which one of these headlights do you guys like best?

I'm planning on getting one of these, I just can't decide which one.


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brianinpa

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#3
Ooooo! I have to go do some research now. I also like #1 because it appears that it will provide the widest coverage area.
 
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GS850_Mike

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#10
As far as light output, I'm not jumping for joy. The low beam is fine for most riding. The high beam is ultra bright and if i can get it aimed correctly I think it will do very well. Currently the high beam is aimed to far down and does more harm then good as the glare from the road limits my view.
As for function over cosmetics, I am not an electricalengineer so I might be wrong with this.....unless you have modified you regulator (mine has been upgraded to a sh775 regulator) the old bikes use a shunt type regulator which puts all extra current to ground. So technically by putting a LED headlight on your actually putting more strain on your electical system. Again I might be wrong with that statement.
 
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Dave Ireland

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#11
As for function over cosmetics, I am not an electricalengineer so I might be wrong with this.....unless you have modified you regulator (mine has been upgraded to a sh775 regulator) the old bikes use a shunt type regulator which puts all extra current to ground. So technically by putting a LED headlight on your actually putting more strain on your electical system. Again I might be wrong with that statement.
No; you're quite correct. Unused power gets shunted back through the stator (not ground) and adds to the heat stress on the windings, hastening insulation breakdown.
 
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GS850_Mike

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#14
Seth, I did a quick search didn't see exactly what you're riding ( I saw an older Suzuki GS, but not sure) rhe LED headlight will work it will just shorten the life of your charging system, due to the increased heat. If you are indeed riding a GS I would recommend upgrading the electrical system even if you do not upgrade the headlight and at least check and clean all your connections as they seem to be the weakest link in the charging system. You can get all the information you'd ever need from the gs resource web page.
 
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Dave Ireland

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#15
I think this theory only applies to magneto systems, not modern alternator-and-electronic-regulator systems.
In the past couple of years I was quite surprised to find that PM alternators are still commonly fitted, and it's largely luck that dictates whether the design is good or bad in the long run. On the face of it, there's not much difference between the stator windings of a 1980 GS850 and a modern Ducati, Aprilia or Triumph using the same system.
The only thing that works so far is the advent of a cheap, reliable series reg/rec in place of the shunt type. Note, the more modern bikes I mention there have also shown trouble with stators and series RRs turn out to be the solution for them, too.
 
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Dave Ireland

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#17
Mileage (and alternator life) varies :)
My '79 XS650 has a field-coil alternator, dating back a decade before that to the earliest models. Although some have given trouble, mine (and many others) are still going fine, and as long as the winding insulation holds out, should go a while yet. Oddly, there's a perception amongst XS650 owners that retro-fitting a PM alternator from a Banshee or RD250/400 is the way to go. I suppose it seems attractive because it superficially looks simpler, with none of that slip-ring and brush stuff. To me, the only saving grace of the PM system is the possibility of fitting it with a modern series reg/rec.
I'm quite happy puddling around on the XS with its old alternator - after all, the vast majority of automotive alternators I've ever owned have been of that type and I can count the failures on the fingers of one hand and have three left over.
Another factor of modern times is the availability of LED lighting, which greatly reduces the load on the alternator, and should enhance its lifespan, as well as staying well below its somewhat limited max output.
 
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brianinpa

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#18
As it was explained to me, these older stators put out X amount of amps. The bikes electrical system (ignition, lights, etc) uses Y amount of amps. The balance is shunted, so the perfect system has X and Y as close together as possible to keep the heat down.

If additional accessories (radio, charging ports for who knows what) are added, that is less amps that will keep the battery charged. So, if you are looking to add something into the electrical system, it is best to free up some amps also (add driving lights by first installing led light bulbs at the turn signals, for example.)

I am by no means an electrical mechanic (I may also be using the wrong phraseology), but that explanation has always seemed to make the most senseto my un-educated mind.
 
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Dave Ireland

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#19
Until now the major difference between the two - Field Coil and Permanent Magnet, was that the FC design meant that the alternator would only supply what was needed, and would last for absolutely ages, it being under-stressed most of the time. The PM design with a shunt regulator was effectively working under full load all of the time, and whatever current wasn't being used by the bike's systems was being shunted back into the stator windings, adding to the stress by raising winding temperature. Sooner or later, the stator insulation broke down, which is hardly surprising, given it's in a very hostile environment to start with.
However, the advent of the series regulator now puts the PM stator on a more-or-less equal footing with the FC alternator - the series RR only passes what is needed by the bike's systems, but crucially the excess current isn't dumped back into the stator, the demand is simply cut off. It took many years for a decent design to emerge, as the necessary semiconductors to build a reliable quenching and control circuit weren't around to incorporate into a mass-market item. The Big Bogie there was the back-EMF that occurs when you cut off a generator coil.

The idea of series regulation isn't new - it had been tried decades ago, but was never successful at any price ordinary owners were prepared to pay. Compufire were the first I knew of to offer it for retro-fits at sensible money, and in the last couple of years, it's emerged that Shindengen have been quietly supplying one to Polaris for several of their ATVs, with another, heavier-duty one now on the market.
Currently, I'm running one of the Shindengen SH-775 series RRs, with one spare just in case. I have deliberately chosen to use it on an elderly stator that would certainly have failed by now if it were still connected to a shunt RR. So far, so good.