Author Topic: Headlight option recommendations for a newly upgraded 6v to 12v A10  (Read 2817 times)

Offline BrianS

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Newby alert!

I have read through various threads but have become muddled  *sad2*

My dynamo is being refurbished by Andrew at Priory Magnetos and upgraded to 12v mainly to improve lights and allow me to fit indicators.

I have had a look at my existing Lucas P100 tripod-style headlight unit and am not starting from a good point as the reflector is corroded.

As it needs to be replaced, my choices appear to be between a sealed beam or ordinary unit that allows bulbs to be changed. Is it always the case that you get better light output for your amps on a sealed beam unit?

Also, is there a legal requirement for a side light? Not sure what their value is  *conf*

If a bulbed unit, presumably I should get one with an H4 fitting to give the widest possible choices.  I am unnerved by all the feedback on LED ones and don't fancy being a guinea pig so I am guessing halogen bulbs are the way to go?

For a dynamo with a new armature using modern windings/materials, what would be the sensible maximum size bulb?  Andrew quotes 60w as the output for the dynamo.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Brian

1955 BSA A10 Golden Flash
Exeter, Devon, UK

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If I were doing my Flash restore again I think I'd look at a LED replacement, so that would rule out a sealed beam I think , (could be wrong)

dipped headlight is a better option than sidelight to my way of thinking, so I'd not be too bothered about losing the sidelight
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline Slippery Sam

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Brian,
I'm not the most experienced on here - but I do have opinions - LOL
For me - I wouldn't be trying too hard to get a totally modern equivalent light (as good as a new bike).  Keep it simple, do your 12V upgrade and stick in a non sealed unit and halogen.  That will give you options for later and will allow you to experement over time - that way you can keep it looking right without too much difficulty.  It starts to get hard to hide HID / LED fittings and ballasts or simply to keep wiring tidy.
Let us know how your lights turn out once you're upgraded.
Raymond.
BSA A10 Cafe Racer project
Scotland

Offline BrianS

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If I were doing my Flash restore again I think I'd look at a LED replacement, so that would rule out a sealed beam I think , (could be wrong)

dipped headlight is a better option than sidelight to my way of thinking, so I'd not be too bothered about losing the sidelight

Thanks for the reply Bill.

I have spent more time today than I would like to admit scrabbling around the interweb for information about headlights, indicators, LEDs etc!

Regarding replacing the headlight bulb with LED, I came across this in a webpage by one of the LED/lighting/electrical gurus - James - see https://matchlessclueless.com/electrical/lighting/led-lighting/

"The headlamp bulb might seem to be the most obvious one to replace as it is usually the highest wattage one found on any bike, varying from a rather dull 18 Watts up to an acceptable 25-35 Watts, through to a dazzling 60-65 Watts (probably not a good idea on old Lucas dynamo electrics though!). However, at the moment LED bulbs just aren’t suitable for headlamp usage so we need to look elsewhere."

Brian
1955 BSA A10 Golden Flash
Exeter, Devon, UK

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In case you did not find this info when googling, this may tell you all you need to know  *smile*

http://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=11047.msg83722#msg83722

New Zealand

Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one.

1956 Flash Frame EA7-168x Eng. CA10 913x, left BSA together for Liverpool, 5th Dec 1955.

B31 “hot rod” (yeah right)

Armstrong Siddeley Whitley for rainy days (with wife).

GL1800 Goldwing not sure why yet

Offline BrianS

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In case you did not find this info when googling, this may tell you all you need to know  *smile*

http://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=11047.msg83722#msg83722

Hi KiwiGF!

Yes - I had read through that thread but I guess the naysayers put me off an LED headlight bulb.

I had looked at the CDRC page and obviously didn't scroll down the page far enough but, having done so, £54.95 is a bit scary for a headlight bulb!!!!

Has anyone else tried these bulbs on a regular basis?

Brian

 
1955 BSA A10 Golden Flash
Exeter, Devon, UK

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Hi Brian,
What regulator are you going to fit ? DVR" ?
It might be worth going to negative earth if you are adding indicators and or LED bulbs
Avoid the 60/55 halogen in my experience the 12v converted dynamo won't cope *ex*
I saw in a recent magazine that Hitchcocks are offering "Neolite" reflector units, these are supposed to give a much better beam pattern (H4 type holder)
 *????* *????* their matching halogen bulb seems very expensive at £30 *eek*

I have not tried the LED bulbs,

John

1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

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Quote
However, at the moment LED bulbs just aren’t suitable for headlamp usage so we need to look elsewhere."

Haven't tried them myself Brian but like all newish stuff they get better and better and eventually also cheaper so something for the future for sure
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline BrianS

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Hi Brian,
What regulator are you going to fit ? DVR" ?
It might be worth going to negative earth if you are adding indicators and or LED bulbs
Avoid the 60/55 halogen in my experience the 12v converted dynamo won't cope *ex*
I saw in a recent magazine that Hitchcocks are offering "Neolite" reflector units, these are supposed to give a much better beam pattern (H4 type holder)
 *????* *????* their matching halogen bulb seems very expensive at £30 *eek*

I have not tried the LED bulbs,

John

Hi John

I have ordered a DVR2 which is highly recommended by forum members so have got that side of things covered.

Can I ask why going -ve earth would be better for LEDs please?

Not heard about the Hitchocks Neolite but it seems sensibly priced - http://www.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/accessory-electrics-lighting#part_5879 

Interesting that it uses an HS1 fitment rather than H4. The light unit complete with special bulb is £30 plus p&p    (HEADLAMP UNIT, NEOLITE, LH BEAM WITH PHILIPS MOTOVISION BULB). Has anyone fitted one to an A10 headlight shell please? They look quite deep.

