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LED Part Deux


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I bought these LED lights for my '96 RT after a certain forum member whined about my slow rate of progress.  I can't stand hearing a grown man whine, so game was on.




You can definitely get brighter lights, but when it comes to experiments, I try not to overspend.  Two for $40 was not too hard to agree to.  Besides, it is an authentic Eye Of Megatron... says so right on the box!


I am not the most skilled vlogger but I thought it might amuse somebody somewhere to see the details of the process.  Especially if, like me, you are squeamish about an upgrade that requires you to carve at your precious BMW Motorrad product.  Here goes:


Photo 1:  The 'Before' shot.  I set the exposure on the battery idiot light so the camera wouldn't attempt to compensate for any difference in brightness of the headlamp.  I know, that awesome gear bar, right? 

Photo 2:  I'm going to assume you can all manage to get the old lamp OUT.  In order to show the orientation of the components, and for comparison of the new bulb, I've reassembled the stock bulb and holder in the boot.  The boot is in the "innie" configuration... as it sits when in service.  One comment about disassembly... When you unclip the spring clip, memorize how it fits, what it clips to (the tiny plastic hooks), how it sits, etc.  Visibility is much more limited during reassembly.  Others have noted that the clip and plastic mount are not replacable, so don't break them.

Photo 3:  Same idea as Photo 2, but bulb is separated from the boot.  In both photos 2 and 3, left is "up."

Photo 4:  Comparison of the stock bulb and the new one.  Already we see that the LED unit's bottom is a little thiccc, but it can be squeezed into the existing boot.  Another item to note is the white rubbery O-ring on the LED unit.  That provides a seal between the light fixture and the (removable, fortunately) mounting ring.

Photo 5:  The light fixture separated from the mounting ring.

Photo 6:  The new mounting ring inserted on the front side of the boot.  The single fat metal tab should be oriented "up."

Photo 7:  Now's the time to get out your new and sharp utility knife blade, and trim out the rubber membrane that the stock bulb's connectors poked out of.  I tried not to take it all the way out, hoping that leaving a little lip would help form a weather-resistant seal.  This is probably an unnecessary concern, as the collar of the boot seals nicely against the mounting ring.  Notice that we have pushed the boot into an "outie" configuration.

Photo 8:  The result of trimming, still in "outie" position.  At this point, remove the mounting ring and set aside.

Photo 9:  This photo really isn't necessary but it does show how the new bulb goes into the boot.  Now's a good time to again notice the white O-ring.  That O-ring will need to be pushed in *past* the trimmed area, so put the collar in "outie" mode...

Photo 10:  like this....

Photo 11: and push the bulb in...

Photo 12:  all the way.  Again, get the O-ring in past the collar you created when trimming the boot.  This is important when...

Photo 13:  you bring the mounting ring back into the picture.  The boot does interfere a bit (shown in Ph. 14) so you will have to push firmly to bottom out the twist connection. 

Photo 14:  Showing the snug fit of the boot against the LED cooling fins.  Will this be a problem?  Time will tell.

Photos 15 and 16:  Now you have to figure out how to fit your meaty hams and the bulb and the boot all in there at the same time, preserving enough manual dexterity to finesse the collar spring clip back into position.  I think this is the stickiest wicket of the procedure.  During disassembly, the boot came off before the bulb.  This vastly simplifies things, as the spring clip does not gracefully accommodate dis/assembly with the boot present.  Maybe one of you will figure out how to do this assembly in the proper order, but it seemed like I needed to fit the entire lamp + boot assembly as a unit, which required gently persuading the clip to allow the assembly into position, before hooking the spring clip into position (Photo 15).  I found it helped to use my left hand to grab a fistful of boot and wire and hold them back out of the way while the right hand reached in the other side to clip the spring in.

Photo 17:  The "after" shot.  Again, I set the exposure to key on the battery light, so I think the difference in apparent brightness is real.  Also the color is much whiter.  So far I'm pleased, but will have to take a little ride tonight to see what it's like in operation.


I went to some detail here not so much because you could not have figured this out yourself, but because there seem to be a wide variety of LED mounts, and I think I got lucky with the one I chose.  It fits acceptably, I think.  I wanted you to be able to shop for an LED unit and have some idea of which ones stand a chance of fitting without modifying the boot too much.  I tend to find myself out riding in bad weather much more often than I mean to, so I didn't want to compromise the weather-proofness.  If you're a dedicated fair-weather rider, maybe you wouldn't mind cutting away the boot in order to accommodate a really phat LED base.



















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Now that I've had a chance to run around the block this evening, I can report a vast improvement in the amount of light, and after the ride I checked the fixture and it was warm but not hot to the touch.  It is so bright that I had to stop and check the aiming lever, and put it in the 'low' position.  Even at low beam, I was blinding myself with reflective road signs.


Best $20 ever spent for visibility, I'd say.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I actually haven’t been out after dark since my trial run.  You can see the lens pattern discreetly aimed at the pavement, so I doubt it’ll be a problem.  Dose high beams tho :14:

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