Front Light Bulb Life Span

5 replies to this topic
  • Big Red Paul

Posted January 04, 2007 - 11:23 PM


Had the low beam front bulb blow on me yesterday night heading back from the coast. Was on the freeway at the time going a good speed. Switched to high beam to get me home.

Bought and installed a new bulb today. Not cheap. Halogen bad ass bulb.
Not like the bulbs of my former enduro bikes.

Rode about 5,500 klm with that bulb. Would have expected a longer run.

Not too bright when it comes to bulb longevity, how long are bulbs lasting other riders ?

XR650R Australian model. Aware that the lightening is more powerful than the US versions.

Anyone care to to enlighten me ? (sorry, couldn't help it)

  • cleonard

Posted January 04, 2007 - 11:46 PM


In all my years of riding I have never had a bulb fail. I do replace them before they fail. My current headlight bulb in my XR600 is about 5 years old. It's time for a new one. I have a high output stator and run a H4 90/110 watt bulb.

Those high output bulbs are the problem. The way that they get the extra light output is to run hotter. Hotter mens less life. A standard H4 bulb is good for about 500 hours. Long life bulbs last about 1500 hours but make about 10% less light. The special high output bulbs that only use the "legal" 55/65 watts may only last for 100 hours. A better choice are the standard filament temperature, but higher wattage bulbs. More life and still 400+ hours of life. Hella makes several higher wattage bulbs. There are 65/70 watt and 75/80 watt versions as well as the 90/100 that I have.

Another possibility is your voltage regulator is letting the voltage get a little to high.

Of course it could have just been a bad bulb.

  • bork

Posted January 05, 2007 - 04:38 AM


So Cleonard, your saying you put the the H4 into a stock socket?(any modifications?) & do you use the stock wiring ? & is a 90/110 a hi low? 2 filiments? & are you saying your bulb is considered standard H4 / 500 hrs average life?

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  • cleonard

Posted January 05, 2007 - 10:24 AM


So Cleonard, your saying you put the the H4 into a stock socket?(any modifications?) & do you use the stock wiring ? & is a 90/110 a hi low? 2 filiments? & are you saying your bulb is considered standard H4 / 500 hrs average life?

Yes it's a 90 low 110 high H4 bulb. I got it several years ago so I'm not sure if I remember, but I think it was a 400 hour rated life. Usually it's hard to find those expected life figures. The wiring is a combination of stock and the Baja Designs dual sport kit. My dual sport kit uses a Acerbis DOT headlight shell. I use one winding on my high output stator. I also have an heavy duty regulator. I think most of the wiring is 18 gage and I'm sure larger wire would be better.

Hella has a large variety of higher than 55/65 watt H4 bulbs. They used to give life figures on thier website, but no any more. Most of the range is sold by this company in the US. The Hella catalog is here

I think that a H3 bulb can be made to fit the stock headlight with a little filing and or grinding. I think that there is also a PIAA high output bulb available for the stock enclosure that is the correct fit. It's still only 35 watts but it's better than the stock Honda bulb.

  • Mooncruiser

Posted January 05, 2007 - 07:13 PM


Anyone have a source/stock number for the PIAA?


  • Big Red Paul

Posted January 05, 2007 - 09:50 PM


The new bulb I bought is a H4Bs 12v 45/45w

M&H Motorcycle Bulb

Serial number B35 BA20D

Doesn't mention the 650 on the box though recommended for the XR400/600R.

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