BMWSportTouring

Low Beam Bulb Replacement

Posted By: narcosis

Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/15/16 10:57 PM

So, I've seen the rants but I haven't seen any better instructions than the manual offers. I'm stuck on step #1...I can't get the harness off. I feel release tabs (I think) but nothing seems to work. I looked at this older video hoping that the attachment scheme was the same and after seeing him remove the harness at 2:18 - 2:21 with virtually no effort I concluded that the attachment must be different. Any help out there?

Thanks,
Ken
Posted By: gordiet

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/15/16 11:55 PM

I think it's the same as my 05 and 08 RT. It just pulls off. I've had them be stubborn though. Maybe someone will chime in here. GT
Posted By: narcosis

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/15/16 11:58 PM

Originally Posted By: gordiet
I think it's the same as my 05 and 08 RT. It just pulls off. I've had them be stubborn though. Maybe someone will chime in here. GT


You are correct sir. After pulling the left glove box and radio panel I managed to get a pair of needle nose pliers in there and extract it. It was stubborn.

Well, I guess the good news is that it lasted over 14,000 miles.

Thanks GT

Ken
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/16/16 01:24 PM

Yes the wiring connector just pulls off.

I tried the "take off glove box and speaker cover" routine. Either my hands are too fat or something, just couldn't get the bulb out and new one in.

Take a mirror and flashlight and pay close attention to how the spring loaded clips are positioned and picture in your mind how you would release them, remove bulb, insert new bulb, and reattach clips. I found that by getting in front of the bike, putting my hand up from above the front fender, I could access the harness, clips, bulb easily. It was surprisingly easy just doing this by feel from the front!
Posted By: narcosis

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/16/16 03:03 PM

Well, unfortunately, I think I'm the new record holder for changing the low beam bulb. After getting the connector off, one side of the spring clip was extremely hard to unfasten. Either the tab was bent or I bent it in the process. In order to straighten the tab out I had to resort to pulling the horn where I could get a straight in shot with the needle nose pliers.

This should have been pretty easy from the front of the bike, reaching up from above the fender as Terry suggested. Maybe next time.
Posted By: WBinDE

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/17/16 01:30 PM

First time took a half hour or more,, working from the front. I think I had a bent tab issue as well. Second time took 10 minutes since I'd made as many mistakes as I could the first time. I thought of getting one of those hook/pick sets at Lowe's so I could manipulate the clip better than with my fat fingers. Sold the RT and got a GSA with LED lights before the 3rd time came around.
Posted By: RockBottom

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/18/16 12:19 AM

I gave up and just take it to the dealer now and pay the $50. I did it once after half an hour of painful effort. The second time I bent the clip. The dealer was able to fix it but said BMW doesn't sell the clip so if you bend it you have to buy a whole headlight assembly. (Although I did see someone in some discussion forum that had fabricated them).
Posted By: The Rocketman

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/18/16 04:02 PM

In the future, if you need them, you can get the clips from Beemer Boneyard here:
http://www.beemerboneyard.com/r12h7bulbclip.html

I'm the one who had them made.
Here's the saga:
http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=919835#Post919835
Posted By: RockBottom

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/18/16 10:23 PM

Thanks. I think I bookmarked that when it came up before but was too lazy to look it up after 4 or 5 hours of tax return prep.
Posted By: Ride200mi

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 04/20/16 01:46 AM

I too had a major problem getting to and replacing the center low beam light. After about an hour the dealer call BMW. They mentioned removing the horn, you can get a little more clearance. It seemed to work. The mechanic had it done it 20 mins then.
Posted By: GWeldin

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/17/16 11:37 PM

At 11500 miles on my 2015, I am on my third low beam lamp. I started the bike the other day and heard a loud pop. I have no clue what the pop was but my headlight blew. Anyhow, the last time I changed my low beam I took the glove box off and some of the side panels to get access. I loosened the horn too. It took me 1.5 hours...pure frustration.
The other day I just decided to simply reach under and change it free style. I took my Coleman cooler, put it directly in front of the bike, sat down, then reached up under and visualized the process. My nose was practically hitting the headlight cover as I undid each clip. The wire harness just wiggled loose and the clips were a little harder...but they came off and I swung the clips upward. The lamp was kinda hard to get free but it too came out after a little wiggle. Just line up the three little notches as you put the new lamp in. To me, that is the hardest thing to do---lining up the three notches. I took a sharpie and marked to top notch so I could easily line up to the top notch recess in the light assembly when looking through the lamp hole as I pushed it through. If you do not get the three notches correctly aligned, the lamp will be crooked and will be much harder to put the spring clips back on.
Just visualize it...I practically had my eyes closed as I put the clips back on. Sitting in front, it literally took me less than three minutes....two of which were trying to open the new lamp packaging.
Maybe a small borescope camera to get up under there...maybe a virtual reality headset too to better see what you are doing?

