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Thread: LED Headlight Conversion

  1. #1
    JayBear's Avatar
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    LED Headlight Conversion

    How many ST riders does it take to change a light bulb???

    Hello fellow ST riders!

    If you're trying to figure out how to install your new LED headlights then you have come to the right place. I recently changed out the lighting on the front of my ST1300 to all LEDs and realized information on the process was scattered all over so I decided to document my entire process by taking photos along the way. My hope is that this guide will help you to visualize the process and help you understand the mechanisms involved so that you can spend less time fumbling around and looking all over the threads for info.

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    Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic, electrical engineer, or a rocket scientist (go figure)! I am just an average DIY-er so use this information accordingly. Enough chit-chat, let's get to it!

    BACKGROUND INFO AND SPECS





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    It is important to note that the tabs on the OEM bulb and the notches on the OEM housing do not have the same angle as an aftermarket H4 bulb (see photo below for comparison).

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    Notice the bottom two tabs on the OEM bulb are more spread out. Because of this you will need to modify the new bulb. Common solutions are

    1. Cut the tabs off
    2. Bend the tabs back, or
    3. Use shims


    ***SIDE NOTE***

    WHAT ARE SHIMS? They are metal rings cut to match the OEM tab angle. You just slip them on over the bulb so that you can lock them in place. Although not required for this project I want to share the info here.

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    Next item is how to access the bulbs.
    I used option #3 but other common solutions are (see images)


    1. Reach in from from the front of the bike and below the headlight housing
    2. Reach in from above behind the handlebars
    3. Remove the dash/instrument panel
    4. Remove the front windscreen and surrounding plastics
    5. Remove side fairings


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    HEADLIGHT REPLACEMENT

    Locate the headlight. You will see a big round rubber boot with an electrical connector in the middle. You need to remove this connector. To do this you need to press down on the tabs located on either side of the connector (see image). You may need to dig your fingers into the boot a little bit to reach these tabs. You are disconnecting the harness from the bulb so you should only have to pull straight out but some wiggling may be required.

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    Once you have the connector from the wiring harness out, remove the rubber boot. Just grab from the edges and pull/peel back.

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    When the boot is off it will reveal the wire clip and the bulb. Now unlatch the wire clip, or bail clip, by pushing in with your thumb and turning slightly. The clip will unhook and swing open to free the bulb from the housing.

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    Then remove the bulb. Just pull straight out. Be careful not to let your fingers touch the glass if you plan on keeping the bulbs. If you do accidentally touch the glass then use a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean it.

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    Now before you insert the new LED bulb you will need to modify it as mentioned earlier. Choose your weapon. I used a Dremel with a metal cutting wheel bit to cut and file off the lower two tabs.

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    You need to know that the mounting plate (blue arrow, see image) that has the three tabs is removable. Just hold the plate with one hand the the fan with your other hand and twist. That will release the plate.

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    Now take the mounting plate (blue arrow, see image) and insert into the headlight housing by itself. Do not attach it to the bulb or else it will not fit! It will all make sense later. You must align the top tab with the notch in the housing (see image).

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    When you have the mounting plate inserted re-insert the wire clip to hold it down. This might take a while

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    Now that the clip is back in put the rubber boot back on. Still no bulb should be inserted! I have seen posts where people leave the rubber boot off or even cut it up to make the hole wider but this is not required.

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    Okay, now you can insert the LED bulb in through the rubber boot. Remember those notches on the bulb from when you removed the mounting plate? Well you need to align them so that you can insert the bulb and then twist to lock it back in place. It will help to look through the front of the housing when you insert the bulb. Look for the notch to help you with the alignment (blue arrow, see image).

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    After you have the bulb locked in you're almost done. Just plug the electrical connector to the new bulb and tuck away and zip-tie the wires and the LED driver (ballast/box thing). I tied them off to the side so that it would not interfere when turning the handle bars.

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    POSITION LIGHT REPLACEMENT

    Next we will replace the position lights, or park lights, or marker lights. The little guys in the top corner (see images).

