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Online miles

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Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« on: January 10, 2015, 04:12:12 AM »
Those of us in North America know the joy of hitting the high beam and enjoying glorious light bathing the entire road... for two seconds.  Then the low beam kicks off and the weak high beam struggles to illuminate anything at all by its lonesome.

This really bothers me.  The bike's greatest flaw, without a doubt.  I tend to ride into the evening and night quite frequently, generally in really remote, twisty back roads with woods, deer, and other obstacles around every corner.

I want light.  A lot of it.  I can't imagine the circumstance when I'd really prefer to have less than all of the possible light the bike can throw.

I've added driving lights- some LEDs angled slightly up and out* so they shine into turns as I lean, but they leave a gap in the middle which is woefully undefiled by the stock headlights.
I swapped out the halogens for LEDs to give more light, and in the low beam reflector that worked great.  Way better than stock with a really nice pattern with good cut-off and few artefacts.
However, in the projector high beam the LED might as well have been a candle.  It simply did not work with the lens and housing.  This has everything to do with the light emitter's location and the housing's focal point.  It simply isn't going to work.

My next step is a 50W HID (which in non-technical terms is as bright as jet aircraft landing lights) for the high beam.  Careful measurement seems to indicate a very similar light source point to the OEM halogen, so the housing should work fine.  I'm planning on spending Sunday installing it, so I'll know before too long.  Juggling the ballast, ignitor and CanBus corrector in the space available is going to be a joy...

If the HID doesn't work with the stock projector housing, the next step is to swap the housing for another one that does.  I've been some digging and have found an HID-specific housing with the same external dimensions and mounting points, which would hopefully swap right in with minimal fuss.  Of course, this is a step I'd rather not take if I don't have to...

Meanwhile, I have a cure for the idiotic 'high beam on means low beam off' behavior.  I already have a power distribution block (A PDM-60) to run my various electric stuff, so I'll simply wire the low beam to that.  The PDM has a 30 second delay after the key is turned, so it won't draw when starting the bike.  It also shuts off 30 seconds after the key is turned off, so it'll mimic closely the typical headlight behavior.
What it won't do is shut off when I don't want it to.  It'll stay on when the bike is running, regardless of what the high beam is doing. 
This will allow both beams to remain on as necessary, along with my driving lights.  I'll be able to see where I'm going and not have to ride by Braille.  The driving light will still slave to the high beam, as high beam switch behavior will be unchanged.

Of course, I'll get a LAMPF! error.  However, in the track setup menu on the dash there is an option to turn lamp faults off for track use, so I'll just hit that option and away I go.  I'll tuck the low beam wiring someplace safe and out of the way.  No cutting, no fussing with resistors, nothing.  Putting it back to stock will be easy, if I ever need to do that.

At least, this is the plan.  As I mentioned, Sunday is the day I give it a shot.  I've got all the various bits and pieces to do the job and a full day free of any other obligations...  Which of course means I'll have a ton of things to do.

I will take pics and post results here, so others can learn from my mistakes (or possibly my successes).




*Before you object that that arrangement can't please too many oncoming motorists, yes, I know.  However, they are slaved to my high beam with an output of 20% at low, only blazing the 3000 lumens each on high.  I'm pretty handy with the dimmer, so rarely do I ever blast anybody.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 02:54:53 AM by miles »
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Offline SinR1

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 04:59:00 PM »
Not to get you too much off topic. But what LED kit did you use for your low beam?

Online miles

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 08:53:53 PM »
These:  https://www.lifetimeledlights.com/led_lights/led_headlights_h7_single_beam

They were good about splitting up pairs. I'd recommend them.
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Online miles

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 08:55:16 PM »
I should mention that the large cooling fan and fins in the base preclude using the stock rear assembly plastic cap.

Here is the cap that won't fit any more:


And here is why:
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 11:18:53 PM by miles »
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Online miles

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 11:13:10 PM »
OK.  Here are crummy garage shots of the various headlights.

First, low beam LED:

The driving lights are at 20% output on low beam.

Next, High Beam LED:

The driving lights are at 100% output on high.

Now, HID high beam with rags draped across the new driving lights because they are too damned bright for photos:


I haven't had the chance to ride at night with the new HID.  I just finished the install today.  That said, it is far, far brighter in the garage than the LED even at supposedly similar lumens.  The LED simply didn't work in the housing.


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Online miles

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 11:26:37 PM »
I said I would take pictures during the HID install, but like an idiot I completely forgot.  In any case, I managed to stash the ballast, CanBus corrector and ignitor behind the left side fairing. 

Here is the full HID assembly:


The screwdriver isn't actually part of the HID lighting package- it's just there for scale.

The bulb is in its shipping protector on the lower left.  Above it and to the left is the ignitor.  Directly above the bulb is the connector that plugs into the bike's lighting circuit.  Top right is the CanBus corrector, and the blue ballast is next to the screwdriver.
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Offline mac900

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 11:35:46 PM »
Good stuff!     :028:
No modification goes unpunished. ---- Good people drink good beer. ----  It's all up to your skill level, your thrill level and your will level. Everything else is just fluff. ---- Memento mori.

Offline Marlowe

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 11:55:35 PM »
*Originally Posted by miles [+]
Those of us in North America know the joy of hitting the high beam and enjoying glorious light bathing the entire road... for two seconds. 

I got a good laugh out of this first sentence. It annoys me literally every time I flick my brights!

Offline BillB

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 12:09:08 AM »
Holy moly.  I think you need a few more lights on there.

I can't stop thinking that you've going to give everyone in front of you sunburn when you pull up behind them like poor old Roy in Close Encounters...

 

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Re: Low beam shut-off cure... maybe.
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 12:13:33 AM »
*Originally Posted by BillB [+]
Holy moly.  I think you need a few more lights on there.

I can't stop thinking that you've going to give everyone in front of you sunburn when you pull up behind them like poor old Roy in Close Encounters...


That's the idea.    :152:
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Kiss your fist and touch the sky

 


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