HID headlight technology? Anyone know about this? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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HID headlight technology? Anyone know about this?

I've been floating through assorted websites looking for LED lights and such so as to make myself more visible to the yahoo's around me. In one particular website, after getting several good ideas on brake lights, turn signals, turn signal mirrors and such, I came upon something called an HID conversion kit for the headlight.
I had never heard of this before but even so, the conversion kit didn't seem to be complete to me.
It supposedly can produce several times more illumination for less energy used.
Could anyone please educate me on this and would this be practical on our Vulcans??
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 07:25 PM
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HID lights basically replace the H4 incandescent bulb ( 55 / 65 W of power used) with a gas filled bulb that uses about 35 W of power. This bulbs works similar to fluorescent light bulbs where the current flowing through the gas actually produces the light. This systems are high voltage (10 -15 K volts on the bulb side) and must use a ballast to literally ignite the bulb.
A good HID kit will include bulb, ballast, igniter (may or not be included depending on manufacturer) and wiring. Good reputable brands are philips and bosch

There are several things to consider on a conversion kit and our motorcycles:
- This systems have a high inrush current to initially light the bulb (200 to 300 W in some cases) so you would need to wire this differently than the regular light bulb. Long term durability of the Stator, R/R and battery may be reduced but cant say for sure
- Our H4 bulb has two filaments for hi / lo lights, I have seen advertised H4 replacement bulbs for HID kits but have not seen one actually in use so you stand to loose the high beam
- State laws: At least here in Mexico it's very lax the way you may setup your lights in cars and motorcycles but I'm sure it's not the same in the US. Also to consider most HID replacement kits say that they are for off road (not highway use) applications. Since you can get different light temperature bulbs (the color of the light emitted) in this case you may want to stick to the more yellow / whitish color you can find.
- Light pattern: here the most difficult thing to estimate. Since the placement of the filament in the H4 bulb determines how the optics of the headlight was designed to comply with DOT here the new HID bulb may end up spraying light differently. I'm sure those how design this bulbs take this in account but you may end up with a headlight that blinds incoming drivers


Benefits are basically about 20% more light with lower power consumed by the system (once on). Cool blue light from your headlight.

Finally some personal thoughts about it... why no manufacturer has put in a production motorcycle any HID lights? Even on top end models? Just wondering...

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. All in all, I think I'll stick with the factory bulb. Thank you very much for the information!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris and Shim View Post
Interesting. All in all, I think I'll stick with the factory bulb. Thank you very much for the information!
Another alternative is to switch to a premium H4 bulb (PIAA or SilverStar) and get more light for the same amount of power. No rewiring or mods needed, just replace the OEM bulb with one of higher performance.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cglennon View Post
Another alternative is to switch to a premium H4 bulb (PIAA or SilverStar) and get more light for the same amount of power. No rewiring or mods needed, just replace the OEM bulb with one of higher performance.
X2

The SilverStar's are great.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 10:38 AM
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I installed PIAA H4 Intense White Bulb 60/55w=135/125w on my bike and its AWESOME! There is a huge difference in the amount of light it puts on the street. As stated above, its a direct replacement of the OEM bulb and no mods are needed. Just one thing. When/If you do replace your bulb, make SURE you don't touch it with your fingers. The oils in the fingers will leave an oily residue on the bulb and will shorten its life and can cause the bulb to pop since the headlight bulb gets so hot.


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