Headlight (bulb) upgrade options?
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Thread: Headlight (bulb) upgrade options?

  1. #1

    Default Headlight (bulb) upgrade options?

    I can't be the only one that thinks the OEM headlight is a bit weak.

    Having dealt with LED bulb fitment issues in the past, can anyone tell me what LED bulb (or other headlight upgrade) you have successfully done to brighten things up?


    thank you!

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    Very Active Member mist82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedSpeedAhead View Post
    I can't be the only one that thinks the OEM headlight is a bit weak.

    Having dealt with LED bulb fitment issues in the past, can anyone tell me what LED bulb (or other headlight upgrade) you have successfully done to brighten things up?


    thank you!
    CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit - 9005-7,200 Lm 6000K Cool White CREE - 2 Year Warranty https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H6NZ6F2..._--uGDbGG6Q2M9

    Bought these. Used one on my C109 and now second on my M109. Plenty bright. No issues with fitment. Just make sure u get he correct bulb size. It was H4 if I remember

    Sent from my PCT-L29 using Tapatalk

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mist82 View Post
    CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit - 9005-7,200 Lm 6000K Cool White CREE - 2 Year Warranty https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H6NZ6F2..._--uGDbGG6Q2M9

    Bought these. Used one on my C109 and now second on my M109. Plenty bright. No issues with fitment. Just make sure u get he correct bulb size. It was H4 if I remember

    Sent from my PCT-L29 using Tapatalk


    Thank you!!!

    Are you sure the bike is a 9005? Amazon says its a 9003

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    Very Active Member mist82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedSpeedAhead View Post
    Thank you!!!

    Are you sure the bike is a 9005? Amazon says its a 9003
    No, it's not 9005. I just sent you the link of the exact bulb brand I used. I did say it's should be an H4 (9003) if I recall the bulb type. You will have to look up a listing on eBay or Amazon. Should he around the same price for 2 bulbs. I see this one doesn't have the H4 but there are many listings with same bulbs.

    Check this one

    Cougar Motor H4 Led headlight bulb, 9600Lm 6500K (9003 High/Low) Fanless Conversion Kit - 3D Bionic Technology, 360°Adjustable Beam https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HNPFBQR..._PhvGDb2WE2WPQ

    Sent from my PCT-L29 using Tapatalk

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    It has been week since 2006. Click on the link in my signature, Bang for the Buck Mods and look under Safety. Hundreds of those kits are on 9’s across the world.
    Coming to a city near you..
    Bang for the Buck Mods link
    CLICK HERE

  8. #6
    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Look up the Cyclops LED bulbs. Don't know how it compares to the other aftermarket headlights as far as brightness, but its a lot brighter and clearer than stock.
    I replaced the turn signal bulbs with Switchbacks and they made the stock headlight look awful, as you can see in the first pic. That's what forced me to change it. The Switchbacks are worth looking into also if you'd like to have a little more light. (they flash amber)
    I don't have any pics of it at night but even in the bright sunlight you can see it's bright and clear.
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    Very Active Member meierjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
    Look up the Cyclops LED bulbs. Don't know how it compares to the other aftermarket headlights as far as brightness, but its a lot brighter and clearer than stock.
    I replaced the turn signal bulbs with Switchbacks and they made the stock headlight look awful, as you can see in the first pic. That's what forced me to change it. The Switchbacks are worth looking into also if you'd like to have a little more light. (they flash amber)
    I don't have any pics of it at night but even in the bright sunlight you can see it's bright and clear.
    I did the exact same thing. The switchbacks are great, but made the stock headlight bulb seem dimmer and more yellow looking. I ordered a Cyclops bulb and just installed it last night. I went with the "ultra" version that is even brighter. I haven't tested it in the dark yet but it looks much brighter in my garage. If you do a search on "cyclops" there are a lot of threads on this forum discussing the bulb. It seems a lot of riders like the pattern it emits vs. some other LEDs in out 109s. I haven't had a chance to check it for alignment yet but hope to later this week.

