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Thread: 2019 R1250RT H7 Low beam bulb change

  1. #1

    2019 R1250RT H7 Low beam bulb change

    OMG! What a P.I.T.A.

    This can't be that bad. I have a little seat, I'm in my garage with all my tools. 10 mins tops! Having ridden once at night, the low beam headlight didn't wow me, so I thought I would give these Voltage Automotive H7 Headlight Bulb Polarize White Replacement bulbs from Amazon a try.

    One hour later, the joke's on me. How on earth are you supposed to fit your hand in there? I had to rotate the bracket holding the horn in place by loosening the Torx 30 bolt at the top of the bracket, then I had enough room to work.

    Sitting in front of the bike, in my garage with access to all my tools, it still took over an hour to change the H7 bulb. How you change this on the side of the road is just beyond me.

    If these halogen bulbs don't give me enough joy, I may have to go LED (and that would be a headlight out job) or maybe add another pair of bright auxillary LED spot lights , just in case the H7 blows while i'm out?!

    Rant over!

    Kevin.

  2. #2
    Changing headlight bulbs in BMW motorcycles has always been a pain in the arse. When I got my former 2005 R1200RT, that level of pain increased dramatically. Literally. My wife freaked after one bout of bulb changing because of the screams, bangs, flying tools and bloody hands. I have not had to attempt it on my R1250RT. If a bulb goes out I may just get a new bike instead. Fortunately my RT came with the LED aux lights, so If I loose the low bean I'll be ok.
    Scott Taranovich
    McKinney, Texas
    2019 R1250RT

  3. #3
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    I managed to get 15,000 miles before I had to change mine out. One important tip is to unplug the harness from the bulb before undoing the retaining clips (it even says so in the rider's manual-read first, then......). I managed to get the clips unfastened and could not get the bulb to clear the housing while still plugged in. I had to put the clips back in (great practice for installing new bulb) in order to pull the harness connector off. I still could not get it unplugged. Another problem was that only one side of my retaining clips would catch, still making it difficult to unplug the bulb (nothing to hold the bulb in place while tugging on the harness connector.) It turns out that the hook for the right side was bent and I could not get the wire clip to catch. What? No wonder why it was hard to remove. I did not use anything but the sore tips of my fingers. Must have been bent from the factory, I guess.

    This all happened during a gathering when I tried to change it out in the hotel parking lot. I have the OEM auxiliary lights and Clearwater Darlas mounted on the forks, so conspicuity was not an issue, but night time riding would have been tricky, if I tried. I ended up riding in to a dealer (thanks https://alcoagoodtimes.com/) where the tech had a hard time too. He said one of hooks for the wire clip was bent and the only way to straighten it was to take the whole assembly out and repair it on the bench. He also stated to be careful not to break it off, which means a new light assembly. I may attempt to fix it later on, but as some of you may know, it requires a lot of tupperware removal. I need to get real organized for that.

    After reading numerous posts about how aggravating it can be to replace the H7 bulb on an RT, especially from the front sitting down, I have discovered that I can also reach the bulb from the top on either side of the forks, while standing. It is a little tricky, but it is a lot easier knowing what to look for.
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  4. #4
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    One important tip is to unplug the harness from the bulb before undoing the retaining clips

    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  5. #5
    Itís an art form Stevie Wonder would be great at. You just have to become one with force, and you too can get it done in 10 minutes. Seriously, I really have to center myself before I change that H7.
    R. Reece Mullins Ebony R1200RT (Gretchen)
    MOA # 143779
    MOA Charter Club #5 #364 #100
    BMW MOA Vice President

  6. #6
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taran1900 View Post
    Changing headlight bulbs in BMW motorcycles has always been a pain in the arse. .
    Depends on the model. The only BMW we had that was a little tricky was the K1200RS.
    The best one was the K1300S.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Depends on the model. The only BMW we had that was a little tricky was the K1200RS.
    The best one was the K1300S.
    On my R100RS I had to first remove the fairing glass holder ... loosen 4 screws.

    Then loosen the screw holding the chrome ring to the bucket.

    Replace bulb and then reverse the disassembly.

    Not really tricky, but a lot of screwing.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  8. #8
    My favorite was my R1150R. One screw clamp and the whole reflector/lens/trim assembly came out. Then unplug the wiring connector. With the assembly on the work bench undo the little clip. Remove bulb. Insert bulb. Fasten clip. Connect wiring. Insert in bucket. Tighten clamp screw. Literally a 2 minute job.
    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/

  9. #9
    Registered User brorke's Avatar
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    Just had to replace the low beam H7 on my 2019. after 8300 miles. Yeah, that was a PITA...especially getting that right side (when facing headlight) clip back on. Also have a 2009 GSA so I was familiar with doing it so that helped. But on the GS you can see what your doing.

    Now looking at that Phillips "Lifetime" H7 bulbs and/or LED options.
    Bill Rorke #200394
    Boiling Springs, SC
    2019 R1250 RT
    2009 R1200 GSA

  10. #10
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    I stuck my phone in there and took a (flash) picture so I could visualize what my fingers were doing, because I sure a S*%# couldn't see anything when my hand was in the way. When the first one burned out at 10,000 miles, I got a 2-pack and spent a half hour changing it. I carried the other as a spare, and when the 2nd one went I was at a BMW dealer so bought an OEM spare, which went with the bike when I sold it. Now I have a GSA with LEDs - problem solved!

