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View Full Version : Poorly aimed headlamp?



Grover
02-18-2009, 07:28 AM
Hello all...I have a 2008 R1200RT. Love the bike and it's not my first RT either. However, I have been getting that feeling people think I have my high beams on. Why? Well, they flash their high beams at me even when they are off. Now, I know about that little adjusting toggle that raises or lowers the beam when you are carrying a large load. That has not stopped the problem flashes. Am I still too heavy in the back when I'm loaded up? Do I need to adjust the rear suspension tighter, or all of the above? Has anyone else experienced this?

professor
02-18-2009, 08:33 AM
I've noticed on my '07RT that on low beam I see well down the road and occasionally get flashes from oncoming drivers. When I turn on the high beam, I don't see the road any better, but I light way up into the trees.

When I took it in for the 6,000 mile service, I asked them to check it out. There was no change after the service so they either did not check it or they checked it and it was within their guidelines.

I've never ridden a bike (or driven a car) with lights set so high. On previous bikes, I've ridden with high beams on during the day as recommended by many, but not on the RT. The beams are too high.

rmeisen
02-18-2009, 12:32 PM
Here's what I found out.. There are two adjustments on the RT, one on the bottom right (looking over the Speedo/Tach, and one on the top left. The one on the bottom right will change the beam left / right and the one on the top left does the up/down. I had the same problems you describe, but a few trys with a 12 MM socket and mine settled right down.. On the upper left one, there is a lever that will adjust for two up riding. It lowers the beam to compensate for the rear settling lower.. The owners manual describes it so be sure (if you intend to use it) that it is positioned properly while you adjust..

Ron

dumfounded
02-18-2009, 02:59 PM
Definitely try the lever first. I flipped it and don't get any more complaints from oncoming drivers, one-up or two-up.

leadfoot
02-19-2009, 02:08 AM
I did the same on my 08 RT. I got a lot of hi beams at me, had the dealer check it at 600 miles, and they said it was fine. I figure the brightness of the lights coupled with the hi stance of the bike might make it worse for oncoming traffic than the lower rides. I flipped the left toggle, and also set the ESA to two up, since I usually carry extra gear in the bags. I weigh 210, and that might be more than the calculated solo weight for the bike. I have had no issues since doing those two things.

GregoryT
02-26-2009, 03:14 AM
Believe it or not, in the last 11 brand new motorcycles I purchased in recent time (9 of them, BMWs) not even one of them had a properly aligned headlight. Paul's rule, 2 inches and 17 feet probably works fine because it creates proper angle of light beam versus the horizontal line of the road. In reality, what really counts is the length of the lightbeam, providing proper vision without glare to upcoming traffic. The rule of thumb is very simple (even though sometimes takes some time to correct it) lowbeam headlight, should light the road ahead of your vehicle in the distance of 50-60 yards and 100-120 yards for highbeam regardless of the load of the motorcycle, since this is such a simple procedure, I wonder why dealers who charge quite a bit of money for PDI, didn't figure this out yet.

PGlaves
02-26-2009, 05:01 AM
Believe it or not, in the last 11 brand new motorcycles I purchased in recent time (9 of them, BMWs) not even one of them had a properly aligned headlight. Paul's rule, 2 inches and 17 feet probably works fine because it creates proper angle of light beam versus the horizontal line of the road. In reality, what really counts is the length of the lightbeam, providing proper vision without glare to upcoming traffic. The rule of thumb is very simple (even though sometimes takes some time to correct it) lowbeam headlight, should light the road ahead of your vehicle in the distance of 50-60 yards and 100-120 yards for highbeam regardless of the load of the motorcycle, since this is such a simple procedure, I wonder why dealers who charge quite a bit of money for PDI, didn't figure this out yet.

The 2" drop at 17' used to be published in all of the BMW Rider's (Owner's) manuals. I don't recall when they stopped putting that in there - probably when the cost of paper and ink became more important than rider safety. Or when they had to put in all the stuff like "warning - the exhaust pipes get hot" so didn't have room any more.

The 2" at 17' describes in simple inch and feet measurements the requirements set by the DOT, by the way.

Grover
03-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Thanks for all the useful information you guys handed out. It has helped. I'm glad everyone got to add their expertise. This forum has a combined experience of 1000 BMW mechanics.