Yamaha SCR950 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Stock, the SCR950's headlight is abysmal. I can't see a **** thing at night. Oncoming traffic completely washes out my headlight, and I cannot see the road for a second or two. That's BAD on a dark country backroad, where a curve can come up without warning. So, I'm testing various headlight bulbs from the Internet and the auto parts stores, to see if I can get some vision on the street.

First off, I'm starting with an AdvMonster R3 H4 LED conversion.

I like that it's only 20 watts, as that leaves more power available for heated gear and accessories. I like that I could use my headlight with the bike not running to illuminate my campsite while I set up my tent, and not worry as much about draining the battery. I LOVE the instantaneous nature of the passing beam that a LED provides. (flashflashflash instead of flash............ flash........). I like that when the high beam is activated, the low beam stays on. That puts a lot more light on the sides of the road, and in deer country that's a great thing.

Unfortunately, it just don't throw a lot of light onto the road. The low beam is only marginally better than the stock H4 bulb. It's bright enough to just barely see when oncoming traffic is blinding me, but it's not what I'd call Good. The high beam, on the other hand, is slightly above average. I can actually see when the high beam is on. It's not stellar, but it's more than livable.

The low beam hotspot is flat at the top, without an uptick to the right to illuminate the side of the road. It's also a very tall pattern, which tends to put less light where you need it, and is somewhat more blinding for oncoming drivers. The low beam hotspot is invisible to the naked eye - it just looks like a wide field without a brighter part to it. When I first installed it in the daylight, my thoughts were "this is it? It doesn't even illuminate my garage wall". At night it's still better than the stock H4 though. It's a close tie though.

Note in the photos my bike is on the side stand. I have a rock guard on my headlight, which is where the crosshatch pattern comes from.

Charles
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Also note that this is what a good headlight beam pattern looks like.



The AdvMonster beam pattern is nothing like that.

Up next will be the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra halogen bulb.

Charles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Right. I'm not willing to let things stay that way, so I'll be the guinea pig and try out different light combinations and post the results here. As it stands, avoid the AdvMonster H4 R3 bulb.

Charles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yes, those are great for high beams, but they do absolutely nothing for the low setting. If they were on with the low beam, they'd blind oncoming drivers. I'm looking for a solution where I can see when a car is coming at me on a pitch black country backroad. The glare from a car's headlight completely overpowers the stock H4 bulb, and 95% overpowers the ADVMonster bulb. Brights are great, auxiliary highbeams are great, but none of that solves the problem of being unable to see in a traffic situation.

Basically, I want lights like a go'ram VOLVO has, and I won't stop until I find a solution that actually works.

Charles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
I wonder if aux lights like eddie used would work for you if they had a diffused lens covering. Something to disperse the light and minimize the beam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
I personally try to avoid riding at night because of how awful the low beam is. I'm also getting blinded by oncoming vehicles.
AMEN, brother! I too avoid riding at night for the same reasons. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough in the daytime. Guess I'm getting old!

Let me add a couple. I dont ride when its real windy and I dont ride in the rain. And I also dont ride at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
I ended up with an OPT7 LED headlight and the 10W(each) KC "Flex" spot beam lights for additional high beam light.
KC also offers a spread beam version.
The spots are highway legal, the spreads are not.
KC sells polycarbonate lenses that bolt to threaded holes in the front of the light housings for protection or to change the color to amber.
I see no reason why an enterprising sort couldn't also make something to pare the beam down their liking/application.

Charles' preferences may be different. Me? I'm pretty happy with the setup.
I was able to aim the spots to cover not only what's straight ahead, but also angle them slightly outward to get
the ditches/trees ahead, which is great for avoiding deer.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
A diffuse lens will do nothing to prevent the beam from blinding oncoming drivers. The reflector and bulb have to be designed with a shield to cut off the light above a certain level. If you shine light on the wall at close range and it has a distinct flat top, that will work. Fog beams are like that, as are headlight beams. If the beam on the wall is completely round, that will not work for low-beam usage.

If I can find a low beam that lights up enough of the road that I don't feel I need the additional lighting, that would be the ultimate goal.

Alternately, I'm thinking that perhaps two additional H4 headlights mounted low on the crash bars might be the ticket. Wire them all up to work low and high beams together. Dime City Cycles sells a single 3.5" bottom-mount H4 headlight... it's a little pricey at $65/ea, but no worse than some of the KC lights.

But I digress, the goal right now is to find a replacement bulb that gives an acceptable amount of light for riding in traffic.

I ride at night, in the rain, and in the wind. I need to see.

Charles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
Let me add a couple. I dont ride when its real windy and I dont ride in the rain. And I also dont ride at night.
Let's face it fella's. Charles has us all beat for riding in unfavorable conditions, but yet he has less miles on his SCR than all three of us. Maybe he "only rides at night, in the rain, when it's windy". Lol

Just poking fun at you Charles! Don't get all huffy on me.

Yoitsmo logged more miles than all of us combined, yet he avoids riding at night. Now that's impressive saddle time.

I'm going off topic. Sorry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yoitsemo

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
Let me add a couple. I dont ride when its real windy and I dont ride in the rain. And I also dont ride at night.
Let's face it fella's. Charles has us all beat for riding in unfavorable conditions, but yet he has less miles on his SCR than all three of us. Maybe he "only rides at night, in the rain, when it's windy". Lol

Just poking fun at you Charles! Don't get all huffy on me.

