Author Topic: HID headlights  (Read 10717 times)

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Offline hankb

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HID headlights
« on: December 07, 2013, 07:17:20 pm »
I live in HD country (WI) and this year I noticed a lot more HD's with HID headlights and I have to say from a conspicuity standpoint, the HID equipped hogs really stood out in an oncoming herd. But that's not surprising in a group since the HID lights are easily distinguishable from the rest. Thing is, even the lone wolfs with HID just seem more noticeable and attention grabbing even on the brightest of days or when riding into the sun. I normally ride with the high beams on during the day and never really thought about converting to HID but the synapses started firing and I thought to myself, "self, if those HID equipped hogs are getting my attention like that......."

To me as a rider/driver, HID headlights make a vehicle more noticeable than just about any other accessory lighting combinations. Maybe it's just because there are fewer vehicles with HID headlights so they stand out? They used to just annoy me because the light quality seemed intentionally bright and obnoxious. I dunno. The light quality itself makes you notice as if it wakes up some part of your brain...maybe like a moth being drawn to a porch light? At any rate, they seem to be perfect for the MC.

So I'm thinking HID headlights are my next farkle. I would love to hear what people who have them think, and what kits are recommended.

This kit looked nice with the smaller ballast and halogen high beam.
http://www.motorcyclehidlights.com/kawasaki-concours-hid-lights-c-76_183/bi-xenon-slim-motorcycle-hid-kit-p-227

This one has shown up on threads quite a bit.
http://www.aandrmotorsport.com/store/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1426



Henry
2012 C14
2005 WeeeeeeStrom

Offline 2fast

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 08:44:25 pm »
I just ordered another set from VVME, and this will be the third bike I have put them on. As you have observed, they stand out better in the daytime, and are much brighter at night naturally. VVME is out of China, but the quality seems good, prices are great and they ship DHL which takes about 4-5 days to Minnesota.
Brian in Minnesota

Offline Ratherberiding

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 08:48:08 pm »
Brian, send me a PM with the model # and such....Might need a project after surgery!! :)

Offline Kap

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 08:56:38 pm »
I just ordered another set from VVME, and this will be the third bike I have put them on....

If you don't mind me asking, what part number did you order from VVME?
Kap - 2013 Voyager ("Lazy Boy II") / 2010 Vulcan Classic ("Red")
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Offline 2fast

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 09:32:10 pm »
Here's what I ordered http://www.vvme.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=896 

I like the 4300K color temp.
Brian in Minnesota

Offline mattchewn

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 12:14:17 am »
hankb,
Many folks on here have the A&R kit. While not the cheapest it uses ONE harness to power both ballasts and lights. I love mine. I go for the 6000K bulbs though, they are the whitest and have the highest lumen output.
http://www.aandrmotorsport.com/store/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1426
Matt
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2011 GSX1250 FA
2009 Ninja 500R. (wifes')
2001 Bandit 650  (kids')

Offline 2fast

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 12:27:19 am »
hankb,
 I go for the 6000K bulbs though, they are the whitest and have the highest lumen output.
http://www.aandrmotorsport.com/store/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1426
Matt

According to this web site comparo, that s not the case. The A&R list also shows similar information on the relationship of Kelvin and lumens. Do you have some other information on this that would shed some light (pun intended)?
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/352911-HID-info-kelvin-(color-temp)-vs-lumen-(brightness-output)

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:31:09 am by 2Fast »
Brian in Minnesota

Offline mattchewn

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2013, 12:40:27 am »
2fast,
My mistake, you are correct. the 4300 has a slightly higher output (200 lumen) than the 6000K. Got my numbers mixed up. I still like the 6000K color better though.
Matt
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2011 GSX1250 FA
2009 Ninja 500R. (wifes')
2001 Bandit 650  (kids')

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 01:39:26 am »
It is a personal observation but when on group rides, I have been told that my headlights stand out, and I always see the people with HIDs behind me before the other people on the same bike (C-14). I do not have enough experience riding around other HID equipped C-14s to have an opinion on whether they are harder on the eyes but if they are adjusted properly (cut off line down where it should be), the light above the road does not seem obnoxious, at least from behind them.

