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LED Headlight Upgrade legit?

NW Comet

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I need some confirmation or an education on this.

I purchased an LED bulb for my 2015 NC700x. Selected the bulb from the Phillips bulb chart at Philips Bulb Look-up | 2015 HONDA MOTORCYCLE NC700X and ordered it via Amazon at Amazon.com: HIKARI LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit -H4(9003),CREE (XHP50+XM-L2) 9600lm 6K Cool White,2 Yr Warranty: Automotive

Other than needing smaller hands it was pretty easy to pull the OEM bulb out and plug in the LED. I did have to cut the rubber boot to expose the fans on the LED. The light is definitely much brighter and even though the light housing may not have been designed for an LED, the design of the bulb seems to keep the light line at the trunk line when behind a car.

Concerns: This was too easy, so why am not not reading some of the senior members doing this? Did I just create an illegal light or some other operational issue by going LED? And if it is a legit mod, how are others weatherproofing the back of the bulb/fan. See my picture of the cut away of the boot with LED fan.

boot.jpg
 
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GoRovers

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I did a halogen to LED upgrade on my previous bike, a Honda ST. I was less than pleased with the results. My experience was, yes, I was seen earlier by oncoming vehicles, but I could see less of the roadway ahead. Also, I read, perhaps on this forum, that 2016 / 17 NC owners in Europe and Canada were not raving about their new LED headlight. For now I am sticking with the stock halogen on my 2016 NC.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

GlennC

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Comet, I'm new here but my opinion is that you may be ahead of the curve on this.

I tried an Ebay LED headlamp kit in one of our cars and it was absolutely terrible. There's a lot of junk out there. There is also, as far as I can tell, some very good lighting equipment for those who can sift through the junk to find it.

I'd be interested to know more about exactly what you found with the particular lamps you linked to. The headlamp on the NC-X has a very strange pattern that I don't think is good at all, and my KLR is just very dim. I'm personally looking to improve both. I will say that 6k light is very *bad* for general illumination and a warmer light color would probably give better real-world results.
 
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rippin209

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There's another thread on the forum recommending a couple of LEDs that someone has tried and would recommend to others on here. A senior member on here said he got a specific brand that he had already tried on a previous bike, installed one on his NC and said it worked well, I bought one and was pleased. While not much brighter the color (or lack of) improved my visibility as well as my being seen.
I also just installed a pair of these and I would recommend them especially for the price.
Xprite 2" Inch 10-Watt Cree High Power LED Off-Road Spot Light (2-Pack) Amazon.com: Xprite 2" Inch 10-Watt Cree High Power LED Off-Road Spot Light (2-Pack): Automotive
I put silicone on any places water had potential of getting in at freeway speeds. (As a precaution) More than half my riding is in the dark so even being cheep (frugal is more accurate) these were worth while mods.
c4066d95fc95324401f00e4076cba3e7.jpg

Led headlight
2e1e349b4924d4bc4bde6ee99c9692ca.jpg

Led headlight with auxiliary lights on (they also have slightly better range)
eb4233f30dc2414bd66c85b891359e07.jpg

Easiest place to mount them was the fender bracket (with longer bolts) I need to find or fabricate a bracket to use the light bar
P.S. Check the water proof rating on that fan for your headlight, the one I bought was bragging about being water proof and completely submerging there's, so you might not have anything to worry about as long as your LED is covered well
 
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NW Comet

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There's another thread on the forum recommending a couple of LEDs that someone has tried and would recommend to others on here. A senior member on here said he got a specific brand that he had already tried on a previous bike, installed one on his NC and said it worked well, I bought one and was pleased. While not much brighter the color (or lack of) improved my visibility as well as my being seen.
I also just installed a pair of these and I would recommend them especially for the price.
Xprite 2" Inch 10-Watt Cree High Power LED Off-Road Spot Light (2-Pack) Amazon.com: Xprite 2" Inch 10-Watt Cree High Power LED Off-Road Spot Light (2-Pack): Automotive

