R1100GS: Anyone w/ dual or twin headlight?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by PaperBoy, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Okay, I've checked the search and had no luck, so I am starting a post asking anyone with an R1100GS that has converted to a twin or dual headlight to chime in.

    Which kind do you have, do you like it and does it put out any better light than the original bus-type rectangular headlight? Here are some options I know of:

    Touratech - I believe they have three types, two with projector bulbs, although in one you have to remove your dash and replace with theirs or something similar. I really don't want to do that. The other twin projector one has smaller light pods. I think the another one they offer is one HID projector and one Xenon, this I find is most interesting, but definately not cheap.

    Wunderlich did offer a dual headlight kit, not sure they still have it.

    A seller in Taiwan was selling his version of the dual projector headlight on eBay, but haven's seen one posted lately. It looked a lot like the TT unit and well made. I bought one, but needed to raise some cash and sold it before I ever had it hooked up.

    Something homemade?:norton

    I'd like to know people's opinions who really have made the switch and wheather they think it worth it. The TT units are quite pricey (what's new huh?) and I'm sure Wunderlich won't be giving them away either. Anyway show and tell time.

    Thanks in advance for anyone's response who has real world experience with this modification.

    Gary
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  2. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  3. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Looks interesting, but no information on whether it improves things, where you got them or if you made yourself from parts off another bike. Gary
    #3
  4. hasenwerk

    hasenwerk Long timer

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    I have the Touratech dual DE headlights. They're OK with the stock halogen H3s and are VERY nice if you convert them to HID (3200K low beam, 4300K high beam). The issue with them is that light up in front of you quite well, but the ditches are dark. That was solved with a Hella micro DE fog light with a 4300K HID kit installed. Totally awesome combo.

    [​IMG]
    TT Dual DE Lights with Hasenwerk light grille

    [​IMG]
    4300K HID high beam on left, 3200K HID low beam on right
    #4
  5. Oilybimmer

    Oilybimmer Long timer

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    I got hold of a set of the Touratech ones which had some glass reflectors and lenses fitted, they were marked Stanley so must have come from something Japanese, I was hoping to convert them to HID but there was no space in the headlight shell for the bits that hang off the burners, I only rode in the dark with them once, thank heavens I had the FF50s or it would have taken forever to get home, I Ebayed them and got the stock bus headlight with my HID back on pretty quick.
    Stewart Foureyes 001.jpg
    #5
    pictish ratter likes this.
  6. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    hasenwerk - Thanks for the info and the pics. Did you get to keep your stock dash/instrument panel with this set up?

    Oilybimmer, thanks, I seem to get the impression that this upgrade, isn't always an upgrade. I have a set of PIAA 540s as back ups I guess if the bus headlight goes out and to use with the high beams.


    Thanks everyone, and keep those comments coming.
    #6
  7. hasenwerk

    hasenwerk Long timer

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    Yes, the original instrument cluster is there - all works / fits like a glove!

    [​IMG]

    You can just see the bracket for the lights under the panel.
    #7
  8. navi

    navi Been here awhile

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    Hi

    When on High/brights - do you end up burning both the high and low beams at the same time?

    Do you have any photo's of the light spread?

    Thanks, Cool looking setup

    Navi


    #8
  9. hasenwerk

    hasenwerk Long timer

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    The low beam comes on with the engine via a relay triggered by the alternator "idiot" light. It is always on while the engine is running.

    The high beam is triggered via the high beam circuit.

    Both lights are on during high beam mode.

    No photos of the light spread. I would estimate circa 30 to 35 degrees which is really not enough if you want to watch out for things in the ditch like deer or hunting for the little side road at any sort of speed. As far as throwing light down the road - WAY better than stock. I installed a single Hella Micro DE fog light and converted that to 4300K HID and it is now what I would call perfect as far as lighting up the road and ditch. I would never switch back.
    #9
  10. OzRob

    OzRob Been here awhile

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    I has one of the TT Projector lamps fitted to the GS with and without HID globes,
    I found that the low beam is not as good as the OEM BM headlamp, as the TT lamp has a narrow beam with no light at the sides....makes it hard to see the Roos, the high beam is good as it acts like a pencil beam.
    I decided to run the original headlamp with a very good quality H4 globe such as a Nava Blue power or the Phillips silver globe 55/60 w which is spoken about more on the US forums.
    The H4 blue power globe gives a very good beam and brightness, much better than the TT projector lamp, and fitting a H4 HID lamp, as there are beam focus issues with H4 HID globes.
    I would try better H4 globes before buying a TT lamp.
    #10
  11. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

