PDA

View Full Version : HID High Beam Conversion for R12RT



jonmill
11-06-2007, 12:51 AM
Discussions of HID conversions are still all over the map, in terms of ease of installation, cost, and effectiveness. I want to intstall an HID high beam either in place of or in addition to the stock H7 on my 2005 R12RT. The stock low beams are fine, and I have PIAA 1100s for lighting the foreground and sides of the road. I've seen HID kits as low as $85 and as high as $700. The one by Touratech appeals to me because it could be wired independently, but I don't want to pay their price if I don't have to.

Is there a happy medium here?

I've read the threads on the bmwsporttouring site and came away more confused than ever. I haven't found much discussion so far on this forum, or am I missing a thread?

RocketCowboy
11-06-2007, 01:00 AM
I think the problem with an HID high beam is that you lose the ability to flash-to-pass due to the time it takes for the HID to charge and fire. I've been considering adding HID low beams and possibly a set of HID driving lights, but keeping the stock high beam just to have something I could use easily as a flasher.

jonmill
11-06-2007, 01:42 AM
.... keeping the stock high beam just to have something I could use easily as a flasher.

I take your point. I don't use the flasher much, so that is less of a concern for me. The Touratech add-on fits your needs, and would work for me, but I choke (so far) on the price ($513 plus installation)!

RocketCowboy
11-06-2007, 03:56 AM
I hear ya ... the Touratech lights are too rich for my blood too. I'll figure out another HID route to go if/when I get to that point.

advenbob
11-06-2007, 04:21 AM
I think you would be happy with a HID low beam. You should check out www.xenonrider.com They have a pretty neat plug and play that should work and installation is pretty straight forward. One of the items that always presents an issue is where to put the ballast. This company offers a small ballast for a slight up grade in price. I purchased a H7 conversion for my GSA. My cell phone is almost as large as the ballast. Took less than 30 min to install, including the removal of the headlamp as an assembly and reinstalled.

Works very well and no fault codes. Lots of good words for this company on other web sites.

bob still

FredRydr
11-06-2007, 09:31 AM
Don't the reflector and the lens have to be designed for the HID lamp? In other words, is the focus of the HID beam really unaffected by the OEM reflector and/or the lens that rely upon a filament bulb?

The XenonRider lamp swap seems too simple.

Fred

RINTY
11-06-2007, 02:50 PM
I had a bi-xenon H4 HID installed in my R 1150 RS. The high beam and flash function was instantaneous, because the transformer, or whatever it is, stays powered up as long as the bike is running. I had my tech install it, and the wiring was straight forward (for him). The hexhead wiring hook up would be more involved, of course, but there are lots of threads on how to hook up peripherals on them here, so that should not be an issue.

I don't know whether a transformer for a not - in - use H7 high beam would always be powered up, and whether you could instantly flash. But if I had a bike with a two element headlight system, I would just install the HID as a low beam capsule. And if your low beam is an H4 bulb, the bi-xenon is available in any event. From Xenon Depot.

I really liked the conversion, and I don't know that the reflector has to be designed for it; I can't see that that matters.

Rinty

burnszilla
11-06-2007, 03:15 PM
I installed these HIDs on my GS for $165. Both high and low beam. They ship out of Fremont, California. It took a day to get them to my door.

http://www.cqlight.ca/product_info.php?products_id=168

I couldn't be happier. Many other Advriders are installing them too. I don't understand why GS guys mount all those expensive lights when all you have to do is switch over to HID. Cagers notice me much more now and I can light up any canyon road in the dark.

RINTY
11-06-2007, 04:25 PM
Stephen:

And they run cooler, use less power (although that's probably not an issue), and look great.

I also prefer the simplicity of an in - headlight installation.

How did you find the beam pattern at night? To answer Fred's question.

Rinty

advenbob
11-06-2007, 05:17 PM
The installation of the xenonrider HID is very simple. You removed the existing H7 bulb, the kit plugs into the existing connector for the removed bulb, install the HID bulb. You will have to cut out approx one inch circle for the wiring and bulb to fit, but the kit comes complete with a grommet with wiring already through. This would be for the access cover for your H/L bulb.

Zip tie the wiring and you should use the smaller ballast. Very easy to find a place for it due to its size. Bingo, you are finished. Very simple install and very inexpensive. Upgrade to the compact ballast and you are into it for around 135.

