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Headlight Replacement
any of you ever used the silverstar headlights? thats my favorite
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#16 01-24-2007, 09:37 PM,
Yes, I use the Sylvania Silverstar bulbs in my Gold Wing and in both of my GMC trucks.
The direct replacement for the Gold Wing OEM bulb is Sylvania 9003 ST.
I would not go back to standard bulbs.
1984 GL1200 Aspencade - Original Owner (SOLD Jan. 14, 2012) .......
Two tone Metallic Beige
Hondaline stereo and CB radio
Markland Electronic Cruise Control

GL1800 - Original Owner
Caliente Metallic Red
Comfort & Premium Audio Package with CB Radio
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#17 02-09-2007, 07:34 PM,
I purchased a new 85 LTD last fall with 60k km (about 36k miles) and have been very impressed with it so far. I have spent the last few nights reviewing the amazing amount of useful information on this and the GWRA website which has significantly lengthened my wish list for upgrades and improvements.

One of the first things I would like to do is improve the light output as I ride back and forth to work through deer country. In the morning it is the most beautiful commute to work I have ever had, but in the evenings in the spring and fall the deer seemed determined to get a close up look at my beautiful LTD.

Vic I saw in one of the archives your inquiry about putting 55/100 headlight bulbs but I was unable to find the conclusion to the thread. Can you buy them anywhere in Canada or are they any better than the Silverstars ? I realize they are illegal for on road uses, but I am willing to take the chance for the additional light and given that they would but at low beam for any oncoming traffic the chances of getting caught would be slim. Secondly, I have reviewed many of the posts about overloading the electrical system, but would the 100watt high beam strain the system of an LTD if it was used only at highway speed ?

I have driving lights on the bike, they may even be Hondaline or good copy as they are round with bottom mount bolts that attach to brackets mounted to the frame, but the output is very poor. I am going to take them apart in the next week or so to see what wattage they are or what types of bulbs they take. If I just replaced them with some 55watt driving lights with a similar bolt mount, would that overload my LTD. From the posts, I know the LTD has a higher output (500watt) but is this used by the extra stock gizmos on the LTD. Aside from the driving lights, it is completely stock with no additional draws on the electrical system and no heated clothing or additional lights.

Many moons ago I had a 1983 GL1100 Interstate and I put a 55/100 headlight and 55 watt auto driving lights on it because I was also riding through Saskatchewan deer country every weekend. The light output was amazing and at highway speed there was no problem, but I had to immediately shut the driving lights off when slowing down because the charging system could not keep up. I only had this setup on the bike for one season before I had to sell it to go back to school, but I rode 800km round trip every weekend and never had any problems with anything over heating or melting. I recognize that I did not have the opportunity to observe long term effects which is the reason for my inquiry here.

Sorry for the length of my first post, but any suggestions will be appreciated especially recommendations for replacement driving lights.
BarristerSteve
1985 Honda GL1200 LTD Current
1983 Honda GL1100 Int. - Previous
1980 Honda CX 500 - Previous
1973 Honda CT70 - Previous
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#18 03-16-2007, 03:50 PM,
I used a 55-100 on my 85 Aspy for some years, what I found was that the extra heat played havoc with the socket that the lamp was plugged into, it did eventually overheat and melted the solder on the contact on the lamp. Whether it was the fault of the lamp or not enough contact on the socket I don't know but I did remove the lamp and finally reverted back to the stock wattage lamp.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

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#19 03-16-2007, 04:02 PM,
Thanks for your prompt reply, did you have dielectric grease in the socket or would this have made a difference ? When changing the bulbs on by car, headlights and signals etc. I note that they are all packed with it from the factory.
BarristerSteve
1985 Honda GL1200 LTD Current
1983 Honda GL1100 Int. - Previous
1980 Honda CX 500 - Previous
1973 Honda CT70 - Previous
Reply
#20 03-16-2007, 04:20 PM,
It might have made a difference had the been dialectric grease there, I doubt there was any grease in it when it was installed many years ago.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

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#21 03-16-2007, 06:15 PM,
Hi Barrister and welcome to the site.

A 60/55W H4 is what is called for in the stock headlite so I think that the 100/55 could run with no major consequences except for the melting of the plastic connector wich might be taken care of with a good tightening of the connector and some dielectric compound.

I've got a 170/160W H4 Xenon Plasma Blue bulb that I'd like to install in my 84 Aspencade but I'm using a conversion alternator that puts out 50 amps so the charging system should handle it no problem. I think that I may need to solder the connections at the bulb to keep the resistance down so I don't have a meltdown like Tricky had happen.

These days headlite brightness has more than doubled on most new cars and bikes so I don't think that it will hurt anything if we try to keep up with the times and safety in being seen is extremely important although it's not so critical on my bike because of the bright yellow paint job. :lol:

The only detrimental thing that I have heard about upgrading the lighting is the chance of melting the plastic in the fairing but I've never actually seen such a thing happen with anybody I know except for Tricky but his problem was the plastic melting at the connector and soldering the connection will take care of that resitance problem.

I'll be replacing the headlite tomorrow so I'll let the board know what transpired along the way.

BTW, congratulations on such a wonderful find in that LTD. How did you come across it and was it big bucks or a sweet deal?
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#22 03-16-2007, 07:02 PM,
I hope you have a fire extinguisher handy.
Douce
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#23 03-16-2007, 09:05 PM,
As one ages, their eyes lose that precious night time ability and night time driving becomes more of a problem. I try not to do too much of it any more, being retired helps.
With the external alternator installed I have reinstalled extra lights I had tried previously but unable to use because of lack of generating power rather than re-introducing problems into the headlight by installing higher wattage bulbs.
Maybe this will give an edge when needed.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

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#24 03-17-2007, 05:30 AM,
Douce, the interesting thing about the Zenon bulb is that it puts out all kinds of light but the heat and power consumption is cut in half and it's easier on the oncoming traffic's eyes and the bonus is that they last for 5000 hours which is basically the life of the bike.

