F800GT full LED headlights system - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    just wanted to share with you a small mod I did lately..

    Basically, the context was that although being very happy with my F800GT I condider the original kighting system to be very average.
    I decided to improve it and I initially fell in the trap of trying "white" halogen bulbs which were barely better that the stock bulbs. This was clearly just an expensive bandaid type fix.

    I needed to achieve two goals:
    First, an overall light quantity increase to spread the beam further and potentially wider
    Second a color temp shift towards a white light to help being noticed by other road users, in the lane filtering context in particular.

    So I decided to try some LED H7 bulbs such as these:
    Click image for larger version.

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    They come with a ballast, an optional can bus error filter, and the harness. They feature an internal heat sink and a high speed fan to cool them down. The whole system is waterproof and nicely manufactured.
    I ordered them in H7 format which is what is mounted on the F800GT as stock. The LED bulb flange is 100% identical as the stock H7 bulbs.

    Upon reception, I mounted them in the headlight block, but I struggled a bit to clamp the spring wire retainer, as the LED bulb base is bulky. It carries the fan and the heat sink to there is a recess between the flange and the housing to clear the spring retainer, but not much. I used a small plier and after 5mn of struggle I finally locked them in place.

    I connected them without the CAN bus error filter and I worked perfectly with a HUGE amount of light available. This is a chalk and cheese difference. There is no way I'm switching back to a halogen bulb, ever, period.

    Now, since the back end of these bulb is more prominent that the stock halogen bulbs, I noticed that I can't put the lids back in place. See this picture about the stock lids:
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    So I designed a pair of lids that would snap into the headlight block in lieu of the stock lids. Those would carry a emboss to clear the bulb back end, while being rain proof and providing the required venting, and cable clearance. I used Solidworks to create two digital models of the parts:
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    As you can see the right side is a bit different as it has to accommodate an existing 23 angle. The depth of each of them was defined based on the required clearance of the LED Bulb back end and the full left / right fork end point.

    I then 3D-printed them online using selective laser sintering and got them in my mail 10 days later
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    They fit perfectly and give a nice industrial finish to the modification.

    I use this config for about 6 weeks now and it went thru rain, cleaning, sun and wind without any issue so war.
    I even changed the parking light for a led bulb to match the color temp and style; found a 5 led bulb that did the trick and matched spot on.

    Next step: a new SC project muffler on my GT in about 10 days, can't wait!

    I hope this experiment may inspire some users to switch the LED lights, this is just fantastic!

    Cheers,

    Remi

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  4. #2
    TelemarkTumalo's Avatar
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    Strong work Remi and thanks for sharing. Do you happen to have any before and after views of the headlights?

  5. #3
    emlevy's Avatar
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    Nice job. What was the cost of doing this?


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    2013 BMW F800GT | 2015 BMW R1200RT | 2014 Honda CB1100 DLX

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  7. #4
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Thanks Mark,
    I don't have pictures of before, but here is how it looks with the leds on:
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    This is an iphone pictures, so the camera sensor didn't cope with the light..
    I can do some more perhaps from outside and at a distance to show the light beam.

    Emlevy,
    the cost breakdown was the following:
    LED H7 kit for two bulbs: 119 USD
    3D printing of two caps: 50 EUR

    Cheers,

    Remi

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  9. #5
    Futterman's Avatar
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    Exceptional report, Remi. This should go into the Hall of Wisdom.

    Impressive 3-D modeling skills, too! When I saw the size of the ballasts, I was wondering how you would handle the extra depth required. Great solution.

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  11. #6
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi Futterman,

    many thanks, I appreciate the nice comment

    cheers,

  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futterman View Post
    Exceptional report, Remi. This should go into the Hall of Wisdom.

    Impressive 3-D modeling skills, too! When I saw the size of the ballasts, I was wondering how you would handle the extra depth required. Great solution.
    So the question is how much would you be selling a set of "large" covers for??
    2014 F 800 GT
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  13. #8
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi TRJL,

    Well, there is a simple way to get that made for your F800GT: you could order them directly from the website that printed them for me. I used shapeways as I had good experience printing things with them so far.
    I'd do a 10 bucks markup on each for the CAD work if this sounds all right.

    That would look like this:
    https://www.shapeways.com/designer/blueskip

    Then you could order your bulbs on your own, the supplier is in the US.

    Note: do NOT place any order yet as I want to upload an optimized version of the file.