On my GSA, I placed the ballast on top of the headlamp housing, under the upper windshield bracket. You have to know it is there to see it.

bob

burnszilla
11-06-2007, 05:59 PM
Stephen:

And they run cooler, use less power (although that's probably not an issue), and look great.

I also prefer the simplicity of an in - headlight installation.

How did you find the beam pattern at night? To answer Fred's question.

Rinty
The beam pattern is not that different from stock. I think the bulbs were about the same length. We rode in a dark canyon at night a while back and I lit up the whole place! My friend behind me on his 1150GS was amazed. My wife wants them for her car now.

RINTY
11-06-2007, 06:44 PM
...the beam pattern is not that different....

That's what I figured it would be (I never used mine at night). I'm not an optics engineer, but the source of the light is very close, or identical to, the stock bulb, so the angles of incidence and reflection should be close to stock as well.

From what I read here, the 1200 R's have excellent lights, but there's nothing wrong with making a good thing better.

But the oilers definitely need help. Their headlights are pathetic.


My wife wants them for her car now.

I was thinking of installing a set in my new Legacy Touring Wagon, but the stock lights are incredible. So I'm really reaching, mentally......

Rinty

deilenberger
11-06-2007, 08:36 PM
I had a bi-xenon H4 HID installed in my R 1150 RS. The high beam and flash function was instantaneous, because the transformer, or whatever it is, stays powered up as long as the bike is running. I had my tech install it, and the wiring was straight forward (for him). The hexhead wiring hook up would be more involved, of course, but there are lots of threads on how to hook up peripherals on them here, so that should not be an issue.

I don't know whether a transformer for a not - in - use H7 high beam would always be powered up, and whether you could instantly flash. But if I had a bike with a two element headlight system, I would just install the HID as a low beam capsule. And if your low beam is an H4 bulb, the bi-xenon is available in any event. From Xenon Depot.

I really liked the conversion, and I don't know that the reflector has to be designed for it; I can't see that that matters.

Rinty

The HID capsule has to have the arc (it's an electric arc light) at the same point, and of the same shape as the filament bulb it's replacing for the reflector to work right.

You may get a lot of light out of an HID conversion - but unless the modified DS2 capsule (which is what all the "conversion" kits use) is very well done, some of the light will be going where it shouldn't, which translates to glare to oncoming traffic. In general - an HID reflector is designed with a very sharp lowbeam cutoff pattern, to keep glare from blinding oncoming traffic. While people may see you (as they obviously do) - if the glare is excessive, it may well blind them to you, or tend to draw them into the source of the glare (go where you look syndrome.)

I'm not generally a fan of conversions. I've seen too many that simply put out a LOT of light and be damned where it's going. I think the aftermarket light assembly that was purpose designed (like Touratech, or Hellas) for HID use is a better option. Besides giving a better light pattern, it provides redundency - if one light source goes out - the other ones are still on. I've also found some inexpensive Hella halogen lights - which do draw more current than an HID (not a real worry on a modern BMW) - and also put out light that is very close in intensity to an HID. I'd suggest checking out the Hella-FF50 series, or any of the FF series. They are impressive sources of light at a reasonable price (less than $100 for a pair..)

Your lighting may vary..

RINTY
11-06-2007, 09:25 PM
Interesting points, Don. That would seem to seal it for not installing them in my new Subie, then.

I did like the conversion on my oiler RS for daytime conspicuity. I had noticed, when I swapped bikes (an FJR!) with a friend, that my headlight was barely visible. After the conversion it was quite good.

Perhaps we can get some feedback from other members who have done the conversion, on whether they are getting flashed by oncoming cage drivers or bike riders at night.

Rinty

FredRydr
11-06-2007, 10:02 PM
Perhaps we can get some feedback from other members who have done the conversion, on whether they are getting flashed by oncoming cage drivers or bike riders at night.Even better and less subjective would be to examine a converted bike's beam pattern.

Fred

deilenberger
11-06-2007, 10:08 PM
Even better and less subjective would be to examine a converted bike's beam pattern.

FredCertainly doable if someone wants to visit my garage..

I still have the test pattern on the inside of the garage door that I used for a series of lighting articles for the BMW Car Club magazine Roundel.. and I have the needed incident footcandle meter to do the measurements. The pattern plotting is very doable in Excel if you know how. I also have a lab power supply (current and voltage regulated) so I can give a constant voltage with adequate current for the tests.

