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R1200 Headlight Lamps, again


CraigT

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I've owned two previous BMW's and a few other little Japanese machines over the past fourteen years or so and I have now just had to replace both my headlight lamps again on my ST. I have now replaced the lamps FIVE times (five lamps that is). This is more than all my other bikes put together. My RS done 52k miles and I replaced the lamp once, my S done 29k miles on the original lamps

 

The lights are very bright and I'm beginning to think the bike runs at a higher than normal voltage, thus blowing the lamps prematurely. I know this has been touched on before, but now I'm beginning to think there is a problem with the rectifiers on these machines?

 

Opinions and experiences welcomed, as I'm going to take a trip back to the dealer about this matter. (I write as the second lamp on the headlight has just failed, one week after the first one)

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Suggest you check system voltage. Perhaps your alternator/regulator is holding system voltage too high. Normal voltage on a "12 volt" battery is actually 13.2v and normal regulator adjustment (when they used to be adjustable) is 14.1v. If it isn't trying to charge at 16v then I would replace the battery to make sure it is good and thoroughly check for loose connections between alternator and battery and GROUNDS.

Note: I have no specific experience with this on motorcycles, this is general repair procedure from my extensive experience on cars.

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Greg is accurate, the first thing to check is system voltage while running an an RPM higher than the charging threshold. Say at 1800 RPM or so.

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I've had the same experience on an R1200RT.. In 60K miles, I've replaced botht the left and right bulbs 4 times. Charging system checks out OK..

 

TinMan.

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Jim VonBaden

Are you guys all using H7 bulbs like the 12GS?

 

If so, it isn't the bike. My Hyundai uses H7 and they go out at least once a year. I use my car a lot less than my bike. Hyundai even warranties the bulbs for 5years and 50 miles.

 

Seems the H7 bulb is not very durable. I have replaced my bike bulbs at 15K miles, and expect to do it again soon, though I now have Sylvania Silverstars in it.

 

Jim cool.gif

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My '06 with 32K miles has needed replacement of the bulbs twice, both left and right sides. What is interesting is that when one side goes the other goes within a very short period. Next time I'll probably just replace the pair when one goes.

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV

I lost the right low beam at 15,000 miles and the left one at 22,000 miles. I seem to recall that Kragen sells a "long life H-7" that is supposed to be more resistant to vibration. Next time I'll try that one.

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only the low beam goes, I've never had any of the high bemas fail, but I use high beam very rarely. I exchanged this pair with the Philips ultrabrite versions, which have a blue tinge but life expectancy to be advised.

 

It's maybe simply the new lamp style that sacrifices longevity for sheer brightness. Can't see this being a design element though.

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Well my 05 R12RT now has 45,000 km on it and it still has the original lamps in it, except for the High beam, as I converted that to HID a few weeks ago!

 

Andy.

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV
Well my 05 R12RT now has 45,000 km on it and it still has the original lamps in it, except for the High beam, as I converted that to HID a few weeks ago!

 

Andy.

 

I converted my High-beam to 4300K HID a couple of weeks ago also. I haven't ridden at night but light is super bright--amazing--and it makes the low-beams look orange.

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV
Whose kit are you using for the high beam HID conversion?

 

Jim

I bought the single-bulb motorcycle kit (H-7 4300K) from Fashtek for $89 + $10shipping. Seems like a well built kit. I chose 4300K because everything I've read about HID says that gives you the most useable light.

 

http://www.fashtek.com/

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Thanks Dick, just ordered the same 4300K single H7 conversion from the link you provided.

 

Any tips on the ballast location?

 

Jim

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I would be interested in doing this conversion myself however I am not particularly mechanically inclined. I would appreciate if someone would post a short write up as to what is involved so I could see if its something I could consider doing. I talked to my local dealer and they won't even consider doing anything of this sort.

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV
Thanks Dick, just ordered the same 4300K single H7 conversion from the link you provided.

 

Any tips on the ballast location?

 

Jim

 

The High-beam light is pretty easy to get to, but it's still easier if you have someone help you. The kit is basically Plug-and-play. Remove the 1/4-turn cap. Remove the connector and then unplug the bulb. Put a volt-meter into the connector --to determine which lead is "+" (I think it's the white lead--but I'm not positive ;-} ). Start the bike and turn on the high beam to activate the measurement. The HID assembly has two wires with spade connectors that plug directly into the bulb connector to power the unit. I won't go into any more detail because the installation booklet that comes with it is pretty good. I mounted the Ballast on top of the frame-member, right behind the High Beam. Then I strapped it in place using a long hose clamp and tightend the clamp from underneath. Let me know if you have any other questions. By the Way, one reason for two people is: one to hold the bulb-connector, while you insert the spade lugs into the connector--Red wire goes to the positive socket.

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Thanks Dick. Should be a fairly straight forward install.

 

Better than the ordering experience anyway. After I ordered it and paid with Paypal...they sent me a note saying I owed them another 18.00 for shipping. I replied that the advert says 10.00 US for shipping. They said yea, but not to Canada. I said well you didn't say that and so on and so on. I sent the extra 18.00 but their advert is missleading to say the least.

 

Jim

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