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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this has been discussed, but after a few hours of reading and searching, I haven't found the info I need. So, I'll apologize in advance if this is a retread...

I love my new '03 ST. But the dim lights suck. They only illuminate about 40 feet in front of me. I start my commute at 5:30 every morning, so I ride in the dark a lot. What is the recommended upgrade for the poor lights? I'm looking for longer and wider illumination, not just brighter. Should I look for accessory driving lights? Or an HID upgrade for the stock headlight? Any specific recommendations?

TIA


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I know what you mean about leaving in the dark. My lights suck too but for a different reason.

I'd stay away from the "blue" lights, anything over (I think) 5K don't shed anymore light and actually make it harder to see anything. Plus they annoy the sh*t out of me. Usually little imports with the coffee can exhausts screaming "look at me" use them. I think they suck.

People have posted good results with simple light upgrades. Can't remember any brand names though. HIDs can also be fit but I haven't tried them.
 

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Depends on your budget.
I have just received a set of Denali D2D lights from Twisted Throttle.
I havent fitted them yet but i HAVE seen them fitted on a Tiger 1050 and wow they light up the place!

Best thing is, when that dreaded time comes to retire the sprint, unbolt them for the next bike ;).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do these upgrades actually light stuff up farther ahead? Or just make the same light area brighter?

Is there a way to adjust the lights like you do with a car? To raise them up a bit?


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Fairly sure you adjust them the same way as a car with a spanner on some nuts on the back of the housing. I havent had to do it myself though so i havent gone hunting.

The D2D's can work two ways with the diffusers provided - either light ahead quite substantially, or diffuse and give you corner lighting. Not so good for oncoming cars so i have plans to them set up to run on high beam only (unless i override with a manual switch).
On the tiger referenced above, the rider describes it as good at either setup, but not enough at both - to say, have one as a spot and one as a diffuse.

It might take a little for me to get the bike finished off, but i plan on doing a review of all the stuff im doing, lights included.
 

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I had a pair of 35w PIAA 004xt's on my BMW and really liked them.
They are hard to beat at the price: http://tinyurl.com/8esz2cj

I went the full 35w HID route on my '08 Sprint and am very happy with the result. I nearly doubled my light output and conserved about 1 amp of needed alternator output.
 

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Oh, should point out i upgraded my original globes to osram nightbreakers.
Cant really say they throw any more light as claimed, but the colour intensity was different (i forget which) and as above, that really improved how well i could see what the light DID hit.
Still wasnt happy though so opted for the D2d's then too ;).

edit: globes not gloves lol...
 

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I put a set of DDM Tuning HIDs in my 2001 Sprint. I went with the 35 watt 4500K hi/low kit. Cost about $70 with shipping. They have a lifetime warranty. Best upgrade I ever did. I almost never use the high beams because there is so much light available with the low beam. Actually there is no difference in output, just a solenoid that moves the bulb from the low to high position. They also draw 20-25 less watts per bulb than the stock bulbs. I could have gone for the 55 watt kit, but that would be overkill most of the time. I had to go back to the stock bulbs once due to a control box failure and couldn't see anything. It was like they were not even on. Which was why I upgraded them in the first place. Much cheaper than any of the auxiliary light solutions out there.

http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DDM-35W-55W-Dual-Motorcycle-HID-Kit

You want to select the 9007 hi/low bulb, 35 watts and 4500k.

You will need to remove the entire front fairing to install them. I've got the ignitors and ballasts mounted above each headlight. The control box is mounted to the bottom of the black dash on the far right with velcro. I had to modify the wire harness to both extend the positive to the battery and also merge the two separate ground and extend them to the battery. I also had to modify the rubber cups that go over the back of the lights to seal them off. The hole is too small, so I had to make it bigger to fit the larger base on the HID bulb.
 

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light Adjustment

Hi this is how you adjust your beam alignment see attached instructions. Philips H1 BLUE VISION ULTRA or New Osram Night Breaker Plus will give a better light. Don't just put higher wattage bulbs in things will melt the wiring is on the light side and cannot handle any more watts.
Cheers Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll try adjusting the low beams first. Hopefully that will give me more forward night vision. Then, if that isn't enough, I'll get the HID upgrade. Seems like $70 or so isn't bad for improved vision at night.

Quick question for Paul, your instructions say to remove the cockpit. Is that the instrument panel? Or the fairing? The drawing seems to be the back of the lights, but it seems odd to go at it from behind the instrument panel. Is that the right way to do it?


