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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

Thanks, Thruxty.
 

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I have a ‘14 Thruxton and started with your second option of the LED bulb with the braided heat sink. I absolutely loved it as I was able to retain the stock look, but that bulb only lasted 2 years before the low beam LED died. I had trouble locating another with the braid as it seemed all of the manufacturers had switched to the hard fin style. I don’t like the idea of cramming those into the bucket as it’s already fairly crowded in there.

Beginning of this season I switched to the cyclops style knock off from eBay. I’m not the biggest fan of the look, but I’ve gotten used to it and it’s output is at least double of the LED bulb I had. FYI the retaining ring will have to be slightly bent to fit this properly, but it’s not that hard to do.

I live/ride in a major metropolitan area, so for me, I’m more worried about being seen rather than lighting up the road in front of me. The cyclops style definitely accomplished that task, and even does a good job of lighting up the road even with all the big city lights.

Like I said, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the look, but bang for your buck and for your safety, I think the eBay cyclops is the best way to go.


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my low-beam had failed ... enhanced with the Eastern Beaver Hi/Low Relay set up
I have that relay as well, and an upgraded R/R. I blow bulbs about every 5-10k miles (https://www.triumphrat.net/air-cooled-twins-technical-talk/158069-bulb-longevity-7.html#post2360289). I now replace it every time I change my oil.

I use the Philips X-treme Vision, cheap and easy to get, work well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QJWUPC6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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As you have the Eastern Beaver hi/lo relay upgrade (which ensures higher voltage at the headlight bulb) I'd recommend the following:


  1. ditch the horrible stock lens/reflector (plastic) for a proper (glass) Hella 7" one - you won't believe the difference.
  2. as @BonnieBlack says, go for a high-output halogen bulb (Philips X-treme vision or Osram Night Breaker - whatever you can find at you local automotive parts store:
    • higher voltage means brighter lights
    • but (as @BonnieBlack noted) the bulbs fry quicker (replace at the start of every season)
The advantage of sticking with the H4 halogen solution is that pretty much every petrol station on the planet has them in stock (if and when the bulb blows when out in the sticks).

My setup is slightly different, but the theory is the same: 7" Hella + m-Unit + Shorai battery = over 14V at the bulb - my single headlight lights up motorway signage during daylight....

Tim
 
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I said it in another post, but this combo cured all of my woes. Hella glass H4 lens/reflector, and this bulb: http://stores.advmonster.com/native-h4r2/?src=prn#write_review

The Native H4R2 bulb puts out great light, and the heat sink is on the bulb side, so it's the exact same dimensions as a normal H4 bulb. No heat sink on the back side to melt the wires in your headlight bucket.
 

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I'd be interested in a complete LED headlight unit, but I wouldn't know where to start looking. There are loads on Ebay............wrangler types starting at £25..........They have a massive heatsink, which worries me about ,melted wires................I'd probably spend £150 for one..........so if anyone has recommenfdations, please feel free........................

Thanks

Rob
 

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I just installed a 7” LED headlight with built in turn signals on my bike. I think it looks bad ass. Cheap and Bright as hell too.




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I said it in another post, but this combo cured all of my woes. Hella glass H4 lens/reflector, and this bulb: http://stores.advmonster.com/native-h4r2/?src=prn#write_review

The Native H4R2 bulb puts out great light, and the heat sink is on the bulb side, so it's the exact same dimensions as a normal H4 bulb. No heat sink on the back side to melt the wires in your headlight bucket.
That's an interesting solution, heat sink up front. My headlight shell is to crowded for me to be comfortable getting the fan/sink in there.

Researched around some, ADVMonster has too many customer service complaints for my taste. These seem to be the same, but you'd need to buy a pair: https://www.amazon.com/NSLUMO-Headlight-Conversion-Motorcyle-Headlamp/dp/B07V8G2K9P

Under $20 each, if you're willing to buy in bulk :) https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/high-quality-brightest-Fighter-LED-Headlight_62108715047.html

If I felt better about reliability maybe ... but I don't have the luck. Every "it'll last forever bulb" I've ever purchased hasn't.
 