The downside is that they cost over $300. but the benefits are worth it in safety terms. This is the same type of light that comes on BMW's and Lamborghini's and Ducati's. It's puts out a pure white light that lights the road at night without blinding oncoming traffic. It's a totally new technology and more and more vehicles will be equipped with this light as time goes by because they plain and simply work better. They work kind of like fluorescent compared to incandescent. Fluorescent/Xenon can work at totally lighting a room without creating shadows whereas the incandescent illuminates one little spot with lots of shadow problems.

I was hoping to get mine in today but for some strange reason I can't seem to find the ballast transformer which is needed to make the headlite work.

As soon as I find it I'll report back with the results.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#25 03-17-2007, 07:34 AM,
I would stay away from something as high as 100w. First off is the illigality. Secondly if you forget to turn off the high beam then you have blinded a cage, or another bike. This presents big saftey concerns for you and them. If something happens you could be liable.

The next thing you need to consider is the fact that halogen bulbs don't burn out like there counterparts, they loose the lums, or become dim over time. Replacing them will do the trick, and at $20 a pop for new silverstars I feel rather comftorble with that.

Just running the numbers that is 15 of the silverstar bulb equaling the cost of the conversion. I'm not saying that it is a bad move, but for me, I can't justify the numbers. I don't see replacing my bulb every year so I don't think I will have my wing for that long. I also don't think I'll get much of that money on sale of the bike.

If the price of those light conversion kits came down to $100-150 then I'll look into it more.
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#26 03-19-2007, 06:25 AM,
Quake, I'm not sure that you comprehend the differences in the types of lighting because if you did you'd know that a 100 watt Xenon bulb is easier on oncoming drivers eyes than a 50 watt halogen. The Xenon will only draw half the current whereas the Halogen can conceivably draw ove 50 watts to light a 50 watt bulb due to resistance.

As I stated earlier the Xenon bulb is more like a fluorescent light in that it emits bright, clear unshadowed light that's easy on the eyes and the halogen is like an incandescent light that creates shadows and a blinding glare and dowright blinds other drivers on the road.

The other thing that you need to understand about incandescent lights is that they naturally diminish in output over time. The filament actually burns and corrodes and the light output can become half of what it used to be. That's why the smart driver will replace the headlight and tail lights periodically to maintain safe visibility.

Regarding price? How can you honestly put a price on safe riding. Besides, with Ebay it's possible to pick up great deals on safety items if you're patient and lucky.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#27 03-19-2007, 09:42 AM,
I would like to hear some more information on the Xenon upgrade once you have completed it Vic. I agree that it is a small price to pay for the ability to see additional a little sooner than you would otherwise be able to. Will you still have low and hi beams ? I looked at HID last fall and was told by the salesman that you couldn't have HID highbeams but that you didn't need them. Is the additional draw of a single HID bulb on startup something to be concerned about with a stock charging system ?

Did you order them from within Canada or from the U.S. ? I have never mail ordered anything from the U.S. and I am concerned about duties and brokerage fees, should I be ? I checked out a couple of the canadian online vendors and the price varies greatly and presumably so does the quality.

As far as the Sylvania Silverstars go, I personally put a pair of them in my car because they were the brightest bulb I could by without going HID. They were an improvement over regular Halogen but they burnt out almost exactly a year later. First one burnt out so I replaced it with the bulb I had taken out the year before and then a week later the other one burnt out. It seemed strange that their lifespan was that closely matched. I then researched a bit on the net and there were claims that the Sylvania Silverstars burnt hotter thus their brighter light but they also burnt out quicker. I have since put in the GE equivalent, which seems to be equally as bright but I have not compared them side by side. This spring it will be two years that the GEs have been in the car and I have not had a problem. At $25 per lightbulb plus tax for the GE or Sylvanias, the Xenon upgrade doesn't sound overly expensive and might be a better value than upgrading my driving lights as well.
BarristerSteve
1985 Honda GL1200 LTD Current
1983 Honda GL1100 Int. - Previous
1980 Honda CX 500 - Previous
1973 Honda CT70 - Previous
Reply
#28 03-19-2007, 04:40 PM,
I got my Xenon light setup from Ebay (U.S.) at a deeply discounted price over a year ago. I haven't had the Xenon on my bike yet and it may be a while because I can't seem to find the ballast. I put the bulb in a safe place so it wouldn't get broken but I'll be darned if I can figure out where the heck I put the ballast and it won't work without it. Once I do find it I will give a full report.

There are 3 connectors on the back of the bulb and there is a 10 watt spread between hi beam and low beam. The draw is supposed to be half that of halogen and start up should be no problem.

If you order from the U.S. it has been my experience that UPS usually has the highest brokerage fees and the U.S. Postal Service usualy has the lowest fees. The biggest brokerage fee I ever had was with UPS and it was $60, CDN on a $150. item. YOUCH.

With halogens one drop of condensation can destroy the bulb and even a fingerprint can cause it to be shortlived so always handle the bulb with gloves or a cloth to protect them.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#29 03-19-2007, 07:24 PM,
Might not be the same bulb type but I know in theater applications some of the bulbs will burn the glass if they have been touched by a bare finger. Interesting to look at, but I'm sure sickening if you are the one that has to replace it.
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#30 03-20-2007, 07:51 PM,


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