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Thread: K1200 Aftermarket Xenon Headlight Bulb Installation

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    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    K1200 Aftermarket Xenon Headlight Bulb Installation

    The articles, posts and comments in this tech section are posted by individual members and reflect their personal thoughts and experiences with repairing, maintaining, and generally working on motorcycles. This information may require specific knowledge and skills, may or may not be correct or current to model.

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    This DIY article is for the replacement of the stock H7 low beam bulb with an HID (High Intensity Discharge) Xenon bulb with accompanying components.

    The article may also help in installations in other types and brands of motorcycles in it's basic steps.

    The motorcycle used is my 2007 K1200GT with Halogen headlight.
    Beginning in 2008, it is unlikely to not have an OEM Xenon headlight in place, but for the earlier models such as mine, many did not have this option.

    There has been much written about the suitability of using an HID bulb in a headlight NOT designed for it.
    This is what I did, it worked for me, try it at your own risk
    My only hesitation in proceeding is that the factory Xenon headlamp assembly has a cylindrical shield inside the headlight which I believe is mainly meant to reduce glare for oncoming traffic. The K1200 owners I have conversed with don't have the impression that this modification has resulted in any unsafe condition.

    There are a few extra warnings that should be communicated prior to starting this DIY.

    First, without getting into the entire science of how HID works, the voltage at the start up of the Xenon bulb is extreme, 18,000 to 20,000 volts typically. Treat the wiring with all due respect. Watch the wire routing, particularly around any sharp edges. The normal voltage after the bulb stabilizes and is warm is still around 90 volts. The current consumption of the ballast (that's the thing that puts out this massive voltage) is around 35 watts. The stock Halogen bulb consumes 55 watts. So far with my bike and also from reports of other K1200 owners, the aftermarket HID kits don't seem to be causing any electrical malfunctions.

    As with Halogen bulbs, you don't want to handle the glass part of the bulb itself, as any dirt or even oil from the skin can reduce bulb life (causes hot spots in the glass).

    The Xenon bulb produces roughly 3 times the lumens of a halogen bulb. By all means avoid looking at the bulb when lit, just as you would avoid looking at arc welding being performed. This is especially critical if the bulb is not in it's housing; as a general safety rule I would avoid testing the bulb while not installed in the housing; it's hot, it's bright, and it takes 30 seconds to just install it where it belongs.

    Oh, one final thing. There is an outside chance that installing this kit could be a problem with law enforcement. I have not personally heard of a K1200 owner getting ticketed, but it could happen. Probably the most important step to avoid a hassle is to make SURE you have the headlight aimed properly when you are through. The bulb is much brighter and I'm sure we all have experienced the aggravation of too-bright bulbs aimed improperly in the case of oncoming vehicles.

    OK then, lets install this bad boy into my bike!
    Last edited by Gilly; 10-11-2009 at 11:00 PM.
    87 K75S, bought new, now sold
    07 K1200GT Bought new, now traded in
    13 C650GT
    MOA 44606

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