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Discussion Starter #1
According to a Asylum Motorsports, the HID kits draw so much energy compared to what the original design parameters are meant to handle, it fries the stator and can ruin the wiring harness.

The manager said that he fixes 4-5 bikes' stators a month due to the HID's. He also warns those who wish to install them about the problem, but most go forward with the HID install anyway.

I'm considering an HID install. Can anyone here validate this claim?

Are there any electronic gurus here?

(Btw, Asylum Motorsports had nothing to gain by telling me this, as they do installs for HID's)
 

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Here ya go...

The headlights on your Ducati are the result of a number of design compromises and legal restrictions. So, before you go changing them let me list a few points to consider first.

The light patterns of high and low beams are legally restricted, because otherwise the light from oncoming vehicles can blind you and you can blind them. So reflectors and bulbs are designed in combination such that there is a sharp cut-off to the light pattern to prevent this glare.

The color of the our headlight beam affects our ability to see. The more yellow and less blue the beam, the better we can SEE WITH IT at night. The more blue and less yellow the beam, the better it can be SEEN during the day. This is a function of the way our eyes work. (See comments below)

The brightness of the headlight increases as the electrical current through the bulb is increased. Bulbs with a higher wattage rating are brighter. But, given that the heat and electrical demands on the charging system and wiring increase with higher wattage bulbs, 55 watt bulbs have become standard on most vehicles. High wattage bulbs will melt adjacent plastic parts.

You can't get something for nothing. Some headlight bulb manufacturers advertise getting the equivalent of 85 watts of light while consuming only the standard 55 watts of electrical power. They do this trick by concentrating the light beam more at the center and less at the edges so you can't see objects to the side as well.

True high intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems are more efficient than halogen gas-filled bulbs so for the same wattage used they produce a brighter light. But, they're also bluer in color. These expensive systems first appeared on high-end luxury cars that use a government-mandated self-leveling system to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. It's illegal to fit these lights to your car without the leveling devices for a good reason.

The blue-colored light from true HID's has created some confusion in the marketplace that is being exploited by headlight bulb manufacturers. True HID's use an entirely different arc-discharge (like a movie projector) technology to produce their brighter light, but because the resultant light is bluer (higher degrees Kelvin) buyers naturally think that blue light is brighter so they switch to blue bulbs in an attempt to get brighter lights.

To add to the confusion, the term HID is often seen on packaging of standard halogen bulbs that have simply been given a blue dye coating. The coating absorbs light so they may be bluer but they're NOT AS BRIGHT as the same bulb without the coating.

Short of a true HID system there IS a better bulb available that increases the usable light output by pressurizing the bulb with a higher percentage of the gas Xenon. The BimmerXenon 30% Xenon bulbs for example, use this technology.

http://www.bimmerxenon.com/





The question of whether you can run both headlights together, add auxiliary lighting, or use heated clothing on a Ducati comes up regularly. When you add additional electrical loads to a motorcycle several factors are involved.

First is the electrical output capacity of the alternator. The 1995–1998 superbike models were designed with a 350 watt 2-phase electrical system. The 1998 ST2 is unique, it was Ducati's one and only 450 watt 2-phase system. For the 1999 model year 1999, Ducati partially redesigned the charging system going from the 350 watt 2-phase design to a 520 watt 3-phase alternator.

Here's how the alternator power output is intended to be used: low beam (55W), high beam (55W), sidelight (5W), tail lights plus brake lights (21W), turn signal lights (10W), number plate light (5W), instrument cluster bulb (2W), warning light bulb (1.2W), fuel pump (clean filter)) (60W), horn (60W). cooling fan (60W), electronic ignition (48W), computer (24W.)

If only the high beam or the low beam headlight is on at one time, the total of the above loads is 350W. This is called the system design basis used to size the alternator. However, this is different from the normal operating conditions.

For example, a common operating condition for an early model would be low beam on (55W), high beam off (0W), sidelight off (0W), tail lights plus brake lights on (21W), turn signal lights off (0W), number plate light on (5W), instrument cluster bulb on (2W), warning light bulb off (0W), fuel pump on (60W), horn off (0W). cooling fan on (60W), electronic ignition on (48W), computer on (24W.)

The total of the above loads for this operating condition is 275W. This leaves 75W (350-275) or 245W (520-275) for (say) a 999 available to run auxiliary equipment and to charge the battery. However, if you add electrical loads you can see how under different circumstances you can (sometimes only briefly) have an electrical load demand that exceeds the alternator design capacity. Under these circumstances your electrical current through the wires from the alternator to the voltage regulator is maxed out at 29 amps (for a 350W system) or 43 amps for a 520W, the regulator is operating at maximum capacity, and your battery is discharging.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wish the great Shazaam could address the HID possibly damaging the stator and/or wires.

It is commonly told that HID bulbs use 30% less energy than the Halogen lights. But, upon firing up, they use a greater pulse of energy.

Yet, the folks at Asylum were adamant about the stator problem.

Any electrical gurus care to chime in?
 

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I wish the great Shazaam could address the HID possibly damaging the stator and/or wires.

