SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights


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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by WingAdmin » Sun May 01, 2016 9:30 am



newday777 wrote:
marvincshepard wrote:I hope you didn't answer this allready I didn't see it. Can you explain the difference between the high beam kit and low beam kit? Does that mean we need four bulbs? Thanks for your time.
This thread has been about the 1500 kit so no he didn't cover the 1800 much though he did mention that there is a difference in the direction the LED aims to the reflector in the light of the 1800 kits. I don't know yet if Scott did a review of the 1800 kits before this. Going to hunt for it.
Gary has been running the LEDs in his GL1800 for some time now, and I did get to view them in use (in addition to comparing against halogen bulbs) - but I did not have a camera with me at the time.

The results of the GL1800 LEDs is even more impressive than the GL1500 in fact. I'll try to get some pictures of the beam pattern of the GL1800 LEDs when I can.



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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mh434 » Sun May 01, 2016 11:45 am

I just ordered a set - early-type GL1500 - looking forward to it!. 'Course, up here in Canada, the cost will end up around $300 or so, but I really need better lighting at night.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by seabeechief » Sun May 01, 2016 8:15 pm

I am intrigued by the new LED's, but $300 for a set of hi beam/low beam lamps will have to wait until you and few others have experimented and let reviews. That's a good bit of money for headlights. But I am big LED fan and they have come long way in the last few years. Please keep us updated. Thanks.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mh434 » Sun May 01, 2016 8:49 pm

In the US, it's only $155 for the set, with free shipping. For us, it's an extra $26 for shipping, plus the difference in the dollar at the moment, plus customs, duty, etc. etc. All that adds up - thankfully, they'll ship to us via USPS - if it was UPS, we'd be looking at another $50 - $150 or more for "brokerage fees", handling fees, and more! Recently, UPS charged me $48 brokerage fees on a $7 item :shock: ...on which duty was not even applicable..and then they charged tax on the brokerage fees (which they don't submit to the government). So, for us, USPS is a BIG bonus...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by seabeechief » Sun May 01, 2016 9:13 pm

Mh434, I will go back and read the article again and hit the Cyclemax order info, but I thought it said the low beams were $145 and the hi beams were $155. I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by WingAdmin » Sun May 01, 2016 10:41 pm

seabeechief wrote:Mh434, I will go back and read the article again and hit the Cyclemax order info, but I thought it said the low beams were $145 and the hi beams were $155. I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

Chief
MH434 has a GL1500, so only two bulbs are required, and each bulb is low and high beam. GL1800's have four bulbs - two low and two high.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mh434 » Mon May 02, 2016 1:57 am

Sorry, seabeechief, I should have mentioned that I have a GL1500, not an 1800...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mean Wing » Mon May 02, 2016 6:36 am

WingAdmin wrote:Today I found out that Kisan (maker of the Pathblazer headlight modulator) has tested their modulator with this LED and it works fine - that's something else that you can't do with HID lights, they cannot be modulated. You must use the LED version of their headlight modulator.
Am I rolling the dice with my current Modulator (or any other brand) being compatible with these new LED lights, or is it safe to assume the Modulator will still work?

Excellent article, comparison, and pics! Thanks for going above and beyond . . . :D

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Charlie Victor » Mon May 02, 2016 8:41 am

raven41951 wrote:... he told me of a "new" design LED headlight they were working on. ...
In fact, these are available from numerous Chinese webshops. Last year I bought a couple of different H7 types (not a very big deal at around $15 each) to try in my BMW K1200GT '06, including one type that seems to be identical to those in your "prototype" picture. Not visible there, but the one I received has a (plano) convex lens up top with another three LEDs behind; mine was advertised as "80 Watts 16x XT-E".

The light output is indeed dazzling, and they do heat up quite a bit (if you do purchase LEDs I recommend to get the ones with a machined aluminum body, for those that are screwed together will come loose at some point - and collecting the parts from inside a headlight takes ... uhm, at least a few bad words and a sore back ...)

Anyway, the result in my BMW wasn't a great success. As WA already mentioned, modern reflectors are very precisely designed for an exactly positioned tiny halogen-filament - definitely not for an array of LEDs. The result was not so much a beam focused in front of the bike but an array of more and less lit areas. The total output however was so bright that even the less-lit areas seem to be brighter than with a normal halogen bulb - due to the whiter color temperature, maybe?.
The bright spot some 25-50 meters in front of the bike was gone, as was the "horizontal cut-off" and the slightly elevated right-hand side thereof (yes, European bike). I did not notice that so much on the roads I usually pass to work, as virtually all highways and roads in a 50 km circle are well lit. Anyway, I replaced the LED for a normal halogen bulb out after a few evening rides to work, only to find the front nut and lens had come off... Afterwards, I cannot tell if that made a big difference, sorry - have not used this same LED again yet. No good pictures either.

