1st Gen. Major Headlight Upgrade? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 11 Old 05-01-2016, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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1st Gen. Major Headlight Upgrade?

New guy here (see intro thread in the intro forum...can't post the URL because I don't have 15 posts).

I'm a bit of a 'light whore' as some people would say...gotta have dem HID's yo! But I also believe in not blinding oncoming traffic by putting HID's into a reflector housing (such as the KLRs).

So, I was wondering if someone could provide this dual-sport n00b with some information:

1) What are the dimensions of the stock 1st Gen. KLR headlight assembly?
2) How easy it is to use one of those universal headlights that is installed with straps? Is this something commonly done? I can't seem to find any images of a KLR running such a setup.

Depending on the size of the stock unit (I don't have a KLR yet), I might look into retrofitting a legit bi-xenon HID projector into that...but I'm worried about the KLR's headlight glass (it's not completely clear like the"Acerbis LED Vision HP Headlight").

Considering getting the "Acerbis LED Vision HP Headlight" or "Sonic StreetFighter" one if I can't use the stock setup...

Also will probably get some LED lights to attach to the front for some aux lighting.

I'd also like to make the rear tail light clear with some nice LED's...but doesn't look like anyone makes a clear cover for the rear tail light.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 01:44 AM
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I have installed a bunch of HID 35 watt H4 bulb kits into Gen1. They are a huge improvement and don't seem to bother other drivers. A 35 watt hid is, IME, about the same as 100 watt quartz bulb but a KLR650 needs better wiring and relays with quartz to approach that.

HID also draw about 2.4 amps which is about 1/2 of the stock headlight.

Recently, we have been installing an H4 LED which is much brighter than a 50 watt HID so seems closer to a 200 watt quartz. No complaints.

I can post additional information if you like but may need to be reminded as on my phone and late at night.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normk View Post
I have installed a bunch of HID 35 watt H4 bulb kits into Gen1. They are a huge improvement and don't seem to bother other drivers. A 35 watt hid is, IME, about the same as 100 watt quartz bulb but a KLR650 needs better wiring and relays with quartz to approach that.

HID also draw about 2.4 amps which is about 1/2 of the stock headlight.

Recently, we have been installing an H4 LED which is much brighter than a 50 watt HID so seems closer to a 200 watt quartz. No complaints.

I can post additional information if you like but may need to be reminded as on my phone and late at night.
Thanks!

I just recently tried an LED bulb in my 2013 ZX6R and it was CRAP compared to my 50w HID kit...which is why I'm not even really considering it.

I do plan on upgrading the wiring harness either way with something from TheRetrofitSource.com.

If I could get dimensions of the assembly, I could start to piece together a parts list...but won't know what kind of projector I can fit in there without that. Most projectors are 2.5" or 3". The one I'm looking at is:

Max Depth: 139mm (includes bulb holder)
Max Width: 88mm
Max Height: 73mm
Lens Diameter: 2.5"
Mounting Shaft: Diameter = 20mm
Housing Depth: Minimum = 115mm

EDIT:

Just in case my intro thread is a pain to find:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilya View Post
Hi there folks,

My name is Ilya. Previous owner of two 2013 Ninja 300's as well as current owner of a 2013 ZX6R.

Friends and I decided to buy some dual-sports and drive them down (on a trailer) to TX (from Upstate, NY) and then ride them into Mexico down the eastern side/coast of the country (possible destination being Cancun) in the early part of 2017.

So, having no previous experience with dual sports, I've started shopping and have my sights setting on a 1st gen. KLR 650.

I will be asking questions as I try to put together a 'farkle' list lol. Thanks!
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 01:18 PM
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i would just add FOG LIGHTS... i added a couple on mine, i will post a link later!
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 01:38 PM
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I'm working (at the speed of Tom) on a retrofit for the Gen2 using Infinity G37 projectors, and I applaud your desire to do it right for the Gen1!

