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Thread: How To Shut Off Headlight For Daytime Riding?

  1. #1
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    How To Shut Off Headlight For Daytime Riding?

    In order to conserve limited wattage to power heated gear, I wanna shut off the headlight during daytime riding, but leave the parking light on. I understand an on/off switch wired into the yellow wire will do it. But I've also read it's possible to simply wire the ignition switch for the motor to run in Park position. Is anyone familiar with the ignition switch trick? If so, please provide the details.

    Thanks,
    Joe H
    BMWMOA #24809

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    Isn't that technically illegal? I thought you were required to ride with a headlight on.
    2004 R1150R Rockster | 1981 R100 | 1980 R65 (sold)

  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Depends on the year of manufacture ('76 and prior? exempt), but yeah, Joe's 95 RT would require it. Maybe time to convert to a LED...?

    I once had a LEO actually pull a U-turn to pull me over, because he saw my headlight was off (it had died and I didn't realize it) but he saw the parking light and knew it was wrong. No ticket since I had a spare with me!

  4. #4
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Back when I rode a R50/5 and a R90/6 and did a lot of slow city riding with the headlight obviously on; usually in daytime, I could run the battery down and not be able to start the bike. My solution was to install halogen parking light bulb. In the day I could turn on only the halogen parking light bulb. It was bright enough to look like the headlight was on. Only once did a cop ask about it. He came around and looked; oh it’s on. You may want to get a new headlight. But, I didn’t get a ticket. U do what U gotta do.

  5. #5
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    Not Illegal In Kentucky

    I am blessed to live in Kentucky, which is the only state in the union that allows daytime riding without headlight. So legality is not an issue for me.

    Can anyone advise me on how to do the ignition wiring trick?

    Thanks Again,
    Joe H
    BMWMOA #24809

  6. #6
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    I spent some time in KY for the getaway. I had a great time.

    Inside my H4 housing is a tiny bulb for a Euro running light. That'd be a good way to have forward light if you crossed the state line.
    2004 R1150R Rockster | 1981 R100 | 1980 R65 (sold)

  7. #7
    Unregistered User dduelin's Avatar
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    I used heated jacket and gloves a lot during winter riding and never had problems with exceeding available wattage on my 1981 R100 with the 280 watt output system. Riding at slow speeds & low rpms in an urban environment might cause problems but I rarely operated the bike for very long like that. If I did face extended stop and go traffic I'd dial back the heat output some. Besides, the wind chill effect is reduced under 40 mph and the need for % of heat is less.

    Just for me I'd consider the wisdom of riding without some sort of conspicuity lighting up front even on mostly rural roads but I recognize it is solely your decision.

    Maybe consider installing small LED auxiliary lighting or use an LED H4 base bulb that use a fraction of the wattage required by standard halogen lighting?
    Dave

    GL1800
    R 1200 RT

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by R65_Steve View Post
    I spent some time in KY for the getaway. I had a great time.

    Inside my H4 housing is a tiny bulb for a Euro running light. That'd be a good way to have forward light if you crossed the state line.
    Or, just like at night, turn the headlight back on.

    If it were me I would simply put a switch in the high beam circuit. I would then run with high beam selected - but the light out because of the added switch. To get instant headlight for whatever reason switch to low beam. If in some other state turn the added switch to "On".
    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/

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Or, just like at night, turn the headlight back on.

    ".
    Well, I meant crossed the line "and forgot" but yeah, the oil switch would get you there too.
    2004 R1150R Rockster | 1981 R100 | 1980 R65 (sold)

  10. #10
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    Low Beam Cutout Switch Installed

    Today I installed a switch to turn the low beam off/on independently. I then rode the RT for about 100 miles and payed close attention to the volt meter. Looks like, on average, it now reads about .2V higher with the light off. I also have ordered a heat troller for the heated grips, which will replace the factory resistor used in LOW setting. In attempt to make do with the factory 240 watt system, that's about all I can think of. If all else fails, I will later install an Omega 600 watt system. But only after having tried all else.

    I may replace the factory heated grips, as they are very slow to reach HOT status, and I believe a lot of heat escapes between the ribs on the hand grips' surface. That will probably be the extent of winterizing the bike. Really, it's more like prepping for winter operation.
    BMWMOA #24809

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