aftermarket H4 headlamp bulbs
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  1. #1
    Senior Member doser's Avatar
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    aftermarket H4 headlamp bulbs

    it's getting to be the 'dark' time of year, and for those who ride year-round, there is an appeal to installing a higher output headlight bulb. I've run thru several over the past half decade, and I thought I'd share the experiences.
    Sylvania Silverstar (in SV650 with headlamp relay) 10,000 kms
    GE Nighthawk (as above) 15,000 kms
    PIAA 70456 (as above) 17,000 kms
    PIAA 70456 (in CB1000R) 30,000 kms
    I've just had to replace the latest PIAA, and I couldn't source the 70456 (antivibration, slight blue tone), so I've gone with a 70426 (antivibration, cool white).
    they all put out more light than OEM bulbs, and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the various brands in a blind test (so to speak...) you pay for the extra output with lower life, but the PIAAs seem best in that regard.
    I think the shorter life in the SV compared to the CB is because the SV was running a headlight relay rather than the stock wiring routing, and that probably resulted in higher voltage at the bulb than for the CB. bulb life declines at something like the 3rd power of applied voltage, so durability if incredibly sensitive to that.

    let there be light!
    piling the mileage on...

  2. #2
    Senior Member DELuth's Avatar
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    My experience exactly, I've tried the SS and GE in my cars and wasn't impressed with bulb life. I just run an OEM Osram or Phillips for reliability. It looks like I need to give the PIAAs a go. Thanks for the info!

    Our eyes are the least sensitive to light in the blue end of the spectrum. I prefer to avoid the cool temperature bulbs. Is the PIAA cool white you use a nice bright white or is it slightly blue? Still have the SV?
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    Senior Member suzukijo's Avatar
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    I was always keenly interested in burned out bulbs. Looking at the filament, its either simply broken from vibration (you can thump it with your finger and watch the filament vibrate), or the end looks like a molten glob of silver like a tiny golfball (signs of actually burning out, possibly too much voltage).

    When its dark, I don't mind following a car, heading up the canyon, so much easier to see the road up ahead.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Stephen S's Avatar
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    I put some osrams in my old pointy SV and the difference was brilliant. These hid kits don't seem worth the money as they give off more light but in all directions and never where you want it. The cb is a poor light and I mostly just ride about with it on high beam of a night and no one seems to notice.

  6. #5
    Senior Member doser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DELuth View Post
    Our eyes are the least sensitive to light in the blue end of the spectrum. I prefer to avoid the cool temperature bulbs. Is the PIAA cool white you use a nice bright white or is it slightly blue? Still have the SV?
    the PIAA cool white is exactly that, a nice pure white, altho I have to say the 'blue' wasn't very 'bluish'.

    interestingly, I just stumbled onto the 'blue' - I was looking for the anti-vibration bulb for better life, and the 'blue' was what they stocked at a four-wheel place where I got the bulb. 3 bulbs later, I realise there was/is a cool white too! (like you, I think the blue tinge is more fashion than function...)

    as for the SV, it's gone, since spring. I loved that bike - it 'taught me everything' as I got back into riding as a 'mature returnee' rider. 125,000 kms in 5 years and good service throughout: had to change the fuel filter twice (probably cuz of suspect fuel in backwoods CA and OR fillups); did the clutch once; had to do the rear cylinder exhaust valves at 95,000 kms. aside from that, I beat the hell out of it and it just ran and ran.

    honestly, I kept it initially cuz I wasn't sure if I liked the CB! sure, the power is way more impressive, but the four cylinder 'thing' is way different than the twin feeling. and I have never and will never ride the CB to its full potential (even on the track), whereas I got to the point where I felt like I was wringing the SV just about as hard as it could go. I enjoyed that a lot! hammering thru twisty roads with good riders on litre bikes, at their pace. now I do that more easily, but it's almost TOO easy, you now...

    anyway, I am now fully attuned to the CB, and there was a young guy on my local forum who was desperate for an SV but didn't think he could afford a decent late-model one. so I sold it to him for $1800, with revalved forks, an Ohlins shock, a Yosh can, hand guards, hugger, screen, and a myriad of 'little' bits (aTRE; headlamp relay, etc, etc) - fully sorted! I could almost have given it away, and not felt it owed me a cent...
    piling the mileage on...

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