It is commonly told that HID bulbs use 30% less energy than the Halogen lights. But, upon firing up, they use a greater pulse of energy.
Any extra initial load is supplied by the battery, HID are 35w once running so less load.

I have HID for a few years and I've had both lights on high beam since a week after the bike was new without issue.

I also have the HID low beam and 100w high beam powered by independent relays with heavy-duty cables from battery, rather than through the switch as when new which, frankly was poor practice on Ducati's behalf.

I also keep the battery on a optimate charger when in the garage so the battery is always 100% for riding - I think this helps prevent problems and my bike is an older 350w, 916.
 

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The information in Shazaam's post is taken directly from the Ducati service manual for your bike. No mysteries there.

Logically, if the HID draws less current it should be easier on the charging circuit. Now if you start adding extra lights, heated clothing, heated grips, GPS, coffee cup warmer, etc.......all bets are off. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does anyone know what the initial draw is upon firing up?

If you wire the lights directly to the battery with only the + on initiation from the wiring harness, can any "feedback" harm the wiring harness?

With this setup, can the initial load "shock" the battery and cause excess stator wear?
 

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Old Wizard
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I believe the 4-5 stators a month repair statistic.

However, regulator and stator wire insulation damage is caused by corroded or loose in-line connectors, and are certainly not caused by running HID's with 20 less wattage than a standard bulb. I've run a HID high beam in my 916 for 12 years, so far.

Said another way: your battery can supply a peak of 200 amps to your starter motor for several seconds. Compared to that, the HID startup current draw is trivial.
 

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HID lighting is a xenon arc lamp, basically. There is an electronic ballast that controls the initial spark and then the continuous current. My guess is that a HID system produces a lot of electronic noise, or EMI, and enough of this will overheat something like a stator. The EMI could be coming directly through the wiring harness or it could be in the form of RFI too. Arc lamps in general produce a lot of electrical noise. This is just a guess on my part. Ordinary halogen lights are just ordinary filament types in a halogen gas and produce no noise as far as I know.
 

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Old Wizard
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Not to worry.

Manufacturers of HID electronic ballasts and systems are required by the FCC to meet Federal Standard Title 47 CFR Part 18 electromagnetic interference limits.
 

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I wish the great Shazaam could address the HID possibly damaging the stator and/or wires.

It is commonly told that HID bulbs use 30% less energy than the Halogen lights. But, upon firing up, they use a greater pulse of energy.

Yet, the folks at Asylum were adamant about the stator problem.

Any electrical gurus care to chime in?
I call BullShit on these guys. The motorcycle alternator-regulator-rectifier system is unlike the automotive voltage regulation system. The regulation of voltage in the motorcycle is accomplished by the "regulator" in the Regulator/Rectifier (R/R) unit. What it does is to martial the output of the alternator in one of two directions. It never turns off the alternator, unlike the automotive system, which does.

The two possibilities for alternator output are:
1. into the system somewhere, or
2. to ground through the R/R circuitry in the R/R unit. This produces heat. Hence the fins on the good R/R units, and hence the poor R/R life-span issues with some motorcycles (whose R/R units were often not "out in the breeze" and often were un-finned)

For those who have worked on dysfunctional motorcycle charging systems, you might also recall that the stator-to-harness plug (3-yellow wires) and the harness to R/R plug (5-wires with 3 yellow ones) are often burned, even in bikes without a bunch of auxiliary load. One point for under-engineered charge-circuit wiring/connectors.

The upshot of all this is that the more power the bike uses, the lower the stress on the regulator in the R/R unit. The total load of the bike systems do not substantially effect the load on the stator since what the bike does not use gets pumped to ground and converted to heat, anyway.

The only possible charge-side "issue" is that over-drawing the system will deplete the battery, and then voltage-sensitive systems will fall off-line..... like EFI or electronic ignition........ and then things get quiet.

The other possible issue (not addressed in the Asylum theory) is over-drawing the wiring harness itself. If a wire is forced to carry too much current, it gets hot. To much of this makes insulation brittle and it eventually degenerates and may short out. WAY too much of this and you get smoke. As we all know, these electric-thingy systems actually run on smoke, not some invisible electron-things. We know this because when you see the smoke escape from such a system, it quits working. AND it's really hard to get the smoke back in!

Given the foregoing and the numbers below, the momentary and relatively light extra loading of the HID lighting circuit will shift(lighten) some of the R/R's workload, but not substantially affect what the alternator (stator) is doing.

The numbers for HID draw are:
Input current: 3.2A;
Max inrush (startup) current: 15A
and that is for the new high-power 50W units.

The 35W units are:
Input current: 2.0A;
Max inrush (startup) current: 8.0A
 

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I will point out that, for clarity, the wattage specified for HID systems are for the bulb consumption. That number neglects any losses at the ballast which can vary based on quality of ballast construction.

And to Shazaam's point about ballasts meeting FCC requirements: the legitimate ones do, but I would suspect that the HID kits that utilize parts from China do not, even if they may say so.
 

