V-Strom 650 || Modifications || Installing LED H4 Headlights : Part 1
I’ve been researching LED headlight replacements for my V Strom for a while now. The key benefits are two-fold :-
- Lowered Power Consumption (Stock Halogen Bulbs consume 55W, while the LEDs consume 35W-40W depending on the model)
- Improved Light Output (LED bulbs convert more of that input power into useful light energy)
Finally I received the LED headlights on 7th March 2016. The packaging was pretty decent, and the LED bulb looks well constructed.
4 LED chips per bulb
A funky shield the seems to hover above one set of bulbs
Initial thoughts on construction of the ballast — positive. Looks waterproofed and well constructed.
I’ve attached a short video of the bulb below, and some pictures…it was raining the entire night so I got some video but it just looks funky and psychedelic
YouTube video overview of LED
Pictures of the bulb/packaging
The “SHIELD” is clearly visible…
Why is the shield important?
The shield prevents the widely experienced issue of “high beam effect” from LED lights. The reflectors in LED bulbs/cases are not as well designed (yet) as the ones from incandescent bulb origins, and lends a really bad high beam effect that can blind oncoming traffic. Not a nice thing, if you want to be a good Samaritan on 2-wheels.
I finally got around to installing the LED Headlights a few days later — :D :D spoiler : The lights are pretty good!
I’ve tried to document the steps below for the v strom, so that changing bulbs (to another halogen or new LED bulb) should be easy.
I read the procedure on the owner’s manual
Step 1 — Disconnect socket/power plug (3 point) from headlight
Step 2 — Remove rubber boot. This is a very simple process; at the top of the boot and around the boot, there are extensions/flaps of rubber that you can pull on. Gently pull them off all across the circumference of the boot, and it should simply come off.
After the boot is removed, you can see the H4 halogen held by the brass clip
Step 3 & 4 — undo the brass clip by pushing into it and over the edge holding it, and it swings open free. You can now simply pull out the bulb.
Bulb comes out easy, twist it and pull it out
The SHIELD on the LED now makes sense ! It’s very similar to the OEM bulb halogen shield….
Step 5 — place the LED bulb into the slot and out the brass clip back on. This step is tricky because you’ve to massage the clip over the big hump of the LED fan. But if you gently massage the clip over this hump, it gets over it. Just be a little patient :( I took most of my time here
Step 6 — UPDATE : I’ve come to realize that you do not need to cut/modify the rubber boot, and that you can detach the fan base from the main LED, and put the rubber boot back on it, and then install the fan back on.
I went ahead and Cut the rubber boot! Please follow this only if you are unable to remove the fan base. Cutting this is easy. I just gauged the diameter I needed to cut by eyeing it…And I cut it off using a pair of heavy duty scissors
Another look at what I cut off
Step 7 — Slide the plug+ ballast through this cut hole, and push the rubber boot back on. it should be the same snug fit as before.
Step 8 — Final step! Connect the plug power into the ballast socket, and zip tie the ballast (it’s light weight..) to anything that clears the turning of the handlebars& forks. Be careful not to snag on anything.
Video — Comparison of light color difference between stock & LED
Video — Comparison of light beam pattern between stock (left) and LED (right side)
The LED beam is surprisingly close to stock beam pattern.
Video — Comparison of both LED headlights together, beam pattern, it’s very tightly grouped, not much stay lighting ! Looks really good together.
UPDATE : Ride Video Comparison
I’m plenty pleased with the light results. I hope this blog post helps anyone out there looking to use LED headlights :).