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Ok I decided to go the quick and easy way (re. cheap) on the headlight, I ordered this like was recommended.

"To do this simple conversion, simply buy the Honda PN# "33123-MK2-671 and go to Autozone and buy a 55 watt H3 bulb."

Questions:

Will running this all the time overtax my alternator/stator? Have any of you incorporated an on/off switch for the lights?

With this glass lens it will now be vulnerable to my buddies roost, have any of you guys seen a plastic cover that will work? I've seen the BD screen but that isn't going to protect it from pebbles etc.

Thx

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Does this glass lens screw in? If so, just get a piece of plexi-glass the same size, find something to space the plexiglass from the lens, and get longer screws and just screw that in. If not, just find another way to attach some plexiglass to the front.

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Your stator or regulator will not be overtaxed if the light is on all the time. If you stay out front, your lens will remain nearly perfect for a long time except for bug stains, mud, etc. It holds up pretty well to minor roost from other bikes (unless a lucky rock smacks it), but ya gotta watch out for those guys on quads that can really throw a nasty roost. If you're behind quads while racing, the lens will be the least of your worries and you'd better be wearing armor. If you really want your lens better protected, check out this article for some good ideas, but an additional protective lens will affect the final light output.

http://www.4strokes.com/tech/headlght.asp

The article suggests the use of Plexiglas for protection which is certainly better than the lens itself, but I would use Lexan instead. Lexan is a polycarbonate and more expansive than Plexiglas which is a polyacrylate. Lexan is much more resistant to impacts (~30X more resistant), shattering, stress fractures, or scratching than the common grades of Plexiglas. Both materials are similar in luminous transmittance (> 90%), but you can get Lexan sheets in a window grade if you're looking to get the most from your light.

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A friend of mine has a bad habit of riding too close, which doesn't work

well with the glass lens, as you can imagine.

So, I came up with a fairly easy way to fit an H3 55W halogen bulb into the

stock plastic lens that comes with the non-halogen 35W bulb. I say fairly

easy, since it doesn't require any additional parts other than the bulb

itself. The 55W should not melt or discolour the plastic lens, as I've

seen some low budget car driving lights that come with H3 55W in a plastic

lens. If you really care about lighting, you would run the Honda glass lens

or replace the whole headlight assembly (and optionally rewind the stator),

but for some people who like riding real close to others, the plastic lens

might be preferred.

NOTE: Do not touch Halogen bulb glass with your bare hands - contaminants

will react with the glass at high heat and bulb life will be shortened.

If you do accidentally touch it, clean the glass with alcohol.

1) Order a H3 55W bulb. The Honda bulb (p/n 34908-SA0-811) is made by

Stanley and comes with a european sized male bullet connector versus the

spade connector found on most automotive H3. It also lends itself to the

slight modification (see #8 below) quite well, and has nice thick insulation.

But buying the bulb from somewhere other than Honda might save you some $.

2) Remove headlight straps, and unplug headlight from bike.

3) Remove rubber socket boot, socket and then bulb from headlight.

4) If the black outer sleeve has been heat-bonded to the socket wires, then

carefully cut it free of the wires, preserving as much of the length of the

black sleeve as possible, and not damaging the wire insulation inside.

5) Push the bakelite disk down on one side into the socket spring so that

it can pop out of the socket when you release it.

6) Cut the wire (typically blue) just below the bakelite disk and feed the

wire out of the rubber boot. Set the wire and disk aside - you won't need

these unless you want to convert back to 35W (not likely).

7) Ensure the ground wire (usually green) is fed through the hole or

feedthrough in the boot that is closest to the front of the bike. It is

usually fed through the rearward one. (Leaving the rearward one for the

bulb wire gives it slightly more room to curve around.)

8) You need to slightly modify the H3 bulb so that the wire comes straight

out the bottom of the bulb and not out at 90 degrees to the bottom. On the

Honda bulb, this is easily done by snipping one tiny web of metal near the

strain relief. You can then bend the part of the strain relief that is

crimped around the wires up 90 degrees.

8) Stretch the factory socket spring by about 1/2" (13mm) while trying to

keep the end coils intact and square with each other.

9) With the bulb wire coming out the bottom of the bulb, you should be able

to fit the spring over the bulb wire and over the rectangular metal part of

the bottom of the bulb.

10) Fit the metal hat shaped remaining part of the socket over the bulb

wire and over the spring.

11) Feed the bulb wire through the rearward hole in the socket boot.

