Sportbike Dual Headlight Conversion:Doubletronics has a module to convert dual-headlight motorcycles so both bulbs work at the same time | Double Headlights (NL) sells a kit that allows both the low and high beam headlights on a sportbike to work together
Xenon Headlight Bulbs – Halogen Headlight Bulbs:Be careful! Many different terms are used to describe light bulbs without reference to any standard meanings! This is also known as “hype”! | Coolbulb sells the high-quality Raybrig “Hyper Halogen” and “Whitesonic” bulbs from Japan; these are expensive bulbs, claimed to be very high quality and originally developed for auto racing. The Whitesonics claim up to 5000k of white light, with claimed outputs of 130/125W from a 60/55W H4 | Light Lens has many different types of Xenon, Halogen and other bulbs in all of the popular sizes | WhiteLight has Xenon bulbs at reasonable prices | Many different types of colored bulbs for headlights, brake lights and turn signals at Installer.com
Xenon Directional – Motorcycle Brake Light Bulbs:wBW Visitor D.J. also sent us a tip on using Xenon marker bulbs for directionals and brake lights; wBWhasn’t reviewed any of these bulbs yet, but the potential exists for higher output from your directionals, turn signals or brake lights by using Xenon 1156, 1157 or other marker bulbs
Sources for Motorcycle Headlight Bulbs:1stAutoBulbs (UK) carries Bosch, Philips, Osram and more and has free delivery in the UK | PIAA lighting is sold in many motorcycle shops; here is the PIAA Lighting page | CBT Importscarries PIAA bulbs and auxiliary lighting equipment | Fosmo Lighting from the U.K. (also known as Power Bulbs) – Large selection of light bulbs; free shipping anywhere in the world | Information on Motolights and various mounting options for motorcycles | Guaranteed headlight protective coverings available at X-Pel Light Protection; see the wBW installation article | Saengmakes the popular “Night Cutters” halogen driving or fog lights | The Blinker Buddy sends a vibration through the motorcycle’s seat each time the directionals cycle on and off; this alerts you that the signals are still active so that you can turn them off | The Safetylight kit keeps all four directionals on and then flashes them at five times the directional flashing speed when you apply the brakes; in Dutch but with English translation available | Also see the wBW Motorcycle Safety page for more information and articles on motorcycle visibility
Wedge Turn Signals – Wedge Brake Light Bulbs: Some European motorcycles like BMW and Ducati are starting to use the wedge bulbs as turn signals; many different types of LED wedge and incandescent wedge bulbs are available at Autolumination and Superbright LEDs and Lighting Ever
Opinions, Facts and Fiction: More info on the difference in various types of H4 bulbs | The Road Safety Index has some interesting articles about the effect of lighting sources and colors on visibility
Bulb Replacements:Modern bulbs for vintage motorcycles (and cars) including the P45T, BA9S, BA15S and more in 6V or 12V; they also have replacements for many types of older marker lights, turn signals and indicator lights
Running Lights – Directionals – Brake Lights – Turn Signals: Silver coated turn signal bulbs that work under clear lenses are available at Autolumination | Watsen Designs makes various types of LED turn signals and tiny LED “stealth” brake lights for sportbikes | LED brake light flasherworks as the bike decelerates | PartsNgo has tail lights, spot lights and directionals | Peterson Manufacturing makes heavy-duty LED and incandescent lighting for trucks and other vehicles; they also have a 50W incandescent tail light bulb that probably burns too hot for motorcycle use | LED turn signal lights at 2-BSeen attach to the handlebars for a custom look | Electrical Connection has a nice assortment of LED lights, replacement LED turn signals and brake lights and more | Vizible Technologies intelligent motorcycle brake light modulator
High Output Headlight Wiring Harness – Headlight Relay Switch: See the wBW reviewof the Eastern BeaverMotorcycle headlight relay kit, a wiring harness to add a relay to headlights for better output | More pre-packaged headlight relays and wiring kits available at Painless Wiring | Fuzeblocks makes a fuse block with a built-in relay, claimed to be “easy to install, fits into a small space, provides a built in relay…” and can be switched on and off with the bike if desired | More info on relays, headlights and visibility, reflective vests, decals and stickers and more on the wBWMotorcycle Safety Page
LED License Plate Bolts:British Customs has a nice set of chrome plated LED license plate replacement bolts (with white lights)
Neon Motorcycle Lights:Dr. Neon sells custom lengths of neon motorcycle lights to install anywhere on the bike; they also have neon spark plug wires | City Glow has neon and LED lighting for motorcycles
webBikeWorld Visitor “G.Y.” Writes:
“Purchased Hyper-Lites for my ’04 BMW R1150R after reading the review on your web site. Exceptionally good service from the owner, Ron Watkins, and the product is simply fantastic. I heartily recommend this product.”