I was hoping just changing out the bulb would be a cleaner and simpler option than adding 2 LEDs. That is why I am looking for some feedback. An option is to go back to the OEM bulb and add two LED's to my engine guard. The headlight LED is brighter and uses less amps than the OEM but I am concerned the beam may cause me or other drivers issues and I am concerned it may not be weather proof enough. I am still sorting this out. I appreciate your comments.
 

rippin209

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The angle of the headlight is adjustable and I didn't have to cut my rubber boot to install my LED headlight so the only part I've got to worry about is the plug connection
Here's a link to the thread that convinced me to try it
Evitek G6 H4 LED headlight bulb installation
 
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NW Comet

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The angle of the headlight is adjustable and I didn't have to cut my rubber boot to install my LED headlight so the only part I've got to worry about is the plug connection
Here's a link to the thread that convinced me to try it
Evitek G6 H4 LED headlight bulb installation

Thanks for the link. I did search before I posted and not sure why I didn't find that post. Could have saved me from cutting the boot. I need to find the adjustment screw. Much appreciated. Looks adding the side LED's may still be a benefit for visibility. Maybe a project to do after daylight savings ends.
 

rippin209

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I ride year round (except for guaranteed downpour, I've given up riding in that crap) I leave for work between 1am-3am and for 2 or 3 months ride home after dark so lots of riding time checking out my lighting. The LED headlight I installed was a improvement but not as much as I hoped, the auxiliary lights made it so I can see the road clearly in complete darkness. I already had the OEM accessory wiring harness, I literally just wired directly into that and installed a on/off switch (it was powered on/off by the key already. I should have put a fuse in there but the whole accessory harness had less power than the lights can handle and it's worked perfectly for over a month. I also have the heated grips on the same harness and using them or not has made no difference to the lights, just as a reference.
 

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I have a Cyclops Adventure Sports LED headlight which was somewhat better than the original. It is much brighter bur the color of the light does not compete well with the light from cars coming your way. I also have driving lights from SuperbrightLEDS.com 10W in a 45 degree angle and they work very well making me be more conspicuos to incoming traffic and illuminating the side of the road. Finally, I have Cyclops Optimus Prime Aux lights which are great when used in very dark places.
 

StratTuner

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Concerns: This was too easy, so why am not not reading some of the senior members doing this? Did I just create an illegal light or some other operational issue by going LED? And if it is a legit mod, how are others weatherproofing the back of the bulb/fan. See my picture of the cut away of the boot with LED fan.

1. This member did this
2. I'm not a lawyer, but you used a light at least as bright as the one it replaced... could that be illegal?
3. I had to cut the rubber thing that protects the light, but it seals as well as it ever did to the new light.

[HERE] is the Single light I got...(at $20, I wanted to see if it was worth anything..It is.)

Stark

[h=1] 1Pc 36W 4000LM US BridgeLux COB LED Chip Motorcycle Headlight High Beam Dual Hi / Lo Conversion Kit - Cool White 6000K 6K Bulb - H4 / HS1 / HB2 / 9003[/h]
  • Easy Installation: All-in-One Design. Plug and Play. Average Installation time: 20 minutes
  • US BridgeLux LED Chip (Only) High brightness. Cool White 6000K. Lumen: 4,000 lumen.
  • NO Driver / Ballast All in One Super compact design to accommodate narrow spaces.
  • Made with the most advanced COB technology in LED Chip, a better light quality than COB lights on the market..
  • 2 Year Warranty.


So far, it's bright enough, looks good...and I'm waiting to see if it lasts a long time....that will take time to know.

