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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Headlight for 95 900SS

Rode home at dusk and it sucked. Headlight almost seems worthless. Any great ideas on HID mods?
 

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If you have a look on this forum there is a thread about improving the light by rewiring the headlights with thicker wires. If you are going down the HID road, i would suggest that.

It may have the original globe in it from 15 years ago as well. Check the reflector is ok and all the chrome hasnt dropped off it and replace the globe.

Easier and cheaper then replacing with a HID system... :)
 

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Upgrade the wiring/connection with a high-quality, heavy-duty, weatherproof H4 connector -- I found one at my local Autozone for less than $10. Solder the connections and use shrink tubing to seal. Then install a quality Super White bulb (PIAA, etc.). I did this to my 900SS/SP a few years back and the difference was impressive, and you can't beat the cost.
 

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2001 900SSie
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Woeful wiring and too many connectors

I have posted stuff on this a few times.

The wiring diameter and length is in my opinion disgraceful. The voltage drop from the battery to bulb results in some 30% loss of light into a housing/reflector that does not appear to be all that good.

i designed my own and have been running this heavy duty wiring via a "slave" relay for many years now without problems and much better lighting.

I made it (and make them) so they plug into the existing harness, one connection to battery minus and one minor mod to the fuse box to get protected 12V nominal out to the new plug in harness.

HID is amazing, but for me low was superb, high crap due to H4/filament location/reflector requirements and unfortunately is illegal as an aftermarket mod in most countries, whether you agree or not with being able to see and be seen!
 

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UThen install a quality Super White bulb (PIAA, etc.).
PIAA bulbs are overpriced junk, as are most "superwhite" and/or blue bulbs. They do not increase light output. If you want to increase light output, you need to do the wiring as suggested, but then go a bulb like the Osram hyper bulbs in 70/75 or 80/85 which are a more efficient design and nearly double the lumen output of the stock bulb. They are also much cheaper than the Superwhite bulbs.
 

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HID conversion

Wanted to share my HID conversion 6 months ago. Only major mod was to dremel the OEM bulb locking ring to allow the HID base to fit thru. I know many in here recommend changing to thicker wiring but my electrician/ mechanic buddy said it it not necessary because the HID bulb only draws 35 watts. I have had mine installed w/ no issues what so ever.

I don't have any after pics yet but you can rest assure the pics that vendors show in their sites are accurate. I can see all 4 lanes of the dark freeways on my way home from work.I can see at least 100 feet ahead of me now. Properly aimed they don't blind any oncoming traffic.

I recommend taking the headlight fairing off for easier access. The space behind the headlight is limited to about 2 1/2 " so be careful what kit you buy
I went thru 4 vendors to finally find a kit that fit. Make sure you get HID H4 bulb w/ moving reflector for high beam function. There is a solenoid that moves a reflector. DON'T get H4 bulbs w/ a small halogen bulb at the bottom of the HID bulb to act like a high beam.......it won't

THIS IS THE KIT I BOUGHT FROM EBAY. PLS BUY FROM LINK JOHN PROVIDED. THIS VENDOR WAS SO PATIENT SENDING ME 4 DIFFERENT BULBS TO FIND ONE THAT FIT OUR BIKES


BULB COMES IN TWO PIECES, BASE AND BULB


OEM BULB LOCKING RING IS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO LET HID BASE SLIP THRU





TAKE A DREMEL AND JUST TAKE A LITTLE MATERIAL OFF THE RING TO MAKE DIAMETER BIGGER






VIOLA~ Slim ballast and all plug&play wiring should tuck easily behind and around headlight.


I PICKED 6000k COLOR TO AVOID LOOKING LIKE CHEAP BLUE HALOGENS OUT THERE.
THIS COLOR IS PURE WHITE
 

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M5zealot - HID

Hi there,

How was your high beam? The unit I used moved the "bulb" so the Xenon arc moves from the normal low beam filament position to near, but not the correct high beam filament position. The pic you posted looks like it moves the arc, rather than the reflector.

I ask because i did the same some time back, as above, where low was astounding, but high was shocking as the arc was not in the correct location.