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Last weekend I installed a Hella reflector with lens and an H4 LED from superbrightleds.com. The reflector and lens alone made a big difference, as the factory was useless with the high beam!

I am pleased with the LED (fixed heat sink) and it fit just fine in the bucket. 2013 Bonnie T100 with 7" headlamp. Had to modify rubber dust cover to accept LED.
 

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LED Headlight and Lesson about LED position light

Hi there,

I have had this H4 LED unit installed since 2016. Had to enlarge the opening in the headlight shell but nothing too drastic. I did not want to cram any heat sink ribbon into the crowded headlight bucket, so went with the fan. This has worked well up to a few weeks ago when it failed on me early Sunday morning. I thought it was a bad connection at the H4 socket, so took it all out, bent the contacts a little, put back with copious amounts of bulb grease in the socket to ensure current flow. However same thing happened this Sunday. So I checked the contacts, all seemed well, did not flicker when socket wiggled, etc. so puzzled. Put the bike on center stand, started up and after a minute or so, the light went out without any impact or contact from me. So, deduced the LED circuit or unit itself is failing once up to some temperature.
Decided to buy another one ($18 on Amazon) and try again - The replacement worked fine and may even last more than three years!

p.s. Lesson about LED Position Light - when the Original H4 unit arrived it included an LED position light(the new one did not). I put the position light in the socket, no light - checked all the fuses, had 12 V at the socket, but no position light.
So, just thought it was a dud. This week looking for a replacement LED position light, I see this on another vendor's product description "LED lights are unidirectional for current - if your light does not work, flip it 180 degrees and re-insert" - DUHHH! - ancient physics came back - that's what a diode (LED) does, it allows current only one way. Flipped my LED position light 180 degrees and bingo it lights up!
 

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I said it in another post, but this combo cured all of my woes. Hella glass H4 lens/reflector, and this bulb: http://stores.advmonster.com/native-h4r2/?src=prn#write_review

The Native H4R2 bulb puts out great light, and the heat sink is on the bulb side, so it's the exact same dimensions as a normal H4 bulb. No heat sink on the back side to melt the wires in your headlight bucket.
I followed this advice and the difference was night and day ... badump bump

Seriously, I got a Hella from Amazon and the ADVMonster light and it's remarkable the difference you get on the bike. Plus, it looks stock, unless you know what to look for. This was a great upgrade to my '13 T100.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
As I started this thread, an update...

In the short term, and with time running out (I need to ride at night), I went with a Sylvania 9003 Ultra. Comes in an orange pack, and is their brightest option of the halogen bulb range (among 9003/H4 replacements). $25 from Walmarts. A two pack is also available for around $45.00

Having already made the investment in the accompanying Eastern Beaver relay, must admit it is bright! Working well for me for both high and low beams until I make a decision on the LED replacement. Will see how long it lasts.

Leaning towards a head shell/lens replacement plus the Native H4 R2 others have suggested. Like the idea of the cooling fins inside the reflector and away from other wires behind the head shell.

Question for those that have tried the Native H4 R2...what kind of life are you getting out of the bulb? Anyone had it in use for two or three years, or still too new to comment?
 

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I think it depends on what kind of riding you routinely do.

I nearly never ride after sunset. In fact I avoid it.

My Bonnie has a Signal Dynamics headlight pulse modulator.

It pulses a Phillips Halogen bulb behind a Cibie Lens.

The combo is spectacular for me.

My first experience with Signal Dynamics was about 15 years ago. I have been riding now for 50+ years.

Nothing has ever given me visibility like a modulated headlight.

On the other hand if I rode at night there is no question I would go to LED.

Signal Dynamics can also modulate an LED and in the US its DOT approved.
 
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