really cool gasses. If someone inserts a bulb with their bare hands, (they are about 18" long, and quite delicate) with their bare hands, they explode; and it happens no matter how many times I tell them not to.

  9. #9
    Registered User lowndes's Avatar
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    J_lowder,

    This is the headlight fixture on my 99 R1100Rt. I recently converted to an LED and it is BRIGHT. On a bright sunny day I can see my headlight modulator in road signs, bumpers, and eyeballs in cages.

    This is the rear of the bulb holder with the black LED adapter installed for contrast:


    This is the open spring-clip that Paul Glaves refers to. The two loops squeeze together to install or uninstall:


    This is the LED in the boot:

  10. #10
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowndes View Post
    J_lowder,

    This is the headlight fixture on my 99 R1100Rt. I recently converted to an LED and it is BRIGHT. On a bright sunny day I can see my headlight modulator in road signs, bumpers, and eyeballs in cages.

    This is the rear of the bulb holder with the black LED adapter installed for contrast:


    This is the open spring-clip that Paul Glaves refers to. The two loops squeeze together to install or uninstall:


    This is the LED in the boot:
    What all is involved in making the switch to an LED headlamp?
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  11. #11
    Registered User lowndes's Avatar
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    Hey, j_lowder,

    FIRST - you gotta decide which LED you want. Lets say you're thinking about a headlight bulb. Find out what type bulb you need (H4, H11, 9005, etc). Go to a LED website like https://www.superbrightleds.com/, enter your bike's make year model and it will tell you. Then pick the bulb. You can usually pick one of several in your type, choices being lumens (brightness) and kelvins (color). Do some reading about these.

    IF your bike is newer and has a CANbus system (you need to find out), you'll need CANbus compatible bulbs.

    Check prices on the net once you have and idea what type you need and the LUM and KEL. Some bubs come as kits for cars with two bulbs. Most of these will advertise the COMBINED LUM, i.e. "8,000 lumens!!" - that's 4,000 lumens EACH bulb, but you do get two, one stand-by.

    SECOND - You'll need to INSTALL it. The LED "bulbs" usually have a fan or a "heat sink" of some kind on the back side. You need clearance for this. There is usually a "pigtail" wire connector on the LED with a recepticle on the end matching the plug on your OEM bulb. Just remove and replace the old bulb with the LED, and plug in the wire.

    On both my BMW's, (R1100RT and R1100S) there are soft rubber covers on the rear of the headlight housing. On the S, the HI beam bulb had plenty of clearance with the cover, the LO beam did not.

    On the S, the far bulb is the LED fan you see. Covers are off. The near bulb is the OEM. I have not decided what to do with it yet.

    On the RT, the dual HI/LO beam bulbwas a little different. I had to remove the center part of the soft cover to install the LED and fan THRU it.

  12. #12
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Halogen bulbs arrived in the 1970s (if not a little before) and almost all German vehicles with them have used the spring clip method for securing the bulb in the headlight unit.

    In I think EVERY case, the spring clip is NOT a separately sold item and the design does not anticipate you breaking it off ... so don't. Move the ends of the wires sideways to detach them ... then rotate away from the bulb. Detach the wiring first.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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