View Full Version : No more burning out headlight bulbs (hopefully)

05-13-2012, 10:21 PM
So my 250 has had this thing that has been bugging me. When I put the factory headlight/taillight kit on, the light switch controlled power for both the headlight and the taillight. So if I ever wanted to ride with my rear light (and brake light) on, I had to ride with my headlight on. Well every couple of months my low beam filament on my headlight has been broken. At $12/bulb that gets pretty expensive, for a stupid reason. I'm sure it's just because it's hot while pounding on whoops and that ends up breaking the filament.

Well today I fixed that.

A while back my dad busted his headlight on a ride, and decided to go the Trail Tech route to replace it. When he did that he was able to reuse his factory switch, and didn't need the switch that came with the Trail Tech kit.

I took that switch and added it to my bike today, giving me the power to control if my headlight is off, low beam, or high beam (the factory setup didn't provide me use of the high beam, so that was a good addition all in itself).

The cool thing about today was I was able to figure out how to splice the taillight wire into the power so whenever the bike is running my taillight is on and my brake light is able to work. It being an LED I don't see a downside to this. There is a factory connector that splits the power from the light switch to go to the front and rear taillights, and I was able to pull the pin out of that connector as well as the power connector, and rearrange the wires to fit my needs. When I put it back together it almost looks factory. You'd have to really look close to realize it's not.

I love it when a plan comes together. Now let's hope that I won't keep breaking the filaments on my headlight bulbs; this was a lot cheaper than getting the $100+ Trail Tech headlight :thumb:

05-13-2012, 10:36 PM
You should read about filament cold shock. It's actually just as common for a filament to be broken, say in an accident or bouncing down a trail, when the headlight is turned off and cold (thus brittle) as when powered and experiencing hot shocks. When the bulb is on and hot the filament is more ductile, which does create problems as the filament can flex more, short out or distort its shape. But they are also more tolerant of relatively small shocks while hot. It will be an interesting observation to test if being off does increase mechanical life. That should increase filament electrical life but I doubt a dirt bike would routinely have enough hours to burn out filaments just from being on, so it's mechanical shock that ruins them.

05-14-2012, 12:19 PM
Well, my data point is the high beam filament, which has never broken on any of the bulbs that I have had to replace. My bike didn't have provisions for high beams so that filament was never hot. Now I have high beam control but I will also probably rarely ride with the headlight on. We'll see how it goes.

06-24-2013, 11:54 AM
Still have yet to burn out a high beam filament, but I burned out another low beam this past week. On our evening ride I had the headlight on near the end and it must have done it in, so I had to ride home on high beam. I like the looks of the OEM headlight mask and I don't want my bike to look exactly like my dad's with the Trail Tech unit, but at least I got a year out of the bulb before it was done, and would have lasted longer if I had not used it while still on the trail (I really didn't need to).


06-25-2013, 09:47 AM
I burn though tail light bulbs at about 1 a year.

06-25-2013, 09:57 AM
I've got an LED back there, so no worries. It's just the front. I wonder if there's an LED replacement for the front that would allow me to keep my headlight mask?

09-04-2013, 09:02 AM
That's it, I'm getting an LED:

Burned out the high beam for the first time up at Taylor this weekend. Hadn't changed the bulb yet from when it burned out in June. Even with the switch they are burning out I think because I am accidently hitting the switch sometimes and turning the light on when I don't need it. This bulb costs 4x as much but I'm sure it'll give me more than 4x the life.

EDIT: Well hold on a minute. This one is cheaper (2x the OE bulb) and the HDBright website is having issues:

There is an 88W version too, though the OEM is 35W:

09-17-2013, 09:15 AM
What did you get? how's it working? I'm still chasing problems with my X2.

09-17-2013, 10:59 AM
I got the 34W jtech off amazon. Haven't tried it yet, maybe tonight.

