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H7 LED Installation

Started By gr8ridn , Feb 10 2016 01:51 AM

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#1

gr8ridn
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I received the ordered H7 LED headlight bulbs on 2-8-16. They were shipped on 1-28-16, the usual holdup was customs in both Belgium and the US. I expected a fairly lengthy delivery time based on other orders made to the EU. The package arrived by the local post office in good condition. Opening the box it was packaged well and the actual bulb kits were contained in heavy cardboard boxes with cut foam securing the bulbs. Inspection of the parts was completed with no issues seen.

 

The kits ordered are the H7 bulbs with the small rubber cover also used on earlier GS bikes. This cover is very flexible. This is good because the measured opening was 2mm diameter smaller than the than the GS. The only other sizes available were a large diameter with a shallow depth and the large with the deep depth made for other BMW models. The smaller cover did fit due to the flexibility. It is held in with a molded groove that fits the inner ledge of the housing. The fit is very good and should prove water and dust proof.

 

Here are the tools I used for the installation;

Diagonal Cutters

Crimping Tool

T-25 Driver

Hook Tool

Needle Nose Pliers

T-25  L Wrench

Wire Stripper

Tie Wrap Tensioner/Cutter

 

 

DSC_0050.jpg

I was prepared to remove the headlight assemblies if needed, but removal of the side covers provided adequate room to work and install. This simplified the process, no other panels were removed. As per the repair manual the accessory socket on the left side had to be disconnected and the tie wrap for the wire on the socket was cut.

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First step was to remove the H7 bulbs. While the area outside the lamp was adequate, the small opening and wire bail used to secure the bulb was tricky to release. I found a pair of needle nose pliers really made it easy to release and secure the wire. The bulb connector pulled off with no drama and the bulb was removed.

 

DSC_0036.jpg[/URL]


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Jim 

 

 

16 BMW S1000XR     -  Smile Maker

14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder

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#2

gr8ridn
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Next was testing which of the two socket adapters would be used for the LED. They both fit the housing , but the bulb locking pins are located 90 degrees from each adapter allowing you to orient the LED for your particular bike. The two LEDs should be facing horizontally. I tested by installing one of the baseplates and locking the LED in to see the result. The installation manual is very adamant about insuring the wide and thin  pins are located into the mount correctly to avoid damage. This is accomplished before the next step and the bulb is removed and marked for orientation. The identified base remains in the headlight for final assembly.

 

DSC_0030.jpg

 

The next step is to connect the short cable to the bulb connector and stuff the cable and connector into the housing away from the socket. This is where the problem started. Due to the small dimension of the housings BMW used a right angle connector. There is no way to push this connector behind the reflector. It is too large for the opening around the socket. This is where the modification was needed. I wanted to be able to return to stock if required so I decided to cut the two wires for the connector leaving enough room to attach spade connectors to reattach the stock bulb connector. The female connector was attached to the wires coming out of the headlight and the male connectors to the removed bulb connector. The spade connectors could now fit through the opening to the back of the reflector. All of this is inside the housing so it is not subject to the moisture and dirt of an outside connector. The cutting and stripping of the headlight wire was a bit difficult due to the tight space and tough insulator used. A wire stripper was handy for this. I used a strong crimp connection like the factory uses. The connectors are insulated to prevent shorts and loss of connection. I left enough wire on the original connector so it could be setup with the male connectors if needed.

 

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The next step was to feed the pigtail cable through the rubber headlight cap and connect to the now spliced supply wires. I tucked the wire and connectors behind the reflector and attached the rubber cover to the housing.

 

Next problem was the bulb mount is not centered in the opening. Both sides are off due to needed access for the parking lights. They are off center by several mm. The rubber seal could be gently pulled to allow installing the bulb. I used a small hook tool to pull while slowly inserting the bulb.

 

DSC_0032.jpg


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Jim 

 

 

16 BMW S1000XR     -  Smile Maker

14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#3

gr8ridn
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It helped marking the bulb unit earlier so I could introduce the bulb with correct orientation. Once the bulb seats twist it while applying inward pressure to lock it in place. The plastic base isn’t very strong so forcing it will likely break the mount or cause a very lose fit due to wear.

Last step is to connect the power cable to the back of the LED assembly. You can then push the cable through the rubber seal to minimize interference of the cable when turning the forks lock to lock.

 

DSC_0033.jpg

 

 

It’s close, but you can get clearance without excessive bending of the cable. I found the best clearance was possible by locating the cover so the cable enters at the 4 o’clock position on the right and the left at 10 o’clock. Now nothing touches.

