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andrewo-s

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About andrewo-s

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    Cambodia
  1. andrewo-s

    Brighter headlights for DRZ

    Your point about high humidity (and temperatures) leading to quick battery discharges seems to make sense. I've read elsewhere that relatively small drops in the voltage across the terminals will reduce the intensity of the lights quite alot. Given this, and the relatively short trips/low revs that unfortunately make up most of my trips, your suggestion of a battery tender might just do the trick. The DR350 headlight I have is rectangular - so your recommendation for a round headlight, which I assume should give me more distance and less width on the beam - might be another change I could make. How can I make sure I get a good reflector ? Are there any particular headlight manufacturers/models numbers that you can recommend ? I've read elsewhere (although I think this refers to cars but I so no reason why it shouldn't apply to bikes too) that often the "stock wiring is too thin for the stock headlights and the bulb light output is severely compromised with decreased voltage. e.g. a normal engine-running voltage in a "12-volt" automotive electrical system is around 13.5 volts. At about this voltage, halogen headlamp bulbs achieve 100 percent of their design luminous output. When operating voltage drops to 95 percent (12.825v), headlamp bulbs produce only 83 percent of their rated light output. When voltage drops to 90 percent (12.15v), bulb output is only 67 percent of what it should be. And when voltage drops to 85 percent (11.475v), bulb output is a paltry 53 percent of normal! It is quite common that factory headlight wiring/switch setups produce this kind of voltage drop, especially once they're no longer brand new and the connections have accumulated some corrosion and dirt." [source: Hella] Suggestions are therefore to replace the relevant stock wiring with thicker gauge wire - and also install a good quality relay. Do you think this would significantly help bulb output on a DRZ - or do you think this would be a lot of extra effort for limited improvement ?
  2. andrewo-s

    Brighter headlights for DRZ

    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) ?
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