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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since a lot of posts about LED headlights on Wetheads are rather dated and missing a lot of detail about actual installation and formal testing of results, I thought I would post a detailed report on an install I just did of the Cyclops Adventure Sports high and low beam kit for the R1200RT found in the link below:


I am not affiliated with them in any way. This is just a report of my installation and findings and if it is valuable or informative to you, great. My particular bike is a ’16 R1200RT.

Because this is rather lengthy, I thought I would start with comparative results first so you can see the difference in a controlled environment between OEM halogen lamps, and their LED lamps, and then follow up with how I installed them. That way, if your interest fades, then you don’t have to follow the details. Because of the number of pictures, I will need 5 separate posts to finish this report.

First off, the official BMW DVD RepRom has a method for testing and aiming the low beam headlight, so I set my bike up on its center stand in my garage and paced off the distances, applying painter’s tape to the floor and door, following the simple relative geometry listed below.



The bike was never moved again, leaving it in place for OEM light testing, front end disassembly, installation of the LED headlights, and testing. During testing the bike was dropped off the center stand and positioned on a piece of tape on the floor under the center of the front axle while I sat on the seat and balanced it upright. The ESA was set as a single rider – no luggage and Normal settings.

With the garage lights off, I turned on the OEM low beam and took the following normal and closeup pictures. The long blue painter’s tape was set with the upper edge at the high point of the low beam cutoff point. (Yeah, that’s my tail pipe on the piece of cardboard).





Below is a picture of the low beam under the same conditions with the LED headlight installed.
You can easily see that the color of the H7 LED is very white (5600K). You can also see that the average cutoff left and right is below the OEM halogen line and weaker on the right side, but with a center intensity that is quite a bit above the OEM cutoff at center.



Here is a picture of the OEM low and high beams turned on together.
The two shortest tapes were placed with their bottom edges at the top center of the two intense high beam points. You can see their focus is very centered and mostly round.



Here are the Cyclops low and high beam LED bulbs turned on.
I think the overall pattern is comparable to the OEM low and high beam pattern above, just way more intense.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 2

OK, here is the report on the actual installation of the Cyclops Adventure Sports high and low beam kit for the R1200RT.

The kit was well protected in bubble wrap in a right-sized shipping box.





The kit I ordered was specific for the 2016-2018 models. More on that later.



Here is how the box was packed.



Here are the contents of the kit:
• 2 H1 high beam LED headlamps with drivers,
• 1 H7 low beam headlamp with driver,
• 2 pages of instructions,
• 1 clip on antenna noise suppressor for FM radio static,
• 1 Canbus resistor,
• 1 Cyclops decal



Here are the lamps and attached drivers with connectors still in their protective foam. You can see the attached fans, and just above the fans are the special rings that are clamped to those awful springs that hold the OEM halogen lamps in place. The springs and these rings never have to be fooled with again. A simple push and twist locks them in place, so a replacement should be easier IF space permits.



Here is a picture of both types of LEDS exposed with the connecting wiring and drivers.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 3

The kit also comes with this FM noise protector that can be snapped over the audio system antenna cable if you want.



Here is the gigantic Canbus resistor that is included. It is to be attached to the right side H1 high beam assembly and stuffed into the headlight cavity along with the driver and other wiring. Yup, it fits. There are no other resistors necessary for the other 2 headlights.



And of course, there are a somewhat simplistic two pages of instructions, but they include helpful color pictures and cover what is needed to know. I don’t think my instructions had been updated to the latest version of the product as they show different bases and don’t integrate information on the included FM noise suppressor or the Canbus resistor supplied. Those were on separate sheets.



Having tried once before to change a burnt out OEM halogen bulb on a road trip 3,000 miles from home in sweltering heat and failing to get the springs detached, I decided that I was going to disassemble the front end to install this kit. Besides, I hadn’t done that before. It wasn’t that hard, just time consuming following the REPROM instructions and making sure all the screws and parts were laid out so it went back together correctly.

Here is a picture of my “naked” R1200RT.



And here are all those parts carefully laid out on my garage floor. The headlight assembly is the huge single piece in the front. No wonder it’s so expensive to replace.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 4

Next, I took the headlight assembly into my house and with the aid of a protective towel set it upside down on my dining room table, because it sits flatter and is easier to work on.

