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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been curious about getting some better lighting on my bike and i've been searching all the posts trying to educate myself as much as possible about the options. I've gathered that projectors are the preferred method. One thing I haven't come across is if anyone has retrofitted or moded the Buell headlights. I searched around on the buell forums a bit too but I really can't stand that forum too much and all I found was a bunch of posts about HID's and junk from like 4 years ago. Any suggestions on what the options are for upgrading the Buell headlights?
 

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I wouldn't use the buell headlights. They're made of cheap plastic and will degrade over time. If you did your research, you'd notice that some batches of headlights (made overseas) actually caught fire and melted.

That and they're not Bi-xenons, so you'd be stuck with either two low beams or an HID low beam and a regular halogen highbeam.

I'm assuming you're speaking of the Buell Firebolt projector headlights, and not the Lightning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I read some stuff about the Bi-Xenons and the HID low beam mod. What's the difference in that situation? Would the light just be thrown all over the place since the housing isn't designed for those bulbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I saw your build thread. That was pretty sweet! I'm using the XB dual lamps though. I guess I'm just wondering what my options are with these headlights. It seems like replacing the bulb with a bi-xenon or something like that is the most popular for the buell guys. I still don't completely understand the differences between all the different light set-ups.
 

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The XB has one low and one high beam, correct? If so, then bulbs will not help. The reflector is what dictates whether or not it is a low or high beam. You can either retrofit xenon projectors or run an HID kit on the low beam slot (with tons of glare).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes, one low and one high. What causes the glare if I were to put an HID in it? Is it just the specific design of the reflector? Is there any way to change this?
 

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yes, one low and one high. What causes the glare if I were to put an HID in it? Is it just the specific design of the reflector? Is there any way to change this?
To get technical, there are parts of the reflector designed to reflect only a certain amount of light to certain places. One good example would be the "squirrel finders" which are small amounts of light ABOVE what would be the cutoff that serve to help street signs on overpasses etc glow. When you triple the brightness of the bulb, you triple the brightness of all areas of the reflector, including those typically only meant to reflect small amounts of light... which blinds people. Not to mention, all the excess light that typically bounces around and "bleeds out" is now amplified three fold as well, causing even more glare.

Some reflectors are fine with xenon bulbs, but they are designed for them (2nd generation Acura TLs and CLs are great examples of this as their reflectors are actually really good.)

Some people swear that aiming them lower will reduce glare, but what is the point? Aren't you trying to get MORE light on the road, and not just a higher concentration? Projectors are designed so that they more efficiently disperse the light, which keeps contrast down. High concentrations of light will cause a major contrast to the dark areas that remain unlit and your eyes will become adjusted to the light making darker areas darker.

Now, the real debate that most with fight is whether or not glare on a bike even matters. Why go through the trouble to make it less obnoxious to surrounding drivers when most are doing all they can to be seen? Hell, most drive with their high beam on 24/7. You decide.
 

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madmark,
I'm in the same situation, naked bike throwing $hitty light with my current setup and I want to go with HID projectors. I really wanted just standalone projectors without any fairing at all (like the firebolt projectors) but for the reasons Mav listed above I decided they're too cheap for my taste and would rather have something that lasts.

I'm in the process of possibly doing a retro-fit of some HID projectors into my Buell-like dominator headlights. I'm working with a couple places to get exact dimensions on the projectors to see if its even possible.

Figured it's something to look into if you're interested...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, that's what I'm interested in. I just don't know if it is possible to get projectors in to the buell xb headlights. They have a plastic housing so idk if they can stand the heat. I also think they are probably not deep enough and it would be difficult to get the projectors inside of them. I was just curious if anyone else has ever done it.

The dominators that you have may be a better candidate for the projector retrofit being that they are made of steel I believe. And they appear to be deeper than the buells, but the buells seem a bit wider in the diameter of the headlight. Let me know if you make any progress, i'd like to hear what you find out.
 

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Yeah, that's what I'm interested in. I just don't know if it is possible to get projectors in to the buell xb headlights. They have a plastic housing so idk if they can stand the heat. I also think they are probably not deep enough and it would be difficult to get the projectors inside of them. I was just curious if anyone else has ever done it.

The dominators that you have may be a better candidate for the projector retrofit being that they are made of steel I believe. And they appear to be deeper than the buells, but the buells seem a bit wider in the diameter of the headlight. Let me know if you make any progress, i'd like to hear what you find out.
I just picked up a set of the XB headlights for my friends monster and I can tell you now, there is no way a set of projectors would fit. lol.

Your best bet would definitely be custom mounts for the projectors and the custom shrouds.
 

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I have 4 TSX projectors all running 55w bulbs... I have yet to see another car or bike that puts out more light than me at night }:)
 

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55w bulbs, as in halogen, or 55w ballasts? If you mean HIDs and 55w ballasts, then you must have dropped $800 on your headlight setup at least. thats crazy. We DEFINITELY need pictures.
****... youre right... i spent 200 for 1 pair of tsx's and then 90 for the 2nd pair (one was slightly damaged)

so thats 290,

then I bought 4 x 55w ballast 6000k & 10k for like some 250.

thats 540$

and I paid 50$ for a sheet of lpolycarbonate

and about 50$ more in hardware and stuff for mounting...

close to 800...

I'm not done w/ the bike though... but I will make a note to message you later when I'm done. Its a super top secret... secret... concept bike. muahahaha.
 

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It is a lot of money and you can easily get away with a sub 300$ HID projector conversion...

ahhhh screw it.... im gonna post pix anyway... but its still a work in progress... hence the fiberglassdustyness.







Heres a pic of one TSX in a parking lot using my cell phone.
And this is why you need a projector for the HID bulbs... so you dont have the glare.




And why 4 tsx? why all that light?
I work 3rd shift and ride night time 90% of the time AND I THINK ITS KICK ASS! lol... I think I need to go start my own thread now...
 

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I'll just leave these here... my full winter mod progress coming soon to a thread near you. . .

In the prime of last season with the "Dominator" headlights:



Pulling the lights out of the housings:



The extremely hard to find Bosch Mini H3 Projectors



Rough cut of the housing, test-fitting the Bosch Mini's



How it looks mounted in the original dominator light:



And the (nearly) finished product:



The rest of my winter project is coming soon. . .

-P2
 
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