Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have read a lot about quartz-halogen bulbs that are brighter than the standard original equipment manufacturers (OEM) bulbs. The Philips X-Treme Power and the Osram Night Breaker are the most popular based on my research. Philips X-Treme Power claims to be 80% brighter and Osram Night Breaker 90% brighter. Based on reading many web tests, owners opinions etc. on the internet, I decided that the Philips product was my personal choice.

Both these bulbs are the same 60/55 watt as OEM bulbs but are optimixed for a brighter light, and as you will see, also better light distribution in my test. There are higher wattage bulbs available, but they create more heat (bad for your plastics and lenses), don't last as long (due to the excess heat) and are illegal in the U.S.A.

Yes, I know that xenon lights will be better still, but I decided to stay with my stock lighting and just improve it as much as I could with a minimal outlay of money.

I bought one pair of H4 Philips X-Treme Power bulbs from www.motorbulbs.com in England (they had the lowest cost in my search). They cost 21.27 pounds which translated to U.S. $31.53. The exchange rate was 1 pound = $1.48 when I ordered. The pound has fallen more since so the bulbs would be slightly cheaper now. Shipping was free.

I ordered on the internet on Jan. 6, 2009. They were out of stock for a few days so the bulbs were shipped from England on Jan 13 and received, undamaged, on Jan. 22, 2009 at my home in Florida, U.S.A. The Philips bulb is slighter smaller in diameter than the OEM bulb and has a slight blue color on the tip.

The bulbs were installed in a 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200 Special Edition. This motorcycle has two H4 headlight bulbs. Access to the headlights is made by removing the windscreen. Then remove the two allen screws that hold the instruments in place, and unscrew the speedometer cable. This will allow you to move the instruments aside sufficently to access the headlights. Remove the plugs from the back of the headlight bulbs, remove the rubber boot, swing to the side the wire that holds the bulbs in place. Remove the OEM bulbs and replace with Philips X-Treme Power (or your bulb of choice).

NEVER touch the bulb glass as skin acid will shorten service life. If you touch them by accident, clean with methylated spirit and dry before installing.

To test the OEM versus Philips X-Treme Power I pointed the motorcycle across my lawn. I placed two white stakes 10 yards (9.144 meters) apart and 50 yards (45.72 m) in front of the motorcycle. There is a small tree between the white stakes and another 12 yards (10.97m) beyond them. The small tree is therefore 62 yards (56.69m) from the motorcycle. This tree can only be seen in the high beam photos as it is beyond the reach of the low beams.

Now for the photo results. The 1st photo is the OEM low beams. The 2nd photo is the OEM high beams. The 3rd photo is the Philips low beams. The 4th, and last, photo is the Philips high beams.

My observations - Low Beams:

The Philips is noticeably brighter. They reach about 5 yards (4.57m) further. They have a wider dispersion of light both close in front of the bike and at 50 yards. Notice how the white stake on the right is in the dark with the OEM bulbs, but is brightly lit with the Philips.

My observations - High Beams:

The OEM high beams have a hot spot about 30 yards (27.43m) out, but the ground closer to the bike is relatively dark. The Philips is again brighter, particularly close to the bike. The Philips is broader - note the left and right is better lit. Finally the Philips is going futher - note that even my neighbor's trees across the street, estimated at about 140 yards (128m), are illuminated.

In summary, I feel that the Philips X-Treme Power bulbs are a significant improvement over the OEM bulbs, and well worth the relatively minor expense.

I hope that this analysis will help those who have been wondering, as I was, if Philips X-treme Power would provide better lighting.

Finally, I add below a similar and interesting experiment with bulb replacements that was done with tractors (I guess farmers plow by night). Philips did well here too, and this site was instrumental in my choice of the Philips X-Treme Power.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2008/02/13/109339/tractor-headlight-bulbs-on-test.html
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have read a lot about quartz-halogen bulbs that are brighter than the standard original equipment manufacturers (OEM) bulbs. The Philips X-Treme Power and the Osram Night Breaker are the most popular based on my research. Philips X-Treme Power claims to be 80% brighter and Osram Night Breaker 90% brighter. Based on reading many web tests, owners opinions etc. on the internet, I decided that the Philips product was my personal choice.
Excellent write-up.

From what I've read, both are good bulbs; the Nighbreaker is a little bit brighter and quite a bit whiter, but at the expense of shorter life. Is that what you concluded, and was the Philip's longer life the reason why you chose it?

Interesting info here: http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2151068
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,434 Posts
John, A timely report for me, thanks! The '04 on low beam has a very defined border at the outer limit and only gets worse when bent into a turn. The Phillips appears to have just the pattern I'm looking for.

Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Youcanrunnaked,

Sorry for the late reply, but I had a busy weekend and had a little trouble bringing up the Triumph site too. Maybe their server was having a "timeout".

