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Old 11-27-2007, 09:25 PM   #1
JimVonBaden OP
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HID Conversion on a 12GS (pictorial)

After many many promises, I decided to do a short pictorial on how to install a set of HID lights in my R1200GS. This pictorial is done with lots of extra parts removed for clarity. I wont be telling you what tools to use, or torques. This type of pictorial doesn’t lend itself well to it, but you should easily be able to do what I did.


Here are the lights in the box. Mine were the fat ballasts, with the igniters built in. I have done the ones without the ballast built in, and they are definitely easier to mount, though basically in the same place.



I removed the instruments for the job to make it easier to see, but it is definitely not needed. Here are the High (left) and low (right) covers. Just pop the caps off by twisting them counterclockwise.



Here is a cap before drilling the 23mm hole. I used a Dremmel tool to do mine.



Here is the same cap after removing the material. Interestingly, it is exactly the same size as the indents in the caps. I bet you know why?



Simply push the wires through the hole, then pull the grommet in place. They recommend adding some sealant, but I didn’t. I figure they will seal just fine as is.



Here are both of them mounted. The wiring looks clean and secure in the caps.



Here is the right ballast mount. You can see it went to the screw holding the oil line.



This is the other mount, shown to illustrate the original shape. I bent it with pliars.



Now you can see it is a tight fit with the beak installed. But it is clean. I added some tie straps to secure the ballast to the mount, and firm it in place as well.



The right ballast fit in, and cleanly. With everything put back together, and the wiring secured, it is nearly invisible.



On the left side, the ballast goes into the same place. It is a tight fit, and you will have to play with it a bit, but it will fit. The slimmer ballast would have the advantage here.

Now lets take a look at the results:


Low HID. Clean white, but not too blue. This is the 4300 kit.

I then added a second GS, with Motolights, and compared them side-by-side.

Note that the bike on the left is completely stock with 35 watt Motolights. My bike has both HIDs, and 50 watt Motolights.



Low beam, you can see the difference here.




High beam, even more obvious.




Both bikes with Motolights and High Beams.

It seems obvious to me, especially after riding at night, that the HID lights are definitely superior, and not as susceptible to dimming at idle with Gerbings and Servos going.



Here is what the bulb looks like installed in the low beam.



Don’t forget to keep the old H7 bulbs, just in case. This procedure is completely reversible, and if an HID goes out, you can swap in the old H& in minutes.

Jim
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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Nice walk-through, Jim. Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:44 PM   #4
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Incidentally....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVB
and not as susceptible to dimming at idle with Gerbings and Servos going.
Presumably, that's their reduction in draw vs. the halogens, but ... that dimming at idle on the halogens, in theory, was also shortening their lifespan (I wonder if there was a connection between voltage drop at idle and the H7 bulbs you folks have gone through).

The filament has to burn at a certain heat before the halogen gas forces the suspended particulate matter back ON to the filament, increasing its lifespan. If that cycle breaks (voltage drops), the lifespan shortens.

Hmmmm.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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I have done a HID conversion on my 1200, but only the low beam, I realised straight on, the low beam is to bright for everyday use, it irritates drivers in front of you, also because the 1200 headlight just sits high enough to reflect right into a cars rear view mirror, people were constanly adjusting their rear view mirrors.

Subsequently have moved it to the high beam and still having a normal H7 globe in the low beam.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:21 PM   #6
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missing part to your story...

How do the electrics work?

Are your HIDs drawing straight off the battery, or are they hooked up solely to the wires for the stock lights. If so, what did it take to adapt the plugs?

and... do your lights come on before you hit the start button?
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by configurationspace
How do the electrics work?

Are your HIDs drawing straight off the battery, or are they hooked up solely to the wires for the stock lights. If so, what did it take to adapt the plugs?

and... do your lights come on before you hit the start button?
At least the new kits draw their power off the OEM headlight wiring. Its a 100 percent plug & play other than drilling out the cap like Jim did and other than having to mount the ballasts. IMO the new thin ones are worth the extra bucks. I really like that its so easy to reverse, even along side the road, should your HID or ballast ever crap out.

I haven't found the low beam too irritating to other drivers after a couple of adjustments on aiming.

Hey Jim, wasn't sure your kit would still work after the long time on the shelf
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michnus
I have done a HID conversion on my 1200, but only the low beam, I realized straight on, the low beam is to bright for everyday use, it irritates drivers in front of you, also because the 1200 headlight just sits high enough to reflect right into a cars rear view mirror, people were constantly adjusting their rear view mirrors.

Subsequently have moved it to the high beam and still having a normal H7 globe in the low beam.
For me the HID bulb is not too bright. The problem is with the BMW headlight which is for H7 bulb. This housing is not suitable for HID bulb. Even if you do adopt the light to fit the HID bulb the whole mirror thing in the housing does not reflect the bulb properly and the light pattern is going on different ways all around. The same thing happens with the cars . Look at new BMW passing by with the OEM xenon lights and then look at an Honda Civic which has an aftermarket conversion. You cant even look at the civic because is gonna kill you with the projected light pattern.
The conversions do not have the cut off line that`s why you irritate all drivers on the road. It`s like going almost on high beam all the time.
That`s my 2 cents.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:59 PM   #9
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I just installed a 35W VVME kit on my 06 GS last night. Took it for a quick ride at 1:00 when I finally got it all zip tied up. WAAAAAY more light and the low-beam cut off seems as good as it was with the halogen bulb. It is kind of odd to hit the high beam and have it take 15 seconds before you have full brightness, but the VAST improvement in visibility at night will be well worth it I think. The only reflector oddness that I could see is a "halo" of light coming off the low beam that was at the periphery of my field of vision, This appears as a well defined ring of light that shows up in the bushes off to the side of the road continuing overhead, lighting up trees etc over the road. Shouldn't be a problem for prarie dwellers!

