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Thread: Two blown headlight bulbs 2009 R1200RT

  1. #16
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
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    Well, I've got a couple H7 bulbs. The bulb went in OK, but I had no appreciation how fragile the plugs were. The first one disintegrated with my ham-handed manipulation. I ordered a couple of ceramic connectors (thanks for the link) with two day shipping, but am bewildered about how in the world I'm going to install the new one. It's literally impossible to get anything up there but my finger tips. Soldering is out of the question. So is some kind of quick connector. I took off some of the top side tupperware, but it didn't improve access. Taking off the front plastic looks formidable. Has anyone else been through this? And how did you do it? I'm in panic mode because we were supposed to leave on a one-week tour to Death Valley next week.

  2. #17
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave39 View Post
    {snip}...Has anyone else been through this? And how did you do it?...{snip}
    It's actually pretty easy. I've also got an '09RT and have done this a number of times. Just remember, you don't have to take the whole front end off, just the dash panel.

    You'll need a Torx 25 bit for this.

    Steps:

    1. Remove the two upper tupperware side panels (4 screws each side);
    2. Remove lower edge dash panel screw on the throttle side and the plastic-twist retainer thingy on the clutch side -- both are next to where the upper panel screws were removed (1 screw/retainer each side);
    3. Disconnect mirrors and move them down and out of the way (they have factory tethers);
    4. The two dash panel side screws will then be exposed; remove them (2 screws each side);
    5. Finally, remove the two screws on the top edge of the dash.

    You should be able to remove the whole dash panel and have unrestricted access to the headlight hatches.

    THIS thread shows how to take off the two upper tupperware side panels. You only need to do part of this procedure, specifically posts #11 through #15. Credit to Luis Roth (Semper Fi) for this fantastic thread.

    THIS thread shows how to remove the whole front nacelle, but you should focus only on post #8 (bottom picture) for the dash panel side screws, and post #9 (bottom picture) for the two screws at the top of the dash. Credit (again) to Luis Roth and Don Eilenberger for this very detailed thread!

    HTH,
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  3. #18
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
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    Thank you, Theo. Those are very good directions. I'll give it try.

  4. #19
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    Dave,
    You're most certainly not the first to have one of those shells fall apart in your hands so don't beat yourself up over it. They get unbelievably brittle because they're a crap part. I'm not sure how many other models use the shell found on the RT- for example, my K1200GT also uses the H-7 bulb but its shell is a much better plastic than the RT's.
    I've seen some RT shells that are simply impossible to get off intact no matter careful one is- in effect they're already fragged though still in place..

    First time stripping of the front end is a bit tedious and slow BUT you can do it by carefully following instructions noted above. Organize your removed fasteners as you go and reassembly should be simpler...

    Do remember that in a pinch you can get by for a bit without any kind of connector shell- simply bust off the bad plastic and jam the spades back on- being sure their live bits don't touch. If you're worried about such contact, you can wind a bit of silicon tape (rescue tape, high temp resistant) around the positive spade...This measure might be especially helpful to those who try to do on "on the road" bulb change and have the shell fall apart on them...

    Keep us posted on your result and good luck...
    Last edited by racer7; 04-28-2013 at 03:26 AM.

  5. #20
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    My wife's Volvo S80 has the same fragged connectors. It eats bulbs like they are going out of style as well. I've simply resorted to pushing the metal connectors on. It is in a sealed chamber like the BMW bike.
    John.

  6. #21
    Where to next ?? Turkus's Avatar
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    Jinxed myself...

    Durnit.......
    I respond to this thread with my $0.02 and yesterday, in the middle of Central Coastal BFE CA, I blow out a LEFT bulb for the first time ever !!

    Now I'm gonna have to read this thread from beginning to end to rethink my decision about replacement bulbs....

    And I can get the front end stripped in about 20+ minutes, so I'll change the bulbs and give the RT a well deserved bath from the inside out...

    How many of you have taken your Tupperware in to the shower ??
    Bruce
    MOA#147760/AMA#228900
    www.streetmasters.info

  7. #22
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    Well, I haven't hauled it to the shower yet but I admit to wiping it down while its off the bike- and periodically washing the bike when tupperware is off. Just be careful if you do that later- no high pressure water, stay away from major electrical bits and connectors, no super strong soaps or spray degreasers, etc...

  8. #23
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
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    OK, all fixed. Got the dash panel off thanks to directions provided. My ceramic plug didn't arrive in one day from Amazon, even though I paid extra shipment for it to arrive today so got a useable plug at Auto Zone (Amazon promises a refund). I ended up soldering the new plug in as I just couldn't get the quick connectors to work in tight space. Now I just have to figure out why I have two extra screws after putting everything back togeather.

  9. #24
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave39 View Post
    {snip}...Now I just have to figure out why I have two extra screws after putting everything back togeather.
    That happened to me the first time. I'm guessing they're from the lower dash?

    Glad everything worked out. For me, it is much easier remove the dash and replace/aim the headlights than to shred my hand as I visualize what I'm supposed to be doing!
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  10. #25
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Had my left parking light go out followed by my left headlight a few weeks later. What a chore to replace them. The left headlight was easy. The right one became a lot easier when I took off the dash panel. I wasn't able to get to the parking lights without removing the speaker boxes (the left one required removing the speaker from the box first as the wires were taught already with no way to disconnect). Was a good opportunity to clean up under the front plastics though and I figure it will just become ritual when I have to replace lights.

    I used Osram Night Breaker Plus 55W H7s for my low beams and OSRAM Cool Blue Intense W5W. Looks fantastic and much whiter and brighter than the stock bulbs that were in there, especially the parking lights. That powerbulbs shop had a great prices and I got an extra set of parking lights for free as well. Got to me within a week.

    I noticed when changing the headlights that the connectors were just loose spades. Seems they are supposed to be in some sort of shell that was probably broken off by my bike's previous owner. Where do you guys get replacement shells? I heard "ceramic" somewhere...
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast"
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - Retired and sold

  11. #26
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    Excellent thread.

    I've got big hands and can't possibly get to the headlight bulbs without removing the instrument panel surround first. That makes all the difference in the world and is easy to do. On my 2009 R1200RT, the left top side tupperware has the accesory socket wire so I just hang it from the handlebar with a bungee without disconnecting the wire.

    And you're right; the connectors are junk.

    Thanks for the information guys.
    Last edited by Lee200; 05-20-2013 at 08:52 PM.

  12. #27
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    my brother has had a '92 harley since new

    75k mi... he ain't never changed no bulbs.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  13. #28
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    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    Turn 60 degrees right and arm it up.

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