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Old 06-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
CrazyMike OP
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Bluhduh Blowing low-beam bulbs

Anyone else out there consistently blowing headlamp bulbs???
(And no, I'm not touching the bulb with my fingers.)

I'm on my 3rd one now with only 17K miles.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
jaycommando
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3rd here

I'm on my third but I reckon that's because of the high revs shaking the filament. ( I like to got fast!)
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
blender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyMike
Anyone else out there consistently blowing headlamp bulbs??? (And no, I'm not touching the bulb with my fingers.)
I'm on my 3rd one now with only 17K miles.
Well, I have only 7,600 miles on my '09 so far and no blown bulbs.
*However*, on my '05 R12GS I used to go through a low-beam H7 bulb about every 10K miles, sometimes a bit earlier.

I'll check back in when I hit 10K on the F8GS.... ;)
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #4
CrazyMike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycommando
I'm on my third but I reckon that's because of the high revs shaking the filament. ( I like to got fast!)
Sounds like you and I ride pretty similar styles.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Just replaced my first one after ~23K miles. I picked up a spare to carry with me just in case. My old R1100GS did the same sort of thing.

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Old 06-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #6
EnderTheX
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I just blew one on my recent trip, I was in the middle of the forest when it happened too! Luckily I had a spare. This is at 12,500 miles.

I think my spare was not BMW factory bulb (dealer gave me some generic bulb) but for my new spare it is factory. I'm expecting the bulb to not last very long so I will always have a spare on trips...
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
reinerka
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Yeah, the first one lasted 12300 miles exactly. Glad it didn't go out at the service as they would have installed the $100 (non gold plated) BMW bulb for an additional $200.

Most of my bikes the stock bulb has been lasting about that mileage. Just don't buy those expensive 50% more light bulbs. Lifetime and output are mutually exclusive in Halogen bulbs.

On the GL1800 it was like clockwork - 36000 miles and you need to replace the bulb(s) as the second one would go within a day of the other bulb.

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Old 06-24-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
WoodWorks
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Originally Posted by reinerka
Yeah, the first one lasted 12300 miles exactly. Glad it didn't go out at the service as they would have installed the $100 (non gold plated) BMW bulb for an additional $200.
$100?

My BMW dealer sold me a couple of H4 halogen bulbs for $11.95 ea.

David
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #9
CrazyMike OP
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Mine's a H7.
Yours is H4 or are you talking about a different motorcycle???
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
ba_
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The MAX BMW parts fiche is showing:

02 63217160780 BULB - H7/55W 0.03 2 $19.40
03 63217160797 LONGLIFE BULB - 5W 1 $1.98

Definitely not $100.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
WoodWorks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyMike
Mine's a H7.
Yours is H4 or are you talking about a different motorcycle???
You're right. H7. I must be dyslexic or something.

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Old 06-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #12
JoelWisman
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Halogen bulbs are sensative to vibration, and on off cycles, but they are even more sensative to voltage.

I would love to measure the voltage at the bulb on one of these bikes that keeps blowing bulbs. I did just that on an R12GS and that was indede what was causing short bulb life, though it did increase whiteness and lumens as well. It was also easily fixed with 1 dollar of parts.

I would suggest you all measure the voltage at your headlight, but the average multimeter isn't nearly accurate for this measurement. Actually I can only think of one handheld meter that is accurate enough, and it's doubtfull any but perhaps an electrical engineer owns one :(
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:40 PM   #13
GeckoRider
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I notice a "pulsing" of the headlight when idling recently. I'd guess the fluctuation in the voltage would be significant if I can actually see it. My first bulb burnt out at 5 or 6 thousand miles.

BTW what was the fix for the 1200GS that was having the issue?
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #14
CrazyMike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman
Halogen bulbs are sensative to vibration, and on off cycles, but they are even more sensative to voltage.

I would love to measure the voltage at the bulb on one of these bikes that keeps blowing bulbs. I did just that on an R12GS and that was indede what was causing short bulb life, though it did increase whiteness and lumens as well. It was also easily fixed with 1 dollar of parts.

I would suggest you all measure the voltage at your headlight, but the average multimeter isn't nearly accurate for this measurement. Actually I can only think of one handheld meter that is accurate enough, and it's doubtfull any but perhaps an electrical engineer owns one :(
Okay Joel, I'll bite. I just so happen to work in an electrical engineering laboratory and might just have access to said multimeter (even though I work on the mechanical side).
Let me know what the specific multimeter is (or what I should be looking for) and I'll see if we have it. I'll also need a little more info on what the procedure should be (if it's different than the typical method of measuring voltage).

Of course, I'll also need to know what the $1 worth of parts I'll need to obtain to rectify the situation ( pun intended).
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:23 PM   #15
EnderTheX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman
Halogen bulbs are sensative to vibration, and on off cycles, but they are even more sensative to voltage.

I would love to measure the voltage at the bulb on one of these bikes that keeps blowing bulbs. I did just that on an R12GS and that was indede what was causing short bulb life, though it did increase whiteness and lumens as well. It was also easily fixed with 1 dollar of parts.

I would suggest you all measure the voltage at your headlight, but the average multimeter isn't nearly accurate for this measurement. Actually I can only think of one handheld meter that is accurate enough, and it's doubtfull any but perhaps an electrical engineer owns one :(
I'm with mike... I'm a mechanical engineer so I can't claim knowledge of anything spark related but my company is geared towards EEs and they should have to super fancy cart/wall mounted gear that is more sensitive than your hand-held unit (don't make me say "pun intended").

Anyways, without foreknowledge of said multimeter or sparky phenomenon, I say that most statistically significant deviations occur past a 5% error so I don't see the need to measure more accurately than 0.6 V (5% of 12V) which any mega-dyi-store can manage.

Thanks Joel! I need to migrate up there and buy you a beer, you are my favorite technical F800GS guy here
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