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Old 08-13-2011, 03:48 PM   #1
LoneStar OP
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R1100GS: Wunderlich Dual Headlight Install and Review (w lots o' pics)

Prepping the bike for a long term trip, and decided to freshen up my 98 Anniversary a bit in the front with LED instrument lights, new TT flexible stalk turn signals, and the Wunderlich Dual Headlight system. After searching the net for reviews I could only find references to an older Wunderlich version and the Touratech dual system so I decided to be a guinea pig and jump in.

Wunderbulbs was $299 plus shipping, and since I had the front end down to replace the instrument lights with colored LED's I went ahead and ordered the kit. Took a couple of weeks since the Wunderlich crew was behind after attending an event somewhere.

Woohoo!




Collector's Edition Box



Sealed for my protection



Feeling wood



I Wunder if the Germans have ever heard of bubble wrap



Luckily the bulbs weren't broken since both boxes looked like they'd been pulled out of Oprah's shorts



Harness



Doodads



The goods - frame anodized black aluminum, reflectors appear to be of a fibrous plastic, lenses held by three screws, o-ring and plate






Contents of the box



Remove the rubber caps



Install the bulbs



Plug the black and white leads onto the rear of the H7



Slip the rubber cover back over the rear of the bulb - one thing that is funky is that the spade connectors stick out far enough that the rubber cover can't go very far on the housing - they should make an angle connector IMHO



Rubber cap onto the rear of the H4 and then plug the triple connector on



At this point you need to decide whether you want the low beams to remain on when the high is switched on. This is explained in the directions, but a single white wire has the bullet connector covered with tape. If you want the low to remain on with the high beam, remove the tape and plug them together.



The parking light is pre-installed, but the bullet connectors need to be cut off and replaced with the spade connectors included in the doodad bag. The wiring connectors for the parking light in the headlight housing are spade type.



Old school vs new cool




Remove the bus headlight. Go ahead and remove the fairing also as it will make installation easier



Remove the spade plugs from the parking light socket



Plug the triple connector and spade plugs in and prepare to install the new headlight unit




Ok, up to this point it had been very easy, and I was excited to slap the new headlight in, but...
as always there is a hitch and what had taken all of 15 minutes so far now hit a speed bump.

The new aluminum plate uses the existing 3 screw holes in the plastic headlight housing, and therein lies the rub.
The plate has to fit in the thin recess of the thin plastic housing, and in my case the housing was distorted to minor degrees from heat or molding or whatever. The plate has 3 precise holes and of course the headlight housing was off by 1/16" on the bottom screws. I wrestled with the housing trying to flex it but there wasn't enough play.

Luckily the solution is easy and using a small rat tail file I lengthened the mounting holes in the aluminum plate. Luckily the lengthening was needed towards the center so I was enlarging into the solid area and not out toward the edge.

With all the variations of plastic and your particular housing you may not need to do this, but I did. Installing the plate is a tight fit and you have to flex the housing edge some here and there to get it in. That's where removing the faring comes in - if you leave it in place you can't get to the housing edge to futz with it.

No big deal, but would have been a 20 minute job max took a lot longer simply from putzing with it and then having to file out the screw holes - only the 2 bottom were required and lengthening to a slot was 1/32 to 1/16.

Plate finally in place




Testing parking light



Low beam check



High beam with low check



The ABS plastic housing is held on by 2 screws on each side. It's important to note that the cover also covers all 3 headlight mounting bolts SO if you are using an aftermarket headlight screen that uses them, it will no longer work. Your options are to make one utilizing the side screws or the windscreen bolts as a base - or simply screw screen directly onto the plastic housing itself.




Installed



As you can see the housing extends forward, providing "some" protection for the headlights but also and importantly, the housing shields the windscreen from the headlight glare as with the factory version.




Liking the look already



With the windscreen and the new TT flexible stalk blinkers



"Luke, I am your faaaather"










Just looking at the catalog pics it was hard to tell how it really looked, but in the flesh this thing looks damn good IMO.

Bottom line will be whether it is an improvement over the stock or not, and getting it all adjusted will be interesting. Still I like the look and really like the redundancy of two bulbs vs one. I try not to ride at night, but sometimes it has to happen and I'm also prepping the bike for a long term trip to S America so I'm hoping this proves to be durable and better than stock.

I'll have to fab a rock guard for it at some point

Next Installment: Real World Lighting Comparison

More manana amigos

LoneStar screwed with this post 08-13-2011 at 05:28 PM
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
lewis_jr1
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Nice upgrade to a great machine. I'm also impressed at a cost-effective kit from Wunderlich. I wonder when they started that policy?
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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Lewis lol - I was shocked it was 299 myself

Got the bike back together after replacing FI hose, fittings and doing some rerouting - tonight will be the big test to see beam pattern and brightness

Before and after

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Old 08-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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I will say it's cool looking.........I had always wondered how hard it would be to fab up a dual headlight like that......for cheaper of course and use the Wunderlich wiring diagrams.

Anxious to see the actual light output!
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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Initial light test

•• CAVEAT •• - I didn't have time to fully adjust the headlight throw on the Wunderlich and it's pointing too low compared to the stock headlight pictures. My battery, which has been on it's last legs for a while, pooped out right when I was about to adjust the Wunderlich beams lol. Maybe when it gets charged up I'll do a reshoot. Also, the lights brightened up some when the engine was fired up so in fact the test comparison below is a little flawed against the Wunderlich since the battery was poopy.