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I will point out that, for clarity, the wattage specified for HID systems are for the bulb consumption. That number neglects any losses at the ballast which can vary based on quality of ballast construction.
The above specs I posted are specifically the ballast specs...........
...............but I would suspect that the HID kits that utilize parts from China do not, even if they may say so.
Based on what?
 

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The above specs I posted are specifically the ballast specs...........


Based on what?
DOT FMVSS 108 specifies that the wattage rating for a particular bulb is at a nominal voltage of 12.8.

Wattage = Amperage x Voltage

If you have a 55W rated bulb at a nominal 12.8 volts, your current draw is 4.29 amps. How are you saying that 3.2 amps gets you 55 watts? Does your electrical system operate at 17.1 volts? Or are you saying that this is effective luminosity compared to a 55W halogen system? If you tested your system with a meter, and you are not seeing this current flow, is your system operating at 55W?

The situation above simply looks at the ballast's requirements as a DC to AC power supply. Because the HID bulb actually uses AC instead of DC, it gets even more confusing. AC doesn't hold to the P=IV formula, and follows Power (single phase): P = Vp × Ip × cos φ. Ugly math the says the power utilized is based on the shape of the sine wave. Ideal conditions would be a square wave and that your loss factor would be 1. Obviously AC is rarely a perfect square wave, and therefore you have associated loss greater than a factor of 1. This means that your 55W bulb should actually be drawing more than 55W to stay lit. This is part of the ballast loss. The other part is simply due to the quality of the parts.

In any case, the value specified for the bulb wattage is for the bulb only as specified by DOT FMVSS 108.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/octqtr/49cfr571.108.htm

It is a well known fact that no automotive HID ballast manufacturer sells parts directly to the consumer. There are many cases of people buying supposed "legitimate" ballasts that are counterfeit parts made in China, playing off of a brand name. This type of behavior has continued, in order to rip off other ballast designs while switching to "home grown" Chinese companies selling their ballasts directly to the gray market.

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/exterior-appearance/134288413-warning-about-fake-hid-kits.html

http://www.newtiburon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127128

There is a PDF from Bosch (only in Japanese) about this problem for the Japanese market as well:

http://www.bosch.co.jp/jp/aa/products/pdf/rbjp-070810-01.pdf

Here is my translation:

"8/10/2007

Dear Customer,

Notice of imitation HID conversion kit
(discharge headlamp) labeled as Bosch brand.

Thank you for you patronage to Bosch and our products.

Recently, we have found counterfeit items marketed on internet auctions as
"Bosch HID" kits which show the trademark of Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany,
but which used the Bosch brand without permission for their HID conversion
kit (aftermarket conversion kit or "HID").

< The following are some examples of the counterfeit products >

1. Showing packaging 2. Instructions 3. Contents

In the above HID kits, the "Bosch" brand trademark is being violated, these
are not examples of our products. Our company [Bosch Japan] imports the HID
"kits," the bulbs and "Retronic Headlamp" (our name brand) from Germany to
sell for cars in Japan, and other companies in other countries do the same,
but are not related to these kits.

We have received claims from people who bought these counterfeit kits that
do not work, but please understand that we are unable to help because these
are not our products, so we can't be held liable for damage and are not
responsible for any claims.

Our company and Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany have contacted Yahoo Auctions
through program B to register a trademark violation.

Please take care

If you have any other questions, please send me an email at aa [at] jp.bosch.com"

I would have no belief that kits made in China that flaunt fraudulent parts are concerned with FCC approval, or any other safety consideration for that matter.

Even legitimate products from reputable manufacturers, made in China, have issues. I had a laptop computer from a certain manufacturer that only makes their cases from Aluminum, and rhymes with crapple. Top notch stuff supposedly. One day I received a nasty shock from the case, got out my voltmeter and found a floating voltage there. Their design was defective without a grounded power supply. Further compounded by the fact that there were obvious construction errors in the case assembly. This "superior" product made in China that would have failed the UL test on voltage leakage. The laptop was replaced, but it underscores my point about products from that region.
 

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I'm with you on the current state of quality from the People's Republic, and their math is certainly suspect, even given that system voltage is usually nominally 14v.

I erred on the higher powered system....... it's 50W not 55W, though the resulting math is little better.

The numbers posted are not "me saying" but rather from Xenlight Ltd., of Israel. Purposefully not a Chinese company.

Still........ I doubt that HID start-up power draw eats stators............
 

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I'm with you on the current state of quality from the People's Republic, and their math is certainly suspect, even given that system voltage is usually nominally 14v.

I erred on the higher powered system....... it's 50W not 55W, though the resulting math is little better.

The numbers posted are not "me saying" but rather from Xenlight Ltd., of Israel. Purposefully not a Chinese company.

Still........ I doubt that HID start-up power draw eats stators............
Agreed! :D
 

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I would be curious to see how many of those bikes going in the shop have the HIDs wired directly through the light's wiring harness. The better HID systems will be wired directly to the battery and will be wired to the existing light harness only to act as a trigger for the bulbs.

Most bikes' headlights turn on as soon as you turn the key, so i have to doubt that even if the HIDs draw a greater load on startup, that will only be in the first little while before you even turn the bike on, so how is that over-taxing the charging system if the bike is not even on yet?
 
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