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Old 11-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Improving the headlight

Hello one and all,

I think it's fair to say that plenty of riders on here have improved the lighting on their bike, including the headlamp. For my night riding I have the standard (desperate) bulb to guide me and my 883. Needless to say it's a horrible experience. Oncoming traffic absolutely kills my forward vision. Now I feel I should reassure you that I'm not riding like a nutter with my knee and footpeg scraping the tarmac on every corner. I just would love to be able to see far enough to pick out eye shine when riding through the forest and the same goes for riding on the dual carriageways and motorways (freeways?) when I cruise at 60-70 mph. I want to see my side of the road


Having checked the adjustment of the headlight and properly cleaned my visor I still find the light ahead of me to be way short of useful or safe. Since I'm happy with the headlamp itself and my budget says 'no' to additional lighting or LEDs I'm looking at a better bulb. I was skeptical when my dealer suggested this as the first step but I still looked into it


I'm keenly aware that the standard wiring, the reflector and the lens will only tolerate so much heat and that obviously limits my options. Thankfully I found on here some references and reports on the PIAA range of bulbs. Which one to choose though?

Obviously this is where I'm hoping to tap into your experience. It seems like there are three options and I'm not sure what the differences are between them. Is there anyone who can provide an explanation or point me to another site or thread please?


(i) H292E (off road use only)
H4 60/55=110/100W ANTI VIBRATION 4000K

(ii) H88 (off road use only)
H4 P43T 60/55 = 130/120W

(iii) HE820
H4 60/55W = 140/130W (PAIR)

They're all in the same price range but only one is marked as having some sort of anti-vibration technology. Oddly the most powerful bulb is the cheapest. I think. Or that rating might be for a pair. Can a single bulb really go from 60W to 140W?


Ok what's the verdict? I've searched here and on the net for some sort of proper explanation. I can't seem to find one. Help!


Many thanks in advance for any advice, experience or pointers you can provide,

Andy

P.S. Sorry for the icon but I couldn't resist
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I dont know the answer to your question...but I can tell ya that the Orsam H4 80-100 bulb ....kicks ass...you have to ajust your headlight so you dont get bright lighted all the time ...its "off road use only" thats where the ajustment comes in..its a bright, no real bright white light, no blue tint,,lights up ditch to ditch like daylight...use dielectric grease on your connector..no troble as of yet...ran them on 2 differnt bikes for 3 years now with no problem...the absolut best $ 20.00 I have ever spent..I get mine from a place called German Auto..I think they are in NY,,,JMHO...
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just IMHO and experience...

First, Stock wiring is not adequate to increase load, you may get away with it for awhile

the voltage drop would be measurable and show a lot of heat being dissipated

do it right and put in a direct power bus and relay controlled by the switch circuit..

Second, do it smart and not ugly, I've only got a 65/70W bulb, with quality 7" reflector & lens,

when I pass a car on the dark hi-way, and his brights go down and mine go on,

I wonder if he ever thinks "wow". I get flashback from hi-way signs so far ahead,

I feel compelled to dim for the guy going the same way a half mile ahead of me,

I never get flashed, I have tested to be sure I am not blinding or even annoying

oncoming drivers on low.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathang View Post
Reference material

Osram Rallye 70/65w +50 H4 bulb





H4 - HB2 - 9003 bulbs

I don't know how these work in a 5" housing, but in a quality CIBIE 7" lamp,



the higher watt low beam does not get me flashed, I think because the lens effect of this bulb face

keeps the impact down for oncoming traffic, and every time I overtake a car on the hi-way,

when I go back to bright immediately after passing, and my light become the dominant light,

if they don't notice the dramatic increase in visibility when I hit the bright,

they're numb, blind, drunk, or asleep.



.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I run an 80-100 H4 bulb. The wires going to the bulb socket have been upgraded to either 16 or 18ga THHN machinery wire.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb68slab View Post
I run an 80-100 H4 bulb. The wires going to the bulb socket have been upgraded to either 16 or 18ga THHN machinery wire.
I'd suspect that was a short wire upgrade at the end due to cooking the connector at the bulb?

The several connectors on the handlebar switch are not upgraded nor the contacts in the switch itself

nor several feet of wire getting to and from the switch, I don't think they are either 16 or 18ga

If you saw current damage anywhere, the entire circuit is equally overloaded.


Truthfully now, can you really run an 80W low beam and not get flashed?

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know a lot of people like PIAA bulbs but I for one will never buy them again. I paid a lot of money for them and went through 6 of them in about 3 months. Each of them either burned out one or both of the filaments. Thinking it must be a problem in my wiring, I checked everything out and it was all fine. Put in an el cheapo bulb and not had another problem in 3 years now. I'll never waste my money on PIAA crap again.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I installed the Harley Davidson headlight that has the separate halogen bulb for the high beam and low beam. It replaced the sealed beam light in my 2004 heritage. It made a huge difference in the amount of lighting produced. Visibility is significantly improved.




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Old 11-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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First of all thank you all for providing your opinions and experience. It's much appreciated. From your feedback I now have two things to review:

1. Gauge of wiring (current drawn, where do all those watts go in terms of heat?)
2. Quality, longevity, robustness

I'll be asking some serious questions before I dive in so thanks again guys,

Andy


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Old 11-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Amazon.com: Sylvania 9003/HB2 SU/2 BP TWIN SilverStar Ultra Headlight - Pack of 2: Automotive Amazon.com: Sylvania 9003/HB2 SU/2 BP TWIN SilverStar Ultra Headlight - Pack of 2: Automotive

All ya need IMHO

It is worth a try before ya start ripping into wires and stuff
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here is a great source of info on the performance increases or decreases

with the same bulb and larger wire gauge

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Converting to relay control is as easy as wiring for a trickle charger.

The same direct connection to the battery post, slightly bigger wire, and fused at the battery,

the heavy wire goes directly to the headlight bucket, and wired directly to the bulb,

the original headlight wires plug onto the relay directly, no mods, no tearing into the wiring.

This may be harder to do in a small headlight bucket, I'm assuming we're talking a 7" light.

We should be, IMHO.

.
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Some days you feel like TORQUE!
Some days you feel like HORSEPOWER!


Once you establish yourself as an eccentric,
you rarely have to explain your actions.

Something a guy at a HD parts counter told me 30 years ago,
"You know what I'd do with that bike if it was mine? RIDE IT! Nothin' else ."
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