    Cheers,

    Remi

  14. #9
    Futterman's Avatar
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    Cool. I'm interested when you have the optimized files uploaded.

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  16. #10
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    Interested indeed!
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

  17. #11
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    here we go,
    I updated the files and they are available online:

    https://www.shapeways.com/shops/remiepron

    Feel free to give me any feedback.

    BTW, here is a recap about how the cover works:

    1) pull out the covers and use a dremel to trim the center material as described in the pictures. This takes about 5' to do, just wear eye protection.
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    2) snap in the cover and rotate it to get the alignment. The tab is located on the top side. Use some CA glue to lock the position.
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    3) install the bulbs and route the cables thru the dedicated cut out in each cover.
    4) clip the modified covers on each side
    5) attach the external ballast with double sided tape underneath the headlight block
    6) connect to the existing power source
    7) "let there be light"

    for info, here is a section view that shows the space gained.
    Click image for larger version.

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    Cheers,

    Remi

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  19. #12
    Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    A fantastic mod Remi. I've always thought the ST/GT headlight was a bit anemic, so I have a low beam HID. I'd actually prefer the LED. Thank you for opening up the design.
    2007 F800ST-------> 2013 F800GT

  20. #13
    Futterman's Avatar
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    This is terrific, Blueskip - thank you!

    Do you know how much power (W) is drawn by each LED lamp? You mentioned a big fan and heatsink...I need to be careful about my power budget. In the winter I ride with heated grips, heated gloves, and heated jacket.

  21. #14
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    Any CanBus alerts or Lamp alerts?
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

  22. #15
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi Futterman,

    the specs of the bulbs say 30w per bulb (current drawn based on 13.8v (our power generator output voltage) would be 30/13.8= 2.2Ah which matches the specs claimed by the manufacturer.

    Kristoffer:
    I was expecting something, but not a single flash of anything so far.
    The kit includes an optional can bus error suppressor (basically a large capacitor in a piece of heatshrink to be placed in line as an extention) that you may use or not, upon the type of vehicle you drive/ride.
    I tried with and without it and not a single flash of any kind. So I finally left those extra thingy on the shelve.

    Cheers,

    BTW I got mine from them: http://www.hidextra.com/razir-motorc...headlight-kit/

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  24. #16
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    BTW I'm thinking about what could be done on the F800GT;
    At my workplace, I have access to laser cutting, bending press as well as tig/mig welding.
    Any suggestions would be welcomed, I'm looking about something to fiddle around during lunchbreak

    cheers,

    Remi

  25. #17
    sam1's Avatar
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    sat nav mount above the clocks would be nice , Fantastic write up on this LED light upgrade.
    The past is gone, the present is never, and the future is unknown.

  26. #18
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    fantastic diy work ! I am also fascinated by the idea of 3dprinting, those things and services are getting real..for real afterall!
    I have only one doubt : isn't there the risk of wet , humidity and thus condensation to easily slip inside and deposit on the front of the headlight with those openings in the modified caps ?
    Majesty400 -> bmw f800s

  27. #19
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hey Sam,
    Agreed, this is hard leaving your sight from the road to go back and forth with a satnav screen located on the handlebar.

    Emmanuele,
    Thanks for the nice comments;
    Regarding the condensation question, I think that humidity becomes a potential problem where a given amount of moisture saturated air is trapped in an enclosed space. In this case you have a free air flow that keeps circulating thru the fan and the vents, so trapping isn't an issue. For actual water intrusion, there are two things to consider: first, the LEDs and peripherals are 100% waterproof, so there is a very low risk of damaging them. Each connector is nicely sealed with a triple silicone lip seam. Second, although possible, the risk of having water going into the headlight compartment is reasonably low as I did as much as possible to locate the vents on the bottom part of the extensions, and I did angle them to reduce the risk again.

    I did a couple car wash style cleanups since the installation. Beside it is raining cats and dogs everyday this month, so that helps as a good field test I guess

    Cheers,

    Cheers,

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  29. #20
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    Hello Remi,

    Nice job, but according to the website of the supplier you mentioned for the bulbs they do not deliver outside North America.

  30. #21
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi Keith,

    you are right, for the manufacturer I mentioned.
    However, this is not a biggie since you can use any forwarder such as myus.com for example (this is the one I use on a regular basis, works fine with me so far). Basically they receive the parcel and forward it to you.
    Alternatively you can pick another brand of bulb, as long as you can get a dimensions of them prior to the purchase.

