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Thread: My auxiliary light obsession 2010 RT

  1. #31
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    the 1offmotorsports kit is what I use and it works well. I prefer the 4300K verson, not the the 6000K.
    Do be careful with your light sockets if swapping. The plastic socket connector on the bike is a junk part that gets very brittle with het and you will crack it up if not gentle. Theere are ceramic aftermarket replacements available (about $7 each IIRC) should you need one.
    Install will take you a couple hours if you're not used to working with the lights, 45 min or so if you are.

    If you have enough experience with LED flashlights you're already familiar with the lens design of the LED bike lights- same thing. The Vision X I use are 20 degree beam. 10 would give a little bit more reach at the expense of fill. Wider than 20 would generally be as a fog light equivalent (for distance only, the beam would lack the sharp upper cutoff of a true fog) or perhaps off road to see more width at slower speeds. I've built hi power custom flashlights of various types so have messed with LEDs for a long time- they're still not good substitutes for halogens or HID in many applications- their light output quality and quantity is OK only for some uses but their primary attraction for many bikes is low power consumption- which is N/A for an RT that makes more juice than some cars. The long possible bulb life doesn't hurt but the when they die it means a new one rather than a bulb replacement. Many failures will not be the LED itself but the voltage and current control circuitry they require that is built into the lamp housing. The hours of life quoted for the LED is a deliberately misleading bit of info supplied by makers because it very probably will not be what dies eventually unless the overall design is so poor that it runs at elevated temps- nothing kills an LED faster than a bit too much heat. That's why all the decent multiple LED lights are so heavy- the need adequate sized metal heat sinks to take heat away from the LED- heat reduces output as well as shortening life. If you were to use a decent light meter with the typical maglite LED setup you could easily measure light drop after the LED heats up. A common featuree of all good high end and custom lights is the better heat sinking, typically with copper or aluminum heat conductive paths.

  2. #32
    ExMaTprinLowerAlabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    the 1offmotorsports kit is what I use and it works well. I prefer the 4300K verson, not the the 6000K.
    I agree with Racer... I bought the 6000k and wish I had opted for the 4300k version!

  3. #33
    Registered User Atomicman52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr_Eugen View Post
    I agree with Racer... I bought the 6000k and wish I had opted for the 4300k version!
    The kit I have must be quite a difference form your 6000k. It is http://www.yanashiki.com/product_p/hidh7-6k.htm

    this is the kit the BMW dealer here decided to stock.

    They are fantastic. Interesting chart here:

    http://www.yanashiki.com/category_s/962.htm
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  4. #34
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    Racer, where have you found the ceramic replacements?
    I cracked mine and have it siliconed for now...was hoping to find a replacement but no luck so far.

    Also, I have a set of Hella HID's that I mounted under the mirrors on my RT ( didn't want to spend the money on the RTP mounts so made my own.
    The ballasts on the Hellas are HUGE ( 4"x4"x1.5" approx) and there are two of them BUT they come on almost instantly relayed into the high beam circuit. ( I draw power directly from the Centech under the seat for powering the ballasts)
    These units light up a football field like daylight giving good width to spot bambi and also project way down the road. They are only good for high beam else you would blind an oncoming driver.
    Bill K
    Foster,RI
    05 R1200RT

  5. #35
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWDEAN View Post
    Just talked with Jim Strang, GM at Iron Horse Motorcycles, Tucson.

    He has ordered police brackets. The next step will be dropping off my R1200RT for him and his team to work on to see how it can be done. They service RT-Ps routinely for area police departments. Next week may be trial time. I am the willing to provide my RT for experimental purposes. If it works, the results and pix will be posted here first.

    And if it works, Iron Horse could do it for any R1200RT owner.

    I will photograph the entire process of installation. I just happen to have a pair of NOS PIAA lights (see photo).

    I was hoping they might have a totaled RT-P to pick parts from, but that was not to be. Apparently all the LE departments in the area have Iron Horse fix their RT-Ps back up.
    No pics on the thread yet. Does that mean the rtp brackets did NOT work?
    Neil
    Want to be happy for a day? Drink. Want to be happy for a year? Get married. Want to be happy for life? Ride a BMW!
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  6. #36
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    You don't need the police brackets from BMW. A readily available alternate can be sourced from BMR. its what I use and the install is pretty easy.

