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Old 11-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
gearheadE30 OP
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Bi-xenon headlight retrofit

So I promised I would post this a long time ago, but school has been a pain and I haven't really had time til now.

As with almost everyone who has one of our fantastic bikes, I hate the stock headlight. Although it has a decent spread, it is dim, the reflector fades, and if you're moving more than about 40 mph you start outrunning the beam. It was bad enough that I didn't like riding at night, at all. The euro headlight is a popular upgrade, but the improvement you get for $200 is pretty minimal, and most of that comes from the new reflector and fresh chrome. Even putting an HID bulb in the stock faded reflector only can do so much, and the beam pattern is pretty abysmal.

So for about half the cost of a euro light, here's what I did.

What you need:
-oven
-box cutter
-Silicone RTV (the black kind)
-screw drivers
-Morimoto H1 Mini projector (link) $60. Email TRS; they'll sell you just one. I got the 'mini gatling' shroud
-H1 bulb and ballast for the housing (I used this one) $35 with shipping

Start by removing the headlight from the bike. You'll need to remove the headlight housing from the windshield as well. Preheat your oven to ~250 degrees F, and put the headlight in it on a cookie sheet or something flat, with the lens facing upwards. Using the box cutter and small flat blade screwdrivers, work your way around the lens of the headlight. The goal is to use the oven to soften the adhesive/sealer, and pry it out when it's hot. I had to go back and forth between prying and the oven about 15 times. It takes a long time, and the adhesive KTM used is ridiculously strong for the application. Be careful of the tabs on the clear lens; they are very brittle and break easily when bent. The black plastic housing, on the other hand, is pretty resiliant and softens quite a bit when heated. 250 F is close to its softening point, apparently.

**this is pretty time consuming. Take your time, and budget a few hours to get it off. It took me awhile, and I've done this before on cars. The KTM headlight was much more difficult than any car headlight I've ever pulled apart. Have something else to do while the light is in the oven so you aren't just standing there impatiently the whole time**

If you want, you can do this part before you take the lens off, but this is when I did it. If you look at the back of the headlight, there is a screw about half way up the back, and only on one side. The other side appears to just have a blank boss molded in. Underneath that plastic, however, is another screw. what you need to do is take a Dremel or a knife and grind away the end of the plastic so you can get to the head of the screw. Don't try to cut it off with a cutoff wheel or something because it would be pretty easy to cut the head off the screw as well. This screw is the same size as the exposed one, just shorter. There's a pic below that shows the nub I'm talking about.

With the lens off, you can now install the projector assembly. Here's a pic. Note the wires running through the slot - those go to the solenoid for the high beam.

The instructions for the projector show how to do it pretty well, and unfortunately I didn't get a pic of putting it together, but there is an adapter ring that goes around the threads and the projector clamps on the plastic lens with a large nut. The only thing I would do beyond the instructions is use threadlock on the nut to keep it from backing off. Make sure you put the projector in the correct way, with the cutoff flap on top.

Now that the projector is in, if you try to put the lens back on, you will see that the end of the projector hits the inside of the lens. That's why you cut the plastic cap off earlier. These two screws, shown in the picture below in the red circles, have pivot balls on the other end that support the upper part of the lens in conjunction with the adjustment screw at the bottom.


Adjust these screws out as far as you can. You will feel the ajustment start to get tight as you're backing the screws out. at this point, turn them back in a turn or so to give the lens room to 'float' when you adjust it later. Now, if you put the lens on, there is a decent amount of space between the lens and the projector. Try to scrape/cut off as much of the old sealer as you can, and reassemble using the black RTV. Try to do a good job; you don't want water getting into your headlight.

At this point, your light should look like this:



There is only one more modification you have to make to the wiring, which actually mimics what the euro headlight does. Follow the headlight bulb harness to the molex connector on the back of the dash. It is a 6 pin connector with 4 wires in it, and looks like this:


Pop the pin for the green wire out, and move it so it now looks like this:


What this does is keep the ballast on when you turn the high beams on. Normally, when you hit the high beam switch, the low beam filament in the H4 bulb goes dark. Since there is now only one bulb and effectively one filament (though xenon bulbs don't actually have filaments), you need to keep the power on to this circuit when the switch is flipped. Fortunately, KTM provides all the wiring.

