I've a DRZ400S (Year 2000) fitted with an old DR350 glass lens headlight assembly. I'm no mechanic - and my electrical skills pale in comparison to my understanding of basic bike mechanic - as you'll quickly detect as you read on. I'd like to find a way to significantly improve my headlight set up (but without going to the expense of an HID system that I've read about elsewhere). I work in a Southeast Asian country where it’s illegal to have your lights on in the day – and there’s no law to insist that people turn their lights on at night ! – but there are also no DOT type restrictions on maximum brightness either. There are a few roads that allow reasonable speed and some distance on the beam would be useful … but many roads are potholed and have people and animals coming out from all sides and all angles at unpredictable times – so having some width to the beam is also fairly important. Also there’s nothing helpful like painted lines or cats eyes on the road, or reflector strips on the bikes of drunk villagers, so it’s kind of important to have effective lighting.
If I’m correct the DRZ400S should be able to deliver 150 – 200 Watts – with a good proportion of this being available to drive the headlights. I initially fitted a 60/55 Watt H4 bulb – and this seemed OK but not brilliant. So I tried fitting a 100/90 watt H4 bulb - which in the end didn’t seem to make much difference at all. Well, little difference apart from the fact that after several months it contributed to the battery being progressively drained – until the point where, illegally, on making a daylight trip with headlights on, I stopped the bike after about 100 km and the bike wouldn’t start again – battery was flat. In hindsight, I’m now aware that the overall beam intensity had seemed to have reduced over the months – and I presume this is because the 100/90 watt bulb was draining the battery faster than it could recharge – especially considering that I’d made mainly short daily trips (10 km or so) at relatively low revs (and don’t hook the battery up to a trickle charger). The ambient temperature is usually around 25 – 32 degrees Celsius so I guess that means that the battery tends to discharge itself faster than normal ?
So I’m back with a new battery and a 60/55 Watt H4 bulb setup. How can I significantly improve the brightness of my headlight … either through battery, headlight assembly, bulb, stator or other modification (for a reasonable price) ?