    Note: Some of the threads say that you have to trim the rubber boot to fit around the fan assembly on the rear of the cyclops bulb. This is not correct. The bulb is actually designed so the fan can be taken off for installation and the rubber boot re-installed, then the fan re-attached. Its tight, but it fits.
    Last edited by meierjn; 09-18-2019 at 06:44 AM.

  10. #8
    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meierjn View Post
    I did the exact same thing. The switchbacks are great, but made the stock headlight bulb seem dimmer and more yellow looking. I ordered a Cyclops bulb and just installed it last night. I went with the "ultra" version that is even brighter. I haven't tested it in the dark yet but it looks much brighter in my garage. If you do a search on "cyclops" there are a lot of threads on this forum discussing the bulb. It seems a lot of riders like the pattern it emits vs. some other LEDs in out 109s. I haven't had a chance to check it for alignment yet but hope to later this week.

    Note: Some of the threads say that you have to trim the rubber boot to fit around the fan assembly on the rear of the cyclops bulb. This is not correct. The bulb is actually designed so the fan can be taken off for installation and the rubber boot re-installed, then the fan re-attached. Its tight, but it fits.
    It is bright at night, and the pattern is great. The low beam is reflected against the top part of the headlight bucket so the light shines on the road where you need it and not in everyone's face.
    The ultra is only brighter when using the high beam because it runs the high and low beams both together. Non ultra the low beam goes off.
    You'll like that set-up with the Switchbacks. I've been running mine all summer, 7000 miles, and still working great.
    And that's correct about the installation. NO TRIMMING NEEDED

  11. #9
    Very Active Member RUBZERK's Avatar
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    i like AUXBEAM

    "You cant argue with my 9mm..........well you can, but you'll end up bleeding alot"
    RUBZERK = Are You BZERK

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    Just toss in a Sylvania Silver Star Ultra. Buy it at Walmart or any auto parts store. Excellent bulbs - very white light.

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    Very Active Member mist82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syler View Post
    Just toss in a Sylvania Silver Star Ultra. Buy it at Walmart or any auto parts store. Excellent bulbs - very white light.
    Would strongly disagree on this one. Nothing white about that bulb! I prefer crisp clean white light and only ZXE bulbs from Sylvania come somewhat close to that. Can't even come close to matching LED CRE or HID strength and brightness.

    I've had them on my bikes, on my cars, tossed each one and replaced with something that is actually white.

    If you want stock light, sure.

    Sent from my PCT-L29 using Tapatalk

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    Very Active Member meierjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syler View Post
    Just toss in a Sylvania Silver Star Ultra. Buy it at Walmart or any auto parts store. Excellent bulbs - very white light.
    They are a good bulb. I have a set in my snowmobile. Nice and bright and durable. I think my Cyclops may have them beat though. I hope to get the bike out this weekend in the evening to have a look at it in the dark.

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    Member TexasM109r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
    Look up the Cyclops LED bulbs. Don't know how it compares to the other aftermarket headlights as far as brightness, but its a lot brighter and clearer than stock.
    I replaced the turn signal bulbs with Switchbacks and they made the stock headlight look awful, as you can see in the first pic. That's what forced me to change it. The Switchbacks are worth looking into also if you'd like to have a little more light. (they flash amber)
    I don't have any pics of it at night but even in the bright sunlight you can see it's bright and clear.
    What model switchback bulbs did you get? Trying to get my headlight and turn signals brighter. Thanks

  16. #14
    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    I am *one* impulse buy away from doing an HID projector retrofit...
    https://www.theretrofitsource.com/motorcycle-stage-1-single.html
    Actually had it in my "cart" already and backed out but keep pining away looking at it.
    (already spent many $$$ for winter mods... trying to balance happy bike with happy marriage...)

    But if you do it instead of me, then I can probably live vicariously through you for maybe another season.


  17. #15
    Very Active Member Metalman's Avatar
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    I am running a Cyclops in my 2013 Nine. It is very bright and very white. I don't think it penetrates as far as the OEM light, but it does a great job a legal speeds. My 2006 Nine has a modulating OEM headlight. I just installed another Cyclops in my 1800F VTX. These lights are far superior to the OEM bulbs in almost every way, but most important to me is how noticeable they are in the daylight.

