Are these HID lights ? - Page 3 - GL1800Riders
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 06:58 AM
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Hey Dlpweb

By any chance did your bike have a salvage title? I wandered through the DMV laws in cali (what a pain! A socialist state!) and could not find a specific form for light and brake inspections for other than salvaged motos or motos that have never been registered in cali..... There was some arcane reference in a cali state law that made reference to FMVSS related to reflectors having to have the words DOT approved on it....

**** what a world we live in cops writing tickets for non approved lighting.... should be interesting travelling through the great state of Kali next year with my highly modded scoot..... Yup no DOT certified lights other than the factory reflectors....


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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:59 PM
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Might be an out-of-state registration. Me not worried. Cali life is good. Its just hard to come into, and if you leave, its hard to come back. So enjoy it. It is what you make of it.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 05:53 PM
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HID restrictions

Originally Posted by techdude2000 View Post
I'm not sure, but I think a lot of states have a law about the use of HIDs having to be in a factory designed/installed HID reflector assembly for proper use. The factory fixtures won't meet that requirement.
HID lights must be DOT approved to be legal. This is a federal guideline. However, the fact is these restrictions are not often enforced.


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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:24 AM
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I know this is a late response to the thread but I'll answer in case someone reads it in the future.

Federal law & DOT standards for all motor vehicles require a cut-off of light below a certain height for low beam. You cannot see the cut-off with a standard incandescent bulb but if you ever look at an HID headlight from the factory you'll see a definite cut-off that doesn't allow the light above a certain height, so the light doesn't blind oncoming traffic. Factory HID headlamp assemblies are designed for HID bulbs which are much longer in length and have no filament. The HID bulb is a long tube filled with gas and the system has an ignitor. When power hits the ignitor it sends an electric charge to the HID (high intensity discahrge) bulb which in turn ignites the gas. The bulb glows and more than 300 times the brightness of an incandescent bulb. It has no low or high beam. It only glows one way, bright and omni-directional. The lens is designed to have the cut-off, not the bulb. Vehicles with HID lighting have quad lights. Two outside are for the low beam (also DOT requirement) and a separate high beams on the inside.

Herein lies the problem...

The vehicles that come with incandescent bulbs were designed for that type of bulb. In a dual headlamp set-up, it has two filaments inside the bulb that glows when electricity is applied. One glows and reflects up to create a reflection of light that glows down to the road. The other filament glows and reflects down to bounce the light up and create the "high beam". Because the HID bulb is much longer in length and glows completely with gas, the light reflects up and down with no cut-off. Basically, you have people that install aftermarket HID lights inside of standard housings. They are driving around with low & high beam lighting at the same time, 300% brighter than the housing was designed for. That's for the 35watt HID's, the 55watt HID's are even brighter.
Because it doesn't conform with DOT standards it is an automatic fail.

Anything used in vehicle lighting must be DOT approved or is considered "off road use only". Lights that are DOT APPROVED have a stamp in raised letters that simply read "DOT". The next time you replace your car headlights, look closely at the housings and you'll see it. That's why Kuryakyn lights fail as well, they have no stamp.

Do I agree with it??? That's a different discussion. I hope I cleared this up.

Here are images of the two types so you can see what I'm talking about.
HID - No filament, illuminates with ignited gas.

Incandescent bulb - has one or two filaments that glow. When the light blows, it is the filament that breaks and won't glow anymore. That's why when you bang it sometimes the filament connects and fuses and turns on only until you turn off the light again. The filament will cool and fall apart again.

That was a hellova FIRST POST to the forum. Sorry it was so long.

Last edited by Birddog-Singer; 03-12-2017 at 01:26 AM.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Birddog-Singer View Post
Vehicles with HID lighting have quad lights. Two outside are for the low beam (also DOT requirement) and a separate high beams on the inside.
Overall a very good explanation, although the above statement isn't true. There are lots of cars that come from the factory with Bi-Xenon HID setups - meaning there's just one housing and lens (and bulb) for low and high-beam, with a 'shield' that moves back and forth. It's more common in a quad light setup to have the low beams HID and the high beams halogen. In fact, it's fairly rare (maybe even non-existent) to have quad lights with the high beams being HID - HID's aren't instant-on - they need a few seconds to fire and 'warm up', particularly when first coming on. This does not make for a good high-beam as when you 'flash' your high beams, they won't come on right away, and you won't actually get a 'flash' from the high-beams. When using one bulb for both, a 'shield' gets mechanically moved to turn the resulting beam into a high-beam.

From Volkswagen: (
The bi-xenon headlight ("bi" = two) is a more advanced version of the xenon headlight and allows a single headlight to generate both high and low beam. When low beam is selected, the light beam is partially shielded by a moving shutter. To switch to high beam, the shutter is moved out of the light beamís path to release the additional luminous power.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dlpweb View Post
Yeah, I agree.

Anyway - Inspection tomorrow ..... so, if I have not missed anything tomorrow afternoon I can start putting stuff back together.

Here is the worst part of living in a trashed society like here in California - that I hadn't really realized until reading your comment, Ch:

You grow "used to the bureaucracy" and after a while simply bow down and comply. I know as much as you how absurd the "rule" is ... but my reaction wasn't to argue but just do what they wanted. That is really sick. I remember back in the days of the USSR going there and seeing the empty souls who just lived without complaining at how terrible their lives were. Never imagined the same sort of thing - lack of human will - would happen here in the good old USA. Of course, it's far less severe ... but the same kind of thing.

