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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never bothered with converting my headlamp bulb other than for replacement bulbs that offer a bit more light/night time brightness etc.

As my last bike, also a twin, blew a lot of bulbs in its short life and after the expense of all of the bulbs I bought I've already started thinking about biting the bullet and buying a HID Conversion Kit to fit my '09 TA XL700VA.

Has anyone out there done this already and if so where did you get yours from and, if you fitted it yourself, how did you find fitting it.
 

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please read. Everything he says is true, and IMO you'd be very selfish to convert to HID. Not to mention 90% of HID kits use xenon for the high beams, anyway. Don't forget that the bluer colour strains your eyes more and scatters more- reducing the amount of light getting to the road (especially when it's raining) and increasing glare to other road users. Does your TA have an auto levelling system? So what will happen when you take a pillion? You'll dazzle everyone with your 300% brighter (more dangerous) lights. further reading.

I know it'll be very easy to ignore this post with the raft of "they seem to put out much more light in the foreground!" posts that are sure to come, or even the "I did it and it seems to be really good!", but quite frankly, it's illegal for good reason, it's dangerous to you, and dangerous to other road users. Don't do it.



Instead, stick with the stock reflectors and bulb types and look around for higher wattage or more efficient bulbs of the type used (H11 in the new alps IIRC). Phillips ultra brilliance or Osram night breakers are fairly good, but don't last so long as the stock bulbs. If you're really keen to go to HID, do it with a new reflector/lens assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Do you mean these anti-glare HID bulbs?

H11 Anti-Glare Bulbs - NEW!*::*HID Bulbs*::*HIDS4U Ltd - UK's Number 1 HID Conversion Kit Specialists

Thanks for you considerations but for me it's more about the cost/convenience of bulbs as I had soooooo many bulbs blow on my most recent bike that I spent enough on replacement bulbs that I could have bought nearly two HID conversion kits and bulbs never blow when you expect them to.

I know so many people with them fitted to there bikes for me to feel any slight bit of guilt about other road uses and lets face it what other car users out there with HID bulbs in there cars have the slightest care or consideration other road users.

However I will be sending a quick question to the above supplier asking if the HID bulb I am interested in buying will be considered as "Road Legal" with my bikes headlamp/reflector before I go through with any purchases.

I'd still like to know if there are others out there that have bought and fitted one to there bikes please.
 

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One of my H11 nightbreakers blew the other night as I was leaving Princetown to ride across Dartmoor.... That was pretty inconvenient to say the least. The only remedy was then to ride on full beam anyway, untill I decided to swap the bulb over but it ain't ideal scraping your knuckles beghind the headlight with a torch in your teeth by the side of the road :-(


Edited to add: as I rode back the rest of the way I wondered if HID was the way to go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Edited to add: as I rode back the rest of the way I wondered if HID was the way to go?
+1

Same though I had when a bulb went on my last bike just as I was leaving work to go home and it was nowhere near that far a journey.

I too flipped on the full beam switch all the way home to save swapping over bulbs as it was soooooo tricky on my last bike and didn't want to risk dropping the only surviving bulb I had on me.
 

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I was thinking about going down the HID road for my blackbird, i had seen kits fro £40, but the bloke that i trusted sold them for £135. The diferance is quality and reliabilty. Although i hate the bloody things (i do a 70 mile round trip every day and 50 of that is back roads) when raining and some tit has them fitted to there car, i cant see a bloody thing. But riding the Bird, the light was so fecking poor, it was going to be the only option, untill i swaped it with a pan. so i can see both sides, but i must admit, bikes dont seem to dazzel as much as cars do, so i would say they are better on a bike than a car.
 

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please read. Everything he says is true, and IMO you'd be very selfish to convert to HID. Not to mention 90% of HID kits use xenon for the high beams, anyway. Don't forget that the bluer colour strains your eyes more and scatters more- reducing the amount of light getting to the road (especially when it's raining) and increasing glare to other road users. Does your TA have an auto levelling system? So what will happen when you take a pillion? You'll dazzle everyone with your 300% brighter (more dangerous) lights. further reading.

I know it'll be very easy to ignore this post with the raft of "they seem to put out much more light in the foreground!" posts that are sure to come, or even the "I did it and it seems to be really good!", but quite frankly, it's illegal for good reason, it's dangerous to you, and dangerous to other road users. Don't do it.



Instead, stick with the stock reflectors and bulb types and look around for higher wattage or more efficient bulbs of the type used (H11 in the new alps IIRC). Phillips ultra brilliance or Osram night breakers are fairly good, but don't last so long as the stock bulbs. If you're really keen to go to HID, do it with a new reflector/lens assembly.
+1
This is true and every one who wants to put cheap aftermarked HID kit into stock reflector lights should think twice before doing it. Its also true for car drivers who do the same thing and think that they just got "cool" lights for 100$.
There are a lot of info about danger of such HID kits. Just search with google.
 

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However I will be sending a quick question to the above supplier asking if the HID bulb I am interested in buying will be considered as "Road Legal" with my bikes headlamp/reflector before I go through with any purchases.
Doesn't matter what he tells you, it won't be road legal (did you even read the further reading link? "In summary it is not permitted to convert an existing halogen headlamp unit for use with HID bulbs. The entire headlamp unit must be replaced with one designed and approved for use with HID bulbs"), and that's that. If you choose to break the law (and "everyone else in their BMW's has no consideration for me, so why should I care?" coupled with "everyone else does it, why does it make any difference?" makes for a pretty poor argument) then that's your call. If you want to go down the HID route, then do it with a reflector assembly designed for the job. And the cost argument is pretty rubbish, also. You wouldn't run your brake pads right down to the metal because that would be unsafe. Likewise, HID retrofit kits are expensive. And if you'd bothered to read to the end of the Daniel Stern article, you wouldn't have linked to the anti-glare HID kit. Please, do some reading. HID kits look great on paper- they're relatively cheap, promise exceptional brightness and you even never have to replace the bulb- fantastic. However, in reality they're dangerous, cause more glare to other road users and prevent you from seeing so well.

