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Discussion Starter #21
C'mon Ryan, I know our old Britbikes are a bit agricultural (as you'll see if you open up the engine and gearbox!) but buying a tractor headlight bulb!! FWIW, that bulb looks like the usual BPF headlight bulb. ;)

Footpeg rubbers are easy to put on with a squirt of WD40 inside the rubber first. Don't need much and after a day or so it dries out.
721552

721553


Works great! I'll get the real deal next time, now that I know where to find them thanks to your mentioning "BPF headlight bulb". I don't have a lot of the basics on the lingo and the 'knowns' and am very happy and thankful for for any and all feedback (especially the critical sort) along the way as I learn about these awesome machines. :)
 

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Hi rinowalrus, BPF means British Pre Focus. It's the type base/flange the bulb has. Supposedly the factory positions the flange on base such it puts filaments in focus inside reflector. In the old days with original bulbs I found that was the case. Now with reproduction bulbs it's a total crap shoot so you need to aim/align headlamp to the bulb you just installed.

I'm no expert on bulbs, but for the most part the 12v BPF blubs are basically sold in 2 versions. You can identify them by the position of filaments crossways & deflector inside bulb. Your new one is most commonly sold in USA as a 414 bulb. 50/40w. This bulb is sold as other numbers, but in real life it's the same bulb in brightness & focus.

The other bulb is most often sold as 370 or 303. 48/48w. The filaments, one crossways, one closer to tip of glass is longways, Deflector is longways. The focus of this bulb is very different.

If you get wrong bulb the light looks similar in brightness, but you have no defined beam on street. A circle of light, but you cannot see where you are going at all. One ride around block at night without street lights & you'll know if bulb isn't focused. The difference is that bad/obvious.

The bulb you need depends on the reflector/lens unit you have on bike. Reproduction refectors are not the same as original ones. So in real life you must trial fit the bulb & see how it looks on your street at night. When you get the bulb that best matches your reflector/lens you'll see a decided beam on the street. On a very dark street the light is usable, but that's about it. In city or highway with oncoming traffic it's kind of hard to see the road. We rode thousands of miles like that back then.

The charging system on these bikes was just enough to match the power demands with basically none to spare. Alternator output at lower RPM is low, so city riding with stop lights, headlamp on tends to slowly drain the battery. Putting in a larger watt brighter bulb gives more light, but drains battery even quicker.

As we know LED bulbs take a fraction of power of incandescent. Even on high beam the LED headlamp will be almost like not using headlamp so battery stays charged much better in city riding. Make no mistake if you have a charging problem, LED will not cure that & battery will still go dead.

LED bulbs don't have the same focus a the filaments, but recent improvements in LED have improved the focus greatly to where they effectively show the road possibly half again better than the bulb. Again depends on your reflector/lens.

Only one version BPF gives acceptable focus. The high beam indicator feeds back through LED & it defaults to high beam (all 16 LEDs on). You can disconnect indicator at headlamp wiring or just leave it. The low/high is really more beam width than up/down as you'd expect.

This the only LED BPF I've found to work decently. Look carefully at shape & LED position. This is the same bulb that is sold by many. But again get one that looks like this. I got mine here.


Saying that if your new bulb doesn't focus the LED won't focus either. I expect your new bulb will focus though. The 370 seems to work on much older bikes.

Some bulbs look visually similar, but looking close the deflector is offset the other side. This is for left or right dip. In USA low beam was biased to the right side of road. UK to the left. Personally I preferred UK version in USA. LED is not biased to my eyes.

Also the lens has lines on it. They should be vertical/horizontal. Not slanting. The reflector was supposed to be aligned in rim by tabs & tabs aligned rim to shell so you couldn't install crooked. Parking (pilot) bulb is normally on bottom of reflector. Old bikes didn't put out much light. When I was young it was good enough. Now.... it hard to see.

I've ridden many miles at night in the last 7 years. I feel the BPF LED bulb is worth $39 even if you only get caught at night once. I ride with many guys on old Triumphs. This LED bulb gives a very substantial advantage in daytime visibility to other motorists. I've paid attention to this & found MUCH fewer cars tend to pull out of driveways after installing this bulb. It's a win/win. Again try your new bulb first.

