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Geoff
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I replaced the low beam headlight bulb on my 2008 Uly with a Sylvania H7 "basic" bulb. The bulb has a rated life of 270 hours. However, this is the second bulb I've replaced in the last 500 miles. I wear latex gloves and don't touch the bulb during installation. Does anyone make a more durable, heavy-duty H7 bulb for motorcycles?
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 05:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Two things:

#1 it may have been bad luck that it failed to soon.

or

#2 is your voltage reg putting out too much?

My walmart bulbs last years.
I suggest trying another $11 bulb and see if you are more lucky this time. (assuming you put a meter on the bike first)
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Geoff
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the reply. I measured 13.85V at the bulb with the engine idling. The bike has 7,400 miles.
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Froggy
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 06:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If the VR is failing, it will shoot out high voltage spikes, which you will never notice if you are using a regular multi meter. The only way to know for sure is with an onboard voltage monitor, so you can see dips and spikes in real time.
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Geoff
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 07:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'm getting 13.8V at the headlight bulb with the engine idling. Is this too much? My service manual doesn't specify voltage at bulbs.
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Griffmeister
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

There is no special circuitry that would give you any readings at the bulb that are different than anywhere else. The only time a reading at various points helps is when you are trying to trace a voltage loss. Like Froggy says, voltage spikes can be quick and damaging and you will almost never be able to catch them on a meter. Do you have the electrical service manual? That has all the tests that you need for checking everything of importance in the charging system. This would probably be a good opportunity to give the whole system a once over just to see where you stand. As a general rule of thumb, though, a 12v system could reach almost 15v during normal operation although you usually like to see it between 13.5 v and 14.5v. Spikes can be more than double that which is why this is a suspect when the bulbs blow.
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 04:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

At idle, the charging system is just barely able to keep up with a headlight and a fan.
Rev the thing to 2500 when it's fully up to temp and measure the volts at the battery.

While you're in there check the ground terminal on the battery. Loose batteries do odd spooky stuff.
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Geoff
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 09:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ground and positive terminals are tight and clean. If my new bulb fails, I'll check the voltage regulator as suggested and replace, if needed. Thanks for the input.

My '08 XB12X is my first Buell. It has only 7k miles. It's always been garaged and has never seen rain. The bike is literally showroom new.. Are voltage regulators a common problem?
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Common but not in so few miles.
Mine got weak at about 40,000 miles and wasn't keeping the battery all the way up but the thing still got me home from my trip to SC.
My X1 took longer at about 90,000 it just plain stopped charging all together.
barely got home from the supermarket with yellow headlight.

One thing that goes wrong with the charging systems is a winding can ground to the case.
Again, unlikely on such a new bike.
unless previous owner put wrong lube in the tranny that would eat the insulation of the windings.


I'm still leaning more towards the bad bulb theory.
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Griffmeister
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Oh yeah, bulbs are easy and cheap (relatively) before getting too deep into it.
Low mile failure, though, is not that uncommon. My Uly is also an 08 and my first VR was replaced under warranty at about the same mileage. At 31k now I am on number three (I think, at least) This time I went with the Shindengen VR, which I would recommend if thatís what your final analysis proves to be.
Good luck with the bulb, letís hope thatís all it needs.
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Geoff
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Update.... A new Sylvania bulb I installed lasted only about 90 miles before it failed. I ordered a new voltage regulator from St Paul Harley. Hopefully, this will solve my problem.

I bought my Ulysses in December and have rode it less than a few hundred miles. It has only 7k miles. Sure hope this problem isn't a sign of things to come.

I called a few dealers but none heard of Shindengen voltage regulators. One Buell/HD tech I spoke with suggested I stick with the OEM part.
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Geoff
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Forgot to mention the HD tech I spoke with suggested I stick with the Buell H7 bulb, #Y0148.1AD.He said the OEM bulb is more durable. Is this true or a sales pitch? The Buell bulb is $25.
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Smorris
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

" check out the "77" connector.. it is a VR killer if not upgraded
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 08:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I think the Buell bulb being strong is a sales pitch.

If you avoid "silver star" bulbs you should be fine with normal boring halogens.
Did you measure the system voltage?
I hope your $$$ part fixes the problem.



Also, to Smorris:
the 2008 and up bikes don't have the same "77" issue.
They were given a single phase stator with a simple two wire connector that was more robust and less powerful stator than the previous three phase systems.
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Geoff
Posted on Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 10:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The 2008 Uly has no 77 connector. Voltage regulator connectors are attached to the left scoop.

Voltage at battery is 14.4V with the bike running. Battery connections and ground are clean and tight. I believe my voltage regulator is not absorbing surges, thereby blowing bulbs.
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Smorris
Posted on Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

good info thanks. will note that with my service manual
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Griffmeister
Posted on Friday, April 05, 2019 - 12:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The 08 and up bikes still have a 77 connector, that is simply the number assigned to the connection between the regulator and the battery. Like Nate said, itís now a single phase system with heavier duty plugs. The dealer wonít tell you about the shindengen reg because they donít sell them. Next time (and there may be one) go to roadstercycle.com for the reg.

With new parts on the way, it would still be a real good idea to run through all the charging system checks in the electrical manual, just to play it safe.
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Froggy
Posted on Friday, April 05, 2019 - 09:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Calling a Harley dealer for advice on Buell parts? You must be braver than I am! : D

I personally went with another OEM VR when mine failed just for the simplicity of install, while the aftermarket ones are better I didn't want to bother with wiring and mounting.

$25 for a bulb, they probably have a Harley logo hidden in the filament that adds $20 to the cost. I'm thankful my dealer has steered me to some cheaper aftermarket stuff in the past, I needed to replace some lost fasteners for the luggage racks and the bill was up to over $100, he wrote down what I needed and told me to go to the hardware store down the street, where it wasn't even $3 for everything.
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Griffmeister
Posted on Friday, April 05, 2019 - 10:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Frank, you seem to have a habit of leaving hardware loose. Maybe you should have bought $6 worth?
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Geoff
Posted on Saturday, April 06, 2019 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Update... The new voltage regulator I installed solved the problem. Went for a 30 mile ride with no headlamp bulb failure.
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Natexlh1000
Posted on Monday, April 08, 2019 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Nice.
When mine got weak, I went through the effort of ripping out all of the potting compound, hoping to see a fried thing I could replace.
Took hours and I found nothing.
Sounds like you skipped all of the tedious B.S. steps I took to arrive at the same destination.

At the time, they were on indefinite backorder for me though.
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