Author Topic: HID headlights  (Read 10731 times)

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2013, 05:25:16 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

Matt,
I'm very happy for your, and your friends, good fortune with HIDs. My experience is 13K with a couple of issues. Mine are A&R, purchased here in Fort Worth at A&R in person literally over the counter. A&R addressed my first issue which was that the bulbs (4300K) had a different tint when warmed up, one had a greenish white tint and the other a reddish white tint. A&R replaced the bulbs and they now appear identical 4300K white. Perhaps I just have longer brake line hoses (stock) than others. I have other farkles on the forks, Denali lights and Hyper-Whites, but all my turning interference problems are with the brake line hoses and the HID wiring crossing in front of the fork going to the right headlight. I'm still not sure what the problem is with my install. (I used A&R's instructions) I can't say what I really thought of the install because a moderator didn't like it the last time I did. It's not a fun install even if one doesn't have problems. It's a difficult dark area to work even before you put your hand and arm down/up in there and block your view and any entering work light so mostly you end up working by feel. Then you test it and something is rubbing when you turn the forks and so you stick your hand in there again and instantly lose sight of what's going on. Two separate systems could easily be attached to one stout wire coming from the battery almost as easily as a combined system.

It's a valid, useful, rewarding farkle that may install for the OP without a hitch and probably will, but there is also the chance of difficulty. Mine are almost two years old,
perhaps the locking tabs on the housings have been improved on any ordered today, perhaps not. I'm not saying not to do it, I'm just recommending (1) the way I wish I had done it, and (2) the way I have addressed a problem that some few others (but not many) have had.

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2013, 07:14:21 pm »
You are killing me Marty, K-I-L-L-I-N-G ME! I cannot think of a single comment I can make on that highlighted line that would not cause some moderator(s)'s heart to skip a beat.... "Dark area.... hand up there..... working by feel...."    :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

But unfortunately it sounds like at least some of the problems you had with your HIDs are because they are such inexpensive products to begin with and quality control is something like throwing away the obviously bad ones and selling the rest so the customers can finish the Q.C. job. And I am not speaking about any brand or dealer here because I believe they are all made in the same factory in China and sold from 1,000 locations under 5,000 brand names. I have used several sets and while not having the specific problems you mention, I did find some shields simply fell off, some mounting tabs were bent, there was flashing and sharp edges absolutely everywhere, etc., etc. I think those considering retrofitting HIDs should understand those two things- the first is one you mentioned in that this 'kit' is sort of a catch- all H4 kit and we are all on our own as to how to run the wires, where to mount the ballasts, etc. It is a little more involved than swapping a windshield for example. The other thing is that the quality of all the components is just not that high. Adequate I think and usually workable but not one bit more than that. These Chinese retrofit kits are absolutely nothing like one would expect from a company such as Hella for example but then again, they cost nothing like a similar product from Hella would either.

I can see why someone would get that 'not slick' feeling from installing these things. But once working, they DO put out a lot of light and it would be difficult to go back to tungsten lighting.

Brian


Matt,
I'm very happy for your, and your friends, good fortune with HIDs. My experience is 13K with a couple of issues. Mine are A&R, purchased here in Fort Worth at A&R in person literally over the counter. A&R addressed my first issue which was that the bulbs (4300K) had a different tint when warmed up, one had a greenish white tint and the other a reddish white tint. A&R replaced the bulbs and they now appear identical 4300K white. Perhaps I just have longer brake line hoses (stock) than others. I have other farkles on the forks, Denali lights and Hyper-Whites, but all my turning interference problems are with the brake line hoses and the HID wiring crossing in front of the fork going to the right headlight. I'm still not sure what the problem is with my install. (I used A&R's instructions) I can't say what I really thought of the install because a moderator didn't like it the last time I did. It's not a fun install even if one doesn't have problems. It's a difficult dark area to work even before you put your hand and arm down/up in there and block your view and any entering work light so mostly you end up working by feel. Then you test it and something is rubbing when you turn the forks and so you stick your hand in there again and instantly lose sight of what's going on. Two separate systems could easily be attached to one stout wire coming from the battery almost as easily as a combined system.