One more bit of wiring left: remember those two wires that run from the projector through the headlight lens? Those control the solenoid that lifts the cutoff flap to give you a high beam. The black wire goes to ground, and the red wire goes to the power lead for the high beam at the H4 bulb, which is the blue wire. For wiring in the ballast for the HID, it's the same as any other HID kit. Power from the green wire at the H4 plug, and ground from the brown wire, and that's it. You should be good to go.

Pics testing it out:





Low:

High:
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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If you want to avoid the problem with the projector length, TRS sells a version of the Morimoto Mini that uses d2s bulbs and is shorter. Apparently the beam pattern isn't quite as good as the H1, but you don't have to use rebased bulbs (d2s is the oem HID bulb designation) and it's a bit shorter.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Wow looks preatty good.
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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Excellent!

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
Did you have an HID/Euro combination before? Mine works pretty well, but has a significant vertical flare issue when driving in the fog.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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Thanks GearHead.

This really great !!!
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkgd View Post
Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
Did you have an HID/Euro combination before? Mine works pretty well, but has a significant vertical flare issue when driving in the fog.
I did not; I figured this was probably better for half the price, hah. I have, however, had vehicles with H4 HIDs in the past, and there is a lot of vertical flare. Makes it a little easier to see, but it blinds people on the street and does have the fog issue you mentioned. Because of past experiences with H4/HID, I didn't bother trying it; I just went right to this bi-xenon setup. So far so good. We'll see how well it holds up to bouncing around off road.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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And that is the question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadE30 View Post
SNIP.... We'll see how well it holds up to bouncing around off road.
Look forward to what you experince on that front in a few months.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkgd View Post
Look forward to what you experince on that front in a few months.
My retrofit with the same projector unit has been going for about 2 years now. a year and a half anyway, there's another thread with similar information somewhere in the ether, we could find out if anyone was really curious. I've had no problems, except that in the last month a hairline crack developed in the plexy headlight screen, right in front of the projector (where it touches, in fact). When/if I ever get around to re doing this (I've got an extra stock headlight sitting around to use), I'll probably take a hole saw to the back of the stock headlight reflector or otherwise make it so there's more clearance between projector and plexiglass. I have a morimoto mini H1, so maybe the D2S version would leave more room, I didn't know/didn't see that at the time.

The light is excellent, better than any other motorcycle I've been around or car I've driven. My riding buddy has a euro headlamp with 55w HID, it's a good headlight, but not as nice a spread/cutoff as the projector.

One other thing- I originally tried the morimoto with a 35 w HID bulb, it just wasn't enough, I soon bought a 55w HID kit to go in there, I've been very happy with it since. The cutoff is a little too sharp on really twisty roads at night, but that's a tradeoff for having a very bright light that's still ok in traffic.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
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I'm working on a similar project at the moment but I'm using a fxr instead of a mini.
Also trying to fit a led spot in the top.

Played around with a twin side by side setup as well but I'm undecided if I take it any further.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
gearheadE30 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackmeyer View Post
My retrofit with the same projector unit has been going for about 2 years now. a year and a half anyway, there's another thread with similar information somewhere in the ether, we could find out if anyone was really curious. I've had no problems, except that in the last month a hairline crack developed in the plexy headlight screen, right in front of the projector (where it touches, in fact). When/if I ever get around to re doing this (I've got an extra stock headlight sitting around to use), I'll probably take a hole saw to the back of the stock headlight reflector or otherwise make it so there's more clearance between projector and plexiglass. I have a morimoto mini H1, so maybe the D2S version would leave more room, I didn't know/didn't see that at the time.

The light is excellent, better than any other motorcycle I've been around or car I've driven. My riding buddy has a euro headlamp with 55w HID, it's a good headlight, but not as nice a spread/cutoff as the projector.

One other thing- I originally tried the morimoto with a 35 w HID bulb, it just wasn't enough, I soon bought a 55w HID kit to go in there, I've been very happy with it since. The cutoff is a little too sharp on really twisty roads at night, but that's a tradeoff for having a very bright light that's still ok in traffic.
That trick of backing out the upper lens pivot screws would take care of that crack for you and save the effort, I would guess. I have a good quarter inch of space there now.

The d2s is something like a half inch shorter if I remember right, because the bulb itself is shorter. From what I read online, the d2s doesn't have as wide a spread, but there's not much information to quantify that.

