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West_Coaster

Low beam dead

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West_Coaster

She's dead Jim. Right side lowbeam gone, and little dash light nagging at me. 

 

Read a lot of threads on changing bulbs on these bike, my big ham hock hands are gonna take a beating apparently.

 

Whats the concensus, take the plastics off for better access, or contort yourself and try and reach them ?

 

With LED headlight about 10x or more than halogen, time to switch, or keep it simple stupid and get some halogens off Amazon?

 

Any recommendations on a bulb?

 

Ordered gauze pads, bandaids, alcohol, home stitching kit and have my phone ready with 911, just have to press send......:4323:

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dduelin

Kneel down next to the right side of the front wheel and reach up with left hand into the cowling to unscrew the cover. You have to do it by feel, not by sight, and the removing the cover is straight forward. Then get up and look at the back side of the light fixture from the rear looking forward and note where the wiring connector is, where fixing bale is and how it is clipped under the retainer. Then kneel again next to the wheel, reach up in there and do it by feel. You can look at the light and see the bulb line up in the reflector, when it's in place replace the bale and wiring connector by feel. I have LED auxiliary lighting so I replaced the standard halogen H7s with slightly upgraded halogen Phillips/Osram Silverstars

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dirtrider
12 hours ago, West_Coaster said:

She's dead Jim. Right side lowbeam gone, and little dash light nagging at me. 

 

Read a lot of threads on changing bulbs on these bike, my big ham hock hands are gonna take a beating apparently.

 

Whats the concensus, take the plastics off for better access, or contort yourself and try and reach them ?

 

With LED headlight about 10x or more than halogen, time to switch, or keep it simple stupid and get some halogens off Amazon?

 

Any recommendations on a bulb?

 

Ordered gauze pads, bandaids, alcohol, home stitching kit and have my phone ready with 911, just have to press send......:4323:

Morning  West_Coaster

 

You might start with your local BMW dealer, I have seen my BMW dealer send a tec out to quickly change a burnt out bulb for a customer that bought the bulb from them. (depends on how customer friendly your BMW dealer is) 

 

Changing it yourself  is a REAL PAIN the first time or two that you do it, but as you replace more it actually becomes fairly straight forward & quick. 

 

Just a word or caution: the manual suggests to remove the wire plug at the bulb before unclipping the bulb retaining clips. You can do that but be VERY/VERY careful in doing that as the bulb retaining clips can easily bend as you pull/wiggle on the bulb connector, or you can actually break the retainer clip hinge area if not ultra careful & those parts are not available from BMW for replacement.    

 

On the bulb suggestion, that would be the old (not available any longer)  Osram 65w (64217) Super Bright, that bulb is actually an  H-9 on the H-7 base & has shown very long life in my 1200RT (in service in my RT now for over 5 years now),  PLUS it has very good UV protection so doesn't yellow your headlight lens like cheap non-UV protected H-7 bulbs do. (make sure that whatever bulb you get has UV protection)

 

Otherwise probably try an H-7 LL (long Life) bulb (make sure it is a REAL LL not just advertised as long life or longer life. Downside to the LL is usually slightly less light output. 

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9Mary7

When I changed mine, I removed the upper right panel and it helped a lot with the change. The panel is the first one you remove when following the fairing removal process. Only three screws IIRC, takes two minutes. Also used Silverstars......

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Pappy35

That right one is a be-otch (and I've had the headlight reflector out and in a few times farting around with LED bulbs so I'm intimately familiar with the terrain in there AND have small-ish hands).

 

As for LEDs, a month ago I ditched them in favor of regular H7 halogens. After a year of getting "high-beamed," flipped off, and yelled at, I finally got the message that glare to oncoming cars (and one's I'm following down the road) is a huge problem. I've tried ADV Monster, Cyclops, and IntelED (Ebay cheapos that, ironically, worked the best). While they are much brighter, LEDs don't play well with reflectors that are designed for halogens and I can actually see more of the road with the OEM-type bulbs. I'm gonna be the ONE guy to say this, fifty others will chime in about  how great LEDs are. Just remember this: I tried different brands and used them for over a year and I switched back. Thoughtlessly blinding other drivers just so you have brighter (but not better) lighting is not a good way to be...

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David13

The first few I did seemed to go easy.  But then it just got worse, so last time I took off the mirrors and windshield and it was real easy.  And gave the opportunity to clean in all the little spaces and seams on the front.

dc

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West_Coaster

I think I'm going to go with Silverstars, I also have some aux lights. I rode last night and didn't even notice I had a bulb out until I read the manual and found out what the little indicator on the display was telling me.

 

I'm thinking I will give it a try and if I can't get my XL hands in there, I'll just remove stuff until I can. I'll strip it down to the frame if I have to lol! I am going to replace all 3 bulbs and write it down in the maintenance log so I know how long they last if one dies.

