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Thread: What type of Headlight bulb do you recommend?

  1. #1
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    Question What type of Headlight bulb do you recommend?

    Here is the deal... my headlight bulb blew up for the second time this year.....
    In May my head light low beam blew up and I replaced it with a high intensity "blue" bulb. I love the light it gives, but the longevity is very poor. I even made sure that I used the "high" beam and the "low" beam were used equally. Last night the high beam blew... Years ago I had the same problem with my oilhead and I swore I only use the cheap one's, as they last longer...

    So, what have you found out to be the best for good lighting, good price and good life, which one would you recommend?

    Here are some limitations to lighting... I don't run auxilary lights and don't plan on installing any, so the light source is the "headlight." I ride daily, it is my mode of transportation and I average about 15K per year... but 3 months is totally unacceptable... Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I will change the bulb this weekend... Thanks for your opinion...
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  2. #2
    Registered User burnszilla's Avatar
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    Osram Silverstars from the UK. Don Eilenberger recommends them. I've been using them and they last longer and are much brighter.

    http://www.powerbulbs.co.uk/
    Stephen Burns - 2007 R1200GS
    BMW MOA Lifetime Member
    www.burnsmoto.com

  3. #3
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    Hi, I use the H4 Sylvania Silverstar lamp # H4ST in my 76 R90/6.

    The rated lamp life is 150 hours low beam, 50 hours high beam, at rated voltage (14.0VDC). Note that running at 14.5VDC the lamp life factor falls to aproximately 65%.

    Regards, Rod.

  4. #4
    Rally Rat paulsibek's Avatar
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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnszilla
    Osram Silverstars from the UK. Don Eilenberger recommends them. I've been using them and they last longer and are much brighter.

    http://www.powerbulbs.co.uk/
    These are terrific.

  5. #5
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    Whatever you choose...
    +1 for www.powerbulbs.co.uk
    After reading a similar thread awhile back, and because my Sylvania SilverStar H4 high-beam bit the dust after 4months ~4500mi, I bought a pair of Euro-spec Phillips VisionPlus from Powerbulbs. They look slightly brighter/cleaner than the Sylvanias, and we'll see if they last. But what I am really impressed with is the price and service from Powerbulbs. A pair of the Vis+ to my door in eight days, for just over 35bux.
    The Sylvanias are $20 apiece at AdvanceAuto....+ the Gov's share.
    JMagda
    Deep in the OH wasteland...
    04 R1150r

  6. #6
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    Smile

    Phillips Vision Plus purchased from www.casporttouring.com.

    No affiliation, usual disclaimer, yada, yada.

  7. #7
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    The Vision Plus bulb is superior in light and longevity to the Sylvania (U.S. version) Silverstar because of the latter's slight blue tint. The Osram (European) Siverstar is comparable to the Philips Vision Plus.
    Frank G.
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    2004 R1150RT

  8. #8
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I just odered a Vision Plus bulb from casporttouring. I did some research on the information that you gave me and also found out that "car" bulbs don't work so well, because of the added vibration from a motorcycle. I did not know about the longevity of the high beam and low beam. Awesome what you can find out if you ask a question...
    We are a great bunch of folks... Thanks for all your help...
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  9. #9
    STAN
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    Question

    After reading this thread I ordered the Osram from the UK. No freight, good deal. Figured I'd replace the low beam bulbs now and save the old for emergency. R1200RT. What an ordeal. Son and I over an hour. No room for hands, drew blood before I was done. They also sent the two 5watt side bulbs for no charge, even though I did not order them. Those were easy enough to change. Seems like German engineers planned on Japanese hands. Did I miss something obvious, or am I just clumsy?

  10. #10
    How cold was it? shoeman's Avatar
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    While the selection of a bulb is important, remember the ability of the wiring harness to deliver the power required to support the bulb. Somewhere on Adventure Rider website ( about a year or two ago) there was an excellent test performed on various bulbs with various relays and harnesses. the results were clear on what was required. A search of the advrider site would probably turn it up.
    Jim Johnson, OP Kansas
    Marcus Aurelius: "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

  11. 08-27-2006, 01:26 PM

    Reason
    read my owners manual

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99691
    Do you have to remove the entire headligt assembly to change bulbs?
    Only thing I can find in manual is to remove headlight assembly?
    No. The manual that came with my bike has very detailed drawings of how the bulbs come out. It helps to have small hands, lots of light, and lots of patience. It's a very demanding task the first time, especially the high beam.
    Frank G.
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    2004 R1150RT

  13. #12
    P Monk
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    small hands?

    Thanks,
    I deleted the posting after i found it in the owners booklet, you really can't call it a manual can you. I was replacing a burned out fog light bulb and didn't even try to follow the booklet. Just pull the bodywork off and there is plenty of room to change them. Bought an extra since the same bulb is used for high beam.

    not to change the subject but I bought the Cee Bailey's 3 piece amber fog light headlight protectors. They look great in daytime but loose way too much light for nighttime use. CB has offered to exchange for the solid clear protector which I thought was really decent of them.

  14. #13
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    HID the only reasonable light

    http://www.cqlight.ca/catalog/

    This would be my choice.
    JIm

  15. #14
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    Headlight Bulb

    When purchasing a replacement bulb, you might want to look at the package. Legal bulbs say DOT on the bulb. Some overseas bulbs have a non-white light that is illegal in the U.S.

    Bikers are already looked down upon by the majority of "folks" for the acts of a few "1%ers". Not to mention, you may find yourself to be rolling probable cause.

    Easy

    Big Empty, Texas

    My mother loved children -- she would have given anything if I had been one.
    Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

  16. #15
    Registered User GSWayne's Avatar
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    It is likely that the brighter the bulb the shorter the life because the trick to more efficiency in a bulb is to operate the filament at higher temperature and the higher the temperature the shorter the life. If you have a history of short bulb life check the charging voltage, if it is too high, perhaps the voltage regulator is bad. This will also shorten the life of your battery.

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