By the way...is 5000 miles normal for blowing a low beam lamp?
Posted By: reg26

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/18/16 01:44 AM

By the way...is 5000 miles normal for blowing a low beam lamp?


I sure hope not. I just turned 6000mi and still on original bulb
Posted By: gordiet

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/18/16 03:09 AM

7200 hundred miles and still good!
Posted By: Stbell

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/18/16 04:48 AM

My original bulb made it 15k miles just under 10 months.
Posted By: strataj

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/18/16 11:50 AM

From seeing a lot of posts on this the original bulb seems last 10,000 miles on average

Jay
Posted By: Ride200mi

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/19/16 12:02 AM

No need to remove anything but the horn! The horn has one bolt and after you drop the horn the low beam access is MUCH better. You may still need to feel for the spring to be able to reinstall it but you can feel where it needs to catch and latch back in.
Posted By: Skywagon

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/19/16 10:36 PM

thanks for the tip...this bulb life thing is interesting. I see how many people burn them out. Somehow, knock on wood, I have yet to have a bulb replacement on my last 3 bikes...I drove my airhead 40k miles, no bulbs, my oilhead 40k miles, no bulbs, and I'm slightly over 10k miles on my wethead and no bulbs. I hope this doesn't jinx me.

I've had headlight protectors on all 3 so wonder if those protectors are somehow absorbing the shock of debris.
Posted By: AlanS.

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/20/16 11:03 AM

20k still on original bulb.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/23/16 11:26 PM

Mine blew at 15k. Never had a main headlight bulb go on a bike before in nearly 19 years.

-MKL
Posted By: fastgpfred

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 02:03 AM

Anyone done or researched H7 LED conversion?
Posted By: gordiet

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 02:54 AM

Cyclops
Posted By: 92Merc

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 12:51 PM

This is the one I've been considering for the low beam replacement. Ballast built into the back of the unit. Comes with a "cup" to replace the stock BMW cover. Should be plug and play.

http://www.sol2.be/Visibility/LED_ENG/Headlight/page.html
Posted By: reg26

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: 92Merc
This is the one I've been considering for the low beam replacement. Ballast built into the back of the unit. Comes with a "cup" to replace the stock BMW cover. Should be plug and play.

http://www.sol2.be/Visibility/LED_ENG/Headlight/page.html


Wow, I'm tempted to give it a try. It looks like the best alternative so far. $103 shipped ti USA
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 03:08 PM

Well, I took the bait. Sighhhh. If this is no better than my previous experience with aftermarket HID and LED I can just add it to my trophy wall of stupid purchases. FYI, at the moment the cost is $118.71 US when using the PayPal button.

What sold me is the BMW cover plate option. This allows the cooling fins to be out in the airflow, at least to some degree, while more or less sealing up the headlight compartment. I also liked the adaptor for the H7 that allows you to turn the bulb 90 degrees if needed. Once that is installed it looks like a very simple installation. If these were not so expensive I would buy a spare bulb to keep with me. If you are looking at these, on a site that is quirky to navigate at best, be sure when you look at the installation page to download the additional installation instructions. The download show how it fits and really added confidence that they have this figured out.

I had installed the super bright Halogen bulb in the RT. It was a worthwhile installation. But honestly the single low beam bulb, super bright or not, just doesn't cut it for a bike in this class. I am hoping this will be a worthwhile improvement and not be a world class annoyance to oncoming traffic.........
Posted By: reg26

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 03:20 PM

Keep us posted Terry. If your happy with it I'm going to get one also.
Posted By: gordiet

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 04:12 PM

I'm looking to change the low beam on My RTW so I'll be very interested to hear what you think once you have it installed. It's so darn hard to get to the unit I don't want to do it twice.

