Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One of the only things that I really don't like about my '05 is the lighting. I have the good luck to have a twisty back road on my way back and forth from work, but now that it's getting dark early, I'm finding myself just taking city streets because I literally cannot see the road in any of the corners. It's pretty exciting to try and ride by following the yellow stripe, but that's not really the kind of excitement I want.

I saw a link in another thread to http://ddmtuning.com/ddmhidkits.html - a single bulb HID kit is only about $50 US (with a 55W ballast!) and they have a lifetime warranty. All the other HID kits are MUCH more expensive, so I'm wondering what the deal is with these. Fifty bucks is almost cheap enough that I'm willing to try it without knowing, but if anyone has tried I'd be interested to hear about it.

I'm thinking of getting one and replacing the high-beam to see how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Smoothbrain there are plenty of threads containing info on HID conversions. Worth doing a search.

The general consensus is that they do make an improvement over the standard bulbs.

You can convert both the high and low beams to HID. If you just do the high beam you don't need to fit a relay. You will need a relay if you convert both of the low beams because of the current draw at start up.

Converting just the high beam will improve vision straight ahead but the beam width is not very wide. It is very important to adjust the headlight aiming, mine was way out, others have made similar comments.

The most light output on HIDs is the white light region around 4000-5000K after that the lumens start to drop off.

The only real downside to fitting HIDs is that the pass light will not function very well on the high beam as it takes 2-3 seconds for the light to come up to full brightness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
I used to live next door to the guy that owns DDM tuning/Apexcone, and we're fellow BMW M3 enthusiasts. He's a bonifide EE, and he designs all the electronics for those HIDs, and then has them assembled in China. My M3 was a test mule for more than a few products.

He took making HID kits and light rings for local M3 owners from a garage hobby to a full time job. He now spends half his time in China staying on top of production, and makes kits for almost every application now.

Long story short, the DDM stuff is of pretty good quality, and Jim's warranty philosphy is this: "Don't work? Here's a new set". Seriously. Can't get much more peace of mind than that.

As for pricing, keep in mind, these ARE made in China, and there's no middlemen (that's a huge part of cost increase for Chinese goods), they go direct from the factory to Jim's warehouse in California.

BTW, I have his latest generation slim ballast HID kit in my M3, replacing a 4 year old prototype kit, and it works great. Reason I replaced? Left bulb was shattered along with the headlight lens when a "hockey mom" backed into my BMW with her Mercedes SUV in a parking lot last year.

If you do decide to buy a kit, I recommend you buy the lowest color temp. The higher temp (more blue) might look better to some, but they don't put out as much usable light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If you read what I posted, you would see that I asked for info on a specific product which I found by doing a search of the HID conversion threads. :D

Smoothbrain there are plenty of threads containing info on HID conversions. Worth doing a search.

The general consensus is that they do make an improvement over the standard bulbs.

You can convert both the high and low beams to HID. If you just do the high beam you don't need to fit a relay. You will need a relay if you convert both of the low beams because of the current draw at start up.

Converting just the high beam will improve vision straight ahead but the beam width is not very wide. It is very important to adjust the headlight aiming, mine was way out, others have made similar comments.

The most light output on HIDs is the white light region around 4000-5000K after that the lumens start to drop off.

The only real downside to fitting HIDs is that the pass light will not function very well on the high beam as it takes 2-3 seconds for the light to come up to full brightness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
with regards of being too lazy to do a search. sorry OND :D. would you gurus think it would be wise to get the dual light setup, and just replace the lowbeams?? or will the sprint just blind everyone with HID?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
wannab
My experience with the ST is not that the low beams need improvement, its the high beam that is the problem. you have a very narrow focused high beam with marginal illumination. HIDs in your low beam should not affect any other drivers (blinding them) if you have them properly adjusted. The real problem i see is the sharp cutoff on the low beam (which the HIDs will not correct) and then the gawd awful high beam, which the HID should help with increased illumination but it will not change the optics to give you any wider coverage as its all a function the existing projector headlamp reflector design, HIDs will not correct that but will give you more projected illumination distance within the parameters of the the existing reflector design and some re-aiming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
wannab
My experience with the ST is not that the low beams need improvement, its the high beam that is the problem. you have a very narrow focused high beam with marginal illumination. HIDs in your low beam should not affect any other drivers (blinding them) if you have them properly adjusted. The real problem i see is the sharp cutoff on the low beam (which the HIDs will not correct) and then the gawd awful high beam, which the HID should help with increased illumination but it will not change the optics to give you any wider coverage as its all a function the existing projector headlamp reflector design, HIDs will not correct that but will give you more projected illumination distance within the parameters of the the existing reflector design and some re-aiming.
+100000

Totally agree with you on that one, I think you're right on it. Basically, we're f**ed with the inherent poor design of the reflectors, both in terms of cutoffs and too tightly focused highs.

Personnally, I am still going to do an HID switch on my '05 Sprint sometimes this winter, as this can only help, but wish I could afford to buy the whole '08 unit AND THEN switch and put HID in them. But I think this would be a very expensive fix for something that the Triumph engineers should have thought in the first place...

Ahh, but at the same time, this is one of the only minor flaws that this beautiful bike has, so I'm not going to be too rough with them ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,561 Posts
I have the new Apexcone set up on low beam only on my '07 Tiger-WOW! TRY IT YOU WILL LIKE IT-THE LIGHT IS SUPERB-dont even need high beam except for flashing -I also have a set of PIAA 1100 lights- this bike/light set-up turns night into day. The Apexcone is really great. It is a great buy compared to the other kits on the market and as far as I can tell performs as good or better than anyhting out htere. Buy it you will like it (love it!)
Get the one they suggest as it is all you can ever need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
If you read what I posted, you would see that I asked for info on a specific product which I found by doing a search of the HID conversion threads. :D
My apologies.