(BTW I have been using LEDs in the "positioning light" on either side of the K1200's headlight that did come apart due to vibrations. For the second set I figured it be smart to use hot glue as a sealing in between the SMD LED parts. After a few rides I noticed the glue had melted and dripped down... luckily it didn't stick to well!)

As for the GL1800 (2012 Canadian model), I have to take the struggle to replace at least one bulb yet. Give me some time, I might try and take them along on a trip to Germany. It's really dark were we are heading...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by tomb1 » Mon May 02, 2016 11:34 am

Thank you Admin. for the wonderful review.
It had to take a lot of work to put everything together (w/pictures) and I for one appreciate it.
Being an older guy with degrading eyesight I need all the light I can get. Thanks to your letter with the link, I ordered the LED's today.
I have the GL1800, and other than the sticker shock it just makes too much sense to do this.
Brighter light
Longer lasting
Uses less power
Being seen better in daylight

All good things.
Again,
Thank you
Tomb1

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by gbearth » Mon May 02, 2016 12:17 pm

Great report, will fit these to my 1800 as soon as they become available in the UK. Just a further point when are going to drive on the correct side of the road (left)

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Paulcf » Mon May 02, 2016 12:35 pm

These sound like compromises re fit/installation, heat, etc. And, as one person wrote, over $300 Canadian! Forget it! I solved this problem quite easily and cheaply...I simply don't ride at night.

Maybe when I see them on sale at Canadian Tire for $19.99 will I believe they are standardized and simply plug 'n' play. Until then this is too new to spend "early adopter" money on. I will wait till they are totally mainstream and the fringe Chinese crap is weeded out.

I will point out that it is great to see that this LED technology is finally making its way to motorcycling. I look forward to an LED conversion 'kit' for the GL1800 rear lights, one that allows me to utilize all that 'wasted' space used for the light housings in the saddlebags and trunk...Gosh there must be several cubic feet of wasted space I could use for packing stuff into!

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by calito52 » Mon May 02, 2016 12:42 pm

kb9lww wrote:
Rednaxs60 wrote:WingAdmin - great article and pictures, much like your original thread. It's only time, but the 1200 crowd will want to know if this LED can be used in the 1200 bikes. In your review from four years ago you indicated that the 1500 HID system could be used in a 1200. Is this possibly the same?

Cheers
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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 02, 2016 12:44 pm

Mean Wing wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:Today I found out that Kisan (maker of the Pathblazer headlight modulator) has tested their modulator with this LED and it works fine - that's something else that you can't do with HID lights, they cannot be modulated. You must use the LED version of their headlight modulator.
Am I rolling the dice with my current Modulator (or any other brand) being compatible with these new LED lights, or is it safe to assume the Modulator will still work?

Excellent article, comparison, and pics! Thanks for going above and beyond . . . :D
Existing modulators designed for halogen bulbs will *work* with the LEDs, but not correctly - they will flash the LEDs on and off, instead of modulating them down to about 20% output. That is illegal, and can get you a ticket.

Kisan has LED-specific versions of its Pathblazer modulators that alter the low portion of the current to get the LED to the proper output.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 02, 2016 12:45 pm

calito52 wrote:
kb9lww wrote:
Rednaxs60 wrote:WingAdmin - great article and pictures, much like your original thread. It's only time, but the 1200 crowd will want to know if this LED can be used in the 1200 bikes. In your review from four years ago you indicated that the 1500 HID system could be used in a 1200. Is this possibly the same?

Cheers
Yes, inquiring minds want to know.
Yeap, lot of people are listening....
Technically it should, it is just an H4 replacement. Whether or not it will physically fit into the GL1200 space, with the correct space required for the heatsinks and cooling, I can't say.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Greenwinger » Mon May 02, 2016 8:52 pm

I realize I may have missed this part, but are these lights 100% DOT approved??

And did you just spread the heat sinks out behind the headlight? Are they in contact with the fairing?

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by seabeechief » Mon May 02, 2016 9:48 pm

No worries, Mh434. Looks like you get yours for 50% off. Lucky dog.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 02, 2016 10:23 pm

Greenwinger wrote:I realize I may have missed this part, but are these lights 100% DOT approved??