Would need a bike with a conversion, and with the original bulb/socket assembly able to be switched back in. Not hard to do.. if someone wants to come over sometime.

RINTY
11-06-2007, 11:18 PM
That's good of you to offer to do that Don. Hopefully there is a converted bike in your area.

This optics stuff is interesting.

Rinty

BigAdv
11-07-2007, 05:55 AM
I recently converted the low beams of my 07 RT to HID. The differance was night and day!!!( pun intended) Have not gotten any flashing from others yet. Very pleased with them. I am also working on making a PWM driver to iluminate the front signal light bulbs as running lights. It will drive them at a 25% duty cycle at 100hz which will give the same output as a 5w bulb. (much like the way the tail/brake light works). I have it all prototyped and it works well with no feed back issues to the ZFE, just have to finish designing the printed circuit board, and have it manufacted. If any one is interested please let me know.

Earl

RINTY
11-07-2007, 02:18 PM
Translation? :laugh

But this sounds interesting.

Rinty

jonmill
11-07-2007, 05:58 PM
I recently converted the low beams of my 07 RT to HID. The differance was night and day!!!( pun intended)

What kit did you use?

burnszilla
11-08-2007, 01:52 AM
I was flashed once by a car with the low beams on, but I was heading up hill. If I was to flash the high beam back at them the 'Eyes of God' (what I call my HID lights) would burn their souls. I am much more visible now and cars are noticing me more. I think that's a good thing. The MSF class told my wife to ride with her high beam on all the time. (She does not have HID, thank god.)

sfdave
11-22-2007, 01:35 AM
I installed these HIDs on my GS for $165. Both high and low beam. They ship out of Fremont, California. It took a day to get them to my door.

http://www.cqlight.ca/product_info.php?products_id=168

I couldn't be happier. Many other Advriders are installing them too. I don't understand why GS guys mount all those expensive lights when all you have to do is switch over to HID. Cagers notice me much more now and I can light up any canyon road in the dark.

Stephen,

I checked out the site. Question: which one for the low beam?

iambob
06-30-2009, 04:49 AM
What kit did you use?

Yeah that, wil you answer the man??

cfargo
09-06-2009, 03:35 AM
I think you would be happy with a HID low beam. You should check out www.xenonrider.com They have a pretty neat plug and play that should work and installation is pretty straight forward. One of the items that always presents an issue is where to put the ballast. This company offers a small ballast for a slight up grade in price. I purchased a H7 conversion for my GSA. My cell phone is almost as large as the ballast. Took less than 30 min to install, including the removal of the headlamp as an assembly and reinstalled.

Works very well and no fault codes. Lots of good words for this company on other web sites.

bob still

I just installed this same kit on my 09 R1200RT and opted for the canbus version. I Love Them!! Easy to install and no wires to cut. BRIGHT and WHITE

iambob
09-07-2009, 03:13 AM
I installed the 6500k in my lowbeams about 2 months ago, and do a LOT of night riding. Was VERY happyw ith them, and converted my high beam a couple of weeks ago to a 4300k.. It's FRIGGIN BRIGHT!!

Don't have the problem with the FLASH.. it seems to be instant on, or instant on enough..

I went through XENONRIder myself and couldn't be happier.

On my reorder for the highbeam, I ordered a single bulb kit with slim ballast, and an extra slim ballast to convert one my lowbeam standard ballasts (two slims will mount in the same area as one standard). They wrote back telling me they looked at my order understood what I wanted, and said they will send a TWO bulb kit with TWO slim ballasts AND refund my card $28.. I got everything I wante AND an extra HID bulb and they saved me money.. What more could you want??

I now have two sllim ballasts mounted in the right side speaker mount, and one standard ballast mounted on the left.. NO issues, NO Can-Bus errors.. and BEAUTIFUL light.

GREAT product, GREAT service..

cfargo
09-07-2009, 03:57 AM
Do you not need the canbus version for your RT?

iambob
09-07-2009, 01:09 PM
Do you not need the canbus version for your RT?

The low beams I originally bought had the BMW Can Bus ballasts, the slim upgrade can't be Can Bus.. so i took a chance.

I now have ONE Can Bus ballast and two non CanBus Ultra Slim Ballasts..

No errors, no flashing lights, no warnings.. Have to find a GS911 to check, but I'm betting from other things I've read that there are no errors.

