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Old 04-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #16
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Bring out your dead (threads that is)

I know this is an old thread that I started, but it still applies to our bikes. The last thing I did before putting the bike up last winter, was add a headlight relay harness to the system. Believe me I've tried every kind of special bulb in the old bus-style headlight of my R1100GS and I always was straining to see in the dark (especially during the fall when it gets dark fast and the deer come out to play). Sure I have auxiliary lights, which are great when no one else is around, but nothing I found would help me see when I had to run on low beams -- every auxiliary light I tried would get me the irritated flashing from oncoming traffic. Which, of course irritates me w/ all the folks that have higher wattage blue bulb HID tuners driving around out there that make you want to run off the road.

Anyway, I found a Touratech dual headlight kit on eBay that was used -- this one I bought for much less than on their website. It was of all metal construction with glass lenses. It used two regular H4 halogen bulbs. After installing I found it did no better, but really no worse at lighting up the road, even with two Silverstars. The plus was I think it looks better than the single headlight, but I didn't really hate the school bus light. I just wanted something that worked. The other plus was if one lamp goes out I could still get home on the other.


Problem solved:

I broke down and bought a headlight relay harness from Eastern Beaver (http://www.easternbeaver.com/Main/Wi...s/h4_kits.html). In my case I consulted Jim, (jim@easternbeaver.com), first about which dual headlight harness would best suit my needs and bought the one he recommended with a relay for each bulb. It was relatively quick and plug and play w/ routing the wires to the battery (in my case the auxiliary fuse box) taking the most time. He also sells relay harnesses specifically designed for the R1100GS big bus cyclopes headlight too (with relays sealed against the elements so they can be outside the headlight housing because of the cramped space). In either case I am sure this one, relatively inexpensive fix, will help all my fellow R11GSers who are having trouble seeing in the dark. As has been said before putting a relay on for the bulb gets more power to the bulb and takes the strain off the headlight hi/lo switch -- something I've had to rebuild twice and then ended up replacing. And believe me the harness was much less than a new switch.

So, I have no comparison photos, but take my word for it, my low beams with Silverstars are actually useful now and no flashes from oncoming traffic because they are actually putting out the legal amount of light and in the correct position. However, if you did want to use slightly more powerful bulbs than recommended (and I'm not advocating that) you wouldn't have to worry about melted wires or switches going bad, because the relay harness eliminates the problem.


Why not just switch to
HID?

I'm guessing that since HID conversions have gotten so much cheaper, that most people will op for this. I didn't do so because both my old bus headlight and the metal and glass TT dual setup were designed for H4 bulbs and putting in HID you will not get the optimum beam spread for which these reflectors were designed. There's also the where to hide the ballast situation, altho most people have found places to their liking under the beak, etc. Then you have to decide on whether 1) to go with the HID bulb that moves back and forth for hi/lo or 2) going for just HID low beams and using auxiliary for high or 3) have the bi-zenon with the small halogen bulb for high and the Zenon for low. The moving bulb sounded shaky to me as far as how long it would last -- the low HID and Aux. high or the two types of bulbs would have been the way I went if I did go to HID. You still might get in trouble in some states or countries for using HID at all though.

In my case with the TT Dual set up I had gave me a fourth and fifth option. I could have 4) tried to cram one high Zenon HID on one side and a low Zenon HID in the other or 5) an H4 Halogen high on one side and and an HID H4 low in the other. The TT dual's can be set up where both come on high/low or where only one bulb is lit at a time with one on with the high beam and the other on with the low beam. I have mine set up so they both light when on high or on low.

Conclusion:

So, in conclusion, I think installing the relay harness is one of the best modifications you can make. For lighting, I could no longer live without this or my Signal Minder. You can make your own harness, which I've done before for auxiliary lighting, but a company like Eastern Beaver, is a safe bet for a quality, tidy looking harness and I highly recommend Jim's work.

P.S. You could do the same with the new Wunderlich dual headlight like LoneStar installed (great look by the way), you would have to build or buy your harness with H7 bulb holders instead I believe.


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Old 04-05-2013, 02:42 PM   #17
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any chance you could post some pictures? You could email them to me and I could post them for you using my photobucket account.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #18
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About Pictures....

