How to choose a bulb for your motorcycle?

Many motorcycle headlights are, frankly, of poor quality. And the older your motorcycle, the weaker the headlights and other components like motorcycle exhaust mufflers become. Many of us just accept that when it is dark we have to crawl, trying to see a fraction of the distance in front of us that we normally scan, but that is not necessarily the case. Modern replacement bulbs can make a huge difference for a relatively low cost.

So whether it’s a light bulb that just burned out or you’re tired of trying to roll by candlelight, here’s how to make it better:

Which headlight bulb do i need?

Find the type of front headlight bulb you need. For a motorcycle over 600cc made in the last 20 years or so, it will likely be an H1 (thin bulb), H4 (larger bulb containing two filaments for high beam and low beam) or H7 (bigger bulb, but containing only one filament), but the only sure way to find out is to check the manual, take out the old bulbs and look at the inscription, or enter your motorcycle’s registration on a retailer’s website.

If your motorcycle is from before 1980, it may have 6V bulbs (all modern bulbs are 12V). You will know if it is 6V because at night it is like trying to ride with a child’s flashlight. Finding a replacement 6V bulb shouldn’t be a problem, but you won’t get much more light than the standard – unless the original bulb blew up of course, in which case a working replacement will be a problem. marginal improvement.

What do all the inscriptions on the bulbs mean?

Some light bulb makers slap industrial grade nonsense about light bulbs, so knowing the basics helps. There are three units you need to be concerned about. Watts (W) represent the power that can be injected into the bulb by your motorcycle, not the light coming out of it. An efficient bulb can therefore produce much more light than a mediocre bulb for the same W value.

Some people install light bulbs with a wattage higher than indicated in their motorcycle (for example, a 100W bulb instead of a 60W one), but we do not recommend it – there is a risk of melting wiring and cause a fire. The second unit you need to know is the Kelvin (K), which is the color of light (again, not the amount).

On this scale, a candle is around 1900K (i.e. warm orange), a halogen bulb is around 3000K (i.e. quite white but with an orange glow. ) and direct sunlight is 4800 K. LED and HID bulbs may be higher than this value because they have a blue tint. Finally, we come to lumens (L), which is the amount of light that the bulb actually produces. This is clearly an essential part, although bulb makers often don’t mention it because it is easier to make bulbs bluer (higher K) than brighter (higher L).

What are the types of headlight bulbs?

If you have a common model (H1, H4, H7, etc.), you will have three replacement options: halogen, HID (also known as Xenon), and LED. Each of them produces light in a different way and has advantages and disadvantages.

What are halogen bulbs?

They work like an old light bulb: the filament heats up and lights up in a glass bubble filled with gas. Almost all motorcycles are fitted with them as standard, but the latest caferacerwebshop models are fitted with LEDs. By modifying the filament and the gas, manufacturers have improved the light output (lumens) dramatically, with some claiming the output to be twice that of a standard bulb.

What are LED bulbs?

They work by passing electricity through a light emitting diode (LED, see). They represent the future. Originally, LED bulbs required separate fans to cool them down, but today you can get replacements like those in bmw cafe racer with the fans, or heat sinks, built in. Therefore, they are longer than standard bulbs.

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on skype
Share on twitter
Scroll to Top