Headlight

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by kellymac530, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    I am moving along on my off-road RT project. I promise a dedicated thread to it soon.
    I am starting to design the headlight/fairing setup.
    I want it as light weight as possible but as good as possible in illumination.
    Price is a huge factor as I am on a serious budget at this point.
    I want better lighting than any dual sport numberplate/light mask like my KTM uses, but compact and light as possible.

    For now I will likely just mount it to the forks to get the bike on the road by the time my doctor clears me to ride, but plan on making some sort of fairing that mounts to the chassis eventually.

    I like small and round if possible, like the dominators.
    I hope to eventually end up with a Desierto 1 style fairing but with my personal touches. I can not afford $1200 for a kit.

    I see a few guys using the Buell XB/ Ulysses headlight set up as a base. Are those very bright and very light?
    I have thought of using like a 2009-13 Yamaha R1 headlight cluster and modifying it to use here. You can get the Buell and the Yamaha cluster for under $200 with bulbs.

    What do others here like and use?

    What WOULD YOU use on a custom Adventure bike project if you were building one, had some fab skills {some I say} on a tight budget, and wanted light weight, but bright lights????

    :ear
    #1
  2. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    I found some threads where the Hella 90mm modules have been suggested. Anyone use them before?
    Impressions?

    How do they compare to the Buell XB lights for brightness?
    #2
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    I have done a few of these with various light sources. Couple different approaches. First off, for dedicated street use, use an HID. They are stupid bright and "throw" a long way. On the FZ1 I use 2 PIAA 540 housings with HIDs retrofitted. It works OK. It is really bright, but the beam is not clipped as the housing is not designed for just Lo Beam. SO I have to aim them slightly downward and then fill in the HI with an LED.

    HIDs have a couple unique characteristics that make them ideal but also a pain. First off, they don't like to be switched on/off/on/off frequently. They like to turn on and stay on. So the cars you see driving around with HIDs use projector housing designed specifically for HID. There is one bulb and it is always on. To get HI beam there is a solenoid that lifts a flapper that has been acting as a shield when you were on lo. Hit your high beams and that solenoid retracts the shield and you have full on high beams. So the best way to run HIDs is to buy a dedicated projector housing (or 2) and make a bracket for them to fit your bike in any way you choose.

    This is how I am doing it on the new Ninja. I bought 2 FX-R 3.0 projectors from theretrofitsource.com and the corresponding HID ballasts and bulbs. I also am working on a time delay relay to power up the lights 5 seconds after I start the bike to avoid hot starting them. But 2 projectors are about $150 and the ballasts and bulbs would put you over $200 but pretty close to $200. You would have lights far brighter than the Buell, they would be as bright as any modern luxury car.

    You can also try LEDs as they really are the future of lighting in my opinion. You can get 6-8" LED light bars to mount for your high beams (probably NOT DOT approved however esp in CA) that don't mind the instant ON and can throw reasonably far. But LEDs aren't exactly cheap for decent ones. And they can't really be used as a dedicated headlight as I don't think they are DOT approved, but maybe someone has come out with one.

    So basically you can choose 2-> cheap, fast, good

    I bought the rally fairing from Mindgauss as the basis for my rally fairing project. I plan to spend a lot of time designing the tower in CAD and then waterjetting it out and welding it up. To start I bought the faring ($300), 2 projectors ($150). I figure I will spend 20+ hours ??? in design, welding, fit up, redos. No one makes what I want so I'm forced to go custom. I think his fairing is a deal however and I know there is no way I could begin to make that fairing for $300 worth of my time.

    I think a $200 R1 fairing would be a $200 waste as you aren't probably going to use it for the final project and no sense sinking $200 into something you won't use. I have a Ninja 650 headlight unit, as well as a FZ1 unit you can have either for the cost of shipping if you just want something cheap to start with. Both are decent headlight units that use standard bulbs so they aren't going to be wildly bright. Check dentvet build I think he uses the Ninja fairing.

    I also have 2 Hella 90mm modules and they are really nice but I have not used them yet. I could rig one up to my power supply if you want to see it compared to a projector.

    And you should probably consolidate your ideas into one build thread instead of a separate one for each idea I think the mods have an itchy trigger finger on threads that aren't builds.
    #3
  4. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Sailah,
    Thanks for the help. I am not looking for too high tech and crazy bright. Most stock bikes over the last few years are fine. The stock R1100RT is kind of yellow and dim and it works ok for me, so anything whiter and brighter than that would be fine.

    I am used to riding the KTM 530 with the stock mask headlight..that thing is about as effective as taping a match to front fender, so just about ANYTHING better than that would be great.

    What year is the FZ1 headlight you have?
    Is it like one of these?:

    [​IMG]

    Shoot me a pic, include you email if you have paypal. I may want the FZ1.
    Rememer, time is free right now for me so custom making something is easier for me than buying and having the little woman ticked at me. Thats is actually unavoidable actually, afterall, I am ME...:lol3
    #4
  5. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    #5
  6. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    There is a used Buell XB/Ulysses on ebay for about $150.
    There is also these for $130 for both a Hi beam and a Low beam 2 light system.


    http://www.automotivelightstore.com/hella90mmhibeam.aspx

    Both ways seem quite viable. I am sure either way it would be a DEFINATE improvement over the 530 and probably better than the 1100RT dim stock bulb.

    I am not really interested in HID conversions, I know they are bright, but I do no like the extra parts and pieces to make them work as well as the harder to find bulbs out on a road trip.

    I would prefer an H4-H9 bulb.
    #6
  7. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave blame Reaver...

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    A word of caution regarding the Truck-lite LED headlights. A friend was considering this light for his HD Road King. And then he read that they have a very precise beam pattern. And this makes the headlight visible up to 15 degrees (if my memory serves me correctly) off center. 16 degrees off center, or more, and the light is not visible. So oncoming traffic will see the light, and vehicles approaching from either side will see the light from a distance, but at some point they won't see the headlight's output at all. It might as well be turned off as far as they are concerned. And I'm thinking most drivers will assume the road is clear and enter the road. Possibly right into the bike's path...

    I won't speak for anyone else, but my friend and I think this would be a serious safety issue. This is why I chose an HID conversion, despite my desire for super bright highly efficient LED's...

    Dave
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  8. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    No LEDs for me. Out of my price range and I am just not sure if they are up to par yet for MC use...they might be, but I will let someone else be the GP.

    I am really liking the Buell, but wish I could find something similar but a bit cheaper.
    I am REALLy interested in what Sailah has from his FZ1.
    #8
  9. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Yep looks just like that except I don't have the fairing just the headlight
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  10. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Sailah,
    When you get a minute, no rush, Can you give me a measurement from outside to outside of the light housing and the wide point of the lens?

    Unless it is really wide I think I can start with that.

    You the man BTW.
    #10
  11. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    [​IMG]

    FZ1

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ninja

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    PM on its way.
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  13. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    I have a pair of 90mm Hellas on my Wee, and am very happy with them. The stock Wee headlights are the best I've seen, outside of super high dollar stuff. The Hellas are almost as good.

    Disclaimer: Most of my night time riding is commuting, rather than the middle of darkness. I do not haul ass in deer country.
    #13
  14. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Just to let folks know, Sailah sent me the Ninja headlight and it looks great. I think I can make it look good. I will post up a project thread on it soon.

    Thanks Sailah.
    Thanks for others input as well. It all plays a roll in where I will end up with this beast.

    Kelly
    #14