If you haven’t seen the backside of the headlight assembly before, this is quite interesting. Remember, the left side is on the right in this picture, and the right is on the left. I was over-anxious and took the screw on cover for the center low beam off, released the damn spring clips and removed the OEM H7 lamp before taking this picture. The screw on cover can be seen sitting on the table to the left in the picture. The left and right high beams have soft rubber lamp covers that simply lift off with the tabs that are close to the heat-sinked metallic drivers for the OEM LED daylight running lights in the bottom of the picture. On the outer edge of the left side high beam (on right) is the single external electrical connector that feeds all the front-end lights. At the top of the picture is the white lever that provides vertical adjustment for the low beam, and the hex/phillips screw contained in the small cylinder just to the left of the low beam in the picture is the left/right adjustment for the low beam. The rest of the stuff are manufacturing mysteries to me.



The following are details of replacing the OEM halogen lamps with the Cyclops LEDs.

Below is a closeup of the low beam H7 lamp compartment without the bulb in it. The electrical connector is in the lower left. The spring hooks centered at the top of the picture and the spring itself below. Note the cutout pattern in the holder for the H7. All the cutouts are the same size but located so a filament bulb can only be inserted one way.



And here is a picture of the Cyclops H7 LED base mounting adapter secured in the low beam with the springs. The LED lamp unit will be carefully pushed through this adapter and twisted to lock into place.



And below is the H7 LED lamp unit plugged into the adapter above. Note that the fan is fully contained in the headlight space and doesn’t hang out at all. The driver and wiring for it easily fit in the space and do not obstruct the fan.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 5

Now I’ll show you just one of the H1 high beam install details, specifically the right side.

Here is a close up of the standard rubber cover.



After lifting the tab shown in the lower left of the picture above , here is the OEM H1 halogen lamp with the electrical connector attached and still in place (other than the retainer spring which has been released from its tabs).



Below is the Cyclops lamp retainer ring for the high beam H1 LED lamps secured in place with the spring. As you can see, the round shape of the LED retainer ring is different from the standard shape of the cutouts in the OEM metal retainer. That presented a slight pause for me, but the Cyclops retainer cylinder is keyed such that the nearly “flat” or squashed shape of the LED glass fits perfectly through the elongated metal piece below it.



The end result is the picture below which shows the H1 LED lamp and fan unit inserted into the housing.
This is by far the harder of the three lamps to install because not only the driver and electrical connector wires need to be positioned into the housing, but also the ginormous Canbus resistor shown in an earlier photo. It’s not that hard, but notice that for me the extra wiring comes near to the fan.



That’s it. I buttoned it up and installed everything in reverse order without one screw missing or left over, and no tabs broken on the Tupperware. The hardest part was probably trying to make sure I didn’t drop or lose any of the circlips used to retain the plastic posts on the headlight assembly that pass through multiple soft donuts, and the time needed to remove and install the shear number of torx screw holding all that Tupperware on. So much interconnected and hidden pieces on this front end.

Somebody is sure to ask: “How long did to take you?” Well, it took me part of a weekend. I am not impatient, I take my time, I read all the instructions first and I follow the sequences outlined in the service manual to avoid mistakes. I cleaned parts as I went which are had to get to normally, and I stopped to take pictures so you might have something to see and perhaps learn something as well.

Oh,… and I actually took the time to test and compare the output and aim of both the OEM and Cyclops LED lamps against a prescribed backdrop – not my neighborhood street.

Summary:

I am so far very happy with the change I made and the quality of the product and kit I bought from Cyclops Adventure Sports. I am somewhere admittedly between those who buy and then immediately review with praise their purchases without actually testing them, and someone who waits until failure before writing a review. This June, I made a 2,400+ mile solo trip over six days in the western US states with these lights during daylight hours and not one vehicle high beamed me to protest they were glaring, and not one deer, elk, or cow jumped up out of the ditch because I blinded them. I did NOT drive with the high beams on other than to flash to pass, and I’m not someone who rides day or night with the high beams on unless the road is empty. I also have the small OEM LED driving lights down low and do keep those on nearly all the time. I just want to be noticed and see critters when I have to ride during dusk, dawn, or night conditions. I’ll take some highway night pictures with high and low beams on soon if you want. This 4th of July weekend I will for the first time be riding with a group of 5 other riders on a 1,000 mile extended weekend journey through eastern Washington and Canada. I’ll ask them if the lights bothered them. If I don’t write back, maybe they or the Canadians beat the crap out of me and left me for the wolves or bears.

