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Thread: Headlight Bulb

  1. #1
    Junior Member Big Jim Swade's Avatar
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    Headlight Bulb

    Since the TW200 has a 55/60watt H4 headlight bulb has anyone tried changing it out to a 55/100watt bulb like a Hella H4 ? Should provide a more light output on high beam, but can the wiring handle a 100 watt bulb?
    2017 TW200
    Krator Pegs, Rear Cycle Rack
    Jimbo Shield 650 Miles on it.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member msmiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim Swade View Post
    Since the TW200 has a 55/60watt H4 headlight bulb has anyone tried changing it out to a 55/100watt bulb like a Hella H4 ? Should provide a more light output on high beam, but can the wiring handle a 100 watt bulb?
    I have been using this for three years now. Not sure how the fan will do with mud I ride mostly street https://www.cyclegear.com/parts/spee...SABEgLl0fD_BwE


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Smitty Blackstone's Avatar
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    LED is the best choice.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    Going to 100 watts may fry your wiring.
    Phelonius

  6. #5
    Senior Member Lyterx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmiller View Post
    I have been using this for three years now. Not sure how the fan will do with mud I ride mostly street https://www.cyclegear.com/parts/spee...SABEgLl0fD_BwE


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have also been using this for a few years also and ride home from work at night just about every day. One of the best things I have changed after my seat concepts seat....
    1991 TW200

  7. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    100W at 12V is around 8.3A. I like around a 30% margin for safety and variance of the element making the draw, so let's call it 10.8A. For continuous power transmission (ie: headlight type draw), you need an 11AWG conductor for 12A, 12AWG for 9.3A.

    I don't know what wire gauge is used on the headlight harness for the TW, but I'm pretty sure it's closer to 17AWG'ish giving you a whopping 2.9A or 34.8W worth of capability.

    If you plan on running higher current lighting like that, you should run an appropriate gauge wire through a fused link straight from the battery, and use the stock 12V feeds to main/high beam to toggle relays that switch the line from the battery. That will give you OEM functionality without melting your wiring and leaving you in the dark or pulled over by the local constabulary.

    Next thing to consider is how much power the generator setup on the bike can supply reliably. I'd be surprised if it put out 50W-75W total (I really have no idea, just guessing at this one), meaning you're going to end up with a dead battery and possibly blown generator after your riding time exceeds the capacity of your battery. Unless of course you run a big battery, take very short rides, and stick it on a charger between rides.

    In short, it's probably a bad idea. As mentioned, LED is the way to go for more light output on meager wattage. There are several options for that.


    Edit: Are you sure stock is a 55/60W? I seem to recall reading here on the forum that stock light is about 30W-35W.
    Last edited by nihil; 04-12-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    18 gauge, for short distances, will handle 10 amps
    16 gauge...12 amps
    14 gauge...10 amps

    See chart for higher amperage: Ampacity Charts

    For most primary wiring, automotive or motorcycle, I use 16 gauge (or larger) for physical strength.

    Stock wiring for a 100 watt high beam may be OK, but I know of several H-D riders who have melted the 1/4" blade connector to the H4.

    I am a big fan of LED: My truck has been converted for dome, cargo and high brake lights. Both travel trailers 100% converted (to run longer on a solar charged battery).

    LED has an initial purchase expense, but has much longer life, more vibration resistance, and uses much less electricity.
    Fred likes this.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    I was going by this chart: https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

    I do recall when I had the front bits off taking measurements for CAD that the wiring seemed a bit on the light side. I tend to err on the side of bigger is better. Maybe it's leftover trauma from my days playing with BL cars. All hail Lucas, prince of darkness.

    I searched this site when I was planning my lighting upgrades, and could swear I found a post claiming that the stock wiring wasn't good for more than 35W or so, but I can't seem to find it again. The light going on mine is pretty low draw anyway at 3A high/1.5A low (TL 27270C).

    Even still, I'd be wary of trying to run 100W worth of light on this thing. Does anyone know how much power the stock generator can put out?
    grewen likes this.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    The earlier TW from 88 to 2000 ran a 30/35 – from 2000 on, it went up to 55/60

    If you wire it up post battery, the only complications are how long you use it for, and as has been mentioned, the wiring

    So the only things to watch out for are the wiring melting, and boiling the battery dry

    “Some of us” have questioned this before, mostly on heated grips etc – but it’s the same thing – however, no-one has admitted to detailed results yet. All we get is “I’ve used this for years”, without any considered damage reports

    The problem with reporting is likely to do with “variables” – how long did you use the high beam for, how long did you use heated grips for etc – you get the idea …….
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The Mr.Gizmo TW came with an upgraded Hella H4 bulb that was much brighter than the stock H4. I will report back if I can find any wattage identification. I never had any discharge issues with it using stock incandescent bulbs everywhere else and a lead acid battery. It is available to a good home since I have subsequently replaced it with a LED H4 I like better.
    Last edited by Fred; 04-14-2018 at 06:26 PM.
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