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


subzali
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:

DaveInDenver
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.

subzali
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.

subzali
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).

Shrug.

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

subzali
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?

subzali
09-04-2013, 09:02 AM
That's it, I'm getting an LED:
http://www.hdbright.com/hi-power-ba20d-led-headlight-bulb-for-ktm-p-438.html

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Jtech-BA20D-Power-Xenon-White/dp/B00CA65X2W/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1

There is an 88W version too, though the OEM is 35W:
http://www.amazon.com/Jtech-BA20D-Power-Xenon-Light/dp/B00CQ18KQ2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1

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

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

subzali
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.

farnhamstj
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.

subzali
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.

34654

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

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

farnhamstj
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.

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

rover67
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.