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wbw6cos

My 1250 RT H7 bulb issue

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wbw6cos

While this is not specifically an issue related to the Shift Cam motor, I decide to post it here; it can include prior year RT's with the same headlight set-up.

 

While at FART in Newport, my headlight gave out on me.  I also have the OEM auxiliary white LED lights and a set of amber Clearwater Darlas on the forks; daylight riding would be fine.  I decided to purchase a Sylvania H7 for $29 and some change.  Back at the hotel, I make an effort to reach up under to try and change out the bulb, sitting in front of the bike.  I have read enough threads on this and figured I would give it a go.  After about 15 minutes, a crowd was gathering., offering some insight on how best to do this procedure.   At first, we started to look for fuses because it was mentioned that "both bulbs" had burned out at the same time.  Wait, what?  The bike is on a Canbus system and has the main 50 A fuse and 2 smaller ones ( forget what they are for.)  Then I look at the front and realize that I only have  one lowbeam bulb. DOH!  Apparently, some other RT's have two and I did not remember that.  Anyhoo, I managed to get both spring clips free of the base and try to remove the bulb, but the wiring harness (still connected) made it difficult to remove.  As I look through my owner's manual to find out about the headlight bulb, I discover the instructions on who to replace it.  Step one:  unplug the bulb.  Step two:  release the spring clipss and Step 3:  remove the bulb.  With the bulb loose from the clips, it is darn-near impossible to unplug that bulb with only one hand in there.  Best thing to do is hook the clips back up then remove the plug.  The problem was that I could not get the right side clip hooked in as the catch hook was somehow bent (pushed) in..  The left side wire clip was hooked but it still did not have enough hold to unplug the bulb.

 

After a couple of beers and a feeble attempt to remove the whole headlight assembly, I decided that I was better off running it by the dealer and let them take shot at it.  After the Mr. Zoom ride, I took the bike over to https://alcoagoodtimes.com/ and they changed it out for me.  The bulb, at the dealer, cost $13 and some change.  What????   Quite the opposite from the auto parts store.  Oh, my.   It turns out that the right side hook was bent and the technician could not hook the spring clip on that side.   He stated it would take pulling the headlight assembly out and straighten it out on a work bench.  The bulb is hooked on the left side and it "ain't goin nowhere" so I figured I would leave that for a future prject in my own environment (The Shed!)

 

Fast forward to last weekend, with Delta rain coming, I decided to try and hook that clip in place with a dowel.(read about it on the internet.)  The only dowel I had was 1/2" diameter, which was way too big.  I whittled the end down a bit, but I still could not get it to catch.  I needed to bend that hook back in place.  Among my horded items, I had an old portable radio antenna not being used.  So I used the base of it to catch that hook on the hole for the antenna screw and just pulled on it.  The hook was moving back in place.  A few more tugs and I used my dowel to push the clip on.  Success!

 

The only way that hook got bent was by my fingers. I guess.  Nothing was used to try and unhook those clips; we did not have anything at the hotel.  I guess my guitar fingers were tougher than I thought.  It did hurt my fingers to try and get the clips released, though.  Now I know why one side was harder on my finger than the other.  

 

On a side note, I can reach in from either side of the forks, while standing up.  I may try that next time.

 

I hope this sheds a little more light on this subject matter to help the next H7 bulb-changing rider.

 

 

Thanks for reading.
 

 

 

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Ron-M

And I thought changing the bulbs on my 07 RT was bad............Can't wait to change them out on the 20 RT :27:

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Skywagon

Similar experience. Mine blew @ 15k miles. I tried and tried and could not get rebooked from front or back I had a long wooden dowel. I cut a notch in it, fished it down fromnthe panel side and hooked it in a few seconds. I don’t know why these bulbs pop. On my R1150RT I put 60k/miles on it and never changed it. In fact over all my bikes and years this is the only one I’ve changed. 
DR recommended a certain bulb that he thought held up a little better. I bought a couple of spares and keep one with me. They aren’t available any more. This one has about 15k/miles on it so we will see if it holds better

I think it was DR who had a theory about how the voltage spike hits these during startup. 

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dirtrider
8 hours ago, Skywagon said:

Similar experience. Mine blew @ 15k miles. I tried and tried and could not get rebooked from front or back I had a long wooden dowel. I cut a notch in it, fished it down fromnthe panel side and hooked it in a few seconds. I don’t know why these bulbs pop. On my R1150RT I put 60k/miles on it and never changed it. In fact over all my bikes and years this is the only one I’ve changed. 
DR recommended a certain bulb that he thought held up a little better. I bought a couple of spares and keep one with me. They aren’t available any more. This one has about 15k/miles on it so we will see if it holds better

I think it was DR who had a theory about how the voltage spike hits these during startup. 