[THIS] is what I buy when I have more money.
Stark
[Upgraded] Luxx ES Series - 80W All-in-One 360° LED Kit - Cool White 6000K 6K -
Headlights Low and High Beam - 9,000 lm - H4 / HB2 / 9003

  • BETTER VISIBILITY: Bright 6000K light and 9,000 Lumens per kit - No dark spot, No scattered light
  • LONGER LIFESPAN: Braided cord, Advanced LED chip along with new Turbo Fan provide over 50,000 hours
  • PLUG'n PLAY: All you need to upgrade your H4 / HB2 / 9003 Lights
  • DISCLAIMER: Some Vehicle REQUIRE Additional Hardware, please check the list for those cars below.
  • 2 Year Warranty / Lifetime Support

Some of the LED bulbs have a small transformer (?) attached to the....a little metal square box. The new cheap one did not have that, so it was easier to install.

Replacing the turn indicators was easy! Try LED Lights, Bulbs & LED Lighting Accessories | Super Bright LEDs .
It's a good source for good LED (bright dependable counts for "good" to me.)

You'll need to replace the flashing unit....the thing that makes the turn indicators flash. Using one designed for incandescent bulbs will cause the LEDs to flash fast... as a warning that the flash unit thinks the turn indicators aren't working....because they draw so much less power than incandescent.

Replacing the tail light was a major PAIN. I used the service manual, but you have to disassemble so much of the tail end...just to get to the bulb! I hope NEVER to have to do that again.
Those of you who are mechanically inclined WILL have a different experience.

I also added additional headlights in the form of [THESE].
Auxbeam
Auxbeam LED Light Bar 4" 18W LED Pods 6Pcs 3W CREE LEDs 1800LM Spot Beam Waterproof Driving Lights for Trucks Pickup Jeep SUV ATV UTV (Pack of 2)

They are connected to an on/off switch affixed (zip ties) to the base of the left mirror...very near where the "brights" switch is so I can operate it easily.
71fW08GNORL._SL1300_.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 4372

I picked up LED bulb from a vendor on ADVRider. Easy install. I'd guess--and it's just that, a guess--that I've got maybe 20% more light. My riding friend says I'm BRIGHT in his mirrors. Well, the headlight is, anyway.
 

Lee Dodge

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In answer to one of your questions, yes, you have created an illegal headlight.

The only legal bulb is a halogen of the same type as originally installed. This is because the optics of the headlight are designed around the halogen filament to send specific amounts light to specific test points to create a legal headlight beam. An HID or LED drop in replacement is not going to be able to replicate that. The result is too much light in some areas and not enough in others.

A better plan may be to install a better bulb. Something along the lines of a Philips Extreme Vision H4. You could also install a relay harness to make sure the bulbs are getting full voltage. Downside is shorter lifespan but it would be legal and safe. Avoid any bulb with a full blue tint (PIAA stuff)
 

Jut8

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I love my LED light upgrade, i have bought a few, and the ones from amazon have crapped out on my pretty quick, there is a seller, i believe his name is "starklights" and i have his setup in my roadstar warrior, my NC, along with my truck and my tw200. They have been really solid, and like you said, the light output is pretty amazing.

I am very envious of you though, my hands were not small enough for the install, i broke down and took the fairing apart....wow was that a big job starting from the tail and working my way up to the head light, if there is an easier way, please let me know, I just followed the service manual, it was one heck of a job for a headlight swap....i hated the NC for those few hours, but now shes back up and running with an awesome light, and we patched up our differences :)
 

NW Comet

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I am very envious of you though, my hands were not small enough for the install, i broke down and took the fairing apart....wow was that a big job starting from the tail and working my way up to the head light, if there is an easier way, please let me know, I just followed the service manual, it was one heck of a job for a headlight swap....i hated the NC for those few hours, but now shes back up and running with an awesome light, and we patched up our differences :)

The project would have been easier "if" I had smaller hands. What I had to do was keep adjusting the front wheel so my hand could fit with the bulb. What I found easiest was standing on the left side of the bike backwards and reaching down with my left hand. So it was a little tricky but doable.
 

NW Comet

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In answer to one of your questions, yes, you have created an illegal headlight.