  18. #16
    Active Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasM109r View Post
    What model switchback bulbs did you get? Trying to get my headlight and turn signals brighter. Thanks
    Sorry for the delay, just now seen your post.
    I believe I went with JDM ASTAR. Very happy with them.
    Keep in mind, if you have the three prong socket you'll need to slightly file down one of the two prongs on the 1157 bulb for it to fit.

  19. #17
    Very Active Member Mythos's Avatar
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    I'm very curious as to a discussion on the merits and comparisons of the Cougar, JDM and Cyclops lights. The Cougars seem to be cheapest at ~ 40 / Pair, JDM ~ 60 / Pair and the Cyclops at ~ 80 / one. At the price delta one could ostensibly acquire 4 Cougar's for the price of 1 Cyclops, so even if they only last a 1/4 of the life of a cyclops you'd still have 3 more. What makes the cyclops worth $80 for one vs the cougar $20 for one? And how does the JDM compare to either? I also was wondering for anyone that has the cougar, does it have LED's on both sides of the center column? None of the pics I can find online seem to show or indicate that? I notice too that the cougar seems to have at least 1 row of 4 LED's (perhaps another on the other side) where as the Cyclops and the JDM appear to have 2 on either side and the one at the front has a half shield on it (I assume this is the low beam LED?). Why the difference? I have an LED bulb in now that came with the bike how I bought it, can't recall what it is at this time, but the Low beam has stopped working...while that's hardly relevant as I NEVER use the low beam, if it's stopped working my concern is the unit as a whole may fail sooner than later (I did check the fuses, they're fine so I'm assuming a unit issue). I'd like to get a decent replacement that is frugal but not cheap. While I'd love to get the Revo one, I'm not dropping close to $400 on a headlight, and I'm not sold on it's looks. So why should I drop 80 on 1 cyclops vs half that on 2 cougars?
    Michael - 2012 M109r LE - East Orlando, FL



  20. #18
    Very Active Member shrk352's Avatar
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    I love my Cyclops! I'm on my second one. Not because It died or anything, but because I wanted to upgrade to the newest model. I gave the original one to a friend and its still burning strong in his bike. Myself and two of my friends all have them and haven't had any problems at all and they are super bright! The only downside is after you get one your friends will want them, and then when they ride behind you they will blind you in your mirrors if they're in the wrong spots.

  21. #19
    Very Active Member Bering_C_Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrk352 View Post
    The only downside is after you get one your friends will want them, and then when they ride behind you they will blind you in your mirrors if they're in the wrong spots.
    That is an easy fix......just take the mirrors off.

    BCS
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    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    I'm very curious as to a discussion on the merits and comparisons of the Cougar, JDM and Cyclops lights. The Cougars seem to be cheapest at ~ 40 / Pair, JDM ~ 60 / Pair and the Cyclops at ~ 80 / one. At the price delta one could ostensibly acquire 4 Cougar's for the price of 1 Cyclops, so even if they only last a 1/4 of the life of a cyclops you'd still have 3 more. What makes the cyclops worth $80 for one vs the cougar $20 for one? And how does the JDM compare to either? I also was wondering for anyone that has the cougar, does it have LED's on both sides of the center column? None of the pics I can find online seem to show or indicate that? I notice too that the cougar seems to have at least 1 row of 4 LED's (perhaps another on the other side) where as the Cyclops and the JDM appear to have 2 on either side and the one at the front has a half shield on it (I assume this is the low beam LED?). Why the difference? I have an LED bulb in now that came with the bike how I bought it, can't recall what it is at this time, but the Low beam has stopped working...while that's hardly relevant as I NEVER use the low beam, if it's stopped working my concern is the unit as a whole may fail sooner than later (I did check the fuses, they're fine so I'm assuming a unit issue). I'd like to get a decent replacement that is frugal but not cheap. While I'd love to get the Revo one, I'm not dropping close to $400 on a headlight, and I'm not sold on it's looks. So why should I drop 80 on 1 cyclops vs half that on 2 cougars?
    Hey Mythos...
    I like your approach - based on logic, facts and empirical comparisons. My personal experience in retail comparisons, especially Asian-sourced ones, suggests to me very strongly that the _Cougar_, _JDM_ and _Auxito_ H4 LEDs are all the identically single-sourced product, branded by individual retailers. For example, you can see from _this example_, the identical physical build merely with altered colours - a common technique as every seller will want you to believe "only" theirs uses the "best" chips and the "purest" aluminium, etc etc... but reality is rarely as impressive, especially from the prolific copycat abilities of those commonly Chinese suppliers - doesn't make them "bad" - LOTS of GREAT stuff is produced there... just make sure you're buying one over the other for the right reasons.

