R1200GS: Headlight bulb retaining bail fix
The Front Lamp warning showed up on my console when I started the bike after breakfast during a recent mid-week ride. Not surprising. I get about 12K mile life out of the bulbs I use and it was about 12K miles since I last replaced the bulb. Next stop I went to replace the bulb with the spare I carry in my kit. Ooops. The wire bail that holds the bulb in the reflector housing came off in my hand. I flipped the lever that lowers the high beam so I could use the high beam when it started getting dark. My fog lights would do for daytime riding. Bail fixing would wait until I got home.
It’s easier to work on the headlight when the bucket is on the bench. Only two screws holds the bucket to the bike and it doesn’t take long to remove it. The instrument console comes out with the bucket. The only down side is that your trip odometers are reset when the instrument console is unplugged.
The parking lamp needs to be pulled out of the headlight bucket. The connector that provide lighting power and the console connector must also be disconnected. The last picture shows the relay trigger wire that I connected to the low beam. Ooops… I’ll need to disconnect that wire, too. I decided to cut the wire and add connectors. Snip.
As noted above, the bucket is held on by two screws. Once
the screws are removed you lift the assembly about 1 cm to clear the pin
that it sits on, then pull it forward tilting as necessary to get the
instrument cluster under the metal bar. Nothing else need be removed.
The windshield may need tp be placed in its highest position to get access to the screws.
The first image shows where the plastic broke. A channel in the plastic holds the end of the spring bail. The heat from the lamp makes the plastic brittle and it breaks. I was going to make a hinge out of very thin sheet metal, but saw that only half of the channel was gone on mine. I added a spring washer with the curve of the washer helping to hold the bail in place. I think it will be OK. If not, there’s always the thin sheet metal solution (wrap a piece of very thin sheet metal around the bail making a hinge, drill a hole in the sheet metal, attach to reflector using the existing screw).
I use E-dot +50 bulbs, either the Vision Plus or the Osram Silverstar (NOT the Sylvania Silverstar, that is a different bulb). They give me a bit more light and I don’t mind changing them every 12K miles.
The second image shows the bulb in the reflector. It also shows the powerpole connector I added to the relay trigger wire. The same connector was added to the end of the trigger wire still on the bike making it easy to connect/disconnect the trigger wire in the future.
Everything is back together amn connected. The screws that hold the bucket to the bike only get 5 Nm of torque. The ignition is turned on to check the parking light. Then the bike is started. The lamp failure warning goes out and the new headlight comes on. The fogs work, too, showing that my relay trigger wire connectors are working OK.