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Re: HID lights for R1100s

"john h. outlan" wrote:

> > I remember reading very recently that the DOT has banned the sale of HID
> > conversions. Better check before spending the $$$.
> >
> > Jim
> > microdoc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Jim,
> Do you recall what their reasoning was?  (other than to make everything
> illegal eventually in this land of the used-to-be free).  I couldn't find
> anything on it.
> John H. Outlan CPA
> 407-924-2727
> 321-415-0234 (Fax)

It is so annoying. I can remember reading the piece, and thought I would have
saved it, but I cannot find it. I recently test drove an Audi All Road that had
an HID low beam. Otherwise, its' headlights were the same design and set up as
those on my Audi A4, which is to say, fabulous. The HID lamps put some serious
light on the road at night. So much, that it makes the high beam look anemic.

I remember that the prime issue of the article I read had to do with high
beam/low beam. Most cars, trucks and motorcycles utilize a dual filament lamp.
These filaments are located at slightly different positions relative to the
reflector. When the operator switches from low to high beam, he is actually
switching from one filament to the other. HID lamps are a single source lamp.
Conversion kits replace the low beam only, and eliminate the high beam entirely,
and that violates a DOT lighting requirement.

Other kits attempt to meet the requirement by shifting the lamp a few
millimeters from what would have been the low beam position, to what would have
been the high beam position. If this were done with sufficient precision, it
would work; unfortunately, a mechanism with sufficient precision, reliability,
and activation speed is not cost effective.

Conversion kits will be more appropriate as more and more vehicles come equipped
with the "high tech" headlights: Those consisting of separate high beam and
"projector lens" low beams. In those systems, the low beam stays on at all times
headlights are on. However, any system utilizing a dual filament lamp will be
illegal if converted to HID. This will include nearly all Beemers made since
1970 employing the H4 lamp system.

I also recall that the DOT penalties were aimed at manufacturers and vendors,
not the motor vehicle operator. I looked at the US DOT web site, and did find
the notice "NHTSA Seeks Public Comment On Headlight Glare Issues". So, I suppose
you will probably be as okay as you can be if you buy the conversion from a
reputable vendor. I also suppose that if your bike has separate lamps for high
beam and low beam, your conversion will not only work nicely, but will even be

Sorry if I made a big deal over nothing.

'99 R1100RT '99 F650 '98 R1200C '88 R100GS '78 R80/7