Headlight modulator


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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dand
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Headlight modulator

Post by dand »



I would like to put a Pathblazer modulator on my 2013 GW. I have read about how hard it is to get to the high beam bulbs. Since the high and low beams use the same bulb, could I plug the modulator into the low beam bulbs since they are easier to access?


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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by AZgl1800 »

it would work there just fine, as long as, you retain the H7 bulbs....
HID bulbs and ballasts will die fast with a Modulator.

The High Beams would be more effective, but maybe not worth the extra effort, you need a very small pair of hands to get to the high beams.
~John

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dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

What are HID. bulbs?
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Andy Cote
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Andy Cote »

HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. Sort of like an arc welder. Fantastic light but has issues. The advances in LED technology have made these much less desirable for aftermarket headlight bulbs. Your factory bulbs are Halogen incandescent.

The answer to your question is yes but there is more you should know.

There are two major brands of headlight modulators and they are different; Signal Dynamics and Kisan. Last I knew, Signal Dynamics did not offer one compatible with LED bulbs so if you plan to switch to those, keep in mind you will need to purchase another modulator to go with the LEDs. The Kisan can be made to work with either.

All modulators have a light sensor to disable the function when it is dark. The Kisan attaches to the high beam headlights only and has no off switch. The low beams remain unaffected at all times. Kisan says that if you are in a position where you don't want the function, turn off your high beams. Simple. When I did me install, I installed a cover over the light sensor so if I don't want the function but want high beams, I can close the cover. If you choose Kisan, best to order directly from them or from SoCalMotoGear to ensure you get the latest firmware for LEDs. I had some compatibility issues with my LED foglights/daytime running lights which took a couple iterations of reprogramming to get sorted.

The Signal Dynamics can be purchased with a harness to connect to all four headlight bulbs. When in low beam, the low beam bulbs modulate. When in high beam, the low beams are steady and the high beams modulate. It also offers the ability to disable the function completely by toggling the high/low switch three times quickly. You could also install with a cover over the light sensor but not really necessary. But, if you buy the harness for two bulbs, you could connect to the low beams but the off function wouldn't work and you should include a cover on the light sensor. You could also use this same approach with the Kisan.

When I used the Signal Dynamics I rarely turned it off, even in traffic. I ran with low beams which got the desired attention. With the Kisan, I will switch to low beams if in traffic or if I come up behind someone on the open road. I personally would find steady LED high beams a bit too much if close behind me so I normally don't expose others to that.

Yes the bulbs are kind of a PITA to reach. But you only need to get to the plugs themselves so it's easier than a bulb changeout.

BTW, you should add the new bike to your profile.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

Thanks everyone for your feedback
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by WingAdmin »

It is both unsafe and illegal to modulate your low beams. Yes, it's tough to get to the high beam bulbs, but it's not impossible, and certainly nowhere near as hard to install the modulator as it is to actually change the bulbs.
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Andy Cote
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Andy Cote »

The standard allows high or low beam. Why do you think it would be unsafe to use on low beam?
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Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by tfdeputydawg »

WingAdmin wrote: Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:15 am It is both unsafe and illegal to modulate your low beams. Yes, it's tough to get to the high beam bulbs, but it's not impossible, and certainly nowhere near as hard to install the modulator as it is to actually change the bulbs.
????????????????????????????????????????????

A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity
Also, why do u say it's unsafe to modulate the lower beam?
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

WingAdmin wrote: Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:15 am It is both unsafe and illegal to modulate your low beams.