I had come across the Honda site before in my own research and also found it interesting. My primary reason for getting the Philips X-Treme Power over the Osram NightBreaker was that I opted for more light over the whitest light. When I combined the info from the Honda site with the info from the tractor test (see the end of my test results), it seemed that the Philips had the edge. The tractor test folks seemed to feel the same. Lastly, there are a lot of deer where I live and I do a lot of night riding, so more light to see them is my priority.

DISCOUNT OFFER:
WWW.MOTORBULBS.COM read my test and sent me an e-mail last week saying that they would offer a discount to this triumph site. Just enter "triumphrat" (without quotes of course) during the order process. They did not say how much the discount is. I noticed that the current price (before the discount, whatever that is) is slightly more than I paid - likely because the British pound has fallen against the Euro and the Philips bulbs are made in Germany. Nevertheless, MotorBulbs seems to have very competitive pricing and ship free. They carry the Osram bulbs too if you prefer them.

I wrote one of the moderators about the discount offer and he wanted MotorBulbs to put this in the "advertising" section, rather than me put it into a new thread. I don't know if this will happen and I hate to see a possible benefit go to waste, so I put it here in a post. I may try a thread too, but it may be deleted by the site. I put the offer up in a thread on the Kawasaki site - their code is "zxforums" - (I have a Concours 14 too) and they don't mind, but the Triumph site seems to run herd on members more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
youcanrunnaked,

Sorry to take so long to reply, but I had a busy weekend and then a problem posting.

I saw the Honda site you mentioned before when researching what bulbs to buy. Taking that site, the tractor site that I mention in my test, as well as some other blogs of lessor import, I decided that I wanted the greatest amount of light, even if it was not the whitest available. In this, the tractor test seems to concur that the Philips X-Treme Power bulb puts out more light, but the Osram Nightbreaker is whiter and therefore less strenuous on the eyes. I just feel that the Philips will give me a small edge in seeing some emergency. I do a lot of night riding and there are a lot of deer where I live, thererfore my emphasis on the greatest amount of light possible. Bulb life was not a consideration.

Bradtx,

I would suspect that a bulb upgrade may have even better results with your 955i than I had. My D12 has antiquated 5.75" headlights and these lenses/reflectors can not deliver anything like the lighting of more modern designs. My 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 (called GTR 1400 beyond N. America) puts my Daytona lighting to shame with stock (not X-Tremes) Philips H4 bulbs.

Because of the D12's poor headlamps, I am now looking at possibly buying two Cibie's to go with my new Philips X-Tremes. I am having difficulty in determining if a change to Cibie will be an improvement over the D12's stock Koito lamps. If anyone has experience with Cibie I would like to hear from them, but chances are such experience is over in Triumph twins (who must make do with a single headlight, Yikes!) as those bikes also have 5.75" lamps.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,085 Posts
Thanks for the update John, looks like the threads reading OK again after a small hitch !


---------------
Ride on ! ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,199 Posts
Good report. I went with the Osrams. Great bulbs so far. Phillips makes good stuff, including HID conversions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks for the additional info.

To return the favor, and by way of introduction, I'll post here that powerbulbs.com in the UK also has a discout code -- (10%) -- enter AYSCX1729 at checkout. Plus, if your order > £ 15 (e.g., any hi-po halogen twin-pack), you get a free pair of hi-po side marker bulbs (For autos, obviosly). Plus free worldwide shipping. Plus the OSRAM Nightbreakers are currently on 20% off (and you can still take the 10% discount, so, 30% off!). Good prices on the Philips and other bulbs, too.

For anyone who's interested, here's the thread from my "home" that started me down this road. http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=94415

Nice forum you have here. I'm considering a particular Thunderbird Sport atm (but will prolly pass). I <3 Triumphs. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Backdazzel or reflective glare

youcanrunnaked,

Competition is good and gives us, the buyers, better products, service and prices!

Your link to the SVRider site brings up another interesting aspect of the path to better lighting. The very first post on the SVRider forum writes about problems with reflective glare, particularly in rain and fog.

Now I refer you to the following site which I have seen mentioned by others here and at other forums where Daniel Stern writes about "backdazzel".
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/csr.html

It is in a long page of information, so scroll down to the heading, in red print, "let's look at the diagrams". He is selling the Cibie SCR lamp here, but the idea is the same, that is, that the reflector and lens play a principle part in directing the light generated by the bulb. A lens/reflector that directs the light better can solve the "backdazzel" problem.

Well, most of us motorcycle owners can not change out our reflector/lens because they have become part of the physical structure in modern bikes, so can only change bulbs. However, those who still have 5.75" lamps (and quite a few Triumph models do including my D12) have another possibility to think about on the path to better lighting, such as Cibie, Hella or another brand of lens/reflectors.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top