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jvswam, I think Triumph mean the fairing as cockpit, you may be able to get to the screws for adjusting the alignment without removing the fairing,shine a torch in there and have a look if you have small hands you could do it.
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the wiring info. I'll check that out when I pull the fairing to adjust the headlights.


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Sorry - the thread I linked is for 05+ - essentially same problem exists for the 03, although its solution is slightly different.
With the 03, it's possible to reconfigure the OEM relays with better gauge wiring to achieve same result - similar to this thread
Note that when you check the voltage at the lamp connectors, they must be connected and lights on to get the true voltage while operating.
 

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I've not upgraded my lights yet beyond installing better bulbs. My problem is with the throw of light. It seems when I am in a turn I can't see where I am going. I am afraid adding more light will not change the coverage area. I am saving my coins till I can afford a good LED driving light that throws a wide pattern. I don't have enough juice to run my heated gear and a nice pair of PIAA's or similar driving lights. Can anyone recommend a good set of LED driving lights that I could mount to the base of the mirror stalks that won't break the bank?
 

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Considering that a decent HID kit is less $ than Xtremes or Night Breakers, I just put in a pair of 35w slim ballast H7 HIDs in the mains. I have yet to really test them out, but the cutoff is very defined and the projectors do a good job of focusing the beam, so I'm not anticipating the lights blinding oncoming motorists.
I'm debating whether to go with a 55w HID for the high beam as I'm concerned that the time that it takes for the ballast to 'warm' may defeat a quick use of the high beam.

Wiring & install of the slim kit was straightforward, but I had to put the right ballast in the glove box :( since there really isn't a good place for it elsewhere. Fortunately it's really small, so there's still some room in this tiny compartment.
I'm regretting going with the 6000k as it's bluer than I'd like. My goal is to get the best lighting possible without offending oncoming drivers. The look of my lights to others isn't my goal.
Anyone here have experience with HID in the high beam and the 'warm up' delay?
 

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I have yet to really test them out, but the cutoff is very defined and the projectors do a good job of focusing the beam, so I'm not anticipating the lights blinding oncoming motorists.
I'm debating whether to go with a 55w HID for the high beam as I'm concerned that the time that it takes for the ballast to 'warm' may defeat a quick use of the high beam.

Wiring & install of the slim kit was straightforward, but I had to put the right ballast in the glove box :( since there really isn't a good place for it elsewhere.
I'm regretting going with the 6000k as it's bluer than I'd like. My goal is to get the best lighting possible without offending oncoming drivers. The look of my lights to others isn't my goal.
Anyone here have experience with HID in the high beam and the 'warm up' delay?
JPTL
You will have to adjust(especially the left beam) the HIDs to get the beam farther down the road and at the same time to keep from blinding on-coming drivers. Take my word for it.

Making sense of installing a third HID really comes down to where you ride. If you are shutting down the existing halogen hi-beam every few miles, it's not worth the trouble. For instance, if you kill a HID to pass a single vehicle or one on-coming, you will return to about 50% brilliance immediately. If your hi-beam is off for much more than say 1 min., then you will start-up from scratch. If I ever rode in heavy/constant traffic, I'd throw the hi-beam HID away!

Take your ballast out of the glovebox and get some 3M double-sided tape. I have my ballast/igniter stuck to the curved part of the lamp housing. No problems in over 3yrs.

As far as your 6K lamps. DDM Tuning: http://tinyurl.com/4c9stcm
sells lamps for $15.00 a pair. Take your old ones and consider it a lesson learned. ps. I have 3400K and love em!
 

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Bruce, thanks for the insightful advice. It's exactly what I was looking for.
I had thought out the effect of an HID high beam needing to 'warm' before providing full light, but your confirmation of that helps me decide: an Xtreme or Night Breaker for my high beam. I'll try the right ballast relocate as well. I was set on a non-curved spot, but with the right tape and/or zip ties, there are better, less intrusive spots.
The HID supplier is sending me 5000k's for $8.50, so I'll be good in that regard.
Thanks again for the reply.
 

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JPTL

I assume you live in the Wash. DC area, so sticking with a high output halogen hi-beam lamp makes a lot of sense.

Here is a couple pics. of the left & right side ballasts and igniters double-sided taped to the headlight housing and area plastic.

I found a roll of 3M industrial grade tape in a local True-Value Hardware store.
The double-side tape that came with my HIDs was junk and failed within 3 months.
I just cleaned the mounting spots with alcohol first.
 
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