 

DSC_0038.jpg

 

I didn’t like cutting wires, but the connecting method is sound and protected from the riding environment. I don’t see a real issue during the time I have the bike and it can easily be converted back at the time it is sold to another owner.

 

Original Parts Removed and Saved

Caps

Bulbs

Bulb Connectors

 

DSC_0047.jpg

 

The performance is impressive, a huge increase of controlled illumination for night riding and during the day a much better conspicuity factor. The light pattern from the low beam is nicely controlled with minimal refracted light being scattered. The cut off of the light is very similar to stock. It may not be as focused as the factory LED on the GSA, but it is very close and produces a similar level of illumination. I like the instant on feature when flashing the high beam to warn other drivers when you believe they are about to become a threat.


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Jim 

 

 

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76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#4

gr8ridn
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Right light converted and Left with original H7 bulb

 

DSC_0048.jpg

 

Both Side LED equipped

 

DSC_0049.jpg

 

No canbus errors were generated as tested by my GS-911. The LEDs operate like the H7 Halogen bulb, just whiter and brighter. No radio noise was noted on my Bluetooth system. I am told the bulbs have a 2 year warranty. At least if they need replacement the change can be done in ten minutes. All the hard work is done.

 

The finished product is professional looking with no special procedures to add when doing service or repair work. If you are  handy with wiring connectors in tight spaces this could be a good lighting consideration. I am very pleased with this upgrade.

 

DSC_0045.jpg

 

 

Vendor;

Solid Solutions

http://www.sol2.be/V...light/page.html


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Jim 

 

 

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14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#5

gr8ridn
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Sorry I had to post in all these messages, the site would not permit the whole download and pictures.

 

Hopefully this was helpful in deciding if you want to tackle this upgrade and provide help if you do the installation.


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Jim 

 

 

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14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#6

sennastien
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Nice work, veryclean install, congrats. :)

The bad part now: once u did fit the h7 bulbs, you cant leave those yellowiqh parking lights on. And if you want to put led parking lights (w5w), you have to solder resistors to the stock harness... Which wont be so clean, because of soace left on the housing.

#7

Tumppi678
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Nice work, veryclean install, congrats. :)

The bad part now: once u did fit the h7 bulbs, you cant leave those yellowiqh parking lights on. And if you want to put led parking lights (w5w), you have to solder resistors to the stock harness... Which wont be so clean, because of soace left on the housing.

 

Sorry, but what you mean by yellow parking lights? Is this a area specific thing?



#8

RichS1000XR
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Thanks for posting. I was hoping for a more simple install, as I'm not mechanical, and the idea of cutting wires sends shivers down my spine! I won't rule it out, but for now my Philips Xtreme bulbs are a good enough upgrade. I'm still waiting to hear when BMW launch the LED spotlights for the XR.

#9

gr8ridn
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Thanks for posting. I was hoping for a more simple install, as I'm not mechanical, and the idea of cutting wires sends shivers down my spine! I won't rule it out, but for now my Philips Xtreme bulbs are a good enough upgrade. I'm still waiting to hear when BMW launch the LED spotlights for the XR.

I don't blame you, the mod requires some tools to get it done correctly. If you are the least bit queasy with splicing wires this might be a push. I tried to be honest, this isn't the easy install I was hoping for, but the end result made it worthwhile.

 

I installed the Clearwater aux lights and they are definitely superior to the BMW aux light on my GSA. They are costly (so are the BMW lights) but they integrate into the bike with no additional switch or control device. No wires are spiced and the wire harness is untouched. Clearwater now has several mount options for the XR and their mounts are always professional looking and strong. Check out their website and facebook site. The owner of the company is always responsive and will back up the product and do what ever it takes to make you happy, really. Read the reviews on any website and you will see what I mean.


Jim 

 

 

16 BMW S1000XR     -  Smile Maker

14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#10

gr8ridn
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Nice work, veryclean install, congrats. :)

The bad part now: once u did fit the h7 bulbs, you cant leave those yellowiqh parking lights on. And if you want to put led parking lights (w5w), you have to solder resistors to the stock harness... Which wont be so clean, because of soace left on the housing.

Thanks.

 

I think I will pass up the LED parking lights, not a big deal for me. The headlight (low) washes out the left parking light and the right parking light can't be seen with the headlight on. The real for reason for this project was improved lighting and that was accomplished.


