83 GL1100A headlight improvement


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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DaveDanger
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

83 GL1100A headlight improvement

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:32 pm



Hello All, I've searched and read everything I can find here on improving the headlight situation on my GL1100. To the best of my knowledge, it's still the OEM H4 Halogen. It appears that the LED possibilities are improving and approaching the brightness of HID's and probably better than the older Halogens, but "not quite there yet" as stated on several sites. I may order a pair of the LED driving lights found on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/131022190041) to mount on my engine guards for immediate improvement, but I want a good permanent solution.
I'm looking at the CycleMax HID kit for the 1100. http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1000_gl1100_gl1200_35_watt_hid_headlight_kit/29809/218610
I have a few questions, as I'm known to research things to death before pulling the trigger on a purchase ;) .
My research indicates that the HID systems are known for their propensity to have to go thru a cool-down/restart sequence when they're turned on or cycled off/on. Is that every single time they're cycled regardless of how long they've already been on, or just upon the first illumination? Does it happen even when say... flashing the high beams at an on-coming driver who's abusing me with his high beams? do they cycle off and slowly come back on when cycled that way? Do these HID kits fit into the OEM reflector assy on my 1100? I've never fooled with the multi-piece headlights on any vehicle, so am not even sure how mine looks upon disassembly.
Is there a delay timed solenoid that can be installed in the wiring that prevents the headlight from attempting to iluminate while I'm starting the engine? When my engine is at normal temp from riding, it starts faster than I can remove my finger from the starter button, but when cold, it's a combination of magic, tongue in proper cheek, balance on one foot, and a particular eye closed. Several attempts may be required :oops:
I'm interested in anyone's feedback on LED lights to take the place of all the remainder of the bulbs on the bike as well, but the forward beamer is my primary concern.

Any assistance appreciated.

DD


A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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Re: 83 GL1100A headlight improvement

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:44 am

HID bulbs do take about 30 seconds to fully warm up and produce maximum light. For applications like the GL1800, where the high beams are physically separate bulbs, HID should not be used for the high beams, as you can't really "flash" them, and when you turn them on, it takes a while for them to come up to full brightness. Plus, every time you cycle a HID bulb on and off, it wears it out just a little bit, eventually getting to the point where they are not as bright as they used to be - granted this takes a long time.

For single-bulb applications (where the bulb has both a low and high beam filament) like the GL1000, GL1100, GL1200 and GL1500, the common method of incorporating high beam is through a solenoid. This solenoid, built into the bulb, is triggered by the high beam wire. When you select high beams, instead of turning a different filament on, it physically moves the bulb within the reflector, to modify the output beam. The bulb stays on full time, whether it is on low or high beam.

However....you may not be happy with the HID in your GL1100. Many GL1100 owners put the brightest bulbs they could find in their bike, and are still unhappy with the light output. The reason for this is that the 30+ year old parabolic reflector inside the bulb housing has deteriorated, and is nowhere near as reflective as it was when new. In addition, headlight parabolic reflector and lens design (not to mention DoT regulations) have improved quite a bit in the last 30 years.

So...where does this leave you? Many people are putting LED headlights in their GL1100 - replacing the entire headlight assembly, not just the bulb. This gives you low power consumption, high light output, and a modern reflector.

The cheapest has to be the LEDs made for a VW bus, which are a perfect fit: http://www.topgearautosport.com/part/A1 ... e_LED.html

Sylvania has one as well, which is extremely bright and well-reviewed: http://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Round-L6 ... ingdocs-20

KC Hi-Lites also has a GL1100 compatible LED, and we have a review on it installed on the GL1100 here: GL1100 headlights from KC Hilites

You might want to read through these topics as well:

Changing out headlight to LED

GL1100 headlight

Modern Headlight

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DaveDanger
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: 83 GL1100A headlight improvement

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:11 pm

I suppose irony reaches even unto motorcycles. I've been kicking this conversion idea around for a year or better, in my tiny head. Just within the last few days I began to actively research it and ask questions here on the forum. Apparently the Wing got her feelings hurt and crapped the headlight in its totality as I departed a restaurant saturday night headed for home. My felicity is compounded by the fact that I was only 3 miles from home on a well known and familiar residential route. I survived the trip in near total darkness, at a greatly reduced speed

As of this morning I ordered the Peterson 701 LED 7" headlight and hope to find it on my porch soon.

Karma! Hmmmph.

DD
A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.


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