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Old 07-06-2012, 07:13 AM
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Headlight???

Is there a brighter headlight that I can get for my 1980 xs1100lg midnight special??
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2012, 07:55 AM
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My 79 Special has an H4 bulb in it which can be swapped with a few other options. I'd check to see if yours is that or a sealed beam and if a sealed beam try to locate a replacement that accepts H4 bulbs. The H4 bulbs are removed from the back of the light bulb usually with a wire retainer clip and rotating the bulb a little and there should be 3 tabs on the bulb base. I need to find a H4 replacement for my Windjammer as it uses old style sealed beam headlights.
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:15 AM
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Only the '78's had the sealed beam.

Often the reflectors degrade over the years and don't reflect well anymore. You can get replacements for the reflector from lots of places. Any 7" round H4 housing works. You can also get off road bulds that are higher wattage, but not legal for on road use....
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1978 XS1100E
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:16 AM
Poprock Poprock is offline
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Sylvania has a Super Silver Star light that's a little better than a standard H4. I'm running and 85 watt H4 that's tinted blue. It's brighter than stock by quite a bit, but still not enough. OMP Reg/rec keeps up with it fine.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:53 AM
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You could switch to an HID headlight. As long as you have an H4 bulb in there, it will work. They are technically for "offroad use only" but I have never heard of anyone getting a citation for a properly-aimed MC headlight that was too bright.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
You could switch to an HID headlight. As long as you have an H4 bulb in there, it will work. They are technically for "offroad use only" but I have never heard of anyone getting a citation for a properly-aimed MC headlight that was too bright.
I do! I know several people that have had tickets for those POS Chinese hid kits.
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1978 XS1100E
K&N Filter
#45 pilot Jet, #137.5 Main Jet
OEM Exhaust
ATK Fork Brace
LED Dash lights
Ammeter, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, and Volt Meters

Green Monster Coils
SS Brake Lines
Vision 550 Auto Tensioner

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:13 PM
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brighter bulb

I found and purchased an "off-road only" bulb at a local swap meet, I have seen them in various catalogs as well. Mine is a 55w low beam 100w high beam they make higher watt bulbs as well. It was a direct plug in but you need to be aware that the higher watt bulbs will put out more heat so be careful if you have a plastic headlight shell. I also run 2 55watt driving lights that work great for lighting up the area right in front and to the sides, I ride on alot of back roads and it helps to see all around. There is a site that sells LED spots for the dual sport crowd that seem to really work well but are rather pricey. I didn't think the HID conversion was worth the trouble
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:37 PM
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brighter headlight

if your bike still has a sealed beam headlight you can easily replace it with a current H4 bulb unit. mikesxs sells them for about $30, including the bulb. i've used about 4 of them on restorations and they work great. if you just want to upgrade any H4 bulb, most are 60/55watt, you can buy a replacement 100/80watt bulb at any auto parts store for less than $10.00. simple install. make sure your wiring harness and headlight bulb fuse can handle the extra wattage. i've also done this wattage upgrade on my 2007 v-star 1100. works great.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:08 AM
Eveready1100 Eveready1100 is offline
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I've tried quite a few different options ranging from a simple H4 bulb upgrade to the current 50w HID setup. No contest at all the HID wins hands down. Comments like this -
Quote:
I know several people that have had tickets for those POS Chinese hid kits.
come from people not having the light aimed sensibly like C-Bug said in his prior post -
Quote:
I have never heard of anyone getting a citation for a properly-aimed MC headlight that was too bright.
Ok, so you want a brighter headlight. First off, if it's a sealed beam, toss it out. Nothing can help here.
If a H4, first, clean the reflector. A brighter bulb won't help if the light is being consumed by dirt on the reflector. The 100w-55 bulb would be the brightest you could go (if your fusebox is in good nick) without having to install relays and mod the RLU as it will play up with a relay installed.
Brightest Halogen I've run is a 160-100w with two relays which was awesome in night vision but I had issues with the delay when switching beams, where there would be darkness for too long before the element warmed up and did its thing, like a toaster element being switched on.
Currently running a 50w HID @ 4300k which is the best light I've ever ridden with as it has no shortcomings like switching delays, and is aimed responsibly so I have had no problems with oncoming traffic at all, plus is easier on the electrical system than a stock bulb. The #4300 being the critical point here, as the kit came with a blue 8000k bulb which seemed great at first till I got caught in the rain one night where it had no penetration through the mists, which is a common problem with any blue tinged bulb, regardless of type, H4 or HID.
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2018, 03:52 AM
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Sorry to bump old threads!

Lots of good info here. So Im shopping on amazon for 50w H4 HID bulb. My vision at night sucks!

Would this work on my special? I just dont want to buy the weong product and have to return it.

NIGHTEYE H4 Hi/Lo Beam Led Headlight Bulbs 50W 8000LM 6500K All-in-one Conversion Kit...

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B4R372K/..._eq6IBb9ESTSBP
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Last edited by Blank Slate; 09-02-2018 at 03:54 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2018, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
Sorry to bump old threads!

Lots of good info here. So Im shopping on amazon for 50w H4 HID bulb. My vision at night sucks!

Would this work on my special? I just dont want to buy the weong product and have to return it.

NIGHTEYE H4 Hi/Lo Beam Led Headlight Bulbs 50W 8000LM 6500K All-in-one Conversion Kit...

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B4R372K/..._eq6IBb9ESTSBP
Room inside the headlight shell is a concern, this will fit the headlight if you can make room for it.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:57 AM
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As donebysundy said, you need to measure to make sure you have the room. Also be aware that the bulb will put out a LOT more heat! You may need to enlarge some of the access holes in the headlight bucket to increase airflow. A painted bucket is easy, chrome will be harder to modify and still look good/not rust.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2018, 12:45 PM
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well i got it working and dont want to screw it up, so ill leave it as is!

thanks for the tips!

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  #14  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:01 PM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
Sorry to bump old threads!

Lots of good info here. So Im shopping on amazon for 50w H4 HID bulb. My vision at night sucks!

Would this work on my special? I just dont want to buy the weong product and have to return it.

NIGHTEYE H4 Hi/Lo Beam Led Headlight Bulbs 50W 8000LM 6500K All-in-one Conversion Kit...

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B4R372K/..._eq6IBb9ESTSBP
Hi Blank Slate,
IS That a HID conversion
That looks like is a pair of LED bulbs to replace Halogen H4 bulbs in your existing headlight. If that is what you are doing why not look at the motorcycle specific ones listed on the same page.
the challenge with LED bulbs in an old housing, like the XS, is the reflector is probably dulled with age and will not give the maximum performance.
Do some research of the terminology too. Cree is a brand name with good reputation. CSB is a style developed by some one other than Cree .
There are of course also many low quality products out there to confuse the marketplace.
Phil

8000 LM turns out to be 4000LM per bulb so not a very bright light 6500K is a good level of colour and will appear white.
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Last edited by MaximPhil; 09-04-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximPhil View Post
If that is what you are doing why not look at the motorcycle specific ones listed on the same page..
Hi Phil, I basically wanted a stronger bulb without the need to do conversions.
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