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Discussion Starter #1
So I know this topic has been discussed extensively, but I really need some help with this..

I'm fed up with the stock lights on my 2001 ST4 and avoid riding at night because they are downright dangerous. I've read many posts about possible upgrades, but I'm having difficulty finding a conclusive solution or decent instructional guide.

I know that years ago Ducati Designs was the recommended upgrade, but I never upgraded due to the high price tag. My question is, is there a simple solution to this problem? Is simply swapping the bulbs with LED bulbs possible? If so, what are the potential issues I need to be aware of? Which bulbs have you guys had success with?

Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.
 

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I'm a big fan of LED headlights, I have them in my Ram truck and they really help me see in bad weather. I tried Heise LED's in my stock '03 Headlight and was sadly disappointed. I guess I could say it was an improvement but the way I saw it, they made the high beam passable as a low beam and the low beam was still dangerous. I'll sell them cheap if you're interested in seeing it for yourself.

I got lucky shortly after and found a Ducati Designs headlight and snatched it up. I tried LED's in that too and ended up putting the regular Halogens back in it. It's worth every penny if you can find one. It really showed me though, that a bulb needs to match the reflector design to be effective.

Long story short, the reflector design of the stock headlamp is poorly designed, but I have heard others got good results with an HID setup. Others have modified the stock housing to use Hella housings with good results as well but there is no quick, cheap solution.
 

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I have a "newer" styled lamp housing on my 2006. I've switched to Cyclops LED's and the difference is pretty amazing. I get appropriate coverage of the road and the side/signs, oncoming traffic never gives me the "high beams on" signal..so I don't think I'm throwing too much glare in their direction. I know the earlier style lamp housings are different, but, the Cyclops may work.

 

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I have a "newer" styled lamp housing on my 2006. I've switched to Cyclops LED's and the difference is pretty amazing. I get appropriate coverage of the road and the side/signs, oncoming traffic never gives me the "high beams on" signal..so I don't think I'm throwing too much glare in their direction. I know the earlier style lamp housings are different, but, the Cyclops may work.

Hey Mike
Do you care to inform on the types of the Cyclops leds you have used? Mine (if memory serves well, still) is using an H7 and an H9 halogen bulbs. Were the ones you used plug and play, how many Lumens?
Thanks in advance
Stelios
 

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The Ducati ST range does not have front lights, just a rear light in white at the front. Somebody should go to jail for them !
I had good results with HID lamps but they are against the law here now
 

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I'll second that Johnny Mine has DucatiDesigns Headlights they are an improvement, then I added HID and they lit up. You probably cant find DD headlights, but take a good look at how Paul set up the wiring for them.
HID don't need such a big heat sink attached to the back of the globe so finding space is not as hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried Heise LED's in my stock '03 Headlight and was sadly disappointed. I guess I could say it was an improvement but the way I saw it, they made the high beam passable as a low beam and the low beam was still dangerous. I'll sell them cheap if you're interested in seeing it for yourself.
Was this a "plug and play" kind of swap? I would be interested in trying them potentially, but given your mediocre results, I'd rather explore a better solution first.

Others have modified the stock housing to use Hella housings with good results
Can anybody elaborate on the level of difficulty of this mod? I would definitely be willing to tackle this kind of project if others have had good results
 

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I bought the H7 and H9 LED. Plug in the bulb, zip tie the tiny power module in place and viola. Light!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The later model, "new style," fairings have a dust cover that encloses the two bulbs. It is open to allow for water to drain if it got back there. The bulbs I used have active cooling fans on the back making them a bit too long for the dust cover so I've left the cover off. Never had issues with water back there.
 

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Yeah.....my concern was dirt more so than water, but with water comes the dirt.....was think of drilling holes in cover, then instaliing cover then bulb....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, the early ST's are very different. I believe you need H1 and H3 bulbs. Yes, there is room for the heat sinks back there.
So if I were to simply put in some LED H1 and H3 bulbs without modifying the projector, what kind of light output improvement should I expect? Would this create any electrical/power supply issues?
 

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Like neilthewheel said, less energy with LED. So that's one reason to go with the LEDs.

One of the issues with older head light replacement LEDs was the location of the emitter. The reflectors and the lens are designed to reflect light from a horizontal filament that is at a specific location. The Cyclops LEDs seems to have solved this for my application. It may or may not work with the projector styled lens and reflectors.
 

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I think that's the key right there Mike, the projector design just doesn't seem to work well in any application I've seen, automotive or otherwise.

Grassmantis, no power issues and see my first post again about light output.
 

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01 ST4 uses the older style projector headlight.
I have seen comparisons from experts and HID out performs LED in projector lights, in fact from memory the worst HID was compatible with the best LED.
I swapped HIDs into my 01 ST4 after realising how bad the stock lights where. The globes and wiring is very easy all plug-n-play. Do have to find space to mount the ballast, mine are on the headlight mounting bucket either side.
The HIDs are a big improvement but still barely adequate. Recently I opened up the headlight and discovered the reflector in the projector was all flaking with half the chrome gone. I spray painted liquid chrome on and put it back together. Now I would say the light has improved to the point it's OK/ fit for purpose.
Note that if fitting LEDs you will probably need the type with braided heat-sink. The low beam projector has the Speedo cable run directly behind it and there is very little room.
 

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done deal, I used these vvv below LEDS. purchased based on rating and units sold. and the bonus extra bulb too:p getting the H7 clamped down was the hardest thing for my ape fists....double check your powers n ground fer good measure. I did the low beam always on mod too 'search low beam always on' thanks too an old pioneer member here in Ducati.ms..and the results are FOOKINg awesome. I also took my step drill bit and craftly poked some vent holes respective to fan in the cover. aand the cover fastens back as it should
 

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