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    Locate the bulb socket. You will find a small rubber boot at the end of the wiring harness (see image). Pull this rubber socket straight out, but use caution! There is nothing really "locking" the bulb on so as you pull, the bulb may dislodge from the rubber socket and fall into the housing.

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    Once you have the socket removed simply pull the old bulb out, and plug in the new LED.

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    ALL DONE!!!! Now get out and ride! Stay safe!
    Last edited by JayBear; 07-19-2017 at 01:17 PM.


  2. #2
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    JayBear's Avatar
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    Re: ***UNDER CONSTRUCTION*** LED Headlight Conversion - How To (with pictures!!!)

    BUMP. The instructions and photos are now uploaded! I hope this helps at least one person

    Can I get a Admin/Moderator to update the title to remove "***UNDER CONSTRUCTION***" I can't seem to get it to work. Thanks!
    Last edited by JayBear; 07-19-2017 at 03:09 AM.

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  4. #3
    Be Thou My Vision dduelin's Avatar
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    Re: ***UNDER CONSTRUCTION*** LED Headlight Conversion - How To (with pictures!!!)

    Thank you for the awesome write up. Part II can be finessing the G6 bulb position to flatten and define the beam cutoff and aim. I found I had to twist each bulb a few degrees of rotation to bring them to a horizontal orientation. The bulbs do twist and will hold the correct position. The rubber nibs allow it. This is easily done about 50 or 60 feet away from a wall at night. To help with vertical aim, which is done much closer, I used tape to define the bike position in the driveway in relation the garage door. I pencil marked the center and height of the Halogen headlights 'hot spot' and aimed the LEDs vertically to approximate the same aim. I found I had to significantly lower the aim with the G6s or else the dull spot between G6 high and low beam was right where light is needed.

    Thanks again for the writing and illustrations.

  5. #4
    (Threadstarter)
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    Re: ***UNDER CONSTRUCTION*** LED Headlight Conversion - How To (with pictures!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
    Thank you for the awesome write up. Part II can be finessing the G6 bulb position to flatten and define the beam cutoff and aim. I found I had to twist each bulb a few degrees of rotation to bring them to a horizontal orientation. The bulbs do twist and will hold the correct position. The rubber nibs allow it. This is easily done about 50 or 60 feet away from a wall at night. To help with vertical aim, which is done much closer, I used tape to define the bike position in the driveway in relation the garage door. I pencil marked the center and height of the Halogen headlights 'hot spot' and aimed the LEDs vertically to approximate the same aim. I found I had to significantly lower the aim with the G6s or else the dull spot between G6 high and low beam was right where light is needed.

    Thanks again for the writing and illustrations.
    You're welcome! And thank you for the aiming details. I am finding I have the same problem so I will take your input and document that process too.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Site Supporter JimGregory's Avatar
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    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    I wonder what the LED marker lights do for you? I already installed the G6's a while back.

  7. #6
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    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by JimGregory View Post
    I wonder what the LED marker lights do for you? I already installed the G6's a while back.
    Nothing. Haha. It is only cosmetic. I have read somewhere that in Europe the position light is similar to a "park light" in the US and is actually required. Maybe one of our UK members can verify?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    AdminiSTrator Mellow's Avatar
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    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by JayBear View Post
    Nothing. Haha. It is only cosmetic. I have read somewhere that in Europe the position light is similar to a "park light" in the US and is actually required. Maybe one of our UK members can verify?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Yeah, 'positon lights'... My Super Tenere has them also. Similar to the ST, it was delivered in Europe first. I think in EU you can actually turn them off and remove the key... I can't remember if that's correct.

  9. #8
    Site Supporter JimGregory's Avatar
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    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    OK so no added lighting. Guess I will leave the yellow ones in.

  10. #9

    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    Wow! What a great post! Thanks for doing this.

  11. #10
    Site Supporter JimGregory's Avatar
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    Re: LED Headlight Conversion

    Yes very good of you to take the time to do this. Well done!

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