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Old 09-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #16
genka
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Jim, you are certainly having a better luck with HIDs than me!
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:00 AM   #17
JetSpeed
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I got an HID kit off Ebay last year for my 05, paid around $25 (cheap), just did the low beam with the 4700k (it was too blue) bulb and it worked OK I suppose, the light pattern was very blotchy and un-uniform I had to lower the aim a fair amount to keep the light from blinding oncoming traffics, not impressive.
After about 3 months it died (not sure if it was the bulb or ballast, still have both) on a trip, I switched the high-beam H7 into the low-beam socket to get me to a town where I could buy another H7, and removed the HID, haven't missed it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSpeed
I had to lower the aim a fair amount to keep the light from blinding oncoming traffics, not impressive.
I think this point is really overlooked. I too had to lower the aim, it is a shame the high and low beam are connected to the same adjustment arm. This just goes to show you how much brighter the HID system is over the stock H7 bulb. The light throw is almost identical to the stock bulb on my system.

My HID setup (Morimoto's) have been good for 2+ years now with no failures. I think it's the luck of the draw no matter what the price ... if you have a good system your golden for years. Would I go back? No. I can't argue with success, that doesn't mean I don't want to tinker with it some more...

I too have been told it's the H7 bulb (inferior bulb). Maybe too it's more sensitive to certain issues like bad connections etc than other bulbs. If I did go back I would certainly make sure all of the connections to the bulb were absolutely -tight-. After reading a lot of posts on the H7 bulb failures - I would definitely suspect the bulb connector and connections first - that and oily fingers too! Bulbs aren't the easiest thing to change on the fly. You would think that if the low beam circuit is computer controlled and monitored it shouldn't have power supply issues...

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Old 09-23-2013, 11:56 AM   #19
Iron Rey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
I think this point is really overlooked. I too had to lower the aim, it is a shame the high and low beam are connected to the same adjustment arm. This just goes to show you how much brighter the HID system is over the stock H7 bulb. The light throw is almost identical to the stock bulb on my system.

My HID setup (Morimoto's) have been good for 2+ years now with no failures. I think it's the luck of the draw no matter what the price ... if you have a good system your golden for years. Would I go back? No. I can't argue with success, that doesn't mean I don't want to tinker with it some more...

I too have been told it's the H7 bulb (inferior bulb). Maybe too it's more sensitive to certain issues like bad connections etc than other bulbs. If I did go back I would certainly make sure all of the connections to the bulb were absolutely -tight-. After reading a lot of posts on the H7 bulb failures - I would definitely suspect the bulb connector and connections first - that and oily fingers too! Bulbs aren't the easiest thing to change on the fly. You would think that if the low beam circuit is computer controlled and monitored it shouldn't have power supply issues...
Loose/bad/melted connections and connectors were definately a problem on the earlier 1200's, as is the POS wire retainer.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
This just goes to show you how much brighter the HID system is over the stock H7 bulb. The light throw is almost identical to the stock bulb on my system.
The HID is brighter but I don't beleive that's the reason that you have to aim the headlamp assembly down, I think it's because the OEM reflector (which is not designed for an HID bulb) scatters the light a whole lot more.
So even though the HID was brighter, after aiming it down there was little benefit, maybe the primary advantage to installing an HID on a R12GS would be reliability, which I hear is normally much improved vs an H7 bulb, but on my bike I was typically getting 20-30k miles per H7 so not a big issue.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:50 PM   #21
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I never had to adjust mine. Note the photo comparrisons at the end of the page: http://www.jimvonbaden.com/R1200GS_HID_Install.html

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Old 09-23-2013, 01:56 PM   #22
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Oh shit Jim, I didn't realize that you had made an HID install pictorial, that was my bad.
Even though I decided that it wasn't worth the time to troubleshoot my HID problem, it looks like I was wrong.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:15 PM   #23
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TomAtoes - Tomatoes - just personal preference.

This is why I had to adjust the headlight down - and this is the low beam only:

50W and Phillips bulbs - a little too bright. If I had to do it again, I would have done it with the 35W system. Thinking about going to a 35W system on the low beam and keep the 50W setup on the high beam. Then again I know guys on crotch rockets that ride around with their high beams on all of the time.


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Old 09-23-2013, 04:59 PM   #24
Anorak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
TomAtoes - Tomatoes - just personal preference.

This is why I had to adjust the headlight down - and this is the low beam only:

50W and Phillips bulbs - a little too bright. If I had to do it again, I would have done it with the 35W system. Thinking about going to a 35W system on the low beam and keep the 50W setup on the high beam. Then again I know guys on crotch rockets that ride around with their high beams on all of the time.