WingAdmin, why is it unsafe and illegal?
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by WingAdmin »

If you're riding at night and the modulator fails, you lose your headlight! That's why the manufacturers all tell you to wire them to the high beam only.
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AZgl1800
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by AZgl1800 »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:28 am If you're riding at night and the modulator fails, you lose your headlight! That's why the manufacturers all tell you to wire them to the high beam only.
I fail to see the problem,
if the Low Beam fails, I just switch to the High Beam and go home.
~John

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Andy Cote
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Andy Cote »

The modulator is supposed to fail in full bypass mode but it’s electronic and, just like the bulbs, can fail anytime. As John says, good news is you can use the high beams.
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Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:28 am If you're riding at night and the modulator fails, you lose your headlight! That's why the manufacturers all tell you to wire them to the high beam only.
Thanks. After watching a YouTube video on installation, I think I'll be able to get to the high beam to plug it in
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keithg64
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by keithg64 »

I put Kisan modulator on my bike at the beginning of the season and plugged them into the high beams on my 07. Not very difficult to get to as the other guys have said your just getting to the plug and not replacing the bulb.
It's not what you buy, it's what you build.
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by WingAdmin »

Andy Cote wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:43 am The modulator is supposed to fail in full bypass mode but it’s electronic and, just like the bulbs, can fail anytime. As John says, good news is you can use the high beams.
I can tell you from personal experience, when you're riding at night at highway speed on a very dark road, and your headlight suddenly shuts off, that your adrenaline will spike! I did what I could to try to stay in a straight line while braking as hard as I could, hoping there wasn't an unseen curve coming up. Scary, and just a few seconds can mean the difference between staying on the road and visiting the ditch...

My bike at the time had two headlights, but the problem was a connector in the fairing, which powered both headlights, low and high beams!


dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

When I was installing the Pathblazer modulator, the little white connector that plugs into the slave unit came off the wire. Kisan is sending a new sensor that includes the connecting wire. I am concerned that because of how fragile the wire and connector are, it will break off in the future. If this happens, I believe the result will be only one high beam modulating and the other remaining steady. Is it legal to only have one modulating?
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Andy Cote
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Andy Cote »

dand wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:32 am When I was installing the Pathblazer modulator, the little white connector that plugs into the slave unit came off the wire. Kisan is sending a new sensor that includes the connecting wire. I am concerned that because of how fragile the wire and connector are, it will break off in the future. If this happens, I believe the result will be only one high beam modulating and the other remaining steady. Is it legal to only have one modulating?
Nothing to worry about.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by WingAdmin »

dand wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:32 am When I was installing the Pathblazer modulator, the little white connector that plugs into the slave unit came off the wire. Kisan is sending a new sensor that includes the connecting wire. I am concerned that because of how fragile the wire and connector are, it will break off in the future. If this happens, I believe the result will be only one high beam modulating and the other remaining steady. Is it legal to only have one modulating?
I've installed many of these, and never had one fail, so I would not worry about it.
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

Ok, I got the replacement sensor and connector. Hooked everything up and both hi beams flashing. Put bike back together. Now the slave headlight is not working at all. No light whatsoever. Master is still flashing. The connectors are still intact and I have 12v to the hi beam on the slave side. Did my headlight coincidentally burn out between while I was installing modulator. Seems a little too coincidental. Could there be something else wrong?
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

I disconnected the slave modulator and plugged the original wiring socket into the headlight. Now the hi beam works, so I know the bulb is good. I guess I'll have to call Kisan again. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Andy Cote »

There is a process to switch between LED and incandescent bulbs. Could be that. Kisan will take care of you.
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Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

No, I tried what Kisan told me. Didn't work. I'm sending it back for a refund. My bike's been sitting around for a week torn apart. I'm done with it. Thanks for everyone's input
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by WingAdmin »

Sounds like the slave is dead. Odd, in all the years I've used Kisan modulators (probably installed six or seven of them) I've never had one go bad.
dand
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by dand »

Yeah, I didn't have any power coming through the slave modulator. I sent it back for a refund
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Re: Headlight modulator

Post by Techdude2000 »

dand wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:46 pm Yeah, I didn't have any power coming through the slave modulator. I sent it back for a refund
I installed Electrical Connections LED bulbs in my 04 and the difference is enough that I can’t see how anyone in a cage could not see me coming. I really don’t think a modulator would make much of a difference, when most cagers are looking at their phone screen anyway.


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