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Headlamp lens protector - worth buying?


Sailorlite

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I had the Aeroflow molded plastic protector on my 1150RT but I don't think anything other than bugs ever hit it or even the surrounding fairing. I installed it because my 1200GS wound up with a cracked glass lens and of course I didn't want that to happen to the RT. So now I have an unprotected 1200RT and am debating spending maybe $80 for another Aeroflow or CeeBailey's lens protector.

 

What I'm wondering is, should I spend $80 to protect a $600 lens? Do RT lenses ever get rock damage? What is a smart financial/statistical decision here? (Incidentally, I know there's the clear adhesive film-type protector, but I can't see how it would conform to the complex shape of the RT's lens).

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I use a headlight protector when riding back and forth to work everyday. The sand and gravel from the road stone pits the front of my RT pretty badly. With the headlight progector it keeps the headlight lens from getting all pitted up and difusing the headlight. I then take the protector off when on LD rallies, or any time that I will be riding in rural areas at night. It keeps my headlight lens from getting "frosted". In 140k I have only replaced the protector once. At about 100k the old one was getting really scratched up and I replaced it. I think it is worth the money.

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What I'm wondering is, should I spend $80 to protect a $600 lens? Do RT lenses ever get rock damage? What is a smart financial/statistical decision here? (Incidentally, I know there's the clear adhesive film-type protector, but I can't see how it would conform to the complex shape of the RT's lens).

 

I had a rock put a hole in my RT headlight....granted it is a R1100 not a R1200, but its still just glass. If it gets a direct hit, it will break. And when I say it left a hole, I MEAN IT LEFT A HOLE. The hole was big enough to to slide a large diameter pencil through it. I put a lense cover on the replacement before I ever even installed it on the bike. I prefer the clear adhesive vinal type over the hard plastic ones.......for looks, cost, and ease of use. I think you could cover a R1200RT headlight without much trouble. You would just have to take your time. Aerostich sells it in sheets. I would buy the thinner of the two they offer, and use a heat gun/hair dryer to make it more flexible in order to ease the install.

 

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That $80 dollar price for a lens cover looks pretty reasonable right about now! I was lucky to find a used one and installing it looks to be an all day job.

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The 1100-RT headlight was crystal glass. Well worth protecting.

The 1200-RT headlight is plastic covered. I took a direct edge hit from a can flattened and thrown up by a semi tractor trailor rig at 70+ MPH. While it dinged the plastic in 2 places, it did not crack or break the headlight, which is still in use today.

I would not waste the money on a shield for a 1200-RT

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The $80 vs. $600 comparison only works if the headlight protectors work. If they don't keep the lens from breaking, then you've spent $80 + $600 when the rock hits it.

 

I have no idea if they work or not, but I do have one.

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I had a rock put a hole in my RT headlight....granted it is a R1100 not a R1200, but its still just glass. If it gets a direct hit, it will break. And when I say it left a hole, I MEAN IT LEFT A HOLE. The hole was big enough to to slide a large diameter pencil through it.

 

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Ya sure that was a rock???

 

Sure looks like a 22 bullet hole to me!

 

You been messin' around with them Amish women again???

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I have had an XPel protector ($26.95) on my RT for 4 yrs and been very pleased. Also bought a kit for the headlights on my Honda Pilot.

 

You're the second guy to recomend this brand of protector, so did you install it yourself? Any special tricks do doing that?

 

 

 

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Thanks BMW Ken. Went to the XPel site and they had some 6 5/8 round ones for my 12C so- I guess I have an extra or perhaps I can Laminate it for Exta protection.

 

good price too for me only 18 bucks and change shipped!

 

Bob

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I have had an XPel protector ($26.95) on my RT for 4 yrs and been very pleased. Also bought a kit for the headlights on my Honda Pilot.

 

You're the second guy to recomend this brand of protector, so did you install it yourself? Any special tricks do doing that?

 

 

I’ve also put the Xpel product on my bikes. The key to a good installation is lots of liquid and lots of heat. Mix up their recommended solution, use a lot of it on the sticky side, get the glass pretty warm with a hair dryer, get the product soft (not mushy, but plyable) the same way, then patiently work it into following the lenses' contour and getting the liquid out from underneath. That stuff is thick and stiff and it takes some work to get in place right. Also it will stay foggy for quite some time (weeks), but depending upon temp and time they do indeed eventually clear.

 

Oh, and don’t touch the sticky side. Once a fingerprint is there, it is there forever.

 

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What I'm wondering is, should I spend $80 to protect a $600 lens? Do RT lenses ever get rock damage?

 

It's a little difficult to see, but here's a photo where the CeeBailey lens protector on my R12RT took a hit this fall on a trip to Colorado.

 

Based on my sample of one, for me the lens protector was worth the money.

 

389701472_HUZoz-XL.jpg

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Joe Frickin' Friday
What I'm wondering is, should I spend $80 to protect a $600 lens? Do RT lenses ever get rock damage? What is a smart financial/statistical decision here?