If you look at a normal H4 bulb, you will see that the low and high filaments are not on the same axis, but in the HIDs I bought from 2 different suppliers, the solenoid could only move along the same axis, hence high being in the wrong spot.

Perhaps your eBay supplier has sorted this out somehow, maybe off axis movement with the solenoid somehow?

I would dearly like to know about your High, as if it works, i would step back to HID without hesitation. 35W and 3 times the light is correct when compared to 55/60 for a stock H4

There is great info about bulb types, HID etc. on www.danielsternlighting.com

"Dms low beam" is a pic of my HID low. Unfortunately I did not take one for High. I also found with both lamps I used that light reflected up was very bright, but I guess all lamps are not equal. The shape of the shield and cutouts is very important.

Just for info, n"ew low" is a pic taken by another Dms member using uprated wiring and from memory a 90W low 110 high.
 

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All can say is that nothing can match the standard H4 setup because our old school headlights were designed w/ these type of bulbs. I run Osram 85watts low-100watt high H4 bulbs on my BMW M5. I have separate relays w/ heavier gage wires. The high beam pattern is superior to the HID high (aside from having two extra headlights just for high beam use) but that is expected because it only mimics the dual filament H4 bulb. So I don't think there is an HID setup out there that can match the beam pattern of an older H4 set up. If there is then I haven't tried them yet and someone better tell me about them because I have no problems upgrading to that set up.

BTW if your bike is a newer 900 then that is part of your issue. My bike has an old school rectangular headlight. (bus headlights as some call them) They are along w/ round 7" or 5 3/4" car headlights most efficient in projecting the light from an H4 bulb. Does your bike use an H4 or smaller H1, H11 or H8? Your headlight was shaped for style and aerodynamics first then efficiency of projecting light. Just my opinion since I have had lots of experience w/ Hella type headlights since the 80's.(non sealed beam) Which BTW are still technically illegal on cars in the US.

MY high beam is not much brighter than the low since it uses the same bulb. It does move the beam up higher and more narrow to see farther ahead, again as expected. However....not as good as an H4. Considering the OEM H4 bulb set up was only brighter than a flashlight I'm happy w/ the 100% improvement in lighting the dark roads I ride on. :D

I'll try to post some night shots soon.
 

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Bike year

Mine is the 2001 900SSie, so uses the same headlight shell and H4 bulb as the 98 onwards 750, 800, 900 and 1000.
 

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winter list

A must to put on the winter list things to do to bike!! Eyes are not getting any better with age.....
 

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All can say is that nothing can match the standard H4 setup because our old school headlights were designed w/ these type of bulbs. So I don't think there is an HID setup out there that can match the beam pattern of an older H4 set up.

MY high beam is not much brighter than the low since it uses the same bulb. It does move the beam up higher and more narrow to see farther ahead, again as expected. However....not as good as an H4. Considering the OEM H4 bulb set up was only brighter than a flashlight I'm happy w/ the 100% improvement in lighting the dark roads I ride on. :D

I'll try to post some night shots soon.
M5Zealot what I think you are saying is that the H4 bulb gives the best beam pattern on high beam...however because it has the fire power of a candle you actually get a better veiw of the road with the HID bulb even though the beam pattern is not as good?

I've been following the head light thread for a while and I am thinking about the following two options.

Option 1 Fit a relay and use a 100w/150W H4 bulb (I have some of these currently fitted in another vehicle I own). However I am not sure if the battery and charging circuit would keep up.

Option 2 Try and skew mount (with a custom built bracket) a HID kit like the one you have used so that the 'filament' moves off axis when you switch to high beam.

Comments anyone?
 

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Option 1 Fit a relay and use a 100w/150W H4 bulb (I have some of these currently fitted in another vehicle I own). However I am not sure if the battery and charging circuit would keep up.


Comments anyone?
Before you go to the 100/150 H4 which could destroy your housing, take a look at the new Osram Hyper H4 bulbs which use a more efficient filament design to increase the lumen output without as much current draw. Remember the H4 was designed in the 70s and there was a lot to be done to improve it, which Osram has done. To give you an idea:

Stock 55/60 bulb = 1000/1650 lumens
Osram 65/70 = 1350/2000 lumens
Osram 80/85= 1750/2400 lumens
100/130 = 1820/3250 lumens
35 watt HID = 2800-3200 lumens depending on specific unit.