That link you gave didn't provide any pics of the kit.

From what I have seen of most these kits on Ebay, etc. is that they mostly come from the same Chinese factory and are rebadged as Bosch, Hella or whatever.

$50 ain't much, just go ahead and order the kit, they usually come with a warranty so there ain't much to lose is there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
The real problem i see is the sharp cutoff on the low beam (which the HIDs will not correct) and then the gawd awful high beam
Exactly. One of my winter projects is to switch the wiring such that the middle lamp only is on at low beam, and all three are on at high beam. The outside lamps can then be aimed high to help overcome the cutoff without blinding oncoming vehicles. If it doesn't turn out well, I can always put it back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
opinions please...

I intend on upgrading the headlights on my '06 1050.

I have had a few ideas and have read other peoples, but still not decided on exactly how yet.

What I'm considering that hasn't been suggested by anyone (as far as I can tell, and there is probably a good reason!) is putting HID bulbs in one of my low beams and the high beam.

I find that the biggest problem with the lights is the high beam; it stops exactly where the low beam does - it just fills in the gap in the middle. pointless.

I have been looking on ebay at this kit:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120369802090&sspagename=STRK:MEWAX:VRI&viewitem=&salenotsupported

(if the link doesn't work it is item number 120369802090 on ebay.co.uk)

It seems great value and includes a set of 2. I could put them both in the low beams and put up with the rubbish high beam and see if it works out. second option is use one of them in the high and keep a spare or stick the spare into one of the low beams leaving the other as standard.

Would this be beneficial? Would it be safe? could I position it so that it worked? if it was OK to do it, which side low beam would you suggest? (I live in England so drive on the left!)

my other thought was to buy a third single setup and have all three lights HID - but would the high beam be relatively useless if both the lows were the same HID??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Exactly. One of my winter projects is to switch the wiring such that the middle lamp only is on at low beam, and all three are on at high beam. The outside lamps can then be aimed high to help overcome the cutoff without blinding oncoming vehicles. If it doesn't turn out well, I can always put it back.
Now that's a novel idea :) I'd like to see some photos after you made the switch. Your feedback on how useful the very narrow pattern of the centre projector is for low beam use would be very helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I'm probably going to do the HID upgrade pretty quick myself.

There seems to be a couple of choices available for the ballast system, 35W or 55W ballasts.

Is there any danger of cooking the wiring system by using the 55W system? Is it worth the extra light output?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I'm probably going to do the HID upgrade pretty quick myself.

There seems to be a couple of choices available for the ballast system, 35W or 55W ballasts.

Is there any danger of cooking the wiring system by using the 55W system? Is it worth the extra light output?

Very good question.. you know why ? Because I asked myself the exact same one. :rolleyes::)

So, what do you electrically enclined people think, is it safe ?
Would I need to change the wirings going to the HID units ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
244 Posts
Folks,

Take this for what it is worth: I showed the HID upgrade to my mechanic and he asked whether I had the 35W or the 55W. I told him I had the 35W version and he said "Good, some people have been reporting that the headlight housing was getting cooked by the 55W versions." Don't know if there is any truth to that or not, it is just what he said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Very good question.. you know why ? Because I asked myself the exact same one. :rolleyes::)

So, what do you electrically enclined people think, is it safe ?
Would I need to change the wirings going to the HID units ?
The triumph wiring is pretty minimal in all areas. I've read on here and the daytona forums that upgrading to a better gauge wiring nets you better battery charging while riding and a better voltage output as well. It definitely can't hurt.

Edit: Also for what it is worth try sitting down in front of your bike in the path of the low beams and look at your lights. In three weeks when your retina heal come back on here and tell me your lights aren't bright enough. Brightness is not the issue with these lights, usable pattern is the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Just a point about the wiring, I've got a good quality HID kit (4300K) in my '04 now (and previous 2 ST's) but had 2 cheaper Chinese ballasts (35w) and 6000K bulbs a while ago and they both packed up, so I'd go with a reputable make. Also the bulbs can 'go off' after some time, getting dimmer with age. There's quite a difference between 6000K and 4300K, much better light on the 4300 especially when it's raining.

If you buy a kit you shouldn't need to modify the wiring loom, but make sure you get a separate power supply harness and switchgear directly from the battery, it's a bit of a fiddle to get it all in but this bypasses the existing power supply and the 3 -pin connector is just used for switching. You could cook the wiring without it after repeated start-ups, don't rely on the existing loom for power. Newer kits should have the harness included. You can use the pass switch with most HIDs as they are instantly bright when you switch them on, then dim and get back to full brightness after a few seconds. When you start the bike, wait a few seconds after switching on before you thumb the starter, on my '03 it had an on/off switch for the lights, so I'd start it, then switch them on, this is because the headlight cut-out relay doesn't function with direct wiring, so you're trying to start it with a heavy current draw while the lights are warming up.
Cheers, Swamp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
4300k?

Thanks for the info so far.

I'm interested that you think the 4300K gives better light. I have mostly seen 6000K recommended. I have still never seen any in the flesh as it were. what is better about them, and why are they better in the rain?

Is all this extra wiring really necessary? I was kind've hoping this would be a reasonably straightforward job.

As for the reputable brand - if they come with a 2 year warranty then I reckon cheap ones are almost disposable after that!?

As for bulbs going off, I presume the bulbs themselves can be replaced separately from everything else, no??

Thanks again

Jon
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top