The photos were taken at identical exposures, color balance and at a lens length approximating normal field of view to fairly compare the lights.
FYI the far end of the driveway is almost 100 yards exactly.

Stock Headlight on Low Beam



Wunderlich Headlight on Low Beam (aimed too low)



Stock Headlight on High Beam



Wunderlich Headlight on High Beam



As you can see, the Wunderlich low beams are significantly brighter on low with a spread reflecting the round headlight shape - but they are pointed too low for better comparison. The stock rectangular headlight on low is much dimmer but has a slightly wider spread due to the rectangular reflector design.

The Wunderlich High Beam is not as bright at distance as the stock, but has a much better pattern overall and when I get it adjusted it may be a little better. In fact after looking at tight crops of the concrete area there's only a 10% difference or so and I bet that disappears when properly adjusted.

The stock headlight on High leaves large areas of darkness near the bike and at the edges of the road. The Low beam is too dim overall but it's interesting to see how well the stock headlight designers were able to match the cut off points of the high and low beam.

SO, it's looking like the Wunderlich with the High / Low combo will be brighter overall with a better spread. No miraculous differences but some significant improvements in broader and smoother illumination as well as brightness in the Low beam area. I bet the high beam will at least equal and probably better the stock for brightness when adjusted and definitely improves the field of illumination some.

Anyway I'll top off the report when I get them adjusted and do some riding.

LoneStar screwed with this post 08-15-2011 at 02:09 PM Reason: Added data
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:25 PM   #6
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nice work bro !
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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Nice job, they look very good. Thanks for the write up
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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Looks like this setup could benefit from an HID conversion. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnsrocket View Post
I will say it's cool looking.........I had always wondered how hard it would be to fab up a dual headlight like that......for cheaper of course and use the Wunderlich wiring diagrams.

Anxious to see the actual light output!

I have read about some inmates taking an old headlight set up off of a Honda or older Katana, or such and supposedly it fits in the gap quite well. All that has to be done is to fab up a bracket to hold it in place. I've toyed with the idea, but obviously no too hard. Yet.




Nice write up, thanks for posting the pictures. I like it.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
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Thanks guys - too much rime on my hands right now LOL.

To be honest I wasn't sure if I liked the dual look based solely on pics but in real life it really looks good IMO.

Farns I don't think it would be too hard to fab one if you have tools and time - it's certainly not complex and like Kawi says just sourcing the lights would be the trickiest part.

Unfortunately I don't have the time or tools to produce something nice and finding the parts around here would be slim so for me the premade kit was the way to go. I'd discounted the TT version based on a few reviews I'd found which said it was no improvement and some said even worse.

Wunderlich's version was $100 less and their blurb said it was a "new" 3rd gen design so that sounded good. I always fall for that marketing crap Seriously though I've found Wunderlich stuff to be really well designed and made in the past so I figured I'd give it a shot. I used their peg lowering kit and rear tail rack support and both were very high quality.

Def - my only experience with HID is reading threads here. I was going to go that route for the stock headlamp but as I understood it the 1100's H7 required the solenoid version of the bulb and I just couldn't see that lasting a long time in rough terrain. Murphy has been my two-up riding buddy for years

My upgrade plan includes HID lights similar to the TT version or Wunderlich Flooters at some point, but I haven't got there yet.

This dual setup would be good for HID since one lamp could remain on while the HID fired up. Since the headlight housing is curved and now there are two lamps instead one in the center you'd probably have to cut holes into the rear of the housing - that is if the HID bulbs protrude further out - which I don't know.


Ok, now do I go with the pricey Shorai battery which I can't afford or the now "old school" Odyssey battery which I can't afford either but will put me less in debt.... hmmmmmm, decisions, decisions

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Old 08-15-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
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Certainly looks the part and illumintes well And a good How to write up to boot

So thats something else to buy for mine then..............







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Old 08-15-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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Nice job. Different exposure settings for pictures

Not a big difference but by looking ot your jpg Exif information you've manually exposed Wunderlich with 0.5s and Stock with 0.4s, same f2.8 IS0400 for both pictures.
Exposure time does change things (the longer the brighter) but I'd say there would still be a difference even if both were taken with 0.5s exposure time.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
Not a big difference but by looking ot your jpg Exif information you've manually exposed Wunderlich with 0.5s and Stock with 0.4s, same f2.8 IS0400 for both pictures.
Exposure time does change things (the longer the brighter) but I'd say there would still be a difference even if both were taken with 0.5s exposure time.
I'm pretty sure the low beam pattern and overall visibility of the W. kit is below the stock headlight. That bus-like piece give the R1100Gs one of the best nigh-riding lamps ever fitted on a bike. IMO.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LoneStar View Post
I'd discounted the TT version based on a few reviews I'd found which said it was no improvement and some said even worse.

Nice. Finally they come in 55/60-watt versions. I had the TT version on both my GSPD airhead and 1100GS and they were both a total waste of money. They were only specified for 35-watt H4 bulbs which had the lumens capability of scooters at best. Finally sold them and one buyer mentioned later on that he started using 55/60-watt H4 bulbs. The reflectors melted in no time at all
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by switch View Post
I'm pretty sure the low beam pattern and overall visibility of the W. kit is below the stock headlight. That bus-like piece give the R1100Gs one of the best nigh-riding lamps ever fitted on a bike. IMO.
Then don't ever ride a V-Strom. That headlight puts the 1100 to shame. Coming from the V-Strom to the R1100GS I immediately noticed what a huge difference there is, and how superior the Suzuki design is. Of course, the Suzuki design is almost 10 years newer.
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