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fr499y

H4 Bulbs

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As i use the bike all year round, i thought it would be good to try and find a decent H4 bulb. So far i've tested 4 different types in all weather conditions.

So first up we have

Philips 12342 H4 - Made in Germany



This bulb i believe is a factory fitted option to most Yamaha motorcycles, possibly others too.

55/60w bulb, standard wattage with a night bright, slightly yellow tint but very good light. A good strong beam of light, excellent main beam!

RRP £10

Bosch Gigalight Plus 120 - Made in Hungary



Supposedly 120% more visible/usable light than a standard bulb.

55/60w bulb, standard wattage bulb. Excellent white light with a slight blue tint when looking at it.

I've had a few issues with this bulb fitted, they appears a bit TOO bright. I have been flashed a few times with this bulb fitted and riding in foggy dark, unlit roads is a bit um.. sketchy! The main beam on these bulbs are incredible. Almost blinding with the reflection off road signs! The biggest problem is the gap the light seems to leave, the first few feet in front of the bike is lit nicely, then there is a huge gap of say 6-8 foot, then light again. This could be down to the type of headlight, or down to the way they are made to give the 120% increase in distance.

RRP £25

Xenon Ice Blue H4's' - Unknown



Good cheap bulb, nice pure white light with a slight blue tint. Nice beam pattern with a pretty standard light throw. Down side to these bulbs is they don't last for a great deal of time! 6-8 months at best but at the price, they are worth keeping as spares!

RRP £3

Elite Xenon Rainbow H4 - Made in Britain



Only just fitted these so will be interesting to see how these work out. Not too expensive but apparently will last 3x longer than a standard bulb. They have a rainbow lens which should in theory reduce the glare for oncoming traffic, whilst still giving a bright light output. I've used some like these before which were cheap chinese bulbs and although they didn't last that long, they were brilliant in the fog. Time will tell Very Happy

RRP £9 a pair

So far out of these I'd put them in the following order.

1) Philips 12342
2) Bosch Gigalight Plus 120
3) Elite Xenon Rainbow ( Based on test of cheaper - same type bulbs )
4) Xenon Ice Blue

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My bikes on stock bulbs only night riding is in summer and their good enough as it is and are h11. The van has h4. And I've put a hid kit in it.

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the problem with the HID kits with stock lenses ( ie, not projectors ) are they blind on coming traffic.. they glare and frankly, they piss me off big time!

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legal with headlight washers or self levelers.

i have neither lol. i am getting some projector headlights though.

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@dick65 wrote:
ever tried osram night racer?


Night racer is on par with the bosch gigalight, except there doesn't seem to be that strange section of light missing. Very bright, good light throw and a nice solid beam pattern

Fitted a HID kit to mine, and they seem fine   thumbs    thumbs


Depends on the headlight housing etc. Suppose on a bike it wouldn't be as bad as they only have a relatively small lens compared to a car.

I'm going to try a £100 LED headlight kit soon on the BMW. You don't need to change the housing/lens to use them as they are designed like standard H4's.

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Interesting review Matt, thanks for posting thumbsthumbs my K5 Bandit headlights are utter cr*p whether on dip or main beam Sad

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I found with the bandits, because they have projector style lenses you can get away with brighter bulbs or even the HID kits ( £40 ish ) without any other issues. I used the cheaper 70/75w bulbs in mine, but because it was a Cat C we did change a fair bit of the wiring up front. Not sure if the standard wiring will cope with it or not ( should do though! )

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@fr499y wrote:
I found with the bandits, because they have projector style lenses you can get away with brighter bulbs or even the HID kits ( £40 ish ) without any other issues. I used the cheaper 70/75w bulbs in mine, but because it was a Cat C we did change a fair bit of the wiring up front. Not sure if the standard wiring will cope with it or not ( should do though! )

thumbs cheers!

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I use the osram night racers on both my bikes I wouldn't use owt else now thumbs

good to hear different opinions though thumbs

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I bought 2 HID kits,one for my Ducati and one for the Mrs's Gixxer, never got round to fitting it to the Ducati but I put the dip beam in the Gixxer and I'm glad I didn't fit the main beam as they take a second or two to warm up when you switch them on, not much good for flashing people.

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h4 hid are fine as its already warmed up and pops between but 2 lots of h7 and no they arent best for flashing thats why cars which have hid as standard had a separate halogen high beam.

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ive got hids on my passat low beam [projectors] cost me £116 about 6 years ago ,thought they were a bargain as vw charged £1000 as as optional extra when new 'my son gets the same kits for £40 so if anyone wants a kit let me know and if you can get a mate who needs the same kit they come in pairs so £20 each. as a one eyed driver i didnt notice any difference but i try and ride and drive in the daylight. bloody getting old is the pitts .oh and i worked in the pits bloody loved it

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Update post Very Happy

9 months later and the Bosch Gigalight Plus 120 is toast! Low beam went as of today. Roughly 8000 miles on the bulb.

Not too bad for an average price bulb.. but it's not, its £25.

Elite Xenon Rainbow H4 has been fitted again but in a different style headlight housing.

Low beam


High beam


Front view - Low beam


Note: adjusted the contrast on camera so i could pick up the colour/throw of the light. Side lights are pure white not blue!

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Might be ordering a couple more bulbs to try, one being a 8000lm kit Smile

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