PIAA 520 With Terra Nova Light Kit

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by RubberDown, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. RubberDown

    RubberDown Long timer

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    Anyone have a chance to read the product review of the PIAA520 light kit with the Terra Nova light bar in the December ON? I was thinking about ordering the 520 or 910 from Cycle Gadgets but with all the talk about lighting on this board I'm confused about which to order and a little afraid to pull the trigger. The 520 have 85W bulb, and the 910 have a 110W bulb. Which ones do you guys prefer?

    Eric
    '01 R1150GS
    #1
  2. BeeCeeGS

    BeeCeeGS WeaponOfMassDestruction

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    The Terra Nova webpage. Was there a price in the ON article? No price on the webpage.
    #2
  3. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    The BMWON article listed the price of the PIAA 520s, Terra Nova aluminum light bar and Autoswitch for $412.85.

    The Terra Nova aluminum bar is $157.
    #3
  4. RubberDown

    RubberDown Long timer

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    I talked to the people at Cycle Gadgets and they said that the PIAA 520 are preferred by most over the 910 because the look like they "belong" on the GS. Also, they said the 910 can be pretty obnoxious to the people in cages if you don't angle them down. I've never been that afraid of irritating drivers in cars though. I'd rather have them get a little angry with me for having bright lights, than to run over me because they didn't see me.

    Eric
    '01 R1150GS Mandarin
    #4
  5. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    There are 4 models of PIAA 520 lights:

    520 Ion Crystal Driving 85 watt (chrome or black mesh) with 15 degree light pattern

    520 Ion Crystal Fog 85 watt (chrome or black mesh) with 95 degree light pattern

    520 SMR 55 watt Driving (chrome or black mesh) with 15 degree light pattern

    520 SMR 55 watt Fog (chrome or black mesh) with 100 degree light pattern

    The 520 Ion Crystal lens is yellow and reduces the lumen output of the 85 watt bulb to the legal street limit. Some people object to the yellow cast of the Ion Crystal lens.

    The PIAA 910 driving 110 watt with a 20 degree light pattern is not street legal although it is popular with many endurance riders.

    :brow
    #5
  6. GS Jonny

    GS Jonny Killer Bee

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    Is anybody using the PIAA 540 series?

    John
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  7. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    My partner Bill has PIAA 540 driving lights on a Micatech Titanium light bar on his R1150GS Adventure. They work well and put out 55 watts of illumination. They do not put out as much light as the PIAA 520s. The PIAA 540's are similar in design to the 520 with a stone guard grill but in a slightly smaller diameter (5 1/8"). The driving light is a white lens and the fog uses a Plasma Ion (yellow) lens.

    Bill plans on augmenting his 540 driving lights with a set of Xenarc X1010 HID auxiallary lights mounted on his Adventure engine guards.

    I'll ask Bill to post an image of his 540s mounted on his Adventure.
    #7
  8. BillM

    BillM Adventurer

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    #8
  9. GS Jonny

    GS Jonny Killer Bee

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    Thanks for the info and the pics! I just got a black 02 GSA also :jive

    I'm still a little confused by these lights though.

    description for the 540s:
    Available In Plasma Ion Fog and Xtreme White Driving
    Bulb Type 12V - H3 55watt=85watt fog, and 12V - H3 55watt=110watt Xtreme
    White driving

    Description for the 520s:
    Available In Ion Crystal Fog and Ion Crystal Driving
    Bulb Type 12V - H3 85watt

    What does 55watt=85watt and 55watt=110watt mean? The 520s are just listed as 85watt.:confused

    Thanks,
    John
    #9
  10. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    Welcome to PIAA marketing-speak. They are trying to tell you that their 55 watt lights provide the same illumination power of other vendor's 85 watt lights. Bzzzzt.

    Hopefully to clarify:

    55 watt is 55 watt is 55 watt is ...
    85 watt is 85 watt is 85 watt is ...
    110 watt is 110 watt is 110 watt is ...

    55 watts are street legal lights that you can safely ride with anywhere in the USA.

    85 watts that are run through the PIAA Crystal Ion (yellow) lens makes them street legal and provide brighter but comparable illumination as a 55 watt light.

    110 watts are for designated for off-road use only. However, many endurance riders carefully use them on the street.

    Now if you want some really effective low-beam augmentation then HID lights are the way to go!

    :lift
    #10
  11. GS Jonny

    GS Jonny Killer Bee

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    Thanks for the info. It all makes sense now!

    Don't those HID lights cost a mint though? How about some 80 pro xts' or 910s'?

    John
    #11
  12. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    The 80 Pro XT are 6 11/16 with 120 watts.

    As I said before the 910s are 110 watts in a smaller package.

    Both good and both not street legal.
    #12
  13. Mully

    Mully Kineticist

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    Forget the marketing hype. It's physically impossible for a bulb coating to increase photon emissions from a heated filament (or from a gas plasma, for that matter), so the "55=85" thing is BS. To sort this out, discard costs as a consideration and ask yourself where you ride at night: if the answer is "mountains and curvy back roads", get the 520's or another wide-beam lamp that will light the shoulders on the curves so you can see where not to go. If the answer is "open roads at speed", get the 910's or other narrow-beam lamp so you can aim them 200 yards up the road shoulder and see those little critter bastids' red eyeballs before you splat one. :evil

    FET "Catz" makes some awesome product. Hella is champ with their HID's for the well-heeled or those who go really fast and far at night (IB guys). Value champ is Hella 500's - $60 for 6" round halogens on sale at Pep Boyz, and they look good on a GS.

    HTH
    mully
    2001 GS w/910's on RCU light bar w/Autoswitch
    #13
  14. hchuck

    hchuck GS Pilot

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    FET "Catz" creates really good products but they are definitely high-end priced, even more so then PIAA products. And if you check their website www.fet-usa.com you will see the same outragious claims of 55w lights emitting 90w of light output.

    And your reference to Hella 500s is an interesting juxtaposition to the FET products. You're right the Hella 500s are a great value for a 6 3/8" round light putting out 55 watts.

    HID remains a superior light technology compared to halogen systems particularly for a motorcycle application. Halogen bulbs contain filaments whose life expectancy is shortened due to road vibration. HID Xenon gas bulbs do not suffer this problem as there is no filament to break. HID light prices have come down considerably, email me directly for more information.

    Currently available Hella HID's are still too expensive and they use an older HID design for the ballasts, although I expect this to be resolved soon. PIAA HID lights are even more expensive then Hella.

    :coo:
    #14
  15. rhino boy

    rhino boy Banned

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    I has 910's on my 01 GS and I miss em.

    I used them for high speed on/off road travel and they are brilliant, throwing a beam way up road and easy to adjust position.

    If you combine these with a higher wattage bulb in main GS light, I found you get the right balance between near and close.

    They look the business as well!
    #15
  16. RubberDown

    RubberDown Long timer

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    When you mount the PIAA 520's on the Terra Nova bar how do you flip the lights around so they're facing the right way up? Do you have to take it apart and flip the lens around? Anyone know?

    Eric
    #16