    Hellas and other oem HIDs are top rate stuff from a quality standpoint but the ballasts are std automotive size which makes them a bit large for a bike. But the small Hellas, even the rather pricey HIDs don't have the sheer output and reach of HIDs with large reflector. In general, a 4" reflector is a good size for a bike- 6" lamps are getting a bit big for most users and many 6" designs are a bit too heavy for brackets normally used for lighter halogen lights...

    For a very high quality long range HID driving light of a good size and proper mounting type (can be pendant mounted) for a bike see the Baja Design Fuegos. Cheap they're not but they do have an internal ballast, cast metal housing, and use std automotive HID bulbs. User review of them are good- they come out of desert racing which is probably the most rugged test of any auxiliary light setup. Way into the overkill zone for what most would do with an RT..If I needed that type of reach they are what would replace the FF50s on my RT- but they'd need an extra switch because HIDs aren't meant for frequent dimming like one needs to do with a hi beam in the east. My FF50s switch with the hi beam circuit but linking an HID that way is a bad idea and would shorten life appreciably..

  7. #37
    Cowboyatheart
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    RACER7

    Great info.

    I am a non techie when it comes to this stuff. Which lights specifically would you suggest?

    I am looking for more light, bigger spread and further down the road, if all that is possible. I also assume a 12 V light, correct?

    Your info I am referring to http://www.bajadesigns.com/products/...nch-hid-lights

    Thanks
    Neil
    Neil
    Want to be happy for a day? Drink. Want to be happy for a year? Get married. Want to be happy for life? Ride a BMW!
    www.TasteMoringa.com Smart Mix & XM3 Energy Drink are the puppies to view...IMO

  8. #38
    Rally Rat
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    Don't forget, states have explicit laws regarding aux and driving light heights.

    For example in WA aux lights must be between 16" and 42". http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.37.180

  9. #39
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    There is no single light or pair that does everything. Wider spread and longer distance are inherently conflicting goals so that means you will either need to pick your priority or end up installing a pairs of add ons, as I've done.

    I'd suggest that the easiest way to go down the path that will get you what you want is to first decide if its more fill / width for low beam operation or reach on high beam that you want. For most users, lows get far more use so supplementing them gets priority. If you want everything, then you need multiple pairs but driving and spot lights are used for limited periods compared to lows.

    Adding to lows could be anything from a flat top. 40 degree or more fog light that can only do very close and road shoulder illumination or it could be 20 or 30 degree stuff that will fill in the low and add some width. I do suggest staying around 20 degrees or less if you want to leave it on at night for a triangle effect- wider beams cannot be aimed low enough to be out of the eyes of oncoming traffic (Some wide beam LEDs have dimmers as a way around this limitation but note the LEDs inherently have a lot of glare so will ned to be dimmed a lot to eliminate it). Excess beam width is common on many LED types, PIAA 1100s, and many others commonly seen. There are many good choices for adding to lows- what's best for you depends a lot on where you want to mount them. My SP120s (20 degree LED type) fit nicely under the oil cooler of my RT, for example. But you might prefer fogs on crash bars or halogens on the forks, etc etc..

    For distance and operation with hi beam, a pair of good driving lights with beams around 10 degrees are a good choice. For most a driving light pattern which is slightly wider will be a better choice than a narrower pencil beam. For switching using the stock hi beam switch, a halogen type is the right choice. Its what I do- mine are FF50s with 65W Osrams. But if you want ultimate reach and are willing to deal with a separate switch, a pair of good HIDs like the Baja Design Fuegos can give a bit more reach. But this latter setup is a nuisance if you have to dim a bunch for oncoming traffic- its best rserved for vacant areas out in the sticks. Especially for distance use, quality of the reflector design is critical. Generally cheap Asian copies have inferior reflectors that are optically poor and often corrosion prone if operated in wet climates. Its a goo idea to stick with folks who've supplied racers for years- such use sorts out the cheap crap prone to breakage pretty easily. Your motorcycle is a far more rugged test of a light than your cage. Do be sure to get 12V lights- you'll see that there are higher voltage lights available for vehicles with 24V power so don't buy those accidentally.

