GL1800 headlight bulb life?
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Thread: GL1800 headlight bulb life?

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    Seasoned Member Retired guy's Avatar
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    Default GL1800 headlight bulb life?

    I've got a 2005 GL1800 and I'm having trouble with the life of replacement headlight bulbs. The original bulbs lasted for 4 years but I can't get any (cheap or expensive) replacement bulbs to last more than a few months? I'm very careful not to touch the glass portion of the bulb when I replace it, but it doesn't seem to matter, they still only last a few months. Is this normal for replacement bulbs or is there something else going on here? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

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    Seasoned Member Daddo's Avatar
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    What type of replacement bulbs are you using and are you able to describe the condition of the burnt out units?

    SilverStar Ultra and some of the other higher intensity bulbs are known to have a shorter life. The Sylvania folks will even tell you, if you phone them, that they will replace only one pair during their one year warranty. After that, you are on your own.

    If the bulb's glass is black or smoky, the failure caused is likely due to the bulb surface being touched, resulting in a hole/crack from the heat.

    If the filament has what looks like a drop of solder on it where is is burnt out, it may be a voltage problem - too much or two little.

    If the filament has what appears to be a sugar granule like coating, the bulb is old and has likely just burnt through all the hours is had available.

    It should also be noted that bulbs become less effective as they age. For this reason, it is suggested to change your bulbs in pairs (both high beams or both low beams). You can then hang onto the old but still working bulb as an emergency replacement.

    If you are not getting the life you expect from a bulbs, change brands. Any brand of H7 bulb will fit either the high or low beams so you have lots of choices.

    I got about 30,000 miles from my OEM low beams and then only 10-15K from the Sylvania SilverStar Ultras I replaced them with. My high beams on on most of the time, running on a modulator. They are still the OEM bulbs with over 50K on them now.

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    what kind of bulbs have u tried ?

    a couple years ago i bought a expensive $50+ pair of PIAA bulbs because some other forum members really liked them, yes they were noticeably brighter and i kinda liked that part but they didn't even last 10,000 miles, i will never buy another PIAA product

    different brands of bulbs have different lifetime ratings, i had a set of NAPA bulbs that lasted over 50,000 miles
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    Seasoned Member Larry Price's Avatar
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    I only use Osram Silverstars available from....
    http://www.casporttouring.com/thestore/osram.html

    or from here...

    http://www.powerbulbs.com/product_de...FQVZiAodVXUA8g

    Mine have lasted for years, much better output then OEM and last as long or longer. Do not confuse the Osram Silverstars with the US made Sylvania Silverstars. Sylvania Silverstars have a short life and are problematic.
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    when folks say a particular bulb lasts years thats great but it really doesn't say much, i talked to a guy yesterday that bought his 05 brandnew and hasn't had even one little issue with it, it had just under 5,000 miles on it yesterday
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    Seasoned Member Retired guy's Avatar
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    I got about 85,000 miles out of my original equipment bulbs.

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    Seasoned Member Retired guy's Avatar
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    I just ordered 2 sets of the Osram Silverstars. Hope they last better than what I've been using.

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    Seasoned Member Keyboard's Avatar
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    Be sure to clean the bulb with alcohol before installing, even those that are right out of the package. And, do not touch the glass portion with your fingers. Use a clean cloth or papertowel dampened with alcohol. Oil, sweat, or any type of residue on the bulb will shorten its life.
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    Seasoned Member 211Chuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired guy View Post
    I've got a 2005 GL1800 and I'm having trouble with the life of replacement headlight bulbs. The original bulbs lasted for 4 years but I can't get any (cheap or expensive) replacement bulbs to last more than a few months? I'm very careful not to touch the glass portion of the bulb when I replace it, but it doesn't seem to matter, they still only last a few months. Is this normal for replacement bulbs or is there something else going on here? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
    One thing that causes short headlight bulb life more
    then anything else on the 1800 is a bad battery"

    If your battery is weak,bad cell,cell short or even a
    bad cable to the battery will cause headlight bulbs
    to blow...

    Good luck,I hope this helps..

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    It doesn't matter where you go in life,it's who you have beside you. and I have the best beside me at all times"

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    Seasoned Member Fluke189's Avatar
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    Over the years I've found any bulb not specifically made for a motorcycle will not last on a motorcycle, so don't buy bulbs at Walmart or Autozone places regardless of brand. I'd just buy the original Honda bulbs.

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    I get mine with great price and lifetime guarentee from Mr. Saenz!
    Also HAL has them.

    Feel free to PM me for more information.
    Last edited by Corventure; 08-30-2010 at 11:17 AM.
    Extremely Inquisitive

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    Seasoned Member WINGERWING's Avatar
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    Another bulb killer is poor grounds.
    Experience: Where the test is given first and the lessons are learned later!
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    Seasoned Member TexanTrail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Price View Post
    I only use Osram Silverstars available from....
    http://www.casporttouring.com/thestore/osram.html

    or from here...

    http://www.powerbulbs.com/product_de...FQVZiAodVXUA8g

    Mine have lasted for years, much better output then OEM and last as long or longer. Do not confuse the Osram Silverstars with the US made Sylvania Silverstars. Sylvania Silverstars have a short life and are problematic.
    My right lowbean went out yesterday. Just ordered the Osram's today. Hope they get here before my left lowbeam goes out.

    Also, would it be OK, if it doesn't burn out, to keep the working bulb as a spare for emergencies? Or should I just toss it when I pull it out?

    Thanks,
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    Seasoned Member Keyboard's Avatar
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    I would keep the working bulb as a spare for emergencies.
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  16. #15
    Seasoned Member Pigeon Roost's Avatar
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    Good tips. Is there a motorcyle specific H7 ? I can get H4 MC specific bulbs at AutoZone, but have not seen such lised on the H7s. I get about 30,000 miles with Low beams and way more with Highs -- since they are almost always off.

    prs
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    Seasoned Member daveo's Avatar
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    A friends 04 had about 70K on the original bulbs. And when one goes, the other isn't far behind. We were replacing the other one within about 6 months.

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