Stuffing the OEM headlight connector back into the headlight shell was a pain the ass, I may have to revisit that part of the installation.

As I said I did both high and low beams, and the little post that sticks out parallel to the bulb ends up on top of the bulb in one light and on the bottom for the other. It seemed wierd to me last night, but I guess there is a reason that the lighting engineers wanted that to happen.

Overall I'm happy but I wish I would have purchased the slim ballasts!
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:14 PM   #10
JimVonBaden OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrofil
For me the HID bulb is not too bright. The problem is with the BMW headlight which is for H7 bulb. This housing is not suitable for HID bulb. Even if you do adopt the light to fit the HID bulb the whole mirror thing in the housing does not reflect the bulb properly and the light pattern is going on different ways all around. The same thing happens with the cars . Look at new BMW passing by with the OEM xenon lights and then look at an Honda Civic which has an aftermarket conversion. You cant even look at the civic because is gonna kill you with the projected light pattern.
The conversions do not have the cut off line that`s why you irritate all drivers on the road. It`s like going almost on high beam all the time.
That`s my 2 cents.
I disagree, in side by side comparrisons the HIDs have the same cut-off lines in low beam, slightly fuzzy in high beams.



Jim
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrofil
For me the HID bulb is not too bright. The problem is with the BMW headlight which is for H7 bulb. This housing is not suitable for HID bulb. Even if you do adopt the light to fit the HID bulb the whole mirror thing in the housing does not reflect the bulb properly and the light pattern is going on different ways all around. The same thing happens with the cars . Look at new BMW passing by with the OEM xenon lights and then look at an Honda Civic which has an aftermarket conversion. You cant even look at the civic because is gonna kill you with the projected light pattern.
The conversions do not have the cut off line that`s why you irritate all drivers on the road. It`s like going almost on high beam all the time.
That`s my 2 cents.
I have done the HID conversion, but I agree 100% with what you're saying here. The H7 housing really isn't made for HID, and if you wanted to do it right, you'd need to install a different housing/projector. I have only done the conversion on the low beam. I notice that although the total light output from the low beam is much greater than the old light, because the light is not focussed the same way, the light scatters in all directions, so I actually end up with LESS light on the road. I can also tell that I light up the sides of the road much more than before the installation, and I see reflections from my light coming from different places ahead of and beside me. I have no doubt that the light is being sprayed all over the place, not focussed as well as the H7 bulb.

Now, that being, said, I'm still happy with the conversion, and glad I did it, for 3 reasons.

1. I know that I am more visible to other cars. There is a marked difference in the way cars react to my bike now that I have this light. I have noticed left-turners pulling up short when they see me coming, which is a very empowering feeling. I also notice cars move out of my way more when I approach them from behind in the left lane. Now, if the downside is that those drivers are annoyed by my light, I'm ok with that. It could be that I'm blinding oncoming traffic on two-lane roads, but if that were true I think I would get "flashed" by oncoming cars, and that hasn't happened to me at all yet.

2. I only have it in the low beam, the high beam is still H7. Actually it's a Sylvania Silverstar H7 bulb, whiter than a standard halogen. When I need more road light, I hit the high beam, and I get instant full power on the light, focussed properly where I need it.

3. I have a pair of Hella FF200 (or 250?) driving lights. They only come on with the high beams and they light up the world like it's daytime. They are halogen, and focussed on the road. They come to full brightness right away. Now, if I leave those on, folks are blinded. That may be why no one flashes me. When they see me go from full brights down to only the badly-focused HID low-beam, it's probably a huge relief to them. :)

--- D

Edit: Oh, and Flyingreg.. for HID lights that aren't junk, try CQlight.ca. I think that's what they're called. I got mine from them, very high quality wiring, and small ballast.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBeener
Presumably, that's their reduction in draw vs. the halogens, but ... that dimming at idle on the halogens, in theory, was also shortening their lifespan (I wonder if there was a connection between voltage drop at idle and the H7 bulbs you folks have gone through).

The filament has to burn at a certain heat before the halogen gas forces the suspended particulate matter back ON to the filament, increasing its lifespan. If that cycle breaks (voltage drops), the lifespan shortens.
Very interesting theroy. I think you are on to something there. My 05 R1200GS would burn out a bulb about every 7 thousand miles. If your theroy is correct the 07's would be more resistant to this because the light will not dim as much at idle without the power brakes. I switched my 07 to HID at about 2000 miles so I'm not one to ask. I would say to do a poll but they never work out to be very accurate because some from Orange Crush always come over and vote for failures.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:51 PM   #13
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NOOB ALERT!

How do I know what size to get to upgrade my new "clearly inadequate" '08 1200 GSA stock bulbs? H-this...H-that...
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildTurkey
NOOB ALERT!

How do I know what size to get to upgrade my new "clearly inadequate" '08 1200 GSA stock bulbs? H-this...H-that...
I ordered/installed the VVME H7 setup.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildTurkey
NOOB ALERT!

How do I know what size to get to upgrade my new "clearly inadequate" '08 1200 GSA stock bulbs? H-this...H-that...
How do you know the lighting is inadequate on your new bike? I suggest riding it a bit, *then* doing a search here (the GSpot) on HID lights. You'll get a *lot* of info. You can spend a whole lotta $$ on lighting upgrades that you might not actually need. Just my $0.02.....

BTW, you need a H7 replacement....
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