It's a valid, useful, rewarding farkle that may install for the OP without a hitch and probably will, but there is also the chance of difficulty. Mine are almost two years old,
perhaps the locking tabs on the housings have been improved on any ordered today, perhaps not. I'm not saying not to do it, I'm just recommending (1) the way I wish I had done it, and (2) the way I have addressed a problem that some few others (but not many) have had.
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2013, 12:24:20 am »
 :rotflmao: Yeah well, when you highlight it that way Brian, I guess I do sound a little like a bovine proctologist there don't I?  :))

But once working, they DO put out a lot of light and it would be difficult to go back to tungsten lighting.

I agree with that statement 100% and I hope/thought I was clear about that form the outset.

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2013, 12:41:03 am »
Hey, I can only work with what you people give me.... :-)

You probably did make that point- I just wanted to try and present a reasonable and balanced view. I really hate to label things as all good or all bad because things are generally not like that. And the written word does not convey any other meaning one might get in person so I try to be careful not to completely praise or denegrate much of anything, unless of course that particular item really is way outside the norm and truly worthy of either one of those attitudes.... like, well KiPass for example.

Yeah, that's it....  :rotflmao:

Brian

:rotflmao: Yeah well, when you highlight it that way Brian, I guess I do sound a little like a bovine proctologist there don't I?  :))


I agree with that statement 100% and I hope/thought I was clear about that form the outset.
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Offline hankb

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2013, 06:23:25 pm »
This outfit http://www.motorcyclehidlights.com/kawasaki-concours-hid-lights-c-76_183/digital-hid-kit-slim-ballasts-p-209 claims their ballast uses "Award Winning" German Technology.  ::) That doesn't mean squat and they may not actually be made in Germany for all we know. However, they do show a picture of the "German Ballast" guts and the sticker on the ballast has some German word on it. That still doesn't necessarily mean the ballast is made in Germany.  :-[ I may just shoot them an email and find out....

[snip] I believe they are all made in the same factory in China and sold from 1,000 locations under 5,000 brand names. I have used several sets and while not having the specific problems you mention, I did find some shields simply fell off, some mounting tabs were bent, there was flashing and sharp edges absolutely everywhere, etc., etc. I think those considering retrofitting HIDs should understand those two things- the first is one you mentioned in that this 'kit' is sort of a catch- all H4 kit and we are all on our own as to how to run the wires, where to mount the ballasts, etc. It is a little more involved than swapping a windshield for example. The other thing is that the quality of all the components is just not that high. Adequate I think and usually workable but not one bit more than that. These Chinese retrofit kits are absolutely nothing like one would expect from a company such as Hella for example but then again, they cost nothing like a similar product from Hella would either.


Henry
2012 C14
2005 WeeeeeeStrom

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2013, 06:38:06 pm »
Ah yes, clever use of language: Award Winning German Technology does not mean it is German made at all, merely that it uses at least some of the same technology that has been used by Germans and has won awards. For example, perhaps they use resistors in their circuits, as does Siemens on their machine tool controls, some of which have won awards. Which of course has nothing to do with HID ballasts, Chinese made <anything> or anything else we care about in this Chinese product.

No part of any retrofit light kit or parts that I have ever seen was ever made, designed, spec'd. or thought about in Germany. This is a real, German made ballast: http://www.amazon.com/Hella-Ballast-Jaguar-Mercedes-Replacement/dp/B0073W5EY0  Note the prices and that is for the ballast and ignitor alone, and only one side to boot. One can of course buy quality HIDs of German and Japanese manufacture but 1) they are not $100 or less for two light setups. 2) they are not retrofits for H4s or any other tungsten based lamps; they are DS2, DR2, DS4, etc., which are all HID original lamp sizes and fittings and look nothing like an H4 or any other tungsten based lamp. 3) Do NOT have any type of HI / LO beam ability in the lamp, ballast or any other part of the lighting. The HI / LO method used on real HIDs is through a movable shield inside the projector (headlight) housing itself, not any part of the lamp. The only other way to get HI / LO beams using HIDs is to use HIDs for the low beam exclusively and always leave them on but adding tungsten lamps as the high beam portion that can be turned on / off as needed.

By all means, shoot them an e-mail and see what they say. But no $100 HID, and no retrofit of any kind was made outside of China, and neither of those was made inside China by a respected light manufacturer either. I am speaking of Philips, Hella (Dutch, German), Matsushita (Japanese), or any other brand name found in any HID OEM application.