There are clear headlights out there that can be dis-assembled and into which you can install a mini bi-xenon projector. This link shows the general process, though there are a couple of photos missing: So I've started a retrofit | Non-DSM Related Chatter | Club DSM Canada

They are also doing this on the S10 and Jeep forums, some Google action should show the way. HID Planet is another good source; it's a forum at The Retrofit Source. TRS is a good place to shop; their stuff is pretty good quality. https://www.theretrofitsource.com/

Tom

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-02-2016 at 01:40 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 02:16 PM
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I'll point you at a couple of websites which may be of interest to you. As a background I also own a Goldwing 1500 and the lights in it are certainly better than a KLR but not super great either. I don't ride at night much so it's not a big deal for me.

Recently SoCalMotoGear released a plug and play kit for the Goldwing which consisted of an LED headlight upgrade. From what I understand they did extensive R&D on the upgrade using the Goldwing reflector. They also supply a plug and play kit four HID lighting which has been very well received as the R&D on the set up is leading the marketplace.

The LED bulb is for H4 fitment. Not sure how one of these bulbs would work in a first Gen KLR reflector. You can get more info on it here on the Goldwing Kit here:

PATHFINDERLED HONDA GOLD WING LED HEADLIGHT G158897 G159820S LED GOLDWING LED LIGHTING LED HEADLIGHTS GL1500 LED

The set up is currently being tested by the Admin of the GoldwingDocs forum. Previous to the LED's he had the HID kit installed which he said was great. He seems even more impressed with the LED kit. You can read his review that shows detailed pictures and light beam comparisons at the link below. You don't have to log into the forum to read it or see the pictures.

Let me know what you think the possibilities man for using this in a KLR.

SocalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights ? Product Reviews ? goldwingdocs.com

.

On a Wing and a KLR.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I'm working (at the speed of Tom) on a retrofit for the Gen2 using Infinity G37 projectors, and I applaud your desire to do it right for the Gen1!

There are clear headlights out there that can be dis-assembled and into which you can install a mini bi-xenon projector. This link shows the general process, though there are a couple of photos missing:

They are also doing this on the S10 and Jeep forums, some Google action should show the way. HID Planet is another good source; it's a forum at The Retrofit Source. TRS is a good place to shop; their stuff is pretty good quality.

Tom
I've had retrofits before...but never on old *** headlights like 1st Gen. KLR's (99 Maxima - twice, and my Ninja 300).

That CA DSM thread is great. So is the KLR 1st gen headlight a 5x7 unit as well? Or is it a different size?

The problem would be mounting it...

KLR4EVR...thanks, I'll look into LED if my HID project falls through (I used high-end 4-sided LED's on my '13 ZX6R with projectors and the output was utter TRASH - so that'll be last resort because I'm sure it's better than halogen).

Last edited by Ilya; 05-02-2016 at 03:37 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilya View Post
... is the KLR 1st gen headlight a 5x7 unit as well? Or is it a different size?...
I'll leave it for the Gen 1 guys to answer positively, but I believe that it is a standard 5X7 semi-sealed beam unit that fits an H4 bulb.

If you get one of the clear units, dis-assemble it, hack the back to accept the projector and get it sealed up and re-assembled, mounting it should be no issue. I don't know what mini-BIX fits in the housing, though, nor do I know what the rear protrusion is and how much room is in the Gen 1 nacelle.

Twin Headlight Ernie got his name from his twin-headlight mount. If you want to go that route there are some non-stock options that might work without going to a projector.



Tom
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Tom

'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte
"Say, that's a nice Prius." -Nobody


Sting like a butterfly.

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-02-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping that's the case (5x7)...should be relatively easy then. And mounting I can probably have my father fab something up worst case (I'm not much of a fabber).

Thanks Tom. When I get a bike, I'll start a build log. I'm waiting for a response for a 92 for $1,200 but the guy isn't responding ...
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-02-2016, 05:55 PM
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I've installed many HID into Gen1 with no blinding other drivers issues, FWIW.

IME, the low output LED issues are with the type of bulbs which do not use a cooling fan.
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