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Old 03-10-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
thumbs
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Default Better headlight

Have you guys found a better, brighter, bulb for the headlight on an 07? I really don't want to go to high dollar after market lights but would like a bit more than the stock bulb.

thanks for the help
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Better headlight

I don't know if a better bulb exist. This question has never been asked before
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Better headlight

Yeah I did a search and came up with nothin.

The reason I ask is I had to replace the bulb in the XT the other day. I couldn't get the exact replacement so I got one that was close. Tell ya the truth "I" think it's brighter. Better low and high beam coverage. I think the shop said it was a bulb for a scooter. I wondered if such an animal exists for the KLR.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Better headlight

Replace the bulb with a Sylvania Silverstar Ultra. Same wattage as a stock bulb, but much brighter. The pre 08's use the 9003/H4 bulb. -Tom
https://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProd...lverStarUltra/
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Better headlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtwarrior View Post
I don't know if a better bulb exist. This question has never been asked before
I was being sarcastic. This dog has been whipped many times
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Better headlight

Google 'IPF bulb' and 'relay kit'.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Better headlight

Just using a relay with power direct from the battery to the light is an improvement.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Better headlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by neander View Post
Just using a relay with power direct from the battery to the light is an improvement.
Exactly!!!

The issue isn't so much the bulb as the availability of electrickery to power it. Fix the weak wiring and the light output will increase dramatically.

The stock wiring can't provide enough electrickery to power the stock bulb so putting in a larger bulb won't fix anything.

Best,

Jeff
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Better headlight

The Sylvania Silverstars are excellent. I just installed them on both my high and low beams on my 2009 klr. Took me 15 minutes and they are much brighter than the original bulbs with the same wattage. I dropped the front fender (four 8mm bolts), then the splash protector at the bottom of the fairing (two 8mm bolts). I have big hands and I was able to easily reach up from the bottom and pull the bulbs. You simply grab the electrical connector and pop it off, then there is a rubber donut around the bulb housing which has tabs that you can grab and pull it off. Next there is a wire bulb clip that is hinged on one side, and clipped on the other like a gate latch. Just lift up the gate latch end and swing the clip to the side. The bulb is now free, just grab it and pull it out of the reflector. When you get the bulb out, there is a black plastic adapter on the back of it that you need to pull off and transfer to the new bulb. A set of two silverstars at my local auto parts store was thirty bucks. Make sure when you put the new bulbs in that you don't touch the glass with your finger or the bulb will fail sooner. Only touch the metal part.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Better headlight

I'm with Jeff and Neander with this one. Upgrade the wiring first, otherwise any globe you install will not be working at peak efficiency. Just doing the wiring surprised me a lot.
Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Better headlight

I have an 09 model and since I drive Honda Trail 90s also...by comparison the KLR has a headlight approaching HID. LOL
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: Better headlight

The headlight on the older version bikes isn't the bulb that is the problem, it's the reflector behind it! I have spent a small fortune trying to get better lighting from the stock housing...IMHO, you can't! Spend your $$$ on a second set of LED lights and see that way.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Better headlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsaline View Post
Exactly!!!

The issue isn't so much the bulb as the availability of electrickery to power it. Fix the weak wiring and the light output will increase dramatically.

The stock wiring can't provide enough electrickery to power the stock bulb so putting in a larger bulb won't fix anything.

Best,

Jeff

What gage wire do you recommend?
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Better headlight

Here's how I do it on the bikes I work on.

I like 12 ga for the power wire from the battery to the relays as that is a longer run and the voltage drop is eliminated. For the ground I use 12 ga but 14 ga would be fine. With this setup you could hold the selector switch between hi and low and run both so I use 12 ga to make sure the wire can handle the current. 16 ga could be used for the adapter (see below) but I think I've chosen 14 ga just to make sure. The new socket comes with wires and I just use them. I think they are 12 ga.




Use the thermal flasher base and prongs in the supply list to make the adapter so the stock headlight socket will plug into it. Use the headlight socket in the supply list to make the new headlight socket which plugs into the headlight bulb and attaches to the relays.



These are the mounting locations I've chosen for the relays.



Best,

Jeff
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Last edited by Robert Z; 01-11-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Better headlight

Jeff,

Thanks for all this info. I am sure I had seen it referred to before but didn't feel the need for it.

We got stuck in the dark on Smokey Mountain road coming into Escalante UT in October. I couldn't go over 15 mph with my current headlight which is an Acerbis strap on. But I don't remember my stock light being much better.

I bought an expensive HID aux light for these situations, but rewiring and putting in relays seems like a good thing to do anyway. So this will be a nice winter project for me.

I am thinking of putting the fairing back on for any long trip winter rides and get some benefit from the mini-windshield.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Better headlight

OR if you have no idea what you are doing, like me, when it comes to electronics, you could purchase one of these, https://www.easternbeaver.com/Main/Pr...s/h4_kits.html

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Old 11-29-2011, 03:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Better headlight

Ok, you've all got me thinking now. Does the 2009 KLR have the same wire gauge for the headlamps as the 2007, or did they beef it up from the factory?

Where would the wire gauge designation be found?

And would the upgrade kit be the same for a 2009 as for the 2007, or are they wired differently?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Better headlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelessman View Post

And would the upgrade kit be the same for a 2009 as for the 2007, or are they wired differently?
They are wired differently, the older bikes use one bulb with two filiments, the newer bikes use two seperate bulbs. So we're talking two different wiring kits. I don't know the answer to your other questions.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Better headlight

I calculated the voltage drop vs wire size for various wire sizes using this web site:

https://www.stealth316.com/2-wire-resistance.htm

I used 5 ft of wire carrying 5 amps (60 watts) which I think is conservative.

This is what I got for stranded copper wire:

16 guage .0816 volts
14 guage .0516 volts
12 guage .0324 volts

I think the instrumentation wiring in the KLR is 16 guage, but I am not sure.
The voltage drop is negligible. So the the illumination gain in the relay system may be due to power losses in the hi/lo light switch and connections.

Last edited by wbbnm; 11-29-2011 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Better headlight

A few years ago, Norm Keller from Canada did a voltage drop test on his headlight system on a pre 08 KLR650. He got about 1.5 volts drop at the headlight with the factory wiring. In a lighting situation that is a huge amount of lost light output. If I recall correctly 1.5 volts in a vehicle headlight system is almost 50% decrease in output.

I don't know that Kawasaki shows anywhere what gauge wire they use in the wiring harness. Metric wire sizes are measured differently. I think they use the diameter of the wire in mms.

Best,

Jeff
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