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Mac750

2016 LED head light rant

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Mac750

I have made two posts on the forum about the LED headlight fitted to my 2016 750X. Reading them you will gather I am not a big fan of it, frankly I think it is utter rubbish.

Yesterday evening confirmed my suspicion that the beam it casts on unlit roads through bends is compromised by its letterbox shape and that car drivers do not distinguish it from car marker lights, one amougst many further away. They do not recognise it as a motorcycle right in front of them on a roundabout. I would like to conduct a poll on here as I think the headlight is woefull.

Unfortunately I do not know how to do this and would ask if someone could set a " clickable " poll on here with the moderators permission of course. The reason is to find out what other owners of the 2016 Honda think regarding the LED light. If the majority like the dip beam illumination I will quietly adapt my own to suit me, if however they like me think it's useless then we may get Honda to do something about it. I fail to see why we should buy a motorcycle from a reputable manufacturer then have to slap crash bars and aux lights on at our expense just to illuminate the road ahead when going around corners faster than 30 mph. It strikes me as form over function and riders are at risk in my opinion. Sorry rant over.

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slowboy

Good point, but the original headlight's not much better either on dip. Not sure whether it's driven by legislation or expectation that we won't ride at night. Someone better informed might like to offer an opinion. My old Kawasaki GT 750 is much better on dip.

Brian

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Mike5100

I will support any representations we want to make to Honda, but we need to agree on what we are saying.  I think the LED headlight is pants on dip, but for a different reason from Mac.  I think it illuminates the road sufficiently, and even perhaps somewhat better than the older one in terms of lighting up pedestrians or cyclists at the side.  And full beam is good too at night.  But in terms of visibility of the bike in daylight hours the dipped beam is woeful.  As Mac says - if the driver isnt in exactly the right position to see the letter box slit of light, he doesn't see any light at all.  This was not the case with the older headlight.

On full beam in daylight the bike is very visible to all and sundry but as the light fails (or in winter) it's too bright for other motorists.

I don't see any easy solution, although I am going to try raising the dipped beam and see if that helps.  I'm also fitting fog lamps, but these are very bright and if I'm going to use those illegally I might as well just ride on full beam. I am also a bit worried that if drivers see just the two foglamps with no central light they will mistake it for a more distant car.  On most bikes you see with extra driving lights fitted, the headlight is visible too and the triangle so formed cannot be mistaken for a distant car.

A solution for Honda - on the next model upgrade would be a driving light LED built into the headlight system - so the current LED gives the letterbox spread but there is another wide beam LED that provides daylight visibility.  Looks like there's plenty of room in there to redesign the reflectors.

Mike

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Tarstriptrooper

I regularly ride at night and I don't see a problem.

  • Like 4

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Mac750

I ride tight unlit country A roads or B roads in the West Country, these roads sometimes have mud, pot holes, wet leaves, dead animals and Cider filled pasty toting happy wanderer's on them.

Due to ether the design of the plastic housing holding the LEDs or the beak on the front of the bike ( I'm not sure which) I have a black hole in the illumination pattern on dip beam right where I want to see the road surface. Compound that with the letter box effect when leaning through a bend where one side of " the letter box " illuminates the top of the tree's and the other side illuminates the verge as your leaning through a bend and the black hole is then more pronounced. The blue ish LED reflects off wet roads upwards and so the LED beam picks up road signs and white lines but in some roads I have nether. Also the LED narrow head light beam is " mingling in" to the back drop of a mirriad of cars all glowing fashionable running lights at night and you get motorists pulling out without warning. This point also applies to daylight running , unless the other driver is at the correct angle to see the LED slit the bike looks unlit during the day time. To illustrate this turn your light on to dip in daylight, place a chair a few feet away from the front and stand on it and look at the head light. ( about the height of a van or bus driver sitting in his cab ) the headlight cannot be seen only the little LED strip around the head light is visible. This blends in with the Citroen, Audi, Merc et al following behind you and a van or bus pulls out in front , marvellous design .