    I can only tell you about the Razir brand (the one I use) as they are freakin' amazing. Some other forum users may have useful experience with other brands?

    cheers!

  31. #22
    gree2054's Avatar
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    FYI.... I have ordered the modified covers from Shapeways last week. The ETA for arrival is April 12th, so once I get these I will make the necessary modifications for the original caps and put some pictures up for that part of the process.

  32. #23
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    sound good, keep us posted!

    Cheers!

  33. #24

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    Nice mod Blueskip. Do you maybe know if razir led lights came with any homologation certificate? I really like the simplicity of this kit, because most of the ones i looked so far require quite a bit modification on the light system.

  34. #25
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi Spik,

    I did not see any paperwork with the Razir Leds when I received them, so I assume there isn't any unless it is available on their website.

    I did more photos of the prototype the other day, I'll share there here for those interested into this mod;

    cheers,

  35. #26
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Here they are:

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    cheers,

    Remi

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  37. #27
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    Here is a write up from my experiences in doing this LED install.
    DO NOT expect to install these LED bulbs without taking a lot of plastic apart. It is probably possible, but for me I took the headlight assembly off.
    First, I got the caps from Shapeways.com, which BlueSkip made (Remi). Use a dremel tool to remove the center material,Click image for larger version.

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ID:	190722 then glue them in place. I used a two compound liquid glue. This took less than an hour to complete. Click image for larger version.

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    Taking off all the plastic is not hard and only took me 45 minutes to complete. Here are the steps (from Blueskip):
    “- remove the saddle
    - remove the central cover from the airbox (fake tank alike) you DO NOT
    -remove the two black plastic triangles (L&R) from each side of the gauges
    -remove the low side fairings (L&R)
    - remove the mirrors
    -remove the up side fairings (L&R)
    -remove the windscreen
    - gently pop out the ambient air temp sensor support from the headlight block and leave it hanging from its harness
    -turn CCW 90 the little running light support to remove it and leave it hanging from its harness
    -gently pull straight out the headlight power connector (oval shaped) from the headlight block. It is connected between the two lights and has a 90 socket.
    - unscrew the 4 screws that hold the headlight block onto the front structure. These screws are inserted from front towards the rear into some sort of aluminum clips. Warning: if you see traces of blue thread-lock on the exposed threads, do not attempt to overcome the torque. Instead gently heat the screw tip with a soldering iron for 30s and this would gently loosen the thread-lock without creating damage.
    - drop out the headlight assembly”Click image for larger version.

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    It seemed that these clips were impossible to place in with these LED lights since the blubs have a big fan behind them, but I used a pair of hemostats to hook the end of the wire retainer onto the proper loop.Click image for larger version.

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ID:	190754 NOT easy, but can be done so don’t freak out and take your time.

    I used 3M outdoor double sided tape to secure the small box for each bulb.Click image for larger version.

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ID:	190762 You DO NOT need the resistors supplied to circumvent the CANBUS system. They are not needed. I used zipties to tiddy up in there. Click image for larger version.

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    Following the previous directions in reverse will get everything buttoned up. Yes, you will probably need to re position the aim of these bulbs with the nobs after this install. Click image for larger version.

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  38. #28
    sweatmark's Avatar
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    Blueskip - great modification, and righteous 3D modeling skills. I'm adept at old school 2D work, but little seat time doing 3D. Your Shapeways parts are sintered _____? What alloy? Asking because of a similar project, for which heat transfer and structural rigidity are required.

    Thanks for posting.
    Now: R1150R Rockster, F800S, S1000R, K1300S
    Then: R850R, R1100R, R1150R, R1200C, Buell, usw

  39. #29
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Hi Mark,

    thanks!
    The parts are laser sintered in polyamid. They could have been sintered into other types of material including metal, but for this application this was the most appropriate solution.

    cheers,

    Remi

  40. #30
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    Remi,

    Do you have a link to where you found an LED parking light bulb?
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

  41. #31
    Blueskip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsinkris View Post
    Remi,

    Do you have a link to where you found an LED parking light bulb?
    Hi,

    sorry mate I don't, I just found them at a shop down the corner.