It seems most people find around 4,100 K to be the whitest looking but as Matt mentioned, some people do prefer the higher temp. lights. They look a bit too blue to me and they are somewhat less bright. Same thing with the 3,000 K lights- quite yellow (or orange) and less bright than the 4,100 - 4,500 K temp. lamps.

Take a look at DDM Tuning for some excellent prices from a US distributor (all HID retrofits are made in China) here: http://www.ddmtuning.com/  I have used HIDs from DDM Tuning as well as A&R and have been satisfied with both and find both are competitive in performance and quality.

Brian

I live in HD country (WI) and this year I noticed a lot more HD's with HID headlights and I have to say from a conspicuity standpoint, the HID equipped hogs really stood out in an oncoming herd. But that's not surprising in a group since the HID lights are easily distinguishable from the rest. Thing is, even the lone wolfs with HID just seem more noticeable and attention grabbing even on the brightest of days or when riding into the sun. I normally ride with the high beams on during the day and never really thought about converting to HID but the synapses started firing and I thought to myself, "self, if those HID equipped hogs are getting my attention like that......."

To me as a rider/driver, HID headlights make a vehicle more noticeable than just about any other accessory lighting combinations. Maybe it's just because there are fewer vehicles with HID headlights so they stand out? They used to just annoy me because the light quality seemed intentionally bright and obnoxious. I dunno. The light quality itself makes you notice as if it wakes up some part of your brain...maybe like a moth being drawn to a porch light? At any rate, they seem to be perfect for the MC.

So I'm thinking HID headlights are my next farkle. I would love to hear what people who have them think, and what kits are recommended.

This kit looked nice with the smaller ballast and halogen high beam.
http://www.motorcyclehidlights.com/kawasaki-concours-hid-lights-c-76_183/bi-xenon-slim-motorcycle-hid-kit-p-227

This one has shown up on threads quite a bit.
http://www.aandrmotorsport.com/store/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1426
KiPass keeping you up at night? Has the low fuel warning burned your retinas? Find peace, harmony and the answer to these problems. www.incontrolne.com

Offline Rembrant

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 10:44:01 am »
It is a personal observation but when on group rides, I have been told that my headlights stand out, and I always see the people with HIDs behind me before the other people on the same bike (C-14).

It seems most people find around 4,100 K to be the whitest looking but as Matt mentioned, some people do prefer the higher temp. lights. They look a bit too blue to me and they are somewhat less bright. Same thing with the 3,000 K lights- quite yellow (or orange) and less bright than the 4,100 - 4,500 K temp. lamps.

Take a look at DDM Tuning for some excellent prices from a US distributor (all HID retrofits are made in China) here: http://www.ddmtuning.com/  I have used HIDs from DDM Tuning as well as A&R and have been satisfied with both and find both are competitive in performance and quality.

Brian



Ya know, I was never a believer in HID's until a cross country trip in 2011 with my friend Larry, who was riding an identical 08 C-14. We had the opportunity to ride side by side on a divided highway in Washington "AC" late at night and compared my stock lighting to his 4300k A&R HID's. I was sold instantly. His bike had twice the light range, and it was clean and white looking. I was really impressed. I ordered and installed a set in my 08 as soon as I got home, and have since transferred that same HID kit over to my 2010 C-14.

It is interesting to note though, that I do not find the 4300k HID's to be obnoxious to look at, OR to have behind you, but they do stand out better, that is for sure.

The blue-ish tint of the 6000k-up HID's aren't really my style, but they look nice in some applications. I've heard that there are 5000k kits available, and that they're so-called "perfect", but I have never seen them in the flesh.

