Stock Lighting - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Stock Lighting

On another bike I have I replaced the headlights with HID's and that left me with some PIAA "Super White" bulbs (an H3 and a H7). The headlights on my '08 are still OEM so I thought I'd replace them with the leftover PIAA's. I thought I'd find an H3 and a H7. Not so, they are both H7's. I'd really like to use the H3 as the high beam. Any ideas? Seems strange the high and the low use the same bulb?
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 10:55 PM
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The reflector is designed for an H7 and won't perform right with an H3 even if you can get the base to fit the reflector. The reflector is a compound set of parabolas with the foci set at the point where the middle of the H7 filament is. The H3 is much shorter and would be quite a ways off the foci. They've only got a positive electrical lead, too. They're designed for a grounded metallic reflector.

The H3 is a pretty old design; most stuff is moving towards H7. My RT has a total of 7, between low beam (2), High beam (1), fog lamps (2), and driving lamps (2). Very handy for carrying spares!

I'm curious where you have found the H3 used lately. I have some that are in Cibie and S.E.V Marchal fog and driving lamps, but they are pretty old. The Hella 500s on my truck use them. They seem to be used in shallow lamp housings.

T

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 11-01-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-02-2012, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Dont be messin wif my foci !!!



The H3 is from my KTM that I recently installed the 50W HID's in. This bike shipped to the states with a single H4 evidently to comply with DOT regs and was awful. What a waste. I became aware that I could get a european housing that used a H3 in the upper high beam position and a H7 in the lower. I did this and the lighting was much improved. Also with that I got the european switch that is off/parking light/ headlamp. The highbeam dip is on the left like our KLR's and also a highbeam "trigger" on the left for momentary flashing.


That was good but I'd been drooling over the HID's for some time and finally got them.....WOW is all I can say, turn night into day. Most of the HID's I was looking at were 6,000K+ but I found a place that got me 4,300K for the low beam and 5,000K for the high, no blue tint. This is in the hopes the LEO's will leave me alone even though they are much brighter. The KLR is next !!!

The US housing looks just like the european shown except that in the upper was a #194 parking lamp with a plain reflector and the H4 in the lower. You may be able to see the parking lamp relocated in the lower left.

Hmmm, looking at the photo just now noticed that the highbeam lamp is sitting cocked to the left. Must not be in the socket correctly. I'll have to check that out.



Last edited by flash; 11-03-2012 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Wattage
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-02-2012, 11:26 AM
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Hey flash if you do install HID in the KLR let me know how it goes. I started a thread earlier about if I should or not but most people just thought the stock lighting was enough. I'm still not sold...
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Judging from my experience with the HID's on the KTM I'd say do it. You dont have to do both, only one if you want, high or low beam. One thing that may take a little work is finding a place to mount the ballast required to run them. Looks like there is plenty of room under the fairing on my '08 so that shouldn't be a problem. What year is yours?

I may go with some cheaper units I've seen on flea bay that are only 35 Watt for the KLR. The 50 Watt ones I put on the KTM were pricey from www.HID50.com but are of very high quality but this KTM is a completely different animal compared to the KLR. Speaking of which, the lighting on the '08+ KLR's is far superior to that of the KTM's out of the box. Like Tom was pointing out it's all in the reflector the way the light is distributed.

Last edited by flash; 11-03-2012 at 05:36 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 08:58 AM
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
Judging from my experience with the HID's on the KTM I'd say do it. You dont have to do both, only one if you want, high or low beam. One thing that may take a little work is finding a place to mount the ballast required to run them. Looks like there is plenty of room under the fairing on my '08 so that shouldn't be a problem. What year is yours?

I may go with some cheaper units I've seen on flea bay that are only 35 Watt for the KLR. The 50 Watt ones I put on the KTM were pricey from www.HID50.com but are of very high quality but this KTM is a completely different animal compared to the KLR. Speaking of which, the lighting on the '08+ KLR's is far superior to that of the KTM's out of the box. Like Tom was pointing out it's all in the reflector the way the light is distributed.
To HID, or Not

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 11:13 AM
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I'm a strong proponent for well-designed incandescent lighting.

For me, HID, projectors, diodes, et al are all "too small a point-source" type of lighting, be they on two wheels or four. That is really clumsily put, but what I'm trying to say is that there is an awful lot of light coming out of a very small area. My preference is for the same amount of light coming out of a larger area as I believe it has much less glare. The Best Damn Lights Ever Made™ were the 7" round Cibie Z-Beams.

I ride a lot at night, so good lighting is important to me. It's easy to achieve on a bike like my RT - it has a 60 amp alternator.

Not so with the KLR, so lighting problems can't readily be solved with quality auxiliary lights. The lighting on Gen1s is pitiful. If I had a Gen1 I would set aside my preference for incandescent and install a quality HID system, properly aimed.

Quality is important. There's a lot of Cheap Chinese Shit out there that is truly dangerous stuff. Color temperature is also important - the human brain is easily fooled by color temperature. We can easily think that a bluer light is "totally awesome, dude, and way brighter!" then wonder why we can't see and have headaches.

We evolved under a yellow sun; is it any wonder that we see best under the yellow portion of the light spectrum?

Along those lines, for those of you that have Gen2 and are happy with the lighting, you might want to try the Osram All Season Selective Yellow. They're available from CandlePower. I find them to provide better lighting under all circumstances.

T

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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post #9 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 02:34 PM
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This has done got me thinking, which is sometimes dangerous.

Even with my own dislike of HID retrofits, the lighting on the Gen 1 bikes is truly pitiful. As I said above, had I a Gen 1 I'd be looking for improvement and might do the HID.

I'm going to add a section to the Common Mods and issues on lighting.

T

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Even with my own dislike of HID retrofits, the lighting on the Gen 1 bikes is truly pitiful. As I said above, had I a Gen 1 I'd be looking for improvement and might do the HID.
Or, you might consider this product:

(TPI "trick" headlight bulb for Generation 1 KLR's; can't get the URL straight, because TPI's website is the most cumbersome, confusing, difficult motorcycle parts and accessories website I've ever seen . . . good products, excellent customer service, and outstanding prices, but . . . that website's a real pain to use, for me! Click on, http://www.tpimotorcycleparts.com/ and see if you have any better luck, locating this part!)

Improves Generation 1 lighting by at least an order of magnitude (that's ten times!).

While this Canadian tundra-proven H4 bulb may be used, plug-and-play, replacing the OEM product, the optional relay harness adds some candlepower and sends only low-current control voltage through the OEM handlebar switchgear.

Turns "night into day," by comparison with OEM lighting, no kidding!

Last edited by Damocles; 11-03-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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