There is noticeable fan noise. I first noticed it in my garage during initial testing. As soon as the ignition is switched on (not engine on) you can hear a low hum from the front of the bike. When the engine is started, it’s too low to hear, and not with extensive playing of music in my Bluetooth helmet headset. I have no noticeable static or noise when playing MP3s from the BMW audio system Aux port. No comment about FM radio or Sirius radios. They are both crap and I don’t use them, though YMMV.

Also, I have not noticed any visible Canbus errors though as you know, there is no dash indicator for it. I’ll report back the next time I use my GS-911 to see if it’s found any, but I know all three lights are on when riding, so no real problem to report on that issue.

One more tip you may or may not know about the BMW headlights in general. I discovered this while testing in the garage. With just the ignition turned on, the angel eyes turn on as well as the auxillary driving lights. If you flick the high beam switch in front of the left-side cluster backwards, the low beam comes on, and if you push the switch forward, so do the high beams. Flick the switch back again, and the headlights go off.

Note: I have not attempted to adjust the low beam yet. I left it in the same position during the testing to make a fair comparison. After some night riding I may lower or aim it right more if needed.

Thanks for your attention.
 

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Thanks for your detailed write-up. Even though you do not use FM radio, I am interested if the FM radio receives anything but static. And remember to test it with both the motor on and off. Thanks!
 

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Other than the light output from each bulb being reflected accurately down road, only other item of interest I have heard concerning these lights is overheating and potential ‘cooling fan life’ issues.

Time will reveal all..
 

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Quite the detailed post thanks. I have no interest in installing LEDs but I bet you can comment on my question below.

I've done OEM bulb changes blindly and it's hard to tell what's going on. I can do it blindly in about 10 minutes now for the low beam but I'm never certain what's happening. I believe you have to push inwards towards the backing plate, then outwards to release, where the clip bows up as in this photo. Is that correct do you think?

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I believe you have to push inwards towards the backing plate, then outwards to release, where the clip bows up as in this photo. Is that correct do you think?
If it works for you, great, but not for me at least. I pushed on the actual end loops and manipulated them over the bent tangs, and I never found that easy either. Hoping to get long life out of these.
 

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LED/s sure is enticing because of their visibility factor, but that heat producing factor has me reluctant enough that I don't pull the trigger.

...and lets face it, if there is an interference on the FM band or any other kind of interference, that's gotta a message from mother can-bus: "I don't like that sheet you are stuffing up my electronic arses"

The thing is, no one really does any long-term studies on the consequences of all the electrical farkling crap we put on our bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LED/s sure is enticing because of their visibility factor, but that heat producing factor has me reluctant enough that I don't pull the trigger.

...and lets face it, if there is an interference on the FM band or any other kind of interference, that's gotta a message from mother can-bus: "I don't like that sheet you are stuffing up my electronic arses"

The thing is, no one really does any long-term studies on the consequences of all the electrical farkling crap we put on our bikes.
I'm obviously not worried enough to not try it. You do know that there are plenty of CANBUS/LINBUS cars with LED driving lghts and I've run even hotter HIDs in other BMW bikes with zero ill effects. BMW is already putting LED lights on other bikes, so I really doubt it's an issue.

I'm personally not interested in FM. It's a short distance radio that can't be received well except by line of sight, and out here in the west where it ain't flat, it don't work well accept close to a town with FM stations. I don't commute, I tour. But I told somebody else I would see if the FM reception is affected, and I will. If you'd allow me, I think you've made a huge jump to the paranoid kind of thinking to suggest somebody else's FM interference is related to corrupting ECUs.

I'd worry more if I had a crap load of high load auxillary lights on all over the bike, but then, that's not my plan either. So I don't have a reason to comment in the replacement alternator/rectifier threads - but I read them, and take note. I also don't think my front end and lamp housings are going to melt off the bike, and I'm confident the CANBUS system and LED lights won't cause me or the bike to contract cancer either.

Guess I'll line my helmet with tin foil just in case though,... well not. I will let the forum know if and when I find any problems. That's why this was a review. I'll report what my outcomes are, not what I don't know or worry about. :smile:
 

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At the rally we had a Cyclops LED high/low led put into Patricia's Vulcan S. BIG difference!

It is the best 89 bucks we have spent on it. We drove it home 750 miles and in 5 hours or so of darkness and it is remarkable the difference. Like I say it is a high low beam so when you hit the high beams it lowers the power to the low and engages the high for a nice light output.

He was honest and said to expect 3-4 years on it as an average. I can do 89 bucks every 3-4 years to keep her in LED lights.
 

