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post #1 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 5:30 pm Thread Starter
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lights

I have a 99 K120LTC. The owners manual calls for these bulbs for the headlight:
H7/55W 12V and H3/55W 12V. Can I buy these at an auto parts store? I looked at O'riely parts and they have two different H3s. What gives?
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post #2 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 6:22 pm
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Re: lights

Both bulbs should be offered in different levels of brightness.

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post #3 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 6:58 pm
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Re: lights

Sylvania will claim to be brighter and will cost more..

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post #4 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 7:31 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by budzee
I have a 99 K120LTC. The owners manual calls for these bulbs for the headlight:
H7/55W 12V and H3/55W 12V. Can I buy these at an auto parts store? I looked at O'riely parts and they have two different H3s. What gives?
same wattage different lengths

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
2012 K1600GTL
2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
1965 R60/2
1960 AJS 500 single
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post #5 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 7:37 pm
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Re: lights

i believe the H3 and H7 designations are the types of the base of the lamps;
the 55W is the "power output" of the lamp-55 Watts;
the 12V means ithey are 12 Volts

sorry--- +1 on the yes

Mike Hammel (My Camel) [WB9GMO/4]
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post #6 of 24 Old Sep 5th, 2013, 8:33 pm
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Re: lights

So, to answer your question, YES, you may use these bulbs!

Eddee P
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post #7 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 12:22 am
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Re: lights

Switch to hid from Ddmtuning or the vendor on here, should be able to pick up a 35w 4500 to 5000k h3 and h7 set up for around $50. Worth the investment if you do any night time riding.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #8 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 6:17 am
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Re: lights

The cheapest the vendor here has HID is $200. Where are you finding a reliable HID unit for $50?

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #9 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 7:35 am
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Re: lights

Not all H3's are the same. One difference is color temperature. The higher the number, the 'bluer' the light will be. This is a matter of taste. Some prefer a bluer light, some do not. The yellower lights are claimed to be better in fog or mist.

Other, less obvious difference exist in construction. In the '70's, when halogens first became start legal, bulb life on motorcycles was very short. Improvements in design have largely corrected that, yet I still feel that motorcycles are a more demanding application requiring a better-quality lamp.

Marketing, of course, plays a part. YMMV

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post #10 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 8:03 am
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Re: lights

http://store.candlepower.com/osraulhiouh7.html

That is the bulb I use in my LT low beam. many here claim it will burn the bike to the ground, BMW will send "der kommissar" to your home to pistol whip you for using it, and/or it will melt everything. And so far it does nothing but make the headlight a LOT brighter. Several others here also use it and have used it for years. Just search and find several people that are very happy with the heavy duty 65 Watt rally bulb.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69697 for a forum thread with people here that have ran them a long time.

A LOT cheaper than HID, and you can easily change the bulb on the side of the road at midnight in a rainstorm, with a spare H7 you bought at a gas station.. This is the biggest flaw for HID that I can see, you can not easily get replacement bulbs while on the road. and I do not know if you can easily switch back to standard H7 bulbs in the dark on the side of the road after you do a HID retrofit.

NOTE: I still replace BOTH headlamp bulbs every spring when the bike comes out of storage even if they still work. I would rather start every year with a new set of bulbs than risk having one burn out on me when I need it the most.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC

Last edited by timgray; Sep 6th, 2013 at 8:18 am.
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post #11 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 9:00 am
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_figueroa
Not all H3's are the same. One difference is color temperature. The higher the number, the 'bluer' the light will be. This is a matter of taste. Some prefer a bluer light, some do not. The yellower lights are claimed to be better in fog or mist.
YMMV
our eyes are not designed to see blue very well at night, yellow is best, try putting on a pair of yellow driving glasses at night, if you only drive in the city it does not matter what color you choose but away from over head street lighting stock head light color is best, it appears white but returns a lot of yellow when it is reflected off the road etc.
it amazes me that north Americans require retina burning head lights when in Europe a lot of places it is illegal to have head lights on in the city, old eyes need more light to see but bright light is also more blinding, they get around selling those super bright bulbs by labeling them off road use only.
no one is ever going to convince me brighter head lights combined with fog and/or driving lights is safer in any way than defensive driving which only professional drivers get the training to do.

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
2012 K1600GTL
2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
1965 R60/2
1960 AJS 500 single
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post #12 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 7:25 pm
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Re: lights

The human eye is considered to be most responsive to blue/green colors (I am on the road so I can't put up the chart). This obviously depends on the prrson, ambient light, etc, but generally a green light will seem brighter yhan a red light of the same intensity.

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post #13 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 7:38 pm
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Re: lights

A 65 watt bulb will pull 4.8 amps under ideal conditions and given the 0.75 mm cross section of the headlight wire you can expect insulation heating to only be about 60 degrees C at that load. Eventually it will crystallize the plastic but not for a long time.

As far as life of an HID, mine has been in there 9 years and nary a whimper. But I carry the original H7 as a spare. No problem to swap it back.

John
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post #14 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 7:45 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgray
The cheapest the vendor here has HID is $200. Where are you finding a reliable HID unit for $50?

Ddmtuning has kits for $29. 35w. You choose The bulb type and k.
I have used these kits for years and they work fine. As cheap as they are buy an extra set. Had one ballast go bad, sent it back to them and they replaced it. No problem.

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post #15 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 8:37 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
A 65 watt bulb will pull 4.8 amps under ideal conditions and given the 0.75 mm cross section of the headlight wire you can expect insulation heating to only be about 60 degrees C at that load. Eventually it will crystallize the plastic but not for a long time.

