2006 V-Star 1100 Custom Dim Headlight - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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2006 V-Star 1100 Custom Dim Headlight

Anyone else think their headlight is dim? This has annoyed me since I purchased the bike brand new.

My friends comment all of the time that they struggle to see my headlight in the day. I've tried raising the beam a little but it's still pretty dim. When sitting behind a pickup truck at a traffic light in the day, I notice I can see the passing lamps refection in the trucks tailgate but not the main headlight. I've tried a "brighter" halogen H4 bulb in it but it still seems dim. It has since I bought the bike new.

Anyone else experience the same?

Thanks,

Tombstone
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 02:19 PM
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Is the GND the same for both light sets? Do your lights change when you go high to low beam? Have you checked all the connections? When I ran my driving lights wiring I ran it through a relay so I could bring a good ground from the battery to the headlight case.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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The ground is the same. In fact it's an OEM passing lamp set so the wires all plug in together. When I turn on the brights, the passing lamps extinguish. There is also an on/off switch on the lamps and turning them off doesn't change the brightness of the headlight. In fact, I purchased the passing lamps because the headlight was so dim. Again, It's been like that since I got the bike new. The bright seems bright enough. I've often wondered if it's the lens cover assy that directs the light too low or dissipates the light. It does have several sort of opposing grid patterns etched into the lens.

Just wondering if anyone else had the same experience.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 02:57 PM
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I know that my Low beam doesn't shine very far out, but if I aim it up the high beam is shootin down airplanes. My intensity is fine though. I know that the ridges in the lense do direct the light. I think its called a Fresnell effect learned about it from LightHouse research. I was wondering with the previous post if your light beam was changing I was wondering if they were hooked in series instead of parallel. have you checked the color codeing of the wires in your headlight. Have you looked at the bulb for stains? If handled with bare hands fingerprints will burn into the bulb possibly staining, When I ran mine I ran the wiring myself separate power and gnd from the battery relay switched by the light power for both high and low beams. I also have the switch on my light housing that can turn the lights off.

Last edited by Fulltilt1; 05-10-2010 at 03:01 PM.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 06:44 PM
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I think that the lens of the headlight just defuses the light too much on low beam. During the day I always ride with the highbeam on. tough to do if the passing lamps are wired to go off on high beam.
Another option is to find the brighter halogen lamps. I have gone with the super white lamps, they seem to help some.

Doug

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 09:56 AM
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lights

My bike has the OEM passing lights also but my passing lights stay on when you switch to high beams. I bought the bike used so I dont know how they are wired, but I too am not happy with the out put of the lights. I was thinking of trying the high output white light, but I dont know if they make one for motorcycles.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 02:15 PM
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Another thing to try to evaluate your problem is to remove the light, unplug it and jumper it straight to the battery. This will let you know if there is a problem with the wiring or if the bulb just isn't bright enough. When troubleshooting electrics I always try to half step, then I know which half to look at. Then keep half steppin till its just goes-into and goes-outta. Then if you got your goes-into and no goes outta, the part in the middle is bad.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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Brighten up Headlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by tombstone View Post
Anyone else think their headlight is dim? This has annoyed me since I purchased the bike brand new.

My friends comment all of the time that they struggle to see my headlight in the day. I've tried raising the beam a little but it's still pretty dim. When sitting behind a pickup truck at a traffic light in the day, I notice I can see the passing lamps refection in the trucks tailgate but not the main headlight. I've tried a "brighter" halogen H4 bulb in it but it still seems dim. It has since I bought the bike new.

Anyone else experience the same?

Thanks,

Tombstone
Here is what ol Sugar Bear did, he was not happy at all with the dim looking light, he adjusted the light to the highest it would go, still not good. There is some play in the headlight, so he put about 1/4 inch of foam pipe wrap under the leading edge of the headlight rim, now perfect Maybe this simple thing will help you. Ride safe.

Ride Safe, Live Long
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 10:26 PM
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Dim light

Not much experience here but does the light and bulb look white? If the light is white it is probably as bright as it is going to get. If there is a small voltage dorp somewhere then the bulb would start to burn a little orange. If so look for a bad connection some where.

If your passing lamps are 55 watt bulbs then maybe they are so bright they make the head light look dim? Stock bulbs are 35 watt but lots of people change them.

I have some higher wattage bulbs but I never used them I was afraid the heat would damage the light.

I think your generator is 33 Amps at 5,000 RPM. Just in case you need to know.

Dave
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2010, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I put the passing lamps on was because of the dim headlight. Again, this has been the case since I rolled it off of the show room floor.

I've tried both of these bulbs with minimal apparent improvement:

- PIAA H4 60/55W - PN: 70416 "Super White" - "Performs like a 110/100W bulb" - $39.00
- PIAA H4 60/55W - PN: 70426 "Star White" - "Performs like a 110/100W bulb" - $43.00

I suspect it's the lens and the "Fresnell effect" that FullTilt was talking about but don't know of any way to test that except remove the lens and see how that effects it.

Last edited by tombstone; 05-12-2010 at 06:26 AM.
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