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Thread: 2013 R1200RT headlight bulb change....

  1. #1
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    2013 R1200RT headlight bulb change....

    on this morning's commute i lost a low beam headlight and need advice on changing....

    is it possible to change the low and high beam bulbs WITHOUT much hassle?.....owner's manual indicates it being pretty simple but looking for real world experiences...

    thanks in advance,

    wyman
    ~wyman~

    2015 BMW S1000R - Duke - Black Storm Metallic
    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyman.winn View Post
    on this morning's commute i lost a low beam headlight and need advice on changing....

    is it possible to change the low and high beam bulbs WITHOUT much hassle?.....owner's manual indicates it being pretty simple but looking for real world experiences...

    thanks in advance,

    wyman
    Wyman - changing headlight bulbs in the RT is an unmitigated pain in the ass foisted upon RT owners by the Spawn of Satan. There is a steep learning curve. Most people (me included) approach from the front and feel the way around behind the instrument panel. It will help if you unscrew the covers and then take a good look around to see what you're dealing with, flashlight necessary. Approaching from the front enables you to see clearly when you have the bulb properly centered in the socket.

    I've found over the years that when one low beam bulb goes, the second is close behind. So I change both at the same time. I rarely use the high beam so I have not had to change it yet.

    Be sure you don't touch the surface of the new bulb with your fingers, it transfers oil which will create a hot spot that will cause premature failure.

    Good luck.

    JayJay
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    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  3. #3
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    Wyman - changing headlight bulbs in the RT is an unmitigated pain in the ass foisted upon RT owners by the Spawn of Satan. There is a steep learning curve. Most people (me included) approach from the front and feel the way around behind the instrument panel. It will help if you unscrew the covers and then take a good look around to see what you're dealing with, flashlight necessary. Approaching from the front enables you to see clearly when you have the bulb properly centered in the socket.

    I've found over the years that when one low beam bulb goes, the second is close behind. So I change both at the same time. I rarely use the high beam so I have not had to change it yet.

    Be sure you don't touch the surface of the new bulb with your fingers, it transfers oil which will create a hot spot that will cause premature failure.

    Good luck.

    JayJay
    i cannot agree more.....one of my office mates is another MC friendly sort and between the two of us....my hands, his eyes...i think we can get it done....

    gonna change all three while in there.....Philips H7 X-treme

    thanks JayJay....

    wyman
    ~wyman~

    2015 BMW S1000R - Duke - Black Storm Metallic
    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

  4. #4
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    OK, what friggen engineering drop out designed the 2013 RT headlights.....!!!!

    just did a dry run on changing the good high beam bulb to the burned out right side low beam.....what a giant PITA!!!!

    the left side and center high beam bulbs are fairly easy to replace as long has you have another set of eyes to guide you along, BUT the right side is difficult because of fairing supports.....geeze....without another pair of eyes, i believe it would be near impossible, at least with my hands.....

    the dry run was good experience though....it will help with installing the new bulbs when they arrive... i need smaller hands or my Beautiful Pillion to help....

    wyman
    ~wyman~

    2015 BMW S1000R - Duke - Black Storm Metallic
    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

  5. #5
    I don't know about the 2013 model, but the 2009 is probably as bad.

    According to my mechanics, if you have done it a few times, you can sneak your hand into the recess by coming up from above the front tire, unsnap the wire retainer and remove the bulb, then replace it without having to actually see anything....as if by Braille and you have Muchkin hands.

    I can do it only if I first move the instrument panel surround which allows better access and view of the recess. Even then, it's easy to damage the flimsy plastic bulb socket. Don't ask me how I know.

    "Spawn of Satan"...that's exactly what came to my mind the first time I tried without removing the instrument panel surround.

    What idiot designed this?

  6. #6
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    I changed the left last weekend and my hands look like I got in a fight with a bobcat. Almost immediately after changing the right bulb, the left blew out. Do them both at the same time and save some aggravation.
    My Motorrad
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  7. #7
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponch1 View Post
    I changed the left last weekend and my hands look like I got in a fight with a bobcat. Almost immediately after changing the right bulb, the left blew out. Do them both at the same time and save some aggravation.
    gonna do all three Ponch1 when the new bulbs arrive....i just switched the high beam with the blown bulb as a temporary fix....

    wyman
    ~wyman~

    2015 BMW S1000R - Duke - Black Storm Metallic
    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

  8. #8
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    Changing bulbs

    Hi Guy's I have an 09 RT prior 05 RT .I,have changed bulb's lost lot's of skin and blood. Finally got smart and removed the assembly not really a hard job. When installing new bulbs takes the guess work out of did I touch the bulb is it in straight ect.Takes about an hour to R&R .There is a post on the forum regarding removal. I do this as PM and replace all three bulb's every time I head out on a long ride.

  9. #9
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05biggray View Post
    {snip}...Finally got smart and removed the assembly not really a hard job. When installing new bulbs takes the guess work out...{snip}
    +1!

    On my 09 RT, the IP can be removed without taking-off any other tupperware. The upper part of the side fairings just need to have their bolts removed at the IP and their trailing edges by the seat. Mirrors need to come off to remove IP side bolts and the top IP bolts need to be removed.

    I take the opportunity to spray and wipe-down the plastic by the bulbs with Aerospace 303. So far, no plastic degradation...
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I think the biggest problem with the right side bulb is that most of us are right-handed.

    I use a piece of clear plastic tube or hose slipped over the power/ground contacts of the bulb to press it into place prior to reconnecting the clip.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    BruceRT
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    I don't think it is difficult on my 2005 RT. I have replaced all of them and the only trick is to visualize how to squeeze and flip the wire clip that secures the bulb. Takes five minutes.

    Be careful wiggling out the old bulb from the two-prong plug. One crumbled in my hand and now I have to splice in a replacement.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  12. #12
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    headlight bulb change

    I got a wife with small hands,it works.but the right side is a lot harder than the left.

  13. #13
    Registered User waxrash's Avatar
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    Do not use the higher end bulbs like silver star, etc. I went thru so many bulbs until a mechanic told me to only use standard bulbs. He said if you don't believe it read the life expectancy on the package. Since switching back to a regular H7 I don't have to use my hinged forearm as much.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  14. #14
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    I changed my low beam bulbs once three years ago. PITA to say the least. To avoid ever having to do that job again I installed HID low beams.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  15. #15
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I think the biggest problem with the right side bulb is that most of us are right-handed.

    I use a piece of clear plastic tube or hose slipped over the power/ground contacts of the bulb to press it into place prior to reconnecting the clip.
    I was using my left hand and it took a beating.
    My Motorrad
    BMWMOA 162849 | BMWRA 41335 | VROC 8109-R | VBA 19

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