GT
Posted By: Copper

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/24/16 10:24 PM

Following this thread with anticipation.
Posted By: BrianT

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/25/16 05:01 AM

Originally Posted By: reg26
By the way...is 5000 miles normal for blowing a low beam lamp?


I sure hope not. I just turned 6000mi and still on original bulb

Mine went at just over 6k. Which surprized me because it's the same bulb as the previous generation. Not sure why they're dying quicker.
Posted By: davidtn

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/26/16 04:12 AM

Following as well
Posted By: Bob H.

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 06/26/16 01:31 PM

Have replaced the low beam on my 14RT three times , 24,000 miles , 34,000 miles , and 42,000 miles and about nine times on my 04RT during 90,000 miles of riding and it doesn't get any easier with practice. To bad BMW couldn't come up with a better system for the light bulb socket.
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/06/16 04:18 PM

Well, the adaptor fell into the headlight assembly. After I spent about an hour trying to get the clips fastened.

Front of bike is apart and headlight on bench.

Right now I can tell you the "BMW" boot you pay for does NOT fit an RT.

If I survive this, and right now I am not convinced it will have an LED when I ride it next, I will do a report........
Posted By: AndyS

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/06/16 05:26 PM

Pictures of your trauma would be good!
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/06/16 09:13 PM

Pull up a chair, this will take a while. Took a bit over a week to get the LED bulb and hardware mentioned in the earlier post. I did NOT get a warm fuzzy feeling of a high quality part, the box it came in was a used box with newspaper for packing. The bulb looks like the pictures on the website, the harness is as described also. The optional BMW rubber covers, well there were three covers included. None of which fit, but that is for later. It comes with two adaptors that allow you to turn the bulb 90 degrees. It suggests the emitters be horizontal, that is what I went with. That will effect beam pattern and I will report on that another time. Started out fine, working from front of bike I removed the round cover, then the wiring connector. Removed the clips and pulled out the bulb. Easy. Figured out which of the adaptors I wanted and put it in place. Easy. Put one side of the wire clip in place.

I simply could not get the other side fastened. I think I bent it in my efforts. Then I tried to get the other side back loose so I could regroup and figure this out. That was when the white adaptor fell into the headlamp housing!



You can see from the above pictures what came next. Honestly it isn't that bad to take it all apart. And I had no choice anyway. Takes time.
I started to just put it back together with the Halogen bulb and be done. I did go to the parts store and buy two H1 Xtra Vision bulbs for the high beams since they were easy to get to. The stock bulbs were like kerosene lanterns...Meanwhile I adjusted my attitude and decided to put the Terry touch to figuring this out. I have sent an e-mail to the place I bought the bulb. Have not heard back yet, they are in Europe. Looking at the parts it was obvious that the pictures on their website were nothing like the new RT. I double checked and I did order for a new RT LC. There is no way they have tried to fit their bulb into a new RT. They have assumed it would fit. The bulb is way off center of the main access hole.


Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/06/16 09:25 PM

Not one to give up on something without an effort, I started studying the parts I had, where they went, and how could I seal this thing up. What I came up with is completely sealed and I could return it to the halogen bulb with little effort if on the road and this &^*% thing fails. I will use this picture again, it shows where I used one of the rubber boots they sent to seal off the low beam part of the housing. At least it should be dustproof, and since the outer housing is completely sealed it won't matter much. You can see the rubber boot at the base of the bulb, it has the notch made in it.



Installing the provided cable is simple. Done that and then started on modifying the factory access cover. Using a die grinder I removed a cast in rib and thinned out the lip for clearance. I got it so it would go on with the bulb in place!



Next was making a hole for clearance for the power cable.



Finally I took a cap off a spray can and cut it down some for a cover for the cable. I epoxied this in place. Plenty of room for this once back on the bike. This gives me a waterproof installation. As to heat, time will tell, but since this will put out less heat than the halogen I don't expect problems with the housing. I will know right away, it is in the upper 90's here.



I works! Nice white light. No idea what the pattern is. If it is screwed up, it is coming back out.

Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/07/16 12:47 PM

Looks like my trophy wall of stupid purchases will have another display added! Do NOT buy this LED system.