 

Aesthetics figure into it as well. My 1100RT took a rock and sustained a small crack at some point, but that's all. Not bad for 130K miles. The alternative was an ugly (to me), expensive protector. I preferred the looks of the bike without a thick piece of safety plastic covering the headlight. I gambled and did OK, no regrets here. If/when I get a new bike, I still will go without.

 

Do you have protectors on your car's headlights? I'll wager those lenses are comparably priced, and just as vulnerable...

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"Ya sure that was a rock??? Sure looks like a 22 bullet hole to me!"

The second picture appears to have a large amount of insectoidal viscera in the 11 to 3 o'cloce position. It may have, in fact, been a bug strike. A Florida bug, I would say, from the amount of damage and the amount of detritus.

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The second picture appears to have a large amount of insectoidal viscera in the 11 to 3 o'cloce position. It may have, in fact, been a bug strike. A Florida bug, I would say, from the amount of damage and the amount of detritus.

 

Photo was taken in the hotel parking lot at the end of the day riding from Omaha to Loveland, CO (Denver area). Relative to the bug gook, not sure if you've ridden across the Central Plains in the summer, but most of the time, at the end of the day, the front of the bike pretty much looks like the face shield in your avatar.

 

If a bug cracked the Lexan, I'm thinking it would have to be an armored grasshopper :grin: .

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I have had an XPel protector ($26.95) on my RT for 4 yrs and been very pleased. Also bought a kit for the headlights on my Honda Pilot.

 

You're the second guy to recomend this brand of protector, so did you install it yourself? Any special tricks do doing that?

 

 

 

I see that Ken H answered before I had a chance, but I will add that I did the installation on the RT and on my Honda Pilot by basically following the directions and incorporating some of Ken H's tips. I was pleased with the results.

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The alternative was an ugly (to me), expensive protector. I preferred the looks of the bike without a thick piece of safety plastic covering the headlight. I gambled and did OK, no regrets here. If/when I get a new bike, I still will go without.

 

Just a case in point here. Xpel is neither expensive or ugly. It's actually invisible when installed properly.

 

As for gambling. I gambled and lost in 2006 in Death Valley. Yeah we were riding 80 to 120 in a relatively tight pack. I found both my headlight and one of my big ass driving lights cracked and wasted. I was taken out by my fellow riders kick up debris!

 

I was bummed. Now that both are replaced and covered with Xpel I no longer need to gamble or worry. :thumbsup:

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As for gambling. I gambled and lost in 2006 in Death Valley. Yeah we were riding 80 to 120 in a relatively tight pack. I found both my headlight and one of my big ass driving lights cracked and wasted. I was taken out by my fellow riders kick up debris!

 

 

 

I find it hard to believe that any of that sort of stuff goes on in DV ! :/

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it is 600 plus the time to research where to get a new/used one, researching install instructions, scheduling the actual install, not to mention all the cursing you will do for not getting the shield in the first place. You may never need it but as seen above, there is always a chance.

 

a

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"Ya sure that was a rock??? Sure looks like a 22 bullet hole to me!"

The second picture appears to have a large amount of insectoidal viscera in the 11 to 3 o'cloce position. It may have, in fact, been a bug strike. A Florida bug, I would say, from the amount of damage and the amount of detritus.

 

It was difinitely a rock/pebble. It was still rattling around inside the headlight housing after I removed it from the bike. I'm just glad it didn't take out my HID bulb in the process.

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Aesthetics figure into it as well. I preferred the looks of the bike without a thick piece of safety plastic covering the headlight.

Yeah, that's what lead me down the Xpel path. I think the stand off ones are fugly. Maybe not so much on a GS, but definitely on any of the RTs. But that's just me.

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Do you have protectors on your car's headlights? I'll wager those lenses are comparably priced, and just as vulnerable...
I'm on my third $150 fog lamp for my Saab. Part of it is the annoyance of having to go get the part and then install it. But yeah, part of it is indeed the cash outlay.

 

But then again, I don't have one on my ST. Since the headlight on that thing is so small, the chances of anything hitting it are slim. :rofl:

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I prefer the clear adhesive vinal type over the hard plastic ones.... Aerostich sells it in sheets. I would buy the thinner of the two they offer, and use a heat gun/hair dryer to make it more flexible in order to ease the install.

I started with the thicker of the Aerostich films, and it simply would not stay stuck over the compound curves of the R1100RT headlight. The thin stuff conforms much better, and a little heat is helpful. I don't think I'm losing significant impact protection with the thinner film. Clean the headlight with 91% rubbing alcohol before application.

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Another vote for the adhesive armor. I've had them for 60k on the car and 20k on the bike. I agree with the others about following the instructions not a project to attempt in a cold garage. I bought mine from Headlight Armor after seeing them mentioned on this site.

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