09-17-2013, 10:08 PM
It's not very bright (though you could get home in the dark) and the light is kinda dispersed, about what you'd expect from an LED. I was hoping it would use the reflectors to better focus the light. If you go for one go for the 88W one. I also don't have high and low, just one light setting.

09-18-2013, 10:04 PM
Found my problem. poor connection from stator to wire harness at yellow wire. You still have the factory stator or a Trail-tech. The Trail-tech is a good improvement in light output.

By "not very bright", worse or better than ktm factory? 'cause factory is pretty bad.

09-21-2013, 09:38 PM
So this is an iPhone pic, but yeah it's pretty bad at 34W equivalent. It looks like it might be pointing down a bit as my fender shadow is pretty large.


09-23-2013, 12:41 AM
Matt, that looks dangerous.

09-23-2013, 07:29 AM
Yeah, luckily I don't ride at night so I have time to figure out a better solution

09-23-2013, 05:51 PM
Which headlight do you have? the diamond thing or the square? Get a trailtech rewound stator or research how to rewind yours, and get a square headlight.

09-23-2013, 09:24 PM
The diamond one, which I like the looks of and am trying to keep

09-24-2013, 10:27 AM
wow yeah, that's dim.

I whacked my factory light on a tree and it forced the trail tech upgrade. It's not the greatest but does seem to work. I tend to be heading home in the dark a lot.

01-09-2015, 02:56 PM
So bumping this thread.

I found this thingy recommended on ktmtalk.com:

Turns out for my bike, though, I will also need the rectifier dealy, so total cost will be about $85. I need the rectifier because bikes that were not originally street legal (like mine) have AC power to the headlight, but bikes that were originally street legal had DC power to the headlight. I think I got that right.

My rear LED lights run on AC power because they have diodes built into them.

I talked with the guy (Darrell I think) from Cyclops and he was explaining to me why the bulb I got was not a good option - and it was an option they themselves had looked at. I guess for an LED that is putting out the lumens a headlight requires, it almost certainly needs some sort of cooling, which my amazon bulb does not. There is also a note on the amazon site which I don't think was there before saying it does not work for KTMs because of the "overload current" burning out the diode.

So before I do any of that, I have another issue I have to figure out. My battery doesn't stay charged and doesn't appear to be charged by the stator/rectifier. So I need to figure out if one or both of those is bad or if it's just that my battery is 7 years old now. I think I took it to Fay Myers and had them test it and it came out ok. I think. I can't remember now.

But the other problem is that my rear lights don't work any more either, so not sure if that is related or not. Darrell seemed to think that it might be a separate issue.

Problem with all of this is that I haven't found good FSM tests like I'm used to in the Toyota manuals for testing equipment on my motorcycle. So have to figure this out piece by piece.

01-09-2015, 03:56 PM
At minimum I would replace a 7 yr old battery. I had similar charging issues to you when I first got my bike (which was 6 or 7 years old at the time), and after swapping in a new battery my e-starter has been problem free.

01-09-2015, 04:09 PM
And my answer to the front headlight issue: don't ride at night....

01-19-2015, 08:14 PM
If you have a KTM or a Husaberg
Hands down the best bang for the buck is from PMX Tech

I have done lots of high speed night riding with all sorts of lights, from helmet lights to trail tech ......

Bang for your buck you can't beat this

01-19-2015, 11:27 PM
If you have a KTM or a Husaberg
Hands down the best bang for the buck is from PMX Tech

I have done lots of high speed night riding with all sorts of lights, from helmet lights to trail tech ......

Bang for your buck you can't beat this

No kidding? alright, I'm going for it.

01-20-2015, 09:58 PM
Yes I have had several of his bulbs in several bikes and I have no problem riding at night or with burnt out bulbs
When I did the enduro cross at the coliseum last year I could see the light shinning . across the stadium ....... With the stadium lights on

01-25-2015, 12:21 PM
Well it sure looks shiny. :moto:

01-25-2015, 08:24 PM
How was it at night?