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New headlight bulbs, and I have sinned

Discussion in 'Stelvio Chat & Tech' started by WayneOrwig, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. WayneOrwig

    WayneOrwig GT Reference

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    My work brings me home at about 1 AM. With plenty of the route surrounded by wooded country roads, with deer and other critters.
    The headlights on the Stelvio, basically, SUCK. They have at least two issues. One, the reflectors are so poor, that they tend to scatter light, and not focus it forward were it is needed. Most headlights have the bulb buried down inside a bowl that reflects as much of the light forward as it can. The Stelvio reflector is so shallow, that you can almost look straight down at the bulb from directly above. That is lost light. You tend to get a lot of light straight up in the trees overhead. Two, the plastic is crap. I hate plastic. Stuff a hot bulb in it, and it melts. I hate plastic. The chrome peels. Did I mention that I hate plastic.

    The single headlight on my EV actually out performs the dual headlights on the Stelvio, by a good amount. There is one spot, with a long straight stretch. Out ahead is a curve in the road and a power pole out in a field. On high beam, the single EV headlight on high would light up that pole about 3 seconds (not sure how many feet that is @ 45MPH. Someone do the math..) before the Stelvio high beam would light it up.

    So, I finally gave in to my wish to experiment, and bought an HID kit. If you search, you will find where I have commented about how much I HATE those damn things for various reasons, so I am being a bit of a hypocrite. This kit has High/low bulbs. I actually keep the high adjusted down a good bit. So on high, the light reach from these VERY BRIGHT lights is about the same as my EV. I can see that pole at about the same spot that my EV would light it. But as I said, it is adjusted down more then it could be, to prevent blinding traffic when on low beam. So in the countryside on high beam, since it is adjusted down, there is a huge spot of light about 50 in front of me. I may adjust it up a touch more once I know I am not blinding people.

    The high/low is accomplished by a magnet that moves the bulb back and forth. The bulb is held inside a metal shield. Turn on high beam, and the bulb is pulled back, where there is a hole in the shield to let light out for the high beam. It works pretty well, but the bulb is floating on slides, and does vibrate a little when you hit bumps.

    It got a bulb color that is NOT the irritating (and less useful) blue. I wanted the 4000K, which is even yellower. But they only had 4500K or 3500K. There isn't any real noticeable blue, but my incadescant driving lights are now yellow in comparison. :lol:

    So, hopefully now the headlight reflectors won't melt and hopefully I will not be irritating people with the light scatter when I'm on low beam. I can at least now see a good ways ahead finally to spot the critters.

    I got them from here. $60 US for the set.

    http://www.ddmtuning.com/
     
  2. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    30 mph is 44 ft/sec, so 45 mph would be 66 ft/sec. Three seconds of it and you will have travelled 200 feet.

    Just curious why you considered 3500°K to be "too yellow" when it is still bluer than your EV headlight which would only be around 3200°K. There has been a lot of discussion regarding high temperature lighting and how they make the road surface harder to read. This too has been my (very limited) experience.

    Perhaps it's just my meats getting old.
     
  3. rturo

    rturo Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Dave

    Is "meats" Kiwi slang for eyes ? ... it sounds like it could be based on Cockney Rhyming slang ... "meat pies = eyes"

    Art
     
  4. WayneOrwig

    WayneOrwig GT Reference

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    My wifes car came with HID lighting. In my opinion, what you say about the high color temperature, is very true. And the light reflected from road signs is so bright, it makes you THINK you are seeing better. I'm not after a better view of a nonmoveable sign. I want to see the deer, etc.
    But, I have seen a few cars that have installed HID conversions that are a very low temperature (they are after a look) and they were like yellow bug lights. I didn't want to do that and the lowest temp I have seen sold is
    3500K. My understanding is that the 4500K range is the most light output from these guys. Not sure why these people don't carry a 4000K, which was my target.

    Basically, I didn't know about the incandescant being 3200K and I know that there are some really yellow HIDs out there, which I assumed must be the 3500. Well, replacement bulbs aren't too much from these guys.
     
  5. DanPez

    DanPez Cruisin' Guzzisti

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  6. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Rather than play around with the headlights, I'm gonna put a pair of these Clearwater Krista's in place of my Hella aux. lights. A buddy of mine has them on his Gold Wing, and they are painfully bright (think never ending flash bulb).

