LED Headlights

There are a few good ways to upgrade to an LED headlight, some easier than others. The basic thing that will ease the upgrade is making sure you get something with an H4 harness or an adapter to H4. The stock headlight is a 5 3/4″ mounted in a bucket with approximately 7″ outer diameter.

Drop-in headlight replacement #

A comparison of the the Denali (left) and the AKMTies (right)

There are a couple headlights that will mount directly in the stock bucket. The following work with no modifications. This is probably the easiest upgrade with the best amount of light and visibility gain.

Bucket and headlight replacement #

You can alternatively buy a complete bucket and headlight. If you don’t like any of the drop-in replacements or you maybe want a 7″ headlight or even something smaller then you would need to go this route. If you can get something with an H4 harness or adapter then you will avoid having to cut the stock harness. This is slightly harder than a drop-in replacement since you would need to mount the new bucket.

Headlight bracket adapters for stock bucket #

There have been brackets on the market that make most all 5 3/4″ headlights (Harley specific and such) fit into the stock Yamaha bucket. There aren’t a lot of companies that make these, although you may be able to make use of the adapters mentioned above in the Drop-in headlight replacements perhaps. The one readily available on the market is by Next Level Innovations

LED Bulbs #

Any H4 bulb should be straight plug ‘n play as a replacement for the stock incandescent bulb. You will get a lot better lighting but the direction of the new bulb’s light may not be as optimal as a full headlight replacement.

An important note about LED bulbs, they are usually sold as a set and where sold as a set the advertised lumens are for the set of bulbs, not a single bulb. It is also very important to understand Lumens and how they are used in advertisement.

Headlight Safety #

Note the LED auxiliary lights below the headlight. Additional auxiliaries lower on the highway bar.

Headlight brightness and setup is generally a neglected mod on the bolt. Many choose a good looking LED without much concern for the actual lumens it provides. If you plan on doing a lot of riding and possibly even having to do some night riding on trips it is very important that you are able to see where you are going. In traffic at night and anytime really it is also very important that you are seen. See and be seen. The best solution to this is more lumens yes, but also a better spread of the headlight. Changing the bulb, although looks nice, will not optimize the spread of the light. Some LED bulbs even have some dark spots when cast out of the stock headlight, the overall effect and output of only changing the bulb is limited. That said, if safety is of importance it really is best to upgrade your headlight altogether with either a Drop-in replacement or a whole new headlight. It is also a great idea to invest in some good auxiliary lights.

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