And did you just spread the heat sinks out behind the headlight? Are they in contact with the fairing?
They definitely will not be DOT approved - the only bulbs approved for lenses designed for incandescent halogen filament bulbs are incandescent halogen filament bulbs.

The heat sinks are supposed to be spread out, and will contact the fairing, which I worried about - but I needn't have worried. Even on high beam, the heat sinks barely got warm - I forgot to bring my IR thermometer, but my estimate would be about 120 degrees F. ABS doesn't melt until it reaches 221 degrees F, so I don't think there's anything to worry about there.

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by raven41951 » Wed May 04, 2016 7:12 pm

When I installed mine, the heatsink on the side with the headlight vertical adjuster was quite a chore to get in, but it fit. The other side fit fine. I have not checked the temperature but since being installed in July of 2015, I have not had any issues. The headlight still adjusts up and down (I keep mine all the way down).

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mh434 » Fri May 20, 2016 4:23 am

I've just posted an impromptu "review" of these lights, here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=33306

I started out with a problem (that I unknowing caused myself during the install of these lights), and added a few suggestions for those doing their installation to avoid the pitfalls that I experienced. Nothing to do with the lights themselves - they're excellent - just some cautionary notes (and how to avoid problems) that the kit's instructions don't cover.

There's also a link to a really good write-up on GL1500 headlight adjustments - I had no idea they were so adjustable!!

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Mh434 » Sun May 22, 2016 1:37 pm

Further to the above - I sent an email to Pathfinder about the...uh...somewhat rudimentary instructions included with these kits. Tim, their operations manager, wrote me back right away (the same day!!). He recognizes that the instructions are not up to snuff, and apologized, advising that they are to be updated just as soon as possible. He explains they were in a hurry to get these new kits to market, and the instructions were a little "last minute". I have no doubt that those who buy these kits in the near future will get much more comprehensive instructions!

BTW...one interesting observation - with halogen lights, when riding at night, there is a very brief but perceptible drop in lighting when switching to high beam. With these lights, they instantaneously go from 'bright' to 'really, really bright', as LED's don't have filaments that need to heat up to produce light. Plus, with this kit,the low beam LED's stay on all the time, even when the high beam LED's are lit. This helps to fill in what would be (with halogens) a normally-dark area in front of the bike when the high beams are on. Very cool!

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Metal_Bob » Sun May 22, 2016 5:23 pm

I have made several purchases from Cyclemax and still have the HID SoCal kit I got from them.

That being said, beyond TRUE customer service and REAL warranty is this kit really any different than the $65-75 kits that look identical on ebay?

The service and warranty is enough to buy them from Cyclemax and wait for the backorder, but I'm a cheap tight wad and just wonder if the cheaper bulbs are actually the same...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by newday777 » Sun May 22, 2016 5:41 pm

Without a link to the flebay you mentioned we don't know what you refer to.
Metal_Bob wrote:I have made several purchases from Cyclemax and still have the HID SoCal kit I got from them.

That being said, beyond TRUE customer service and REAL warranty is this kit really any different than the $65-75 kits that look identical on ebay?

The service and warranty is enough to buy them from Cyclemax and wait for the backorder, but I'm a cheap tight wad and just wonder if the cheaper bulbs are actually the same...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by Metal_Bob » Sun May 22, 2016 5:56 pm

This is just one example. Most are coming directly from China so as expected customer service and warranties are in reality non-existant from fleabay sellers (normally).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161496864715?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

I'm just wondering if some of them are the same products with the black colored plastic.

FYI: Some of the listings describe them as "new 2016" models with the same color and lumens as the pathfinder kits.

They may be the same bulbs but I do realize the service and warranty are not the same, but at less than half the price some will be tempted to try fleabay models...

newday777 wrote:Without a link to the flebay you mentioned we don't know what you refer to.
Metal_Bob wrote:I have made several purchases from Cyclemax and still have the HID SoCal kit I got from them.

That being said, beyond TRUE customer service and REAL warranty is this kit really any different than the $65-75 kits that look identical on ebay?

The service and warranty is enough to buy them from Cyclemax and wait for the backorder, but I'm a cheap tight wad and just wonder if the cheaper bulbs are actually the same...

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Re: SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights

Post by NVSB4 » Sun May 22, 2016 9:54 pm

I only looked at the eBay ad quickly, but one thing that I see that would make a difference on my 1500 is the ability to have both low and high beams.


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