Tech Tip Hi-Tech Lighting
Installing A LED Headlight
All headlights are not created equal; they are available in four basic light sources: incandescent, quartz halogen, HID (high intensity discharge) and LED (light emitting diode). Some riders think that brighter headlights are better, when in fact it is the color temperature of the light source that gives a rider the ability to see objects at night. A whiter light gives a rider greater depth of view at night. Incandescent and quartz halogen lights have a yellow cast and HID lights have a blue beam, while hi-output LEDs emit a true white light; their light color is the closest to sunlight’s color.
LED headlights are the newest type. Their illumination ability and directional aiming is nothing short of fantastic and they are now available for motorcycles. With this info in hand, we searched the Drag Specialties website; they have a RIVCO Products H4 LED headlight bulb kit. It is a straight bolt-in replacement for most 1994-2013 baggers. Because this H4 LED headlight bulb has a built-in electronic ballast, which is mounted in the rear of the light’s hi-impact housing, no other parts need to be replaced.
We ordered the RVCO LED headlight bulb kit, Drag Specialties part number 2060-0535, MSRP $69.95. We then followed along as Dave Rivera, at Bartels’ H-D, installed it in a 2012 Ultra Classic. Installing the headlight bulb was about a one hour operation, which is because the front of the fairing must be removed. The LED headlight bulb assembly is a straight plug-in replacement; no filing or soldering is required. Our first evening ride was a real eye opener; the headlight’s white light gave us a view that had a lot more detail of our surroundings. The RIVCO Products LED headlight is, bar none, the best nighttime riding product we have ever experienced.
By John Sullivan