Main Motorcycle: 2013 Thruxton
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Michigan, USA
Other Motorcycle: I wish!
Best H4/Replacement Headlight Solution
Apologies if this has been covered already, but seems like there is still no definitive answer to this solution at this time.
Driving home in the city last night, a number of vehicles were flashing me. Had not noticed, but my low-beam had failed. With street lighting this was not obvious. Completed the return home safely on the hi-beam.
I have a 2013 Thruxton with stock lighting (7" head shell), but enhanced with the Eastern Beaver Hi/Low Relay set up. Seems to have improved the output of the stock H4 light bulb quite well.
Having looked at replacement options. My research suggests they seem to fall into 3 categories...
1. Go all the way with LED and a dedicated head shell/headlight. Rationale is you can only get the best out of LED light bulbs with a dedicated head shell and lens. Down side to me is I want to retain the retro look, so the cyclops style is weird looking to me. I know there is the Grote style that may be an option. Other issue is they run around $150. or more, although there are cheaper knock-offs. Expensive and may be less reliable!
2. LED replacement bulb, staying with stock lens/head shell. Seems these have mixed reviews. Some come with fans, others with flexible braid or solid heat sinks, and may be a challenge to install in the limited space of the head shell. There also seems to be a reliability issue, I suspect related to the limited air circulation in the enclosed head shell, although they may work fine in car applications. Others have commented on the poor light spread. While speced at a higher lumen output than stock, the dispersion is not adequate for real world applications for bikers, or no better (sometimes worse?) than stock H4 bulbs.
3. H4 hi-output bulbs. I notice a number of posts indicate returning to these after disappointment with LEDs. Most affordable approach. Compatible with stock lens/head shell and retain the stock retro look. Although life expectancy seems to correlate (is reduced) with the higher output bulbs. They also run hotter/draw more energy than LEDs, potentially compromising wiring inside the enclosed head shell.
So whats your advice? Please share, particularly if you have had the replacement for some time and remain pleased with the results.
2013 Thruxton: Hagon 2810, Ricor Intiminators; STS; AI & O2 removed; 2>1 baffle remove; airbox snorkel and restrictor removed; TTP; Tail Tidy; Eastern Beaver Relay; LED Indicators; Tubeless Rim Conversion; Pirelli Angel GTs 110/80-18, 150/70-17
Last edited by Thruxty; 08-16-2019 at 09:24 AM.