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Thread: Brighter than OEM headlights? is that possible?

  1. #1

    Brighter than OEM headlights? is that possible?

    I am looking for a way to make the headlight brighter...know any?

    Has anyone done an HID Xenon headlight conversion?
    Last edited by Wethead; 12-06-2018 at 02:34 AM.
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    I am looking for a way to make the headlight brighter...know any?

    Has anyone done an HID Xenon headlight conversion?
    It is my carefully considered opinion that the best course of action is to leave the stock headlight alone and to add auxiliary lights to achieve what you want. There are many options and a thousand opinions as to which lights to install. Good ones are not cheap and cheap ones are seldom really good.
    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 pappy35's Avatar
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    I agree. It seems like I'm always looking for better (hence the reason I read this thread) but alway just come back to the conclusion that the OEM headlights are engineered for incandescent bulbs and that I should leave well enough alone. I don't want to blind oncoming drivers. I will install accessory lighting in the spring but I'm not fiddling with the headlights themselves.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    I put HIDs on my 1200gs, yes they were brighter, that being said I wouldnt do it again, for the following, I believe I was blinding oncoming traffic
    Clearwater makes some really nice lights that I have installed on a couple GSs for my money Id go in that direction

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    Clearwater makes some really nice lights that I have installed on a couple GSs for my money Id go in that direction

    Jim
    For the exact same reasoning as Paul Glaves above, I have Clearwater LED driving lights on my front forks. And oh BTW, I do not ride much at night so I opted for the YELLOW lenses and that gives me maximum conspicuity in daylight. Vehicles have quit turning in front of me.

    Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  6. #6
    wanderer
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    When the original head lights burn out I always put in a brighter version. The difference is noticeable These are still the H7 bulbs but with different gases/filiment to give more light. The down side these bulbs are not a physically robust (bump hardened) and burn out quicker. I just put Philips in my RS, the bulb life is project to be 450 hours. I have Silver stars in my cars.

    I also have Clearwater Darla's running lights (10% power) which go to 100% when I turn on Hi Beams. Great light! Hard on oncoming drivers.

    I looked aHID and several of the LED bulbs....always seemed to be cooling problems and thus mounting problems.... Also these bulbs do not match the H7 filament orientation and location so the factory reflectors produce unusual beam patterns, often the wasting any gain in light output.

    Soon all new bike will be LED any how

  7. #7
    Lights seems to be like drugs.... The more you have, the more you want, and my RT is running Denali D4 2.0's with OEM headlight globes (which now look dim)

    I did a very successful LED headlight globe upgrade om my Honda ST1300, but I tried several different types of gobes before I found one that interfaced properly with the shape of the reflector to give me more light down the road and a decent cut-off on low beam.

  8. #8
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    This was an issue on older twin 650-800's which may have been sped up using high output bulbs along with alleged sub par reflectors

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...adlight-issues

    That and as mentioned, the reflector and bulbs were designed with that particular combo and a lot of bulbs just do not reflect well in OEM housings. For those who say they don't care about blasting other drivers must not notice how annoying some newer cars are on approach to them, or their riding buddy behind them. I'm annoyed!

    I use what is available as the bulbs never fail at home. The Silverstars never lasted long on my 05RT.
    I have installed many and removed many aftermarket HID's for folks. Some last, some lose a ballast early. It's a pain to lose your main light and have no backup when traveling.

    We have additional lighting on bikes we may be riding after sunset, which we don't do much on purpose anymore...even an evening commute is sketchy around here. The stock headlight looks wimpy, but the aftermarkets take care of that. We have yellow running lights on full time on top of high beam relayed driving lights on several bikes and use as needed.

    Then there is this

    y8BB0.jpg
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and club tire changer

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  9. #9
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post

    Then there is this

    y8BB0.jpg

    Why do I feel there should be animal furs and bladed weapons in that picture?

    I think it does point out that properly aimed lighting that has been properly focused by a matched emitter and reflector is the best answer. Adding more lights willy-nilly will give no real improvement. Im not much a fan of modifying lights and agree with Paul that adding accessory lights is the best answer. Just not quite like pictured above...

    Best,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST 1984 R80 G/S PD 1993 R100GS 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C 2010 K1300GT
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post

    Then there is this

    y8BB0.jpg
    Reminds me of The Who Quadrophenia.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    I am looking for a way to make the headlight brighter...know any?

    Has anyone done an HID Xenon headlight conversion?
    Just out of curiosity, what problem are you trying to solve? If it's night riding best served by some real improved lighting w/ Clearwaters or what have you. If it's conspicuity your RT probably already has LED halos, a reasonably bright low beam, and if you wear a bright helmet and hi vis jacket all the better. Beyond that a little swerving to let others know you're coming thru, or high-beam flash w/ or w/o a horn toot et will work amply to keep someone from ignoring you. Now if you're inclined to exceed the speed limit greatly in urban traffic, where someone may mis-time their ingress into or across your path as they don't appreciate your high closing rate of speed then something like Clearwaters might help, but I wouldn't count on that either!

  12. #12
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    Now if you're inclined to exceed the speed limit greatly in urban traffic, where someone may mis-time their ingress into or across your path as they don't appreciate your high closing rate of speed then something like Clearwaters might help, but I wouldn't count on that either!

    My first rule of riding: don't ram and jam in town. It's never a good idea to exceed the speed limit in congested urban areas, since car drivers already tend to underestimate the speed of oncoming motorcycles.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  13. #13
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Very few reflectors and light housings are designed to handle an HID bulb for an aftermarket fit despite the propaganda..
    I did a HID conversion on my '06 R1150 GSA as that particular light did handle it very well. The Oilhead light was glass and the refraction of the light occurred at the glass rather then at the reflector making it a useful conversion. The new lights these days have plastic lenses and refraction and reflection both depend on the reflector and not with a combination of lens and reflector...
    I remember that on my bike the cutoff was identical the to the halogen bulb except the light was brighter and the throw was much further away.
    Again that was then and this is now. I'd get some aftermarket extra lights and go from there. I have Clearwaters in addition to the LED headlight my GSA has and just yesterday going home, I turned it all on as some dumbass wanted to cut me off. I'm sure her retinas are still burning...
    Clearwater or Denali, either way will give you the best lights you can get. Both work with the "wonder wheel" ,if you have that option on your bike, for full control.. YMMV

    I hope I made sense....
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, 17 R1200RT

  14. #14
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    I use Clearwater Ericas to increase my lighting in the dark and increase my visibility to other vehicles.

    Jeff Dean
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA -- http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    '17 R1200RT, '15 R1200RT, '67 R60/2, '69 R60US, '55 R67/3, '49 R24

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdean View Post
    I use Clearwater Ericas to increase my lighting in the dark and increase my visibility to other vehicles.
    Jeff,

    I'm thinking I will paint the OEM driving light with yellow stained glass stain. Comes in an aerosol rattle can. I have denali D-4's where you have erica's.

    I'm hoping to get the benefit from the yellow light during the day on the OEM lights and full benefit from the more powerful white D-4's at night to see down range.



    Note: The yellow stained glass paint is not my idea. Saw it in a post here some time ago. I've got the paint, the task has to bubble up in my to-do list......
    Retired with a Wife that Rides, Life is Good!

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