Keep in mind that lumens measure output, but what is not told by the lumens is color rendition (CRI), which is how things look. Incandescent bulbs have a CRI in the high 90s, HID's on a good day, the 80s. What this means in real life is if you take an HID and an incandescent bulb with the same lumen output, you will see better with the incandescent.

As has already been discussed, the HID also does not have the proper filament placement, which means lots of stray light in places you don't need or want it (to much foreground light for example, hurts longer range vision).

For my money, I would do the wiring harness with the 80/85 bulbs (remember a .5 volt drop for an incandescent bulb = about a 30% decrease in output). If you want to really make an improvement, figure out how to pull the lamp and clean the reflector which collects dust over the years. Doing so can make huge improvements in light output.

The H4 hyper bulbs are available through rallylights.com or danielsternlighting.com; they run about $20 each and are not any BS blue bulbs, hyperwhite tinted or otherwise, just a real product offering a moderate improvement from a real company.
 

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Hhhhmmm I guess I didn't state that clearly. The high beam pattern of my HID H4 bulb is perfect..... I'll post pics soon. What I was trying to say is some HID bulbs out there may have not got the reflector technology down. I think one of our members said the high beam didn't project a well as his old H4 bulb. Mine does. I was reffering to the newer 900SS headlights, the non-bus type. They are just not as effecient at the rectangular ones. How do I know. My buddy with a 2001 900SS installed the same HID set up and his high beam pattern is not as focused as mine. It's optics/design that makes the difference, candle power of an HID just makes things brighter not neccessarily better? Did that make any sense? :confused:


M5Zealot what I think you are saying is that the H4 bulb gives the best beam pattern on high beam...however because it has the fire power of a candle you actually get a better veiw of the road with the HID bulb even though the beam pattern is not as good?

I've been following the head light thread for a while and I am thinking about the following two options.

Option 1 Fit a relay and use a 100w/150W H4 bulb (I have some of these currently fitted in another vehicle I own). However I am not sure if the battery and charging circuit would keep up.

Option 2 Try and skew mount (with a custom built bracket) a HID kit like the one you have used so that the 'filament' moves off axis when you switch to high beam.

Comments anyone?
 

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My first few night rides with my '05 SS1000DS left me looking for a "solution" to the headlight problem too. The more I looked at the light pattern on the road, I was becoming suspicious about the headlight adjustment. So, I re-adjusted the headlight in my garage and took it out for a ride. Voila! Problem solved. I have no issues with the standard system.
 

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Hhhhmmm I guess I didn't state that clearly. The high beam pattern of my HID H4 bulb is perfect..... I'll post pics soon. What I was trying to say is some HID bulbs out there may have not got the reflector technology down. I think one of our members said the high beam didn't project a well as his old H4 bulb. Mine does. I was reffering to the newer 900SS headlights, the non-bus type. They are just not as effecient at the rectangular ones. How do I know. My buddy with a 2001 900SS installed the same HID set up and his high beam pattern is not as focused as mine. It's optics/design that makes the difference, candle power of an HID just makes things brighter not neccessarily better? Did that make any sense? :confused:
M5Zealot thanks for for the clarrification. Sounds like I need to try your setup. I notice in an earlier post that you tried 4 different bulbs from your supplier. Can you tell us the part number or give us the vendors description for the bulb you settled on?
 

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Updated night pics

I finally got some night pics of my H4 Bi xenon HIDs. I took them on a dark street I travel on my way home from work at night. This street is very wide 2 laner (4 lanes wide) w/ only one street lamp.

Lights off.

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Low beam

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High Beam. Notice the inferior halogen car headlights approaching me. Notice the intense reflection off the speed limit sign on the right.

[/IMG]

Again notice the weak headlights from a passing car

[/IMG]

The pictures exaggerate the intensity of the headlight head on. They are not this bright, blinding oncoming cars. They do however turn the darkest streets into daylight. Critics can say what they want but I believe I'm safer riding my bike at night. I also know their benefits during daylight hours. It's great seeing the reflection of the super white beam on the back of even black cars.
 
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