HID lights on the F800GS

[ Monday - November 30, 2009 ]

I'm just writing this article now, but I've had the PIAA and Trail Tech HID lights on the F8GS ever since I first bought the bike.  The HID lights are a hold over from the R12R.  They're both mounted on the level with the 8GS's headlights.  Because of stoutness of the 8GS and the intensity of the HID lights, I can't use these lights unless I'm on a Hwy in the middle of nowhere.  Using these lights for commuting is just not a good idea.

The fact that the ballast is built in to the units, makes for a really easy installation.  In terms of changing the Xenon bulbs, forget it.  I don't think it's possible to change the bulbs and most likely the ballast will die before the bulb.  Basically, these are buy use and throw away units.  At the cost of $150 per light, it's not too bad.  Just make sure to purchase the light from Trail Tech and not get them with the PIAA label.

In terms of the light bar, I just used a simple 1" x 1/8" piece of aluminum, with a hole drilled out at the ends, to mount the lights.  I also add a small/short piece of the same aluminum stock as reinforcement for the primary light bar.  It makes the entire assembly a little more rigid.  The lights still vibrates a bit, but it's not as bad compared to just the single primary light bar.

It's the cheapest light bar I can find.  Just material and a little time drilling and filing.

It's still good after 10 months of use.

Wiring the lights is simple.  It's a matter of tapping off of the Centech AP-1 and putting a switch in to control the on/off action.  Instead of showing the gory images of where wires are run an what not, I'll just put up a diagram of my electrical setup.

Ultimately this is what the result looks like.

Low beam with Philips Vision Plus.  Pretty good as it is.

Both HID lights blazing.  Way better!

Of course the frontal getting blind by the HID lights shot.

The good part, it's nice and bright.  The bad part, it's too bright for city use.  I have to look for an alternate lighting system for commuting use.  I think I might have found it.  It's a set of high intensity LED light from Clearwater Lights.  Does this mean I'm going to swap out the HIDs for the LED lights?  Hardly.  Because the LED light take up so little power (e.g. 1A each), I'm planning on leaving all existing lights in place.  Check out the article about Clearwater LED Lights for more details.

I know that I don't need to prove that I've had these lights for a while now, but here's the proof nonetheless.

Death Valley '09 (March)

Mammoth '09 (August)

Written on:  November 30, 2009
Last modified:  November 30, 2009