    You generally get what you pay for when you buy lights. Cheap stuff compromises something- usually a reflector design or housing or electrical durability or both. In general lamps using the very common H-3 bulb are very likely to be inferior designs no matter who makes them. Reason is that the H-3 bulb itself was invented to be a more vibration resistant version of the H-1 and H-2. It cross wise filament is harder to focus well than an axial filament like on the H-1 because it needs a complex, multi curve reflector to do so while the H-1 needs only a decent parabola easily made. Yet most H-3 designs use cheap, spherical or pie pan reflectors which aren't even close to correct, sometimes with a lens to attempt to correct the beam (as on a PIAA 1100, for example). But each wrong surface or presence of a lens also causes an output loss. Pretty much every 55W H-3 type in existence puts out less light less well aimed than a 55W using any other type of halogen bulb.

    Its also a good idea to recognize the limitation of indoor bulb types adapted to run as outdoor driving lights. The reflectors for these are often wrong for automotive use and the lamps themselves will often lack durability when mounted on a vibrating motorcycle in the rain- they were designed for stable, dry indoor use. which also means close range compared to automotive. Examples of adapted indoor stuff include for example
    1) Motolights. Here a very well made housing holds a common indoor bulb. Output of all versions, even the LED, is low compared to better equivalents meant for automotive use but the rugged housing can make these a good conspicuity choice. Just don't expect much reach- you won't get it.
    2) TrailTech 30W or PIAA Cross Country HID - this uses a custom but tiny HID capsule inserted into a std indoor bulb reflector. Here both bulb integrity and output are badly compromised compared to a std automotive HID of similar power eg a D1 or D2 type. The bulbs will get water inside if run in the rain with covers off and output is poor for the type due to the capsule design, ballast design, and unsuitable reflector design. They are a small HID but you give up a lot to get the size down to this- and it will get even worse with smaller HID types that now exist. Hi power LEDs make the best choices for truly compact yet decently powerful lights at this point in technology.

    If your headlight will do an HID conversion while maintaining good focus and not creating a lot of scatter glare, than an HID conversion should probably be considered before adding extra lights though one should recognize these are technically all illegal if not oem. The RT works well for this as do some but not all others. Stick with 4100-4300K bulb types if you do this- they have the highest output and look more oem so are less likely to call unwanted attention to your change. If you want an upgrade but don't want to go HID, its easy if you have H-7 bulbs- just use a 65W Osram in the bousing instead of the 55W stock and get a 40% increase with no downside to it. Not so easy with other bulb types where using upwatt bulbs will either not give much of an increase or need heavy duty wiring to carry higher power. And the upwatt Asian cheap bulbs are typically crap, not worth buying. some can explode in your housing, coating it with the yellow dust residue of the bulb. Always beware Asian sources- inferior knockoffs meant to deceive are commonplace and you will regret getting stuck with a set..

  10. #40
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    Here's what worked great on my 1150 RT-P. The previous owner used PIAAs mounted on the police strobe light mounts. Throws a lot of light and really gets you noticed by oncoming and potentially, left-turning vehicles. I had them aimed somewhat downward to not blind oncoming drivers. No one ever cut me off or unexpectedly turned left in front of me.

    However, I'm now the owner of a R1200 RT and am looking for a solution for this bike too.

    Just be advised that some states do not allow lights above the handlebar, but I don't know of a LEO that will hassle you as long as you're not blinding anyone, and since you're just rtying to stay alive !
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #41
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    To Revive This Thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyatheart View Post
    No pics on the thread yet. Does that mean the rtp brackets did NOT work?
    Time to revive this thread and answer your question... they in fact work great! I added a set of LED Denali D2 lights from Twisted Throttle using the RT-P brackets. I am pleased with the amount of light that they put out for both conspicuity and night driving. I have found that they basically wash out the standard H7 low beams and produce light that is just slightly blue... I think they're rated at about 5000k which makes sense. They don't quite have the throw of the H7 high beam, but definitely make a big difference at night. I've had a few cars flash their lights at me, but hey, that means they saw me, right? I try to run them on secondary roadways and will shut them off when in traffic to be courteous to the cars that I am behind.