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  12. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Those look like they'd do the job, I'll try and see if I can't find posts related to them. Thanks


    #12
  13. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

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    just PM Twin headlight ernie,,, look him up in the 'inmates' section, he would be glad to help you
    #13
  14. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    R1100GS Touratech twin headlight on Ebay NOW, take a look.
    #14
  15. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Thanks for the reply -- I'm more interested in what people who have these things think, doesn't it work, or does it, rather than purchasing one right now. I did see the TT Dual Light on eBay, but thanks for the heads up. Gary
    #15
  16. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    I know this is an old thread that I started, but it still applies to our bikes. The last thing I did before putting the bike up last winter, was add a headlight relay harness to the system. Believe me I've tried every kind of special bulb in the old bus-style headlight of my R1100GS and I always was straining to see in the dark (especially during the fall when it gets dark fast and the deer come out to play). Sure I have auxiliary lights, which are great when no one else is around, but nothing I found would help me see when I had to run on low beams -- every auxiliary light I tried would get me the irritated flashing from oncoming traffic. Which, of course irritates me w/ all the folks that have higher wattage blue bulb HID tuners driving around out there that make you want to run off the road.

    Anyway, I found a Touratech dual headlight kit on eBay that was used -- this one I bought for much less than on their website. It was of all metal construction with glass lenses. It used two regular H4 halogen bulbs. After installing I found it did no better, but really no worse at lighting up the road, even with two Silverstars. The plus was I think it looks better than the single headlight, but I didn't really hate the school bus light. I just wanted something that worked. The other plus was if one lamp goes out I could still get home on the other.


    Problem solved:

    I broke down and bought a headlight relay harness from Eastern Beaver (http://www.easternbeaver.com/Main/Wiring_Kits/H4_Kits/h4_kits.html). In my case I consulted Jim, (jim@easternbeaver.com), first about which dual headlight harness would best suit my needs and bought the one he recommended with a relay for each bulb. It was relatively quick and plug and play w/ routing the wires to the battery (in my case the auxiliary fuse box) taking the most time. He also sells relay harnesses specifically designed for the R1100GS big bus cyclopes headlight too (with relays sealed against the elements so they can be outside the headlight housing because of the cramped space). In either case I am sure this one, relatively inexpensive fix, will help all my fellow R11GSers who are having trouble seeing in the dark. As has been said before putting a relay on for the bulb gets more power to the bulb and takes the strain off the headlight hi/lo switch -- something I've had to rebuild twice and then ended up replacing. And believe me the harness was much less than a new switch.

    So, I have no comparison photos, but take my word for it, my low beams with Silverstars are actually useful now and no flashes from oncoming traffic because they are actually putting out the legal amount of light and in the correct position. However, if you did want to use slightly more powerful bulbs than recommended (and I'm not advocating that) you wouldn't have to worry about melted wires or switches going bad, because the relay harness eliminates the problem.


    Why not just switch to
    HID?

    I'm guessing that since HID conversions have gotten so much cheaper, that most people will op for this. I didn't do so because both my old bus headlight and the metal and glass TT dual setup were designed for H4 bulbs and putting in HID you will not get the optimum beam spread for which these reflectors were designed. There's also the where to hide the ballast situation, altho most people have found places to their liking under the beak, etc. Then you have to decide on whether 1) to go with the HID bulb that moves back and forth for hi/lo or 2) going for just HID low beams and using auxiliary for high or 3) have the bi-zenon with the small halogen bulb for high and the Zenon for low. The moving bulb sounded shaky to me as far as how long it would last -- the low HID and Aux. high or the two types of bulbs would have been the way I went if I did go to HID. You still might get in trouble in some states or countries for using HID at all though.

    In my case with the TT Dual set up I had gave me a fourth and fifth option. I could have 4) tried to cram one high Zenon HID on one side and a low Zenon HID in the other or 5) an H4 Halogen high on one side and and an HID H4 low in the other. The TT dual's can be set up where both come on high/low or where only one bulb is lit at a time with one on with the high beam and the other on with the low beam. I have mine set up so they both light when on high or on low.