    The Cyclops on the other hand, without researching it in detail (which I have not done) strikes me as their own personal design - regardless of where they had it built. However, I personally MUCH prefer the fanless designs (for ANY brand), because if (IF) fanless can sufficiently cool the emitters, it will beat a mechanical fan every single time (as is the case with computer towers - mechanical fans invariably die first or initiate failure). So I'm with you on the price comparison. Whether the physical emitter design and chips used in the Cyclops makes it better than any other style remains untested as far as I know.

    As for the two sides of the Cougar et al., and the chip layout - I would first say the image on the Cougar page is *NOT* an H4 bulb being shown - likely just a "single beam" (h1/h7/9005) example being shown. H4 would require dual emitter zones and I have never seen one without a physical anti-dazzle shield - you can see what I believe is an identical manufactured H4 version at the AUXITO link. I would expect if you order an H4 from ANY of those 3 "branded" ones, you will (SHOULD!?) get an H4 dual-beam style as shown in the AUXITO ad, and with emitters on BOTH sides. I offer no opinion on any, including the Cyclops, being better or worse than any other.

    For $20/bulb, I would agree with you - it almost sounds worth an impulse-buy test!
    I already have a Philips LED myself (for which I likely overpaid for no reason... ha) so I have no need to try one out or I likely would also.

    All of the above - just my personal 2-cent opinions and experience.
    Good luck with your choice.
    Last edited by NoSetFine; 03-03-2020 at 04:27 PM.


  23. #21
    Very Active Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSetFine View Post
    Hey Mythos...
    I like your approach - based on logic, facts and empirical comparisons. My personal experience in retail comparisons, especially Asian-sourced ones, suggests to me very strongly that the _Cougar_, _JDM_ and _Auxito_ H4 LEDs are all the identically single-sourced product, branded by individual retailers. For example, you can see from _this example_, the identical physical build merely with altered colours - a common technique as every seller will want you to believe "only" theirs uses the "best" chips and the "purest" aluminium, etc etc... but reality is rarely as impressive, especially from the prolific copycat abilities of those commonly Chinese suppliers - doesn't make them "bad" - LOTS of GREAT stuff is produced there... just make sure you're buying one over the other for the right reasons.

    The Cyclops on the other hand, without researching it in detail (which I have not done) strikes me as their own personal design - regardless of where they had it built. However, I personally MUCH prefer the fanless designs (for ANY brand), because if (IF) fanless can sufficiently cool the emitters, it will beat a mechanical fan every single time (as is the case with computer towers - mechanical fans invariably die first or initiate failure). So I'm with you on the price comparison. Whether the physical emitter design and chips used in the Cyclops makes it better than any other style remains untested as far as I know.

    As for the two sides of the Cougar et al., and the chip layout - I would first say the image on the Cougar page is *NOT* an H4 bulb being shown - likely just a "single beam" (h1/h7/9005) example being shown. H4 would require dual emitter zones and I have never seen one without a physical anti-dazzle shield - you can see what I believe is an identical manufactured H4 version at the AUXITO link. I would expect if you order an H4 from ANY of those 3 "branded" ones, you will (SHOULD!?) get an H4 dual-beam style as shown in the AUXITO ad, and with emitters on BOTH sides. I offer no opinion on any, including the Cyclops, being better or worse than any other.

