Are there no Cheaper options?: HID KTM 990adv

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Jbone11 11, May 20, 2014.

  1. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Been here awhile

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    Like many 950/990 owners before me, I have recently become a little concerned over the ability of my US spec headlight to cast enough light at night. For me this is mainly due to two factors: 1- I am doing more rallies that have me riding through the back of beyond at night and 2- after getting PRK surgery on my eyes my nightvision is not what it used to be...actually it just takes much longer for my eyes to adjust, but its a PITA and better lighting at night would be hugely beneficial.

    Anywas, I've researched the Euro spec options as well as some really nice custom jobs (Britania Composites "VooDoo" rig is very nice...but $$$. Worth it, but not in the budget this year.

    But I have found little to no info on simply swapping the stock bulbs with HID's....is there a specific reason for this? A buddy of mine who is a KLR rider and pretty savy with electrics, bought a 35$ HID kit from ebay and has put well over 13k on it....comes with a dedicated ballast for the HID system and requires some basic alterations, but the result is pretty amazing from stock. Coupled with a set of LED's for less than $100 mounted to the crash bars and I've got a lighting set up better than the Euro spec for less than $200 CAN.

    So, the question: Is/has anyone looked nto this "cheaper" option?
    #1
  2. EZ300

    EZ300 Just wanna ride my motorsickle

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    Here's an option:

    Run aux lights.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Stock light
    [​IMG]

    Mondomotos lights
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. jconly

    jconly Been here awhile

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    Currently running the Euro headlight, with a DDM HID in the low beam.
    The Euro headlight casts a different beam pattern than the US.

    I've been using DDM's HID's in my bikes for years now, and have always been more than happy. Light output with my current setup is great for riding down the road in the dark.

    For a brief while, I was also running an HID in the high beam, but pulled it. Problem with this setup is the few seconds it takes to kick in. Not good when you need to flick the light on and off, or flash your beams. Running a PIAA bulb in the high instead, and honestly, it doesn't do much when paired with the HID in the low.

    I do still plan to add some AUX LED's to the bike as well, for riding down those dark trails. There are definitively times I want it.

    Also curious about these new LED headlight bulbs that are now starting to pop up. Could be a great new option, especially for that high beam.
    #3
  4. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    #4
  5. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Been here awhile

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    Yes sir....Aux LED's are on the menu for sure! I've also seen other KTM's with the LED bar. Was thinking of a way to mount aux lights to the forks however so I have some steerable light....nice to be able to see that Deer standing in the middle of the road before the rest of me gets there :deal....EDIT: just realized those mondomotos Aux's were mounted to the triples....that come with or a custom job?

    I think I've narrowed the search down a bit...I found a possible kit at vvme.com....and for less than $40, what the hell....if it dosen't pan out...its only $40....But if it does....its only $40!:evil

    Gonna order early next weekish I think...I'll update with the results.
    #5
  6. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    There are a few reasons you don't see HID bulbs on the KTMs all that often.

    1) HID bulbs in a non-projector housing don't work anywhere near as well as they could. Instead of having focussed light with a cutoff like this:
    [​IMG]
    You'll be left with scattered and unfocussed light, that is blinding to oncoming traffic (and illegal, if that matters). More like this:
    [​IMG]

    2) The KTM uses a single High/Low bulb. In order to make that work with a single HID arc, they have to use a small shield and magnet, and the bulb itself moves in and out to show more light or less. Usually something like this:
    [​IMG]
    So now you've got moving parts (the bulb has to slide freely) susceptible to breaking or malfunction, and big shields blocking the light output. Your 3200 claimed lumen bulb already has drastically less light output because of the less-than-ideal housing/reflector, and now is ~75% blocked on low beam, and ~25% blocked on high beam.


    They're just not worth it in my opinion. (That being said, I've used VVME several times in the past, and would recommend their non-bi-xenon kits.)

    The Euro spec housing eliminates the high/low beam single bulb issue, so, even though the light output is still not focused well, at least it doesn't have the moving parts and metal shielding.