12) Place the bulb in the headlight, with the round notch in the bulb ring

facing up. You will note that the H3 ring is slightly smaller than the

original bulb ring, and it might not want to sit flat and centred on its

own. Fortunately, the fit of the spring around the rear of the bulb is

very snug and the spring in the metal socket hat will keep the bulb

centred once the hat is locked into the headlight. Since there is nothing

to index the bulb and keep the round notch at the top (i.e. bulb filament

flat with the ground) you may have to take a few tries to get the metal

socket hat in and have the bulb stay in the desired rotational position,

but at least you can look through the lens from the front to see where it

is at.

13) Feed the remainder of the black protective sleeve back over the

two headlight wires.

14) Plug in the headlight wires to the bike and reinstall the headlight.

Lighting won't be as good as with the glass lens, especially if your plastic

is all scratched and hazy. Might be worth a bit of polishing if it is that

bad...

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Your stator or regulator will not be overtaxed if the light is on all the time. If you stay out front, your lens will remain nearly perfect for a long time except for bug stains, mud, etc.

Both materials are similar in luminous transmittance (> 90%), but you can get Lexan sheets in a window grade if you're looking to get the most from your light.

Regarding the 55watt being on all the time, along with tailight and brake light have you done this. I just don't want to get stranded anywhere....

Unforunately my buddies haven't followed my route of having a XR400 as a playbike. There 450's throw up plenty of roost when trail riding, plus in AZ there are a lot of rocks. Where would I get Lexan sheets, is it expensive and easy to work with?

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Thank for the detailed reply Hairyscary. But I already ordered the glass lens, and want the benefits of using it. Riding on the street I want to be able to see and be seen.

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3M makes a glass protection film laminate in 3mil and 4 mil thicknesses. THese adhere to the glass w/ an alcohol +water base spray. They protect the headlight from stone chips and cracks. I have this product on my bmw headlight glass lens and in service for about 5 yrs now. No chips nor scratches. You buy a sheet of this for $10 and cut out the pattern.

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You can run the 55W all the time. The design of the regulator makes it so the stator is operating at full output all the time (the regulator simply eats excess power until the voltage drops down to about 13V). So if you have the light on, the regulator doesn't have to eat as much power. Note that with the stock (aka weak) stator, if you have a 55W headlight and then turn on a 22W brake light, the extra load will cause the headlight to dim significantly -- especially when the engine is at lower RPM. You may find this unacceptable. I wouldn't recommend using the stock stator with a brake light for this reason.

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You can run the 55W all the time. The design of the regulator makes it so the stator is operating at full output all the time (the regulator simply eats excess power until the voltage drops down to about 13V). So if you have the light on, the regulator doesn't have to eat as much power. Note that with the stock (aka weak) stator, if you have a 55W headlight and then turn on a 22W brake light, the extra load will cause the headlight to dim significantly -- especially when the engine is at lower RPM. You may find this unacceptable. I wouldn't recommend using the stock stator with a brake light for this reason.

Good info, :) I didn't know the brake light was 22Watt? :p Is this true for all of them? I ordered my stuff from 4-strokes only. How many watts is the taillight? What happens if I go over the 80 watt stator limit?

I guess if I am off road I could disconnect the brake light. Might have to look into making a quick disconnect when I install the hyd brake switch?

As you can tell, being a moto guy my whole life these wattage issues give me the heeebie jeeebies! lol :)

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Thanks where did you get the 3m stuff at?

The guys who do window tinting can get them.

That's where I got my 1x1 sample from. no charge, even though I offered to pay for it.

Oftentimes, the window tint guys also use this 3m laminate to put right onto the hoods and fenders and headlight+foglights of cars to protect it from rock chips. XPEL is a company that buys the 3m laminate and then die cuts the plastic to fit a variety of cars.

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DualStar sells the pre-cut 80 mil stuff - $10 for the XR's.

Has anyone tried that stuff? I called him yesterday, he wasn't the friendliest guy & I didn't realize it was just an adhesive when i called him. By the time I get it shipped to me it could be about $18.00 for a piece of clear adhesive that still won't protect against a decent size rock. So I said no thanks.

I guess the best setup would be to have that underneath the cage that BD has. Does anyone have the cage on their headlight, does it affect the light?

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A couple of things, In Australia all XRS come with standard lighting gear, headlight with high and low, tail and brake, blinkers (turn signals) front and rear and a horn all on the stock stator and works ok. Solution to brake light dimming the headlight is to use an LED style bulb, cost me $14 ($10US) and will never blow from vibration. For my Glass headlight I got some thin Aluminium with A 3/8 wide bend on one side, then cut out a triangle shape going back to the headlight mount on the sides of the headlight. Now at the front i used small 3/16 bolts to attach an 1/8 thick piece of lexan between the two brackets and to ensure it doesnt touch the light installed 2 small stickon bumpers (from the hardware store) at the top and bottom of the light. This is better than any of the aftermarket alternatives although it does take a bit of time. :)

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