How to upgrade my headlight?


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C-dub
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How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:11 pm



As mentioned in another thread, I think my first upgrade/mod will be new LED headlights and I would like to do both low and high beams. However, after a little poking around the interweb it seems that while the low beams are relatively easy to replace the high beams drive people to drinking. Has anyone replaced their high beams and how true is that assessment?


I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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WingAdmin
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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:21 pm

100% true. Gary (CycleMax) and I put a set of LED headlights (low and high beam) in a 2016 GL1800 belonging to a local GWRRA member at our chapter's maintenance day this summer. It took the two of us about two hours to do - and the vast majority of that time was working to get the high beams in. It takes some small hands and coordination (a helper is beneficial), and I know my hands were scraped and bleeding after we finished.

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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm

I've installed modulators on the high beams of a couple of 2003 GL1800's as well as new bulbs and LED bulbs.

I don't know about the newer models but I have found on the 2001 through 2005, the least painful method is to remove the shelter. You get full access to the light assemblies that way.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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C-dub
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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Okay then. That's making me want to pay the dealer to do it for me. I suppose I could give it a go since I should start learning how to do things on it for myself sooner or later.

BTW, I didn't intend on starting a new thread and thought I was only continuing in the other one with the same title. WA, did you separate this one or did I do something weird all by myself?
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:32 pm

C-dub wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm
Okay then. That's making me want to pay the dealer to do it for me. I suppose I could give it a go since I should start learning how to do things on it for myself sooner or later.

BTW, I didn't intend on starting a new thread and thought I was only continuing in the other one with the same title. WA, did you separate this one or did I do something weird all by myself?
I separated it, because the previous thread was in the GL1100 forum, so it didn't really apply.

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C-dub
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:06 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:32 pm
C-dub wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm
Okay then. That's making me want to pay the dealer to do it for me. I suppose I could give it a go since I should start learning how to do things on it for myself sooner or later.

BTW, I didn't intend on starting a new thread and thought I was only continuing in the other one with the same title. WA, did you separate this one or did I do something weird all by myself?
I separated it, because the previous thread was in the GL1100 forum, so it didn't really apply.


I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by Wingsconsin » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:32 pm

I did mine to all LEDs - I timed it for when I had the air filter to change -
and some other tinkering I wanted to do while I was at it ...
I was easily able to get to the high beams because I had the cowl open for the filter change -

The results --

I changed ALL my forward facing lights to LEDs - less power draw and bright white light !
See these videos for my results


[youtube]

[/YouTube]

[youtube]


Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

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C-dub
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:19 pm

Great videos Wingsconsin.

I'm curious, though, about the high beam light pattern. It seems to me, that while much brighter, the beam doesn't really reach out much further if at all. What do you think?
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Wingsconsin
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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by Wingsconsin » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:26 am

C-dub wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:19 pm
Great videos Wingsconsin.

I'm curious, though, about the high beam light pattern. It seems to me, that while much brighter, the beam doesn't really reach out much further if at all. What do you think?
Yes - the lights do not look great in the video
But I can assure you that in real life they are great !
Now that I am near done aiming everything (aux lights not stock headlights) the visibility is worthy !
The oem with LEDs on low and high beam are really good - My phone doesn't take great video and it was hard to get it focused in the pitch dark.

PS: I re-watched the video - I turned the High Beams on AFTER I added the Under cowl AUX lights (also LEDs)
Those are 10 watt 10 degree beams and reach out about the same as the High Beams do --At that moment they had yet to be aimed properly and were a bit too high which caused the high beams on the oem to wash out a little -- I think ... :geek: :?
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

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C-dub
Posts: 119
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:03 pm

Thanks again for your assessment.