In all the bikes I have owned over the years the only worse headlight I have experienced was that fitted to a 1966 6volt Vespa 150 Sprint. That's how badly designed this Honda light is in my opinion. But others may find it fine, it depends on a lot of factors. Riders weight and height effecting the beam setting, where the bike is ridden, unlit or illuminated roads, is the road marked with "cats eyes" or reflective white lines, are other cars behind also illuminating the road in front. And I ask myself are my eyes as good as they was 30 plus years ago? proberbly not. But my experience tells me this slit design of dip beam is flawed. Incidentally full beam is very good in my opinion, it does not share the same "black hole" or beam masking from the light housing or front beak. Being an impulsive sort of guy I have sent an email to Honda UK and hope to get a response soon.

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sykospain

Poorly performing headlamps don't just afflict 2016 NC bikes.

 

Tim spent almost a ton in the UK 2 days ago in preparation for his trip here, buying DRLs to fit to his 12-yr-old BMW Scarver, 'cos mostly in twilight or dark conditions, he's simply not visible to cagers and hasn't got enough forward illumination on dip to be able to ride with confidence.

 

When I rode that bike here in Spain, I simply refused to ride at night.  Just like the Tráfico cops who aren't allowed out on their patrol bike at night.  And they ride R1200RT Authorities version bikes with all the bells'n'whistles.

 

The only truly effective forward lighting that I've ever seen on a modern bike is that fitted to the six-cylinder Beemer tourer, which is the size of a small country retreat.

 

4bed007a-f8c3-48dc-9fde-2a6d34e731a7_zps

Edited by sykospain

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PoppetM

I am with Tarstriptrooper, no issue with the 750s light, very happy with it.

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ste7ios

BMW's Adaptive Headlight in K1200 is the best motorcycle lights I've ever seen. It's a very clever design to meet Xenon HID specs (HID compatible reflector, projector, direction and cleaning system).

In general it's very difficult to have a proper headlight in the very limited space of a motorcycle. (Just compare K1200 volume against any other motorcycle out there...).

Also have in mind that every light source have different properties and each one requires specific opticals (reflector is the most basic) to work correctly... That's why most "conversions" is actually a downgrade.

Take a look here for more info: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html

IMHO, the LED lighting on the latest NCs is a step forward but I'm afraid they have to redesign it because of the visibility problems by the other road users... Probably a second array of LEDs is needed of lower strength but with lenses to diffuse the light in every direction.

(Pls, forgive my bad English :) )

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aldmannie

How easy would it be to retrofit the old headlamp on a new model?

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ste7ios

It seems different. I guess you have to change all of the surrounding fairing and do some job on the electrics...Too much ££££...

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slowboy

I regularly ride at night and I don't see a problem.

Same problem as me because the lights so blooming awful..

Sorry, couldn't resist

On a more serious note, may be because I live out in the country with no street lighting for miles it's more noticeable, and in the wet it's downright dangerous on dip beam.

In contrast our fiat panda and Volvo v70 have superb lights, with little to choose between them, and my old Kawasaki GT750 has a pretty good light, especially considering its 31 years old and things should have improved a bit by now. I think that as the NC light doesn't move with the steering, it fails to light up corners sufficiently because of the limited spread on dip.

Changing to a better bulb (Philips extreme) helped but not much.

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GerJ

Don't know about the dark, but in daylight the 2016 LED headlight does not make the bike noticable to other motorists, especially in sunny weather. Additional lights, such as the OEM fog lights, are indispensible.

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Dave H

I have LED DRLs fitted  to my hand guards and they make the difference between "I won't go out in the dark" and "I might"

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Mac750

I have just had the standard reply from Honda.

" thank you for your feed back, it is very important to us and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz about what I expected in truth. But if all those who feel the 2016 LED light is pants sent an email then maybe they will wake up and do something about it before someone has an accident. I googled Honda Motorcycles UK and at the bottom of the web pace it has customer feed back contact us form, so I did. Why should we have to fit additional lights just to see where we are going and be seen its just bad design.