The beam pattern was actually better than I thought. Almost identical to the halogen bulb pattern but more light and a nice white light. I rode around the neighborhood to test it first.

Then the bulb started getting dimmer.

Which means it is shutting down due to overheating. It says it has a built in sensor that reduces power when it gets too hot. Brought it back and removed the cover, rear assembly was way too hot to touch. There is simply no way for this bulb to get cooling air onto it without leaving the cover off and there is no way I am doing that. Clearly this product is misrepresented. It may work in a GS or other RT. But when you order for a specific model and it is this far off from first fitting and then operating, they simply did not do any research.

It is coming back out.
Posted By: Mike

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/07/16 12:59 PM

Thanks for the writeup . . . and for offering a few hours of your time as a guinea pig.

I've put in a better halogen bulb and carry a spare in my tankbag. I wish there were a better solution for a low beam bulb replacement, but I feel adequately illuminated with my auxiliary lights.
Posted By: 92Merc

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/07/16 02:44 PM

Man, that serious sucks. Thanks for all that work and attention to detail.
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/09/16 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike

I've put in a better halogen bulb and carry a spare in my tankbag. I wish there were a better solution for a low beam bulb replacement, but I feel adequately illuminated with my auxiliary lights.


I think that auxilliary lights are the only solution for better lighting on the new RT. My experience with aftermarket LED and HID lights has been one of unreliable operation and with only one low beam lamp I don't want it going out on a curve on a dark rainy night!

I have it back to the Osram Nightbreaker H7 Halogen bulb. I too have a spare in the road kit I carry.
Posted By: CWRoady

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/13/16 02:24 PM

I finally had to change the dreaded low beam in a motel parking lot on a trip I just concluded. I got around 17k and 16 months on the original bulb. I used the sit in front of the bike method and everything was fairly straightforward for me UNTIL it came time to reattach the clips. I snapped pics with my phone several times trying to figure of why I was having such a hard time getting the clips re-seated. The "window" to push the clip into (to catch the hooks) is extremely small (I have a pic, but can't attach it for some reason). My fingertips were sore for a day or so after my numerous attempts to seat the clip. My solution finally was a very small screwdriver I had in my toolkit with a notch I had dremmeled in the very center of the blade. This screwdriver was used to remove the GPS on my old RT that had one of those tamper proof screws installed. This screwdriver allowed me to place the clip in the notch of the screwdriver and apply enough pressure with the screwdriver while aligning the clip with my freehand. Only a couple of attempts to success with this method. I did remove the left speaker at one point, but didn't find it to really add any value to the process.
Posted By: PadG

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/14/16 01:02 PM

Thanks for that tip!
Posted By: AlanS.

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/28/16 04:54 PM

Low beam went out today at 22,000 miles. I will have to figure out the replacement method tonight. I do remember replacing the bulbs on my ST1300 was a pain. Does anyone know if the RT is harder or easier than the ST1300?

Thanks,
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 07/28/16 10:13 PM

My low beam went out when pulling out of WhipFest in Salida. Didn't need it for the ride to Red Lodge. This was the Osram Nightbreaker bulb I had installed first for more output, then removed while fooling with the LED light. It went back in and didn't last long. Might be from the treatment of two installations.

Anyway, I carried the spare and replaced it in the parking lot at the Unrally. It can be done from the front of the bike and if you get good at the spring clips it is not hard at all. If your spring clips get bent from ham fisted attempts at loosening or installing, all bets are off!
Posted By: AlanS.

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/01/16 07:17 PM

Only took about 15 minutes to replace and that is with a 3 year old helping. Took a few minutes longer than expected as I was expecting only one clip like on a Honda instead of the two clips.
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/20/16 02:14 PM

Alan or anyone, if you do this from the front of the bike, tell me: exactly what is the direction to get the two clip wires freed? I can't tell from the manual picture.
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/20/16 04:10 PM

Toward the outside of the bike. But first they have to go forward just a bit to clear the channel they are captured in.
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/20/16 04:25 PM

Originally Posted By: realshelby
Toward the outside of the bike. But first they have to go forward just a bit to clear the channel they are captured in.