    For $20/bulb, I would agree with you - it almost sounds worth an impulse-buy test!
    I already have a Philips LED myself (for which I likely overpaid for no reason... ha) so I have no need to try one out or I likely would also.

    All of the above - just my personal 2-cent opinions and experience.
    Good luck with your choice.
    Excellent input as well. Anti Dazzle shield, good to know that's what that is..lol. So here's an interesting update. I knew my Headlight was an aftermarket LED obviously, but I'd never paid attention to what exactly it was. Well I had the bike stripped down this past Monday morning to do some maintenance and change out my XKGlow kit for a different lighting kit, and checked. Lo and Behold, it's a freaking Cyclops light! I will say the fan has been getting louder recently and I suspect that's related to the failure of the low beam. I don't know if it's a controller board issue or the CREE itself or what. What I can say is I was very happy with the light and still am on high beam (though I suspect it may actually have been the Ultra model, not sure how to tell as my low beam no longer works and I don't know if there were any specific markings for the Ultra model) as it seems dimmer now on High than it did before. So based on my own personal experience, I may very likely hold out and get my hands on a new Ultra Cyclops model. Unfortunately they seem to be out of stock right now on their website....maybe they will be at Bike week, or someone there will have one for sale...we'll see.

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    Michael - 2012 M109r LE - East Orlando, FL



  24. #22
    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Excellent input as well. Anti Dazzle shield, good to know that's what that is..lol. So here's an interesting update. I knew my Headlight was an aftermarket LED obviously, but I'd never paid attention to what exactly it was. Well I had the bike stripped down this past Monday morning to do some maintenance and change out my XKGlow kit for a different lighting kit, and checked. Lo and Behold, it's a freaking Cyclops light! I will say the fan has been getting louder recently and I suspect that's related to the failure of the low beam. I don't know if it's a controller board issue or the CREE itself or what. What I can say is I was very happy with the light and still am on high beam (though I suspect it may actually have been the Ultra model, not sure how to tell as my low beam no longer works and I don't know if there were any specific markings for the Ultra model) as it seems dimmer now on High than it did before. So based on my own personal experience, I may very likely hold out and get my hands on a new Ultra Cyclops model. Unfortunately they seem to be out of stock right now on their website....maybe they will be at Bike week, or someone there will have one for sale...we'll see.

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    Another +1 for Cyclops!
    Enjoy!


  25. #23
    Very Active Member MrBarros's Avatar
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    Default LED headlight bulb

    I have ordered and received an LED bulb that reads manufactured for Chrome Glow/SportBike Lites by the original patent holder. I ordered it from Meancycles since it is a reputable source. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this LED bulb and is it any good.

  26. #24
    Active Member RFM1009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBarros View Post
    I have ordered and received an LED bulb that reads manufactured for Chrome Glow/SportBike Lites by the original patent holder. I ordered it from Meancycles since it is a reputable source. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this LED bulb and is it any good.

    i put this one in my bike and it looks like a night and day difference
    https://www.amazon.com/Headlight-Bul.../dp/B07PSC4MFL

    no experience with the one you mentioned.

  27. #25
    Very Active Member Frotosride's Avatar
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    Every time I had to ride at night the OE light annoyed me because of its lack luster performance especially with on coming traffic on two lane roads. I just installed the upadated Cyclopse H4 LED and wow the difference. Plus the mounting plate is removable as mentioned so installation is simple. I did slightly trim the small inner opening to shorten it a bit for a slightly less restrictive install. 👍👍👍
    "Beat it like a red-headed Ford":
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  28. #26
    Very Active Member MrBarros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frotosride View Post
    Every time I had to ride at night the OE light annoyed me because of its lack luster performance especially with on coming traffic on two lane roads. I just installed the upadated Cyclopse H4 LED and wow the difference. Plus the mounting plate is removable as mentioned so installation is simple. I did slightly trim the small inner opening to shorten it a bit for a slightly less restrictive install. 👍👍👍
    Cool, I got the mini H4 from Meancycles,
    what a difference I noticed. For anyone who does not have an led headlight, put it on your list because it"s a must have for safety.

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