Upgrade Headlight Bulbs? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Upgrade Headlight Bulbs?

I bought a HID kit for my vstrom but decided to wait to install it until I have a reason to disassemble the front of the bike. It seems to install the HID system properly you need to remove the gauges, etc.

In the meantime I was looking into upgrading the bulbs. I just am not happy with the stock light. I drive a lot at night and am noticing it's not illuminating enough for me, especially at higher speeds.

I was looking at these:

Amazon.com: PIAA 15224 H4 Style Xtreme White 12V 60/55=110/100-Watt Bulb - Twin Pack: Automotive

They seem pretty expensive and don't give a lumen count however. I wanted to see what you guys use, see if anyone has used these before dropping $50 on them. Especially since there are some other brands out there. If they aren't going to be a noticeable amount brighter than stock then it's just not worth it.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 04:48 AM
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Best I've found, and I do actually ride at night now and then. The new LED 'bulbs'.

They have problems, like not being 100% legal but so do the HID kits. Unlike HID's they solve most of the problems without downsides, they throw enough light and are generally more pleasant than the stock lights.

High output standard incandescents run around 1000lm high or low.

LED's claim 2000lm low and ADD 2000lm high. They don't throw light as FAR as HIDs but I've found them nicer in practice.

Low is always on, so no momentary blackout when you flick between high and low, and on/off times are instant, zero delay.

Low being always on fixes the problem with going over a rise with high beam on and not being able to see the road in front, also fixes dirt roads, you can see down the road AND read the surface in front of the bike.

Final plus, light fill is really uniform, much better than incandescent or HID. They may not be as bright, but you can see clearly as far as you can see, with near zero glare. Road signs were painful with my aux lights on, so much scatter back that I kept loosing night vision and distance, the LED's just don't cause that problem .

Pete
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 08:05 AM
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$50 for headlight bulbs? Are you sure they fit the DL? My amazon says they do not.

Just pulled one of mine out just to compare. This is the what came with mine.

OSRAM ORIGINAL LINE | Halogen headlight lamps for... | OSRAM

OEM stock

2012 Suzuki DL650AL2, over 45k miles already!

Last edited by D.T.; 05-21-2014 at 08:10 AM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteW View Post
Best I've found, and I do actually ride at night now and then. The new LED 'bulbs'.

They have problems, like not being 100% legal but so do the HID kits. Unlike HID's they solve most of the problems without downsides, they throw enough light and are generally more pleasant than the stock lights.

High output standard incandescents run around 1000lm high or low.

LED's claim 2000lm low and ADD 2000lm high. They don't throw light as FAR as HIDs but I've found them nicer in practice.

Low is always on, so no momentary blackout when you flick between high and low, and on/off times are instant, zero delay.

Low being always on fixes the problem with going over a rise with high beam on and not being able to see the road in front, also fixes dirt roads, you can see down the road AND read the surface in front of the bike.

Final plus, light fill is really uniform, much better than incandescent or HID. They may not be as bright, but you can see clearly as far as you can see, with near zero glare. Road signs were painful with my aux lights on, so much scatter back that I kept loosing night vision and distance, the LED's just don't cause that problem .

Pete
Wow, I had no idea LED was that powerful when it came to head lights. I thought people only use LED for things like blinkers and tail lights. I didnt think they could pack enough LED chips into a head light bulb to make it that bright.

So you find that they are actually brighter than the stock halogen's?

Can you link me the bulbs you bought? I would be interested in checking them out.

Thanks
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.T. View Post
$50 for headlight bulbs? Are you sure they fit the DL? My amazon says they do not.

Just pulled one of mine out just to compare. This is the what came with mine.

OSRAM ORIGINAL LINE | Halogen headlight lamps for... | OSRAM

OEM stock

Are you sayind they are too cheap or too expensive?

I would assume they work with the Vstrom, they are H4 bulbs. Amazon is very commonly wrong on product compatibility.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 10:29 AM
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Did you take the time to aim the stock headlights so that the right and left headlights are pointing the same way properly? That one adjustment alone can make a huge difference. Both my 2006 and my 2012 needed to be adjusted properly (I think of it as "Syncronized".)

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 195,000+ km, 121,000 miles.

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 12:34 PM
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As said above, check the aim of your lights first.

Light bulb wattage is the electricity consumed, closely related to the heat generated, and not directly to the light output. PIAA scams buyers with their 60 watt consumption = 110 watts of light. Ain't so. They gimmick this by locating the bulb filament in a spot in the reflector where it puts a brighter spot on the pavement ahead and less light to the sides. Then they measure this spot for their advertising. Also they make the bulb brighter by burning the filament hotter which shortens the life of the bulb. The blue tint takes away light, but the brain seems to see more light.

After the aim is checked and optimized, there are ways to go.
1--Headlight relay kit (make or buy) so you get full voltage to the bulbs
VStrom
2--Bulbs with brighter filaments (always shorter life with brighter filaments), precise placement of the filament in the optical center of the reflector (costs more), better gases inside the bulb (costs more).
Philips Xtreme Vision
Philips MotoVision with slightly greater light output and an orange glow to help catch the eye of on coming drivers.
Osram Rallye 70/65 (I use these in my truck with a relay kit--needed due to the higher power, and I wouldn't go any higher power to avoid excess heat)
3--HID kits--illegal but said to work well
4--LED bulbs--illegal and said to work well if you get the right ones

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 05-21-2014 at 12:37 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-21-2014, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandroidx View Post
Are you sayind they are too cheap or too expensive?

I would assume they work with the Vstrom, they are H4 bulbs. Amazon is very commonly wrong on product compatibility.
That's pretty expensive.

The PIAA lamp amazon link doesn't give an hour rating either. How about if they were only rated for 100 hours?

The 4100k is the white light. Stock is 3200k.

2012 Suzuki DL650AL2, over 45k miles already!
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 05:00 AM
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Check the regional forums, Australia/NZ for details including links. There's some decent discussion there.

Personally I'm happy with them, and took my aux lights off because though the aux lights were very bright close up, the glare actually limited long range vision. The LED's are fine at legal speeds around here after dark and frankly, I'm usually running at that or below after dark. Kangaroo's are even faster than deer.


Pete
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 08:15 AM
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I replaced the stock bulbs in my car w/ Sylvania Silverstar bulbs. They were somewhat brighter, but they would only last less than a year. After replacing them 2x I went back to their standard bulbs. The brighter ones burn much hotter and don't last long. Not worth it IMO.
I am interested in the LED lights though. Pete, what brand did you use?
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