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Thread: Headlamps

  1. #1
    Registered User fishbmw's Avatar
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    Headlamps

    Wondering if anyone else has been going through low beem bulbs rapidly on their F650/800GS bikes. I have had mine two years and just put in my second bulb on top of the original which only lasted about 8 months. Seems like a bulb a year is excessive. My '96 R1100GS has over 100,000 miles on it and changed bulbs once.

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    I've done one on the '09 F800GS (13000mi). Bulbs in general seem to last a bit less each time I have to change one
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  3. #3
    Gonzo Geezer zweirad's Avatar
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    My 09 R12GS has the same problem. I can go through a OEM or standard replacement bulb in under 6 months, sometimes 3; my record is 21 days. I bought a set of heavy duty bulbs through a local shop, distributed by Wixtech.com. They last well over a year, usually upwards of 18 months and have a lifetime replacement warranty direct from wixtech. Without the warranty (cost to me is $10 s/h) I would have moved to HID long ago.
    Lee Hetrick, Harrisburg, PA
    '09 R12GS, '83 R80ST
    MOA #8501, RA, Dutch Country Riders
    "Will Ride For Food"

  4. #4
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    The H-7 has a very tightly packed coil providing light. Halogen bulbs work by redepositing metal on the filament as it evaps in use. The filaments get fuzzy and sometimes weak in spots.

    Bike vibrate a lot (especially F twins which have that incurable buzz all owners know about) and bulbs are very prone to blow at startup when current surges are happening.

    And the rated life of std bubs is 500 hours which is typically cut in half on bikes.

    So- no surprises you blow bulbs.

    Go HID if you want to minimize changes but understand even HID tubes have a lifespan, are not infinite.

  5. #5
    Riding for the SON
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    Has anyone tried LED light bulbs? I saw one at a bulb store and pass by as the price was about $60. Went back to get one and they were not handling them anymore.; It was an H7.

  6. #6
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Even with "premium" bulbs thay only last about a year in my F800GS. And my high beam reflector is burning off and redepositing the coating in the glass front.
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS, '04 R1150R
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

  7. #7
    BMW Pilot runnr548's Avatar
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    I replaced two low beams in the first six months I had my 2012 F650GS. Only two bulbs more since then, so my bulb life average is getting better. lol. I'm waiting on LED's! :-)


    Sent from my iPad via Tapatalk HD
    runnr548 :-)

  8. #8
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    replaced 1st low at 20K or so, 2nd one blew about 2 years later. Replaced both lamps with HIDs. Great output, but too soon to tell on lifespan. The HIDs in my R1100S have over 12 years and nearly 100K miles on them- not a single component ever replaced.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #9
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    The reflector coating issue on F bikes has been reported many times elsewhere- with stock bulbs or anything else. Of the top of my head I can recall seeing it reported on ST, GT and GS models and there is no reason to expect different on others.
    Its not universal but not rare either.
    It appears the lamp reflectors are marginal in ability to withstand operating heat or some other factor. Some have theorized its UV that is damaging the coating but I've seen no evidence to substantiate that.
    Should be covered by warranty when bike is newer.

    I've had many reflectors fail in humid conditions- especially Hellas older models (not any of the current FF designs). Whatever clear coating they used failed to keep humid air from rapidly fogging the aluminum reflective surface. But they didn't peel, blister, or redeposit elsewhere in the housing.

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