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Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:28 pm
by Bozo
It seems headlight globes like to drop off this mortal coil in threes.

Yesterday the left hand side of the 1200RT blew. The 1200RT globe replacement requires meditation before commencing the task as you can not see what you are doing and your hand has be semi-articulated.

I removed the front fairing as it gave a few more millimetres of access and after half an hour of fiddling had a working light. The error message stayed because I now had a blown left headlight globe.

This was disconcerting as I had only replaced that globe 15,000km an average 50km/hour that represented only 300 hours life. I understand some H7 globes are rated for 1,000 hours and that 500 hours is normal.

The main problem may be that I opted for the brightest globes which I now understand have the shortest life.

As a trial I have installed a Phillips that claims 4 times standard life and a Narva that should be good for 500 hours. I will ley you know how long this lot last.

Fixing the left on the 1200rt only took 15 minutes as it has slightly better access than the right hand side.

When I got back from the tuning day today I blew the headlight on the 1150R. I don't care how long the globes on this bike last as you can replace them in 5 minutes.

Three headlight globes blown in two days. A hassle but probably the cheapest failure to fix.

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:51 am
by Cookie
Hello Bozo

I recently replaced RH lamp in my 1200RT, major pain in the neck, then 2 months later replaced the left one - which only took around 10 minutes. Total of 3 lamps over 4 years & 30K not bad in the scheme of things.

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:31 pm
by spacey1
It would be good to understand why these BMW motorcycles eat head light globes. The last time the globe blew was in the city after dark. So getting home with no low beam (no light or high beam) was a tricky exercise in traffic. If nothing else, the LEDs I've added recently give me some security for the next time the low beam goes (Link at the end of article).

My GSA has blown at least 5 low beam globes that I can remember.

The Other-Half's 1150GS has done 2 since we've owned it, that's less than a year... :shock:

There has to be a better solution. I've tried cheap, expensive, genuine, extreme... doesn't seem to make any difference!!!

The easiest method I've found, thus far, to replace the low beam globe on the GSA, is to make a high step at the front, stand on this step and reach down over the top of the screen. I use 3 x 20cm thick polystyrene blocks for the step.

Some sort of LED insert? Any ideas?
Gotta be something more durable out there...

Link to LED article:

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:02 am
by Bolton
I share your pain Chris. Just replaced the right sided globe on the RT. In the end I had to recruit assistance of wife, with slimmer fingers, and a recently completed meditation course, to try and keep globe located, whilst manipulating the wire clips. I was in such an un-zen like state that I was about to take a hammer to the headlight glass and just go in through the front. I'm going to try and fashion some tool or other to allow you to hold globe in place, whilst operating clips. Also will get a first aid kit for the lacerations to both hands.

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:55 am
by Bozo

Brings pack bad memories. Smashing the glass is an expensive option...race tape might be simpler.

I am sure if Alex had a 1200RT there would be a tool/system developed to take the pain and frustration out of changing globes.

May be it should be a tuning day preventative maintenance protocol once a year when all H7 Globes are replaced on all 1200's with a bulk purchase of the longest lasting globe.

My 1200RT must be due soon...time to start meditation.


Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:42 pm
by Hugh.Jars
Just the other week had LAMPF come up on he screen without checking first....... pulled the low beam..... out nothing wrong... but the clip has a
broken bit which makes it difficult to re fit.
Changed the park globe all good .........this is the easiest globe to change
high beam is a HID excellent light been in there close to 6 years now

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:47 pm
by spacey1
The Repco H7 low beam globe just blew. First one this year... :roll:

Trying a Philips EcoVision H7.

Apparently these globes are a little less bright, but a lot more durable...

Only time will tell :shock:


My latest technique, to screw my body into the correct position to fit these items, is to stand on a couple of blocks on the side of the bike and reach down to the back of the headlight assembly.

Got the change-over down to 15 minutes and no bark was removed... from me... :lol:

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:13 pm
by boomer61
As motorbikes vibrate more than cars you need to use a globe suited to severe duty, ie one more suited to a truck lighting system.
The repco ones are made in china and are not very good quality.
I tried them in my work ute and they did not last long at all.
I think the Narva bulbs I was using in the ute lasted a lot better, I was using one of the top of the range bulbs.
On the K1200s I have only tired genuine and these have been last well.

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:11 pm
by spacey1
Thanks for the tip Anth,

Between both bikes, I reckon I've tried about 10 different brands, including Narva; Extremes; Blues; and so on...

Maybe if this one fails, I'll spring for a genuine item :roll:

The MOA forum and other BMW forums have extensive posts on blown globes. This Philips EcoVision seems to have the highest rating by those users.

It purportedly puts out a little less light and uses slightly less power, but is more durable as it is cooler. It's worth a try. $25 twice a year is getting hexy :cry:

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:08 am
by spacey1
Reporting back on the headlamp globe replacement.

160,000 km on the odometer now and the Philips EcoVision H7 is still intact.
Installed at circa 134,000 km in February 2016.

That's a track record! Basically saved 3 globe replacements. And still supplying the essential light, a basic function of these items :lol:

Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:23 pm
by brian/5
I see that Osram have a Ultra Life
H7 12V 55W with a 4 Year Osram Guarantee
with same output as the Philips one.

This was on a UK site $29 with free shipping
Wonder if the guarantee still applies here. ... 50_750.jpg


Re: Replacing Headlight Globes

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:25 pm
by Bozo
The devil is in the detail.
You have to post the globe back to Osram at your cost and the guarantee is only against a manufacturing defect. Once you tell them that you have used the globe off bitumen...good luck.