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K1200 Aftermarket Xenon Headlight Bulb Installation

  • Pull back on the right side of the panel now to see the connector, inside the red box. In the blue circle is a plastic wire tie that needs to be cut.

If you want to replace that wire tie, make sure you have one on hand.
I'll tell you how concerned I was about replacing that wire tie sometime.
I think that wire tie was installed as like step 2 or 3 in the BMW K1200GT Asssembly Manual in the motorcycle assembly plant.

  • Cut that wire tie using a wire cutter, being careful of course to not actually cut a wire with the wire cutter:scratch.

  • The connector can then be disconnected. Pull it out of the gray metal bracket and a small tab on the side is then pressed in while the connector is disconnected.


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And just a picture, with the windshield motor removed, of the area the electrical connector was in.

I don' think I need to show a picture of the windshield motor being removed. After all that work it is sort of anti-climactic.
Just help the connector through the hole, which you see at the top of this picture, above "The Genesis Wire Tie".


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In all seriousness, if you do want that wire tie replaced, do it now, before you get Xenon parts in your way and/or you forget. There is no handy access to the back side of that wall that the tie loops around, I think it would be more work than it's worth, just my opinion. Could be done though. I think the bike has to be in some incomplete stage when the factory install it.
Well, here we are. That was easy, wasn't it.

  • You can go ahead and take the bulb cover off, the tabs in the red boxes are pressed down, then the top of the cover will tilt back and then pull up on it.


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Just a picture of the back of the headlight,
I have circled the headlight connector.

  • At this point you can remove the connector from the bulb and also remove the headlight bulb. The connector of course just pulls off, and there is a wire bale holding the bulb in.

  • The top ends of the wire bales are pushed down and then to the outside to disengage. The bale will then drop down and the bulb can be removed. Pretty standard stuff.

Oh, and in this image, the instrument cluster is removed. I kind of went off on a tangent when you weren't looking. Gives a nice clear picture though. The wiring connector shown in the picture is for the instrument cluster also.

You do NOT need to remove the cluster to do this work.


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Time to start actually start messing with the Xenon part of this project.

REMEMBER don't touch the bulb glass, it can take a little concentration at times to not do that.

Some will recommend using disposable gloves in a case where you feel you might accidentally touch the bulb glass.

Here are my grubby mitts grasping the business end of 3000 lumens of dazzling Xenon power.

It's not hard at all to wire up.
The particular manufacturer blessed with my business made it all pretty simple.

  • The red and black wires will plug in to where the old headlight plugged in. In this image you also see the Xenon bulb inside sort of a pill bottle. Makes you confident that the bulb hasn't been handled. The cover unscrews, and there is a collar around the base of the bulb which as to be removed.
    It wasn't hard but again I found I had to concentrate on not touching the bulb or letting the bulb touch anything else.

  • To remove the collar, feed the red and black wires through that hole in the collar, then bring the collar to that rubber grommet near my hand. The grommet could be pressed through the hole easily. Then a few more connectors that you will see in a few more steps.

As an aside, the bulb cover I just removed can be used for storing the halogen bulb you just removed. You could bring it along on a trip and if for some reason the Xenon system closes up shop, it would not be difficult to convert it back to halogen.
I'll bet you could do it in the dark in under 10 minutes.


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The ballast just uses the power and ground that the old halogen headlight bulb used.

The ballast is placed outside of the headlight assembly. It's a little too big to be inside the headlight,
so the power has to get from the headlight bulb connector to outside the headlight.

In addition after the ballast gets this measly 12 to 14 volts beefed up to more like 20 THOUSAND volts, it then has to get this power to the Xenon bulb. Has to have a way in and out.

So yeah, get out the blowtorch. OK, actually an Exacto knife or I used a single-edge razor blade.

One handy feature of the K1200GT isn't the cruise control or muffler that looks like a chromed 40 gallon barrel, it's the headlight bulb access cover. It has a plastic frame but most of it is rubber. So it's easy to cut. The instructions that came with my Xenon kit says I need a 22mm access hole. The grommet I was holding in the previous picture is what fits in to this hole.