Well, I didn't take before and after photos. After I get my cast off my foot next Thursday I can take some after photos. It was really pretty simple on the TT dual headlight using the harness Jim makes - this one:

.

One side goes to the battery positive (+) and the other to the negative (-) or in my case the positive and negative on my auxiliary fuse box. Mine doesn't have the inline fuse because I have it hooked to the aux. fuse box which is under my tank and mounted on the airbox. Then there are three leads -- one that you plug into the original BMW wiring's H4 socket. The other two have Jim's heavy duty H4 sockets and one goes to each.

For the stocker headlight you would use this one:



It is specifically designed to allow the relays to stay outside of the headlight "shell" because of the limited space.

Jim writes, "This Kit is specially for bikes like the BMW R1100GS which has a tight fitting headlight housing cover. Also, this Kit is for bikes with a very small headlight shell. This Kit allows easy insertion of the bulb leads into the headlight shell. The Kit is shipped with bulb leads out of the socket and they are then plugged in after installing in the headlight housing. The relays can be mounted further back, either in the fairing or under the front of the fuel tank. The relays are shrink wrapped to keep out dirt and moisture."

On the TT it was a pretty tight fit, but it fit with a little finessing.

Connections look different for the stocker, must be because the relays (still are two of them for some reason) are on the outside. I get it, it is so you can thread the lead through the hole at the back of the housing first, then connect the heavy duty H4 socket. Duh! I guess I should have read Jim's quote I posted here on what he recommends for the bus headlight. Anyway, nothing says those that aren't electrically inclined can't make their own, but I went for the more hassle-free route.

I'll look and see whether I have a photo with the light open. If not I'll open it up one of these days and grab a photo.
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PaperBoy screwed with this post 04-06-2013 at 11:37 AM Reason: Grammar Baby
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:20 PM   #19
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Touratech Dual Headlight

Here's what the headlight looks like on front of my bike (w/ headlight guard and before I replaced my homemade gutter guard, oil cooler guard w/ the TT one for the 1150) and my R1150GS Beak Transplant:



And, here's what the original wiring looked like for the TT Dual H4 Sockets (of course everything is upside down here because I just flipped it down on the front of my bike.



The TT Dual Headlight has a coupler just like you'll get with the Eastern Beaver relay harness that couple's to the 11GS's original H4 bulb socket. The TT's blue and green colored wires w/ their blue and black H4 bulb sockets are removed entirely. My new harness appears much more robust than the TT wiring anyway. The brown wires that connects to the GS's original parking light wire remains and the TT kit splits to run a parking light bulb to each side. Of course these are different bulbs than stock (which I had just bought an LED for). Eventually I'll find the correct LED to go in each to replace.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:05 PM   #20
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Paper boy,
thanks for all of that! Questions Please:

How does only the TT stock 2 light set up compare to the single OEM light? high...low?

Did you try HID in the original OEM light housing?

My thoughts are:
I had a r1100gs,that is me in the avatar. I sold it for a R12GS. Lost the R12 when I got laid off. As you can see the R11 has OEM and Piaa's. The Yellow light from the Piaa's and the OEM was good enough.

On the R12GS i installed HID's and Hella's on a light bar. It did better than the R11gs.

FYI I ride with all lights on in the day. After I started doing that, no more did a cager even attempt to pull in front of me.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:59 PM   #21
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Stocker & TT Dual about the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racegun View Post
Paper boy,
thanks for all of that! Questions Please:

How does only the TT stock 2 light set up compare to the single OEM light? high...low?

Did you try HID in the original OEM light housing?
The TT w/ two halogen bulbs didn't seem to be any better than the stock set up before I installed the relay harness which gets its power from the battery in a more direct manner. Some people like the stock set up better than the dual TT set up. Others say they like the TT better. I found them both lacking when it came to riding at night, especially during times when wildlife is more likely to be on the road. I really needed to see better while my light was on low beam.

I didn't try the HID in the original housing. I bought a kit, but never installed it. I don't believe the stock headlight housing was designed to use HID and I thought I'd try this first. Some people swear by the HID conversion in their stock headlight shell. I think a relay harness powering the stocker would make a big difference in light output too.

