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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 7 Mar 2005
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Converting uk headlamps for European use

Not sure which topic to put this under, seems a bit weedy compared to the situation in Nepal.

However- how do I convert my round Bosch H4 for use in Europe, please?

Do I also have to convert it to a yellow light?

Am I right in thinking that it is mandatory to carry a full set of spare bulbs and also a warning triangle?
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  #2  
Old 7 Mar 2005
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IMHO I wouldn't bother changing anything on the lights. Most bike headlights aim straight down the road anyway.
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  #3  
Old 7 Mar 2005
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Well, on main beam it does, but on dip it lights up the kerb when you're driving on the left, so if I leave it like that it will dazzle on coming traffic when in Europe. I want to LIVE!!!
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Old 8 Mar 2005
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No need to convert anything. You only need to cover up the sector on the lens shining upwards on the left hand side, as this points straight into the oncoming traffic. I have read in various places that the ferry companies give/sell you stickers for that, but it never happened to me.

If yo don't do it nobody in France, at least, will notice, as half of all bikes' headlights are too high anyway. The other half are too low. (There is no technical inspection for bikes... )

As for yellow lights: they were once compulsory for French registered vehicles, but are now dying out. You can even see cars with one of each! They were a silly idea in the first place.

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  #5  
Old 8 Mar 2005
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You only need a bit of duct tape — sticks best — or insulating tape to cover the part of the lens that creates the upper left beam, it should be obvious on the lens, it's usually a sector in the lower left area.

Have to say that I've felt the hostility from driving in France with uncorrected headlamps, and although not everyone'll be driving into you, the proportion of people who dip their own beams'll diminish, so it's worth it for that at least.

I think it's unfortunate that yellow beams aren't current now, when you meet/are followed by a car with them it's amazing how much less dazzling they are, and as I painted the lenses on a Ford Escort a few years back, I'll testify to the fact visibility is just as good. The paint should be available in French auto shops and supermarkets, perhaps in good auto shops in the UK.

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  #6  
Old 8 Mar 2005
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I've never bothered correcting my headlights for driving abroad.

You have to carry a full set of spare bulbs by law in France & bikes have to travel with their lights on (stopped by the Police for not doing so).

I've never heard of warning triangles being compulsory for bikes anywhere? If you want one, the easiest is the helmet bag that has a tiangle on it. Reflective vests for roadside emergencies are compulsory in Italy for car drivers & they're still considering bike riders I believe.

Have you planned a route yet John?
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  #7  
Old 14 Mar 2005
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John, check this link to the AA for the compulsory equipment you need for Europe - it covers motorcycles as well...and says that you don't need to adjust your headlight.
http://www.theaa.com/allaboutcars/ov...equipment.html

[This message has been edited by Bill Holland (edited 14 March 2005).]
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Old 14 Mar 2005
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Bill,
Superb!
Thanks
J
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  #9  
Old 14 Mar 2005
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From the AA site:
Quote:
<font face="" size="2">This adjustment is not required for two-wheeled vehicles as the beam pattern is more symmetrical, but check that any extra loading has not affected the beam height.</font>
This is typical from an automobile club. This was technically correct several decades ago and hasn't been updated since.

If you have an asymmetrical headlight then it dazzles when you drive on the other side of the road.

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  #10  
Old 14 Mar 2005
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I have put a switch on my twinlight ténéré.
The switch put on or off the right lamp, in my case I'm going to UK, but I think Beddhist is right, motorcycle light is more symetrical than car light so normally, no bother.
I didn't put the switch for this reason, more to save watts for my heated gripps.

Matt
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  #11  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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I think you misunderstood me, Matt: I meant that bike headlights are just as asymmetrical as car headlights. Technically, there is no difference. If you have an H4 headlight it is asymmetrical and will dazzle oncoming traffic if you drive on the other side of the road than normal. Bike or car, makes no difference.

In the olden days there were symmetrical headlights, usually 6V with 35W bulbs. Little better than a carbide light.

Mopeds still have them, I think.

Anyway, the short of the story is: if you cross the ditch cover up the relevant sector of you h/light lens with black duct tape and everything will be fine.

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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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oh sorry, I read a bit fast.
So motorcycle light is not symetrical? I think yes it isn't on twinlights.
Now on my french ténéré, the right lamp taking a euro code, seems to be spreading light more widely to see road signs etc.

Matt
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  #13  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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If you look directly at the headlamp lens,there is a sort-of triangular focusing pattern on the left of the unit,the top line of which is halfway up the lens(obviously this will be reversed if you have a non-UK headlamp).This is the bit that needs covering if you still wish to correct the beam.Actually it does'nt "correct" it,but just covers the bit that dips to the left.

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  #14  
Old 11 Sep 2005
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I use a piece of duct tape on the left lower quarter (as you look at the lamp) to get it right draw a cross thru a circle (12 to 6 and 9 to 3) then cover the 9 / 6 quadrant, it works fine.
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