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Rocker66

I'm a bit surprised that people are complaining about the headlight on a 750 as the LED headlight on my 2016 500 is certainly at least adequate. When Sue is following me on her 2016 500 the headlight certainly stands out better than the one on her previous Hornet did. I can't comment on the lights on the 2016 NC but certainly those on my 700X which I used in all weathers and all times of day and night never caused me a problem

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Mac750

Hi Rocker,

The CB 500x is a different design and probably infinitely better. The 750x has two LED sets mounted one above the other like two letter boxes stacked up. The "black hole" I think is caused as the top light mounting acts as a visor a bit like the old visors fitted on vintage head lights, or possibly the styling beak below the bottom set of LED casting a shadow.

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Rocker66

Hi Rocker,

The CB 500x is a different design and probably infinitely better. The 750x has two LED sets mounted one above the other like two letter boxes stacked up. The "black hole" I think is caused as the top light mounting acts as a visor a bit like the old visors fitted on vintage head lights, or possibly the styling beak below the bottom set of LED casting a shadow.

My point was I'm surprised that Honda have but a light on a 750 that according to many is inadequate whist putting a perfectly good on a 500

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Chris750

I had a loan 750 for a few nights didn't have a problem, seemed OK to me.

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larryblag

The dip beam on the 1150RT was awful, I was surprised when I got it as its considered a "premium" brand? The 1200RT was much much better but both bikes were poor compared to my old 1999 VFR800 which had the best lights of any motorcycle I've owned. The NC? Not really done enough night time riding to comment yet.

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Rocker66

The dip beam on the 1150RT was awful, I was surprised when I got it as its considered a "premium" brand? The 1200RT was much much better but both bikes were poor compared to my old 1999 VFR800 which had the best lights of any motorcycle I've owned. The NC? Not really done enough night time riding to comment yet.

100 % agree with you on the VFR800 light

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TheEnglishman

The only bike I've had that had a good headlight was my R1200GS - but that had a 35w HID, a pair of MicroDE's as running lights and a pair of FF50's to augment the high beam.

Not so much night and day and more day and day.

Never had a problem with the police or MOT's either.

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ONTWOWHEELS62

I don't have problem with the Led light at all. 

I t looks just fine to me.

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Mike5100

I don't have problem with the Led light at all. 

I t looks just fine to me.

That's part of the problem Savvas - it may look alright to you sitting on the bike, but may not be visible to a driver waiting at a junction.  You need to get a riding buddy to ride ahead of you and look in his mirror.

Mike

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Mac750

I went to bike night tonight, it was not very well attended so I decided to leave early. Going back down the bypass I thought hey this head light is okay it must be me. Then Vrooom and a bike went past me. I noticed his "normal" head light was illuminating the road far better. Then he was gone and I was once again straining to see and had to slow down to 45 mph and watch his tail light shoot off into the distance. It really emphasised how bad my particular LED light is.

It could be that it is set too high on dip, but I cannot see how to adjust it. The owners book is nothing like my bikes headlight and "Haiti" on this forum did tell me where to look, but I cannot find any adjustment. On the up side I removed a gel seat pad I had fitted as I had one spare, so thought I would use it. The seat became 60 mile uncomfortable. Removing the pad I found the seat became more comfortable, sitting in it rather than on it. So grumpy old man one, Honda San one at half time. Just got the head light and noisey air box to sort out and it will be a great bike.

Edited by Mac750

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Mac750

Hah, really hacked off with the lights I have just been out into the garage armed with a very bright head torch.

I used it to check out the LED head light and see how it is fixed to the bike. I found the adjustment nut on the right hand side right in front of me. Doh. I turned the nut anti clockwise one and a half turns. This lowered the dip beam. I then took the bike out onto a nearby dark road and it was just slightly now too low, but the up side was it was far better and the "black hole" was diminished. Pulling over I got out the torch and long screw driver and moved the adjustment nut a quarter turn to the right. This is a huge improvement, no longer casting shadows on the road and illuminating sign posts and passing Boeing 747's. Still not the best light I have ever used but now much, much, better. But I'm still fitting spot lights now. One and a half turns is a lot of adjustment, who did the PDI.

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