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Old 01-17-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
dirty_sanchez OP
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Louisiana, Baton Rouge
Oddometer: 3,031
KTM 640 Adventure HID Upgrade w Centech

Some of you may have been following the various HID conversion threads relating to the KTM 640 Adventure over the last few months. After a mild bit of prodding from Meat to do a proper write-up on this upgrade, here it is:

Awhile back I bought a HID conversion kit complete with the standard H-1 bulbs, wiring, and ballast/starter off of Ebay for right at $150 including shipping. Money well spent in my book.

All of us have our personal farkle cost justification calculator, but when I crunched the numbers with shipping for the HID rig, I was looking at a 200 total watts for the stator on my '03 640A, 110w for the High/Low Both on conversion mod., OR 70w total draw for the HID setup, or $50 to $75 each for the PIAA hot-rod H1 conversion bulbs times 2- that still wouldn't be anywhere near as bright as just one 35w HID bulb. To me the choice was easy to make.

Just one HID bulb uses 35 watts giving 3 times more lumens or the equivalent of nearly 150 watts of old school halogen lighting. Imagine how nice it would be having 300 watts of clean white manageable light would look like the next time you get caught out after dark on a backwoods moonless night. The usable field of view I’d estimate with the both-on HID mod is roughly 70 to 100 yards wide by 500 yards deep.

If you do a lumen output search, you'll see that the brightest HID's are in the 4300ish kelvin scale. The ebay vendor I got mine from just had the H1's in 6000k, which still melt the vinyl siding on the next door neighbors house.
Here's a few photos of the way I mounted the ballasts. And the kit I got has a stamped ballast "holster":

Ballast- roughly the size of a deck of cards

At first I installed the low beam HID rig using the stock wiring (which from what I gather from other posts) is woefully undersized. This hunch was confirmed by the way the low HID flickered and clickered when I turned on the ignition. The ballast wanted more current from the battery to fire the bulb but couldn't with the engine off. So, I installed a regular old toggle switch I got from the local electrical supply house to control the high beam (stock halogen), then I would start the bike, then switch back to the low beam-where then the HID low beam. Doing this little toggle switch dance once the engine started gave the ballast enough juice to fire the bulb.

You'll have to drill out the removable plastic cover that mounts with a little 1/4 turn on the rear of each lamp housing- I think I used a 3/4" or 7/8” wood bit, then nest the rubber grommet that surrounds the HID wires into this hole. The grommet keeps the water out. You'll know what I'm talking about once you open the box. The ballast for each bulb is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. Note the mounting location on each side of the front mask bracketing. Relocation of the stock horn mounting location will be required since the ballast on the high beam side makes for some real estate issues.
Trace the high and low beam positive wires back to the right side of the bike’s wiring quick connects (above the horn area). You’re looking for a purple wire (High) and a black wire (Low). You’ll have to clip these and use them as the “trigger” or “switch” wires for the relays. These two wires should be yellow and routed to the relays. Just make sure you clip them to give you enough room to crimp and heatshrink them.
Photo of right side of bike above the horn where the High and Low leads are found.

Wire colors coming out of the actual headlamps:
Low Beam: Positive is Black, Negative is Brown.
High Beam: Positive is Black, Negative is Brown/Orange stripe

Note the mounting location of the Centech-just forward of the tach and under the dash

For what it’s worth, the only heatshrink tubing I use is expensive and is available from Fastenal. This particular brand of heatshrink tubing has hotmelt glue on the inside to both seal out moisture and make for an incredibly strong splice. The butt splices have a little ring of solder in the center- insert a wire from both ends, crimp the solder band, apply heat-it’s now soldered, sealed, and hotmelted. This brand of toggle has a good feel to it-a sturdy positive "Click" when actuated. This brand also has a very sturdy rubber boot bought from an electrical supply house unlike the rubber switch boots I bought and later returned from West Marine. The first toggle I bought was from NAPA and had a girly-man feel to it. I'd suggest shopping toggles until you source one with a good feel for use with gloved hands.

The ultimate goal I had with this bike is to add heated grips, wiring for a Gerbing Jacket, and a hardwired Garmin on a TT mount. Having a rather limited amount of real estate on a bike with all of these extra wires running from under the seat in the even tighter battery compartment up to the front end had me searching for a better way. And this is where I learned about the Centech AP-1.

I sourced the Centech AP-1 directly from their website. After talking to the Centech guy over the phone, I learned this 5 position fuseblock was fed by just one positive and one ground terminal. Once you bring power and ground from the battery to the Centech (where ever you choose to mount it) all you have to do is to hook up the positive and negative leads directly to the Centech for each additional farkle you install. I wired the following circuits: High and Low HID, Grips, Gerbing jacket, and Garmin. The hot and ground leads feeding the Centech are now a fat 12ga with 14 ga feeding the farkles.
The Centech AP-1

Under the hood:

3 30A potted relays were installed since I had already discovered the stock wiring was a bit undersized to fire the new HID’s. One to power the low HID, the second to power the high HID, and the third wired to allow the low to burn while on high beam with a toggle on the dash to kill the low while the high is on if I have a need as well as kill the low during daytime running once again if I have the need. If you’ll notice, the second fuse from the right on the Centech handles the low beam HID circuit AND has provisions to have two positive inputs. Why did I mention this? The first input terminal on this #2 fuse powers the regular low beam, and the second positive input handles the “both-HID’s on” positive lead.
Green wires from right to left: High positive, Low Positive, Low Positive for the both-on mod controlled by the "Both" Relay. Then the Red for the jacket, and the yellow for the grips. Make sure to zip tie the group of wires coming out of the negative and positive sides of the Centech to strengthen and protect from vibration.