    If you want to do this type of install, here is what you will need:

    Lights - again, these are Denali D2 LEDs, but you could use anything that is compatible with the U-shaped bracket of the RT-P mounts. You can see in the photo looking down from behind the light that I used the supplied U mount as a spacer inside the RT-P bracket. As it worked out, using the bracket as a spacer also prevents the lights from ever pointing up past the horizontal position (you can still tip them down a bit).

    RT-P Upper Light Brackets - 51 16 7 693 207 & 208

    M5x16 Screws & M5 Washers - 07 12 9 905 120 and 46 63 7 658 638 (4x each)

    Mirror Housings - The light bracket pops up through the outer mirror housing. You can solve this by using your existing housings and using a Dremel tool to open up a hole for each mount, or you can replace your standard housings with RT-P housings, which come from Das Motherland with the holes already cut I wanted my set-up to look factory so I used the RT-P housings:

    46 63 7 714 537 for the left, 51 16 7 714 538 for the right. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver to make the swap and a little hand strength to separate the housing from the rest of the mirror.

    Wiring the lights is very easy. Follow the plastic removal and nacelle removal in the Hexhead Tech Subforum. I ended up taking off all of the plastic which makes running the wires easy.

    The Denali lights come with a push button switch that I mounted on the audio control blank just above the 12V power outlet on the clutch side. It's easy to drop your left hand from the left grip to hit the switch when needed in this position. Here's the final product:







    Oh yeah, they're kinda bright My three 100W garage lights are on and the parking lights are on just for reference.



    In a local school parking lot during their maiden voyage. My cell phone camera doesn't do them justice.



    Hope this helps anyone who has been following this thread since it's beginning.
    Last edited by Stig; 11-27-2012 at 12:26 AM. Reason: typo
    Craig
    New York's Hudson Valley Region
    2009 R1200RT
    MOA #146131 IBA #55715

  12. #42
    Registered User zenduddhist's Avatar
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    Looks good, thanks for the update!
    1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R, 1972 Commando 750, 1974 Vespa Rally 200, 1974 Commando 850, 1975 Commando 850, 2010 Triumph T100 w/sidecar, 2011 BMW R1200RT, 2013 Honda CB1100

  13. #43
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    RT-P light bars are the way to go if you want high-mount auxiliary lighting. I have PIAA 910s that I never use - but they have blue reflectors, so they look like cop lights when turned off, so I keep them bolted to the bike.

    My PIAA 1100Xs mounted to the front crash bars are always on, and provide all the illumination I'll ever need. My 2002 RT-P with PIAA 1100Xs throws way more light down the road than does my 2012 GSA with the factory auxiliary lights.

    I like mounting the auxiliary lights as low as possible to the ground. When driving in fog or rain or mist, the lights will better illuminate the road. Lights mounted higher up will bounce more light off the fog/rain/mist back in to the rider's eyes. There is a reason why cages have fog/driving lights located low on the front bumper.

    The higher the driving light location, the less effective the lights will be the worse the visibility. Mount them on the turn signal/mirror RT-P mounts and you'll do more harm than good to your ability to see the road in marginal visibility. Everyone will still be able to see you, but you won't be able to see the fog line, or the pothole, or the tar snake, or the line of gravel, etc.

    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  14. #44
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    I like mounting the auxiliary lights as low as possible to the ground. When driving in fog or rain or mist, the lights will better illuminate the road. Lights mounted higher up will bounce more light off the fog/rain/mist back in to the rider's eyes. There is a reason why cages have fog/driving lights located low on the front bumper.
    That's a very valid point, but a lot of my night riding is usually in dry, clear weather late at night, so the ability to have some extra deer-spotting light down the road outweighs the effects of high mounted lights in rain or fog.
    Craig
    New York's Hudson Valley Region
    2009 R1200RT
    MOA #146131 IBA #55715

  15. #45
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    Yeah, me too. I usually won't start out in rain and fog since I mainly ride for enjoyment. And if I get caught in it after already being out, I can just turn off the high mounted lights and just use the normal headlights.

    As I said above, I had my PIAAs adjusted very slightly downward to not blind anyone, but they are very easily adjusted if I wanted to throw the light further down the road when I was in deer country.

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