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Offline ZG

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2013, 09:37:48 pm »
I love my A&R HID kit!  :great:





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Offline Mrstrike

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 01:13:00 pm »
while a newb member here I do have a lot of experience in HID.

the H4 bulb (what fits in our conne) is a particular problem.

let me take a step back and explain the process of how HID works. HID work similar to a Florescent bulb.  They require high Amps to 'ARC' an electrical charge across a sealed gas tube.
Once the arc is complete and it 'ignited' the gas it only requires minimal voltage to maintain the reaction and keep the unit working.

however your bike does not have the Bazzaillion Amps necessary for the ARC process. Hence there is a capacitor to 'quick fill' the charge needed for start-up.  The drawback to this design is the capacitor and the bulb need time to Fully Turn on and Fully turn off.

Therefore  Flashing, or flickering an HID light is VERY VERY BAD.
it will damage the unit.

here is our problem.

The H4 bulb has the high and low beam encased in a single bulb.  While your LOW beam stays on and constant 100% of the time, the HIGH beam gets turned on and off thousands of times.

To make this work HID manufactures have made several style of HID bulbs that stay on, but can still FLASH when necessary.

 

this design the bulb is on 100% of the time but when commanded for HIGH beam the light actually moves into its base. Think head of a turtle.

I am a firm believer of K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid). The less moving parts the better.

this is the design I recommend


it has a non moving HID bulb AND a standard  old school filament High beam bulb.

just my 2 cts.
cheers
chad

Offline 2fast

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 01:28:10 pm »
I agree that the fewer moving parts the better. My question on the HID+Halogen is, doesn't that partially defeat the higher output of the HID?

I confess I have used the bad example on three bikes without issue so far, but I'm sure now that I say it, one will quit....
Brian in Minnesota

Offline Mrstrike

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 10:34:31 pm »
I agree that the fewer moving parts the better. My question on the HID+Halogen is, doesn't that partially defeat the higher output of the HID?

Not necessary 2Fast. Yes the the High Beam Halogen does not have the same Lux as the Low beam HID. But they both turn on independently of each other.

so you dont loose the HID-goodness  when you flash the High beams.
you just get a different beam pattern and color temperature.



Offline Rembrant

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 10:47:50 pm »
I am a firm believer of K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid). The less moving parts the better.

The HID kits from A&R have proven to be very reliable. I don't really see what the issue is. I've had mine in my Concours-14 for years, and a friend of mine has had them for 5+ years and thousands and thousands of miles...hard wheelie landings included...lol, and still no problems.

I recommend them all the time.
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 10:52:11 pm »
I tried one of those piggy back setups one time and found it quite poor on several levels: First of all, the high beam was about useless given the poor lumen output as well as the incorrect position of the high beam filament in the H4 housing. Secondly, the entire assembly puts out a lot of heat, too much I believe, to be used in a C-14 (or any normal H4 ) housing because both lamps are on at the same time. Finally, it puts a much larger electrical load on the system, again because both lamps are on at the same time, and the C-14 already has limited current output if one is using something like heated gear, which both my wife and I do use often.

I have actually had one solenoid on one H4 HID fail but that still left me with 1) a second, fully functional high beam which alone was still brighter than the high beam lamp on a piggy back unit and 2) two fully functional low beams.

Just my opinion but I think the combination HID / halogen piggy back bulb is not nearly as good a lighting system as the moving H4 HID lamps.

Please take this in the constructive, non- personal way in which it was meant. Just my opinions and thoughts, which of course will differ from others opinions and thoughts.

Brian

Not necessary 2Fast. Yes the the High Beam Halogen does not have the same Lux as the Low beam HID. But they both turn on independently of each other.

so you dont loose the HID-goodness  when you flash the High beams.
you just get a different beam pattern and color temperature.
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 10:54:24 pm »
And again, even if the solenoid itself fails, the lamp still works and will normally fail in the low beam position (which is the spring loaded, no external power applied position), so the headlight itself still works properly- just as a low beam only until it can be replaced.