    Like mentioned earlier, I think the best option, by far, is the LED axillary light setup. If you're looking for a deal, ebay is an awesome source. I can't comment on quality, although I've been impressed with what I've seen. I love the new Combo Light Bars that are flooding the market; flood lights on the ends, and spot lights in the middle. There are several between $55 and $85:
    [​IMG]
    If you still find the need for steerable light, you could add a couple tiny 10w LEDs to your handlebars starting at about $35 a pair.
    [​IMG]

    (Of course, we have a vendors section here with numerous options as well... I just threw out ebay because... well.. this whole thread is about cheaper options. Supporting our vendors = good)
    #6
  7. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Been here awhile

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    Very interesting...thanks for that write up mike, definitely food for thought. After having a quick chat with my buddy I think what Im going to do is get a white halogen and stick that in there for now and research the HID's a bit more. We basically discussed the same issue you brought up about the un-focused light, albeit, not in such a succinct way.

    I really want the Britania Composites mod as it not only looks great IMHO, but the lighting upgrade is there as well. They've combined a 60mm HID projector low beam lamp and a Baja designs Squadron LED Hi Beam...supposedly a huge improvement over stock US or EU spec.
    But at $800, its a hit to the wallet for sure and not doable by mid June which is when I need to have the lighting thing sorted.

    So its cheapo-central for now....I'll be checking into vvme a bit more but I'll also be looking at some LED AUX lights as well. My klr buddy has a set he bought but they have yet to be truely tested....that will change this weekend on the Roaming Rally however :evil
    #7
  8. catalina38

    catalina38 Long timer

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    I have the Euro headlight on my 990R and had the DDM tuning 55w HID lights for a couple of years with out any problems other than fitting the ballasts in behind the headlight. They put out a lot of light but not where I wanted it, a lot of it went too high and would light up trees and far away signs but not enough on the road. I went back to halogen bulbs and separate LED lights. I have the Baja Designs Squadrons and even though they are rated lower (3600 lumen older version Squadron) than the HID's in output the LED light actually goes where I want it and is brighter and more usable on the trail.

    http://www.ddmtuning.com/Product-Categories/Motorcycle-HID-Kits-Lighting
    #8
  9. srad600

    srad600 Been here awhile

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    Have you looked into the LED bulbs that have recently come out? I have one in my 990 and the light output is substantial. I've combined that with the AUX led lights and it feels like I can turn the sun back on at will...:rofl

    It's being sold by a vendor and fellow 9X0 rider, check out the thread here. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=948701
    #9
  10. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    I had HID fitted and eventually the headlight reflector lost its silver coating. I've gone back to halogen in the low beam, and HID high beam combined with some extra LEDs.
    #10
  11. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    +1. I'm buying that as soon as the wife gets over the last credit card bill. :lol3
    #11
  12. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    I am on my 4th iteration of lighting improvement with a 990. Unless your standards are a lot lower than mine I think fighting the dot headlight shell will be a losing battle. Some guys have had acceptable success with the european light and hids. That seemed to me to be a lot of money, especially when some (not all) were complaining that the reflector was degrading after a short time. Though I dont always practice what I preach I feel the only place for a hid is in a projector lamp. The change in focus leads to glare that I am always concerned about and dipping my lights early for in order to avoid blinding other road users.
    I also run a pair of Rigid driving lights and am very impressed with the output but again, find that I dim them earlier than I would like and the difference from high beam with drivers to low beam (Morimoto projector with 35 watt hid) is way too great, leaving me night-blind to a certain extent.
    Still under construction....a pair of Hella 90mm lamps....one reflector for the hb and a bihalogen projector with hid for the low. I might go back to having a dimmer on the Rigids for when I am on the highway in traffic.
    #12
  13. Jbone11 11

    Jbone11 11 Been here awhile

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    Cool...those look like they might do the job....at least for the stock headlight. Price isn't too bad either.
    I picked up a brighter halogen on the way home from work last night and it is 'brighter adn whiter' but only by about 20%...if that. It was the mid range H4 and was cheap so I figured I'd try it out. I'll definitely look into that LED bulb though!
    #13