The only legal bulb is a halogen of the same type as originally installed. This is because the optics of the headlight are designed around the halogen filament to send specific amounts light to specific test points to create a legal headlight beam. An HID or LED drop in replacement is not going to be able to replicate that. The result is too much light in some areas and not enough in others.

A better plan may be to install a better bulb. Something along the lines of a Philips Extreme Vision H4. You could also install a relay harness to make sure the bulbs are getting full voltage. Downside is shorter lifespan but it would be legal and safe. Avoid any bulb with a full blue tint (PIAA stuff)

You are hitting on a concern I have. I have noticed that the light pattern is a bit scattered. I have thought about going back to the OEM and adding LED's to the engine guards. I am still thinking this through and will take my time deciding if I want to change it back out. It is bright and I find that attractive for visibility, but I hear what you saying. I appreciate the comments.
 

anglachel

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This was too easy, so why am not not reading some of the senior members doing this? Did I just create an illegal light or some other operational issue by going LED? And if it is a legit mod, how are others weatherproofing the back of the bulb/fan. See my picture of the cut away of the boot with LED fan.

Laws vary from state to state on what is and what is not a legal headlight. It's possible you violated a state law somewhere...

The bulb you are using is DOT compliant (according to the amazon link) so you are probably fine, lots of LED bulbs are not DOT compliant which can be a problem (replacing a ~300 lumen turn signal with a 1000-2000 lumen led...)

As for it being that easy, basically if the bulb fits, it works*.


*unless it's turn signal bulbs, then you can hyper flash problems...
Or it's a single bulb through a red lens and a white lens like the NC brake light/license plate bulb
Or it's a high beam run through a resistor to act as a day time running light at 50% brightness where the LED will run at 100% brightness.
Or it's a fancy car (BMW) and there are can bus problems.
Or you get one of them "super bright" LEDs that actually draws more power than the equivalent halogen and blow a fuse.
At least that is all the problems I know of so far... at least with it working... complaints about how loud the fans are from my wife have also happened, and those complaints are going to get worse when I upgrade the bulbs on the leaf where there is no engine noise to drown out the sound of the light bulbs, unless I can find something with passive cooling...
 

Hyperborea

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You are hitting on a concern I have. I have noticed that the light pattern is a bit scattered. I have thought about going back to the OEM and adding LED's to the engine guards. I am still thinking this through and will take my time deciding if I want to change it back out. It is bright and I find that attractive for visibility, but I hear what you saying. I appreciate the comments.

The real big plus to adding two lights to the bike is that you create a triangle of light that makes it easier for drivers to spot you (you stand out from other vehicles) and to better estimate your speed. Even if the lights don't provide you with added lighting but just are visible to other drivers they help a lot.
 

ST13Fred

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Installing a brighter non-OEM bulb can easily direct stray light into oncoming traffic creating a new unsafe condition.
I seldom drive/ride at night (am retired) and thus happy with my OEM set ups.
My Accord has 4 square (2 each side) projector style LED low beams and have been 'flashed' on occasion by oncoming traffic. The high beam is halogen.
It's easy to see non OEM lights at night out there. Many are downright annoying. Another reason I seldom travel at night.
 

rippin209

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Installing a brighter non-OEM bulb can easily direct stray light into oncoming traffic creating a new unsafe condition.
I seldom drive/ride at night (am retired) and thus happy with my OEM set ups.
My Accord has 4 square (2 each side) projector style LED low beams and have been 'flashed' on occasion by oncoming traffic. The high beam is halogen.
It's easy to see non OEM lights at night out there. Many are downright annoying. Another reason I seldom travel at night.
Adjustment up or down is what's going to annoy oncoming traffic, it varies from bike to bike and different LEDs but the NC700X can adjust for this. I had my LED headlight in for months and never got flashed, if also followed friend's and family and no one ever said anything. The auxiliary lights I installed have gotten me flashed by semi and lifted trucks a few times and they haven't been on for a month, I'm going to relocate them this weekend, hopefully fixes that problem otherwise I'll just treat them like a high beam
 
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