When the lights are adjusted so that you have that much light on the ground directly in front of you, your pupils are going to constrict and reduce the ability to see as well beyond the brightest part of the light.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:20 PM   #25
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindSailor View Post
TomAtoes - Tomatoes - just personal preference.

This is why I had to adjust the headlight down - and this is the low beam only:

50W and Phillips bulbs - a little too bright. If I had to do it again, I would have done it with the 35W system. Thinking about going to a 35W system on the low beam and keep the 50W setup on the high beam. Then again I know guys on crotch rockets that ride around with their high beams on all of the time.

I always recommend the 35 watt HID. It is more friendly to the reflector and is more useable. Plus, it is less likely to give a lampf fault.

Jim
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #26
WindSailor
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Yep.

I agree with the both of you. Lessened learned.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #27
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I put in the ddm tuning kit since they were local to me. I did what Jim said to do and I it worked great for me.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:09 PM   #28
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HIDs...tutorial

Automotive HID headlight systems are rather complex. Some of the engineering considerations;
1- Cost
2- Lamp color
3- DOT approval
4- MTBF
5- Headlight optics
Currently, the Chinese make most of the aftermarket HID kits we install on our motor vehicles. Of course, these installations for the most part, are not DOT compliant and some may even be dangerous.

As for quality, I have visited some of the glass shops in China and seen first-hand how short arc lamps, HPS, MH and hollow cathode lamps are made. Many of these facilities are dirt floor shops with little in the way of controls that would insure a consistently performing lamp. During manufacture, the quartz lamp kernel is filled with halide salts and noble gasses that determine the lamps wattage as well as lamp color (K or Kelvin). Then the lamp is tested to make sure it functions. Further performance testing is often non-existent.

As for the ballasts, it is likely easier to make a reliable ballast than a good lamp. However, some of the Chinese soldering and assembly is pretty shoddy.
Remember, the Chinese culture is different than that of the West…there is little incentive to do it right unless the Chinese based manufacturing is under the control of a Westerner.

Next, the HID lamp has a different light emitting pattern from the hot filament incandescent bulb. If the OE optics are not designed for HID, there will be performance issues such as, poor light pattern, limited long distance throw, light back scatter, offensive glare for oncoming drivers and eye fatigue.

One of the most important considerations for HID conversion is the headlamp optics. Without proper optics, HID light goes places where it is either useless or unwanted. If you look carefully at an automobile OE equipped with HIDs, you’ll see a bulbous lens and a mask or cutoff. These features focus the light properly, reduce offensive oncoming glare and discomfort as well as put the HID light where it belongs. Water vapor, dust, snow and rain all effect the way the light behaves and light from HIDs even more so, hence the need for projector optics and a cut-off mask to control back scatter.

Remember also, the light we see when driving down a country road at night is reflected light. What you see started with light at your headlight and bounced off (was reflected from) the object of interest. The round trip for the light was 2X the actual distance between the observer and the object of interest. Also, light intensity diminishes by the square of the distance so, you need all the light at the optimum wavelength and color mixture in order to see well into the night.

Next, lamp color plays an important role in performance. The human eye has peak sensitivity in the 500nm wavelength range. However most light we observe is a mixture of wavelengths. Light at 4,500K is equal to 666nm (red) at 6,000K the peak wavelength is 500nm (bluish green) and at 7,500K the peak wavelength is 400nm (deep blue) approaching UV which is not well processed by the human eye.

Sunlight, streetlights and HID light is a mixture of colors. So, when you order a HID at 5000K, it’s like ordering Chinese food…Kung Pow Chicken from one carry out place is likely different than the same dish from another joint. It depends what they put in it to flavor it…same with HIDs…a little Na salt here, a little K salt there and some hexameta moon dust and you’ve got a different flavor (color) light.

Oh, and various materials transmit light wavelengths with varying efficiency. Plastics and glass possess various light transmission performance.

So, generally, you’re screwed when you place an order for HID light kits unless the seller is responsible and your happen to choose a well made kit. I would order HIDs from a supplier here in the US with a published warranty policy who have been in the business for awhile. And stick with the kits under 5000K lamp color otherwise, your HID performance will suffer and so will your eyes.

The OE HIDs found on automobiles are at 4300K, optimum for night time driving. Also, this color typically provides about 3200 lumens vs. ~2000 lumen for the stock incandescent variety. That’s a big difference.
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