  • So just go ahead and measure and cut the hole roughly in the middle of the cover. Neatness counts. A little.

If anyone would decide later that they aren't cut out for the fast paced life style of a Xenon headlight-owning BMW rider, this would really be the only part that would need to be replaced to get the bike back into original condition.

Or use duct tape.



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  • And go ahead and install the grommet. Again watch out for that bulb glass.
    The bulb and red and black individual wires go on the "inside" of the cover.

  • The connector with the red and black wires (lower left corner of image) will plug in to a corresponding connector on the ballast.

  • The two wires up by my hand (which I STILL haven't washed even though I'm exposing it to the entire internet), are wires which power the bulb itself. They can only be plugged in to the correct connectors coming from the ballast.
    Which to many people sounds like a challenge I know. Do it right, you don't want to create a black hole in your headlight!

The labels on the bulb wiring (near the tip of my index finger), are "H7", for the type of halogen bulb this Xenon bulb replaces, and the other one says "4300K" which is the color range of the bulb I wanted.


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Here are the wires and bulbs on the headlight side of things.

  • Wiring is simple, red is the power wire. On the bike, yellow is the power wire, so plug the red in to yellow.

  • Black on the kit is the ground wire, on the bike brown is the ground wire, so plug those two together.

You will note in this picture that part that makes a Xenon conversion different than a factory Xenon headlight. Note the shape of the bulb base is like the base of the H7 Halogen you removed. A factory bulb does not have that style of base at all.

Don't worry, replacement Xenon bulbs with H7 bases are not too hard to come by.


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Here are the red and black power wires plugged in to the original Halogen light bulb connector.

  • I first installed the Xenon bulb, again so it wouldn't accidentally get touched. Then I plugged in these power wires.

  • The power connector can than just be put inside the headlight assembly, and the cover reinstalled.

Next we need to mount the ballast.


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  • In this picture I already have the ballast mounted to one of the brackets provided with the kit.

  • I am going to mount the bracket on the rail in front of the instrument panel.

I have seen other kits where they give you something similar to a felt tape to wrap the ballast in, apparently to "wedge" the ballast someplace, but one thing that bothers me about that is that the outer case of the ballast is finned aluminum. I assume the manufacturer thought the ballast might have some heat to shed, so was happy to see brackets in this kit.

  • I had only one small screw and nut in the kit though, so it's always nice to have an assortment of small nuts and screws for times like this.

Mounting the bracket I will discuss in the next post.


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  • I used the bolt in the center of that brace to attach the bracket.

  • The mounting hole in the bracket had to be enlarged slightly to have the bolt slip though. I also had to make an unusual bend in the bracket to get it off to the side a little.

The wire object is the holder for the hydraulic hoses, I thought that holder might have a little priority over this bracket, so wanted to make sure the holder ended up in the correct position. But it worked out fine.

The ballast is well ventilated and isn't touching anything.

  • Be sure to check your installation and tweak the position if you have to, watch to make sure nothing rubs the hydraulic hoses. Be sure to check with the cycle off the center stand and turn handlebars lock to lock. SAFETY FIRST!


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  • Wire tie the wires to something solid, the hydraulic hose guide, or an unused hole. The one in the ballast bracket would work or the one on the right side of this picture. Plug in the power supply connector and the 2 connectors for the bulb.


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  • The bulb will come on AFTER the bike is started, just like a Halogen bulb on this bike. It won't come on just with the key "on".

It will flicker for a few seconds as the arc is ignited.

It will start out looking a little blueish and warms up to a white after 10 to 20 seconds. That is if you get a white "color range" bulb.

Take a few minutes to check the aim, mine needed to be raised a bit. These instructions for Paul Glaves is what I referred to:

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The top picture is of my bike with the Xenon kit, the second is member "Semper Fi"'s with the factory Xenon headlight:


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I think I have more light above the cutoff line as it is reflecting off my concrete driveway, Semper Fi's driveway is blacktop.
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