Thanks Bruce. After reading the article, I'm wondering why HID upgrades are illegal? Whassup with that -- don't some cars come with HID headlights, and doesn't BMW offer an HID option on the 2006 LT? (or is BMW's Xenon option not HID?) Obviously I don't know much about this technology except that it's out there and every single person who installs an HID on their LT raves about it, and I know I have to do something with my own light.BruceHarrisJr said:This is one of those 'public service' announcements-aka a FYI. Take a look:http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motorcycle-headlight/upgrade/
Yes, HID (Xenon) technology is on cars, and has been for years now. But, that is in reflector/lens systems designed for the different light source, and with automatic levelers to keep them aimed properly as the load in the car changes. I don't know if BMW is using a leveler in the '06 motorcycle adaptation. I Europe an automatic leveler is required on an HID system.hschisler said:Thanks Bruce. After reading the article, I'm wondering why HID upgrades are illegal? Whassup with that -- don't some cars come with HID headlights, and doesn't BMW offer an HID option on the 2006 LT? (or is BMW's Xenon option not HID?) Obviously I don't know much about this technology except that it's out there and every single person who installs an HID on their LT raves about it, and I know I have to do something with my own light.
That makes sense, but what about replacing the LT's entire lamp assembly, as these HIDs are (I think) -- is that legal? The review said HID was illegal... was he incorrect?dshealey said:HID is not illegal in the USA, but converting a halogen system to HID by just putting the bulb in the halogen reflector/lens system is.
OK -- so what about the 05s -- are they good candidates for HID conversions?dshealey said:Fortunately, the lens/reflector in the pre-05 LTs is very good, and HID conversion works great, with a nice sharp low beam top cut-off line..
Headlights acheive their DOT approval after completing photometric tests that include the light source. FMVSS 108 is the federal standard that makes it illegal to label the headlight DOT-approved if the original source has been replaced, irrespective of whether the replacement source components (bulb, capsule, ballast, etc) are individually DOT-approved.
Yes, if you replace the entire lighting module, including the original light source, with one that is DOT (or ECE in the EU) approved, then it would be legal. The 2005 low beam seems to work about the same as prior years, maybe a bit brighter. The high beams on all LT model years is fairly weak.
It will be interesting to see just how much BMW will be willing to sell the 2006 HID unit for, and just how much change is required to support the wiring, ballasts, etc. I've haven't witnessed the performance of the 2006 HID headlight yet.
I've not shipped any units with Hella's 90mm HID modules, which as David suggested above, would be legal to use. They are priced way too high to support a product that would sell at a reasonable price.
Ducati Designs, LLC
Appreciate that, Joe. I'll look forward to Paul's replies to the other questions. Just trying to clarify in my mind what's what in this arena.messenger13 said:1. Replacing the LT's entire lamp assembly -- as any HID upgrade requires (correct?) -- is perfectly legal? - I'll let Paul field that one.
2. Can HID brightness be achieved by changing just a bulb? - Not in a million years.
3. Replacing the bulb, only: legal or illegal? - Legal
4. Would you have any guesses as to what my BMW dealer suggested replacing the bulb (only) with? - Many have gone with the Sylvania SilverStars. It's whiter...but no brighter. He had a bulb in mind that was not HID, but would give an estimated 30% increase in light. Cost was about $30. A better-quality halogen, perhaps? Nope...like I said, perhaps whiter but not truly brighter. I compared my LT with a SilverStar sitting right next to my brother's LT with the OEM bulb. No perceivable difference, other than looking toward the bikes, my light looked whiter.
Which is why if someone wanted to improve their lighting, but stay with halogens...I would just recommend that they beef up there wiring to 12ga and be done with it. That is one huge advantage HID has over halogens. The stock (crap) wiring doesn't affect it in this fashion.pgeller said:Not much of this matters on the K12 since the wiring is so poor. I've measured a 1.5V drop at the bulbs on the LT, and that translates to 25-30% lower output than can be achieved at full battery voltage with a halogen bulb. BMW uses one 18G ground wire to carry the current of both bulbs. Why the makers of (almost all) motorcycles go out of their way to save 50 cents on wire and relays/connectors is beyond me.
Helps a lot. Thanks.meese said:Here are a few clarifications, Howard...
Hope that helps some.
I'm gonna have to meet you halfway between Rushville Cleveland when you're done with your winter projects...messenger13 said:Don't worry Howard. Soon you will get to experience the ultimate setup first- hand. When I pull into your driveway.
Excellent. Thanks, Ken.meese said:If you truly want to make daylight like a freight train, then go with the "Eyes of God" Phillips HID setup. On a '99-'04 LT I'd suggest the RBR light mount bracket, but that won't work with the new '05-'06 high beam. So you would probably have to go with the under mirror mounts at the bottom of that same page. But be aware, these will make your stock lights look like they're not even on.
The Ducati Designs kit is an excellent choice, especially if money is not a concern and you want to stay perfectly legal.
But at $130 for a low beam HID upgrade kit, and $220 for low and high beams, the CQLight.ca kits are a must-do for any LT.
If I had an open budget, I'd want the Ducati Designs headlights retrofitted with two real HID low beam lamps for full time use, a high beam modulator on the '05 lower headlight for city traffic, and the Eyes of God for those long, lonely roads. But then again, you could pretty much buy a second bike for the same amount of money.
Some more info about auxiliary lights can be found at http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/auxlights.cfm