The cure for lights & charging system is to install latest 3 phase alternator & regulator. That's another subject. If you can get away with less light the original system will do fine. If you keep points ignition, bike will start & run with very low battery. Electronic ignition, you'll need good voltage or will loose spark.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
I picked up a switch for the high/low beam here. I see wire holes with no securing screws. Is this meant to use bullets, solder, or some other method of securing the wires into their terminals?
722065


722066


EDIT: also should mention this isn't the original equipment for this bike- originally it had the dipper switch on the headlight, as mentioned higher up in this thread. A previous owner wired a cheap control with horn and lights on the handlebar. I replaced that with a Lucas-type horn button and hoping this as well.
 

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Hi Ryan,

picked up a switch for the high/low beam
Fwiw, I really wouldn't; you just junked one cheap-'n'-nasty switch cluster, why would you pay 35 bucks :eek: for another one?

You remember the video @TR7RVMan Don posted for you in your "Brought this home ..." thread (post #15)? That bike has the BSA B25 handlebar cluster that I linked for you in this thread - post #5 - it shows clearly between 42 and 49 seconds and, at around 14-15 seconds, you see where the original dipswitch hole in the headlamp shell has been blocked off with a bolt and washer. Btw, the red button on the switch I linked is an engine kill button - very useful if the carb. throttle slide ever sticks ... :whistle:

Worst-case, I'll be amazed if you can't go online to a bike breaker and buy a wa-aa-ay higher-quality Japanese left-hand handlebar switch cluster for wa-aa-ay less than $35?

Whatever, you really can do better than that switch from CBS ... :cool:

Also, without intending any offence to CBS, for this bike ime and mho you really should be dealing with Peter Quick at BSA Unit Singles for your spares. And he can sell you the Rupert Ratio books I recommended when you first joined the Forum? ;)

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Hi Ryan,


Fwiw, I really wouldn't; you just junked one cheap-'n'-nasty switch cluster, why would you pay 35 bucks :eek: for another one?

You remember the video @TR7RVMan Don posted for you in your "Brought this home ..." thread (post #15)? That bike has the BSA B25 handlebar cluster that I linked for you in this thread - post #5 - it shows clearly between 42 and 49 seconds and, at around 14-15 seconds, you see where the original dipswitch hole in the headlamp shell has been blocked off with a bolt and washer. Btw, the red button on the switch I linked is an engine kill button - very useful if the carb. throttle slide ever sticks ... :whistle:

Worst-case, I'll be amazed if you can't go online to a bike breaker and buy a wa-aa-ay higher-quality Japanese left-hand handlebar switch cluster for wa-aa-ay less than $35?

Whatever, you really can do better than that switch from CBS ... :cool:

Also, without intending any offence to CBS, for this bike ime and mho you really should be dealing with Peter Quick at BSA Unit Singles for your spares. And he can sell you the Rupert Ratio books I recommended when you first joined the Forum? ;)

Hth.

Regards,
Stuart,

Thank you once again, and my apologies for missing some details in the previously provided wealth of information put together by yourself and the other great folks on here. I'm confident that the one in the video mentioned was the original equipment, and found in my parts catalog a reference to it, being in the later models of '69 it appears. I think pretty much everything I've ordered prior to engaging yourself and the folks on here has been, well, wrong, and I'll have a small stockpile of unreturnable items now to remind me to be more methodical and less eager when jumping into a new project :). I had already put one of the previously mentioned horn buttons on and my confusion was exacerbated by the parts diagram, workshop manual and differences between the early and late '69 models. I think I'm crystal clear now, and I appreciate your patience and follow-ups, despite my missing the bigger picture from the earlier conversation.