Jim 

 

 

16 BMW S1000XR     -  Smile Maker

14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#11

PTPan
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Thanks for going to all the effort of posting. Very informative.
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#12

rayw1128
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Thanks for the post gr8ridn.   Would you by chance have any close up photos of the small rubber cover that came with the kit, or maybe measurements of the dimensions?  

 

I have another brand of LED H7 on my bike but have been looking for a suitable rubber dust cap for it as it is open to the air at the moment.  

 

Thanks! 



#13

gr8ridn
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This is what they look like installed. Sorry, didn't take picture of the part before installation.DSC_0032.jpg


Jim 

 

 

16 BMW S1000XR     -  Smile Maker

14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#14

Paul Hayes
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My bike does not have DRL's and therefore you drive on dip beam but looking at the bike only 1 light is bright unless on main beam. How can you change the lights so both lights are bright when on dip beam?

 

If you change to Phillips Extreme is this merely a bulb change? Are these bulbs much better than those originally fitted?



#15

sennastien
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Thanks.

I think I will pass up the LED parking lights, not a big deal for me. The headlight (low) washes out the left parking light and the right parking light can't be seen with the headlight on. The real for reason for this project was improved lighting and that was accomplished.


U've done pretty well then. Nice and clean job. :)

#16

Chileansurg
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My bike does not have DRL's and therefore you drive on dip beam but looking at the bike only 1 light is bright unless on main beam. How can you change the lights so both lights are bright when on dip beam?

If you change to Phillips Extreme is this merely a bulb change? Are these bulbs much better than those originally fitted?


The Phillips Extreme lights is a direct bulb swap. Their light is much better than the OEM ones, but not as good as a LED or HID system.

For us mechanically challenged it's the easy way to upgrade the lights 😉

Previous Rides: (In chronological order since 2008)

2007 Honda CBR 250 Twister Matt Gray, 2008 Yamaha TDM 900 Black, 2008 Honda VFR 800 Interceptor Red, 2006 Honda VTR 1000 Firestorm Metallic Gray, 2012 KTM 990 SM-T White, 2015 White S1000XR Sport SE

 

Current Ride: 2016 RED S1000XR Sport SE


#17

gr8ridn
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I agree, there are many ways to upgrade the lighting system. Some are more expensive or difficult to install. Unfortunately the easier paths are less effective than the more difficult options.

 

I researched these options and came up with a solution that works for me. I was willing to try a more difficult installation and am pleased with the results. 

 

The LED option produces significant pure white light with good focused output. No external power boxes or Canbus issues with my lights. Instant full brightness when signaling with flash to pass. 30000 hour mean time before failure advertised.

 

The HID produces significant light with somewhat scattered focus due to the stock reflector not designed for this style light. Usually involve external power modules and some produce Canbus errors. Slow start up to full brightness. Good Bulb life.

 

High Power H-7 bulbs, easy installation, noticeable improvement in light output, Slight change in light color, not pure white, shorter bulb life than stock, least expensive upgrade.

 

These are the three options I looked at. Any of them would be an improvement in light.  

 

Pick your light choice and enjoy the ride. There are no wrong choices.


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14 BMW R1200 GSA - Continent Slayer

76 BMW R90/6           - Heritage Reminder


#18

Binky
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The Phillips Extreme lights is a direct bulb swap. Their light is much better than the OEM ones, but not as good as a LED or HID system.
For us mechanically challenged it's the easy way to upgrade the lights

Did the Phillips Extreme +130 on mine last weekend...nice and easy for a mechanically challenged numpty like myself, no panel removal etc took about 10 mins. Significant difference in colour and intensity and cost about £25. The only thing that looks a bit pants is the parking lights but not the end of the world. Picked up a Denali mini DM LED aux lighting kit yesterday and will hopefully have that installed soon sitting just under top front fairing, reason I went for this one was it comes with the full wiring, relays and switch and connectors and cost about £160. If anyone is interested will post pix when I have got it done.
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#19

Tumppi678
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Did the Phillips Extreme +130 on mine last weekend...nice and easy for a mechanically challenged numpty like myself, no panel removal etc took about 10 mins. Significant difference in colour and intensity and cost about £25. The only thing that looks a bit pants is the parking lights but not the end of the world. Picked up a Denali mini DM LED aux lighting kit yesterday and will hopefully have that installed soon sitting just under top front fairing, reason I went for this one was it comes with the full wiring, relays and switch and connectors and cost about £160. If anyone is interested will post pix when I have got it done.

 

Was it this one?

http://www.powerbulb...ion-130-h7-twin



#20

Binky
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Yes it was those guys....very quick, free delivery....dont forget to use the discount code


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