Also, have you a link to the magazine article please John?

Cheers

Brian
1955 BSA A10 Golden Flash
Exeter, Devon, UK

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[/quote]

Can I ask why going -ve earth would be better for LEDs please?

[/quote]

Some LED bulbs are only available in negative earth type, I guess that was the previous post was referring to that, maybe some LED bulbs are either dual polarity or available in positive earth type now?
New Zealand

Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one.

1956 Flash Frame EA7-168x Eng. CA10 913x, left BSA together for Liverpool, 5th Dec 1955.

B31 “hot rod” (yeah right)

Armstrong Siddeley Whitley for rainy days (with wife).

GL1800 Goldwing not sure why yet

Offline kiwipom

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hi guys, i put indicators on my positive earth system with no problems, cheers 
A10.G.Flash(cafe racer)Honda 250 vtr. Yamaha Virago XV920.

War! what is it good for?Absolutely nothing, Edwin Star.
NewZealand

Offline BSA_54A10

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In case you did not find this info when googling, this may tell you all you need to know  *smile*

http://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=11047.msg83722#msg83722

Hi KiwiGF!

Yes - I had read through that thread but I guess the naysayers put me off an LED headlight bulb.


I had looked at the CDRC page and obviously didn't scroll down the page far enough but, having done so, £54.95 is a bit scary for a headlight bulb!!!!

Has anyone else tried these bulbs on a regular basis?

Brian

The 12V version might be better than the 6V but as mine came marked 6-24V i assume it is the same globe.
A piece of trash is the only way I could describe it.
It puts out less light than my old 25/25w and I have gone back to std tungston globes.
It is a good bright white light for reading books or a map and might work in a car where you have 2 or 4 of them but a waste of money on a motorcycle.
Not enough light to overcome my own shadow from street lights.
Not enough light to over come my own shadow with a motorcycle behind me let alone a car.
Reasonable for speeds under 5 mph in the paddock with no other light source.
Just for a comparrison I tried riding with the Ever Ready dolphin torch taped under the headlamp and it gives a more useful light.

Should have realised it would be a dissapointment when the instructions go to great lengths to blame your reflector if you find the light inadequate.
This was on the M20 with an 8" headlamp that has a sliding bulb holder so you can focus the light so the refector was not the problem it was resilvered about 15 years ago and gives a brilliant light with the original 25/25 I was just trying to save power.
The bike has a DVR2 regulator & was reading 7.2 V at the globe with the engine running so not a power problem, just a light without balls.
On a road with no traffic and very sparse street lights 20 mph was the max speed  could ride at and still see enough of the road to stay on my side & out of the verge, only just and t that speed not enough light to see ruts & holes in the road.

The stop/tail globe OTOH works really well so I can recommend that but not the double dipper.

Don't buy one.
Bike Beesa
Trevor

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My C11 uses the short 40 watt dynamo which won't even run continuously  a 24w headlight at our Cornish Lane speeds, so I'm experimenting with a buck inverter that converts 6v to 12v at over 90% efficiently. I  have in the past made up 12v regulators that work well on A10s but they need more revs before they start charging so are not suitable for C11. The inverter is only used to run the headlight but could be used for whole system. With a fan cooled led, new refector,  the light is fine for C11  (sub 50s ) speeds. The unit is small, fits into the headlight cowl and emits little heat, costs under £10 delivered from China via Ebay
C11,B40,B44 Victor,A10,RGS,M21,Rocket3,REBSA

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I think that the legal/MOT position with regards sidelights is dependent on whether you have switch position for one. If you have a switch position then there must be a light that activates. However there may also be dispensations to that with regard age – I don’t know. And it might not be that clear to either the MOT tester or indeed the Rozzers as to whether they could find such a switch position on an A10.

Examples; My ’89 XLH1200 has no switch position for a sidelight and no such light. It operates through the ignition switch (key). One position is ignition, and the other is main lights. Dip is on the handlebar cluster. Perhaps oddly, the instrument lights are actually on in both positions; it’s maybe a cods up from some American daylight running lamps I suppose. My Camel has an aftermarket headlight fitted which has no sidelight provision. However, there is a switch position for that on the cluster and therefore I have a separate LED light mounted on the bottom yoke that is operated by that. And BTW, that is very bright and low draw so a good option over using dipped for an all-round running lamp.
Various, including ...
'58 Iron Head Flash Bitza


Offline Slippery Sam

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Hi KiwiGF!

Yes - I had read through that thread but I guess the naysayers put me off an LED headlight bulb.

I had looked at the CDRC page and obviously didn't scroll down the page far enough but, having done so, £54.95 is a bit scary for a headlight bulb!!!!

Has anyone else tried these bulbs on a regular basis?

Brian
[/quote]

Brian, I don't use these myself but a mate has one in his Yamaha R1.  It's very good and at standstill looks as bright as any standard japanese sports bike I've seen and definately on a par with the HIDs I've fitted to my own bikes in the past.  Very white light (Think his LED was 6000k) and good pattern.  Only downside is the balast, unlike most HIDs is on the back of the bulb and will stick out the back of your headlight.  Never seen one running on a BSA/dynamo etc - so no idea if it'll be different but on the R1 it's the business.  Pretty sure my mate didn't pay £54 for it though - he's a bit tight - so there may be cheaper versions around for the spec you see in your advert.
Raymond.
BSA A10 Cafe Racer project
Scotland