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Old 05-14-2015, 02:22 PM   #1
longslowdistance OP
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GS LC headlight and adjustment question

Sorry these questions are so basic, mostly stuff I could figure out on my own, but I'll dip into the deep pool of true wisdom, armchair musing, and fatuous horsecrap we all get on this forum.

Situation: Current model GS with factory LED headlights. I don't ride at night, so my first experience with needing a working headlight was earlier this week in Blue Ridge Parkway tunnels.
Low beams provided virtually no illumination in the tunnels (in contrast with my prior 2011 R1200GS). I thought these are on all the time.
After some adjustment (turn knob on the back of the headlight unit clockwise), I got some illumination with the high beams, but not much change with the lows.
It's possible the dealer set up the lights for the single rider position, and I had the rear end raised in the one rider + bags position.
edit: the load switch is set as the owner's manual sez it should be.

Questions:
Does this knob adjust high and low, or just high beams?
Why virtually no illumination with the low beams?

longslowdistance screwed with this post 05-14-2015 at 02:35 PM
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
mortimer
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I can only try to help with your second question:

There is a white lever behind the headlight assembly that adjusts for luggage weighing down the rear of the bike. Sometimes dealers deliver the bikes with this in the wrong position which makes an unloaded bike have the headlight pointed too low. Have you tried changing the position of this switch? The switch on my bike is in the down position and the headlights are fantastic.

Here is a picture of the "Load Switch" from a previous gen. headlight assembly (it looks the same on new bikes but mine is white):
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
longslowdistance OP
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Yes, forgot to mention this switch is as the owner's manual sez it should be, original post edited, thanks.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:51 PM   #4
pistole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longslowdistance View Post
Low beams provided virtually no illumination in the tunnels (in contrast with my prior 2011 R1200GS). I thought these are on all the time
You had virtually "no illumination" with the standard LED lamps on Low Beam in a dark tunnel?

throw the bike away.
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Old 05-14-2015, 03:18 PM   #5
asnowmobiler
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So far I'm also very disappointed with the LED headlight, like you said the low beam seams almost useless. I tried the Load adjuster and turned the knob and it got better, but still not worth a damn. I will try some more adjusting next time out, the last time I just wanted to get home and gave up.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowmobiler View Post
So far I'm also very disappointed with the LED headlight, like you said the low beam seams almost useless. I tried the Load adjuster and turned the knob and it got better, but still not worth a damn. I will try some more adjusting next time out, the last time I just wanted to get home and gave up.
Apparently I saved $900!

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Old 05-14-2015, 06:52 PM   #7
hammick
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Keep adjusting it. It needs to be raised quite a bit to be effective. I've had mine out on pitch black country roads and the led lights are great once you get them raised.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
asnowmobiler
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But it looks cool!
I ride after dark maybe 3 times a year, so it's not a big deal, but so far I am disappointed with how well it works.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:09 PM   #9
hammick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowmobiler View Post
But it looks cool!
I ride after dark maybe 3 times a year, so it's not a big deal, but so far I am disappointed with how well it works.
Get it up and keep it up You don't want to smack a deer during one of those three crazy nights.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:03 PM   #10
gofast1320
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adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowmobiler View Post
But it looks cool!
I ride after dark maybe 3 times a year, so it's not a big deal, but so far I am disappointed with how well it works.
the adjustment on mine was awful. The first time I rode after dark I wasn't very pleased with the illumination the light offered.
If you take the time to adjust it properly you will be extremely pleased with the results.
I got back about 10 yards or so from my wife's car and adjusted the headlight to where the light was shining just below the rear window and not into the car. It made all the difference in the world.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:50 PM   #11
RJK
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I work nights and ride to, and from, work in the dark everynight. Compared to previous GSs this is the best light so far. In fact, I ride my bike 90% of the time in the dark.

The GSAW aux lights help with broader side lighting, but the main definitely reaches out much further than what I'm normally used to in a GS. Although I may still, this is the first bike where I haven't considered putting on a set of aftermarket aux lights....but those Clearwaters that NoVa has on his GSAW are SWEET!!!

I haven't messed with the adjustment knob so I'm not sure if mine was set-up with a higher than normal beam since I don't have any other '14-15 GS to compare it against. I did mention to the mechanic that set up my bike that I'd be riding a lot at night.

I can say for sure that it saves me at least a few times a week from all the deer along the country roads I commute on every night....50+ miles each way.

I just hope they hold up since they are $$$$ to replace once my warranty expires, but that's 'nother topic.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:39 AM   #12
TrickyRic
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My led headlamp was adjusted very low upon delivery. I read about this being common on ADV and adjusted mine. Had to move them up quite a bit, but now they are the best headlamps I've ever had on a motorcycle. The adjustment made a huge improvement over what I saw the first night on the new bike. These are even better than the high wattage Osram bulbs I had in my ST1300.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:48 AM   #13
LordSmoke
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I don't ride much at night, but my only complaint after adjustment is that the high-beams don't seem to squelch as fast as conventional lamps I have had on other vehicles.

There seems to be a slight delay or fade instead of the click/off. I have to anticipate switching them off instead of killing them at the last moment.

Anyone else?
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:19 AM   #14
hammick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSmoke View Post
I don't ride much at night, but my only complaint after adjustment is that the high-beams don't seem to squelch as fast as conventional lamps I have had on other vehicles.

There seems to be a slight delay or fade instead of the click/off. I have to anticipate switching them off instead of killing them at the last moment.

Anyone else?
I don't even know how to respond. The adjuster has nothing to do with the electrics of the lights.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:02 PM   #15
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I also had to adjust my LED headlight upwards as others have already mentioned. I adjusted the headlight up so that the low beam was just to the point of not blinding oncoming cars. At this point the high beam was just about perfect when turned on.
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