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Thread: 2005 r1200rt

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Danville, IN USA
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    2005R1200RT Headlight Connector Modification

    I recently had the immense pleasure of replacing the head light bulbs on my 05 r1200rt. The left side was almost a no brainer. The right hand side was a different story. Plain and simple it is not made for quick replacement and is a contortionists delight. 10 to 15 minutes of anxiety, huffing and puffing, and numerous obscenities directed at sadistic engineers. The connector shell itself disintegrated in my fingers while attempting to pull it off the bulb, and I am not a heavy handed gorilla. Now I was left with 2 metal tabs on the end of some wiring and a lot of very small pieces of brittle black plastic in my palm. No way to glue this mess back together. Fortunately the wires and blade type ends were in good condition, no corrosion, burns, melted insulation or broken strands of wire. All that was left to do was to unclip the bulb (easier said than done), pop a new one in, re-clip it (also lots of fun) and then reattach the wires (even more fun). I rode like this for an additional 3000 miles last season, but I was not happy with the arrangement of not having the connector shell to protect the wires from making contact with each other from vibration plus the added challenge of removing and installing the wires separately to the bulb. Sparks and smoke are not good with wiring. Having read previous posts on difficulties with replacement of the headlight bulbs particularily on the right hand side, I decided it was an opportunity to make a better mouse trap. I actually made a junkyard purchase of a complete headlight assembly to allow myself the convenience of experimenting on the bench before destroying my own bike. Amazingly the junkyard purchase provided me with a pristine piece of equipment except for our friends the headlight bulb connectors. These were totally fried and by merely touching them, pulverized and turned them to dust. Trying to locate replacement connectors was interesting. Initially a search through BMW online parts catalogs provided a replacement connector shell for $51.00 (unbelievable) and could only be installed by the dealer. Such a deal! Who knows how much the dealer would charge for labor. Recently I have seen them again in a BMW online parts catalog selling ÔÇ£on sale for $36.39ÔÇØ and still only available for dealer installation. This was not only unacceptable but crazy. I was finally able to procure a number of connector shells (AMP is the OEM) and fabricated a small nylon tab with a hole that I epoxied into a cavity in the center of the connector shell. Installing the wiring tabs into the connector shell is fairly straightforward and they lock in with a very positive snap, so far I have not been able to undo the lock without destroying the connector shell. The nylon tab itself allows installation with relative ease and the hole is for hooking when removing the connector. This merely eases the pain of stuffing your hand into that medieval instrument of torture one less time. Since the nylon tab is significantly stronger than the connector it can also be safely handled with an extra long pair of bent needle nose pliers for your removal and installation pleasure. My personal thoughts are that BMW should come out with a new connector of better quality material and make it a service bulletin. I believe that there is too much heat and vibration in the area for the material being used. But in the mean time, my modification for ease of removal and installation will help the less dexterous and is a fairly easy fix. I did pull the instrument panel shroud on my bike to gain better access, and considering that this is a fix, pulling off whatever you need to, to get a better handle on things and make it easier to work is acceptable.
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    Last edited by sailmisha; 02-06-2013 at 02:28 AM. Reason: adjust titile

  2. #2
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    That pull tab is a convenient addition. My connector shells are still in good shape, but if/when they break, I'll be splicing in ceramic H7 connectors. I think the plastic shells become brittle from the heat and the ceramic should handle that better. A lot cheaper than OEM, too.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #3
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Sheboygan, WI
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    Cool

    Same thing happened to me ('05 R1200RT - right side). The plastic connector becomes brittle after time and broke in my hands while wrestling it out. I just reconnected the wires directly at the time, and had my tech repair it at the next service interval. BMW certainly did not engineer this bike for convenient maintenance.

    I like what you came up with - looks good!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.)
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer,THE REF Staff)
    Iron Butt Association Member # 34281

  4. #4
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    I've replaced so many H7 bulbs on my RTs (an 05 and now an 09) that I got fed up with doing it. So, I installed a HID kit from DDM Tuning ($35.00 plus shipping for two kits) and stopped the madness. It was no more difficult than installing a bulb on the right side, and gives me a much whiter, more visible light (35W/6,000K). Works just fine with Canbus and does not mess up Bluetooth signals.

    Now, I have a supply of H7 bulbs (used to buy them by the half-dozen) that can be used on the high bulb when it blows.

    No affiliation with DDM Tuning; just a very satisfied customer.

    No more blown bulbs!!!

  5. #5
    Grampa Tumbleweed
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Union Grove, WI
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    56

    2005 r1200rt

    For me it's physicaly impossible to do the right bulb like it should be. (3X hands and arthritis) so I remove the right mirror housing and upper fairing. I just did both low beams as a PM (Winter work). The DDM's are a better idea, maybe I'll do that next Winter.

  6. #6
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    Wilmington, NC
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    I like your repair and would like it even better if you'd use a ceramic socket- they are readily web avaialbe at about $8 each.

    As others have noted, the stock part is complete plastic garbage with no ability at all to resist the heat of a stock 55W bulb for more than a year or two at most.

    Mine showed clear signs of imminent failure when I converted my 08 RT to HIDs- but I just taped them with high temp silicon tape over the plastic when doing the install. When my first HID bulb dies no doubt I'll have to change them to ceramic- at which time I'll also solder in a few more inches of wire lead- adding about 4"-5" to the lead will allow easier manipulation.

    I'm not one of the folks who complains (much) about what is needed to change bulbs on the RT.
    I've got size 9 hands and pretty good zen touch and can change these bulbws in the dark, just by feel, in only a few minutes- but it took some practice to get there- 2 or 3 tries IIRC. If you need to see the bits or have large hands, arthritis, etc you're screwed and will for sure hate what it takes to do the change.

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