Brian

This outfit http://www.motorcyclehidlights.com/kawasaki-concours-hid-lights-c-76_183/digital-hid-kit-slim-ballasts-p-209 claims their ballast uses "Award Winning" German Technology.  ::) That doesn't mean squat and they may not actually be made in Germany for all we know. However, they do show a picture of the "German Ballast" guts and the sticker on the ballast has some German word on it. That still doesn't necessarily mean the ballast is made in Germany.  :-[ I may just shoot them an email and find out....

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Offline hankb

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2013, 02:13:59 pm »
So then I'm assuming there are no kits out there made by more name brand/non Chinese manufacturers for motorcycles, let alone kits for the C14?
Henry
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2005 WeeeeeeStrom

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2013, 03:45:32 pm »
Correct. Installing HIDs in housings not originally certified for those lamps is illegal and so therefore no reputable manufacturer ever has or would, I believe, make such a product.

Brian

So then I'm assuming there are no kits out there made by more name brand/non Chinese manufacturers for motorcycles, let alone kits for the C14?
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2013, 03:49:47 pm »
Correct. Installing HIDs in housings not originally certified for those lamps is illegal and so therefore no reputable manufacturer ever has or would, I believe, make such a product.

Brian
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Matt
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Offline Boomer

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2013, 03:53:57 pm »
LED headlights are not something that can be retrofitted.
The ones fitted to a few new cars use several emitters each with their own lens.
So between the multiple emitters in one housing they can cover the area they are designed to cover with light.
Most of these are dipped beam only and they use an additional projector for high beam.
In theory you could have an additional array of LEDS that come on for high beam in addition to the dipped beam ones but to my knowledge nobody has done this yet.
A good example of an LED headlight is this on an Audi prototype.


I've tried an HID on my C10 and after several problems will be going back to a halogen bulb.
The beam pattern is wrong, high beam is intermittent (solenoid?) and sometimes it cuts out entirely and I have to switch off and on again.
I have to say I am seriously not impressed.
George "Boomer" Garratt
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2013, 04:22:11 pm »
Well, them being illegal wasn't really my point; I was just saying that because it is illegal, no reputable manufacturer would bother producing them because there really isn't much of a market for them. Plus if Hella was to make H4 retrofit kits, I betcha' they would be in the $500+ price range and that would not help them sell more.

Brian

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Matt
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Offline hankb

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2013, 05:44:10 pm »
Thanks everyone for all the insight into this. I may just try the A&R kit since folks here have real life experience with it, seems to be get favorable reviews, is reliable and is a fairly easy install. I need stuff to fuss over until I can ride again. If they don't work out, no biggie - not out that much time or money.

Henry
2012 C14
2005 WeeeeeeStrom

Offline mattchewn

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2013, 06:33:20 pm »
hankb,
I think you will be quite happy with the A&R kit. The added light is far more than worth the small amount of money and effort required.
Matt
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Offline Zorlac

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2013, 08:20:06 pm »
"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"

Hmmm, so I'm not alone here.... I thought maybe I did sumptin dumbazzed with my FJR HID bub when I kept smellin nastyness big time! It wasn't pretty to say the least.
Thankfully no flameage!
  :o
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2013, 08:32:26 pm »
Just my opinion but what Matt says right here is 100% spot on. They are not the greatest in quality but they are adequate, do put out a reasonable beam pattern and produce an astounding amount of light. The light output makes up for all the other, relative minor, faults and after all, light output is the goal. Nobody ever asked if there was a way to get less light out of headlights after all....

Brian

hankb,
I think you will be quite happy with the A&R kit. The added light is far more than worth the small amount of money and effort required.
Matt
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Offline Stokeman

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2014, 11:32:20 pm »
I was ready to buy the A&R HID's but couldn't find it on the website. I emailed Rob and he said this:
 

Unfortunately we did discontinue the Concours HID kit. There were too many start-up issues with HID lights on the bike. We tried everything to fix the issue but it is nothing to do with the kits itself, it is the way power distributed to the headlights when the motor is trying to start.
I am sorry we can’t help.
 

Any suggestions on another good website that's relatively inexpensive?

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2014, 12:00:24 am »
http://www.ddmtuning.com/

I have a couple of sets and so far, they work fine. But then again, so did the A&R's on my C-14. ??