Like I said.... VOTE, and vote wisely! You do NOT want where you live to get as messed up as this state is!
I'm just glad y'all *********** and not us...

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Last edited by Johnny S; 03-14-2017 at 01:49 AM. Reason: Oops! That's political and a no-no. Better edit it out. Sorry.
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 04:00 PM
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Salvage Title?

Originally Posted by dlpweb View Post

Land of the ultimate in totalitarian, idiotic bureaucracies.

Need to have what is called by the DMV a "brake & Light Inspection". There are only a few places here in San Diego who do that for motorcycles - have an appointment tomiorrow at 8am.

The intent is to verify the bike's brakes are working (and pad/rotors within specs), and verify the OEM lights are all working. The inspection place told me specifically I need to remove all the Kuryakyn LED strips (not good enough to just unplug them). California.

The big question is this: the inspection gal said HID lights would be an automatic fail, so I need to be sure I have OEM lights. I just got this and don't know what was done before --- and don't know what HID lights would look like (and don't want to have to start removing fairing to check for crap).
I looked up the law and it appears that in California, Brake & Light Inspections are required only for vehicles with SALVAGE TITLES. Perhaps your county or municipality requires the inspection irregardless of whether the vehicle is salvaged, but that is not attributable to state law. I don't like unnecessary laws any more than anybody else, but this law makes sense. It used to be that people would buy salvage vehicles and do the minimum to make them drivable, maybe just pulling out a bumper. I remember seeing cars with one headlight missing and the other lighting the sky, or rear damage with missing taillights. I, for one, feel safer since the number of unsafe vehicles has gone down as a result of the law.

I find the statement that your Kury lights would need to be removed suspect. If the lights are legal to ride with, they should not be prohibited at a safety inspection. It is likely too late, but I would call the regulatory agency, since they are the final authority on the inspection.

When I was stationed in Virginia, I had to have my car inspected on (I believe) an annual basis. That inspection was a real pain. I was forced to remove my foglights since they were add-ons. The inspector also demanded that I scrape off the windshield tint band since it had lettering on it. The vehicle was delivered from the factory with the tint band so I knew it was legal. I had to demand that he call the regulators for the final word. They overruled the inspector, but it was a hassle and took a large part of my day. There are states far more draconian than California, and nowhere near as pleasant to live in.

I would like to know how the inspection went. Best of luck.


Last edited by rej4449; 03-15-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 06:03 PM
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So... There's some very good info within this thread on lighting and such... except for a question that was posed to the original poster at least 3 times... which was "why did the bike need inspection?". Speculation says it was either an out-of-state bike, or salvage title re-registration.... but since he never disclosed what the real story was... we might never know... as I have no clue other then the 2 scenarios I mentioned...

The guy was more about bashing California then he was actually sharing any information regarding the registration and process. I don't get why some live here, but yet continue to complain, and take opportunities to bash it. I'm not going to turn this into a debate on Cali laws, nor was I the first one to bring up issues about them... but come on... either like it, or leave it.... or just don't say a thing. I don't like the politics, just like others don't. If Cali is as bad as everyone puts it off to be, why do people keep trying to come in here?... Oh... its better then alot of places in the U.S... that's right.. but they find out they must conform to something... but Cali is tough for some to conform too...I get that...Its not for everyone... so if anyone doesn't like Cali, there's 49 other states in the U.S. to live... if you can tough it out elsewhere that is.

With that said... I'm still curious if this bike is out-of-state coming in, or a salvage issue. I've never brought a vehicle into Cali myself, but I have family that has, and there is always an issue about something... the problems aren't necessarily the system either. It seems the inspectors at the DMV all have their own agenda(which has zero to do with Cali)... as I've encounted some employees of that system that think they rule the world(they probably came from out of state)...... It is frustrating no doubt. I hope the guy got his bike approved and has no further problems.

Sign me: Born, live, and will die in California... Back to the thread.

Last edited by DGrant; 03-15-2017 at 06:05 PM.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Farmguy View Post
To many running around with 'off-road' lights and blinding on-coming traffic.
That's pretty much what goes on around here, lots of the younger crowd driving 4 wheel drive trucks with lights that are way to bright for oncoming traffic, but so far I haven't heard of anyone getting in trouble over it. If I put lights like that on my truck I'd probably get pulled over the first time I drove it.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 01:11 PM
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We had a nice meeting a few weeks back, in one of the groups I ride with, and the speaker was a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer. Very interesting and informative, and he even did a demo on his bike in the parking lot after the meeting... wow those guys are good.

My wife posed the question about what are his top 5 reasons to pull someone over... #1 was speeding... #2 was cell-phone use... #3 was light-bars and lighting... which I found interesting. Apparently there's a trend of people putting light-bars on their trucks and such, and the useage of them illegally is on the rise. He said he will immediately pull anyone over using them on the open road... and just seeing them draws his attention.... He'd also mentioned the height limits of any aftermarket lighting on any vehicle. Overall he was very informative, and the message was "just don't give him a reason he has to pull you over"... as I also got.. "If he pulls you over, you're getting a ticket".

I have to say, some of the lighting on many vehicles does approach(and probably exceeds) standards... as they do seem to get brighter all the time... I know I'm annoyed by extreme lighting, especially when it's close up in my rear view mirror.
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