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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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:

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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i would just add FOG LIGHTS... i added a couple on mine, i will post a link later!
 

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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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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

.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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).
 

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... 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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Discussion Starter #9
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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Many on the market are 2-sided or at best 3-sided...I had someone point me in the direction of just-released-to-market 4-sided LED bulbs (with heatsinks/fans on the back) and they weren't that good.

I'd share some images/links (as I did a comparison between my ZX6R with HID's and with LED's), but I need to get to 15 posts first (kind of silly rule IMO, but I'll deal).
 

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I'm thinking about installing a HID kit to my 1988 KLR650, however one stumbling block may be the technical inspection.
My Bike is now registered in Gibraltar but in nearby Spain HID kits are not allowed unless they have a certificate of homologation and were fitted by an approved installer.

Apparently the latest LED bulbs that don't need a ballast unit are almost as bright as Xenon lights? If this is the case I'll go for LEDs.

Any useful info would be much appreciated.

James.
 

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As far as I know, there is absolutely no HID or LED bulb or retrofit kit that will pass ECE, FMVSS, CMVSS, SAE or any other requirements.

The LED and HID elements cannot replicate the size, orientation, and position of the H4 element, thus the lamp cannot emit a beam conforming to the aforementioned requirements. It's physics.

H4 is very dated technology in the lighting world and there aren't a whole lot of bulbs that are better than average. There is one that comes well recommended; I'll see if I can find a reference to it and post that up. It might be available in Europe.

Unfortunately, too, the headlamp in the Gen 1 is a bespoke piece, so you can't even replace it with a decent Hella or Cibié unit without custom (and illegal) fabrication.
 

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The bulb I was going to refer to you was one that Damocles often recommended. It was sold by TPI. It seems they no longer carry it.

At any rate, better headlight performance can be had from the stock headlamp by improving the wiring to the headlights with heavier wire and relays, and one of the overdriven, yet legal, bulbs. Bulb life will be shorter, of course, but more light is available.
 

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The Gen 2 KLRs have a dual H7 headlamp assembly, quite a bit better than the Gen 1 H4 set up.

As to your question about the H4 LED, I shall resort to my plaintive "It's physics". You've no idea how that can piss some people off. I'll also refer you to this thread, which you may find informative. In advance I will tell you that "-Virgil-" is actually a rather renowned expert in the field of automotive lighting and has testified before our regulatory bodies on issues pertaining to our lighting regulation, FMVSS108. As he prefers to moderate in anonymity, I won't let Daniel's real name slip...

I don't know who "Alaric" is, other than the obvious literary reference, so can't vouch for his credentials. He's always seemed level-headed, if a bit strident. He's far more pedantic than even I am. ;^)

H4 LED Upgrade - Are there any good ones?
 

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Hmmm, sage reading from those other sites about HID and LED lights!

I suppose without a major and very expensive modification I'm stuck with "I can't see a thing in the dark" H4 system :serious:

I don't do too much night riding these days but with winter just around the corner it made me wonder about a lighting upgrade.

James.
 

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If you are a bit of a fabricator, this might give you some ideas.

Mind you, it is not legal but if it is well done and properly aimed it should be as good as an OEM installation. You'd need to have some way to return things to stock for your inspection, of course.

The difference is that these are decent quality complete OEM projector units that are hosted in the KLR housing. It is the mating of the OEM projector to a non-OEM housing that makes them an illegal application, and especially that there is a clear optical cover over them.

http://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/49297-hid-project.html

Never having fiddled with a Gen 1 headlamp, I was under the mistaken idea that the headlamp was a standard 5X7 and that a decent H4 headlamp could be retrofitted. That's not the case, of course.

If I had to upgrade a Gen 1's lighting I think I would look at something like Twin Headlight Ernie's first product:


Surprisingly, perhaps, the above would be legal in the US because it is a complete headlamp assembly that conforms to the motorcycle requirements of FMVSS108 that is being used. Our regulations allow us to take standard H4 and H1 headlamps and use them in a bullet housing, provided that there is no optical component in front of the headlamp.

Again, shipping to you would be very expensive, but perhaps you could fab up something similar to this and use a couple of 5 3/4" headlamps (I speak metric, honest, but can't remember what the industry metric equivalent sizes are) or even a big 7" or 5X7".
 

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If you are a bit of a fabricator, this might give you some ideas.

Mind you, it is not legal but if it is well done and properly aimed it should be as good as an OEM installation. You'd need to have some way to return things to stock for your inspection, of course.

The difference is that these are decent quality complete OEM projector units that are hosted in the KLR housing. It is the mating of the OEM projector to a non-OEM housing that makes them an illegal application, and especially that there is a clear optical cover over them.

http://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/49297-hid-project.html

Never having fiddled with a Gen 1 headlamp, I was under the mistaken idea that the headlamp was a standard 5X7 and that a decent H4 headlamp could be retrofitted. That's not the case, of course.

If I had to upgrade a Gen 1's lighting I think I would look at something like Twin Headlight Ernie's first product:


Surprisingly, perhaps, the above would be legal in the US because it is a complete headlamp assembly that conforms to the motorcycle requirements of FMVSS108 that is being used. Our regulations allow us to take standard H4 and H1 headlamps and use them in a bullet housing, provided that there is no optical component in front of the headlamp.

Again, shipping to you would be very expensive, but perhaps you could fab up something similar to this and use a couple of 5 3/4" headlamps (I speak metric, honest, but can't remember what the industry metric equivalent sizes are) or even a big 7" or 5X7".
Thanks again Tom for your intuitive reply.

I never want to really wander from the original look of my old 1988 KLR650 , however your suggestion to re-fit with dual headlights will get me thinking of an ascetic modification and how to get it looking "right".

James

EDIT: so still keep clear of these options? https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_...eadlight.TRS0&_nkw=5x7+hid+headlight&_sacat=0
 

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Yes.

In the world of automotive lighting, if performance is the objective, stay clear of any product that is not found as OEM. You'll need to stick to brands such as JW Speaker, Hella, Cibie (in whatever incarnation they are currently in), Sylvania, etc.

That is not to say that some of the very inexpensive LED accessory lights cannot be useful as auxiliary lighting. They may not be legal and shouldn't be used in oncoming traffic, but they can be serviceable.

But for the main lighting, no. As much as we would like to find decent, effective, and legal LED lighting for <100€, it's not possible. The necessary non-recurring engineering costs, certification costs, etc, amortized over the production, plus the cost of building a quality product, preclude that.

Just about any dink with some gumption can "design" a headlamp, make drawings, and get it produced in China for 5€ and sell it for 75€. Unfortunately it will perform poorly, likely not last, and certainly won't mass a MOT.
 
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