Lighting and Such


Blue Haired Freak
I'll be posting the running results of my lighting exercise here, in the hopes that it's useful.

Today's installment is a comparison of the Bosch reflector from Daniel Stern and the Hella reflector that arrived today from Amazon. In all cases, the bulb is the Daniel Stern Narva. Part numbers later....

Two scenarios:

1. In the garage, white door shut. Headlamp rotated in the shell so that it is aligned vertically even when the bike isn't. Camera on tripod, not moved between shots. Bike not moved either. Distance from headlight to garage door about 8 feet. Camera at about my eye level (I'm 6'2"), about 2 feet behind and to the left of the bike. Camera set on 'incandescent' white balance, iso 200, f/2.5 at 1/100 second (purposely slightly underexposed to show beam pattern). No lights in garage other than bike. In each photo, the Bosch is on top, Hella on the bottom. First picture is low beam, second is high beam.



2. In the street, aimed at neighbor's yard. Headlamp aligned 'correctly' in shell, so the beam is tilted because the bike is tilted on the kickstand. Handlebars adjusted to point straight ahead (so beam pattern will be tipped up to the right). Camera on tripod, not moved between shots. Bike not moved either. Distance from headlight middle of yard across street about 50 feet. Camera at about my eye level (I'm 6'2"), about 8 feet behind and to the right of the bike, aimed so that the near edge of the pattern could be seen. Camera set on 'incandescent' white balance, iso 200, f/2.5 at 0.62 second (again, purposely slightly underexposed to show beam pattern). There is a dim streetlight off to the left, not contributing much.. In each photo, the Bosch is on right, Hella on the left. First picture is low beam, second is high beam.



Draw your own conclusions. To my eye, the Bosch has some distracting extra 'banding' in the near field and on the side on high beam, and is a bit too narrow for long dark roads. The Hella has a bit more spread, which is good, and less of the banding, although there is a noticable narrow bright stripe at the edge of the beam pattern. On low beam, the Bosch has a more noticable up-and-to-the-right component, which I guess is to make reading signs easier but these days the signs are so reflective they don't need that extra help. In fact, on high beam, at night, signs so far down the road I couldn't possibly read them reflect back so brightly that the contrast makes it hard to see if there's something dim and furry getting ready to kill me between me and the sign. The Hella has a bit more light at the bottom of the pattern on low, which is good -- the Bosch cutoff down low is pretty pronounced.

Next installment will perhaps be a comparison of the Narva with an HID that should be coming soon... When I do that one it will be with only one reflector, but I'll add other bulbs (the stocker and Silverstar) to the mix.



Thanks for sharing your efforts. I am looking forward to reading your future posts on this and what you ultimately decide is the best setup.


Street Tracker
Great picts thanks BlueJ. Amazing how different the "softness" of the light at the edges of the beam is.


Blue Haired Freak
Here's the latest, gang. After looking at the large and small Kuryakyns and another brand, I decided to go with the large Kuryakyn Silver Bullets. I rattle-canned the buckets to match my headlight shell (will eventually power-coat), and mounted them on an NB turn signal relo bracket. I added a home-made relay cutout to my aux. fuse panel (found some great directions HERE), and have these wired up to be on when the key is on, since I want them to be able to fill in when the highbeam is on as well as the low. I might eventually add a switch.

Here's how they look on the bike -- I like!!!





I'll get some photos taken like my other set (in the dark garage) soon so you can see how they augment the Narva bulb on the Hella reflector.

Safe riding!!!


Wow... they look great! Noticing several things I like better than
what I had... overall shape is sweet, much more graceful, looks "right" on the bike... they're really
tucked in tight vs being on stalks... and the black painted body seals the deal.
Damn good job BlueJ... looking forward to the real test, seeing how they
work in the dark.
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Blue Haired Freak
Thanks Seth!! I wanted them tucked in as far as possible - even looked into having them *inside* the mounts but that would have required moving the rectifier. As it is, they are right up against the forks. Ground is through the mounting bolt - I ran a double-strand 16 gauge wire to carry the ground separately for each light back to my common ground near the battery. They are connected to the mounts with ring leads, crimped tight and shrink-tubed. Positive is carried by a single 12 gauge that the two lights leads tie into inside the headlight bucket, it goes back to a 10 amp circuit on my power distribution block.

As far as how they work at night, I probably need to replace the flood bulbs with narrow beams. I'll tip them down a bit more for the pending trip. The pix below I messed up and didn't get the exposure the same as for the first set -- where the first ones were at 1/100 second, these are 1/2.5 (same as outside shots before). HIgh/low, with/without the aux lights. I'll see the damn deer!!! :)

Cheers gents!

low with and without.jpg

high with and without.jpg