Thanks for that thumbsup
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/31/16 02:06 PM

Terry, do you happen to know if the hinge mechanism the retaining clip sits in is solid and not prone to falling apart? W/ my F800GT the spot where the wire hinge is absolutely prone to failure which is just a trough w/ a screw that holds the clip in the plastic trough so folks myself included came up w/ a different method to retain the clip so that it is not prone to falling apart. Once the trough cracked you had to do this modification or replace the entire reflector assembly.
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 08/31/16 02:54 PM

Here is a pic of it. Seems like a solid design.

Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/01/16 01:33 AM

Originally Posted By: realshelby
Here is a pic of it. Seems like a solid design.


Awesome awesome thanks for that--now I can see also how the clip retaining areas work a little better. Indeed, much more solid design for certain. Looks like you'd have to be a bit rough to kill it completely, the hinge mechanism that is. Just a little bit of finesse and you should be good to go.

Here's a picture of the horror that was the design in my F800GT that has been modified w/ the little loop of wire with the two fangs that now retain the clip reliably. You can see the front little nub that is part of the right side trough is broken off and when break even partly off the screw will no longer retain the wire. Normally the black screw is part of the design and it retains the wire clip on top the the clip wire laying in the very weak plastic trough.


Terry--which bike do you like to ride most, your WeeStrom or your RTLC?
Posted By: Kitsap

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/10/16 03:31 AM

Just had the pleasure of replacing the low beam this morning, 8 minutes start to finish. The third time was definitely easier than the first.
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/12/16 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Kitsap
Just had the pleasure of replacing the low beam this morning, 8 minutes start to finish. The third time was definitely easier than the first.


Geez! Do you remove the horn or tip it out of the way first? I have yet to do it on the RTLC.

I lived in Kitsap County for a few years way back when in Port Orchard.
Posted By: Kitsap

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/13/16 06:19 PM

I sit in front of the bike on a one gallon Sherman Williams paint can, very important, and reach up behind the light housing and get intimate. I have small hands, for a guy, some may say girly, so that may be my biggest advantage. No other parts are removed are adjusted out of the way.
Posted By: dirtrider

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/13/16 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Kitsap
I sit in front of the bike on a one gallon Sherman Williams paint can, very important, and reach up behind the light housing and get intimate. I have small hands, for a guy, some may say girly, so that may be my biggest advantage. No other parts are removed are adjusted out of the way.


Afternoon Kitsap


Well that counts me out as no way in he!! could I sit on a 1 gal can, maybe a 5 gallon bucket though.
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/18/16 08:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Kitsap
I have small hands, for a guy, some may say girly, so that may be my biggest advantage.


Your first name isn't Donald, is it? confused
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/20/16 04:52 AM

OMG that was hard to do. Somehow I managed to get one of the looped clip ends stuck in the retention tab so I could hardly get it out! I think the loop itself was straddling a metal tab--hard to say couldn't see it very well even w/ a good mirror and light. Anyway, with a lot of persistence I got it free without ham fisting anything. Probably took a good 50 minutes before I figured out how the clips fasten, but now I think I got it for next time so it shouldn't take very long at all. Getting the wiring harness pulled off was tricky until I contorted my hand enough so I could grasp it between thumb and forefinger.
Posted By: hefy_jefy

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/21/16 03:52 AM

Its a bitch - but its possible. Took me an hour the first time.
Geoff
Posted By: DaveBass

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/21/16 04:50 AM

At 19,000 miles my low beam gave up too. After reading a few dozen posts and watching two YouTube videos three times each, I sat on my 5 gallon paint bucket in front of the bike, visualized the light assembly, reached up under the fairing and changed the bulb in 6 damn minutes. It probably helped that I play guitar and have tough fingertips. One tip - the driver's right side clip is stubborn on and off. Release it first, and re-attatch it first.
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/21/16 01:21 PM

FWIW, yesterday I picked up a replacement to carry w/ me from the local BMW shop and it is a new part number they believe means it is a longer life bulb, we'll see hopefully...
Posted By: NoelCP

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/21/16 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: DaveBass
One tip - the driver's right side clip is stubborn on and off. Release it first, and re-attatch it first.


