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Thread: Low Beam Bulb Change in 10 Minutes!

  1. #1
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Low Beam Bulb Change in 10 Minutes!

    I know this topic may have received a fair amount of attention before, but not sure if what I 'discovered' today was included.

    After first struggling to try and change out the right-side low beam bulb on my R1200RT, I felt that after about two hours of frustration trying to get my big paws inside those cramped quarters, that was effort enough, and called it a day. Able to get the old bulb out, but setting the new one in place and securing it...yeah, right.

    Had scratches, marks, minor bleeding and still no fixed headlamp.

    The 'engineer' who designed a headlight assembly that cannot be removed from the front for servicing should be taken out back behind HQ in Munich and have his knee caps broken!

    I was going to leave it to my local dealer when next week, the bike goes in for valve adjustment (30,000 miles) and an oil change.

    But it annoyed me that I failed at so basic a task as replacing a headlight bulb, which someday, I may need to do on the road.

    I wondered how they might magically do this at the dealership, given that my mechanic has similar sized hands.

    Wandering the local Advance Auto Parts store for inspiration later in the afternoon, I came upon an AmPro 24" Flexible Mechanical Finger.

    $6.00

    It neatly grasped the H-7 bulb by the upper connector prong and allowed me to slip it into the socket, rotate as needed and hold it there (at the proper position) until I could snap one of the retainer clamps into place.

    Then I released the flexible tool, nudged the other clamp-arm into place, reconnected the wiring and closed up the access port.

    10 minutes....job done. No new trauma to my hand / wrist / arm / ego.

    That little gem will easily fit into my trunk or sidecase and comes with me on roadtrips from now on!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 09-19-2008 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds very useful! But I couldn't find it on the AutoZone website.
    Paul L
    '04 BMW R1150RT
    '82 Yamaha XJ650RJ
    Haluzak recumbent bicycle (hey -- it has 2 wheels and is great exercise!)

  3. #3
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride2wheels View Post
    Sounds very useful! But I couldn't find it on the AutoZone website.
    That's because as I drove past it tonight, I noticed it is Advance Auto Parts.(NOT Auto Zone, which is further down the block - Oops!)

    By the way, saw the same tool (Craftsman) at Sears in their tool department this afternoon - $1 more ($7).

    Sorry about that - just so exited to find a way to tackle that almost- impossible- to- get- at right-side low beam!!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 09-19-2008 at 12:31 PM.

  4. #4
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    BTW, I discovered after some frustrartion that the right side bulb is a lot easier to put in place if the bike is on the center stand rather than the side stand.
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  5. #5
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    I had similar issues. There's just not that much room for an adult male's hand. And there's certainly too little room for your hand and being able to look at what you're doing. My solution has been a pair of long nosed pliers.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  6. #6
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    I had similar issues. There's just not that much room for an adult male's hand. And there's certainly too little room for your hand and being able to look at what you're doing. My solution has been a pair of long nosed pliers.
    Tried the needle-nose approach, but unfortunately, that means one of my hands was in the way of the other.

    With this tool, my left hand rests on the tank, while the other sneaks in for the clip.

    Hey...if what you do works, go with it!

  7. #7
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    ...The 'engineer' who designed a headlight assembly that cannot be removed from the front for servicing should be taken out back behind HQ in Munich and have his knee caps broken!
    It occurs to me that the vast majority of modern vehicles including cars, light trucks, and motorcycles are equipped with headlights that cannot be removed from the front.

    You've got a LOT of kneecaps to break, globally.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  8. #8
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    GS/GSA are real easy;

    My friend paid a dealer 40+$$$labor to do his GS headlight bulb. WHY? I know some of the bikes are hard to get this job done, without injury. My last KLT was a body wrenching experience, too, way up under the fairing. The new GS line are quite easy, so anybody with these, do your own and save. The two headlamp cups are right out in the open, in front of the ignition key. New tools like you've found for the RT are always cool to find. I do the same, always looking for new tools. My weakness's are hardware stores and tool stores. Randy

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    It occurs to me that the vast majority of modern vehicles including cars, light trucks, and motorcycles are equipped with headlights that cannot be removed from the front.

    You've got a LOT of kneecaps to break, globally.
    When I retired from the force, I kept my expandable metal baton, my second-growth hickory one, and bought a new AR-15.

    I'm ready to go 'engineer-hunting!'

  10. #10
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    My friend paid a dealer 40+$$$labor to do his GS headlight bulb. WHY? I know some of the bikes are hard to get this job done, without injury. My last KLT was a body wrenching experience, too, way up under the fairing. The new GS line are quite easy, so anybody with these, do your own and save. The two headlamp cups are right out in the open, in front of the ignition key. New tools like you've found for the RT are always cool to find. I do the same, always looking for new tools. My weakness's are hardware stores and tool stores. Randy
    Exactly!

    Learned long ago that finding the right tool for the job is what it's all about.

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