As far as life of an HID, mine has been in there 9 years and nary a whimper. But I carry the original H7 as a spare. No problem to swap it back.
22awg wire (about .75mm) is good for 7-8 amps, the 65Watt bulb is far less than that at 13.5 volts which is it's running voltage, is only just a tad under 5 amps.. and the insulation of GPT wire, what is typically used for general circuit wiring in cars is rated to 80 C and those ratings are for inside close spaces, the LT is far from a closed space except for inside the headlamp fixture. so it's all well within all the ratings.

The kit you use retains the H7 connectors then? that is a very good design.

Where did you get your HID kit? If it is easy to swap in a spare H7 bulb at night if the HID fails, then that eliminates the only drawback I could find with the HID upgrade.

Having had to ride home 50 miles using a flashlight because of a sealed beam headlight failure back in the 80's I have always been wary of lighting upgrades like HID.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC

Last edited by timgray; Sep 6th, 2013 at 8:59 pm.
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post #16 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 9:31 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_figueroa
The human eye is considered to be most responsive to blue/green colors (I am on the road so I can't put up the chart). This obviously depends on the prrson, ambient light, etc, but generally a green light will seem brighter yhan a red light of the same intensity.
there is a difference in how the retina works in sunlight and at night, the issue with not seeing blue well is an issue when the sun goes down, bluish headlights do not give you the same vision from the reflected light which is what you are seeing from your own headlight. It is a life style statement.
all you have to do is put on a pair of yellow night driving glasses to see the difference

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
2012 K1600GTL
2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
1965 R60/2
1960 AJS 500 single
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post #17 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 9:56 pm
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Re: lights

The HID bulbs I have checked out have a rated life of 3500 hours. I just did the math using the average speed of my LTs BC. At my average of 45 mph, the lamps should last for 157,500 miles. I think the ballast or ignitor would have a problem first.

I bought a PIAA high beam for my LT a couple years ago. Even though it is the brightest thing I could find anywhere in the 55W spec'd bulb, I can't tell the high beam is on, the low beam HID system is that good. I've considered adding an HID high beam, but haven't done it yet. I've seen an HID high beam and even during the day, it was like staring into the sun.

Lee
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post #18 of 24 Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:12 pm
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Re: lights

And to make everything less clear, the HID H7 bulb does not make light in the same place that the stock bulbs do. Therefor, the light will be brighter but less focused, throwing a lot of light "all over the place" in front of you.

I bought a spacer to correct the focus. Now I have a much brighter beam closely focused as the stock is--still inadequate for 45mph or so and above.
Bob

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post #19 of 24 Old Sep 7th, 2013, 1:14 am
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Re: lights

Very flat here and lots of deer where I live. I have HID low & high on my bike and I love it. You can see that eye shine way down the road. I used to get flashed a lot when I only had the low beam, but after adding the hi beam I don't get flashed much. When running down the road at night on hi beam and oncoming traffic approaching. switching to low beam is enough warning that they don't want anything to do with that high one. Also in daytime I've been running with the high beam on and have noticed not near as many people attempt to pull out in front of me. YMMV

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post #20 of 24 Old Sep 7th, 2013, 10:47 am
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldan2
Switch to hid from Ddmtuning or the vendor on here, should be able to pick up a 35w 4500 to 5000k h3 and h7 set up for around $50. Worth the investment if you do any night time riding.

+1 on upgrading to HID. Keep the color temperature to 5000K or less. (4200 is my preference).

I strongly recommend that you do NOT upgrade your high beam lamps to HID. If you do, you will lose the ability to flash them if/when necessary. DAMHIK

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #21 of 24 Old Sep 7th, 2013, 3:29 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
And to make everything less clear, the HID H7 bulb does not make light in the same place that the stock bulbs do. Therefor, the light will be brighter but less focused, throwing a lot of light "all over the place" in front of you.

I bought a spacer to correct the focus. Now I have a much brighter beam closely focused as the stock is--still inadequate for 45mph or so and above.
Bob
That really depends on the MFG of the mount for the DS-2 element. Some are correct and some are not. Buy from a quality supplier not the cheap Chinese stuff.

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2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #22 of 24 Old Sep 7th, 2013, 3:36 pm
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Re: lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgray
The kit you use retains the H7 connectors then? that is a very good design.

Where did you get your HID kit? If it is easy to swap in a spare H7 bulb at night if the HID fails, then that eliminates the only drawback I could find with the HID upgrade.

Having had to ride home 50 miles using a flashlight because of a sealed beam headlight failure back in the 80's I have always been wary of lighting upgrades like HID.
Yes the H7 uses spade connectors so it is real easy to revert. I bought mine 9 years ago I don't remember which one it was but the ballast went flaky on me and I picked up four Phillips ballast units last year at the CCR auction really cheap and I have had much better light off results with it. Best to buy the good stuff. (The bulb is still the original DS-2 unit).

I had a fuse holder corrode on me and made the HID intermittent and I never knew it until I drove at night up in Cape Girardeau a few years back. May have been what caused the flakyness on the original ballast.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #23 of 24 Old Sep 10th, 2013, 10:52 am
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Smile Re: lights

I bought a spacer to correct the focus. Now I have a much brighter beam closely focused as the stock is--still inadequate for 45mph or so and above.
Bob[/QUOTE]


Please tell of this spacer you purchased to correct the focus, inquiring minds would like more info on such a product.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #24 of 24 Old Sep 10th, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Re: lights

Could you elaborate more on the spacer and tell me/us what you used and how/where it is placed.
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