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Thread: 2005 - 2009 R12RT Signal Light Lens Difference?

  1. #1
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    2005 - 2009 R12RT Signal Light Lens Difference?

    Good morning,

    Know this is a silly question but the signal light lenses came in two (2) configurations. One amber and one clear. The clear lens has an amber light bulb and the amber lens has a clear light bulb. Both specifically do the same thing in that when flashing it's an amber colour.

    Amber - BMW Part # 63217687460
    Clear - BMW Part # 63217687459

    My question is, 'Why two (2) different lens colours"?

    Is there a specific law that BMW has to adhere to between Europe and North America?
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  2. #2
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    Both amber and clear bulbs are also available and go with the opposite lens color.
    Either combo is legal here in the US but there hs been a recent trend to clear lenses over amber bulbs.

    Some find that last combo unappealing from a visual perspective so use yet a third bulb variant- one that is coated and looks bluish silver until powered up when it looks amber. Those bulbs get used behind clear lenses and happen to be what I use on my 08 RT.

  3. #3
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    It's all a matter of cosmetics and one's preference for one over the other.

    Also important to note is that the bulb sockets are different between clear and colored lens installations, as the amber bulbs (PY21W) have offset pins and the clear bulbs have straight-across pins (P21W).
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I seem to recall that the clear lenses were an extra cost option, not a US vs Euro difference.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

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    Kent,
    Are you saying then that one can't switch from amber lenses & clear bulbs to clear lenses & amber bulbs without first changing out the sockets? Curious.
    Bruce

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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndrhsr View Post
    Kent,
    Are you saying then that one can't switch from amber lenses & clear bulbs to clear lenses & amber bulbs without first changing out the sockets? Curious.
    Bruce
    The parts fiche at realoem.com displays different part numbers for the sockets.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Only bmw!

    Could do this....Kind a like my skid plate with three different bolts/nuts, needing three different tools to work on it! Simple by Design went out the window with these folks @ BMW? Not being able to swap bulbs speaks volumns here. Ever try to buy a spark plug for BMWs? Nothings easy! Randy

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    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    My 2008 RT was sold to the original owner with two appearance options...clear lenses (amber bulbs) and chrome exhaust (not stainless steel). I think they may have been part of some package when the bike was new.
    John Gamel
    2008 Kalahari Beige R1200RT
    LEOSA Certified

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    Thumbs up Clear lenses with white LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's all a matter of cosmetics and one's preference for one over the other.

    Also important to note is that the bulb sockets are different between clear and colored lens installations, as the amber bulbs (PY21W) have offset pins and the clear bulbs have straight-across pins (P21W).
    My '05 R1200RT had clear signal lenses with amber (PY21W) bulbs when I purchased it.
    I changed out the Amber bulbs with BAU15S-x18-T: 18HP-LED 1056 LED Tower bulbs from here: http://www.superbrightleds.com/searc.../BAU15S-x18-T/
    The color is cool white, they supposedly put out 120 lumens. I also installed load resistors and wired them as Running Lights/Turn Signals with my Skene Designs, Amber Photon Blasters. They also function in unison with the Skene "ALERT" function.

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Not being able to swap bulbs speaks volumns here.
    Give me a break!

    This is German auto industry standard practice and has been for decades and it prevents (attempts to) misuse of the bulbs by, for example, putting an amber bulb behind an amber lens, thereby reducing light output. Or creating white illumination turnsignals, which are illegal.

    If you look you'll find PY21W and P21W bulbs as standard turn signal bulbs (and brake lights and backup lights and rear fog lights) in any German vehicle you can name.

    Yup, if you've got a 1980s W124 Mercedes (300E for example) and you want to replace your front turn signals or rear taillights (sedans only) with the later white lens versions, you're going to need new sockets in front and new bulb holder plates in the rear.

    Of course you can be all 'merikun about it and find an 1157 or whatever sort of swill that might fit, but there's not any 'merikunizing of a German vehicle that isn't a degredation.