Brian

I was ready to buy the A&R HID's but couldn't find it on the website. I emailed Rob and he said this:
 

Unfortunately we did discontinue the Concours HID kit. There were too many start-up issues with HID lights on the bike. We tried everything to fix the issue but it is nothing to do with the kits itself, it is the way power distributed to the headlights when the motor is trying to start.
I am sorry we can’t help.
 

Any suggestions on another good website that's relatively inexpensive?
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 Stokeman

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2014, 01:08:22 pm »
Brian,
       I'm looking at the DDM site now.  Can you tell me exactly which kit to order for the C14. I'm not to familiar with what I need buy.

Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2014, 01:49:15 pm »
DDM is a little tough in that regard as they do not offer 'kits' but have pull- down menus to select different options for all the parts.

What I would suggest is a dual light setup (two headlights), 35 watts, H4  Hi / Lo type, 4,100 K temperature (or whatever they offer in the 4K temp. range). You will need a Hi / Lo harness but I believe that comes with it anyway when you order the Hi / Lo option. You could always give them a call and iron out exactly what you need; just tell them you have a motorcycle with H4 headlights with the High beam / low beam function in the bulbs.

I would not recommend the 55 watt lights as they may cause enough heat to damage the headlight housings. The 4K light temperature (color) is the brightest and also very white; higher temperatures cause blue light, and lower temps. cause yellow light but either way, moving away from the 4K range the light output diminishes.

Brian

Brian,
       I'm looking at the DDM site now.  Can you tell me exactly which kit to order for the C14. I'm not to familiar with what I need buy.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2014, 02:00:19 pm »
+1 to everything BDF writes above.

And DDM Tuning makes very high quality products. I had to figure out what the ZX14 needed, and then order it. They don't have it kitted for a bike, they sell mostly for cars.

Make sure you get the miniature ballasts, and if they finally have the combined ballast/starter kits, that might be the way to go.

EDIT: I just went to the DDM Tuning website in the link, above, and I see now when you click on motorcycle HID kits, what they offer is already the slim digital ballast. When I got mine for the ZX14 they had not categorized the kits by car/motorcycle on the website yet, you could get regular or slim ballast in a drop down box. Nice!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 02:08:45 pm by JR »
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Offline Stokeman

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2014, 11:54:33 am »
Well I ordered the HID setup from DDM and I'm just waiting on it to arrive. Hopefully the install won't be to bad.

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2014, 05:40:23 pm »
A & R kits are no longer available for the C14 !! :-(
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Offline LennyK

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2014, 09:23:11 pm »
I want to go HID as I did with my R1, but the R1 had projector style housings... So naturally the light spread and cut off was good... Would like to install HID to the Connie but a little concerned about the housings ability to "control" the output... Does anyone have pictures of the HID cut off and spread at night..
Basically a photo from the drivers view.. Thanks in advance
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Offline BDF

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2014, 11:28:20 pm »
Mine look like this:

From the front of the bike, a stock aftermarket HID vs. a cut away shield HID, note the difference in the apparent brightness of the modified shield- it turns into pure glare for oncoming vehicles:

I would rate the stock reflectors on a C-14 as good to very good for an HID retrofit. Not great, but not bad for oncoming traffic either. The HID beam pattern is a both wider and less tall than the stock H4 lamp produces. The HID retrofit is absolutely fantastic for illumination to the side (see the deer while they are still in the woods) but leaves something to be desired when making a turn.... I find myself trying to switch on the HI beams in a deep corner such as a highway exit / entrance with the HI beams already on quite often. The stock H4 high beams have a much higher beam; they cast light a lot higher than the cut- off line while the HID's only perhaps double the beam height.

Brian

I want to go HID as I did with my R1, but the R1 had projector style housings... So naturally the light spread and cut off was good... Would like to install HID to the Connie but a little concerned about the housings ability to "control" the output... Does anyone have pictures of the HID cut off and spread at night..
Basically a photo from the drivers view.. Thanks in advance
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Offline LennyK

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Re: HID headlights
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2014, 11:46:56 pm »
Thanks Brian.. Can you explain more on the shield, is this the lo / hi  function
And to confirm the more pleasant light ( right side, looking at the photo) is the one with the shield?
And the garage door shot is with the shielded bulbs?
Did you at all have to aim down with the hid's installed?
No complaints from oncoming vehicles or vehicle directly in from of you?
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