    Cheers,

    Remi

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    Blastit's Avatar
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    Blueskip, great work on this upgrade. I received my parts the other day and installed them (not very hard at all). What a nice improvement over the terrible stock lights. It's much appreciated the work you did to make this possible. Thanks

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    Cyclops led has an H7. I've installed in their h7 led into both low and high beam. You will not need special caps.

    http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.co...bulb_p_86.html

    For the high beam. Drilled a pattern of holes for venting. One larger hole for the wires to pass and used a rubber grommet to protect the wires. Tucked the control into the side. Cables didn't reach well enough to the controller tuck under

    For the low beam. Same as high beam but did have to cut out the little reinforcements to give it s bit more room. Tucked the controller under neath.








    Props to Boraaski for bring back a cyclops bulb from e national rally to try. Here are the two GTs side by side. Both with low beams on.

    Last edited by Wisconsinkris; 08-05-16 at 12:40 PM.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

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  45. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blastit View Post
    Blueskip, great work on this upgrade. I received my parts the other day and installed them (not very hard at all). What a nice improvement over the terrible stock lights. It's much appreciated the work you did to make this possible. Thanks
    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated,

    all the best,
    cheers,

    Blueskip

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    Bonjour Remi.
    I've sent a couple of PMs but they may not be getting through to you. I've a set of LED lights ready to fit, but could do with a copy of your 3D files so I can print my own on my 3D printer.
    Can you help?
    \v/

  47. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1964Hall View Post
    Bonjour Remi.
    I've sent a couple of PMs but they may not be getting through to you. I've a set of LED lights ready to fit, but could do with a copy of your 3D files so I can print my own on my 3D printer.
    Can you help?
    \v/
    Hi Vince,
    PM sent,

    cheers,
    R

  48. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsinkris View Post
    Cyclops led has an H7. I've installed in their h7 led into both low and high beam. You will not need special caps.

    http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.co...bulb_p_86.html

    For the high beam. Drilled a pattern of holes for venting. One larger hole for the wires to pass and used a rubber grommet to protect the wires. Tucked the control into the side. Cables didn't reach well enough to the controller tuck under

    For the low beam. Same as high beam but did have to cut out the little reinforcements to give it s bit more room. Tucked the controller under neath.








    Props to Boraaski for bring back a cyclops bulb from e national rally to try. Here are the two GTs side by side. Both with low beams on.

    So if I understand what you've done correctly, you put the Cyclops "driver unit" on the outside of the headlight unit? I believe you used the term "controller" instead.

    Also, are you getting enough cooling with the small holes? If the bulbs are waterproof, could you leave off the caps? Or would that lead to water getting inside the reflector?

    Chris

  49. #38
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    With the cyclops bulbs yes, the driver controller unit thing is on the outside. For the high beam it is necessary and for the low because it does get warm. I had several conversations with the cyclops guy and he was saying the bulbs will not get as hot as the halogen. He didn't even think the small holes I put in were even necessary due to the bulb will be running at a lowered temperature than a halogen

    Also, do a YouTube search for cyclops and f800. In the video they put the whole thing inside the reflector.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

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    I noticed they have three different options for our bikes. Just the bulb for about $65. The high beam bulb and a plastic replacement cap. And the low and high beam bulbs with two replacement caps. From what I see of your installation, the caps aren't needed.

    Was there any adapter to ensure the LED bulb was placed in the right place to take advantage of the halogen reflector?

    Chris

  51. #40
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    No caps needed. No adapters. Just two h7 LED bulbs. When I have the opportunity I'll take a "down the road" photo. But you won't be disappointed
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

  52. #41
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    Four photos from a night ride

    Sorry, iPhone photos don't do them justice.

    Cyclops h7 bulb

    open road low beam



    Open road with high beam



    Wooded road with low beam



    Wooded road with high beam
    Last edited by Wisconsinkris; 08-28-16 at 10:28 PM.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

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    Okay, Thanks to Remi, it got me thinking about fitting a set of LED headlight bulbs to my F8GT. I do 3D design & modelling for my own business so have no problems knocking up some caps to cover. I wanted to replace the whole cap rather than cut the original in case I wanted to return to stock later.
    I got my set from a UK supplier via eBay so are different to the ones Remi has and also have the ballast built into the unit so a cleaner install.
    Also I have my own FDM printer to do such things on so easy for me to play...