If it's really that much of an issue, please mail Daniel Stern, explaining your problem- H11 bulbs, want brighter and more robust bulbs, and see what he recommends.
 

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Thanks for you considerations but for me it's more about the cost/convenience of bulbs as I had soooooo many bulbs blow on my most recent bike that I spent enough on replacement bulbs that I could have bought nearly two HID conversion kits and bulbs never blow when you expect them to.
Then fix the bad connection or the charging fault or whatever is causing the bulbs to blow.

I know so many people with them fitted to there bikes for me to feel any slight bit of guilt about other road uses
:rolleyes:

Why be as ignorant and inconsiderate as all these other people you know who have proved themselves to be selfish? Just because a minority of people think it's fine to ignore the regulations because it suits their 'screw you - I can see fine' thinking, doesn't make it okay.

Sorry, but illegal HID kits are a pet hate of mine. Try driving a sports car with a low seat height with some selfish moron coming the other way with an illegal HID kit.

When you dazzle someone because your reflector and lens was designed for a filament bulb and they hit the high beam and fry your retinas with 400watts of lighting in response to your illegal (despite what the person selling it says) and unnecessary HID kit and you end up in a ditch, maybe you'll reconsider.

Either don't do it, or be prepared to get dazzled in 'retaliation'. The worst case scenario is you'll be in a head-on smash because the blinded driver coming the other way veers into your path.
 

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Mr Impulsive
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As above
HID lights are illegal on motorbikes and will fail an MOT.
They are legal on cars that have self levelling suspension (which bikes don't!) and must be able to be independantly switched off.
This means that if you had an accident and the lights were still live,if someone touched the unit and recieved a shock (which due to the nature of the high discharge) could prove fatal,you would be liable.

They don't mention all that when they sell you the kits! :D
 

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What are the solutions then fellas? H11 nightbreakers don't last, as has been discussed by a few members here, and HID is illegal.

Spots?

:)
 

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It's the H11 fitting that is limiting what bulbs can be fitted, I googled, knocked on doors and telephoned ad infinitum but all I could come up with was the nightbreakers.

Back to the drawing board......:confused:
 

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What are the solutions then fellas?
Ultrabright bulbs generally don't last as long. If you can't put up with replacing bulbs more often then there are other things you can do...

  1. Switchable spots that come on with high beam. If you're using dipped beam then why would you need extra light anyway?
  2. Ride slower - at a speed at which you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear ahead.
  3. Get your eyes tested as lots of minor vision problems are far worse at night.
  4. Eat lots of carrots.
  5. Ride during daylight only.
If your night vision is so bad that you NEED a HID setup to see where you are going, maybe it's time to get your eyes checked out.
 

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If your night vision is so bad that you NEED a HID setup to see where you are going, maybe it's time to get your eyes checked out.
Yep done that - fine, although the optiwhassit tells me that we (human beings) are naturally more short sighted at night :rolleyes: I shall take to carrot scoffing instead :D
 

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It's also a matter worth considering that if your bike is fitted with a non road legal HID conversion, your insurance will no longer be valid... ...and yes, I know the arguments about "well, I could just put the original bulbs back in after the event..." but what if after the "event", you're in no fit state to change the bulbs in your bike, and it's then discovered to be not road legal?

Just a thought.

By the way, the Honda (type approved and road legal) fog/driving lamps are very good for lighting up the road....
 

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Mr Impulsive
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Sounds a bit daft,but what about those amber coloured night driving glasses?
 

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Yep done that - fine, although the optiwhassit tells me that we (human beings) are naturally more short sighted at night :rolleyes:
Our vision tends to blur at night because the pupil is dilated opening a wider portion of the lens. As we age, our lenses become less uniform so the wider our pupils, the worse our vision - hence as we become old codgers, we find it increasingly difficult to find the way back from the pub at night. Coupled with the fact that the actual light sensing parts of out eyes grow less sensitive with age, I'm amazed a standard for night vision isn't a clearly specified requirement for driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
All points considered! So I guess I'll just have to stick a pack of the OEM bulbs under my seat and replace bulbs as and when needed to but my reason for considering fitting a HID kit was not for its brightness but to save on how many bulbs I went through with my last bike Please Read My Post. To add to this my bike had no reason to blow bulbs, no shorts and no funny wiring as when it was still within its warranty I had it all checked out and the dealer said that it was the vibrations that did it.

And as for reading why should I take one persons opinion about any subject when I can put it up for debate on a forum such as this and obtain information in-brief from motorcyclist to some halfwit road safety guru. Lets face it what are forums for.

Thanks to those who gave this some time to run and contribute to my quandary and thanks for pointing me back on the 'legal' path.

I'm glad I have no intention of putting and aftermarket exhaust on my TA, I'd more than likely be told that I'd get arrested for Disturbing The Peace of some other ridiculous reason to motorcyclist from being heard :hitler:

Oh and my sight is 20/20 (when I've got my glasses on :p)
 

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I'm glad I have no intention of putting and aftermarket exhaust on my TA
As long as you tell your insurance company, I'm sure you'd get plenty of approval on here for that mod. There are some nice cans out there and an exhaust mod isn't likely to cause an accident (unless it falls off maybe :) )
 
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