I'm still going to do this on mine. I may not get the under cowl lights. The first thing will be to upgrade the low and high beams to LED. Then I'll get some LED fog type lights for the lower cowls.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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C-dub
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:06 am

I thought I was going to upgrade my headlights first, but it looks like I'll be putting in some cowl lights first instead. The Pathfinder LED/DRL fog/driving light set should be here today and I'll get them in on Thursday before a trip on Friday. The wife is happy about having the extra lights for the trip.

Anyway, all the videos I've seen about the installation say to disconnect the battery first. How critical is this and what am I going to lose by disconnecting it? Radio presets? Anything else?

Without disconnecting the battery, but having the power off is good enough, right?
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by DaveO430 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:56 am

There is no need to disconnect the battery. Honda says disconnect the battery to change your mind.

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C-dub
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198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:16 am

DaveO430 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:56 am
There is no need to disconnect the battery. Honda says disconnect the battery to change your mind.
:lol: I hadn't considered that.


I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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C-dub
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:36 pm

Good Grief!!!

9.5 hours to get those things installed. There was, however, about a 2 hour dinner break, but still ...

What took me so long was getting the DRL wires fished up to the turn signals in the mirrors. The directions online have not been updated to how the wiring kit currently is configured. It is easier now, but fishing those wires up there is still not the easiest and when I get a chance I will redo it better. I wanted to get them in and functional today because I'm going on a trip tomorrow and since I started what I thought was going to take only 2 hours I had it apart and couldn't stop.

The nest thing that took the longest was getting that plastic cowl back into place now that the lights are in the way and prevent the flexing that would have made it so much easier. Grrrrrr

I also had a bit of trouble with the OEM style switch at first. It didn't want to stay on and it took me a little bit to figure out that the button itself wasn't fully seated on its housing. So after getting that straightened out and putting the radio unit back on and then fining the back plate to the radio still sitting on my seat, GRRRRRRR, I took it out again and everything reattached. It fought me a little with that back plate and wire bundle stay, but I won. I hope nothing melts tomorrow on my ride. That would SUUUUUUUUCK.

However, they are in and they work and I think they are adjusted okay and they look great!

AFAIK, I only broke one small plastic tab on the top of the left trim piece around the radio. I think it'll be fine as is.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by MikeB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:43 am

C-dub wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:36 pm
I wanted to get them in and functional today because I'm going on a trip tomorrow and since I started what I thought was going to take only 2 hours I had it apart and couldn't stop.
You are pretty brave.

I've found it to be a bad idea to make any serious modifications immediately before a trip.

Even something as minor as a spark plug change before a trip, gets done at least a week in advance. Then I'll ride it every day before the trip to make sure everything works like it should. I've had plugs fail in under 100 miles before. A hairline crack in the ceramic doesn't always rear its ugly head right away.
Problems always seem to crop up at the worst time, especially after working on the bike.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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C-dub
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2005 Hayabusa
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198? Suzuki GS850G
1983 Suzuki GS1100E
198? Honda XL250R
197? Suzuki GT185
197? Suzuki 90 dirtbike

Re: How to upgrade my headlight?

Post by C-dub » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:58 pm

The trip went well. No issues with the lights at all.

All of my riding on this trip was during daylight hours, so I didn't get to discover the effectiveness of the new lights until a few days after returning home and I had to go in to work before sunrise. However, no one turned in front of me. I guess we'll call that a success.

They are still functioning properly and the morning when I got to see how effective they are for my viewing pleasure they are GREAT! I have them adjusted at about the level of the low beams, but they are whiter, of course, and throw a wider beam. So, I guess I did okay installing them.

My only complaint is an issue that I'll have to resolve myself and has nothing to do with the functionality of the lights. It has to do with the wiring that gets jumped into the turn signals. For now, it is taped to the inside area of the fairing because I could not get it fished up through the inside that night before my trip. The next morning before leaving as my wife was noticing the new lights and then the duct tape she uttered, "well, it's redneck now." Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I would rather get those wires tucked away and hidden better than having to rely on some duct tape on the outside even though it is pretty well hidden and not very noticeable.


I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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