One thing I'm still a bit unclear on is the kill switch- I've had the throttle stick on me already (while not riding) and got it ironed out, and I can very much see how that would be a less than ideal situation on the road. I don't see one in my wiring diagram- is there a thread off the top of your head that details how to wire one in if they were not standard equipment on my bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
@StuartMac I also am excited to receive the recommended crimping tool and connectors you recommended. I think I was all-in about $85 US for the crimping tool, spades, bullets and sleeves. Still need the installation (pressing) tool
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hi rinowalrus, BPF means British Pre Focus. It's the type base/flange the bulb has. Supposedly the factory positions the flange on base such it puts filaments in focus inside reflector. In the old days with original bulbs I found that was the case. Now with reproduction bulbs it's a total crap shoot so you need to aim/align headlamp to the bulb you just installed.

I'm no expert on bulbs, but for the most part the 12v BPF blubs are basically sold in 2 versions. You can identify them by the position of filaments crossways & deflector inside bulb. Your new one is most commonly sold in USA as a 414 bulb. 50/40w. This bulb is sold as other numbers, but in real life it's the same bulb in brightness & focus.

The other bulb is most often sold as 370 or 303. 48/48w. The filaments, one crossways, one closer to tip of glass is longways, Deflector is longways. The focus of this bulb is very different.

If you get wrong bulb the light looks similar in brightness, but you have no defined beam on street. A circle of light, but you cannot see where you are going at all. One ride around block at night without street lights & you'll know if bulb isn't focused. The difference is that bad/obvious.

The bulb you need depends on the reflector/lens unit you have on bike. Reproduction refectors are not the same as original ones. So in real life you must trial fit the bulb & see how it looks on your street at night. When you get the bulb that best matches your reflector/lens you'll see a decided beam on the street. On a very dark street the light is usable, but that's about it. In city or highway with oncoming traffic it's kind of hard to see the road. We rode thousands of miles like that back then.

The charging system on these bikes was just enough to match the power demands with basically none to spare. Alternator output at lower RPM is low, so city riding with stop lights, headlamp on tends to slowly drain the battery. Putting in a larger watt brighter bulb gives more light, but drains battery even quicker.

As we know LED bulbs take a fraction of power of incandescent. Even on high beam the LED headlamp will be almost like not using headlamp so battery stays charged much better in city riding. Make no mistake if you have a charging problem, LED will not cure that & battery will still go dead.

LED bulbs don't have the same focus a the filaments, but recent improvements in LED have improved the focus greatly to where they effectively show the road possibly half again better than the bulb. Again depends on your reflector/lens.

Only one version BPF gives acceptable focus. The high beam indicator feeds back through LED & it defaults to high beam (all 16 LEDs on). You can disconnect indicator at headlamp wiring or just leave it. The low/high is really more beam width than up/down as you'd expect.

This the only LED BPF I've found to work decently. Look carefully at shape & LED position. This is the same bulb that is sold by many. But again get one that looks like this. I got mine here.


Saying that if your new bulb doesn't focus the LED won't focus either. I expect your new bulb will focus though. The 370 seems to work on much older bikes.

Some bulbs look visually similar, but looking close the deflector is offset the other side. This is for left or right dip. In USA low beam was biased to the right side of road. UK to the left. Personally I preferred UK version in USA. LED is not biased to my eyes.

Also the lens has lines on it. They should be vertical/horizontal. Not slanting. The reflector was supposed to be aligned in rim by tabs & tabs aligned rim to shell so you couldn't install crooked. Parking (pilot) bulb is normally on bottom of reflector. Old bikes didn't put out much light. When I was young it was good enough. Now.... it hard to see.

I've ridden many miles at night in the last 7 years. I feel the BPF LED bulb is worth $39 even if you only get caught at night once. I ride with many guys on old Triumphs. This LED bulb gives a very substantial advantage in daytime visibility to other motorists. I've paid attention to this & found MUCH fewer cars tend to pull out of driveways after installing this bulb. It's a win/win. Again try your new bulb first.

The cure for lights & charging system is to install latest 3 phase alternator & regulator. That's another subject. If you can get away with less light the original system will do fine. If you keep points ignition, bike will start & run with very low battery. Electronic ignition, you'll need good voltage or will loose spark.
Don
Thanks Don, this has been immensely helpful
 
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