    It indeed "speaks volumes" as regards the 3rd-world nature of the USA automotive industry.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Wrong!

    Germans have made fine units indeed, especially of older years with my experience. Today, not even a close 1st for them, as everybody has caught up and even passed,em by in many cases. You cannot possibly convince me the German bikes are better than at least a half dozen others today! I ride one of course, love it by choice, but I do not consider it any step ahead of many others today. I even find'em "sickly" when it comes to owners who like to work on their own bikes(me) and find parts and tools, without spending top rediculous dollars. 40 years this year on Beemers has me with strong opinion and its mostly all been great. MY American F350 has been perfect for 12 years and I would guess many others have American Made too. My Toyota 2010 truck sits right alongside, so I am a world buyer. HD is a fine bike, American and still outsells BMW, running us down in numbers. I do not know if its their marketing skills at HD, way beyond everybody else, or the machine so well built? Somebodies winning, BMWs not, but still very attractive to us adventurers and the like. I complain about my BMW because its complainable in a lot of ways and they earn it with my post above,etc.. Don't ever put USA made down, with what we've endured from Germany over the recent years. List is long and not needed here if you've been watching/reading at all. I am a diehard BMW guy and love'em to the end, but come'on, don't give'em praise, unapproachable, not deserved. All are guilty of fault, making any kind of transportation on wheels to a degree and some step in the poop bigger once in a while. BMW certainly has not been left out of the mess! BTW, The auto industry here should have failed, never bailed out and reorganised for the better.....Politics, I'm bad. Even so, I see GREAT cars/trucks on these shores coming off the lines, with much improvements these days. WE have BMW cars in the family today too and nothing seems better than whats made here I can see. Heck, most BMWs(auto's)SC and Mercede's(Alabama) are built here now ...Randy

  12. #12
    Registered User Paladinwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Ever try to buy a spark plug for BMWs? Nothings easy! Randy
    Yep, in stock at my local auto parts store (for my 2008 GSA), took a day to get them for my HP2 Sport from the same place.
    2008 HP2 Sport 10,000, 2008 R1200GSA 97,000, 1990 R100GSPD 100,000, 1986 K100RS 152,000

  13. #13
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    I came across this comment from Kent earlier in the thread and wasn't clear in my mind:

    If you look you'll find PY21W and P21W bulbs as standard turn signal bulbs (and brake lights and backup lights and rear fog lights) in any German vehicle you can name.

    It wasn't till after I recieved the new tail light lens along with the matching front lenses then I began to understand that there are two different types of sockets utilized. It appears that the clear/silver signal light lenses with the amber bulbs use the PY21W and the amber lenses with the clear bulbs utilize the P21W bulbs.

    Below is a picture that I took while in the shop last night:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  14. #14
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Good Evening!

    Thought I would chime in and finish the question that I started with regards to the differences of the two lenses. Boy talk about confusion in that I still at a loss as to why BMW just didn't offer ONE lens, but no, let's offer two in order to confuse the masses.

    Here is what I have come to the conclusion - it's all a matter of cosmetic preference.

    Finally got around to putting my newly acquired lens that have amber tips, but not before I went through the exercise of figuring out which bulb socket would work. In an earlier picture I showed the two specific sockets BMW uses. If you look you'll find PY21W and P21W sockets for the associated bulbs. It appears after much searching, asking questions and going so far as to phoning several manufactures you cannot buy a PY21W bulb in a clear bulb, only amber. After this fact was established I decided that I would have to borrow from Paul to make Peter work, thus all the bulb sockets on the rear amber tipped tail light are P21W.

    Put the whole thing back together, turned the key and presto - works very well. The amber signal light is very bright. From a visual safety aspect, I am happy.

    I appreciated all that commented on my question, as you people are a wealth of informative information, and for that, I Thank you!

    Merry Christmas to all of you and I hope Santa gives you that something BMW Motorcycle related item under the Christmas tree.
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

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