Morning David

 

Your old 1150 had a different bulb type, PLUS the headlight bulb came on at initial key-on (engine not running yet) so the bulb warmed up slightly before the "full alternator output" increased-voltage hit it.  

 

The 1200 is just the opposite-- it has an H-7 bulb & those have a very tightly wound filament so they are more susceptible to fracture. Then to make it even worse the 1200 bulb doesn't come on at initial key-on at reduced voltage but it waits to come on at engine running with alternator increased system voltage.  (where I work we call that "designed to fail").

 

Most will notice that the 1200 bikes fail the H-7 headlight right after engine start (not while riding).

 

Auto/light trucks also have a history of H-7 failures but most have DRL systems that operate the headlight at partial voltage during daylight so that prolongs the H-7 life. A couple of foreign automobiles had so many problems with H-7 bulb life that they requested an LL H-7 bulb (LL= Long Life). The LL H-7  seems to help but they are usually a lot more expensive & not a great light producer. 

 

Best workaround I have (personally) found was that Osram 64217 bulb that I recommended to you as  it was an H-9 bulb built into an H-7 base (unfortunately that bulb isn't available from Osram  any longer). There is now (or was anyhow) a secondary supplier (clone) of that Osram H-7 but they are super expensive so I don't have any data on service history of that cloned bulb.  

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Skywagon

Thanks DR...my memory was a little faded on that.  On of the things you can do on the wetheads pre start is hit the high beam lever.  With the key on, engine off, hit the high beam selector then the low beam will come on and stay on.  Then you can start the bike.  Any thought if that might help?

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dirtrider
1 minute ago, Skywagon said:

Thanks DR...my memory was a little faded on that.  On of the things you can do on the wetheads pre start is hit the high beam lever.  With the key on, engine off, hit the high beam selector then the low beam will come on and stay on.  Then you can start the bike.  Any thought if that might help?

Afternoon David

 

Sure, it could help as that would warm the bulb filament at a lower (pre start) voltage. Kind of a pain to do every start though.  

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Skywagon

Ill start doing it and see what happens.  As the current bulb has been there 15K it might be a little late, but I'll make it part of my routine.  I pause anyway pre-start with key on to make sure SENA connects first.  I only do that because if SENA doesn't connect and I have to start resetting, I don't want the bike to have gone through a 15 second engine run then shutdown.  Hitting the dimmer switch will take a fraction of a second.  

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dirtrider
3 minutes ago, Skywagon said:

Ill start doing it and see what happens.  As the current bulb has been there 15K it might be a little late, but I'll make it part of my routine.  I pause anyway pre-start with key on to make sure SENA connects first.  I only do that because if SENA doesn't connect and I have to start resetting, I don't want the bike to have gone through a 15 second engine run then shutdown.  Hitting the dimmer switch will take a fraction of a second.  

Afternoon David

 

Just keep in mind that IF the high beams come on first that will put a lot more duty cycles on the high beam bulbs. (might not be a good trade off)

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Skywagon

It does...high beam first then when you let go it opens the low beam....ok thanks for that.

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wbw6cos

@Ron-M get with me at the next gathering and we can do H7 tech day.  :beer:

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wbw6cos

This evening I powered the bike up, (before engine start,) pressed the high beam switch and all it would do is light up the high beam lamps (both of them.)  My Shift Cam RT has the single bulb, center, for the low beam and the high beams are up and to the sides.  It seems that it cannot be warmed up prior to engine power.  

 

At least I have a little practice on changing the low beam bulb out.  So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Skywagon

WBW6cos....hmmm that is what I remembered...must have been wrong.  I know there is a trigger before power up.  It might be the front brake.  I'll check in the morning and see if I can figure it out.  

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wbw6cos

I will check too.  Thanks

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BamaJohn

After the low beam halogen blew for the second time in 15,000 miles on my '17 RT, I bought and installed LED's in all 3 headlight lamps.  With only 25,000 mile on her thus far, all is good...hope they outlast me!  :4617:

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wbw6cos

The brake lever did not do anything but activste brake light.  The headlight is programmed to power up with engine, unless someone devises a simple method of bypassing that feature, we will have to live with the 15,000 mile headlamp change..

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Skywagon

WBW6cos... This morning....Key on, engine off, pull on the high beam lever and let go and my low beam came on and stayed on.  I didn't turn the high beam on...I just pulled it for that momentary flick.  Mine is a 14 so maybe it did not carry over to 19.  Check again pulling the flasher versus turning on the high beam. it does work on mine.

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wbw6cos

@Skywagon success!!   I just tried that and it worked on  my 2019 RT.  Thanks for the tip.  

 

Isn't it amazing about the tricks one has to learn to bypass technology?   Dang, I still a lot to learn about this bike.

 

Cheers,

 

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