Others have tested the bulbs, and the ballasts, and have reported ALL ballasts (at least quality ballasts) are Can Bus compatible.

cfargo
09-07-2009, 01:57 PM
I only did my low beams so far. Why 4300k for a high beam and not another 6500k?

B1Pilot
09-07-2009, 03:26 PM
I only did my low beams so far. Why 4300k for a high beam and not another 6500k?


I too would like to know the answer to this question on the high beam...

I put twin Xenon HIDs in for my low beams on my R1200RT....

everyone thinks I am driving with my brights on...

have to flash my high beam back to show Ive got even more...

maybe some annoyance for those in their cages, but I see EVERYTHING and they see me coming...

I may adjust them to a bit lower, but havent really decided about their annoyance vs. my safety

iambob
09-08-2009, 01:19 AM
The difference in the lights, and the amount of light.

I tried the 6500K for Low Beam, I didn't want them TOO bright, but wanted the conspicuity and the extra light (over halogen)

4300K for the High Beam because I want as MUCH usable light down the road as possible when running the High Beam. Not worried about how bright it is to oncoming drivers just want maximum light output.

Both do EXACTLY what I want them to do. The High Bean is like a small sun, and it HURTS to look at it from a distance, I do NOT run it in the daytime, or at night with ANY oncoming traffic, but that's not what I bought it for. I have Moto's and the Low HID's for daylight running. The LowBeans About turn night into day, the High Beam is unFRIGGIN believable.

iambob
09-08-2009, 01:21 AM
I too would like to know the answer to this question on the high beam...

I put twin Xenon HIDs in for my low beams on my R1200RT....

everyone thinks I am driving with my brights on...

have to flash my high beam back to show Ive got even more...

maybe some annoyance for those in their cages, but I see EVERYTHING and they see me coming...

I may adjust them to a bit lower, but havent really decided about their annoyance vs. my safety

haven't had anyone flash the highbeams at me.. don't know why.


I've got two HID LowBeams, and two 55W 6500k Ushio Motolights.. a LOT of light.

marchyman
09-08-2009, 01:23 AM
everyone thinks I am driving with my brights on...


Perhaps they are aimed incorrectly. Or perhaps you've run into the real issue with the HID upgrades... the reflector isn't designed for an HID bulb and can put more glare in undesired locations.



maybe some annoyance for those in their cages, but I see EVERYTHING and they see me coming...

I may adjust them to a bit lower, but havent really decided about their annoyance vs. my safety

Their annoyance may be related to your safety. The last thing you want is a blinded driver to cross the line into your lane not because they can't see you, but because they were blinded by the excess light. It happens, especially with older folks (I'm getting older and therefore know of what I speak :laugh). It is a form of target fixation.

B1Pilot
09-08-2009, 03:09 AM
yes you are right on both counts... I just need to find a nice place to aim them down a bit... it appears that a large phillips head on the adjustment knob might do the trick

cfargo
09-08-2009, 02:05 PM
yes you are right on both counts... I just need to find a nice place to aim them down a bit... it appears that a large phillips head on the adjustment knob might do the trick

That phillips head on that large plastic screw/bolt is better off beeing adjusted with a socket over the outside as the phillips strips out easily.

briana
09-10-2009, 04:44 PM
Just ordered this set up for my 1200ST. This is a rcommendation from a fellow Yankee Beemer.

http://www.rvbprecision.com/motorcycles/hid-headlights-for-your-bmw-motorcycle.html

iambob
09-10-2009, 05:55 PM
Just ordered this set up for my 1200ST. This is a rcommendation from a fellow Yankee Beemer.

http://www.rvbprecision.com/motorcycles/hid-headlights-for-your-bmw-motorcycle.html

The alarm bells went off in the Instructions that state run the Neg and Pos to the Battery.

HID conversion should not have anything running back to the battery, I'm thinking this will give rise to Can BUS errors (no Can Bus on the RS).

An HID conversion should use the same connectors as your current bulb plus two connectors to the ballast. NOTHING connects into your current electrical system or back to the battery.

Ballasts made that way are Can Bus friendly. You don't need battery hook-ups or relays, etc.. etc..

Hope it works out for you, but I'm thinking you may be in the market for a different HID kit for your ST in the future.

Compare your installation instruction to these..

http://www.xenonrider.com/info/installation.shtml