    FWIW I got regular bulbs, not the high-brightness ones because it was so painful to replace them and I generally don't ride at night. I wasn't willing to trade off extra brightness for a shorter lifespan (and consequent more frequent bulb changes).
    2020 R1250 GSA Low

  11. #11
    Registered User brorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrownell9 View Post
    I stuck my phone in there and took a (flash) picture so I could visualize what my fingers were doing, because I sure a S*%# couldn't see anything when my hand was in the way. When the first one burned out at 10,000 miles, I got a 2-pack and spent a half hour changing it. I carried the other as a spare, and when the 2nd one went I was at a BMW dealer so bought an OEM spare, which went with the bike when I sold it. Now I have a GSA with LEDs - problem solved!

    FWIW I got regular bulbs, not the high-brightness ones because it was so painful to replace them and I generally don't ride at night. I wasn't willing to trade off extra brightness for a shorter lifespan (and consequent more frequent bulb changes).
    I agree.....The high brightness bulbs burn out fast. Ive owned my 2009 GSA for 6 years and that bike eats H7's. Best so far are the Narva LL bulbs. Just ordered a few Osram "Ultra Life" to try next. Read good reviews on them.
    Bill Rorke #200394
    Boiling Springs, SC
    2019 R1250 RT
    2009 R1200 GSA

  12. #12
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by hive1969 View Post

    If these halogen bulbs don't give me enough joy, I may have to go LED (and that would be a headlight out job) or maybe add another pair of bright auxillary LED spot lights , just in case the H7 blows while i'm out?!

    Rant over!

    Kevin.
    Once you full grasp what's happening w/ how to get the stubborn 2nd clip secured, it's really pretty easy and won't take more than 10 minutes. Of note, when your low beam dies one of your high beams will come on to buy you some time until you can get to a place to change the low beam. Here's what's happening w/ the clip arrangement, which presumably is the same on your 1250 as my '16 1200RT:

    Screen-Shot-2017-12-07-at-8-43-37-PM.jpg

    I learned what appeared to be an internet rumor that if you let the bike's electronics FULLY initialize before hitting the starter button, this will go a long ways towards promoting longevity in the H7 low beam bulb. I've followed this and have yet to have one OEM H7 burn out now at 45K miles in my 2016 RT. I did remove the original good one at 14K miles prior to taking a trip so that I would have an opportunity to learn how to do this in my garage figuring it must be about ready to blow and installed an expensive allegedly brighter PIAA H7, which died in 4K miles. At that point I installed a new Long Life BMW H7 I bought at the BMW bike shop near me, and it's still going strong now at 45K miles so has 27K miles and 3 years of use on it. Here's a post that corroborates the idea of letting the electronics fully initialize before starting:

    https://www.bmwlt.com/threads/lookin...8/post-1957173

    I keep a thin cabretta leather golf glove in the tool kit just in case I need to change a bulb on the road--it helps when grappling w/ the 2nd retention clip and is thin enough where I can still get my hand up in there from in front of the bike. Some people use a notched dowel as the rest of the above linked thread mentions.

  13. #13
    The next time somebody posts about BMW's superior German engineering please just refer them to this thread.
    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/

  14. #14
    Registered User brorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncpbmw1953 View Post
    Once you full grasp what's happening w/ how to get the stubborn 2nd clip secured, it's really pretty easy and won't take more than 10 minutes. Of note, when your low beam dies one of your high beams will come on to buy you some time until you can get to a place to change the low beam. Here's what's happening w/ the clip arrangement, which presumably is the same on your 1250 as my '16 1200RT:

    Screen-Shot-2017-12-07-at-8-43-37-PM.jpg

    I learned what appeared to be an internet rumor that if you let the bike's electronics FULLY initialize before hitting the starter button, this will go a long ways towards promoting longevity in the H7 low beam bulb. I've followed this and have yet to have one OEM H7 burn out now at 45K miles in my 2016 RT. I did remove the original good one at 14K miles prior to taking a trip so that I would have an opportunity to learn how to do this in my garage figuring it must be about ready to blow and installed an expensive allegedly brighter PIAA H7, which died in 4K miles. At that point I installed a new Long Life BMW H7 I bought at the BMW bike shop near me, and it's still going strong now at 45K miles so has 27K miles and 3 years of use on it. Here's a post that corroborates the idea of letting the electronics fully initialize before starting:

    https://www.bmwlt.com/threads/lookin...8/post-1957173

    I keep a thin cabretta leather golf glove in the tool kit just in case I need to change a bulb on the road--it helps when grappling w/ the 2nd retention clip and is thin enough where I can still get my hand up in there from in front of the bike. Some people use a notched dowel as the rest of the above linked thread mentions.
    Thanks for the pic. I've let my 1250 RT fully cycle (before starting) from day one. My bulb just blew at 8300 miles. It was a Phillips 12972 in my bike. That's their standard/cheap H7. I never had great luck with Phillips in my GS either (also let it fully cycle before starting). Even their LL bulbs blew in 8-9K miles. Hoping for better luck with the H7LL bulb from Candlepower. The guy there said its comparable to Narva LL, which are tough to get here now. I don't mind changing them out. Its gets easier every time. Just wish they lasted at least a little longer.
    Bill Rorke #200394
    Boiling Springs, SC
    2019 R1250 RT
    2009 R1200 GSA

  15. #15

    H7 Bulb Change on R1200RT

    I had to change my bulb at 13,500 miles. I read on one of the forums (it could have been here) a suggestion to get a long wooden dowel (Home Depot/Lowes). Mine is 3/8" diam. and I cut it 18" long with a notch on one end. After removing the plastic housing cover and socket while sitting in front of the bike, I then EASILY removed (and after putting the new bulb in place) replaced the wire clips using the wooden dowel in the space between the forks and the fairing while standing on the left side of the bike. The whole job (less the acquisition of the dowel) took +/- 10 minutes. I'm sure someone younger (I'm 81) and in better physical condition (I have "non-specific hand tremors" -- my hands shake terribly!) could do it all easier and faster.

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