Hi everyone, well I decided to come up with this little step by step guide showing how I installed my new JLM HID lights on my 2011 Honda Phantom. I was very surprised how there’s no much information about how to do it and well I decided to share my experience with those looking for a better insight of what you can expect to see and how to approach it (not to say that my way is the only one, but it worked pretty well for me). As always, if you have a better method to do this leave a comment or let me know; is nice we can all contribute/share how to make things better.
Here we go,
What HID Temperature should I get?
So I was doing some research about which HID’s are best for my motorcycle. Obviously this was a very ambiguous question since depending on temperature this lights change their color. So for starters, what color would fit best? but not only that, which is best for getting noticed on the road by that driver that is on the phone talking BS with their BF, or BFF or what ever (by the way I hate Acronyms) but paying attention to their surrounding. I found that the right HID temperature would be anything no more than 6K. In many blogs people say the light tends to get some blueish/purple/reddish and also strains your eyes, plus defaults the whole purpose of illumination. In My own experience I had installed HID kits in my cars and used the 5K and 12K. 12K lights look nice, are very stylish for any vehicle but they are not the best for the road. I noticed that it works great with any reflective objects but if the object it is not reflective it wont illuminate it much. Is like you get no depth… and if there is no reflective markers on the road, you can consider yourself driving blind pretty much. 5K lights are the ones that give you the most in color and road illumination; they add a slick look to your ride and have a very powerful reach, in my opinion the best ones. But not for this case. In my opinion a motorcycles need to call as much attention on the road as possible and should stand out from other vehicles (I Rather “Becky” tell her “BFF” on the phone “There’s a fu*** assh*** riding a motorcycle behind me” other than “Oh I didn’t see him behind me, I was way too busy on the phone”) for this reason I ordered a 3K light bulb with my HID kit. That way that deep yellow light will call “Becky’s” attention and anyone next to her. I have to admit that it is not very easy on your eyes at first but it works like a charm for me. Here’s a chart I got from somewhere in google so you can have a reference Temp/Color.
I got my kit from amazon, is a H4 JLM HID kit. The kit was $65.39 including shipping. Unfortunately I didn’t found a slim version (This means that the Balast is thinner than a conventional one, very useful for motorcycles because the lack of space) and I thought this was going to be a problem. But It worked Just fine. Also there is a cheaper HID Kit XENTEC brand. I had bought this before and they don’t last much, you will find yourself replacing the Balasts sooner than what you think. Just saying…
1).Read/print or memorize steps on Mike’s Blog and execute until step 8.
2).Once you are done with that you will find yourself with something that looks similar to this. It gets tricky to get the hook back to its place since the HID bulb is longer and has a different shape. Once the change is made you wont be able to put the dust cover on it. Save it somewhere, don’t trash it. You never know.
Before you move on, I suggest you to stop and test your kit, many times the balasts don’t work or the bulbs are bad even if they are new. You don’t want to spend all your time making a nice installation and then realize it doesn’t work. Just plug the light’s power supply to the Balast and plug the bulb to the round ends. Remember red to red and black to Transparent (Red positive, Black Ground) always remember this when installing your kit.
One more thing to remember. You have a what is called a closed circuit. If any of the color coded connectors you see is not well connected or gets loose, you will open the circuit and loose the power loop that runs the entire electrical system of your bike. Including your starter. Something to keep in mind. Be calm, don’t freak out and enjoy what you are doing. Keep going…
3. Ok, Saying that your kit is good to go, you need to un-plug all the color coded connectors and get the light casing out of the way. You will notice that there is a bold thermal wrapper that holds all the cables you need in one big “tube”. And you should be looking at something like this.
4. Separate te cables that you are going to re-route from the ones that are going to stay in the same place (inside the light case).
TIP: Work with your fork leaning towards the right. This way you know what is the max cable extension and you are not going to get short in wire or strangle any wires when you make turns.
Before you continue, you need to remove the plastic covers that are located at the front sides of the bike. You will do this by removing a small metallic piece that holds them together on the top.
5. Use an exacto knife to cut the thermal cover that wraps all your cables together. Be super careful, take your time to do this. You don’t want to cut any wires inside there. Also, you don’t need to cut it all the way through, maybe just an inch before it meets the other end.
As you also have noticed, I had already placed the balast and connected the power supply.
Once you have this done, Is time for you to test your connections and see that everything is working. Also use some belts to secure the connection and the balast to other parts that are firm. Try not to leave anything loose. This way you will avoid changing any pieces.
You might notice that placing the balast is the toughest part, but once you are done with that, the rest is a piece of cake. I might say I will remove the gas tank and secure this part better soon and if you have time, I suggest you do that too. It might take a little longer but it will make a difference in the long run.
6. Once you have placed everything, is time to wrap up the cables that got loose when you cut the wrapper and begin to incorporate all the cables back in to the headlight cover. Since all cables are color coded should be easy for you to connect everything back together. Try to be organized and to distribute all the cables along the inside of the casing. I will suggest you to plug everything and leave the two light connectors for last.
7. Get back to Mike’s Blog and continue from step 13.
8. In step 15 I decided to put a little of medium thread-locking fluid, since the vibration might get some of those screws loose.
Well, and this is how it looks now. I hope this works for you as it did for me.