Notice how I labled the function of each relay- High, Low, Both and the tape and zip tie on the High Relay. All relays are taped and tied before I'm done.
Centech with the lid labled and reattached:

I drew up a wiring diagram using 3 relays, the low, high, and both-on with the addition of 2 toggle switches. The switches allow you to have complete control of the lighting options available having two separate headlights.
  • Both HID’s off with the smaller daytime running bulb in the high headlamp. Useful for daytime running.
  • Low HID on
  • High HID on
  • Both Low and High HID’s ON
I like to label everything under the dash like the wire colors for the grip switch and for the dash powerlet plug. Everything is buttoned up, zip tied in a fairly organized way:

A few of you have already asked me to forward you this diagram. PM me if you want a copy.
Now this wiring upgrade is complete, I switch on the key and either HID fires right up. I can also throw the toggle to kill the low before switching on the ignition if the battery is low.
Both dash toggles up and off gives just the daytime running light on:

Low Beam toggle switched on:

Both dash switches on, the Both-On, Grass Burner Mode:

High Only

Relays tucked up under the dash- It' tight, but doable:

Coming off of the bike with both lights ablaze compared to driving my hot rod mini-van with the brights burning now feels like I'm driving around at night wearing welding goggles. NO KIDDING.
Front view with the mask remounted-note the tucked up and away mounting location of the ballasts, I still hadn't mounted the high beam ballast where the horn is still mounted.

I have never found the ballast to be the least bit warm after stopping after a ride, so it must not get hot as far as I can tell. Plus, you would think that with more lumens comes more heat. the HID puts out 3 times more light (have heard the 35w HID equals 160w of halogen), but I can touch any place on the lamp (lens or back housing) and it dosen't feel all that warm after a ride.

It's amazing that now the HID low beam projects just as far as the 55w Halogen High beam but now I have a tremendous field of view as compared to the High pencil beam. Now the High beam is never used, and looks like a worn out flashlight when compared to the HID low beam.

With both lights burning now, I'm illuminating the stop sign from one end of my street to the other. This distance is right at half a mile (I measured it) and these things really have turned night into day.

There’s been some discussion on the attention you might receive from The Man with these types of headlights. This conversion is intended to make my Off-Road Only experience safer and more enjoyable, and I can assure you these lights now are definitely not ready for prime-time.

Update: Well, I've ridden past the Man numerous times at this point and have not gotten a second look.

Some have asked me about the beam cutoff due to variations of the focus points for the stock H1 filament bulb vs. the location of the HID’s excited gas- Well, the low beam cut-off is still sharp as a tack, and completely controllable. Oncoming motorists don’t flash their lights at me which tells me the low is adjusted properly. I’ve been told the both-on High/Low Beams on the other hand is “Painful to look at” even at 4 to 500 yards away. I’ve learned to use this newfound force sparingly and responsibly so as to not injure others or start grass fires.
Turning the bars hard lock to the right causes a slight bit of interference with the deeper bulb wiring and front brake line and Speedo cable. Still thinking about a low tech way to remedy this issue, but other than that, it's a clean, fast install that plugs right up.

For reference, a 55W stock bulb pulls 4.6A and if you to the both-on 55w headlight wiring mod, that comes to 9.2A Now we have a whopping 0.8A available for farkle juice if we keep with the 10A or less load.

Farkle draw:
HID High Beam, 2.9A
HID Low Beam, 2.9A
Heated Jacket, 6.5A
Heated Grips, 1.7A

I’ll let you do the math on all of the various Farkle Load combinations.

Then at different engine speeds the stator makes variable power:

1500 9A
2000 11A
3000 13A
6000 14A

After a back road cold 30 minute ride with the Gerbing cranked up to 11 and both lights ablaze I got back to the house all toasty and cut the engine. Then I tried starting her up again only to hear the starter click. Hmm, guess a 12.3A load taxed the charging system a bit much. I need to keep the load to the Recommended Daily Allowance of 10A. Doing the math says the jacket and just one light will give a load of 9.5A. I can tell you that the Gerbing on low/mediumish, grips on low, and one of the HID’s burning makes for a happy 640A and rider.

At first, the Centech was wired to have constant “ON” power feeding the front end of the bike which meant if I forgot to turn the grips off, or came to a stop, killed the engine and forgot to switch off the Gerbing, I would promply drain the battery. So, the last and 4th relay was wired/mounted/installed under the seat just aft of the cross-rail the seat bolts. The trigger wire is the positive lead for the tail lamp. Now, anytime turn the key off, all farkles powered through the Centech are also switched off.

Now the Senior Moments I am plagued with on a regular basis don’t result in a dead battery.

Don't hesitate to do the HID upgrade if you have a notion.

No, really, the mustache means I love you.

dirty_sanchez screwed with this post 01-27-2007 at 04:10 PM
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