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Jim VonBaden

HID Conversion on the R1200GS (pictorial)

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Jim VonBaden

After many many promises, I decided to do a short pictorial on how to install a set of HID lights in my R1200GS. This pictorial is done with lots of extra parts removed for clarity. I wont be telling you what tools to use, or torques. This type of pictorial doesn’t lend itself well to it, but you should easily be able to do what I did.

 

HID-Lights-in-box.jpg

Here are the lights in the box. Mine were the fat ballasts, with the igniters built in. I have done the ones without the ballast built in, and they are definitely easier to mount, though basically in the same place.

 

Headlight-covers.jpg

I removed the instruments for the job to make it easier to see, but it is definitely not needed. Here are the High (left) and low (right) covers. Just pop the caps off by twisting them counterclockwise.

 

HID-Lights-cap-no-hole.jpg

Here is a cap before drilling the 23mm hole. I used a Dremmel tool to do mine.

 

HID-Lights-cap-hole.jpg

Here is the same cap after removing the material. Interestingly, it is exactly the same size as the indents in the caps. I bet you know why?

 

 

HIDs-Mounted-HB-01.jpg

Simply push the wires through the hole, then pull the grommet in place. They recommend adding some sealant, but I didn’t. I figure they will seal just fine as is.

 

 

HIDs-Mounted-both.jpg

Here are both of them mounted. The wiring looks clean and secure in the caps.

 

 

HID-Mount-ballast-left-03.jpg

Here is the right ballast mount. You can see it went to the screw holding the oil line.

 

HID-Mount-ballast-left-02.jpg

This is the other mount, shown to illustrate the original shape. I bent it with pliars.

 

HID-Mount-ballast-right.jpg

Now you can see it is a tight fit with the beak installed. But it is clean. I added some tie straps to secure the ballast to the mount, and firm it in place as well.

 

 

HID-Mount-ballast-right-01.jpg

The right ballast fit in, and cleanly. With everything put back together, and the wiring secured, it is nearly invisible.

 

 

HID-Mount-ballast-left-01.jpg

On the left side, the ballast goes into the same place. It is a tight fit, and you will have to play with it a bit, but it will fit. The slimmer ballast would have the advantage here.

 

Now lets take a look at the results:

 

HID-Low-only.jpg

Low HID. Clean white, but not too blue. This is the 4300 kit.

 

I then added a second GS, with Motolights, and compared them side-by-side.

 

Note that the bike on the left is completely stock with 35 watt Motolights. My bike has both HIDs, and 50 watt Motolights.

 

Both-bikes-low.jpg

Low beam, you can see the difference here.

 

Hi-Lo-2-bikes-01.jpg

Both-bikes-bright.jpg

High beam, even more obvious.

 

 

Hi-Lo-Moto-2-bikes-01.jpg

Hi-Lo-Moto-2-bikes-02.jpg

Both bikes with Motolights and High Beams.

 

It seems obvious to me, especially after riding at night, that the HID lights are definitely superior, and not as susceptible to dimming at idle with Gerbings and Servos going.

 

 

HID-Lights-bulb.jpg

Here is what the bulb looks like installed in the low beam.

 

 

old-bulbs.jpg

Don’t forget to keep the old H7 bulbs, just in case. This procedure is completely reversible, and if an HID goes out, you can swap in the old H& in minutes.

 

Jim cool.gif

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Jim VonBaden

A couple of days later:

 

 

Kermit came over tonight and showed off his newly colored Hella FF50 Lights.

 

I thought it a good opportunity to compare lights on each bike, so the following is my demo on my garage door.

 

HID-L-01.jpg

HID Low beam only

 

Stock-H-L-01.jpg

Stock Low beam only

 

HID-H-L-02.jpg

HID Low and High beam

 

PB295899.jpg

Stock Low Beam (Note, Kermit has removed the cover on the tip of the bulb for better light).

 

hella-yellow-close.jpg

Kermit's "yellow" FF50, painted with craft store spray stained glass window paint.

 

Comp-HL-FF50.jpg

HID (left) and stock, both High Beams, with yellow FF50s on the right.

 

As you can see the beam for the HID light is slightly more scattered, mostly horizontally, but has a very similar line and height. I am very confident that the HID wont be blinding.

 

HID-H-L-03-new-h-1.jpg

This is an example of a cold flash to pass. The High Beam HID was dead cold, and I flicked it on. When warm from recent use, it is VERY much brighter on Flash to Pass mode.

 

Also, for those concerned about excessive flood of light outside of the beam pattern, here is what you get:

 

HID-L-02-reflect.jpg

Virtually identical to the stock amount of scattered light.

