Installing the H4 HID kit in your FJR
Either "Low-Beam Only" or the "Hi-Beam/Lo-Beam" Kit
The H4 "Low-Beam Only" HID Conversion Kit featuring the McCulloch G5 ballast.
| There are many ways one can go about installing the H4 HID Kit in the FJR1300; the following shows how I did it on mine. You certainly don't have to completely disassemble the nose of the bike like I did (though it makes it a much easier install), nor do you have to place the various components where I did. There were reasons (discussed below) why I elected to place the components where I did; you may find these locations worked well for you, or you may find alternative locations that work even better for your setup.|
Don't rush this job; work carefully and methodically, and your install should go fine.
The following describes the installation for either model HID setup ("Low-Beam Only" kit, and the "Hi-Beam/Lo-Beam" kit). I will outline where there are significant differences.
Why HID Lighting?
As good as the FJR's stock headlights are (and they are very, very good), there are numerous and important reasons why one should consider installing HID headlights:
Below is a comparison photograph of stock halogen (top) vs HID lighting (bottom) on the FJR1300 low beam, on the centerstand, facing my garage door, ~ 22 feet away from headlight lens to the vertical wall,. Note how the beamcast is virtually identical, which is extremely important if one is to avoid blinding oncoming traffic with these powerful systems:
- HID lighting is like no other. HID lighting affords a much greater ability to see over its halogen counterpart, a critical factor when night riding in known deer country.
- HID lighting saves a hefty 36-watts over stock high-beam lighting, which is enough to power heated grips or a Widder vest. This is crucial on a watt-challenged platform such as the FJR. Its modest 490-watt alternator demands the night rider to husband electrical draws where feasible.
- HID lighting has an exceptionally long service life, and has no filaments to fail due to vibrations, etc.
- Using 4300K HID capsules, the resulting light output approaches that of natural sunlight, and makes halogen systems appear yellow in comparison.
Compare Low-Beams: factory halogen beamcast on top, 4300K HID beamcast on bottom
As mentioned above, it may not be completely necessary to remove the nose of the bike to install these kits, but I elected to do so for the following reasons:
- I already have a metric crapload of electrical farkles crammed in the nose cowling, so removing the bodywork allowed me to re-position previously installed items to accommodate the new HID components.
- Installing both HID capsules is a piece of cake with the headlight assembly removed. It can (obviously) still be done with the headlamp housing in place, though the right lamp is a bit tricker than the left lamp.
- You really want the headlight assembly out of the bike before drilling the holes for zip-tying the ballast.
Removing the bodywork will not be described in great detail here, but you will need a 4mm allen wrench and a lot of patience. The following is a list of tupperware pieces/sundry items that you need to remove if you elect to go this route:
- Left and right side fairings
- All four dash pieces (click for specific dash piece removal instructions)
- Windscreen and the underlying metal 'W'-bracket
- Left and right mirrors
- Left and right upper fairings
When you are done removing all fairing pieces, this is what your bike should basically look like from the front:
Damn, I really need to replace that left fork protector that fell off my Superbrace.....
Your HID Kit:
Before you begin, now is a good time to lay out your HID Kit completely and check to ensure you have all the components you are supposed to have. Below is 1/2 the kit (HID capsule not shown) for the "Low-Beam Only" Kit, which is very simple and is almost completely assembled for you:
H4 "Low-Beam Only" HID Kit
The "Hi-Beam/Low-Beam" HID Kit shown below appears on the surface to be much more involved, and has more cabling (wire harness) to reflect the additional complexity. It turns out that, believe it or not, the simple-looking "Low-Beam Only" HID Kit is actually harder to wire up to the bike than the "Hi-Beam/Low-Beam Only" kit seen below! Here we see the entire wire harness for the Low-Beam/High-Beam HID kit, with all components (except the actual HID capsules) completely connected as it would be in actual use:
- A = to Battery (+) terminal
- B = to Battery (-) terminal
- C = power leads to left HID bulb
- D = power leads to right HID bulb
- E = to left HID capsule butterfly wings
- F = to right HID capsule butterfly wings
- G = to the stock headlight connector (left or right, doesn't matter which)
- H = Electronic Controller box to manage the solenoids positioning the butterfly wings
- I = dual relays that signal power to each lamp circuit