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Thread: Brighter headlamp/generator output?

  1. #1
    @ the Big Muddy & I-80 bluestune's Avatar
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    Brighter headlamp/generator output?

    I'm thinking of replacing the headlamp in my 1976 R90/6 with a PIAA Plasma bulb, has anyone used these? Also, will the generator on the R90/6 support the larger lamp and do I need to worry about extra heat in the headlight housing? Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    James.A
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    I don't remember if it was a plasma element, but I had a very expensive PIAA headlight fail in my /5 after 3 months. High and low went out within moments of each other on a pre-dawn commute to work. Very bad. For the price, I will not risk an event like that again. Also, there is a school of thought that says to use a /5 holder made of bakelite in place of the original /6 plastic bulb holder because of the higher temperatures generated by high intensity elements.
    Last edited by woodnsteel; 04-20-2005 at 06:10 PM. Reason: content

  3. #3
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    I'm cringing at the thought of trying to put any higher wattage lights on a vintage airhead. First, there's the marginal alternator. Then there's the loose connections in the circuit board inside the headlight shell, and corroded old wiring in brittle insulation. Let's not even think about the antique main switch.

    So, my advice is to keep the headlight stock. Ride in the daytime.

    Or, spring for an Omega alternator kit with finned diode board and high output regulator. Then, add some extra "hot battery" circuits, fused of course, to relays under the tank. Add some external driving lights powered through the relays. The 400W alternator will provide the necessary juice, the new hot bat wires will power the new lights without melting down, and you can add whatever aux lights you want, without changing anything inside the headlight bucket.

    To make any accessories active only with the key on, power the relay coil (from the starter protection relay OK) and use a switch from the other side of the relay coil to ground. Turning on the switch grounds the relay, closes the contact. With the ignition off, there is no current to power the relay coil.

    pmdave

  4. #4
    I recently read that the piaa plasma is only a 55/60 watt bulb but its output is more like a 100/110 and at a higher kelvin rating 5200 if memory serves me . The kelvin has to do with the "temperature" the sun being 5600 or there abouts. You get a brighter more daylight effect. They claim that they have made it more vibration resistant. My piaa has three years riding time on it and still going strong.

  5. #5
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestune
    I'm thinking of replacing the headlamp in my 1976 R90/6 with a PIAA Plasma bulb, has anyone used these? Also, will the generator on the R90/6 support the larger lamp and do I need to worry about extra heat in the headlight housing? Thanks for any input!
    Go H.I.D. LOTS more lumens at fewer watts (for lot$ of dough).
    Click here for Tales of Motorcycles and Life
    - BMW MOA Lifetime Member #18854

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    You might also want to check with Jim Davis. He makes a harness that uses the existing wiring for operating a relay. The relay controls a direct feed from the battery for headlight power. User report that the headlight is quite a bit brighter.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcollect
    I recently read that the piaa plasma is only a 55/60 watt bulb but its output is more like a 100/110 and at a higher kelvin rating 5200 if memory serves me . The kelvin has to do with the "temperature" the sun being 5600 or there abouts. You get a brighter more daylight effect. They claim that they have made it more vibration resistant. My piaa has three years riding time on it and still going strong.

    http://danielsternlighting.com/tech/...uperwhite.html
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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