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Just a note, these are unretouched photos, and the camera made some adjustments based on the amount of light. The HID lights were significantly brighter than the pictures showed, but if you look at this picture:

 

Comp-HL-FF50.jpg

 

You can get a better feel for the differences.

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Buckster

Jim, could you tell us where you purchased the kit? Also could you describe how the kit was wired into the stock wiring?

Thanks Bob Buck

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Ebbo

Jim, do you know of any problems with switch on surge that might upset the canbus? i'm thinking of doing something similar on the RT but would love not to need relays to power them, what do you think?

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kcscout

Ummmm... is this an oriental rug in your garage?

And I thought I pampered my bike. lmao.gif

Both-bikes-bright.jpg

 

 

Great post. Informative. Thanks for sharing.

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Don_Eilenberger
Ummmm... is this an oriental rug in your garage?

And I thought I pampered my bike. lmao.gif

Machine made. I used to have an old junk real one (badly decrepit) that I used under my bikes.. it finally fell apart. Use'what'cha got.. smile.gif

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Jim VonBaden

This is a VME kit that you can get by the truckload from E-bay for under $100 for the two light set. Just search for "HID H7 4300"

 

The wiring is self contained. You simply unplug the stock bulb and remove it, and then plug the HID wiring to the stock bulb plug, and the other end from the balast to the new HID. NO extra wiring to do.

 

By the way, this wont work on an R1200ST because both bulbs are on all the time, intensity varried by voltage.

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS The carpet came with the house, and it really is nice to work on it instead of cold concrete! thumbsup.gif

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RedMac

From reading the old posts hanging around, it sounds like the kit won't work on the RT either unless you wire it up to the battery with a relay. (I don't know this, I'm only assuming from reading the old posts). I'm now thinking about just converting my high beam and leaving the low beam alone. I guess I don't mind the indicator on the dash on all the time, but sounds like there is a startup problem on the HID with the two low beam bulbs. The price on this stuff has *really* fallen over the last year which makes it almost a no brainer if it's plug and play (like the GS).

 

Is my supposition true? About the startup on the RT? Is that an issue?

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johnlt

You should consider converting only one of the low beam bulbs to HID. That shouldn't cause any problems.

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g_frey

Nice job on the tutorial. Definite proof of HID effectiveness.

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Jim VonBaden

If the RT has both bulbs going at the same time, you are in the same boat as the ST.

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Thanks!

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RedMac

Jim,

The RT has two low beams and one high beam. I don't believe they vary the voltage like on the ST.

 

They DO vary the voltage of the brake light (only 1 filament) to control brightness (well... actually, they modulate it using frequency) but I believe both low beams are just on all the time.

 

I guess the issue is the startup current of two of the low beam bulbs at the same time. Or at least I gather this by reading the other posts on R1200RT HID installs. I guess I could use a relay instead and run them off the battery (it's not rocket science) but I wanted to introduce as little added "stuff" as needed.

 

During night time driving do you really feel there is a huge difference with the HID over standard bulbs?

 

Mike

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flyingreg

Jim,

 

In one of the pictures, I noticed the High Beam bulb was tipped to one side quite a bit. Did you correct that situation? This will of course throw your H-beam off quite a lot due to lack of a focused beam.

 

EDIT: Oops, forgot to adjust for looking at back of housing. I am referring to your Low beam, NOT High Beam. 6th picture down in the series.

Edited by flyingreg

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Jim VonBaden

I see what you are saying. I have been told that two HIDs starting at the same time can reset your clock and trip meters. I have NOT experienced this in about 10 tries, just to see if I could get it to cause an issue, and all of those tries within 20 minutes without running the bike in between more than 30 seconds. SO, IMHO, it probably isn't an issue if your battery is in good shape.

 

Jim cool.gif

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Jim VonBaden

Greg,

 

The wires are coming out at a slight angle, but the bulb is in tight. The wires do not connect directly to the bulb via a connector, but instead have a little bit of slack within the housing. The bulb is in flush and straight.

 

Thanks,

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Hope you are recovering quickly! thumbsup.gif

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flyingreg
Greg,

 

The wires are coming out at a slight angle, but the bulb is in tight. The wires do not connect directly to the bulb via a connector, but instead have a little bit of slack within the housing. The bulb is in flush and straight.

 

Thanks,

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Hope you are recovering quickly! thumbsup.gif

 

Recovery is going well, go back to work Tuesday, yuk.

 

Good to know the lights are straight as an arrow. thumbsup.gif Your light conversion looks great! Thanks for sharing with us. smile.gif

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