Are HID headlights street legal?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by lbowles2, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. lbowles2

    lbowles2 Adventurer

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    I purchased a set of 1 Off Motorsports HID headlights and was planning on installing them on my '09 F650GS. I had some second thoughts and decided to try to sell them but was asked if they were street legal. To be honest I had not even thought about that and the parts manager at the dealer didn't say anything about it and when I called and asked he said he thought it varied by state.

    Here is what is stated on 1 Off Motorsports website:
    The truth is, installing ANYTHING into a vehicle that was not originally equipped with them from the factory is technically illegal. This includes aftermarket exhaust, headers, and all types of modifications that the D.O.T did not test (and get paid) for. However, we are selling these kits for OFF Road, race and exhibition use only. 1 OFF Motorsports by no means encourage breaking the law, please use safely. There have been little to no verified accounts of anyone getting pulled over and cited just for having them on. 1 OFF Motorsports recommends that you make sure that you have the appropriate headlight assembly for your vehicle and that your headlights are properly aligned after installation. If you are again not comfortable please take it in to a professional.

    I honestly don't really know what to make of that and would like to get some feedback from you guys. Or who would I contact to find out if they are legal in Kansas?

    Thanks.

    Larry
    #1
  2. Garp

    Garp Long timer

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    I don't think State Law comes into the equation. Their are Federal Standards around Automotive lighting and I am not aware of any HID upgrade for existing headlights that meets Federal Standards.
    #2
  3. reinerka

    reinerka Been here awhile

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    All HID conversion are illegal for street use - period. There is a federal ruling to that effect in place. To get legal you would need a reflector and lamp combination that has passed federal testing - expensive and is unlikely to ever happen unless BMW installs HID's as option or standard on the GS.

    State legislation has nothing to do with it at this point.

    Reiner
    #3
  4. lbowles2

    lbowles2 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the replies... I appreciate it. That was pretty much what I suspected. I think the guy was hoping to keep me from returning the set :dunno
    #4
  5. Lomig

    Lomig Adventurer

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    Based on what most cars have out there, I'd feel comfortable installing a set on my bike and just make sure they're aligned properly to not interfere/bother other road users.
    #5
  6. Belgian Waffles

    Belgian Waffles Been here awhile

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    Tons of cars have HIDs, etc. As long as it doesnt get in anyone's way, I wouldnt worry about it.

    Its like illegal downloading... everyone does it, so whats the chance of getting caught? :deal

    BW
    #6
  7. JPSpen

    JPSpen At Large

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    Keeping up with the Joneses, OK ?
    yes,,

    That's why I use them..:D

    John
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  8. August West

    August West Wharf Rat

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    I believe they illegal unless there is a self leveling device also installed. I read on a Bimmer forum about a guy that did a conversion on his BMW cage and was ticketed in MN. This was a vehicle that had HIDs as a factory option.
    #8
  9. reinerka

    reinerka Been here awhile

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    When you get a factory installed HID it uses a different reflector and not only a HID bulb instead of your favorite H4/H7/etc bulb.

    What is illegal is using a HID bulb in a non HID housing. Plus the fact that many people go for this "bluish" color, which is even more illegal as they now have a case of using blue light which is reserved to emergency vehicles.

    An HID bulb works different in comparison to the regular filament bulb. Most noticably the position and size of where the light is emitted is different even so they try to "duplicate" the filament as close as possible. This causes the reflector to not work 100% the same way as it is desiged to be (with a filament based bulb) and thus CAN cause oncoming traffic to be "disturbed".

    Reiner
    #9
  10. atermon

    atermon Been here awhile

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    bmw offers hid option at least on the k1300gt
    does it have self leveling mechanism at it?

    there are projectors that can be accommodated inside the headlight assembly. they mount on the pre-existing bulb hole. you get a very clear cutoff that way so you are not even near to how generic after market hid installations look and blind oncoming traffic.
    responsibility on your part. legit? not very certain.
    #10
  11. reinerka

    reinerka Been here awhile

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    When you look at the K1300GT with the HID you will notice that the reflector has XENON (or HID) stamped on the reflector to identify that this is a legal HID version.

    Reiner
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I've been running HID's in my bikes for the last 7 or 8 years.. No legal issues.. When it comes to bikes and law enforcement, HID's don't even register on LEO's compliance priorities. :D
    #12
  13. kkug

    kkug Been here awhile

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    I have the 1 Off Motorsports HID Set up on my Bike and am very pleased with them.

    Try it you will like it.:clap
    #13
  14. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    It all comes down to certification with lighting .... if it's not certified by DOT then it isn't legal, even though we all know it is as good as or better than the stock stuff. I would not even worry for a moment about running it, but be aware that you COULD get a fix it ticket if your friendly neighbourhood copper didn't get any last night.

    A work colleague got ticketed for HIDs and halos on his squidly CBR600 just last month ...
    #14
  15. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Aftermarket HID installation on any on road use vehicle is illegal if the vehicle was not originally equipped with HID lighting. However, most LEOs would not cite a well aimed, properly operating HID installation (color at 4300K.)

    If your HIDs caused an accident I was blinded by those oncoming bright headlights from the motorcycle and as a result, I ran into the schoolbus and injured 3 students, a savvy laywer could be your demise and you could be found guilty of violating Federal law.
    #15