    Conclusion:

    So, in conclusion, I think installing the relay harness is one of the best modifications you can make. For lighting, I could no longer live without this or my Signal Minder. You can make your own harness, which I've done before for auxiliary lighting, but a company like Eastern Beaver, is a safe bet for a quality, tidy looking harness and I highly recommend Jim's work.

    P.S. You could do the same with the new Wunderlich dual headlight like LoneStar installed (great look by the way), you would have to build or buy your harness with H7 bulb holders instead I believe.


    #16
  17. Racegun

    Racegun Single Track Mind!

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    any chance you could post some pictures? You could email them to me and I could post them for you using my photobucket account.
    #17
  18. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Well, I didn't take before and after photos. After I get my cast off my foot next Thursday I can take some after photos. It was really pretty simple on the TT dual headlight using the harness Jim makes - this one:

    [​IMG].

    One side goes to the battery positive (+) and the other to the negative (-) or in my case the positive and negative on my auxiliary fuse box. Mine doesn't have the inline fuse because I have it hooked to the aux. fuse box which is under my tank and mounted on the airbox. Then there are three leads -- one that you plug into the original BMW wiring's H4 socket. The other two have Jim's heavy duty H4 sockets and one goes to each.

    For the stocker headlight you would use this one:

    [​IMG]

    It is specifically designed to allow the relays to stay outside of the headlight "shell" because of the limited space.

    Jim writes, "This Kit is specially for bikes like the BMW R1100GS which has a tight fitting headlight housing cover. Also, this Kit is for bikes with a very small headlight shell. This Kit allows easy insertion of the bulb leads into the headlight shell. The Kit is shipped with bulb leads out of the socket and they are then plugged in after installing in the headlight housing. The relays can be mounted further back, either in the fairing or under the front of the fuel tank. The relays are shrink wrapped to keep out dirt and moisture."

    On the TT it was a pretty tight fit, but it fit with a little finessing.

    Connections look different for the stocker, must be because the relays (still are two of them for some reason) are on the outside. I get it, it is so you can thread the lead through the hole at the back of the housing first, then connect the heavy duty H4 socket. Duh! I guess I should have read Jim's quote I posted here on what he recommends for the bus headlight. Anyway, nothing says those that aren't electrically inclined can't make their own, but I went for the more hassle-free route.

    I'll look and see whether I have a photo with the light open. If not I'll open it up one of these days and grab a photo.
    #18
  19. PaperBoy

    PaperBoy Dig that Crazy Beak

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    Here's what the headlight looks like on front of my bike (w/ headlight guard and before I replaced my homemade gutter guard, oil cooler guard w/ the TT one for the 1150) and my R1150GS Beak Transplant:

    [​IMG]

    And, here's what the original wiring looked like for the TT Dual H4 Sockets (of course everything is upside down here because I just flipped it down on the front of my bike.

    [​IMG]

    The TT Dual Headlight has a coupler just like you'll get with the Eastern Beaver relay harness that couple's to the 11GS's original H4 bulb socket. The TT's blue and green colored wires w/ their blue and black H4 bulb sockets are removed entirely. My new harness appears much more robust than the TT wiring anyway. The brown wires that connects to the GS's original parking light wire remains and the TT kit splits to run a parking light bulb to each side. Of course these are different bulbs than stock (which I had just bought an LED for). Eventually I'll find the correct LED to go in each to replace.
    #19
  20. Racegun

    Racegun Single Track Mind!

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    Paper boy,
    thanks for all of that! Questions Please:

    How does only the TT stock 2 light set up compare to the single OEM light? high...low?

    Did you try HID in the original OEM light housing?

    My thoughts are:
    I had a r1100gs,that is me in the avatar. I sold it for a R12GS. Lost the R12 when I got laid off. As you can see the R11 has OEM and Piaa's. The Yellow light from the Piaa's and the OEM was good enough.

    On the R12GS i installed HID's and Hella's on a light bar. It did better than the R11gs.

    FYI I ride with all lights on in the day. After I started doing that, no more did a cager even attempt to pull in front of me.
    #20