Brian

The HID kits from A&R have proven to be very reliable. I don't really see what the issue is. I've had mine in my Concours-14 for years, and a friend of mine has had them for 5+ years and thousands and thousands of miles...hard wheelie landings included...lol, and still no problems.

I recommend them all the time.
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Offline Rembrant

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2013, 10:57:51 pm »
And again, even if the solenoid itself fails, the lamp still works and will normally fail in the low beam position (which is the spring loaded, no external power applied position), so the headlight itself still works properly- just as a low beam only until it can be replaced.

Brian


Yeah, my friend and I both carried our stock halogen bulbs with us on trips as spares for a long time....after a while, it just didn't make sense, and I was more worried about damaging the spares in my luggage than anything else.

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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2013, 11:09:49 pm »
Me too- I carry a stock H4 wrapped in about 9 paper towels and covered with cellophane tape :-)   Then I take it out of the bike but have to go looking for it on the next trip.... at which time it is usually filthy, oily or just lost, so I get another 9 paper towels and some tape and make up another 'spare'. And I have never, ever had to use one yet, unlike the tire plug and tire pump that I carry.

Brian

Yeah, my friend and I both carried our stock halogen bulbs with us on trips as spares for a long time....after a while, it just didn't make sense, and I was more worried about damaging the spares in my luggage than anything else.
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Offline Deadeye

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2013, 11:35:31 pm »
What about HID vs LED?  enquiring minds want to know
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2013, 04:40:50 am »
Right at the moment, and this is changing on an almost weekly basis, LEDs cannot yet compete with HIDs regarding 1) light output per unit (per die for the LED or per burner for the HID) and especially 2) light density. An HID puts out about 3,200 lumens from an arc the size of a grain of rice, and it puts out light in basically all directions. An LED can put out 1,000 lumens from a 5X5 mm square die adn only projects light up from the plane. So an HID can be put inside a reflector and behind a lens to make a projector type of light that is close to 60% efficient while an LED <may> get a single lens to try and focus them but no lens does well because the light is emitted from so much area- the focal point of the lens is not a focal point at all.

That is in general: specifically, I have seen an auto with four (4) very small projector type lights, about 1" in diameter each and in a line, and they did appear to be LED's. Assuming they can each put out 750 lumens each, that would equal an HID on each side. The Audi R8 has been approved for street use in the US with nothing but LED lights- that includes headlights, so again they must at least be pretty reasonable in output and the light must be controlled pretty well with a fairly sharp cut off line (little or no light above a line so that oncoming traffic is not blinded by the low beam).

But right at this moment, for 42 watts (35 for the burner or lamp and 7 for the ballast), and a grain of rice size emitting device, nothing can touch an HID in a projector housing. But I am confident that will change and in the not- too- distant future too.

By the way, just as a reference: a high performance H4 lamp puts out 1,000 lumens on low beam and 1,600 lumens on high beam.

Brian

What about HID vs LED?  enquiring minds want to know
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2013, 06:50:40 am »
I recommend HIDs for light output, but I would recommend two things.

1) Get a separate system for each side. It will cost a little more but I think it is worth it. The combined system
needs too many wires going across in front of the forks and it took me quite a while to arrange it all so that the
brake lines didn't rub on the wiring. Again I'm the only person that I've seen post of this problem so feel free to
dismiss it as a post from someone that must have installed it wrong. If you have a shop install them for you, bring
a flashlight and check the wiring clearance as you turn the forks stop to stop before you accept the work.

2) After you are sure it's all working and you are happy with it, remove each bulb and carefully put a small dab
of high temp silicone seal on the base and very carefully (to avoid getting any silicone on the bulb, or anything that might touch the bulb)
reinstall the bulb and let it cure.
The bulb holders can work them selves out of the socket and then they start to burn/melt the rubber boot. This results in a discoloration
inside of the reflector which will take a long time to clean out using bent coat hangers wrapped with gauze and micro fiber and
various solvents and cleaners. The silicone seal lessens the chance that this will happen. Unlike my earlier mentioned install problem, I'm not
the only person that has had the bulbs come out while under way and start melting stuff.