Interesting. I took the rider's right side clip off first and it was easy peasy, then when I took the left side off the right side loop straddled part of the metal tab I had just released it from and got so stuck I thought it was completely hosed and I would have to disassemble the whole bloody thing. I worked it out eventually and yes it took serious finger strength and I play guitar too! When I picked up a new bulb the sales guy at the BMW shop told me the exact same thing happened to him w/ his XR and he ended up doing some serious disassembly to fix it. I think after my experience I'm going to try doing the left side first, then go to the right and see what happens.
Posted By: bwr

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/23/16 10:01 PM

My low beam went out last weekend at a little over 23K miles. Fortunately I was going past a dealer the next day--Blackfoot Motorsports in Calgary--and they replaced it for no charge (just paid for the bulb).

I'm going plan on carrying a spare with me from now on. I noticed that the Osram Nightbreaker H7 Halogen bulb was recommended earlier in this thread. Is it a worthwhile improvement over the stock BMW bulb? Any other suggestions?
Posted By: realshelby

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 09/25/16 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: bwr
I noticed that the Osram Nightbreaker H7 Halogen bulb was recommended earlier in this thread. Is it a worthwhile improvement over the stock BMW bulb? Any other suggestions?


Yes, it is a worthwhile increase in light output. But at a cost in life of bulb. I got a few thousand miles out of my first one, but it was treated a bit rough when I was working on an LED setup. Put my spare Nightbreaker in and it was good till I removed it....more on that later.
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 11/27/17 12:00 AM

I'm a little late to this discussion. My low beam went out this morning, and I replaced it without benefit of this forum. I looked at the owner's manual and after a few minutes realized the photos are upside down. But it didn't really matter, because I figured out a better solution.

You'll need a hammer; good quality duct tape (not that Harbor Freight crap); one 24" 1/4" diameter wooden dowel; a good supply of CR123 A lithium batteries, or if you're adventurous, rechargeable equivalents, if such exist, and a system for on-bike charging; and a Fenix PD 35 flashlight or equivalent.

Reach up under the front of the bike and remove the little cover by turning it counterclockwise.

Unplug the light. Pull really hard, the damn thing is stuck. Cuss a lot, it helps.

Spend about half an hour trying to get those wires off. If you succeed, pull the dead bulb out and replace it with one that probably won't work.

Spend the next six hours trying to get the little fish hooks back in place.

Now, pick up the hammer and smash a hole in the headlight assembly. Make it as big as you like. Make more than one if it suits you.

Easily cram the Fenix PD35 into the hole where the bulb should go, and affix with duct tape.

Each time you ride, use the dowel to push the on/off button on the flashlight (it's on the back of the unit, so with just a little practice you can hit it every time). Don't forget to turn the PD35 to maximum output.

The above solution should suffice to satisfy federal lighting requirements for motorcycles. If you find yourself out in the night, just use your high beams all the time. They're pretty easy to replace, although the cost of two more PD35s might be a little onerous.
Posted By: AndyS

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 11/27/17 10:22 AM

This weekend I converted the dip beam and the high beam units to Car Rover LED units. To do it I completely removed the headlight unit from the bike.
If I were to ever try and replace a normal bulb on the Dip Beam, I would still remove the complete headlight unit. The high beams are ok in-situ to replace the stock bulb like for like, but it gets really tight trying to do an LED unit.
Posted By: Paul De

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 11/27/17 06:29 PM

Had to do my first low beam at ~10K miles...guess I'm following along the reported trend of short life. I was running errands around town and maybe the 3 on/off cycles within an hour didn't help but early bulb failure seemed never to be a problem for my other bikes, even the HID conversion bulb on my '99RT lasted longer. I replaced the bulb in the auto parts store parking lot and found that the kissing the front of head light nacelle approach was the only way to manage unlatching and re-latching the retainer spring wire.

Took me 15 minutes and one run-on 9 syllable cuss word to get it done, but should be easier next time now that I brailed my way through it once. The job would have been way easier if I was in jeans instead of work slacks so I could of gotten on my knees in some kind strange prayer pose instead of crouching. My finger tips were sore for the rest of the day, so I made up the wood dowel tool, pointed out above, for next time and keep it taped to the package of the spare bulb.
Posted By: AndyS

Re: Low Beam Bulb Replacement - 11/28/17 09:46 AM

Well, the LED headlights (main and Dip) were tried last night in the horrible rain. Motorways, A roads and country lanes,
No one flashed me. I felt that the light placement and brilliance was an order of magnitude better than the stock lights. I highly recommend the LED route.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01NCLD2PF/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01I4MROB8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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