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Great review and the pictures are professional quality. I plan to order these and do my2014 RT soon. Thank you for the guide to complete this next upgrade. You should consider sending this to Cyclops for them to post as instructions since no sites I checked had anything near as comprehensive detailing the installation as your post. Again I say, Kudos!
 

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Great review and the pictures are professional quality. I plan to order these and do my2014 RT soon. Thank you for the guide to complete this next upgrade. You should consider sending this to Cyclops for them to post as instructions since no sites I checked had anything near as comprehensive detailing the installation as your post. Again I say, Kudos!
They are very nice people to meet and talk to.

You are right they may want to use that document and to offer it to them would be pretty cool.

It is a great write up for sure.

I am pretty sure the next year RT will have the LED that my GS has. So this issue will go away then for new bikes.
 

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They are very nice people to meet and talk to.

.......

I am pretty sure the next year RT will have the LED that my GS has. So this issue will go away then for new bikes.
Part of the reason as to why I am waiting until 2020 to get my 1250! That, and perhaps other things.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great review and the pictures are professional quality. I plan to order these and do my2014 RT soon. Thank you for the guide to complete this next upgrade. You should consider sending this to Cyclops for them to post as instructions since no sites I checked had anything near as comprehensive detailing the installation as your post. Again I say, Kudos!
Thank you very much.
I told them when I bought them that I would leave a nice review if it worked well, and it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your detailed write-up. Even though you do not use FM radio, I am interested if the FM radio receives anything but static. And remember to test it with both the motor on and off. Thanks!
Hi Mike,

I tried the FM radio with the Cyclops LED headlights and with their supplied noise suppressor on the antenna cable.
On a positive note, I did not hear what I would call "static", simply the on again off again signal strength while riding. With the motor off but lights on (Hi and Low) I didn't hear static as well.

The other thing I didn't mention was I replaced the whip antenna with a Stubby, so reception for me is bad to begin with. At times putting FM in scan mode, it just loops forever or finds a station I can't stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 6

Well my sister and her husband returned to their home after a two week stay and I finally found the time to try adjusting the LED low beam back in the garage with all the same blue tape markers which hadn't been moved.

Here's what I found. By moving the white lever on the bottom of the headlight cluster that affects the vertical alignment of the beam based on loaded weight to the fully loaded position, I got the LED beam to match the OEM beam position.

Here are comparison pictures:

OEM Halogen Low Beam



Cyclops H7 LED Low Beam - No Adjustment



Cyclops H7 LED Low Beam - Adjusted


I'm very pleased with the results and shared e-mails on this subject with Cyclops Adventure Sports.
They are very friendly and helpful. They let me know the LED lights run approximately 200F cooler than the stock bulbs, they should last a ton longer than the halogens - but won't last forever (honesty appreciated), they will have a new driver for the lights available within 45 days that will eliminate any potential FM noise, and they shared pictures with me of a local police department's new RTs being outfitted with the same LED headlights and what appear to be other aftermarket auxiliary lights. Now that's cool. Good enough for a local PD, good enough for me.
 

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Thanks so much for all the time and effort you've put into a most excellent review. Looks like I'll wait 45 days to place my order...
 

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Re: Review of Cyclops LED Headlights for Wetheads - Part 5

I appreciate the very informative post regarding your installation experience. I also used a You Tube video showing installation on a GS model. Much simpler on a GS model.

I purchased and installed these lights on my 2014 RT. My conclusion is YOU HAVE TO WANT THESE LIGHTS REALLY<REALLY BAD!!. I have a BMW repair DVD so I did have some instructions to guide me. Working in my garage, removing all the components necessary to remove the head light module, installing the Cyclops Lights and then putting the all the parts back on the bike, took me about 12 hours..

The Cyclop's instructions are really very basic. Thanks to this Install Review and the You Tube video, I was able to complete the installation. The photos that accompany the Cyclops instructions display parts, such as the removal of the "base" displayed parts that were not even close to the parts in the kit I received. It took me some trial and error time to learn which side of the base should face inward and which side outward. I called Cyclop's for some assistance and was told that the instruction were " generic" and I would have to "adjust" them t o apply to my specific model bike.

The lights when successfully installed are a significant improvement over the BMW standard lights. I am very happy with the results. I would recommend them with the caveat of "be prepared for a lot of work" with the removal and installation of the BMW bike parts.

If you have very small hands, it might be possible to do the install without removing the headlight module. But getting to the low beam light in the center of the module, while in the bike..... I just don't know????

Again thanks for the instructions provided. I was very helpful.
 
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