HID H4 Bi-Xenon Install

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HID H4 Bi-Xenon conversion kit Install

One of the very few weaknesses of the ST1100 is in its stock headlight system. It is adequate for most riding, but when you get out on the back country roads where there are no street lights, no other traffic providing lighting and especially on a moonless night it is entirely too easy to "outrun the headlights". They just don't shine bright enough to inspire confidence cutting through the pitch black of night.

Adding higher wattage bulbs is one approach, but that further taxes the alternator (which if still running the stock alt on the early ST's is going to definitely cause a problem). Also, the added heat from the higher wattage bulbs can harm the headlight housing itself. Fortunately, recent developments with HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting has provided an alternative that actually solves all of these problems.

OK, finally have my Xtralight HID kits installed and working with the bike all buttoned up. Only thing left to do is check/adjust the aim.

Although this project appears simple, and isn't too bad - you are playing with a LOT of $$$ worth of purchase that if you make a mistake it could cost you. So, take you time - measure twice, cut once and pay heed to the following:

READ the attached Xtralight RMA pdf for details. They have a lot of disclaimers regarding defective part/warranty claims. Based on this I would STRONGLY urge you to at least test the lights BEFORE removing them from their protective covers. This can be done by assembling the one connector, then unplugging the connector on the back of the stock bulbs and plugging it into the appropriate Xtralight connector and plugging in the HID lamp to the ballast then turning on the key. The light should light - if not, DO NOT remove the light from the protective housing. make sure ALL the connectors are making solid contact - I ALMOST sent one ballast back after I had plugged it in and undone it at least twice - only on the third try - just before I was going to send it back did it suddenly work - and I am SURE it was one of the two HV connectors that was the problem.


The kit came with one box containing two other boxes. One of the Bulb in its protector and the other was the ballast and harness.
Ballast Box Contents -

The RED & BLACK wires are where you will be crimping on the connector pins
Lamp Box Contents -

There are extra pins and even an extra connector - don't know why either... You only need two pins and one connector shown in above picture

The first thing you'll need to do is to assemble the one connector that isn't already made - I don't know why they didn't do this already, but you'll need to do this even if only to test out the system before modifying/installing anything else. Use a good crimping tool - strip the wires, crip on the pins and then insert them into the connector (they should be oriented so that the crimped side of the pon faces in on the connector in order to lock in place. Be sure to insert them fully. Also, be SURE you have to polarity correct - the red to red, black to black...

Close-up of crimped wires in pins
Showing tool used to crimp, the crimped pins and the amount I stripped off the ends.

When I inserted the pins into the connector and then tried to plug it into it's mate I found the same problem as Joe Z did - the pins wanted to push back out. Upon close examination, I found that the pins were angled slightly towards the center of the connector so they weren't going into the female pins and thus pushing out. I used needle nose pliers to bias the pins outward a bit - and after I did that they slid together cleanly with no problems pushing back out. Joe used hot glue - your call.

At this point I would assemble all the connectors together and then plug the stock lamp supply plug into the one from the kit for a quick test - better to ensure your lamps are functional now while you haven't modified them and can still send them back...

Once you are confident they work, now comes the REAL work...

I strongly recommend that you pull the headlight housing out of the bike completely - yes that means a fair bit of work to remove the upper fairing panels, but it is the only way to ensure that you get the bulbs seated and secured properly - I do not believe that would be possible trying to do so with the housing still in the bike.

Here's what the removed housing looks like with the stock bulbs still in it: (Looking down at back with the bottom of the housing at the top of the photo with protective boots removed)


This next photo shows the supplied HID lamp with the two tabs that need to be removed already cut off (I used a diagonal cutter) - note: DON'T CUT off the wrong tab! The one that needs to stay is wider than the other two. Note the adapter ring also in photo
This photo shows the adapter ring over the HID lamp and you can see how it won't sit flat -

Now for the hardest part - the real surgery of the HID lamp...

I made sure the adapter ring was centered on the remaining tab and then used a box cutter to score the base of the HID lamp so I could see what needed to be cut off. I did my first one with a dremel - works, but is slow going and maks a mess of plastic flakes ( I was working in the kitchen so wifey wasn't too happy) When I got close, I switched to a hand file and ended up with a nice tight fit. On the 2nd bulb I tried to cheat a bit and used a hacksaw to cut - it wasn't as precise and the fit of the adapter ring wasn't as tight. You'll have to decide how you want to cut. Also, I wrapped the HID capsule (bulb part) in paper towel secured by scotch tape to prevent any contamination of the bulb. If your hand touches the glass you HAVE to clean the capsule with alcohol else the oils from your hand WILL cause premature failure of the bulb!

Here's the finished product

Then, installed into the housing:

This one shows a nice close-up of the surgery site and the adapter ring and bulb all installed in the housing.

In order to fit the rubber boot back over the HID you'll have to cut the core section -

Then CAREFULLY put the three wires/connectors through the boot and then work it over the end and finally into place.

Finshed HID's mounted in housing -

This is what mine looked like when I tested it and found one bulb not working

Yours may look different. That's my Audiovox Cruise control servo on the left and its associated wiring as well as some for my GPS. I tried to route the HV wires from the ballasts - as well as the ballasts themselves - away from the clock, and servo so as to not chance any interference.

Here it is almost all buttoned up. The canister is my cruise control vacuum resevoir. It all just fit!

A couple of other notes: I used a dab of plumbers silicone grease on the ribbed connector boots to help them slip together easier. They are really tight otherwise. Also, I had a problem with one bulb not lighting initially., I switched ballasts and it worked leading me to think it was the ballast. I tired one last time and it suddenly worked - so if you have a problem be sure to go back ansd re-seat the connectors - especially the booted HV ones.

And the finished product

Bill Royal
'91 ST1100 - "Silver STreak"
STOC #1137, HSTA #9359, IBA #31709