Yoitsmo logged more miles than all of us combined, yet he avoids riding at night. Now that's impressive saddle time.

I'm going off topic. Sorry.
Schu
Schu, Yah gotta give Charles a break. It takes a lot of time to do all those G_d d_ _ _ed mods! Hence the low mileage. Just saying.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
(Hunkers down below the parapet......)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
A diffuse lens will do nothing to prevent the beam from blinding oncoming drivers. The reflector and bulb have to be designed with a shield to cut off the light above a certain level. If you shine light on the wall at close range and it has a distinct flat top, that will work. Fog beams are like that, as are headlight beams. If the beam on the wall is completely round, that will not work for low-beam usage.
(snip)
I was thinking more along the lines of a partially obscured something in front of the LEDs to give the beam the cutoff you're needing. (photo shopped photo) Make the covers out of cardboard until happy with the results then construct some permanent ones from acrylic painted on the reverse side or simple metal ones cut to fit.

The Super Tenere 1200 I also ride only has single element H7 bulbs that are both on all the time. High & Low beam are accomplished by means of a solenoid controlled "shutter" that blocks part of the light output through the projector lenses. One can hear a distinct "clunk" in the headlight housing when switching from high to low and back with the bike at a stop. =)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
I really like your supplementary lamps config, @eddie. They look pretty good on your bike. Unfortunately for me, here in California, low-beam lights cannot use more than two lamps, so they work as a high-beam solution only.

How do you like the OPT7 you've got for your main lamp? Was it a big difference when you first switched it? I saw some positive impressions on the Bolt forum for one of them, can't recall which one it was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I have an OSRAM Night Breaker Unlimited (halogen) bulb on the way, and I'll be ordering an Evitek F2 LED bulb come payday (monday). I'll post detailed reviews with beam patterns and night riding impressions within days, if the weather cooperates.

I've also found these puppies: https://www.ebay.com/itm/192428516197

I'm considering snagging a pair and mounting them to my crash bars, and wiring them up as fully functional auxiliary headlights. Low and high beams active with the regular headlight. I don't know what bulbs they run internally. Might even be sealed beam, so it's a bit of a gamble. If they're replaceable, it'd be nice if I could go LED for all three beams. The F2 bulbs are highly recommended and run at 36 watts each (low or high, always 36 watts).

That said, with the aux headlights mounted low on the crash bar, they'd really be more of a fog beam at that point. I don't know how effective they'll be, but I'm considering snagging them just for curiosity's sake.

Charles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
I really like your supplementary lamps config, @eddie. They look pretty good on your bike. Unfortunately for me, here in California, low-beam lights cannot use more than two lamps, so they work as a high-beam solution only.

How do you like the OPT7 you've got for your main lamp? Was it a big difference when you first switched it? I saw some positive impressions on the Bolt forum for one of them, can't recall which one it was.
I like the OPT7. I'm sure there are equally good LED lamps out there for less, but I decided to go with a "known" one. The OEM reflector wasn't designed for an LED, though and the beam likely suffers somehow. I do like how it's a more concentrated white light during the daytime (as seen by others). Every little bit helps when you ride, right? =)
The KC LED add-on lights re-wired so the main power comes off the battery through a fuse to a handlebar mounted on/off switch. From there, it goes to a waterproof relay up by the steering head in the left side area corresponding to the key switch on the right. The energizing (+) for the relay works off the high beam (+). So, I can have normal low beam only, normal high beam and - with the flick of a switch - high beam plus the two KC LEDs.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
So, today I tried two different bulbs. First off, it was the absolute worst of conditions. Foggy, and riding through the fog soaked the shins of my jeans. Constant water droplets beading up on my visor and the inside of the visor fogging unless I cracked it slightly.

I started with the Katana F7 LED H4 bulb. This bulb: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JM421VC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


These are highly reviewed on ADVRider.com, and the "Katana" brand is a known reseller of the Evitek-made F7 bulb. (Don't go with a no-name).

This bulb is GOOD. My first impression after installing it was that WOAH, it's far brighter than the ADVMonster bulb. It has a lowbeam hot spot that I can see with my naked eye, and it's a nice flat hotspot with a sharp cutoff. There is a slight uptick on the right to light the side of the road. It's very slight, however. Not as good as most modern auto patterns for sure, but I believe that has a lot to do with reflector design as well.

In the crappy weather, I could see reasonably well. The low beam illuminated a lot of fog, and the high beam was largely useless in the heavy fog - it couldn't penetrate the mist very far, and turned everything white. (This is pretty normal though, same thing was happening in my jeep on the way home). I felt more confident riding in this misty fog with the F7 bulb than I did with the stock bulb on a dry evening. So that's saying something. I can see better when an oncoming car dazzles me, but it's still not great. The bulb pattern is wide and lights up a lot of the side of the road. I'd say it's above average.

This bulb is MUCH better than stock and MUCH better than the ADVMonster bulb. I wasn't able to test the high beam throw compared to the ADVMonster bulb because the driving conditions were so poor, but the low beam is far, far better.

Pattern attached below.

Charles.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top