There have been different TT dual headlight set ups for the R11GS sold over the years,not all are metal and glass according to what I've read. Some have projectors and some are HID direct from Touratech and they are very expensive new in my book and I'm glad I tried this first. TT only seems to list a couple of options now days.

To be seen better by cagers I have Motolights with amber bulbs mounted on my brake calipers. These make a nice triangle and the amber bulbs really seem to grab cager's attention. Might actually cut fog too, but haven't tried them in fog yet.

Lonestar seems very happy with his Wunderlich Dual Headlight set up and has a good post on here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=715933
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #22
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TT revamp kit.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krellheat View Post
TT revamp kit.
Like the look, especially the big lenses that fill the rectangular space under the screen. Mine are nearly as large and fill most of the original area. I'm not as big a fan of the two small headlight lenses that some TT dual headlight systems have. They kind of look like something that is more homemade.

Not that homemade is necessarily bad, I've seen some great retrofits of twin headlights from something like a Honda. I hear a lot about Twin Headlight Ernie, an inmate here.
http://twinheadlighternie.smugmug.co...733093&k=UjDGU

Lonestar posted a diagram with dimensions of the Wunderlich aluminum plate that that systems dual headlights are mounted into. Someone could take this, make a plate and perhaps add their won reflectors and bulbs.

I had thought about trying my hand at using a round Honda headlight that included both high and low beams (two separate bulbs in one reflector). This one wasn't sealed beam so you could replace bulbs. I can't remember what bike/s they were off - I had all that info saved, but must have purged it from my computer because I can't locate it now. A well incorporated single old-school round headlight, with replaceable halogens would look cool too. I was thinking something sort of like this, but with the beak and original forks:

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Old 04-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #24
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Question paperboy...

I dont understand...so does TT have different size lenses? small and large?
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racegun View Post
I dont understand...so does TT have different size lenses? small and large?
As I've said, TT only seems to sell two types of dual headlight set ups right now.

This one (http://www.touratech-usa.com/Store/P...FaF_QgodSFwA6Q) with small lens projectors:



And this one which looks like it has larger lenses (http://www.touratech-usa.com/Store/P...FW3ZQgodZzUAmA ) with the DE Projector on one side and Xenon HID on the other:



I believe the bottom one is the set that comes with TT Revamp fairing, as Krellheat posted above. Here's the total Revamp look, pretty cool.



In the past Touratech has had different models of Dual Headlights. Some I've seen with smaller lenses than the ones on mine. I've also read that some of the TT set ups were made with plastic lenses and had plastic reflectors. Mine are made w/ glass lenses and metal reflectors and were purchased used off eBay. I'm no expert on what other people have, just know what I've read and seen pictured on AdvRider and other sites. Things evolve, Wunderlich says their dual headlights are the third model for the R11GS.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #26
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Obviously TT made changes over the years to their Dual Headlight Units.

Here's some additional TT Dual Headlight info from UKGSer, it's kind of dated, but simon thomas talks about warping parts of his TT dual unit by using higher wattage Halogens in his because his set up had plastic lenses, reflectors and other parts, whereas mine was made with metal and glass. He replaced the warped parts with Honda CBR CFR 400 parts w/ 100mm lenses.

Richie says "...word of warning though it ain't twin headlights its a single piece of glass moulded into two rounds with twin headlamps inside." That nothing like mine, definitely two separate headlights, which sounds more like Simon's.

You can read the posts here: http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44512
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:01 PM   #27
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Non HID alternative to the TT kit. The appear to be the same housing used in the TT kit. You would need to build a mount and support for them.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:07 PM   #28
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Here are some more of the 90mm hella lights. Not as cheap but real close for the halogens. Available in many DOT compliant forms. http://www.rallylights.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=568,
the bi-led looks cool, but a little rich for me. I'd sure like to see some comparisons though.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #29
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Rallylights has brackets as well.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #30
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Its funny that this subject has just resurfaced. I have been working on a dual 90mm bi-halogen for sometime but only made real progress today. Here is a photo of the initial mounting. There is a little clearance issue with the speedo drive cable but I think I have that sorted. It should provide a bit more then twice the stock heading output.

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