Bulb Nomenclature: An H4 bulb is also referred to as a 9003 or an HB2; the 9005 bulb is also referred to as an HB3; a 9006 bulb is also referred to as an HB4. Many motorcycles take an H4 (9003) bulb – check your owner’s manual. Be careful of how much juice your wiring and switches can take! You may need to rewire and/or go through a relay. Interesting light bulb FAQ on this page at Coolbulbs
Bulb Brightness – Color Temperature: Color temperature is measured in Kelvin units (K). Higher K values mean “whiter” light. For example, incandescent light bulbs are around 2800K; a stock halogen bulb has a color temperature of around 3200K; the so-called “performance” bulbs run about 3500K; Xenon bulbs run near 4000K; HID lighting systems run from 4000-5000K and daylight is 5400K . Note that there is a difference between output (lumens) and color, or “whiteness” (Kelvin units).
Turn Signal – Brake Light Bulbs: Check out this wBWarticle with conversion chart on substituting different types of incandescent brake light and tail light bulbs for your OEM bulbs – you can get more brightness with the correct replacement. Explains similarities and differences between 21/5W, 2057, 1034, 1157, 2397 and 2357 bulbs
Halogen vs. Xenon Bulbs: This is where it gets confusing. There are all sorts of unsubstantiated and marketing claims made for various types of lighting. Xenon gas is sometimes used under pressure to fill the bulb; it supposedly cools the filament, and the Halogen on the filament can create increased light output. Whether or not Brand “X” is manufactured correctly is anyone’s guess! See below for online sources for light bulbs
Can You Increase Your Light Output?: Opinions vary; it appears that a lot of it depends on the size, shape and quality of your motorcycle’s headlight reflector and also the bike’s wiring. Some tests on the “superwhite” type bulbs show that the bulbs actually decreased output! But many owners claim much better visibility; could it be the increased K values change the perceived brightness?
All LED’s Are NOT Created Equal!: I’m a big fan of LED’s for use on motorcycles (less heat, use less power, more resistant to vibration, etc.) but some LED’s are much better than others. We occasionally will receive an email telling us that some company has an LED replacement for $5.95, and that we’re crazy for spending more. Just for the record, there are cheap LEDs and there are good LEDs. The cheap ones can have as low as a 5 degree wide light spread plus they can be very dim. The really good LEDs currently have a 120 degree light spread and put out 4,000 milli-candela per LED — but you’ll pay for them. It doesn’t make any sense to try and improve your rear lighting but use cheap LED’s that actually decrease visibility instead.
LED Turn Signal Flashing Problems? In some instances, an LED bulb used for a turn signal may cause the bike’s electrical system to indicate that a bulb is burned out. This may be manifested by an increased flashing rate. The reason for this may be that the bike’s electrical system isn’t picking up the fact that there’s a bulb because of the very low power consumption of the LED. This problem can usually be solved by adding a load resistor wired across the turn signal bulb to simulate a filament bulb load. See the webBikeWorld article on adding a load resistor to your bike.