The cutoff is very sharp, which is interesting in the twisties. The cutoff flap can be removed, so if you really wanted a little more, you could modify it for a euro cutoff that is slanted up on the side rather than flat all the way across, which would help somewhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRjoe View Post
I'm working on a similar project at the moment but I'm using a fxr instead of a mini.
Also trying to fit a led spot in the top.

Played around with a twin side by side setup as well but I'm undecided if I take it any further.
Definitely interested in pics of the FXR for comparison/difficulty.
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2005.5 KTM 950 Adventure and 2012 KTM 200 XC-W
1991 BMW 318is turbo track car
1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon sleeper tow car
1992 Subaru SVX daily
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:55 PM   #11
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Looks good
will this work with a D1S HID ?

BTW
( on the subject of 9xx dim headlight syndrome )

my headlight always seemed dim
then one day at around 50,000 miles the regulator went out at the end of a long ride, the headlight got dimmer and dimmer until the battery was almost completly dead and it started sputtering until I turned out the headlight and it started running again, held a flashlight over the bars and made it home

I changed the regulator to the Mosfet upgrade and cannot believe how much brighter the headlight is now
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Dustodust screwed with this post 11-03-2013 at 12:09 AM
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #12
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I don't believe it will work with d1s because the bulb is different. The projector housings are designed to work with a specific bulb type, and right now the only ones Morimoto offers are for H1 and d2s bulbs. If you found a d1s housing, though, you could retrofit that and use that bulb.

If your bike isn't making full power, that will definitely affect light output with a stock bulb. Due to the way a xenon bulb works, it is either on or off, so if your voltage is too low, it just won't come on. That's why HID lights tend to flicker when cranking the bike over, due to the voltage drop pulses.
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1991 BMW 318is turbo track car
1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon sleeper tow car
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackmeyer View Post
My retrofit with the same projector unit has been going for about 2 years now. a year and a half anyway, there's another thread with similar information somewhere in the ether, we could find out if anyone was really curious. I've had no problems, except that in the last month a hairline crack developed in the plexy headlight screen, right in front of the projector (where it touches, in fact). When/if I ever get around to re doing this (I've got an extra stock headlight sitting around to use), I'll probably take a hole saw to the back of the stock headlight reflector or otherwise make it so there's more clearance between projector and plexiglass. I have a morimoto mini H1, so maybe the D2S version would leave more room, I didn't know/didn't see that at the time.

The light is excellent, better than any other motorcycle I've been around or car I've driven. My riding buddy has a euro headlamp with 55w HID, it's a good headlight, but not as nice a spread/cutoff as the projector.

One other thing- I originally tried the morimoto with a 35 w HID bulb, it just wasn't enough, I soon bought a 55w HID kit to go in there, I've been very happy with it since. The cutoff is a little too sharp on really twisty roads at night, but that's a tradeoff for having a very bright light that's still ok in traffic.
Slackmeyer,
Great information - thanks! Out of curiousity - how much of your riding is off road? Rough mileage estimate?
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Unkgd View Post
Slackmeyer,
Great information - thanks! Out of curiousity - how much of your riding is off road? Rough mileage estimate?
Is that a mileage estimate of rough roads, or a rough estimate of mileage? I just looked up my earlier post (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...0&postcount=47), and cross referenced some oil change logs, it's been on there for 10k miles (I haven't ridden very much this last year), probably 15% dirt roads, with just a bit of that on trails and really rough stuff, like OHV park stuff. Only other thing I can add is that I ride in all weather, so it's been through plenty of rain a recent trip up to washington where it got a good bit of freezing weather.

If you look at that earlier post, you'll see I added a short section of pvc pipe to beef up the installation, I didn't like having the projector mounted just at the back, it seemed like it put a lot of stress on the back of the original reflector, which isn't designed for that. Oh, and a couple posts below mine, someone says that the D2S projector is longer than the H1 projector, so it wouldn't work very well- I don't know if that's accurate, or if the info in this thread is accurate, but the H1 projector does fit (barely).
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #15
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Here's what the internet says from the distributor, but who knows if it's right.

d2s is 5" long, 100mm of depth required
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...roducts_id=236

H1 is 5.35", 107mm of depth required
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...oducts_id=3181
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1992 Subaru SVX daily
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