    Another cool feature of them, is that they have a volume control, so that when using them as running lights, you can adjust them to a brightness that won't kill other drivers, but make you more visible. When you hit the high beam switch, it puts them on full power.

    I like that they're LED and use very little current.


    http://www.clearwaterlights.com/infopg_krista.html
     
  7. WayneOrwig

    WayneOrwig GT Reference

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    Too bad they are stupid expensive.

    I'll wait.

    Besides, at one point I had the two low beams, 110 watts total. The two high beams, 120 watts total, and the two driving lights, 110 watts total. I would run those every night on the way home. 340 watts total lights. Even in the winter with my electric vest. Never a single problem with the charging system. So I don't need to save anything.
     
  8. Lannis

    Lannis Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    So, Wayne.

    Been reading about your melting plastic reflectors, and have also been doing a good bit of night riding. (This time of year, almost ANY riding is night riding).

    Got home tonight and a funny smell, like something wet was evaporating off the headers, was going on. Then I spotted a bit of smoke in the headlight area, and turned everything off. By the time I got some gear off, got to the overhead light switch, and got back to the bike, the smoke and smell were gone and I was afraid to make them come back, so I left it for now.

    You suppose the funny smell and bit of smoke was my reflectors starting to melt? I saw in a past post where you replaced your bulbs with some HID bulbs from ddmtuning.com, but didn't see where you specified which parts you got, or what was involved with installing them. I suppose I've got to do something, I've got too much riding to do to be worrying about melting and smoking things .....

    Lannis
     
  9. kmartin

    kmartin Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I had the smell and flickering light last fall. Turned out a spade connector inside one of the headlight connectors was not seated well and was arcing wiht the bulb terminal.
     
  10. Lannis

    Lannis Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Took mine apart yesterday, and that's exactly what was happening with mine. Bad, high-resistance connection in the three-terminal connector block had melted half the block. I've bought a couple new ones, and will replace the block as well as steal a female spade connector so that I can run the other high beam.

    This silly stuff shouldn't happen with new motorcycles that you pay real money for. 1976 Triumphs, yes, but not this ....

    Lannis
     
  11. joeguycom

    joeguycom Tuned and Synch'ed

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    while i fine the Griso headlight fine (i do country city travel every day) i don't have much experience to compare it appart from the yamamoto which was frightening, however the headlight case is plastic and as above it is crap, i also hate plastic for this particular task.However the tank which is plastic is well made so ok it comes from quality of construction, sorry to deviate subject.
     
  12. WayneOrwig

    WayneOrwig GT Reference

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    Nobody should ever design an incandescent bulb socket or reflector from plastic.
    Very bad idea.
     
  13. Lannis

    Lannis Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    OR fine-threaded steel pinch bolts into aluminum alloy .....

    Lannis
     
  14. Lannis

    Lannis Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    So I was out in the shop last night, rewiring the headlights, probably got in too much of a hurry because now the right side low and high beams won't come on at all, and the left side low and high beams won't turn OFF. Take a deep breath and do it again.

    One thing ... there's one tiny little 18 gauge white wire feeding the right side high beam. I now have this wire spliced to two 16 gauge wires to feed both high beams. That seems like a tiny little wire to feed two high beams. Does anyone know off the top of their head how much current an 18 gauge wire is good for?


    Or, alternatively, has it worked OK for those of you who have turned on your left-side high beam?

    Lannis
     
  15. WayneOrwig

    WayneOrwig GT Reference

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    Is there any chance that you tied into the little pilot light wire? I think it is a white and yellow wire. The headlight socket wires are reasonably heavy, black, green and blue, I think.
     
  16. Lannis

    Lannis Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Wayne -

    No, I sketched it before I took it apart, and I left the little pilot light connectors alone. The Stelvio wiring diagram verifies that the three blades on the headlight bulb are fed by Black (Ground), Blue (Low Beam), and White (High Beam), with no high beam to the left headlight ....

    NEVER MIND. THIS DANG ITALIAN BIKE AND ITS WIRING DIAGRAM. "BLACK" IS "NERO" (N) IN ITALIAN, "BLUE" IS "B" !!!


    Lannis
     

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