Once they are installed I'm sure you'll be quite pleased with their lighting performance.

Offline mattchewn

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2013, 12:56:19 pm »
Marty,
While you are not the only person I know of to have had issues with the bulbs coming loose, I have never had one come loose on me or anyone I know that have bought the more expensive (read: not $19.95 shipped from China) versions. I have personally had HID setups in ALL my bikes and have never had a problem with one exception, I had one solenoid for the hi/low beams go out on a Bike Master brand bulb. All my bulbs fit very snug in the housings and never worked loose. Also the A&R kit leaves plenty of wiring in the loom to easily clear all the forks and everything else on the connie front end, plus has the added benefit of only having to make one connection to the battery instead of two. 8K on my setup with zero issues.
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
2011 GSX1250 FA
2009 Ninja 500R. (wifes')
2001 Bandit 650  (kids')

Offline Mrstrike

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2013, 03:44:53 pm »
Please take this in the constructive, non- personal way in which it was meant. Just my opinions and thoughts, which of course will differ from others opinions and thoughts.

Brian


its all good bud. we are all adults... altho I am immature quite often. ;D



I tried one of those piggy back setups one time and found it quite poor on several levels: First of all, the high beam was about useless given the poor lumen output as well as the incorrect position of the high beam filament in the H4 housing.

i have not tried this set up so i will find out first hand soon enough.

Your point about the High beam aiming and Lumen output being off is  a good obversation.
for my needs the High beam is not used for illumination per say,.. but more for other drivers to see  "a bright light, and 2 different color temperatures"
if they see me
..there is a chance they wont hit me
.....if they don't hit me
.........there is a chance ill survive that day.

but who knows. I may pop them in and say "they suck, time to order a different pair"


Finally, it puts a much larger electrical load on the system, again because both lamps are on at the same time......
Quote

I respectfully challenge you on that.
while I have not plugged in my amp meter to prove my statement right or wrong. My understanding ,after start up, HID have a very low  amp draw.  Like 2 AMP's vs the low beam of 5 amps.

with the High beam activated on the H4 style bulb, BOTH the high and Low bulbs are on.  = 8 amp (doing math in in my head)

the HID with high beam on would be 5 AMP's

cheers
cahd


Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2013, 04:09:48 pm »
The HIDs I have tested have used 42 watts of power once in steady- state running (higher during start up but we really don't care about that). So let's call that 3 1/2 amps.

An H4 does not have both filaments on at the same time when using either beam in normal mode. I believe the 'flash- to- pass' feature on the Gen. 1 bikes DID turn on the high beam filament and left the low beam on as well but that is not a normal running mode. But check for yourself- on any H4 equipped bike, only one filament will be on at a time in any normal mode (FTP excepted).

A stock H4 is a 55 / 60 watt lamp so let's say it draws a bit more than 4 amps on low beam (55 / 13 or so) and the high beam is close to 5 amps.

So assuming that the low beam HID is using around 3 1/2 amps, and the high beam is 5 amps, that is 8 1/2 amps or so which is considerably higher than the light was ever meant to handle.

But I encourage anyone / everyone to do their own tests and measurements. I still do not recommend the piggy back HID / tungsten lamp combo.

Brian

I respectfully challenge you on that.
while I have not plugged in my amp meter to prove my statement right or wrong. My understanding ,after start up, HID have a very low  amp draw.  Like 2 AMP's vs the low beam of 5 amps.

with the High beam activated on the H4 style bulb, BOTH the high and Low bulbs are on.  = 8 amp (doing math in in my head)

the HID with high beam on would be 5 AMP's

cheers
cahd
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