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Pappy35
1 hour ago, West_Coaster said:

I'll strip it down to the frame if I have to lol! I am going to replace all 3 bulbs and write it down in the maintenance log so I know how long they last if one dies.

 

I've done it enough times that I can get the front fairing off in about 20-30 minutes. The headlight assembly is mounted to that with 6 T25's but doesn't need to come out to change the bulbs. There's a process though as the first time took me an hour to get it apart. Takes less to get it back on.

 

Good rule of thumb to change all three (well, depends on how much you use the high beam). The left side and high beam are pretty easy to do in situ but, I swear, as much as I know about the topology in there, it took me almost 45 minutes to do just the one right-side bulb. That's a REALLY stupid design the way they buried it in there.

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West_Coaster
1 minute ago, Pappy35 said:

 

I've done it enough times that I can get the front fairing off in about 20-30 minutes. The headlight assembly is mounted to that with 6 T25's but doesn't need to come out to change the bulbs. There's a process though as the first time took me an hour to get it apart. Takes less to get it back on.

 

Good rule of thumb to change all three (well, depends on how much you use the high beam). The left side and high beam are pretty easy to do in situ but, I swear, as much as I know about the topology in there, it took me almost 45 minutes to do just the one right-side bulb. That's a REALLY stupid design the way they buried it in there.

 

But the right one is easy if you remove the fairing?

 

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Pappy35

When you get to this point, yes, it's very easy to change. 

 

1356458672_IMG_20190312_195938-Crop.thumb.jpg.23006922fb7b408cc5cf48765e65dbda.jpg

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Pappy35

This is the left side so you can see what it looks like installed.

 

Also, if you do go through the trouble to remove the fairing/headlight assembly, you really should replace the plug housings. They are made of some kind of cheap black plastic that, over time, becomes brittle and could shatter when you pull on them. I used these and the existing female connector just slide right in. No need to cut wires or crimp on new connectors. You can just go ahead and thank me now. :grin:

IMG_20190310_184528.jpg

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dduelin

Well, now you have a range of responses from mine "it's easy, it only takes a few minutes", one to disassembling the headlight. Your experience will be somewhere in between but you can do it!

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West_Coaster

I'm going to give myself ~1 hour or 1 pint of blood, which ever comes first to try and change them without disassembling the bike. After that it's time to learn how to disassemble the front of the bike. I've had it for a few months now without doing anything other than ride it, time to learn how she ticks.

 

Besides, my dad's a TV repairman, he has the ultimate set of tools! (Spoken in a Spicoli voice)

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West_Coaster
2 hours ago, Pappy35 said:

When you get to this point, yes, it's very easy to change. 

 

1356458672_IMG_20190312_195938-Crop.thumb.jpg.23006922fb7b408cc5cf48765e65dbda.jpg

 

 

How many extra bolts/screws did you have left over? :3:

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TEWKS

Wow, how many mechanics does it take to change a light bulb? :dontknow: :grin:

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dirtrider
2 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

Wow, how many mechanics does it take to change a light bulb? :dontknow: :grin:

One (experienced) GOOD ONE and about 3 minutes!

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West_Coaster
32 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

Wow, how many mechanics does it take to change a light bulb? :dontknow: :grin:

 

I don't know, but I dreamt of mufflers last night and now I'm exhausted!

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Pappy35
2 hours ago, West_Coaster said:

 

 

How many extra bolts/screws did you have left over? :3:

 

Hah! Actually none! I had one fairing bolt left over from when I took the side fairings off for the first time ever two years ago (which, BTY,  I STILL haven't found where it came from). 

 

Also, just to be clear, I didn't tear it down to that extent to change the bulb (though this last time I was tempted as I do think it would've been easier). I'm not quite the world's worst mechanic, I'm 2nd, or maybe 3rd, from the bottom of that list. I think I took that pic when I was installing one of the various LEDs I tried along with some other electrical farkles. Working on the bike is a hobby of sorts.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

I didn't see this above, but you might be happier if you go buy a plug extension or two at your local FAPS (friendly auto parts store).  Put the extension on the end and you are guaranteed to utter 50% less expletives next time.

  my-dad-is-5b955a.jpg

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West_Coaster

Amazon dropped off my Phillips vision plus bulbs today, and although it was a pita I had both changed in about 15 minutes. Right one was definitely harder for sure. And to make it more difficult, as Pappy predicted the right side connector was brittle and wouldn't hold one of the wires. I did manage to get it all back but next time I'm taking the whole lens out and switching to LED, as well as changing the connectors. 

 

Going in from underneath and from the top worked the best.

 

The pics and suggestions definately helped, thanks.

 

I recently changed my truck and motor home to LEDs which were also H7, so I think being familiar with the clips was also useful.

 

Hopefully these last a while. :90:

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