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Thread: 1984 R80RT Flip out lights

  1. #1
    BCPUB
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    1984 R80RT Flip out lights

    My recently acquired R80RT has, in lew of fairing air vents, a set of flip out driving lights. There is a panel mounted 3 way switch to control the lights. The problem is the switch does not appear to work correctly. Move the switch to the up position and the right light comes on. Move the switch to the bottom the right light goes off. Spring loaded to a neutral position. The Left light is really odd. Turn the main light to hi beam and the left light comes on. Retract the left light while its on and it goes off...never do both lights come on together no matter what position the switch is in.

    Has anyone ever seen these lights on an R80/100RT before?
    If so, how are supposed to function?

    These are factory installed lights.

    Thanks
    Mike Fleming
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  2. #2
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    Mike you are blessed .Those bikes have the cutout option in the fairing,but very few actually have the lights,and fewer yet have lights that work.
    You have a rare special animal there.Like a unicorn.Don't try to make sense of it.

    just be with it.Breathe in.Breathe out.

    Ahhhh!!!

    I just sold my 84 R100RT.My friend Don had an 86 with a very special green paint job.It was destroyed by bad railway tracks outside Charleston. It had the lights...special indeed.

  3. #3
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I have had BMW driving lights on 2 airheads.
    Different bikes have different switches but they all work the same.
    You turn the extra low beam on and the light on the right goes on.
    When you go to high beam the right light goes out and the extra high beam on the left comes on.

  4. #4
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    Blessed are we who have the knowledge.
    Thank you for passing it on.
    It always seemed a marvel to me,those lights and switches.

  5. #5
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    One's a fog light, the other is a driving light.

    If you look, you'll see they have different beam patterns.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    They're working as they should.

    It makes absolutely no sense to run a fog light and a driving light simultaneously.

    In addition, it makes absolutely no sense to have a driving light and not have it illuminate every time your high beam does.

    And, frankly the Airhead charging system can't handle three "head" lights simultaneously.

    Oh, also it's not necessary to call these "1984 R80RT driving lights."

    There is one and only one kit, and it fits every Airhead RT ever made. There could be some wiring differences between the '79-'84 group and the '85-'95 group, but there is no fairing physical difference. Really they're just Airhead RT lights!
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #7
    On the Road
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    Thumbs up

    An older friend of mine years ago used to buy his Beemers from a dealer in Germany and bring them over here. In fact, Irv probably had the first privately owned K-bike in the U.S. and rode it to the '84 Missoula National where BMWNA was giving escorted trial rides on the new watercoolers soon to be introduced to the American buyer!

    Anyway so his 81-84 (I don't remember which) R100RT had those lights so I'd always assumed they were a Euro option since I'd never seen them before or since on an RT. I think they're a great idea and much more useful than the replaced vents, IMO. Like the others have mentioned, the separate operation of the lights is a good idea considering the limited charging capacity of the airheads and the probably increased electrical loads imposed by most RT riders.

    Differences between driving and fog lights are basically in the design of the lens and/or reflector. Diffusion of the light beam differs between the two. I have always thought that foglights were better mounted low on the vehicle (from what I'd learned) but apparently there is different thought now. Your foglight is high as is the set in my daughter's Audi A4Q which are integrated within the headlight array.

    In any case you have a nice rig and your lights make it even more unique!

  8. #8
    BCPUB
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    When I bought this bike this spring, I was pretty sure it was unique. Due to everyone‘«÷s reply‘«÷s, I'm sure of it now.

    Last night I explored the differences in the two lights...they are, as many of you described, left one supplements the high beam and the right one acts like a fog light.

    Since these lights are so rare, I've added a few more photos. As some have pointed out, the photo of the lights in the open position shows the difference in the two lens.