    I printed my own design of cap from PETG material and it came out quite well, I just copied the original cap and then edited it to enlarge it to cope with the LED bulbs. I just fit the rubber seal off the standard cap to the 3D print cap for the seal.
    Actually designing for FDM printing has some challanges to overcome to finish so not quite as easy as it sounds but once you have worked with FDM printing and got used to what you can and cannot do it becomes second nature when designing for FDM production.

    The latch is not quite right (it's such a small detent on the housing) so I'm making version 2 which will have two lugs in case I need to secure it better with springs or something in case the latch pops off. Also on the low beam cap I am designing a boss to accept a on/off switch so I can run with the low beam off if I wish. When I'm training and behind student it's good to switch off the light as they can see my indicators better (that's how I tell which way I want them to go if I'm not on radio) and it doesn't distract them with the light off if I'm moving about behind for a safer position. so with me fumbling for the switch before we set off I wanted a very secure install.



    Sadly, I still quite enjoy playing with stuff like this even when I spend all day doing it for work related projects, but especially when it has to to do with my motorcycles.

    Version 2 to follow, and when my black PETG comes in I'll print mine in black instead of bright yellow
    \v/

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  56. #43
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    QUOTE=Wisconsinkris;2314753]Two photos from a night ride

    Cyclops h7 bulb ...[/QUOTE]

    It seems the light is quite concentrated in the foreground to the extent I'm not sure if either or both are low or high beam.
    R1200R-LC ​Exclusive in Thunder Grey with Touring Pack. Formerly Graphitane F800ST 04/2007. I rarely visit the forum these days ...

  57. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokkybear View Post

    QUOTE=Wisconsinkris;2314753]Two photos from a night ride

    Cyclops h7 bulb ...

    It seems the light is quite concentrated in the foreground to the extent I'm not sure if either or both are low or high beam.
    I added and labeled the photos better. Sorry that they are taken with an iPhone but that is what I have. When high beams are on the auto adjust the iPhone does dims the up close.

    The photos do not do justice to what the eyes see.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

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  59. #45
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    Kristoffer, did you have to adjust your headlights afterward?

    I'm waiting about a half hour and then I'll post some pictures. I just finished with the high beam. One of my cameras is a DSLR and I can duplicate the same settings I used last night with the OEM bulbs, so we can get a side by side comparison.

    Chris

  60. #46
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    I didn't adjust anything.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet

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    The lights are installed. There is an improvement, but it is hard to quantify. I tried to take identical pictures, i.e., same F-stop, speed and ISO settings. However, I'm just a little off on positioning. Across both pictures, I'm a little farther back with the LED headlights. Not enough to make much difference for what you see though.

    I was hoping for double the light output since the LED bulbs put out 3400 lumens compared to about 1500 lumens for a halogen H7. I don't think it is that much at all.

    Halogen

    Click image for larger version.

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    LED

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    Halogen

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    LED

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    You may see something different than I'm getting from this. But here's what I'm getting from this.
    • The light is whiter. Is it brighter?
    • The cutoff against the garage door is acceptable and far better than I've seen on another bike with HID lighting. In all cases, I'm holding the bike from moving with my right foot on the brake, which means the bike is slightly leaning to the left.
    • The light is concentrated in the middle...where the road will be. That's an advantage I think, because it is covering about double the area.


    I noticed when I moved my Subaru back into the driveway that the lights are aimed higher than I have on the bike. I'm thinking I can move part of that light seen in the driveway picture out a little farther and get some additional reach on the beam pattern without blinding anyone.

    All in all, while not a dramatic change, I'm happy. I'm getting better lighting...and saving about 50 watts total in my alternator budget.

    Chris

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  63. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    All in all, while not a dramatic change, I'm happy. I'm getting better lighting...and saving about 50 watts total in my alternator budget.

    Chris
    Thanks for the write-up and pics, Chris. Exactly what I was wanting to know (how much light they throw out, not necessarily how bright they appear to oncoming traffic).
    2019 F850GS Adventure
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  64. #49
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    I took the bike down the driveway again and adjusted the headlight up some. There's enough light output to do that and not have the light pattern washed out. I'll do some checking to make sure I'm not blinding others. I try to be real sensitive to that. There's so much traffic around here and folks are getting older with the resulting difficulty in quickly adjusting to bright lights shining in their eyes. I'd hate to contribute to someone having an accident.

    Chris

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    Did any of you guys find a LED parking light bulb that didn't trip the "Bulb" warning light? If so, could you provide a link or tell which brand and specs work? I tried one from Advanced Auto, but it tripped the warning light.

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