1500 se headlights


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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huntsman47
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1500 se headlights

Postby huntsman47 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:47 am



I am going over my bike from end to end and was wondering what headlight bulbs I need to replace the ones I have (stock). I have heard that automotive suppliers carry H3 and H4. I also heard that there are car bulbs and ones made for the vibration of motorcycles? If anyone can shed some light on this for me I would appreciate the help. Also make and type of what you would recommend. I find the stock bulbs are not bright enough but I do not want to go HID as they are to hard to come by in my area. Also I heard that a 55w/100 w could be used? Thanks in advance------.



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Mh434
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1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby Mh434 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:53 pm

First, there are (supposedly) differences between car and motorcycle bulbs, as you have mentioned. Theoretically, at least, the (more expensive, of course) motorcycle bulbs have more substantial filament supports to prevent vibration & whipping of the filaments & reduce premature breakage. Personally, I've never been able to see a difference, but...

Of course, motorcycles don't vibrate anywhere near as much as they used to. I, too, have a 1500SE, and when it's running, aside from the exhaust note, without looking at the tach you'd never know it was running. Touch the body or frame, it's as vibration-free as a fire hydrant. A Harley owner, on the other hand, would have good reason to stick to motorcycle-only bulbs.

I'd suggest exploring some of the newer style halogen automotive bulbs. Some of them are substantially brighter than any available 10-15 years ago. Bear in mind, though, that there appears to be a direct, inverse correlation between brightness and bulb life, and most manufacturers print this right on the packaging. I looked at some high-end (MUCH brighter) bulbs, but their best-case scenario projected life was measured in months rather than years, and they were around CDN$60 each...at Wal-Mart!!! As changing bulbs in a 1500 is, apparently, a bit of a job, short life does not appeal to me.

Hopefully, others will chime in here with specific examples of what they've found. I've only had my '97 1500SE for a couple of weeks (although I've been ridin' and wrenchin' bikes for over 40 years), and I'm still pondering this same issue. At the moment, the HID's are looking interesting.

As far as the 55/100W bulbs are concerned, they are technically illegal for road use in British Columbia, although since the 100W is high-beam only, theoretically no one would ever see it when it's on. Even then, it's unlikely any LEO would ever insist you remove the bulb to show it's legal...although they could issue you a Notice & Order for inspection (which would give an unscrupulous person time to change it back prior to the inspection :D ). Of course, on low-beam (the vast majority of bulb use for most of the time), they're still just a 55W bulb.

Another, perhaps better, option would be to look at some of the LED driving lights. I know a few guys that have added these to their bikes, and these lights are amazing. More light, each, than an H4 headlight bulb, with very little draw.

Anyway, cheers from Vancouver Island!!

huntsman47
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby huntsman47 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:18 pm

Thankyou for a very informative answer! I forgot to mention in my post that I also have a headlight modulator hooked in as well so the new headlight bulbs should be able to work with it as well?

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:03 pm

huntsman47 wrote:Thankyou for a very informative answer! I forgot to mention in my post that I also have a headlight modulator hooked in as well so the new headlight bulbs should be able to work with it as well?


More importantly, the headlight modulator should be able to work with the new bulbs. If you're going to put 100 watt bulbs in there, make sure your modulator can handle that kind of load.

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silverado6x6
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby silverado6x6 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:59 am

I hear stories more and more frequently about nanny states clamping down on lights. So if I was a captive or having to transit frequently I may do this, wire up the two headlights on separate switches, I did on mine but both are 55 watt HID, in another situation keep one a regular good lamp like a Silverstar and in the other a high performance either Halogen or frankly an HID, use the secondary as a high beam or out in the sticks.

On my 95 Aspy I tossed the stock headlight housing and replaced it with a clear 99SE, the two outer position lights which were 194 lamps are now 7watt Cree projectors, these are my DRL (Daytime Running Lights) and the two headlamps were rewired to be individually operated by remote switches and each has a bi-xenon H4 6000K 55 watt HID lamp in them. I may rarely actually use the headlights as we have way too much daylight in Alaska during the summer, its for the late season riding. Those Cree position lights are as bright as a regular headlight when viewed straight on, plus my cornering lights are also converted to 35 watt HID driving lights. They do stay on during the day.
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furnacedoc
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby furnacedoc » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:05 pm

Hello , I have a 97 gl1500se and I installed hid headlights from ddm tunning over the internet. they were around 80$ total and they are fantastic. I got the 5000 series so the light is brite white not blue. see ya on the road

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Mh434
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:22 pm

Wow, that seems very reasonable! Are they much brighter than standard halogens?

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RoadRogue
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby RoadRogue » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:50 pm

I had a HID 5000 degree light on my 1100 a few years ago. Yes it is that much better than the best halogen bulb out there. However, you can not use a headlight modulator with HID lights.
On my 1500 I use a headlight modulator and the standard Sylvainia Silverstar Ultra automotive H4 bulb that you can find in any Canadian tire or Walmart. I also run a pair of 100watt each driving lights mounted on a light bar just below and outside the main headlights, for when I want to see MUCH farther down the road. My lower cornering light have been converted to 35watt H3 bulbs( yes they do generate a bit of heat and I will have a challenge when it comes time to replace those bulbs, seems there is some slightly melted plastic around the bulb fixture. Oh well). I like the HID lights but want the headlight modulator, nobody has pulled out in front of me since I installed it. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
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ct1500
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby ct1500 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:11 am

100W bulbs? you gotta be kidding. That comes out to about 17Amps, seeing how the circuit is fused for 15A and with the size of headlight wiring used that is a recipe for meltdown.

The OEM alternator output at idle is marginal at best and when adding electrical load will drop it to unacceptable levels just so you know.
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RoadRogue
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby RoadRogue » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:34 am

Ct1500 if you were refering to my twin 100watt driving lights they are seperate from the stock headlights. They are powered from a relay off the battery, I am also running a 90amp alternator. I have amps to spare 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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ct1500
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby ct1500 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:00 am

No not you I read your stuff was on a separate bar and would likely be wired correct with relay. All to the OP.

I sure wouldn't want 17A (over 2X OEM load) running down a small wire in the middle of my harness.
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huntsman47
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby huntsman47 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:12 am

Thanks to all who replied to my post! I did not consider the draw on my alternator and mine is stock. I will have to get a more correct size of bulb for my extra driving lights until I upgrade my alternator. Again thanks!

jameshana
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby jameshana » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:03 am

I am thinking of replacing the front H/L with either HID or LED. Is one more advantageges than the other, and are either a direct bulb replacement? Thank you

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raven41951
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby raven41951 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:27 am

After installing HIDs in mine only to have one fail a few months later I switched to LEDs.

WA explained to us that HIDs have a life that is determined by on-off cycles. Even changing to/from hi beam constitutes an on/off cycle. This can be reduced by installing a relay in the headlight circuit using the oil pressure to trigger the power. This eliminates the ON when you turn on the ignition then the OFF/ON when you press the starter button.

OR you can install LEDs. Read WA's review on the So Cal Motogear LEDs. I have an earlier version on mine and they work great. The light is as good or better than the HIDs and the beams are very focused. The left side is a bit tight going in due to the headlight vertical adjuster mechanism, but it fits and the headlight still adjusts. Well worth it and I don't mind night rides anymore.

jameshana
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby jameshana » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:22 pm

With your LEDs, what brand, how much and were they direct plugin?

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1500 se headlights

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:41 pm

Have a look at these articles for a LOT of information:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12118

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=32942




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