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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all. New member and 1st time poster here. This is a really great site. Lots of info and a lot of helpful Duc owners.

I have recently purchased an 01 996. 3000kms on the clock when i got it.

Biggest problem; the most terrible headlights I have ever seen (not seen?).

I replaced both hi and low beams with Xenon HID's. The whole kit not the fancy halogen bulbs with Xenon gas added.

Hi beam is fantastic, never seen such a good headlight.

Low beam went from horrible all the way up to pathetic. Everything was installed correctly.

Are all projector type lights this bad? Is there anything that can be done to correct/modify this?

Thanks for any and all comments!

Bruce
2001 996
1991 1200xlh full custom Sportster
 

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Two things you might try......1) check the aim of the headlights, 2) clean off the milky film on the inside of the headlight lenses.
 

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+1 on Paolo.

Aiming is critical when you only have one light to do the lighting.

The lowbeam should drop about 10% per distance (mine drops by 5%.. i want to see!)
Here is a detailed aim instruction.
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

Remember that vertical aiming is done with a hex through the hole in your front fairing, but horizontal requires you to pull the fairing off completly.

//amullo
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow! Thanks guys! Fast response!

Unfortunately cleaning the lens didn't help (much). You guys dont miss a beat tho!

I did aim the lights but I didn't know about horizontal aiming. Thanks for that. And thanks for the link. I will check that out ASAP.

I upgraded the battery cables to 4 gauges and the battery voltage across the terminals at idle is about 13.19v, so that shouldn't be a problem and the Hi beam is bright.

I just keeps pointing to the projector type lens......

Thanks again
 

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I used a longer adjustment bolt to raise the headlight higher. I also swapped the bulb for a PIAA superwhite.

Some people have converted to HID lights
 

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if you're getting poor beam out of the lowbeam (projector) then i would be willing to bet that either the bulb is not seated properly or for some other reason the arc capsule is not in the correct focal point...remember, hid bulbs are rebased for our application.

so make sure it's seated fully. if it is, take the bulb out and compare the arc capsule position (distance from the base) with the filament position of your original bulb and make sure they're identical.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. I was aware that the focal length was important but I have not checekd it. The bulb is seated correctly. When I aimed the lights at a wall from aprrox. 30' you can defintely see the beam pattern. but it just seems too diffused. It was this way on the stock halogen system as well. In fact it was so weak, I never used it, only the hi beam(never got many flashes at me either). when switching to the low beam before the change, it was as if I turned the lights off. As I said better now but still not adequate for night riding as the roads in the Philippines tend to be poorly lit.

B.
 

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you shouldn't have much complaints with an hid retrofit into the oem projector. obviously the light output won't be as good as with a true hid projector but it should be at least 3x better than a halogen bulb.

here's what my hid lowbeam retrofit looks like from the oem ducati projector:

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for that. The HID is probably about 3 times better than previous but it is still terrrible. A matter of degrees I guess. I purchased the lights from Xenondepot in Canada. The light base is supposed to be reengineered for these applications. The light just seems too diffused. As I say, when I line it up against a wall at night, there is a distinct cutout, similar to what a halogen would have on low beam. But again, the light just seems very diffused, so maybe this points at the bulb base or focal length not being correct for this application?

Is there any way to replace the projector bulb/lens with a standard one? My guess is not but it sure would be nice.

B
 

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i don't think it would be too difficult to replace the entire projector with an oem hid projector. that was my intention but i don't ride enough at night to justify the project or expense, especially since a simple hid bulb retrofit gave me enough improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks. Any idea where I could get my hands on a replacement? Coupled with my rather poor night vision, this low beam of mine is an accident waiting to happen. failing that i am thinking of putting on an additional driving light. I just dont want to spoil the looks of the bike.

B
 

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depending on what you can afford, i would pick up a used ducati headlight housing to work with. this way if you make a mistake that renders the unit useless you've got your original to fall back on and can still ride the bike. remove the projector and measure the dimensions so you can try to find a new projector that matches as close as possible.

with that out of the way, check ebay for an oem hid projector...there's thousands. imho, the hella projectors provide the best light (the kind used in bmw, audi, mb) but their diameter is slightly larger than the diameter of the ducati projector. this may make for a little extra work or fabrication. nissan has some smaller hid projectors used in their 350's and murano's that could probably be made to work well. there are so many manufacturers that use hid's now that you may even find one that has near perfect dimensions.

you should be able to find some good information about retrofitting an oem hid projector on some of the hid forums.
 

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i am not to experenced in these things... but i would look at the old factory bulb, and make sure this new bulb was spaced properly to match the old bulbs spacing. if it was to close or to far away from the projector, that would tend to diffuse the beam.
 
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