    Thanks for all the good advice.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    BCPUB
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    The second photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    BCPUB
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    The photo of the controls shows the two levers that open and close the lights, the electrical switch & as you can see, the louvers have been blanked off.
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  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by flash412
    Please educate me. I really don't know the difference between driving lights and fog lights. I thought it was all in the placement. And since they're both up high... wtf is the difference?
    Beam spread. The driving light will send a long beam on down the road in a narrow spread. The fog light will be aimed lower and will send out a broad fan of light. The fog light needs to be aimed lower so it doesn't reflect back in your eyes. Ideally, a fog light would be within a foot or so of the ground so it can shine under the fog.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    Rally Rat JetDoc's Avatar
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    Originally posted by flash412
    Snip> (And remember, you can't spell "Education" without DUCATI.)
    Hey! I never noticed that, but he's right! Score one for the Flash.

  13. #13
    dlearl476
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    Originally posted by flash412
    Like I said, it's all about placement. A fog light up high is nothing more than a flood light. The bike has one flood light and one spot light. Lumens is lumens.

    But thank you for trying to edjimuhcate me. I appreciate your effort.

    (And remember, you can't spell "Education" without DUCATI.)
    Actually, I think it's a little more complicated than just placement. As you can see in BCPUB's first photo, the lens on the two lights are completely different. The "fog" light is made to disperse the light into the fog so less reflects back and shuts your iris's and limits your ability to see in the fog. The "driving" light is made to focus at a distance.

    But Flash is right in one aspect, when it comes to visibility to others, lumens is lumens.

  14. #14
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dlearl
    Actually, I think it's a little more complicated than just placement. As you can see in BCPUB's first photo, the lens on the two lights are completely different. The "fog" light is made to disperse the light into the fog so less reflects back and shuts your iris's and limits your ability to see in the fog. The "driving" light is made to focus at a distance. But Flash is right in one aspect, when it comes to visibility to others, lumens is lumens.
    MOST of the time (unless you live in the Bay Area) there is no fog. Let's forget riding in actual fog for a minute. That makes the reduced fog-reflection of photons shot out of a street-level placed dispersion lens a moot point. This leaves us with two auxillary headlights, mounted higher than they should be to be foglights anyway. One is a broad beam floodlight that lights the road just in front of the bike and, I would assume, off to the sides. The other is a spotlight, shooting way down the road.

    I can see how if you're on the interstate, or anywhere in the midwest, the spotlight is the nibs and the floodlight is teats on a boar hog. But if you're anywhere with twisties in the road, the spotlight won't do you much good anytime you're leaned over, showing you where you'll go off into the woods if you don't make the next curve. The floodlight will better illuminate the chuckholes and whatnot you're coming up on in the next twenty to fifty yards at some lean angle. Seems to me that running them BOTH is important in the twisties. Seems to me that running the pencil beam works on the vanishing point roads. Seems to me that the "fog light" will be ineffective as a fog light because it it placed too high.

    Anybody wanna splen me why my thinking is messed up here?

    And of course, if it is daylight, flashing every light you have when you beep your horn might snap that looming, cell phone yakking, latte drinking, land yacht piloting, backseat kid-slapping, soccer mom out of her coma. (But you're well advised to take evasive action, too.)
    Click here for Tales of Motorcycles and Life
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  15. #15
    dlearl476
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    Originally posted by flash412

    Anybody wanna splen me why my thinking is messed up here?
    Can't expain "why", but I'm pretty sure it happened sometime in the late 60's early 70s.

    IMHO, it goes back to the old "In theory, theory and practice are the same...."

    What you say is true, especially the "running both lights in the twisties" bit. BUT, unless you're running super high tech mega- buck micro-dot photon blasters like PIAA and HELLA make for endurance racing, there is A LOT of spill off the sides of driving lights. WAY MORE than any pair of fog lights, even expensive ones put out past about 50 feet. (which says NOTHING about the $19.95 lights CheckerZoneBoys sell)
    Then again, if you're looking for somewhere by the side of the road to take a "break" or interested in the stuff you just PASSED, fog lights are the way to go.

    I can't speak for these R bike lights, I've never used them. But the OEM foggers that came on my car were completely useless (even in fog!) so I replaced them with good fog lights which are only "mostly useless"*. And as you point out, not much need for fog lights out here in the desert. I'm gonna chuck 'em in favor of a good pair of driving lights.

    *To be fair, they do illuminate the center line and the white stripe on the side of the road to a distance of about 40 feet. Which is great if you're travelling 30 mph>.

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